For the last few months, the HP tx2000z tablet has been one of the "Top 10 Tablets" researched on this site. While out of the box the tablet is very nice, it still suffers from the same bloatware that most PC manufactures like to give out to consumers. Although, for some people, this isn’t really a problem.
Some users are satisfied with spending a few hours hunting through the standard HP Vista build and uninstalling any program they do not want. For others though, they would rather spend a few hours and just wipe the drive and start fresh. They might have even figured that they could save a few dollars by not getting the upgraded Vista OS from HP because they already have a spare copy.
While Vista is much better than XP at having standard drivers either pre-loaded on the DVD or through the windows update, there are a few specialized systems that users will have to take a more hands on approach to do a clean install. The tx2000z falls into the latter category. The specialized buttons, active/passive touch screen, Fingerprint reader can cause headaches to the most experienced user due to HP’s lack of documentation and proprietary programs.
This step-by-step guide should help if you decide to perform a clean install on your tx2000z. The instructions are first, followed by the reasoning behind each step. The folder paths are written calling the 32-bit version of Vista, but if you’re using a 64bit or want to upgrade to a 64bit system, the “Program Files” might actually reflect a path to the “Program Files (x86)” directory.
There isn’t an easy way to perform a clean install based on the HP restore disks. If you already had a Vista DVD or were planning to upgrade to a better version of Vista, great, you already have a clean disk. If not, try to borrow one from a friend. You will be using your own code, so you’re not breaking any laws.
Before taking these steps, you should make sure to create your restore discs.
I can’t stress this enough. One of the greatest things about Vista is the ability to restore a machine with all of the programs pre-installed without using third party software, so make sure to create the backup discs. Think of this as insurance… just in case.
To perform a clean install of Vista and have all of the buttons, touchscreen and pen working you can do the following.
1. Save the following items.
Save them to a networked share, USB stick, DVDs, anywhere there is room. This will make setting up the computer easier later on.
- c:\swsetup folder
- c:\program files\Hewlett-packard\HP Quicklaunch buttons\MCSVActn.dll
- (optional… to save the HP wallpaper save the c:\windows\web folder)
When you first turned on your machine, you probably noticed Vista spent some time running through an OOBE (out of box experience) and then HP kicked off a program that setup your machine again. What’s this all about? The default image that HP uses takes a two step approach to building machines. Step one is to have standard Vista pre-installed on the hard drive. Step two is to run an unattended setup that starts installing programs and drivers from the C:\swsetup folder. Since c:\swsetup has all of the drivers and programs already, it’s helpful to save that instead of hunting online for drivers.
One of the biggest complaints of updating the Quick Launch Button software is that the Auto-rotate (when converting to slate mode)no longer switches the screen to primary portrait mode. It ignores Vista’s rotate settings and is hard coded to rotate the screen to secondary landscape. The MCSVActn.dll file is responsible for this.
2. Format and install Vista.
After completing the following step, you are ready to wipe your drive and place a clean install of Vista on your machine. Start by placing the Vista DVD into your drive and reboot your machine to the DVD. After going through the first install steps, you should see your hard drive with two different partitions. The main partition is where the pre-installed HP bloated Vista is located; the smaller partition is where your local backup is stored.
You should decide if you want to re-install on the main partition or just delete both partitions and use the whole hard drive as a main partition. If you delete the smaller partition, you will not be able to press F11 on startup to restore your computer from the hard drive. (If you created your backup discs, you will be ok. You can always boot to the DVDs to restore. As an added bonus, if you restore from the HP restore DVDs, you will recreate the backup partition.) Delete, format, install.
3. Once Vista has completed the install off of the DVD.
It should have automatically installed basic drivers for the touchscreen and pen. You can’t calibrate the touchscreen, but you can calibrate the pen.
Remember in step 1 where I told you to save the c:\swsetup folder? You will need to get access to that now. Plug in your drive, DVD, or whatever you saved it on and access it.
Step 4 and 5 should be taken in this order exactly. I’ve found that if you install the touch/pen driver before the video driver, it acts up and doesn’t install correctly sometimes.
4. Install the Video drivers from the c:\swsetup\drivers\video\setup.exe; reboot
5. Install the Touch/Pen driver from c:\swsetup\Drivers\Digitizer\setup.exe; reboot
6. Go through and install the rest of the drivers in c:\swsetup\drivers\
In this step, I recommend starting with the chipset driver; reboot when needed.
7. Install the Fingerprint Driver first before installing the Digital Persona program.
- Install the Digital Persona program c:\swsetup\DPFPR\setup.exe
8. Install Quickplay from c:\swsetup\QPW\setup.exe
If you don’t install the Quickplay software, the DVD button and the Quickplay button will not work. The buttons are hard coded to open quickplay.
9. Download and Install the Quick Launch button driver from HP.com
This is actually the only program missing from the swsetup folder. I believe it was preinstalled on the phase 1 Vista install instead of installed later in phase 2.
10. Copy the MCSVActn.dll you saved earlier and paste it
- C:\program files\Hewlett-packard\HP Quicklaunch buttons\ Overwrite when prompted.
- This will enable a functional auto-rotate to primary landscape instead of secondary portrait.
11. Install Wireless Lan Assistant from c:\SwSetup\WLASST\Disk1\setup.exe
While technically you do not need this, if you want to be able to use the Windows Motility center to disable the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth separately, you will need to install this program. Otherwise, the Wi-Fi button will disable both the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth together.
Everything should be installed and working now.
HP has their drivers located here. Most of the Vista x86 and x64 drivers and software are the same, a few are slightly different.
The buttons on the screen are controlled by the quicklaunch button software. The version 6.40b from the HP website does not auto-rotate correctly. (that’s why you copied the older dll back)
The Mute button is controlled by the RealTek driver. You will need to install that if you want your button to turn red when muted.
The DVD and Q button on the screen are hard coded to open quickplay. If you don’t install it, the buttons do not work.
The fingerprint reader driver is a separate install from Digital Persona. Make sure to install the driver before the software. (Unique to tx2000; tx1000 installed together.)
The x64 version of Vista will require a different version of the Fingerprint software. You can download that at HP.com
If your install of Vista has the pen working with the calibration as an option; and the touch not working, you will need to delete all of the human interface devices, do not reboot; install the HP drivers. On reboot, your touch and pen should now work.
Adobe CS3 miss-calibration error
This is caused by the Wacom drivers using the mouse information instead of using the pen readings. They did this to disable the pen flicks and the button in applications like Photoshop. To fix the problem you will need to add the following registry entry and reboot your machine.
- Locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\TabletServicePen\PARAMETERS
- Add a DWORD (32bit works) named WTKernelBypass
Hopefully this step-by-step guide will get you on your way to a clean install of Vista. I know some of that bloatware can be very annoying. In our HP forum there is a sticky posted about this with lots of discussion and more answers to any questions, so feel free to ask.