ZeroCD technology and Windows 7
Recently, I’ve switched from Windows XP to Windows 7 and the switching was almost trouble-free. However, I’ve found a problem relation in my older USB devices. I have some USB devices, for example Samsung SGH-Z810 USB modem which uses the ZeroCD technology, but driver doesn’t exist for Windows 7, only for 2000/XP/Vista.
It’s a serious problem, because the driver for Vista doesn’t work well on Windows 7, and I couldn’t use this modem…
The reason for this behaviour is that this modem uses the ZeroCD technology that means the following:
- If you plug the device into the computer, the operating system will recognize it like a (virtual) CD drive.
- The neccessary drivers and programs will be installed automatically (if autorun is enabled, but this is the default generally)
- After that, the driver will recognize the device and switches it to the “real” mode of the device, in this case, to modem mode.
- Now, you can use it for the original purpose
What is the benefit of this behaviour?
- The device will work as a real “plug and play” device, the drivers will be installed automatically and you don’t need to download or get them from the CD.
What is the risk of this behaviour?
- if there is no correct driver, the device will work only in storage mode, although you have the neccessary programs.
As I mentioned you before, my SGH-Z810 modem is also in the same category. Of course, you can say using the compatibility mode of Windows 7, but no, it won’t work.
Unfortunatelly, there is no good solution, if the producer doesn’t give a good driver, but I can recommend you a workaround solution.
Windows XP Mode
To avoid this problems, follow the next procedure: you have to install a Windows XP within a virtualization environment, then install the necessary drivers on this XP and attach the USB device to the virtual XP. After that, the driver of XP will recognize the device and can switch it to the real mode. It sounds easy, but it isn’t. It’s not a good solution, because we need to run an unnecessary virtual operating system (and it will make your machine slower) but we don’t have any choice.
As you know, you can download the Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 free, this is a pre-installed Windows XP in VirtualPC, and you can run the programs whiches don’t work on Windows 7. Windows XP Mode is available only for Windows 7 Professional and above.
To tell the truth, you can use other virtualization software (e.g.: Vmware, Virtualbox), if they are able to attach the external USB devices, but the XP Mode was the best way for me, because I didn’t want to get and install a new XP and it is a more integrated virtualization environment for Windows 7 (e.g.: pre-shared drives), so I will use it.
Firstly, you need to download XP Mode from Microsoft website. After that, you need to install it, it’s easy, you don’t need to do any special things just press next-next. After the installation, you will find the XP Mode icon in the Start menu.
Let’s start it (you need to know that this is an almost independent operating system, perhaps you should to install an antivirus software on it).
For more details, see the Microsoft website: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/features/windows-xp-mode.aspx
Samsung SHG-Z810 settings
Plug the device into the computer, wait a few seconds (while computer recognizes it), then attach it in the VirtualPC window (USB menu/USB MMC Storage) as you can see in the pictures (these pictures come from my Hungarian Windows, but I hope, you will recognize them).
Then XP will recognizes it and the driver installation will be started automatically. After driver installation finished, the driver will switch the device to modem mode. Attach it as well (USB/SAMSUNG Mobile Modem).
But we have a problem, a serious one: we can use the internet within the XP, but cannot in the external Win 7. It’s not good, because our programs are not able to acces the internet in Windows 7.
To solve it, we need to do the following:
- installing a virtual network adapter on Windows 7
- To do the same thing on Win XP
- making a link between the two adapters
- sharing internet connection within XP
How can you do it? I will tell you.
In Windows 7 (this is our external system), do the following:
- Install the microsoft loopback adapter (http://www.windowsreference.com/windows-7/how-to-install-a-loopback-adapter-in-windows-7/)
- Select Start/Control Panel/Network and Internet/View network status and tasks/Change adapter settings/Microsoft Loopback Adapter
properties/Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)/Properties
- Change the IP address to 192.168.0.2, Subnet mask to 255.255.0.0, gateway and DNS to 192.168.0.1
In Windows XP Mode (this is our virtual system), do the following:
- Open the Tools/Settings menu
- Shut down the XP (but don’t close the previous window)
- Change the “number of network adapters” to 2
- Select the 2th adapter to “Microsoft Loopback Adapter”. In this case, this adapter will be shown as a “Local Area Network 2″ within the XP
- Start XP
- plug in the modem, and attach it to XP as I wrote it above
- Open the network connections and select the Samsung modem.
- Right click on it, Properties/Special and select sharing the internet connection and choose the “Local Area Network 2″ connection.
- After that, the two machine will see each other. To be sure, ping it from Windows 7. You will see a result like this:
Pinging 192.168.0.1 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 192.168.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms ttl=”63″ bytes=”32″ ttl=”63″ bytes=”32″ ttl=”63″ bytes=”32″ ttl=”63″ sent =” 4,” received =” 4,” lost =” 0″ minimum =” 0ms,” maximum =” 0ms,” average =” 0m”
Finally, I would like to share with you another device usage. It’s my Mio C250 GPS that doesn’t use ZeroCD but there is no driver for Windows 7.
Mio C250 settings
It’s easy to use, just download the neccessary drivers and software (Mio Transfer) from Mio website, and install them in virtual XP. Then plug the GPS into computer and attach it to VirtualPC. XP will recognize it, and you can use it within the XP Mode. Of course, you will not see it in Windows 7, but the XP Mode will connect all hard drives as a shared drive in XP, so you can copy files between the GPS and your real hard drives.
If official driver does not work, just use this: http://miodrivers.hostablog.de/2008/06/16/usb-driver/