Sunday, December 28, 2008

Windows 7 - Build 7000 Beta leaked to bit torrent

Hello All,

I am downloading this at the moment and intend to install ASAP, if anyone out there has done it already let us know here at DellMini9


neilo and kfc

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Comprehensive Vista Install Instructions

Rick over at put together a great how to install Vista on the mini-9, he has recompiled some of our amateurish instructions into something very easy to read and follow.

Great work Rick!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Windows 7 - trend Internet Security and AntiVirus DO NOT INSTALL

Yes I found out the hardway... er... again... That you should NOT install Trend AV and Internet Security (the latest version) on Windows 7, a BSOD results followed by heart palpitations when trying to remember if system restore was still turned on or not.

OK so that's a NO Trend AV on W7, does anyone know of any other AV's that don't work as spectacularly as TAV? Write to Neilo with your results :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dell Mini 9 Config

I haven't actually taken the time to note down my dell mini config, so here goes :-

2GB DDR2 memory 667Mhz
8GB SDHC Ultra II 15MB/s seek time
- 4GB Dedicated to ReadyBoost
- 4GB Dedicated to Program Files directory

I think the ReadyBoost option with one of these cards provides a significant boost, I really need to run some bench marks to find out.

I plug it all into a 19" monitor, full size keyboard and mouse connected to a Telstra 3G USB modem. It performs wonderfully all day then I just on the train home and continue to work until I get home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Windows 7 - Unknow Device in Device Manager blbdrive.sys

I have installed Windows 7 Ultimate Pre Beta again for reasons I will go into later.

This time Around I have disabled Automatic Updates because the patch KB958644 breaks Windows 7 and forces the Dell Mini 9 to boot into System Restore mode

So, anyway, after installation and initial patching, this time I am left with an Unknown Device in the control panel. The Device ID's are


And according to Chirs123NT's rather helpful Windows 7/Dell Laptop Site :-

"Now, it seems that this points to a file in C:\Windows\System32\Drivers called blbdrive.sys. Our best guess is that it has something to do with the Block Level Backup Engine (which is responsible for image-based backups in Windows Vista and higher, through a feature called CompletePC Backup and Restore), but we’re not 100% sure. If anyone has any information on this please let us know."

Now I am really confused, I have just plugged my Dell Mini 9 in at work, with Full Size USB keybaord, Mouse and External VGA monitor. I go to the control panel and said device is not longer listed as requiring attention.

More soon...


Monday, November 10, 2008

SSD's and Office 2007

Microsoft have posted an article relating to Office 2007 performance on SSD's (Solid State Disks). If you are having trouble as I am with Office 2007 (on the Dell Mini 9). You can rest assured that they are aware of it now.

Please review the KB artcile here

Windows 7 - Blue Badge Tool

This article is worth checking out if you want to unlock all the Windows 7 features in the current pre-beta.

Thank you Nicki, I look forward to sharing our gadget obessional findings on here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Welcome to Neilo

Dellmini9 welcomes another contributer with a mini 9 wanting to share his experience.

Welcome Neilo.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Windows 7 - Unlocking the new taskbar and Aero Features

Download the exe from this here for x86 machines

Then follow the instructions from this guy here :-)

Windows 7 Update BSOD

I can confidently say that it is one of the 14 Office 2007 Patches that are waiting to be installed. There are no hidden updates anywhere, I have applied system updates from Intel systematically with no Operating System crash occuring thus far.

When I try to apply the Office 2007 patches one at a time and in order of patch date I get the "you lost connection with windows update" error.

Stay tuned

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Windows 7 updates and the Dell Mini 9

A word to the wise, after installing, hold off on appyling any windows updates, there is one that kills the machine entirely and you have to restore back from the latest system backup.

I will post more when I determine which patch is the offending one



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Windows 7 on 9

You will be glad to know that Windows 7 happily installs on the Mini-9. All drivers are recognised using the same methods in the Vista install. It is very snappy and pretty impressive for a beta product.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

App-V & the Mini 9

App-V (Softgrid) is Microsoft Application Virtualisation technology and a logical fit into the Mini 9. I have been spending the last few weekends understanding the technlogy. App-V creates applications in its own "Bubble" they dont talk or conflict with the OS or anything else installed.

The Goal:

Have all my applications at my disposal to use in various situations without the heartache of having to install or uninstall different applications due to hard drive constraints.

Start Point:

- Mini 9 with Vista + Windows Updates + AntiVirus and System State to retain HD State + App-V client

End Point:

- App applications virtualised: I now have some larger more obscure applications on both a USB Key or SD. Office and other applications I consider Core are virtualised on the SSD itself.

Officeworks has Mini 9 in Stock!

If you still waiting to get your hands on one of these babies, various Office Works stores round the country now have them in stock. Good Luck.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dell Touchpad

Through trial and error I have found that the Dell touchpad software is not very compatiable with Vista, it seems to conflict with the OS and sometimes stops services running. To combat this I removed the software and defaulted to the standard vista touchpad. This works fine and there has not been any crashes since.

Monday, October 6, 2008


It's sold out across Australia!! Expect more stock mid-october. This is a good thing right?

Ğ©L₣IMβUⱠ final Vista Score

Ğ©L₣IMβUⱠ over at Whirlpool has updated his final vista build.

"My final score with 2gb of ram and my minimally vlited install (I really only took out movie maker, media centre and tablet support). I even left in speech support, which is hit and miss at best!

4.82gb free with all components working and all essentials installed including Office 2007 (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, OneNote), adobe reader etc. All the gadgets I like too!"

Missing Vista Driver Found

Thanks to Ğ©L₣IMβUⱠ at Whirlpool we have solved the case of the missing vista driver:

"The final missing unknown device was fixed by installing the battery meter software.

The driver to run is R192569. Once it's installed, you can just uninstall it again and the driver stays behind.

Finally, a clean device manager for me!"

EDIT: I have just done this on my mini-9 and can confirm there is no longer any missing drivers in Vista..time to complete a complete vlite install with all the drivers.

Some users first thoughts on the mini-9

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Service Manual

Im due to pick up a 2gb ram upgrade next week. Here is the service manual I will be following:

Thin Client PC

Today I used the mini-9 as my work desktop. I plugged it into a 22" monitor and then connected to my terminal server. It worked great.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

External Monitor 1680 * 1050 Naitive Res

I just got a brand new viewsonic 22" monitor with a naitive display of 1680 * 1050. Connected the mini-9 and crossed my fingers. Guess what? It worked! naitive res without a problem and you wouldnt know it was a mini notebook powering this. This leads to many possibilities.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Save Battery Life

Get into the habbit of closing the lid when you are not using it, this puts the mini-9 to sleep right away. When you open the lid vista restores from sleep by the time the lid is opened fully.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Missing Device Driver

I am yet to find what device is missing in my mini-9 Vista build

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Freeze State with SteadyState

I have put on Microsoft SteadyState as my mini-9, I like the idea of rebooting and getting back to a state I configured and am happy with. When I restart all my files, changes are removed perfect for a netbook. Give it a try.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Save Space

Turn off Volume Shadow Copy, sure you will lose restore capability but its only a 15gb HD, a full backup dosent even take long. It has saved about 3gb and brought my install size to under 5gb with vista SP1 and drivers installed.
Here is a good article showing you how do turn off shadow copy

Updated System Score

I deleted the current video drivers which were the Dell drivers and instead let Vista search online for drivers it recomended. The scores are now very respectable :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vista Standby

Vista goes into standby mode as soon as the lid is closed, and instantly comes out of standby when the lid is opened. On XP i found standby too a few seconds.

The amazing thing is that I have had my laptop on standby for 12 hours. When I went into standby it was 70% charged, 12 hours later it has 23% remaining.

I have my Vista power saving set to power saver.

How fast is the Mini 9 with Vista?

Vista Install Part 2

Vista has installed sucessfully. I have managed to get the default image down to 4.96 GB. You can make it even smaller by removing the SP1 uninstall files by running VSP1CLN.exe. This will free up another 800mb. Vista is using less space than Dells default XP install.

Once Vista has been installed you will notice that there are a few drivers missing. Before I did anything I installed the Dell 910 chipset drivers for Vista and rebooted. This next step is where the folder you saved from the XP image comes into play. Right click your devices even if Vista has detected them and installed default drivers, select update and then choose to search for the driver manually, when you are promted to choose a path select the drivers folder and it will go though and update the devices.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vista Install Part 1

So this is my journey so far with the Vista install:

  • Format a USB key as described in my earlier post
  • From a computer with a DVDROM copy the Vista media onto the root of the USB key
  • I used vlite ( to create a cut down vista image.
  • Boot and select USB as the boot option
  • Vista kicks off its install.

EDIT: Before you blow away your XP image make sure you copy the drivers folder and then copy it back t0 your USB key after you have installed Vista.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Drive Compressed

When you first take delivery of your mini-9, go to my computer and right click > properties of your drive. You will see compress data checked on. If you uncheck this it takes about 2 hours to decompress and you gaim about an extra 1gig of data but a whole heap more speed. I prefered to just reformat my drive.

No DVD-ROM No worries

One of my first concerns with purchasing a netbook was the lack of a DVDROM, but I have come to realise, this is actually a blessing in disguise.

1. Ok so you want to reinstall the os (or install a new OS), how do I do it?

When you book the mini-9 and if you select 0, one of the boot options are USB boot.

USB keys are very cheap nowadays, I picked up a 8gb USB key for $80 which is more than enough room.

2. Ive got my USB key now what?

What you have to do is prepare your USB key so the mini-9 will recognise it and boot whatever is installed on it. To do this you have to follow the following steps:

Hop on a machine that has a dvd drive so you can put in your xp or vista media
type diskpart
type list disk (see if your disk is listed)
select disk 1 (assuming this is your usb key)
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=fat32

I assume d: is your xp or vista dvd drive e: is the usb drive

Now xcopy d:\*.* /s/e/f e:\

When that is done simply reboot your mini-9, select 0 for boot options and select USB, your computer will boot and load from the USB key much faster than a DVDROM

Monday, September 15, 2008


Hi All

I am a proud owner of the new netbook called the dell mini 9, this is causing quite a buzz around the web due to its specifications and upgradability. The aim of this blog is to be a spot to collate and share useful hints, tips, modifications, os upgrades and more. I like to push the boundaries and really want to see what this little device is capable of. If you also feel you want to contribute to this blog please contact me.