I may be able to switch over to Vista sooner than I thought.  I finally figured out how to get my M-Audio FW-1814 working with Vista.  Here’s how I got it to work…

  1. After downloading the latest XP drivers, I ran the install program.
  2. The install program chokes with ‘this version of windows is not supported’
  3. After I closed the program, I got an interesting little dialog box.
  4. It asked whether I wanted to run this program in ‘compatibility’ mode.
  5. I said, sure what the heck.
  6. The drivers installed perfectly.

One caveat… I am running my normal account with LUP (Least User Privileges).  I had to log into my Admin account to get the drivers setup correctly.  One interesting thing with Vista is that ‘normal’ users cannot install device drivers AT ALL.  That’s actually a pretty damn good idea in my book.  Now a program can’t install low level driver hooks without the Admin knowing about it.

Now that the audio card is installed, I started playing around with one of the new features… Application based volume.  This is one of the GREATEST FEATURES EVER in Windows, and Apple needs to shamelessly add this to OS X 10.5.  Clicking on the Volume tab brings up all the applications running, and a slider associated with the app.  All one has to do to change the application’s volume is move the slider for the given application.  That selects the PERCENTAGE of the master volume that the applications Volume gets pumped out at.

No more Windows sounds BLASTING out at me when I least expect it!


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