Win7 is awesome, so today I put Windows 7 Professional on my Dell Mini 9.  This is the third laptop on which I’ve installed Win7, and every time it puts a smile on my face.  The installation works well and generally most devices work after installation, minimizing time spent fiddling with drivers.  The few devices that don’t work after installation often work after getting the drivers from Windows update.

The only device not working this time was my Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000.  The computer would find it and list it in the Bluetooth devices in Win7, yet it wouldn’t work (i.e., move the mouse pointer).  I started searching for solutions online.  One suggestion was to run the device driver installer from Broadcom’s Bluetooth Software Download page.  I tried that, but it fails with an error.

I ran across a thread on a forum where someone stated they’d installed the driver from Dell’s support page. I was skeptical about this since this download is for XP.  Since I couldn’t find a better answer and didn’t have much invested in this installation, I decided to give it a try.  I went to the Dell support page, entered my service tag, and downloaded the Broadcom Bluetooth driver 5.5.0.4100, A01.

The downloaded file is R197396.exe, and the installation takes a longer than I would expect to run from start to finish.  Along the way it pops up several windows showing progress for different kinds of devices.  Once it finished, I pushed the Bluetooth button on the bottom of my mouse to put it into discovery mode, right clicked on the Bluetooth icon in the Win7 notification area, chose to Add a Bluetooth Device, picked the mouse (the full name didn’t show up until I clicked on it), and the mouse started working properly.

The only problem I’ve found is that the My Bluetooth Places choice in the right click menu for the Bluetooth icon’s popup menu crashes.  Since I don’t need that, it’s not a problem for me.

The other change that I made was to have the Windows Bluetooth service start automatically.  To do that, go to Windows Start and type services.msc.  Right click on Bluetooth Service, choose Properties, and change the Startup Type to Automatic.

By the way, installing Windows from bootable USB thumb drives works really well.

If you know of a better solution, I’d be interested to know.

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