Chronicles of Windows 7 Part 1: Qualcomm Gobi 3G Modem and VMWare NAT

So I went ahead and installed Windows 7 RC 1.  The process is remarkably smooth, and the OS is nicely polished.  The new task bar is a long-overdue change, formerly difficult or esoteric system tasks are now simple and obvious, and the Libraries paradigm in Explorer has pleasantly surprised me.

But that’s not to say there aren’t some niggling issues.  This is a new release – nay, a _pre-_release – of the most popular operating system in the world.  There are bound to be some compatibility problems.  What is truly amazing is how well things work right out-of-the box.

As I use the OS day-to-day, I’ll post some updates about real-life surprises and tribulations.  Here are my first two.

Qualcomm Gobi 3G Modem

Winodws 7 recognized almost every single piece of hardware on my HP Elitebook 8530w, including the silly fingerprint reader and the webcam I never use.  The one thing it didn’t already have drivers for was the built-in Qualcomm Gobi un2400 modem 3G.  What’s worse, the Vista drivers from HP’s support site don’t install, either.

Fortunately, some amazingly enterprising soul figured out the problems, and was not only able to divine how to install the drivers, but then even wrote a schnasty little program to force-feed the Gobi modem its appropriate firmware.  Major kudos!  Unfortunately for me, it still doesn’t work.  There’s some magic incantation that isn’t being done quite right for my AT&T setup, so I’ll have to wait until the drivers get updated.  Hopefully that’ll be soon – paying for a data plan I’m not using is rather annoying.

But, really, given how esoteric and fragile these 3G modems are, it’s not that surprising something bjorked their spaghetti-like functioning.  (Did you read the “More About The Firmware” section at that link?!)

VMWare NAT Failure

The only other true problem I’ve had is with VMWare Workstation 6.5.  It works like a charm, except that NAT routing fails to work correctly.  Interestingly, the guests can ping out, but other connections fail.  It’s a known issue, though, and will certainly be fixed soon.  And the work-around is simple enough: Just use bridging instead.