Like many others installing Vista on their UMPC, I found the time to install RC 2 on the Samsung Q1. Folks are sharing their successes (and failures) with other Origami devices like the eo i7210 (listed as Vista Capable but not working yet) and the eo v7110 as well. What’s interesting is that even though each device complies with the "Origami" requirements, the results are never quite the same due to differences such as drivers and touchscreen hardware. Still, for those who want to know if you can run Vista on a UMPC, I say again: "Yes, you can…if you put some effort into it".
In this installation, I decided to play it safe and create a another partition on the Q1. Out of the box, there are two partitions already configured: one Windows XP Embedded partition for AVS multimedia functions and one Windows XP Tablet Edition partition for the main usage. Adding a third partition is easily accomplished through any third party partition management software; I used Partition Magic since I already own a licensed copy.
Using the USB 2.0 cable and integrated SuperLink software that came with my Q1, I quickly transferred the 2.5 GB .ISO image file for Vista from a desktop to the Q1’s main partition. Using the Virtual CD powertoy, I created a virtual mount to the .ISO file and labeled it Z: After that it was a simple execution of Z:setup within Windows Explorer to kick off the installation. Within 40 minutes, Vista was installed and ready for a few minor personalizations such as my User Name and Password, etc….
This is one sticking point on the Q1, because once you get here, you need a USB keyboard attached to continue along. From what I’ve read, some other UMPCs still have access to an on-screen keyboard to continue without connecting a USB keyboard. I also noticed at this juncture that my touchscreen calibration was off, making it difficult to tap the Next buttons at the bottom right of the screen. Calibration was fine up to this point and I never had to use a resolution greater than the native 800 x 480 for the install.
Upon the first desktop view, Vista downloaded and installed and update for Windows Defender, but nothing else. I immediately noticed from the Desktop view that Vista was running the "Windows Vista Basic" theme, which was to be expected. Just for grins, I also ran the Windows Experience Index. Most of the indices on a standard Q1 with a 1 GB upgrade were actually reasonable for a UMPC.
Obviously the device is lacking in the graphics area. Aero Glass isn’t possible on the Q1 since the driver for the Intel 915GM chipset is not a WDDM driver. Additionally, I noticed that the Foxconn Bluetooth 2.0 module wasn’t working as there was no driver installed. Windows Update didn’t find any drivers for this, so I attempted to install the Bluetooth Driver from the Samsung Q1 product page, which is based on the WIDCOMM stack. A quick pairing of my Think Outside Sierra Bluetooth keyboard worked like a charm.
My next step was to get the calibration working. Previously, I’ve installed the Samsung XP utilities for this, but that only worked until I rebooted once; clearly not a long-term solution. This time, I tried one of the tips that Darryl at the Geekzone blogs used for his eo calibration. Unfortunately, this tip appears to use the Microsoft calibration tool which doesn’t work for the Q1; apparently, Vista still doesn’t recognize this particular touchscreen model OR I simply can’t get the right drivers loaded for it.
Armed with that info, I fired up Windows Update again and found one option update from 8/4/2006 for the USB Touchscreen Controller. I have tried this upgrade with previous versions of Vista and ended up even worse from a touchscreen perspective, but gave it a go anyway. Immediately after the update, the calibration wasn’t just "off a bit" as before, it was completely whacked. When dragging the stylus from top to bottom for example, the cursor moved from bottom up. I used a mouse to get around without any issue and promptly rebooted.
Since the machine was shutting down, I tried the AVStation startup option and that worked without a hitch. This was expected because this is the Windows XP Embedded partition, so I didn’t make any modifications to it.
After validating AVStation, I booted back into Vista. You don’t need a keyboard in a multi-boot situation on the Q1 as the analog stick will allow you to select from the OS options and the Return or Back hardware button works as a select. Once in Vista again, I quickly got frustrated with the lack of a touchscreen, so on a hunch, I hit up the Egalax website and downloaded the latest touchscreen driver for Windows XP. After installation, I gave another reboot and hey…I have my touchscreen back! I installed the Samsung Q1 Touchkit application and ran a 25 point calibration without any issues! This driver is dated 9/25/2006, so it’s relatively recent.
One downside to the Touchkit application: after every reboot, there’s a little on-screen mouse that appears for tapping the left or right mouse buttons. There’s an option to disable it, but it keeps coming back after a reboot: a minor annoyance.
At this point there’s plenty more to test, so I’ll let this simmer and do a "Vistagami 3.1 Post" after I get some additional apps installed, test other functions, add the floating tip, etc… The good news is that while the Samsung Q1 UMPC isn’t officially tagged as Vista Capable, you can see that it’s fairly capable with a little bit of tweaking and effort!
As a recap & summary, here’s what’s working:
- Ethernet connection
- Bluetooth connection
- Touchscreen fully calibrated
- AVStation on the Windows XP Embedded Partition
- Windows XP Tablet Edition on a separate partition
Here’s what I either haven’t tested yet or got working yet
- Hardware buttons / screen rotation / screen resolution changes
- Floating tip
- Application installs and usage
Some final notes:
- Microsoft’s Calibration utility never worked on the Q1 in XP, so it’s unlikely to ever work in Vista; this is why Samsung provides a third-party utility.
- The base OS is at least as snappy as XP, if not snappier.
- The silly mouse button re-appears on the screen after every boot.