Bluetooth driver nightmare

Another post around bluetooth – one I wanted to do for quite some time now, but I have not come around to yet.

As you know, Microsoft will bring its own Bluetooth-Implementation to Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (this and the better WLAN support are two strong reasons for me wanting to install it, but the current RC1 does not work with Delphi’s debugger – I hear, this is fixed in RC2 to be released somewhere in June). What you may not know is that there is some Post-SP1-Fixup floating around that already has rudimentary BT support. I think, it initially came with Microsofts Bluetooth Accessories (Keyboards and Mice).

The Problem with this rudimentary support is that it is not compatible at all with the WIDCOMM-Stack, which provides far more functionality that this MS-thingy does.

The problem gets even worse because this Fixup pack seems to be integrated in quite some OEM preinstallations these days, even if the devices themselfes come with a WIDCOMM stack

I came across this problem with two thinkpads: Initially they have BT disabled. The official way to get it enabled is to first install the Drivers provided by IBM (the WIDCOMM-Stack) and then Press Fn-F5 and click on “Enable” in the bluetooth section. What then happens is that Windows detects the (USB-, though it’s internal hardware, it’s still USB) device and installs its rudimentary support.

The Widcomm-Tools never get to recognize the Bluetooth device – the Icon in the tray stays red. You are locked down to the limited (limited as in virtually no functionality at all) functionality of this Microsoft upgrade

The clou: I did not know this and the IBM-Support I’ve called could not help me either.

So, what’s the solution? How to recognize this problem when it happened?

Recognizing is simple: If the BT-Icon is red despite bluetooth being enabled, this may be the problem. If you want to be sure, open Control Panel / System / Hardware / Device Manager and right-click on the BT-Drvice. Select properties. If Manufacturer is Microsoft, you ran into the trap.

So… how to fix it then?

In the window described above, go to the drivers-Tab, select Update Driver. Then follow these steps:

  1. Install from a list or specific location
  2. Don’t search.
  3. Have Disk
  4. Enter c:Program Files<WIDCOMM Installation dir>bin
  5. OK
  6. Ignore the warning about drivers not being signed
  7. Complete the installation.

Sometimes you must reboot, sometimes not. But now the Widcomm software will recognize the drvice and you will have access to the full functionality

Quite simple – as soon as you have found out what the problem is