There I was trying to setup a Dell Latitude ST Slate (more on this later) for use as a OneNote note taking PC. The idea was to have it sync to a OneNote notebook that was sitting up in the cloud on SkyDrive. Everything was working out until I actually opened the OneNote notebook on Skydrive. The Windows Live Login popped up and I was greeted with this.
A totally black screen instead of the typical Windows Live login window. Using the ever so useful ProcessMonitor I was able to figure out that the Windows Live login window was running using the .Net WPF runtime. WPF is a neat set of technologies, but relied on the fact that your video drivers are doing what they’re supposed to be doing properly.
Search on the Internet enough and you’ll realize that Intel DOESN’T exactly do what you call a good job in the video driver aspect.
I first tried the obvious approach which was to install the latest video drivers for the GMA 600 on the Latitude ST, but I was ALREADY running on the latest video drivers.
So I tried to disable WPF’s use of hardware acceleration but turning it off in the registry as mentioned here. But that still didn’t work. Again using ProcessMonitor to look into how the program was accessing the registry I could see that the program wasn’t even LOOKING at the disable hardware acceleration setting!
I was about to throw in the towel over this issue when I decided to switch ProcessMonitor to see what "WindowsLive" related items where being opened by the program. And then I saw IT! The Windows Live login window tried to look for a very interestingly named registry key.
Software rendering? OH YES PLEASE!! I quickly edited/inserted the value into the registry to the most sensible value of 1
And then finally..
So much work because of a farked up driver… BAD INTEL, BAD!
If you're facing the same problems and don't know how to edit the registry, here's a link to the exported registry key. Just download and open it to merge it with your registry.
Registry File To Enable Software Rendering For Window Live Client