I’ve already written a few articles about my tablet laptop, the Toshiba M200, and I’ve been incredible impressed by it’s durability, adaptability, and overall functionality. So what have I forced it to do now? What other feat has the M200 surpassed? Two words: Windows 7. I decided to install Windows 7 RC 1 on my tablet for a few reasons, including: It’s free, … it’s free, and… I have a SSD. So far I’m quite impressed at the tablet’s ability to run Windows 7; the actions are very smooth, it’s responsive, fast in booting up and loading applications. The only thing I’ve noticed so far is that Aero doesn’t work at all, even if I try forcing it to start Aero I end up having to reboot as the screen just gets stuck in an endless flicker. But I can live with no Aero, considering it’s overall functionality is awesome.

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Toshiba M200 + Vista Ultimate = ?

Well they don’t have a word for it yet.

But anyway, I did indeed install Vista on my lowly Toshiba M200 (exact specs except I have 1GB of DDR, soon to be 2GB). So far, I’m quite impressed at the overall performance of the machine, the system lags a bit more then XP did but the functionality and ease of use went up. I’m thoroughly impressed with the Vista Tablet functionality vs XP Tablet.  Surprisingly enough, my frame rate in World of Warcraft (yes it can play on the M200) is pretty much the same as it was in XP.

One thing I noticed right away was the responsiveness of the Tablet Pen, it seems to have increased quite a lot. I also combined that with OneNote 2007 which with the improvements from 2003 has made my note taking a lot more easier.

Would I recommend upgrading to Vista on the M200?

Sure. Make sure that you have at least 1GB of memory however, and I’d recommend installing Vista from a folder on lets say a network or USB drive. The reason for this is the 24x External Toshiba drive sucks for transferring files, if you go that route be read to spend a good 1-2 hours getting to the “Installing” screen. I installed Vista from XP from a folder on my network storage. Took about 1 1/2 hours to install from the time I first ran the installer to when I could first login to the machine.

I will say that anyone who wants to upgrade will need 2 things:

And that’s it, Vista will take care of the rest. If you download/install anything else from Toshiba, you’re installing too much redundant/old software. I say you should download Toshiba Tablet PC Button Driver because it contains the drivers needed to change the Display Brightness and Rotate the screen. Once installed you can use the Vista Mobility Center (press Windows Key + X) to rotate the screen and change the Display Brightness depending on your power status.
Mobility Center
Mobility Center

Toshiba M200 + Vista Aero = Awesome

So I’ve done the pain staking (very worth it) process of installing Vista on my epic Toshiba M200 Tablet but for the longest time I couldn’t use Aero. Now as my last statement suggests, yes I found a way to run Aero… semi stable (see the list of things that I’ve noticed crash Aero).

To do so I needed:

So first up, I uninstalled my current drivers using the Control Panel, restarted and then ran Nasty File Remover (see below for how I had mine setup)

as you can tell, Aero is running... taken after I did this
as you can tell, Aero is running... taken after I did this

After I did that I downloaded and extracted the nVIDIA ForceWare 98.16 drivers from above to my desktop and copied the modded nvgm.inf to the folder (had to overwrite the existing one). Once it was copied I ran the setup.exe in the folder and restarted my computer. Once my computer was back up and running I started the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager in the Windows Services and applied the Aero effect in the Window Color and Appearance option in Personalize.

I decided to run a Windows Experience Index test to see how my stats improved and I was quite pleased, Gaming Graphics went from 1.0 to 2.3 although Graphics stayed at 1.0.

Windows Experience Index

Things I’ve noticed that crash Aero:

  • Opening some programs in full screen
  • Opening Windows Media Player
  • Opening Paint (yes… mspaint)
  • Going to My Pictures (probably due to thumbnails)

I’ve noticed it flickers sometimes on and off when opening some things, but if it ever crashes I can minimize all my windows then go into the Windows Services and restart the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager. To help improve its stability I went to the Performace under Advanced system settings and toggled Adjust for best performance then checked off Use visual styles on windows and buttons. I had to minimize all my windows and restart the Desktop Window Manager Session Manager to get Aero back but it’s now running fairly well.

Here’s a screenshot of Aero Glass running at 1400 x 1050 @ 32bit color on the Toshiba M200

M200 Aero Demo

As a side note, one may ask why I’m not using the latest 179.xx Forceware drivers and well the answer to that is simple: they don’t work (I tried them). What I may try next are the ~100.xx  Forceware drivers to see if they can add more stability, but for now I’m pleasde with what I have at the moment.