Belkin USB Bluetooth Adapter On Vista 64
Note: This has all been made redundant by the latest release of the Broadcom software that is available here. That installs and works straight away with no problems for me on Vista x64.
I purchased a Belkin USB Bluetooth adapter (Model F8T013uk) a few days ago from Amazon. As expected it came with a driver CD stating version 188.8.131.5200. A few reviews mentioned it worked on Vista but none mentioned 64 bit. I tried using the installer from the CD via the Autorun menu and it failed to install. I then explored the CD and found an x64 directory. I installed from there via the setupx.exe file and thought all had gone well. The driver itself installed which I could tell because Device Manager now showed a Belkin USB Bluetooth adapter. The installer said it had to reboot to complete the installation. After a restart nothing happened. There was no desktop or startmenu icons so I manually navigated to the installation directory and tried running the tray icon tool. Nada. It showed up under Task Manager but refused to actually appear in the tray.
Alot of sites link to a dev-hacks article which details how to modify the drivers to work, I didn’t want to do this as drivers have to be signed to work properly in Vista 64 and even though you can disable driver signing via the boot-up F8 menu I simply couldn’t be bothered doing that each time I wanted to use a Bluetooth device. So began the adventure of getting my Sony Ericsson W850i mobile phone to talk to my PC via Bluetooth without hacked drivers.
I uninstalled the WIDCOMM software via Programs and Features and restarted. After that I headed directly for the Broadcom Corp Bluetooth page. From there I downloaded the web updater file, it’s the only file available for download from that page even though there are two big download buttons. I let that download and start the installation process. It passes through a couple of progress bar pages and then stated that the “Installation Failed” with no further explanation. Event Viewer held no answers either.
That’s when I decided to get creative. I ran the installer again but this time when it reached the “You Failed Loser” screen I stopped. Clicking OK will erase the unpacked files. This time I cracked open the Temp directory C:UsersYOUR USER NAMEAppDataLocalTemp. I looked for a directory created a few minutes ago in Details view and found the one which had the unzipped setup files called BTW_184.108.40.20600. Inside is a directory called Win64. I copied the entire BTW_220.127.116.1100 directory to my desktop and then clicked OK to close the failed installer.
I opened Device Manager and then opened the properties panel for the Bluetooth adapter. Then I chose to update the driver. I pointed it to the Win64 directory inside the one I just copied to the desktop. That started it off with installing loads of new hardware. Instead of just the one bluetooth device it found previously it now found four seperate devices. All of that then auto-installed itself. That also installs the WIDCOMM software and once finished you’ll see the Bluetooth icon in your tray next to the clock. No restart required. This icon will only be there for a short while though. If you want to enable it all the time while the adapter is connected you must right click it and open the Bluetooth Settings panel. In the middle of the Options tab is a tick box to “Show the Bluetooth icon in the notification area”. You can easily access the settings panel at any time via Control Panel. Don’t delete the directory you copied to the desktop just yet though, you need it again later on when you connect the first device.
Finally I reached the fun part; using it! I enabled bluetooth access on my Sony Ericsson W850i mobile phone and opened the Bluetooth Settings panel. On the Devices tab I picked Add and then ticked the “My device is ready” tickbox and Next. It then attempts to find the device. It found my phone straight away and then attempted to install a few more bluetooth related devices such as the Bluetooth Periphery Device. It tried Windows Update and couldn’t find the driver at which point I again sent it to look in the BTW_18.104.22.16800/Win64 directory. It successfully found and installed the driver and then was done. At this point it merely added the phone as an external modem device. Adding files to the phone is quite simple. You can right click a directory or file and choose Send To/Bluetooth Device. Then pick the phone from the list of detected devices. If it doesn’t show up then pick the Add option and then it will be in the new list. That’s it really. Just make sure to keep doing the OK messages on the phone.
I’m not sure if the downloaded driver package kept failing to install because the other driver was still installed. My hunch is that it would of worked straight off if I had uninstalled that or just never installed it at all. It’s kind of funny that the CD driver screwed up so badly since I usualy never use the drivers off the supplied CDs. The reason I did this time was that I checked the latest version on the Belkin site and it matched the one on the driver CD so I thought instead of downloading a 130+ MB file I’d just run the one from the CD. It was only later when I had a google around that I realised it had a broadcom chip in it. Another google later for “broadcom bluetooth driver” led me to that page I linked to earlier. So like I said before; my hunch is that if you use their driver straight away without installing any of the Belkin files it will probably work straight off the bat. Otherwise you can uninstall the driver and fresh install the broadcom one. I don’t really see any speed advantage for that over doing what I detailed above and choosing to update the driver. So once again I find myself a very happy camper