Intel Core 2 Duo & Windows XP Professional x64

What a waste of time that seemed to be

Intel’s brand new motherboard doesnt have RAID, XP Pro x64 doesnt seem to have working USB support, all is going down the pan for what was looking at being a very nice new computer for my neighbour.

The system is fully cased up and looking very nice but I am suffering from the problem of the 64-bit architecture of WinXP being completely incompatible with any of the other pieces of software most “normal” people would want to run on their computer.

Now I am by no means a fan on Symantec or their Norton Products (give me Sophos all the way) but for a “normal” home user it is the best of the standard products available on the market. There is however no support for Norton Internet Security 2006 in 64-bit Windows. Having checked the Symantec Website I found that “Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 10.0 will support Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions, available today“… But I don’t want “Corporate Edition” so I did more digging and found an article entitled Compatibility of Symantec consumer products with Microsoft Windows operating systems which stated that “Windows XP Professional x64 Edition or Windows 2003 Server – There are currently no consumer products that are compatible with Windows XP Professional x64 Edition or Windows 2003 Server.” Bring on GriSoft.

GriSoft is my second favourite AV engine (after Sophos of course) as it has a free version that can be loaded onto most computers and provide decent anti-virus protection for no costs. However after downloading and copy a number of files around the HDD I was told that only the paid version of GriSoftAVG supports x64. Time for the big guns

Sophos would, at least, do the decent thing of installing but I found myself unable to start up the InterCheck Monitor which meant that I had no onaccess scans available. Another worthless installation.

Next I tried to install the Intel chipset drivers off the supplied driver CD. This not only refused to install the audio drivers but also successfully managed to break the USB root hubs for all USB ports on the system. Which in turn meant that I thought the system was hanging on boot as I was getting a NumLock light on the keyboard through the KVM but no mouse activity. I plugged the PS2 keyboard and USB mouse from my brothers PC into the new system and I had working KB but still no mouse.

A quick trip to the Intel site to get their Chipset Identification Utility proved that Intel can’t recognise their own hardware, either that or XP x64 was preventing it from detecting properly, so I searched by mobo part number and found the BIOS update, chipset drivers and other software. Flashing the Bios has helped speed up boot time but not solved the faulty USB problem.

Checking Microsoft’s XP x64 FAQ’s there is no support for 32-bit drivers in the 64-bit OS as this would cause everything to fuck up.

As there was no RAID setup I was able to use the second hard drive to install 32 bit XP Pro onto to see if this would be any better behaved… It’s installing now so will publish results soon

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