RemoteFX (with Hyper-V) is a serious business tool. For games.

The Setup

My downstairs PC (on the dining room table) is an HP Touchsmart all-in-one Core 2 Duo Intel Integrated Graphics 965-based box, which makes it absolutely abominable for games.

Upstairs, my internet connection plugs into my Hyper-V host (actually, a TMG instance on it), and I’ve a sort-of-gaming PC set up next to that, which has a nice video card, and chair, and half-assembled steering wheel.

I’ve GigE running all over the place.

Back to the downstairs PC, though: I once tried Borderlands on it, and at the lowest settings, I could’ve made a faster PowerPoint deck. Pretty sure my WP7 phone has more 3D graphics grunt.

The Problem

Recently, I’ve been playing a lot of Jagged Alliance, because it seems like there’s just so much of it about, and I really loved the earlier incarnations.

But to play Jagged Alliance Online, or Jagged Alliance: Back In Action, I’ve needed to move from downstairs, where I like to hang out in the dining/living room, to upstairs, or The Man Room, where I’m quite isolated from my girlfriend, the TV, and the small family of woodpeckers that’s moved into the dining room table.

The Solution: RemoteFX!

The Hyper-V box got upgraded to a Core i7 (from a Q6600) with 16GB RAM recently. This means SLAT/EPT is available, which means that I now have the possibility of sexy 3D GPU graphics without actually crippling the performance of the VMs running on it.

Also, it got me thinking about RemoteFX:

Could I get reasonable 3D gaming performance from the Hyper-V host, using the downstairs box as just a screen?

Not having used RemoteFX before, I did some research. Then some more research. Then some more. Everyone and their dog was trying it with an unsupported GPU (“for business purposes”… suuuuure), but there were some success stories around, so I persevered despite not really understanding what I was doing. (It’s a good quality. Honest.)

Note: This should not be taken as endorsement or condonement of using an unsupported GPU. If stuff just randomly stops working, or a driver update breaks this, there’s no recourse. So if you need a supported, working, supportable solution, DO NOT DO THIS. (yes, just like Xbox Live through TMG).

I jammed an Nvidia 9400 (or something; the only spare PCIe card I had) in the server as a proof of concept (depending on what you read, you either need more than one card, or the Intel isn’t a suitable RemoteFX GPU anyway).

  • Pre-work: Disabled Live Mesh’s Remote Desktop support (it installs a video adapter driver that I’m pretty sure isn’t WDDM and I didn’t want to fiddle around with it; RDP is fine)

 

  • Installed the RemoteFX role (Virtualization Host)
  • Created a Hyper-V VM and Installed Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
    • Uses the External Hyper-V network (my internal home LAN, with DHCP, a proxy, etc)
    • 2 procs
    • 4GB RAM (was 2GB, but figured I had the RAM spare, might offset the slow disk I’ve got it on)
  • Installed the RemoteFX adapter into the VM  (if you’re following this as a guide DO NOT DO THIS NOW)
    • (1600×1200 (client res is 1680×1050; close enough))
    • Noted that the refresh of the VM properties was now quite slow. Driver? Whizbang feature thing? Comes and goes.
    • Screamed and cursed while shutting the VM down again because I’d forgotten to enable Remote Desktop first, and the Hyper-V remote window won’t connect to a RemoteFX enabled VM.
    • Removed remoteFX adapter from VM.
  • Enabled Remote Desktop in the VM
    • Remoted into the VM to check it worked
    • it did!
    • Checked that my Remote Desktop settings on the client were all up to eleven (LAN, full experience, 32-bit colour)
  • Shut down the VM and re-installed the RemoteFX adapter
  • Faffed around with Cap drivers and reboots. Short version: didn’t need one
  • Used the Group Policy Settings to un-balance RemoteFX performance as much as possible (only ever likely to be me using it at once)

To CAP or not to CAP?

The literature commonly refers to installing the RemoteFX Cap Driver because most servers don’t use WDDM drivers for their inbuilt video cards.

Mine did have a WDDM driver (the i7 has Intel Integrated HD Graphics)… but I didn’t know that, so I assumed it was XPDM and installed the Cap driver; turns out I simply didn’t need to, and there was much installing and uninstalling of the cap driver, with reboots required. (Which take out my house’s Internet connection).

In short: looks to me like if your inbuilt server adapter is WDDM, no need for the CAP driver. But like I said – I removed the ?XPDM? Live Mesh adapter before starting.

Success!

It worked, but the 9400 didn’t support new niceties like Shader Model 3.0, so BIA was out. And JAO ran too slowly for my liking. And the card was ollllld. So assuming that’d be the problem, I figured I’d try a new one.

A new video card

So I bought a new ATI/AMD Radeon HD 6770 1GB card (and a 6790 for the gaming PC…) for $140, and dropped that into the Hyper-V box.

(Yes, I know it’s unsupported. Yes, I know there are special GPUs for this. No, I can’t help you if you run into trouble with this.)

At this point, I tried installing drivers, but it didn’t seem to work initially, possibly because I still had the Cap driver installed (there was screen blanking). Eventually, after several uninstall-reinstall cycles, it just worked. I didn’t (as of 12.1 Catalyst) need different drivers; I didn’t install Catalyst Control Center on the successful run, but I don’t think it was that anyway.

The Event Log messages about nonworking GPUs disappeared, and I had a working RemoteFX host again. (Moral of the story: if you are using a cap driver, and you need to add or change a video card, disable the cap driver first).

How does it go?

It goes alright!

Some games react weirdly to RDP-style inputs (particularly the mouse); some games have glitches they don’t otherwise have with the synthetic 3d adapter.

I would not try playing most FPSs via RemoteFX (you’re instantly dealing with input lag plus network lag plus rendering time on the server and the client, plus that mouse-movement-is-display-mouse-movement thing).

Also, keep in mind: this is a screen remoting protocol; if your box can’t do smooth full-motion 3d on its own, or smooth full-screen video, doing smooth full-motion 2d-of-3d might put a fair load on it as well. If Aero is jerky on the box (it is on the Touchsmart), that’s about the best-case frame-rate you’re likely to get from RemoteFX or anything for that matter. There are performance counters to track where bottlenecks are.

Quick summary of games I’ve tried:

I can now play Jagged Alliance: BIA on my downstairs PC pretty reliably, which is all I wanted to do in the first place. I do it a lot right now. I use 1280×720, 30Hz (seems to respond better), 2xaa, 4xAniso (or 4x whatever that last setting is), and Vsync.

JAO has some graphical weirdness (blank world map and face tiles) which fixes itself up when you play with the 9 and 0 keys (graphics detail level). Again, can now play it on the Touchsmart, which is incapable of playing it on its own.

Company of Heroes looks great, and with all the settings turned up to max, I got a “Great” score on COHmark. Can’t remember the numbers, but better than I expected. Haven’t played with it extensively yet.

I tried Civ IV, and it was the first time I’ve played it… it worked pretty well.

Frozen Synapse didn’t work at all, just crashed to desktop.

Deus Ex: GOTY – man, that game’s a pain to configure these days, what with its software rendering default and 16 bit colour! ugh! – it doesn’t really work well, input issues once the video issues are fixed.

In summary: awesome for the downstairs PC

It’s not a solution that allows me to dedicate the full unfettered power of the GPU to a single client (at least, I haven’t worked out how), but with a nice, grunty GPU in the server box, it’s nice that I won’t have to replace the touchsmart until Win8 comes out (bevel-less touch is important), and then I’ll get me one of those sexy new HP all-in-ones, and maybe play games locally again for a while. Or maybe stick with the thin screen/lots of bandwidth solution!

IRacing vs TMG 2010

Pre-blurb

About a week ago, I signed up for iRacing again, after letting my subscription lapse back in, oh, looks like 2008. Time flies!

Since then, I’ve been trying to get updates to install, but I’ve been having no luck with it – the update web page would just vanish when I ticked the updates I wanted and clicked Update.

(Actually, that’s the second symptom – at first I suspected a WPAD problem, as the update window would hang on a blank 127.0.0.1 address, but after disabling proxy settings, that stopped, and I simply didn’t get the updater working.)

One full OS reinstall (well hellooo crazy/hot SSD), UAC, Windows Firewall and AV shenanigans, and a bunch of file- and security-related fiddling later, I was trawling through the IracingService log (Iracingservice.out) and noticed a bunch of network-looking errors, including a 10054 socket error.

TMG logs also noted the 10054 (connection forcibly closed by remote host), so I got to thinking: Could this be another XBL-style HTTP/TCP thing where the Web Proxy filter gets upset?

In short: yes!  Cue obligatory “see-it-works-now” screenshot:

image

Oooooh. Ahhhhh.

Fixing It

I used a variation on the Xbox Live HTTP technique, to disengage the Web Proxy filter from Iracing.com, but constrained it by source IP (just my home gaming machine) and by target IP.

Toolbox Objects:

Computers:

  • RacingPod – Your client computer IP. It’s fixed, right? This can be skipped if you’re using DHCP, just specify the internal network – the Computer Set for Iracing will still “partition off” the relevant requests.

Computer Set:

  • IRacing IPs: the IP address of members.iracing.com (ping or nslookup for the current IP). I could have used a Domain Name Set, but I didn’t want to incur possible name resolution overhead on any HTTP request that might have matched these conditions. It will break when the IP changes, but I’m OK with that for now.

Protocol Definitions:

  • Xbox HTTPTCP/80 Outbound , not based on HTTP base definition, not bound to the Web Filter . (That’s the important part). I’m reusing a protocol I created earlier for something else. See if you can guess what?

Rules (in this order)

  • Iracing Special HTTP – Access Rule,
    • Action: Allow
    • From: RacingPod
    • To: IRacing IPs
    • Protocol: Xbox HTTP (only)
  • Iracing Block Regular HTTP – Access Rule,
    • Action: Deny
    • From: RacingPod
    • To: IRacing IPs
    • Protocol: HTTP (only) – that’s regular HTTP, not the new special Xbox HTTP

These should be considered inseparable rules – move them as a single unit (shift-selecting allows you to move whole blocks of rules up and down, by the way – to quickly move these to the top, shift –select the other rules above them, and r-click Move Down that group). Put them ahead of any general Allow rules – they will only affect traffic to Iracing’s Member site, only for the HTTP protocol, and should be very, very quick to process.

See the Notes on the Xbox post for the nitty-gritty on why this works. (This’d probably also work for ISA Server 2006 and ISA 2004, if it’s a problem for them, by the way).

Caveat Racer

Threat Management Gateway probably isn’t called Fluffy Home Network And Gaming Gateway for a reason. It’s designed to mitigate possible security threats for corporate environments, not to get all UPnP-laissez-faire and cosy with strange remote hosts. But it’s kinda fun to force it to.

Ooh, an Alienware M17x

A friend of mine wanted a high-end gaming laptop; I’d just seen an impressive-looking MX11X in JB Hi Fi, and suggested he look at Alienware kit.

He found the bells and whistles of the Alienware M17x were compelling. So, he clicked through to buy it, and had the sexy, beautiful box delivered to his house.

We unboxed it tonight so I could do some networking and file transfer magic from his old XP laptop, and the thing is just amazing. Beautiful 1920×1080 screen, i7 processor, 8 cores visible in Task Manager (on a laptop! Eek-yay!), and game performance that’s just brilliant!

Except the touchpad.

The touchpad looks and feels like its refresh rate is running at 10fps. Windows dragged across the screen judder and falter, but it’s not the graphics adapter or the CPU – using Aero Flip on the keyboard (Win+Tab) is a silky smooth 60fps.

Scrolling becomes a maddening game of “can you move your finger less?”, which I’m going to attribute to the poor polling rate, because it loves to superspeed scroll to the bottom or top of a document with the slightest provocation in the (hard to detect) scrolling zone (“hey look! the finger was there, and then it was 100px up the screen instantly! That must mean they want epic fast scrolling!”). Perhaps that’s why it was turned off in the Synaptics interface out of the box.

I wondered if I might be imagining it, but no, there’s a night-and-day difference between the old XP laptop and the shiny new Alien with the glowing eyes.

Doing some post-emptor research, it looks like this is something being noticed a bit. Being partially responsible for the choice of the Alienware, I’m on the hook for a bad recommendation.

My friend is largely going to use a mouse for actual game playing, but uses the trackpad a lot in casual use… it’s really disappointing when you get a brand new, just-built high-end box, and something as seemingly-trivial as the input device takes the shine off the experience.

Here’s hoping they fix it soon.

Update: Mid to late July, says the forum.

Xbox Live vs TMG

Foreword – Added 2011-03-08

As far as I’m aware, nothing significant has changed since the blog linked here – ISA Server is now TMG, sure, but XBox Live and TMG don’t officially support one another. This blog post captures something that seems to work for me, but may not work for you. (If you find a better or more reliable way, I’m all ears).

Again – easiest way to ensure XBox happiness is with a compatible non-Strict-NAT router. I don’t have one of them; all I have is an enterprise-security-and-firewalling product as my SOHO router, so I made enterprise-security-and-firewall-ade with it.

Xboooox
(If you just want the “how to set it up” bit without the commentary, skip to the next heading).

Continuing in the tradition of trying to get my game on through ISA Server , I decided to try out the Halo Reach beta tonight, and was promptly stumped when I couldn’t access my Account History (I didn’t need to, as it turns out, but I couldn’t, so it was a challenge , so I wasn’t about to let my girlfiend (not a misspelling) watch TV until I’d fixed it).

The Xbox generally worked fine for games, but frequently in the Marketplace, bad stuff would happen (i.e. an error saying something about not being able to access the marketplace now, but sometimes a retry would work, extremely weirdly).

The logs showed that TMG was intercepting the traffic, running it through the Web Proxy Filter, and noticing that it wasn’t (how to put it nicely) valid , so dumping it, with an error message indicating 13 – The Data Is Invalid. (cue indignant hmph )

With the help of Jim Harrison and Bala Natarajan, I ran through some reconfiguration steps; here’s what I ended up with that works:

How I set it up
Toolbox Objects:

Computers:

  • Xbox (just a name for the XBox’s IP address – you still have to know the IP for publishing rules (each time; can’t just use the computer object), so the Xbox IP should be static/reserved.)

Protocol Definitions:

  • Xbox HTTPTCP/80 Outbound , not based on HTTP base definition, not bound to the Web Filter . That’s important.
  • The next three from before, which seem to work pretty reliably* for online play:
  • Xbox – TCP/3074 Outbound, and 3074 UDP Send and Receive.
  • Xbox TCP Server – TCP/3074 Inbound
  • Xbox UDP Server – UDP 3074 Receive Send

Rules (in this order)

  • 1. Xbox In TCP – Server Publish Xbox IP, using protocol XBOX TCP Server, on External IP
  • 2. Xbox In UDP – Server Publish Xbox IP, using protocol Xbox UDP Server, on External IP
  • 3. Xbox HTTP – Access Rule, Allow only Xbox HTTP, to External, from Xbox IP
  • 4. Xbox Deny Special Rule – Access Rule, Deny only HTTP (that’s normal HTTP , not our special new HTTP), to External, from Xbox IP
  • 5. My general allow/deny rules , including a quite-high-up rule allowing Xbox access to any protocol outbound anywhere (I have that set for all computers, but if you want to be sure, make a special rule just for the Xbox allowing All Outbound to External .) Any {Allow All Outbound} rules must be ordered after that special HTTP Deny rule.

Notes:

  • The reason you need a special Deny rule for regular ol’ HTTP – despite the unbinding of the web filter from the XBox HTTP custom protocol, and being quite specific about the protocol you’re allowing – has to do with the way protocols are collapsed and dealt with by the Firewall engine. For more information, check out Why do I need a deny rule to make an allow rule for a custom protocol work correctly? at the always-amazing Formerly-Known-As-ISA Blog.
  • knowledgeable/nitpicky/interested observers may note that the publishingrules that I have first can actually be pretty much anywhere; I just keep the Xbox rules grouped so they’re all in the one spot. And at the front so they’re processed as quickly as possible; lag bad.
    • Aside: If shifting individual rules a long way up or down, don’t just right-click yourself into RSI – remember you can multi-select rules that are in the way, then right-click and move all of them up or down above or below the rule you’re wanting to shift. It’s not drag-and-drop conweenyent, but then it’s not as susceptible to “Oops I dragged that OU into Domain Controllers” Syndrome either.

Other Settings I’d twiddled but may or may not be relevant:

  • I excluded the Xbox from compression using HTTP Compression exclusions (this shouldn’t be relevant any more with the Deny rule above, as the HTTP filter won’t be inspecting that traffic)
  • I excluded the Xbox from NIS using NIS exceptions (unsure if NIS still fires for tcp/80 when the Web Proxy Filter is out of the way. I guess I could look. Yeah, I’ll do that. After a kill or two. Or eight.)

There. That’s my word count for the month. Ooh, a non-code-locked Blur demo too! I’ve left my console unloved for too long.

More Notes:

  • I’ve seen mention of other ports being required inbound; I haven’t tried them. As far as I can tell, I can do everything through this setup, voice, host games, the works. With the All Outbound allow rule following the special stuff at the top, I haven’t experienced a problem (that I know about)
  • The connection test still reports “Strict NAT” as if it’s a bad thing. That’s OK, I just ignore that.

 

Max Payne 2 on Xbox Originals

Awesome, in a word.

Max Payne® 2- The Fall of Max Payne

Wins my award for most heartbreaking game ever. With some pretty funky action along the way.

I wasn’t as much of a fan of the first one, though if you play them back to back, they run very well together.

(Though the part in MP2 that always troubled me was how the people you’re shooting at don’t get damaged per se; they just take an endless supply of bullets and get tossed around. Breaks suspension of disbelief. Well, that and the whole “Bullet Time” thing, which was done very well in this one.)

Game Season Approaches

After what seems like a drought of epic proportions, the holiday releases are gradually going to thump their way out. Yay!

What I’m looking forward to:

Fallout 3 – once again, the Australian OFLC needs an R rating for interactive entertainment. I watched the ABC’s "Q&A" when the subject was brought up, and ended up furious that people could be so heavily, forcefully opinionated and ignorant at the same time. Makes me wonder whether it’s worth watching on *any* subject, if everyone’s just going to make stuff up, and then argue that (what they made up) is bad.

Saints Row 2 – I don’t know about you, but while GTA IV was "good", I *seriously* fought the urge to skip the cutscenes. Every previous GTA game was entertaining in the cutscenes, and I actually looked forward to them. GTA IV – not at all. I’m hoping Saints Row is more of the over-the-top fun of Vice City or San Andreas; I really liked the original, despite its flaws (Invisible Car!).

Far Cry 2 – I read a developer interview on GamaSutra with the developer (Ubisoft Montreal,  Crytek are doing Crysis these days) about how they were really shooting for "open world, open story" and might have a completely massive failure: I really hope they pull it off. I’ll be playing it to find out.

Stalker: Clear Skies – I didn’t actually finish Stalker, so I might go spend the next few weeks doing that. Loved it, early bugs and all.

Geometry Wars 2 – cheating, because I’m actually playing this already and it’s great!

Battlefield: Bad Company – I thought that the earlier Battlefield version for the 360 was superior to the PC Battlefield 2 in many ways. (Controversially, I had the same impression of Xbox Operation Flashpoint vs PC Flashpoint – sometimes a game just *works* on a console). I just saw this is already out, so I’m there!

Too Human – Wasn’t really interested, and I played the demo with some reluctance, but it was surprisingly engaging (I didn’t think it’d grab me at all, but it did). The reviews haven’t been stellar, but I enjoyed the 1GB’s worth.

Force Unleashed – Possibly not for the reason you think- I want so see if there’s an easter egg where I can get shot by Baltar (geddit!?)

Oh, it’s the 29th!

Which means I was going to go buy GTA IV today!

GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas absolutely blew me away with the quality of the narrative and distinctive and unique open worlds. Best of all, guilty pleasures all in a consequence-free environment! I mean, I could jump buildings on a motorcycle! I can’t do that in real life!

GTA IV, though, apparently got edited to appease the crazy "games are not for adults" censorship laws we have here in Oz.

I trust Rockstar to have produced the best story, characters and content possible, and while I’m sure it’ll be great anyway, I’ll have no idea what I’m missing out on.

And unfortunately if I buy a console version, I’m almost certainly not going to be able to mod it back to its original state later.

At least noises are being made about rescinding this sad, inexplicable state of affairs.

Might pick up a copy from Europe…

ROCKtober approaches again

Fans of this blog – of whom there are at least six (see mum? 100% up on last year, despite the lack of official updates) – will know that I hold a special place in my heart for October, or as the cool kids like to call it, ROCKtober.

Why does October Rock this year?

Well, I’ll give you one good reason that rhymes with “Pron Heck Gob Ham Ray Thing Bore” – PGR4, baby! (well can you think of words that rhyme with Project Gotham Racing, without cheating? Nor could I. So just drop it, okay? Please? Hug?). I can’t wait! But I must…

It’s out October 2 according to the US site, so shortly thereafter Down Here would be my bet… Rocktober’s off to a rockin’ start, and it’s only late August. Now that’s Value™).

360 Elite, Eh?

We announced what appears to have been the world’s worst-kept gaming secret!

From my perspective (as an Australian owner of a White Xbox for the last year), I’m not fussed; HDMI is non-present on my current monitor, and I’m quite happy with the VGA cable. Not as happy with the 50hz PAL problem on backwards compatible games, but if HDMI ain’t an option anyway…

It costs about the same amount more as the drive costs, so HDMI looks like the fundamental improvement here:

  • Elite cost $US479
  • Premium $US399
  • Core $US299

Sooo… looks like I’ll just upgrade the drive on my trusty white box at some point. Then again, there’s no movie store here, so… hopefully we’ll be guinea pigs for IPTV instead? 🙂

Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows: Installation Experience

“Experience” is a lovely word for a corporate blog. Discuss.

Anyway, my experience was that it didn’t work the first time round. That was at 7pm. it’s now 9pm, and I’ve just finished my first laps around Barcelona in RFactor, using the Wireless Racing Wheel and TrackIR.

Awesome? You betcha! Easy? Not quite what I’d hoped for!

So what can you learn from my experience, dear gamer? Read on…

I’d gone out to buy the receiver this evening – so it’s available in Australia now! – and ended up getting a receiver-and-controller-in-one pack, as the standalone receivers seemed to have sold out quicksmart (and there was much rejoicing among shareholders).

After the by-now-rather-passe strains and cuts endured while opening the packaging/security enclosure/weaponized clear plastic container, I was eager to just plug stuff in!

Reading the helpful green tag on the plug (“Install software first“), I was tempted to just plug it in and let WindowsUpdate do the rest, but I thought I’d Do The Right Thing and, y’know, install the CD it came with.

That Was My Mistake

That, it appears, was my mistake. If you skip to the “After System Restore” section below, you’ll see that the installation can be perfectly painless.

For me, though, it wasn’t. The CD was put in, Autorun selected, and it promptly told me I didn’t meet the system requirements and should check the website.

This I did, and eventually browsed my way over to the Wireless Receiver download for Windows Vista X64.

Note for first-time readers: I run Windows Vista X64 at home on my gaming machine. I’ve never been able to justify this decision rationally, except with the flimsiest of excuses: more bits must be better. (and more registers, and fewer k-mode drivers, and…)

Anyway, I installed the proffered software, it found the wireless receiver and installed a nice Xbox-like indicator accessory thingo.

But no matter what I did, whatever combination of resync-button-mashing or battery removal or unplugging or replugging or… well, anything (there are a massive total of three relevant buttons, the Guide button solely being used for power in this scenario, so there’s not a vast amount of creativity required), the controller’s ring of light would loop, then both the receiver and controller would flash, then the controller would continue all-quadrants-flashing. It was very consistent – sorta the equivalent of “yes, I know you’re there, but I don’t want to talk to you”. Plus, when I was trying to repurpose an existing controller, I’d end up turning the Xbox 360 on all the time.

On the X64 box, I’m running in test-signing mode to get past some semi-signed driver issues, and at the back of my mind, I’m always a little suspicious that something somewhere is working differently because of this. So far, I haven’t found anything that was directly attributable to it, but I live in fear (and with Test Mode printed in all eight corners of my screens).

So, I tried it out on Tiny, my P1610, far, far away from the Xbox. I just plugged in the receiver, and 32-bit Vista downloaded the Wireless Receiver software from Windows Update (Tiny doesn’t have an optical drive), and the controller synced with the receiver. Took about two minutes all up, including resuming from hibernation.

With this in mind, I tried deleting the drivers for the Receiver using Device Manager, but they seemed to reinstall locally and not from Windows Update; an Update didn’t seem to fix it, so I gave up and turned to my old new best friend, System Restore. Back to before I installed the download. This took about five minutes.

After System Restore, I Just Plugged It In

… and this time, it found the drivers directly from Windows Update, installed them in about five seconds flat, and then the controller magically synced itself straight away. The drivers installed for the controller, and whop! It was done!

I haven’t yet downloaded the Accessory thingo again (the thing that does the Xbox-style on-screen Ring Of Light) again, but it’s on the back burner.

Now, I might have seriously stuffed something up early on. I was going to add “but I don’t think so”, but it’s pretty obvious that I did, barring a faulty download or something.

Yay!

Anyway, moral of the story this time is: Just plug it in and let Windows Update do the work for you, if you’re running Windows Vista X64. And x86, for that matter, based on my similarly-good experience with Tiny.

Now, all my Wireless devices are happy to chat to the receiver (reminds me, I haven’t tried the headset yet…) and I’m happily playing RFactor with a real wheel!

Yep – works just like the original headset with a wired controller (as a separate audio device in Windows), only it’s wireless! Cool!

As they say in Jamaica*, w00t, m0n.

Anyone else have problems, or did it Just Work for y’all?

[Update 3rd March] – the receiver stopped working again on the restart after the more-recent Accessories installation. System Restore-ing back to just the bare drivers worked again; I’m going to try a couple more reboots to see if it’s a reboot thing in general, or just an Accessories thing.