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Computery bits & bobs.

Windows

Getting Bluetooth to work on Windows XP Home SP2
Removing files on XP using Linux boot disk.

Getting Bluetooth to work on Windows XP Home SP2
... Wasn't much fun....

Bought a Belkin F8T012 thing from a shop. Best place to buy from, a shop.

Followed the instructions included with the (large) box, and after 7 (that's SEVEN!!) "install-reboot-fails to find device-uninstall-reboot" cycles, decided on another approach.
After I stopped banging my head against the wall, I decided to find the problem: No. Don't say "Windows". It turns out that SP2 includes bluetooth subsys code that gets in the way of the Belkin software - and as such the bluetooth device never gets a look in at driver registration (or however Windows does it). There is a file in the [C-Z]:\Windows\inf directory called bth.inf that is used in part of the "getting in the way" process - so I figured that if this file knew about the device I was playing with, I might be able to use the MS driver.

Na´ve? Moi?

I looked for the device hardware IDs, and found 2. Why 2? Anyway, looking in the .inf file, I found the following:

[Belkin.NT.5.1]
Belkin Bluetooth Adapter= BthUsb, USB\Vid_050d&Pid_0081
Belkin Bluetooth Adapter= BthUsb, USB\Vid_050d&Pid_0084

The device wot I plugged in reported:

USB\Vid_050d&Pid_0012&Rev_0000
USB\Vid_050d&Pid_0012

Looking at the lines of the .inf file, versus the reported Hardware Ids, I decided to pick the ID that looked most like the line in the .inf. This made my bth.inf file look like this:

[Belkin.NT.5.1]
Belkin Bluetooth Adapter= BthUsb, USB\Vid_050d&Pid_0081
Belkin Bluetooth Adapter= BthUsb, USB\Vid_050d&Pid_0084
Belkin Bluetooth Adapter= BthUsb, USB\Vid_050d&Pid_0012

I then had to get Windows to try using this new .inf file to install the MS driver rather than the Belkin one. So I updated the driver on the device, telling Windows not to do any automatic selection of driver. In the dialogue that appeared eventually there was listed a new device driver available-

Belkin Bluetooth Adapter 5.1.2600.2180

- So I chose it. Lo-and-behold, devices started to appear in Control Panel. By then end of things I had the dongle showing up in class "Bluetooth Radios" ("Belkin Bluetooth Adapter" and "Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator"), and two new Network adapters : "Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network)" and "Bluetooth Device (RFCOMM Protocol TDI)". I also had a new modem installed (over Bluetooth), and two new serial ports.

I then got a white & blue bluetooth icon in the System Tray. And there I was - with a working Bluetooth sub system! Woot!

Total time : 2.5 hours.


Booting Windows into Linux to remove files.

I recently had need to remove some files on an XP machine, which useed XP's incarnation of NTFS, without Windows getting involved - files in use at boot time no matter what I tried to prevent them from being accessed.

Methods I found on the 'net didn't work - standard cleaning routines, routines from anti virus vendors etc.
Warning. The following is my experience. If you do anything like the following, you may break your machine forever. Do anything at your own risk.
So I decided to engage the penguin. Boot into a Linux system rescue CD, mount NTFS in read-write mode, move the file(s) out of the way (rather than delete - I don't like to do more than I absolutely need to when playing like this), and then boot back in to Windows.