Posts Tagged ‘win7’

Windows 7 ReadyBoost with the built-in SD card reader in a Dell Lattitude E5550

Friday, August 28th, 2015

I bought a 16GB Class 10 SD card on super-sale, and I wanted to set it up with ReadyBoost on my new Dell laptop. To my dismay, I couldn’t get the ReadyBoost setup prompts to come up – for years I’ve been annoyed at constantly seeing that option when I plug in a Flash drive or SD card, and now, when I actually wanted it, it wouldn’t come up. Figures.

Apparently few people use ReadyBoost – there weren’t any search results specific to my Dell model.

I did find a reference to removing the manufacturer drivers for the SD card controller for a similar ReadyBoost problem, so I gave that a shot.

In the Windows Device Manager, under Storage Controllers, my card reader was listed as a “BayHubTech/O2Micro Integrated MMC/SD controller”, Driver version, dated 5/12/2014. I have no idea if there is a newer driver, or if such a driver would support ReadyBoost. I did the right click, update driver, manually choose driver, “standard SD card controller” thing (not the exact words).

And… magically, it worked.

I now have a top level “SD host adapters” branch, and below that “SDA Standard Compliant SD Host Controller” in the Device Manager.

Whether or not I’ll be able to notice any difference with 12-13GB of ReadyBoost added, well, I’m not sure. I feel it did help on my previous laptop running Vista with a 4GB card.

Remotely Enable Remote Desktop in Windows 7 Professional

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

I recently needed to login to a computer on a LAN that did not have Remote Desktop enabled. Here are the high-level steps that I took.

If you search online, you will typically find references to a registry setting to enable RDP.


HKLM Hive  -> System -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> Terminal Server > fDenyTSConnections  should be changed to zero.


That’s not sufficient in most cases.

You also typically need to allow Remote Desktop through the firewall. I did this using Sysinternals psexec tool to get a command prompt to the remote machine.

i.e. psexec \\remote-computer cmd.exe

Then running a netsh rule to enable RDP:
i.e. netsh firewall set service type = remotedesktop mode = enable


Also, I needed to add the user to the local computer’s Remote Access user’s group (not the exact name).

A reboot was required.


netsh firewall rule:


Today’s Edition of “Always do your backups” is a Win7 Netbook

Friday, January 14th, 2011

I was not pleased to see that the new netbook that I mentioned in a previous post, did not come with restore DVD’s.  However, I just realized that since there is no DVD drive, most regular people wouldn’t know what to do with restore DVDs.

Anyway, I decided to make a full disk image backup, in case the drive in the netbook crashes badly.   Hard drives have moving parts, they all die eventually, the only question is if you have retired the computer before it goes.

Without restore DVDs, my next thought was to use  the Windows 7 built-in disk image backup.  I re-discovered that this feature does not back up over  network drives*. You’re supposed to use  an external USB hard drive, which is OK, given the price of external drives. But since I’m not familiar with the Win7 backup tools, and in particular, I can’t figure out if it will backup the hidden partitions that contain the original install files for Windows and the rest of the software bundle, I decided to fall back on my favorite disk image tool, G4L.

I have used G4L ( for clients and personal use for years, so I strongly prefer to use it. Without a DVD drive, I needed to make a bootable USB thumb drive.  That was surprisingly easy.

To create the bootable USB drive, I  followed the instructions here:

As I type this, G4L is busily sending a perfect disk image of the netbook to our on-site FTP server.  It’s not quite a factory image (the netbook has been lightly used),  but it’s close enough.  Plus, the real restore partition is being backed up in case I really need to return it to factory settings.

* There are some tricks to do Windows 7 disk image backups over a network, one using Virtual drives feature of Win7, and another using iSCSI… but I digress.

Windows 7 RAID-1 (Software Disk Mirror)

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Today, I learned more about Windows 7 and it’s built in software disk mirroring for hard drives than I ever wanted to know.

It’s virtually impossible to find this listed on an official page (I can’t find it), but Windows 7 Professional has software disk mirroring enabled. In previous versions of Windows, software disk redundancy was limited to the server class operating systems, e.g. Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2003, and Windows 2008. Although, IIRC, Windows NT4 Workstation had disk mirroring, but I’m too lazy to look that up.

I spent several minutes today trying to find an official page that listed software RAID as a feature… and failed. Then, before starting this post, I tried again, and still failed. There are several 3rd party sites that mention software RAID being enabled in Win7. In the end, I had to set it up myself to be satisfied that it was true.

No, dynamic disk mirrors are not really the same as RAID1, but it’s close enough for me, and better in some ways – it should be possible to move a Windows mirrored drive to a completely different motherboard, for instance.

BTW, be careful with the entry level Dell Vostro 230’s, they don’t include support for Intel Matrix Storage anymore! Yes, that’s how this whole exercise started.

P.S. I just noticed that this is blog post number 101!