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Windows 7: Hardware Profiles

09 Sep 2009   #1
powder21

Windows
 
 
Hardware Profiles

My biggest issue with Vista is (and always has been) the removal of the Hardware Profiles feature that is present in XP. Now MS says that hardware profiles are still present in Vista and you can...blah blah, but everybody knows that's a load of crap. (Unless this has changed since the release of SP2 which I haven't worked with yet)

I'm about to install the Win7 RC (I know, I'm behind, but I'm not shelling out 200 bucks for an upgrade until I've had a chance to try it out), but before I do, I would very much like to know if MS finally decided to put this feature back in as per the millions of suggestions posted by people such as myself. I've tried searching for this answer, but I can't even seem to find the question. Maybe I'm just inept at searching. Anyways... If anybody can answer this for me I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

-powder


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09 Sep 2009   #2
Zidane24

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Mac OS X 10.6.4 x64
 
 

I just peered around and indeed the feature was not added back

Sorry

Chris
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09 Sep 2009   #3
powder21

Windows
 
 

Damnit!!! Does anybody know if anything at least equivalent to this feature is present?

P.S. Thanks Chris Sorry to start off the reply with such a negative attitude.
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09 Sep 2009   #4
johngalt

 

I suppose the equivalence would be to make a / multiple VHD(s) of your install and in the VHD(s) disable the hardware you don't want to use, and install the hardware that you do want to use.

Not anywhere nearly as easy as HPs in XP, but it could quite possibly become a workaround....

Come to think of it, that would be a great way to game in 7....
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10 Sep 2009   #5
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

What would you need a hardware profile for, in this day and age? I remember setting them up in NT 4.0 for docked and undocked status on a laptop. I haven't seen a need for doing so since those days.
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10 Sep 2009   #6
powder21

Windows
 
 

johngalt...I actually have a boot manager which i use to run two seperate physical systems for the purposes of gaming. But physical or virtual, it's too much work just to be able to enable/disable certain hardware at startup.

DeaconFrost...There are certain peices of hardware that I like to have disabled when hooked up to the docking station...for instance, I have an external sound card that I like to use and I'd rather not have my internal sound card enabled when using the external. It gets kind of annoying to have to disable it every time I start up. There are other reasons too which I won't get into. I guess I just don't trust windows when it comes to potentially conflicting hardware.
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11 Sep 2009   #7
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Having two sound cards has been a pain for end users in Windows, and basd on your comments, that doesn't seem to be fixed.
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11 Sep 2009   #8
johngalt

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
What would you need a hardware profile for, in this day and age? I remember setting them up in NT 4.0 for docked and undocked status on a laptop. I haven't seen a need for doing so since those days.
It's not just for docking and undocking. When you have extra hardware device drivers loading into memory for use with the OS, it is occupying memory that you can use for other things.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by powder21 View Post
johngalt...I actually have a boot manager which i use to run two seperate physical systems for the purposes of gaming. But physical or virtual, it's too much work just to be able to enable/disable certain hardware at startup.

DeaconFrost...There are certain peices of hardware that I like to have disabled when hooked up to the docking station...for instance, I have an external sound card that I like to use and I'd rather not have my internal sound card enabled when using the external. It gets kind of annoying to have to disable it every time I start up. There are other reasons too which I won't get into. I guess I just don't trust windows when it comes to potentially conflicting hardware.
I didn't mean disable at startup. I meant disable the hardware permanently in the VHD - so, if you want devices xyz in one boot but not int the other, in the VHD you disable them permanently - the next time you boot into that VHD they are still disabled - effectively becoming a customized hardware profile instead of just another VHD. Once you get it set up there is no need for any further configuration - just pick the install you want to boot into and away you go.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
Having two sound cards has been a pain for end users in Windows, and basd on your comments, that doesn't seem to be fixed.
Not easily, no - but using my suggestion you could then have multiple boots without having to install W7 multiple times, and in each different boot you could use a different sound card.
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11 Sep 2009   #9
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johngalt View Post
It's not just for docking and undocking. When you have extra hardware device drivers loading into memory for use with the OS, it is occupying memory that you can use for other things.
While you are technically correct, those drivers are hardly taking up a lot of memory, especially in these days where 2 GB is pretty much the bare minimum you'll find an a computer used by a reader of an enthusiasts forum.
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11 Sep 2009   #10
Antman

 

DeaconFrost and JohnGalt are describing fruit from different tress. johngalts excellent suggestion addresses the OPs concern about HW profiles. DeaconFrost points out the virtual lack of any real need for the tactic.

If the tactic is deployed, johngalts method is valid - but a flaw in the logic of applying it is overlooked. The OP wants maximum performance once partially afforded by HW profiles. Unless the host system has a ton of RAM, the guest will suffer from a lack of it. If the host has a ton of RAM, what is the point?

johngalt and I share a trait - we like to ask and answer questions. The question and the answer have a value that may or may not have a practical or common application.

Bottom line - HW profiles were useful in their day. Not useful enough anymore to include them in modern Windows design. There are better ways to skin the cat.
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