HP/TC1100/Windows 7 Installation Notes

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Windows 7 installation notes


Thanks to all who helped me compile this information.

Short Summary

Why Install Windows 7 RC 7100?

Well this answer is quite simple for all who have already installed Windows Vista on their TC1100: BETTER PERFORMANCE! I kid you not, Windows 7 runs much smoother and leaner than Vista could ever hope to be, even when dieted down with vlite! In one report, I read a quote from a Microsoft technician: "Windows 7 is what Windows Vista should have been", and I think that puts it quite nicely. On the tabletpcbuzz forum, someone posted that Windows 7 performs about as fast as the Original Windows XP Tablet PC Edition did, but with much better results, especially in the area of handwriting recognition and responsiveness. Again, I can only agree. Of course, as with Vista, even the leaner Windows 7 won't run Aero Glass on the TC1100, but the Windows Basic theme looks even better than the one of Vista, as far as I recall (it might be wishful thinking).

Experience Index


Nothing new here, it is still at 1.0 -- after installing the video graphics driver that will allow you to use the Sleep mode and multiple monitors, there is an issue with calculating the new Experience Index, but trust me, you don't need to reconfirm that it hasn't changed. 1.0 is as good as it gets, but the good news is: it's enough!


  • Pentium 1 GH (running smoothly between 600 MH and 1 GH; Windows 7 features power savings option that allow you to throttle back processor power before using the fan to cool the system, but somehow the TC1100 won't go below 600 MH).
  • 160 GB Samsung hard drive, partitioned into a 20 GB drive and a 128 GB drive, working perfectly.
  • 2 GB of RAM (strongly recommended. If you want to upgrade RAM to 2 GB, follow this link)

NOTE: regarding the hard drive, due to BIOS issues only 128GB can be reliably used with Windows 7. Partitions bigger than 128GB cannot be created, and additional partitions beyond the first 128GB used may be unstable or prone to corruption and data loss. This is due to what's called a "28-bit LBA addressing limitation" that is practically a hard-coded firmware limitation of the TC1100.

Windows XP was able to use 3rd-party software workarounds to get around the firmware limitation and create partitions beyond the first 128GB, but Windows 7 does not support these workarounds (called "dynamic drives").

The takeaway: create partitions for Windows 7 that add up to more than 128GB at your own data's risk!

Things that work

  • Windows 7™ Basic User interface
  • All Buttons!
  • TabTIP
  • Journal
  • Screen Rotation
  • Q Menu
  • Bluetooth
  • External Monitor as Clone and as Extended Desktop
  • Sound
  • LAN and WLAN
  • Modem
  • PC Card Slot (formerly PCMCIA)
  • SD slot (up to 1GB cards only)
  • Battery warm-swap in sleep.

Things that DO NOT Work

  • Windows 7™ Aero Glass Desktop, Flip, and 3D
  • Media Center:
    • when starting media center, a warning will appear sayig that TV and Video might not work as expected because the video card does not meet the minimum memory requirement.
    • Although you can sift through the library and set up Media Center after this warning, response within the Media Center is sluggish and video generally won't work, although they work fine with the Media player. I recommend not using the Media Center at all. I have tested iTunes, which works like a charm, and VLC, which will work a might better than WMP, although WMP will work tons better than on Windows Vista already.
    • Note that I have not tried Hi-Def video, as I do not see the reason to test it on such a small screen. I wouldn't recommend using the TC1100 as a Media streaming and sharing center anyway -- too slow.


Clean Install or Upgrade?

Clean install, always, always clean install. I have never tried an upgrade, but with such archaic components it really is flirting with disaster. I have done a clean install several times during the process of finding out whether everything will work, and there is no substitute.

A clean install doesn't take long, even with all the drivers below it won't take more than a couple hours with only about an 45-60 minutes of your direct attention, assuming you've got everything downloaded.

Still, if you think you have to reinstall at any point you might want to look into "disk imaging" software to take complete snapshots of your installed system. Making full backups of your system takes only an hour, a few gigabytes of space somewhere, and a few minutes of your attention. Doing so with good software (make sure it's Windows 7 compatible), means that should you need to reinstall, you can just get away with popping in your backup-snapshot, pressing a few buttons for a few minutes, then letting the software bring your computer back in less computer time and your attention than a full reinstall of Windows and all the drivers and applications. Free disk imaging apps exist.

Installing Windows 7 without external DVD-ROM drive

Since I do not own an external DVD ROM drive, my way was a little more sneaky than installing via LAN or USB. I have an adapter that allows me to connect a 2.5" drive to a normal 3.5 PC, so I simply connected my 2.5 drive to my main PC and started installation there. The great thing about Vista and 7 is that it installs EVERYTHING it needs for installation right off the bat, so you really don't need the Windows 7 DVD after the first reboot! I simply install until the first reboot, which takes 10 to 15 Minutes (do not wander off too far, you need to be there in time to stop the reboot!) and shut the PC down during reboot. Then I unplug the 2.5 drive and put it into my TC1100, reconnect my main PC for use again, and voilĂ ! Windows 7 installation will load up and continue nicely on the TC1100.

This method will not work to install Windows 7 on a hard drive connected through USB; the hard drive will need to be hooked into the IDE/PATA connections directly, which probably means opening up your desktop case or laptop's hdd bay. This also means that your computer will need to have the older IDE/PATA connections, not the newer SATA connections found on computers in the past few years.

If you have a USB external DVD drive or similar way to connect any DVD drive to USB, or can figure out how to install over network without too much trouble, those would likely be easier methods than this one. Just make sure you're trying to boot from the correct disc drive, and make sure to press a button to boot from the disc if it asks.

HP drivers & Software

You need several drivers from the HP homepage. Simply go to this page of the HP homepage, which is the page where you can download the TC1100 drivers. Download the following drivers:

  • The Soundmax Audio driver: NOT the latest download! Choose the link under the heading "Previous Version" and download that driver!
  • nVidia Video Driver for Windows XP Tablet Edition (latest driver)
  • Tablet PC Button Driver
  • Texas Instruments PCI 1620 4IN1 CardReader Driver (latest)
  • Q Menu Software for Tablet PC (latest)

For the Audio Driver, the Video Driver, and the Tablet PC Button Driver, I recommend to extract/unpack the self-installers without actually installing at that time. Be sure to right-click each .exe file and choose "Properties", then "Compatibility". Choose "Run in Windows XP SP2 Compatibility mode" and check the "Run as Administrator" checkbox below. The .exe files will unpack and, after having unpacked into a directory of your choosing, will try to install. Simply cancel the installation at this point but leave the unpacked files in the directory for later use.

Additional software

Go to the http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/drivers/xp/82.12 page (this page says Driver details are temporarily down until a fix is provided. Please use the forums to find the driver details for now.) and download the offered driver. Then click on this link and download the fix by longway (if you want to find out about the discussion on tabletpcbuzz, click here: http://www.tabletpcbuzz.com/showthread.php?t=36154&highlight=tc1100+windows+7). You need to unpack the 82.12 driver and then copy the two files included in the Fix.zip file into the directory where the 82.12 driver unpacked to, overwriting the existing data there.

If you have the Intel Pro Wireless 2100b mini pci card, you will probably have problems with the driver Windows update gives you. Go here (http://downloadcenter.intel.com/detail_desc.aspx?agr=N&ProductID=944&DwnldID=11918&strOSs=44&OSFullName=Windows*%20XP%20Professional&lang=eng) and download the Windows XP driver.


Follow these instructions as precisely as you feel is right; I cannot guarantee that it will work, but I found that this order and way of installing Windows 7 worked perfectly for my TC1100, no glitches and no complaints (save for a minor issue with WLAN reliability when on battery power; this might be remedied with the original XP driver which can be downloaded from the HP homepage; it hasn't been enough of an annoyance yet).

a) Install Windows from DVD
As I mentioned, my method differs from the standard method, but still works just as well. Whichever way you lean, simply install Windows 7 as you see fit.

b) Connect to the internet via LAN
Although there are alternatives, I will not go into them. You need an internet connection for the next step, and simply connecting via LAN is really the easiest way and usually accessible to almost anybody these days.

c) Windows Update!
Use the Windows Update (open it manually from the Control Panel or by right-clicking on "Computer" and choosing Properties, then in the lower left area "Windows Update"). My personal preference is to be notified on what updates Windows INTENDS to install prior to actually doing it; if your cup of tea is the automatic update, simply choose that (you can do that during installation). Be sure to include the optional update, this is important!Note: As of April 2009, this caused major issues for other users, causing them to have to repair Windows 7. They were able to install the updates at the end of this list without any issues.

d) Tablet PC Button Driver
After Reboot, open the Device Manager. You will find one unknown device, and here you will need the Tablet PC Button Driver. Right-click on the device, choose upgrade driver, and direct Windows to the directory to which the driver unpacked earlier. Windows will do the rest from there.

e) Soundmax Audio Driver
Now open the "Sound, video and game controllers" section in the device manager and right-click and choose upgrade on the audio driver here. Direct Windows to the directory where you unpacked the Soundmax Driver from HP, and again, Windows will do the rest.
With the preinstalled driver and the latest XP driver from HP, the internal speakers won't mute when you plug in headphones or external speakers. With the previous driver, it does work as advertised.

f) nVidia Video Driver
Do the same for the video Driver downloaded from HP! Do not install the 82.12 driver at this point! The reason is simple: there is a problem with installing the Q menu when you already installed the 82.12 driver. When you first install the Hp driver, then install Q menu, and afterwards "upgrade" to the 82.12 driver, this glitch will magically disappear, and everything works like a breeze.

g) Texas Instruments PCI 1620 4IN1 CardReader Driver
After reboot, Install the Texas Instruments CardReader Software in Windows XP SP2 Compatibility mode and as Administrator. A few seconds after the installation is finished, a window will appear asking for a reboot (sometimes, it is hidden behind the other open windows; simply close or minimize the other windows after install). Do NOT reboot at this time.

h) Q Menu
Do the same for the Q Menu, meaning install in "Windows XP SP2 Compatibility" mode and as an Administrator. Accept the reboot after the installation.

i) Q Menu fine-tuning
After reboot, discard the "Error loading program" warning, it will only appear this one time. The Q Menu might not work properly -- YET! If the Windows Explorer opens when you press the Q button, then you have the same strange setting I did after install. Remedy that by opening the Control Panel, click on "Hardware and Sound", then on "Tablet PC Settings" and choose the "Buttons" tab. Scroll down to the Q Menu Button and click on Change. Choose "Start a program" from the drop-down menu and click Browse or enter the following string: "C:\Program Files\HPQ\Q Menu\QMenu.exe" without the quotation marks (provided C is your Windows 7 partition; adjust as your installation warrants). Sometimes, after a few times of using the Q Menu, when you enter the settings (last button in the Q Menu), the Windows pop-up asking whether the program installes correctly will appear. It is best to choose "Install with recommended settings" here; you will have to elevate the settings page afterwards (ONLY the settings page, NOT the Q Menu itself), but it will remember all your settings, even the checkboxes below, like "Enable Automatic Mode Change".

k) The 82.12 Video driver
Now go into the directory of the 82.12 nVidia Driver and right-click the Setup.exe file. Choose properties and go to the Compatibility tab, and again choose "Run in Windows XP SP2 Compatibility" mode and check the "Run as an administrator" checkbox. Then install the driver by running the setup.exe. Accept all elevated warnings by Windows 7 that it is an unsigned driver and/or might be unsafe.

l) Intel Pro Wireless 2100 3b installation
Windows update will download a driver for this card, however I had issues connecting or seeing WPA networks, sometimes it would breifly see the network, but you couldn't do anything with it. Most of the time you couldn't even see a network. (not sure about wep). In the folder where you unzip the drivers from above, right click on all .sys and .dll files and click the unblock button. Then from device manager right click the device and click update driver software. Click the option to "Browse my computer for driver software", then on the next screen select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer". When the next screen comes up click "Have Disk..." and browse out to your unzipped driver folder and select the file that shows up.


There are a couple of things I should say about fine-tuning the installation now that it's up and running. A few pointers, tips and ways to make everything work that much more smoothly.

Getting That Last Button to Work

If you ever wondered what that last button is for, the one between the power slider and the Q button—slightly inlaid, inobtrusive, yet there—you might want to look no further. Gideon007 over on the Tabletpcbuzz site reported that the original manual seems to indicate that button as an "eMail Button." I was confused, because the icon imprinted on it seems to indicate a function related to screen switching. Still, as long as it doesn't work, that argument is moot. But let's get it to work, shall we?

  • Open the registry (click on the Windows orb and type regedit).
  • Find the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\TabletPC\TabletButtons\8
  • Double-click NoUI and change the 1 to a 0 and click OK.
  • Close the registry and have a look at the button list (see "Screen Rotation Issues," below)

You will find a new button you can assign slave lab... I mean, a function to: the EMAIL Button. Enjoy!

Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service

It's a mouthful, but it's actually quite interesting... for devices that can perform faster. Like, a lot faster. Basically, Windows 7 has an integrated Media Server, something Orb or TVersity did pre-Windows 7. Since the TC1100 isn't nearly powerful enough to supply a network with media, I suggest sparing your little buddy the extra effort of running this service.
Click on the Windows orb, enter services.msc and press enter. Scroll down to the bottom in the new window, and find "Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service", and disable it. Depending on your proficiency and knowledge of Windows services, you might be inclined to disable more; just be careful with what you disable, it might destabilize Windows in the process.

Pen Pressure Sensitivity

The way we installed Windows 7™ now, the pen pressure sensitivity won't work. For many, this might not be a big issue—it certainly isn't for me—but for some it might make all the difference in the world. The people at Tabletpcbuzz found an answer, but it comes with a trade-off: you can use the Wacom driver found on their homepage; if you install this driver, then pressure sensitivity will work like a charm, but those who have installed it report that if you want to quick-switch to a second user while the first is still logged in, you will lose pen functionality in the logon screen. The screen won't react to the pen any more. Everything works fine if you log off one user and log on the next, but if you quick-switch from one to the other without logging off the first, then the pen won't help you. Just keep it in mind.

Update: Please check the Discussion page for a Windows 7 Wacom driver that seems to work perfectly.

Screen Rotation Issues

Sometimes, after the installation, the screen rotation button won't work or will only rotate out, but not back; in this case, use this little tweak to make it fall in line: Go to the Control Panel, click on Hardware and Sounds, click on Tablet PC Settings, and click on the small Go to Orientation button to "choose the order in which your screen rotates". Here, you can choose up to four rotations. Choose Landscape - Primary as 1st, Landscape - Secondary as 2nd, Portrait - Primary as 3rd, and Portrait - Secondary as 4th, then click OK and Apply in the window below. Try it out by clicking four times on the rotation button—it should rotate to all four orientations without delay. Then click on the Orientation button again and Choose "(None)" for both the 2nd and 4th category, and click OK again, and close the panel. Don't ask me why, but with this little tweak, the rotation between primary portrait and landscape will work flawlessly.

The New National Pastime: Undervolting!

If you want the fan of your TC1100 to run less often, Windows 7 has some interesting options: in the power options, you can choose "Processor Power Management" under "Change Advanced Power Options" in the Power Options. Here you can decide to cool "passively", which means the TC1100 will dial down the Processor before it'll crank up the fan. Very nice, very sophisticated, but still no cigar! It doesn't work as well with our little friend as it might with other PCs or Notebooks. In comes Undervolting, a great way to conserve not only battery life but also dial down excess heat build-up and granting your processor a longer lifespan. I could explain in detail, but it would all be copied from this excellent site: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=235824. Flipfire has put together a great guide for using Rightmarks CPU Clock program (Links are on Flipfire's page)) in order to do just that. In a nutshell, it goes like this: processors do not run on their minimal voltage, they run on a standard voltage that has been chosen for this type of processor. They might be able to work with much less, but since it would cost more to produce the chips that way, they are all built the same way. Rightmark has found a way to dial down the voltage to exactly the right amount for any given processor, and Flipfire has found a way to explain it to everybody. Have a look, it is not as complicated as it sounds, and it really trims down on heat, battery life and fan noise.


  • Windows 7 Discussion on TabletPCBuzz[1]
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