Windows 7, iTunes and GEARAspiWDM.sys. No black turtlenecks for me.

By James at March 23, 2009 16:24
Filed Under: Technology in General, Beta Software

So after my adventures yesterday with Win7 Beta 1 and no web access, I thought things were all cleared up. Tonight I realized my DVD Drive wasn’t being recognized. Going into Device Manager I saw that Windows had disabled the Drive because the driver being used was unsigned. Digging a bit deeper I find that one of the drivers being used is GEARAspiWDM.sys. This is a pretty common driver for DVD/CD RW drives, so I was intrigued why that was the issue.

Googling for GEARAspiWDM.sys I found the following article on ZDNet by Ed Bott, “An inside look at Apple's sneaky iTunes 8 upgrade”. The article talks about how Apple sneaks in a bunch of crap during their iTunes and QuickTime upgrades and doesn’t indicate what is being installed. I followed the articles suggestions about trying to roll back to a previous version, but, of course, there isn’t one on my system.

A quick trip to, Support, Drivers and I download Driver_Installer_x86_x64.exe Version 4.008.5, Date Feb 4, 2009. Running the installer is a snap, and I have my DVD Drive back.

Thanks Ed! Thanks Gear Software! Screw you Apple.



Windows 7 Beta – no web browsing for you

By James at March 22, 2009 12:18
Filed Under:

I always like to try the new software, and when I was at PDC last year I installed the Windows 7 PDC version natively on one of my laptops. No problems and when Beta 1 (Build 7000) came out, I decided to install it natively on my development machine. Never had a problem until yesterday – 3/21/2009.

I was working in Visual Studio 2008 and opened the Help file. I have it set to use Online help and was confused when it wasn’t displaying any pages. I started IE 8 beta to go to MSDN and that didn’t load. I then tried Firefox and got the same thing…no web pages. Ok, so maybe a reboot is in order – no affect. I checked Windows Update and the last update was on 3/19 with a Windows Defender definition file. I turned off Windows Firewall and disabled my ESET Nod32 Anti Virus and that didn’t help either. All the other machines on my network were fine.

I lost track of all the things I tried, but here is a list of things that were occurring

in “regular” mode, I could not access http, https or mail, but could ftp and ping

in “regular” mode the Network and Sharing Center showed full connectivity

in safe mode, I had full internet access – web, mail, ftp, ping

running a VPC of Win XP had full internet access

My great friend Rich Manley is an IT god and he couldn't figure out the issue. I then twittered another friend of mine, Stephen Rose, who is on the Windows 7 marketing team. He called me right back and asked a few questions, then said he would get me in touch with some of the devs. However, I have a project I'm working on and really had to get this fixed right away. Not wanting to do an entire re-paving of my machine, I decided to do an "upgrade" to Win 7 Beta 1. After 3 hours, and several reboots, I finished up with full internet connectivity again.

As soon as I was up and running again, Windows Update wanted to install 6 updates. I nervously let it do so, thinking at least I had a baseline to go back to if it crapped out again. Thankfully, that all worked out well.

The perils of beta software...


About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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