I’ve spent the better part of three nights a week, for at least a month, trying to figure out how to reinstall my Linksys WUSB54G USB Network Adapter. I’d bought this nice little device little while ago, and I was foolish (!?!) enough to think that I could disconnect it and plug it into any old USB port on my Vista PC, and have it work again. [After this many years of working with USB devices in this manner, what was I thinking ?!?]
Instead, I found out when I plugged it back in that its attempts to “reinstall the driver” (during creation of the “new” device — oops, I guess plugging it into a different USB port was NOT to Vista’s liking) were being stymied by one of the most impenetrable errors I’ve ever encountered: ERROR_DUPLICATE_SERVICE_NAME. Oh sure, you think this’d be an easy one to resolve eh? Sure – just try to find the duplicated name anywhere in the Services hive of the Registry. Nothing with “Linksys” in the name, and simply deleting anything with “Linksys” or “WUSB54G” in any of the setting, value or data didn’t cut it. Vista still bitched about the duplicate name.
The error has plenty of references online (e.g. peruse here or here), but no one seemed to have any decent solutions on resolving this for any of the Linksys network devices that were at all similar to the one I have. Plenty of speculation, just no good results.
Yes, I tried KB 823771, I’ve tried crawling through the SETUPAPI.LOG file, and I’ve tried a number of other brick walls to bang my head against. The closest I got with the SETUPAPI.LOG was to look for references to “xxxxx” (can’t recall what that said exactly anymore), as in:
#E279 Add Service: Failed to create service “xxxxxx”. Error 1078: The name is already in use as either a service name or a service display name.
#E033 Error 1078: The name is already in use as either a service name or a service display name.
#E275 Error while installing services. Error 1078: The name is already in use as either a service name or a service display name.
#E122 Device install failed. Error 1078: The name is already in use as either a service name or a service display name.
#E154 Class installer failed. Error 1078: The name is already in use as either a service name or a service display name.
#I060 Set selected driver.
Aside: Why I Hate Vista
I’m having a bitch of a time trying to get Vista to preserve a network connection through its Sleep & Resume states. I know that part of it is the fact that the networking hardware vendors haven’t written solid, stable drivers for Vista, but considering how widespread this issue is (even to this day — what, almost a year since release?), it’s really making me more frustrated with Vista [or perhaps it’s really I’m just pissed off at myself for having bought into the hype around Vista, when all it’s been for me since bringing it home has been needless hardware replacement and constant crashes, freezes, and troubleshooting].
This is the third network device I’ve purchased for my Vista box, and the third one that has had driver issues. The first one just didn’t have a Vista driver, and the claimed “should be compatible” XP driver just gave Vista too many bluescreens. The second one had a Vista driver and really good reviews on newegg.com, but the device would lose its driver as soon as Vista went to Sleep (and then resumed), and wouldn’t reload until I rebooted the box. I’m not kidding — I spent a month trying to get that one to work like it should’ve.
I’ve been a Windows bigot for most of my adult life, and I even spent six years working for Microsoft, every day spent trying to make sure that Windows would work reliably and securely for my customers. If *I* have this much trouble with Vista, my sympathies to those of you who’ve been trying to get by on just being a *part*-time Windows geek. [And my sarcasm should be apparent, as I am firmly of the belief that *no* one should have to learn the ins-and-outs of a computer, just to be able to operate it. If you *want* to geek out, by all means c’mon aboard. But if you have *other* interests, then the device should be your servant — not the other freakin’ way around.]
What did I finally do that did (or seems to have done) the trick?
I finally went through the Registry and deleted any key that in any way shape or form referred to “USB\VID_13B1”. The HARDWAREID for the Linksys WUSB54G USB Network Adapter is USB\VID_13B1&PID_000D (or some derivative thereof), and while this was never mentioned as the source of the error in any of the logs I crawled through, it finally seemed to me to be the most likely commonality among all the “duplicate names” that must’ve been detected by Vista during the attempted install of the device. I only found a few such entries, but obviously they were the underlying showstopper for re-introduction of this wireless device into my setup.