Windows 7 on my ASUS EEEPC 1005HA and its ACPI Adventure

[Note: This post was made pre-Windows 7 release when ASUS did not yet support Windows 7. Since that time the correct drivers have been released - see my post in the comments section for more details.]

A trend I appear to to be experiencing recently is applying a vendor supplied update to one of my gadgets only to have the update trash my device. It happened rather spectacularly with my iPhone when Apple released 3.1 and now my ASUS 1005HA netbook experienced a similar fate.

ASUS recently added Windows 7 as an official operating system option for their software and firmware. Going to their website to check on BIOS updates I can now select Windows 7 and find a wide variety of BIOS versions listed for the operating system.

However has ASUS added official support of Windows 7 in their BIOS? Will the special features of the EEE PC, such as all the blue function keys, be supported? Yes and no, but ultimately I had to once again figure out how to fix my gadget by removing the update …..

Unlike many laptops where the blue function keys represent a few extended options, the ASUS netbook relies upon the blue function keys for many standard inputs – page up, page down, home, and end in addition to all the special volume control and wireless device function keys.

Pressing one of those keys involves three layers of software. The top layer is an application that runs in the background (one such app is the Super Hybrid Engine). That layer then talks to the device driver. the device driver then talks to the special functions in the BIOS (or firmware) installed on the motherboard.

ASUS supplies the three components to make the blue keys work – the BIOS, the ACPI drivers and the application software.

One problem is that ASUS has only ever written the top two layers, the ACPI drivers and the software, for Windows XP. Even though they now have BIOS available under the Windows 7 category, they still have not listed the ACPI drivers or the software for Windows 7.

Yet Windows 7 does offer some special features, such as pretending to be Windows XP to let old software run. Choosing to run in XP compatibility mode makes the installer believe it is running on Windows XP and tries its best to install on Windows 7.

When I first received my EEE PC netbook this is what I did to install the ASUS ACPI driver, the font resizer and the super hybrid engine. Using the compatibility mode it is possible to successfully install the drivers and the application software on Windows 7. However that was when my EEE PC was running BIOS version 0703.

Since then ASUS updated their BIOS with two new versions – 0801 and 0905. Various notes about improved battery life make these new versions extremely enticing, specially as they now appear to support Windows 7. But what about the ACPI drivers? There was no mention of them under Windows 7, but I already had them installed and running under Windows 7 compatibility mode.

Taking the plunge I first start with updating my BIOS from 0703 to 0801. Immediately after the reboot my system started popping up error dialogs telling me I was missing the ACPI driver. Closing the window immediately spawned a new one. This soon became annoying as it never stopped.

Apparently with this newer BIOS, the already installed ACPI drivers that I installed in XP mode no longer worked. By adding Windows 7 support to the BIOS they broke how the drivers talked to the BIOS. But that made no sense since the same drivers still talked to the new BIOS when running on Windows XP. Clearly something other than just adding Windows 7 support is broken.

Not yet worried though I updated to the next 905 version to see if perhaps the problem is fixed.

No dice. Whatever ASUS broke in the 0703 BIOS is still broken in the 0901 version.

The solution then to running the ASUS ACPI drivers on Windows 7 was to stay with BIOS 703. Even though ASUS added the new BIOS releases under a Windows 7 category, they changed how the ACPI interface worked. Not updating was the best solution. Nice to know now.

The problem then became how to go backwards and install the older BIOS. Their update tool would not let me install the older BIOS. After a few Google searches I was able to find how to downgrade the BIOS to 0703 to get ACPI working again on Windows 7:

  1. Download the 0703 BIOS from http://support.asus.com/download/download_item_dna.aspx?product=20&model=Eee%20PC%201005HA&SLanguage=en-us&os=29
  2. Download the older ASUS Update V6.10.02 from http://support.asus.com/download/download_item.aspx?product=1&model=A8N-SLI&type=BIOS (link broken)
  3. Scroll down to ASUS Update V6.10.02 Install Program for Windows 2000/XP/2003 & for Windows 64bit XP/2003.
  4. Install ASUS Update, then select Options from the dropdown list.
  5. Click next, then check BIOS Downgradable.
  6. Click next, then select Update BIOS from a file, then click next.
  7. Select the 0703 BIOS ROM file, then click Flash.

After it finishes flashing your BIOS you check your BIOS settings that everything is to your liking and then once again enjoy using the EEE PC functions under Windows 7.

Perhaps one day ASUS will properly support Windows 7. Considering it is scheduled for general availability on October 22 (a few weeks from now), one would think that ASUS would be ready to properly support their systems by now.

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34 Comments

  1. Great post man! I had the same issue today and your step-by-step tutorial really helped me to solve the problem!

    Cheers and enjoy your Eee :)

  2. @Alex – glad it helped you out. Hopefully soon ASUS will roll out official support for Win7 with it only being a few weeks away to it’s retail launch

  3. Thanks for your help. You would think Asus would do a better job. Did you have any problems with the super hybrid engine?

  4. So far no problems with the Super Hybrid Engine. When I plug the power cord in it auto changes to super speed, and the function-spacebar key toggles between the other speeds as required.

  5. Thx a lot for the BIOS downgrade solution :)

  6. I had the same issue today with BIOS 0905. I was unable to get the windows bios update software to install as it wanted ACPI drivers working (did not try older version). Tried AFUDOS utility, but it cannot downgrade. Eventually found an Engineering version of AFUDOS and using a bootable USB drive managed to get back to 0703.

    Shame I did not find your post until after I got it fixed. Might have saved me much frustration and wasted time.

  7. Thank you for sharing this, I’ve tried the new bios with the newly Hotkey drivers posted on the website but after boot it is still asking for the ACPI drivers.

    Let me know if you’ve upgraded to the latest 1102 Win 7 successfully, Newegg.com and Amazon are selling already Win 7 1005ha netbooks so I guess the drivers are there.

  8. Thanks for the heads up Carlos. I keep checking the ASUS site for any updates. Last week there were none, but now with Windows 7 being available, let’s keep fingers crossed that working drivers will appear soon on the ASUS site.

  9. Just checked the Windows 7 section for the 1005HA on the ASUS support site and it looks like there are now Windows 7 driver files available!

    I will be testing them tonight to see if I can get a BIOS update working with the latest version and driver files!

  10. I just successfully installed the latest drivers and BIOS (1102) onto my 1005. One issue I ran into was that the ASUSUpdate utility failed to update the BIOS. Instead I had to make a bootable DOS image on a flash card, put the afudos.exe utilty and the BIOS onto it, then reboot and install from the flash card.

    But once I had the BIOS updated and the drivers installed, everything is working great!

  11. i updated to bios 1102, and found out my eee-tray no longer available
    will downgrade back to 703, using the tool you provide
    wish me luck..

  12. Darren,
    I just upgraded to the lastest bios 1102, after having had a smooth operating machine on the 703. Even when Im installing all updates from the Asus website I continue to get this annoying ACPI message. What did you do to get rid of it?

    Pascal

  13. Hi Darren,

    Thanks so much for your tips. The same thing happened to me on a 1000H and I thought I was in serious trouble until I found this blog post. Let’s hope ASUS bring out proper Win7 support very soon.

  14. Hi Pascal,

    The ACPI messages went away once I had installed the drivers from the ASUS site. I did make sure that I had uninstalled all of the previous Windows XP drivers and ASUS applications first.

    So before I started updating the latest drivers or firmware, I uninstalled the old SHE, font utility, etc. These included uninstalling everything that had ASUS associated with it shown in the installed program list.

    After uninstalling everything I then had a small adventure getting the 1102 BIOS installed – the update utility would not run, so I made a bootable DOS flash image using instructions from here, flashed 1102, then installed all of the available software updates from the ASUS site.

    If you still see the ACPI messages, perhaps (and I am just guessing) there is still an older XP version of one of the applications still installed.

    I hope this helps a little.

  15. Just a quick note on the USB flash card booting DOS I mentioned above: it has two utilities, Windows Enabler and the HP USB formatter. The HP tool is only needed if you wish to make the flash disk bigger than a standard floppy of 1.44MB. Although it sucks to waste the space on the flash card, for using a flash card to temporarily run the BIOS flash utility, you do not need to make the image bigger with the HP tool.

  16. Thanks Darren – great instruction here and it worked great. Question for you, the Asus LiveUpdate app is the only one that gave me trouble. When I tried to launch it, I got an error dialog about not being able to open the NT Service Manager or something. I uninstalled it as I’d rather deal with updates/upgrades manually, but like I said, it was the only one that gave me any trouble.

    Thanks Again.

  17. Thanks for the tip on the BIO utility.

    However the latest BIOS from ASUS for 1005HA works just fine. However, you do need the legacy BIOS utility to flash it.

    Cheers

  18. Thanks for the link Jim.

    As well Steve, I totally agree. My upgrade to the latest BIOS solved my issues, except for the act of updating the BIOS itself – I too had to use the older update tool.

  19. Darren,
    I recently updated my 1005HA to Win7, but keep getting the following message continuously when it boots “Press f1 to enter setup, press f2 to load defauls and continue.” Now, I cannot boot via USB to load the 1102 firmware. I get the boot message regardless if I designate the USB as the 1st boot device in BIOS (0905). I have successfully booted from this UBS before. Do you think removing all the Asus win7 drivers will stop this message?

  20. Hi Mike,

    I am not sure exactly what is happening, but I can offer an opinion. The Press F1 etc message sounds like a BIOS message, meaning it appears before the disk is accessed and the OS boots.

    If it is a BIOS message and you are getting it continuously, then it sounds like something is not configured properly in the BIOS.

    Not knowing if it is a configuration issue or if it is data stored in the BIOS that it no longer likes, it is hard to know the exact steps to remedy. A workaround though could be to press F1 to enter setup and then choose to reset the BIOS settings to their default values.

    This would remove any data that could be causing issues with the BIOS.

    Make sure that if you have configured any special settings in your BIOS, such as password, or manual device settings, disabled audio, etc., that you make note of the changes before resetting the BIOS values to the defaults.

    Best of luck!

    - Darren

  21. hi, I really hope you can help me. I have followed all the instruction for the win7 update on my eeepc1005 and everything is fine except that my wireless stopped working. The hot key works, the light is on, but it does not see any wireless signals. My other laptops and iphones see and connect to my home network so I know the problem is not the router or internet signal. When I plug it with Lan Cable it works! I have installed the driver for win 7 from asus site but still nothing! Help!!!!

  22. Darren,

    It seems to be some sort of bios issue. I entered setup and loaded the defaults. Unfortunately, no difference. I’m still seeing the f1/f2 message.

    Any other ideas?

  23. Hi DJ,

    If wireless is not working and it did before, I would check the following:

    • ensure it is enabled in the BIOS
    • ensure that when the OS is running, the function key that switches Wireless/Bluetooth off and on is pressed enough times until the message the wireles sis enabled appears
    • under Control Panel open the Windows Mobility applet and check that wireless is turned on

    I usually find that it is the second item that affects sytems I work on the most.

  24. Hi Mike,

    If I kept seeing the same issue, I would perhaps try reflashing the same BIOS and then once again try resetting its settings.

    I would be doubtful it has anything to do with other parts of the system – such as battery or loose memory board. The battery is too new and a loose memory board, although would trigger the BIOS to think something has changed, would cause all kinds of issues when the system was running.

    I would also check the ASUS forums too in case someone else has run into the problem. Jim had a link above to a forum discussion on the BIOS, and perhaps there are other people experiencing the F1/F2 reset issue.

    I hope something works out for you soon.

    - Darren

  25. It’s all working with latest BIOS . I install windows 7 ultimate with no problem and my rate is 2.0

  26. My FN key work on Windows 7 Ultimate without needing to Update or downgrade the BIOS..
    Check it:
    http://kuurozaki.blogspot.com/2009/11/fn-key-wont-work-on-windows-7-ultimate.html

  27. My Asus EeePC 1005HA was working fine on Win7 RC1. I’d upgraded from XP after a quick DOA check when I unboxed it. RC1 installed like a dream. (From what I remember, I only had a single driver issue, which was resolved with a Vista driver I downloaded froim Asus)

    This weekend I decided to upgrade to a licensed copy of RTM – this is when the “fun” started – I saw all of the Win7 drivers as well as numerous BIOS updates for Win7 and was happy about the Win7 support! I was in for a surprise. I was having problems with the notorious ACPI as well as WMI & Touchpad driver issues, and I still couldn’t get any of the new BIOS’ to take. I rolled back my BIOS flasher (I think I used Asus 7.16 @ Tom’s Hardware) and that did the trick – smooth sailing since!

    Thanks for the blog, Darren!

  28. you are the man, man. thx you very much. now i can use the eee pc functions.

    nice work

  29. Got my 1005HA last week. Wiped out HD and then created one single partition. Installed Windows 7 Ultimate, flashed BIOS to 1102, upgraded RAM to 2 GB, downloaded and installed ASUS Win 7 Drivers and utilities. All devices working fine. Rating 2.1. HOWEVER, I have one issue which I hope you can answer. The FastBoot option has disappeared from the BIOS, any odea why? Is it possible that BIOS 1102 does away with FastBoot? Researched all forums, could not get an answer. Have not yet been able to hook up with Asus Tech Support.

    Thank you guys.

  30. I just installed 1203 on my aunts and FastBoot option is in the bios but I didn’t see the bios on the asus site I saw it when I ran the AsusUpdate utility.

  31. if anyone is getting the acpi missing error, just go to the asus website and download the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface Driver for the asus eee pc s101/xp. it fixed everything for me.

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