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Test result: Meade DSI under Windows7: Win XP Mode

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#1 ccs_hello

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 09:44 AM

Handling low level kernel mode device driver like Meade DSI (EasyUSB FX2's isochronous USB2 high-speed bulk transfer) in Vista and 64 bit OS has been difficult.

I used the Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RC (Release Candidate) with Virtual-PC RC and Windows XP Mode RC to verify if it can work. Here is the picture.
Please note many caveats.
The most important ones:
- PC has to have a CPU which support Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT-x) or AMD's equivalent AMD-V.
- BIOS must have the capability to turn VT feature on. (Some BIOS implementations block such feature.)
- I am just testing the free Win7 evaluation (available for download until 8/20/2009). Windows Virtual-PC/Windows XP Mode is not supported in entry level Microsoft licensing scheme (e.g., Windows 7 Home Premium.)
- and more

More details to follow.

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#2 ccs_hello

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 11:24 AM

Additional info:
Test machine:
- Intel Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz 8MB L2 cache CPU (Q6600), not over-clocked
- P45 based motherboard with BIOS Virtualization Technology "enable" set to ON
- 4GB memory
Win7 Ultimate 64-bit uses about 930MB, Win XP Mode virtual machine allocated 512MB --> net memory usage: 1.46GB
- overall installation almost used up the entire 20GB hard disk with just 1.4 GB free space left

DSI is installed when such USB device is in Virtual-PC's USB (host machine) pass-through (to virtual machine) mode.
Win XP sees such device and then installs the device driver accordingly. The host machine only sees such device is being used by the virtual machine and leaves it along.

I only tested the Envisage DSI in Live mode. DSI data transfer seems to be OK and the image update reasonably smooth. I don't know how significant the overhead of the Virtual-PC's USB pass-through is. But please note my PC is a very fast machine :p.

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#3 Jimmy2K63

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 12:09 PM

I bet it took the guys at Microsoft years to figure out how to use 10 times the resources to run something than it presently requires. But at least it runs, and there is a Windows XP emulation mode.

So how much RAM will Windows 7 actually require just to run applications? Sounds like you will need at least a couple of gig to do anything useful.

It would be far more efficient for Meade to update their drivers and software to take advantage of this OS than to simply run an OS as a virtual machine and run the software. We run several servers as virtual machines everyday and have for years with VMWARE, so this is nothing new if this is what Microsoft is doing. I am glad to see the OS has enough intelligence to see that a port is in use and assign it to the VM.

Has anyone tried using VMWARE with Vista 64 to run WinXP and run the DSI yet?

#4 greyscout

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:41 PM

Have you tried this with the full edition yet?

#5 KimB

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 01:46 PM

According to this pcpro news report You no longer need to have virtualisation-enabled processor to run XP mode.

I must admit I find xp mode a bit confusing. Does it allow any XP hardware drivers to be used in XP mode in win 7 or are there only certain types that work?

I'd like to be able to use a serial (via a USB to serial adaptor) Korg Synth driver in XP mode. Is that something that is likely to be possible.

#6 mclewis1

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 04:44 PM

According to this pcpro news report You no longer need to have virtualisation-enabled processor to run XP mode.

Well isn't that interesting. I guess they are now include a virtual machine app with the Win7 product. Like the folks at PCPro I too am curious if the performance will be impacted.

I must admit I find xp mode a bit confusing.

You and me both. I've yet to see a clear description of what exactly is happening in XP mode and exactly what s/w will and will not work.

#7 ccs_hello

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 10:10 PM

Yep. That's MS changing its marketing decision in recent days.
Official microsoft info:
https://partner.micr...global/40135316

For actual downloading the patch:
search KB977206

Basically,
software based virtualization support (less optimal than hardware based like VT-X) reduced the burdens I stated in post #1:
1. (no longer need) VT-X support in CPU
2. (no longer need to find a way to) enable BIOS to turn on VT-X

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#8 ccs_hello

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 10:18 PM

Also works for my laptop (load with Win 7 Professional - 64 bit)

BTW, my laptop has a CPU which does support Intel VT-X;
it has a troublesome factory BIOS which does not have the capability to enable VT-X. But there is a hack described somewhere in the Internet that somehow can get around of that "laptop mfg does not want to support turning on VT-X within BIOS menu" problem.

Note: Win 7 Professional or Ultimate is required.
These are higher license tiers.

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#9 ccs_hello

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 03:42 AM

...

I must admit I find xp mode a bit confusing. Does it allow any XP hardware drivers to be used in XP mode in win 7 or are there only certain types that work?

I'd like to be able to use a serial (via a USB to serial adaptor) Korg Synth driver in XP mode. Is that something that is likely to be possible.


Win XP Mode supports "USB Pass-Thru (to Virtual Machine)". Thus once configured to let a specific USB device (your USB <> serial adapter) to pass-through, Windows XP will pick it up.

Note that it is not for other hardware interface device types to pass through, e.g., PCI card, PCI-e card, Firewire, parallel port, floppy, etc.


BTW, it's easier to buy an inexpensive USB-serial adapter :) :).

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#10 KimB

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 04:16 PM

Thanks for your reply. Sorry to be hijacking the thread a bit. I wanted to connect the synth, that has a serial interface and xp driver. I've got a Keyspan USB / Serial adapter which I use for my LX90. I'm still not sure if a synths XP serial driver is going to work in win 7 XP mode. I suppose even if it works the chances are that music sequences won't play in time anyway.

I've also got a perfectly good scanner that only has XP drivers, that will have to be ditched if I upgrade which seems a waste. I wonder why Microsoft can't write a driver converter wrapper, so that any xp driver could be used with any later version of windows? It would save a lot of work for hardware manufactures rewriting drivers. Although I guess they wouldn't sell as many peripherals.

#11 ccs_hello

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:19 AM

It's been awhile since August 2010 so let me share some update:

1. Meade has since wrote the Win7 device driver (about a year later due to customer pressure) thus this work around is no longer necessary for devices now direct-support Win7 (32 or 64 bit) natively.
If not use, WinXP mode (which is a VPC virtualization environment with a free WinXP license running inside) and let a USB device to pass-thru to Win XP.

Windows 8 update

2. The original Win7 XP Mode method is no longer valid for Win8 Pro (and definitely not on Win8-RT). Microsoft took away VPC and no longer give out WinXP (XP mode) for free!
You can try free Hyper-V virtualization environment and bring in your own Win XP license ($$$) and run inside. However, USB pass-thru is not supported by Hyper-V.
You may try to use other virtualization systems (known as hypervisor) such as VMware Workstation instead, but you have to bring in your own Win XP license ($$$).

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#12 Namlak

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

Does the Win7 driver work in Win8?

#13 ccs_hello

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:47 PM

I tried on my temporary Win8 @64 desktop (not for astro) on DSI. The driver is installed without error. But Envisage (v 7.09) does not work. It seems to be dot NET related issues.

I.e., not only have to worry about device support, application software may potentially be an issue.

Bottom-line, IMHO unless absolute necessary, use 7 not 8.
On line resources said if a new PC offers 7 or 8 at-buyer's-choice (with the same price), then buy 7 first.

For now, MS offers cheap 7 -> 8 upgrade price; (pay for that and keep the KEY, do not upgrade immediately.)
While 8 -> 7 downgrade is not easy and costs much more.

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