Category Archives: hardware

MS Wheel Mouse Optical Redux (August 2018)

Back on the WMO train again. I was using Sweetlow’s signed driver, but it stopped working again, probably due to Windows updates. You can find the old guide here.

I’m on Windows 10 Home 64-bit, version 1803. Here’s how to get it working at the time of writing.

The main google result is not the actual official Sweetlow post. It links to a thread on the overclock.net forums that was not made by Sweetlow. Instead, follow the instructions on Sweetlow’s official (and up to date!) post.

Unfortunately, the ‘vanilla’ signed driver no longer works for me, but I would recommend trying the main instructions first.

I had to use a workaround that is covered in his post. Specifically, the part where he says:
2. If you have EHCI (USB2.0) Controller only on version x64 1703+ or any controller on version 1803+ use these drivers and (Test Mode or atsiv method with non Test Mode)

I haven’t had any luck with the atsiv method, but the test mode suggestion worked (after a bit of fumbling around).

Here are explicit steps on how to do this workaround. As ever, I will caveat this by saying it may not work for you.

Backup your files

  • Backup the following files:
    • %systemroot%\system32\drivers\usbport.sys
    • %systemroot%\system32\drivers\usbxhci.sys

Enable test mode to allow unsigned drivers

  • Open a cmd prompt with admin privileges and type the following commands
    • bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
    • bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON
    • Reboot

Finally, install the driver

We’re going to download the official Sweetlow package (which contains the installer and versions of the driver) and replace the official driver with a patched version. We will then use the official installer to install a patched driver.

  1. Download & unzip https://www.overclock.net/attachments/45829 (you need an overclock.net account to do this) to a directory called “official”
  2. Download & unzip https://github.com/LordOfMice/hidusbf/blob/master/hidusbfn.zip to a temp directory called “patch”
  3. Navigate to “patch”
  4. Copy the DRIVER\AMD64\1khz\hidusbf.sys file
  5. Navigate to “official”
  6. Replace its DRIVER\AMD64\hidusbf.sys + DRIVER\AMD64\1khz\hidusbf.sys with it (I suspect the installer uses the first of these, but I haven’t checked for sure, so replace both)
  7. Still in “official”, run setup.exe
  8. Check the “Filter On Device” box
  9. Change the rate to 1000hz
  10. Click the “Install Service” button
  11. Click the “Restart” button
  12. Close setup.exe
  13. Open mouserate.exe (or browse to https://zowie.benq.com/en-eu/support/mouse-rate-checker.html) and check your hz

If that didn’t work, reboot. If you mess it up and your mouse stops working, simply go to device manager, uninstall the WMO via remove device, then unplug it before plugging it back in. You’re then OK to try again.

MS Wheel Mouse Optical Redux (WMO 1.1 & Windows 10 x64)

Back in 2011, I wrote a fairly gushing post about the Microsoft WMO 1.1/1.1a. It’s a great mouse. It really is.

The end of my WMO

Sadly, in late 2016, the venerable WMO gave up the ghost – its death certificate listed a faulty cable. Basically, I’d be playing Overwatch and it’d randomly disconnect, then reconnect. I’m not a technician, so I binned it.

I then bought a Steelseries Rival 100, as I needed a stopgap mouse. The Rival 100 is a decent mouse, but its shape doesn’t agree with me (it’s too narrow), and it’s a touch too heavy for my tastes.

Finding a replacement mouse model

I decided to try and track down a decent WMO replacement. After a bit of a hunt, I couldn’t find anything that’s 100% suitable; some people recommend Zowies like the EC2-A or FK1, and others like the Razer DeathAdder Chroma.

It’s tough to track down accurate information regarding the unpackaged weight of the mouse, too. The WMO weighed in at ~80g, and in my opinion is better for it.

Furthermore, I don’t want a mouse with stupid cloud software (S3 is down? Well, not sure how to load your mouse settings man!), and I’m not really a fan of spending £60 on a mouse in what is essentially a blind purchase. I might love it, but I might hate it.

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Benq XL2411T Monitor Review

Before I review the Benq, it’s worth giving a bit of background about the monitors I’ve owned up till now.

Dell P1110

image

My first ‘serious’ bit of monitor kit was a Dell P1110 21” Trintron ‘Flat Screen’ CRT (it was flat screen in the sense that it wasn’t a fishbowl and the viewable area was only 19.8” – how the advertisers got away with this for so long always mystified me). The P1110 could easily pump out 100hz and beyond at anything below 1600×1200. It was circa ~2002 and I was a poor student, so I picked it up refurbished for a couple of hundred quid, half-expecting to get ripped off or scammed.

Best purchase ever.

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