I hope that this post gets found by people encountering the same problem that I did. So I’m deliberately using the keywords that I searched on. In this post I describe how I solved the problem of installing a T-Mobile software update (which turned out to be in a conflict with Kaspersky’s Internet Security software) and how I fixed the terrible slow upload performance after that.

For a few weeks now I have been bothered by a very annoying problem. T-Mobile Netherlands offered a free firmware update and driver update for their web’n’walk stick. (Contained in a zip found here: web n walk manager upgrade) I was delighted because the description of the update appeared very promising and I was getting tired of the bad performance of the mobile broadband connection under Windows Vista (performance is way better on my girlfriends Windows XP laptop). The zip contained (along with some pdf documentation) a self extracting executable named Superfire.exe. By following the on screen instructions I succesfully upgraded the web n walk USB sticks firmware but after a reboot trying to update the software drivers failed with this error;

“An incompatible standalone version of the speedmanager plus/ByteMobile Client is present on the system. This version must be uninstalled and OS restarted!”

Strange. I never explicitly installed a speedmanager or ByteMobile Client. If it was part of previous T-Mobile software I would have expected it to be easily uninstalled or updated. I started in Windows Vista’s Control Panel’s “Programs and Features” to uninstall everything possible related to mobile internet. With no success.

Inspired by Jürgen Pabel’s succes story I went to regedit to remove every registry key possible related to a ByteMobile client or Speedmanager.  (Indeed I found some keys, I removed every key containing “ByteMobile”, “Novatel”, “Option NV”, “GlobeTrotter”  or “T-Mobile”.) No success.

At this point I was getting really annoyed. I started looking for a download of the old firmware or drivers. I found a working driver on t-mobile.at (austria) that at least made be able to use the web n walk stick again. Terrible network performance but good enough for web browsing. 

Still wishing to solve this problem, I looked for ways to get more information about the microsoft installer failure. I found a way to get verbose logging from the microsoft installer. 

I used: 

msiexec /i webnwalkManager_en.msi /l*v c:\wnw.log

And this produced a 510 lines logfile. With this curious lines 277 and 278.

MSI (c) (04:1C) [12:05:38:939]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Modifying MINSTALLCHECKMSIRETURN.102FE328_B77C_41FB_847C_166244959AAB property. Its current value is ‘0’. Its new value: ‘BM_ERROR_CONFLICT_SOFTWARE’.

MSI (c) (04:1C) [12:05:38:939]: PROPERTY CHANGE: Modifying BMCONFLICTSOFTWARENAME.102FE328_B77C_41FB_847C_166244959AAB property. Its current value is ‘0’. Its new value: ‘Kaspersky Internet Security 6.0’.

It appears that Kaspersky Internet Security is the ByteMobile Client issue that the installer error speaks of. Weird, since I never explicitly installed that but this must be a part of my Kaspersky Antivirus. And indeed uninstalling Kaspersky allowed me to install the new web n walk software! (And reinstalling Kaspersky Antivirus made both work at the same time as well…)
New Web N Walk Manager interface

New Web N Walk Manager interface

It was quiet dissappointing to discover that network performance (in particular uploading) was still terrible. Large file uploads (like uploading 5MB photos to Flickr) where even completly impossible, for a few seconds I would have 300-400kbps but then upload speed would drop to somewhere near 0 bps. 😦
Looking for solutions to this problem I found the following possible cause. The T-Mobile driver documentation hints about a possible problem with Vista’s TCP window size autotuning algorithm. (In other versions of Microsoft’s OS it possible to explicitly configure a tcpwindowsize parameter in the registry. Vista ignores that parameter because it uses it’s own auto tuning algorithm that attempts to find the best tcp window size for you. But apparantly it fails to do so.) I found this post that explains how you can modify the default behavior of the tuning algorithm. I used;
netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=highlyrestricted
(In this article on speedguide.net you info find more tcp settings that can increase your network speeds. But I believe these settings bring only marginal results.)
For a short time it looked like the highlyrestricted autotuninglevel improved matters. But I guess that was only wishfull thinking. What made the big difference for me was disabling “Internet Protocol  Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” and “Kaspersky Anti-Virus NDIS 6 Filter” in the connections properties.
Web n Walk mobile broadband connection properties

Web n Walk mobile broadband connection properties

I’m happily continuing uploading to my Flickr stream

IMG_4175

Win!!!

October 15, 2008

w00t!!! We have won a Silver W3 Award for Studio Roosegaarde

w00t!!

We (me, Sylvia and Daan) have won an Silver W3 Award for Studio Roosegaarde!

In our humble opinions this is a well deserved result of our fanatic affords (in good and bad times) to build the best we could. And we’re determined to make it a gold one next time.