Setup.rul 380

I love meaningless error messages. I didn’t take a screenshot of this particular one but it said, and I quote:

Error “Setup.rul 380″ has occurred and Setup cannot continue

This error occurred when I wiped clean a relatively new Dell Vostro 1320 machine. It’s owner somehow managed to get it thoroughly infected with all the malware from the internet. I’m serious, this guy was like a Pokemon Grand Champion – or something he “caught them all”. And he did it in 3 days too. I gave him a brand new machine straight out of the box, and got it back 3 days later with hard drive filled to the brim with malicious code. I noticed that I didn’t haven image for that particular model so I figured I would do a clean install of windows, configure it the right way and then image it before giving it back. And I ran into this error while installing drivers. In particular it was thisl Wifi driver that gave me issues.

Initially I simply assumed that this was the wrong Wifi driver. You see, what Dell usually does is give you several Wifi card options when you first make a purchase. It is usually a choice between brand (Dell vs Intel in most cases) and network support (g only, a/b/g, g/n, etc…). So when you go to their website to download drivers, or use one of the CD’s they send you with your system, you are usually presented with a list of 4 or 5 different Wifi drivers, all of which can apply to your computer. If you don’t remember which card you have you usually have to either crack the case open and look for the model number on the card, or just try each driver in turn. Most of them do a hardware check prior to install, and if they don’t detect the right card as present, they just give up an fail. This is what I thought that was going on.

So I opened op the little lid on the back of the computer, checked the model number only to find out that this was indeed the correct driver. I double checked, re-downloaded it, tried it again and I was still getting the silly Setup.rul 380 message. So I did what any thinking human being ought to do in such a situation – I googled the error message. If you are in a similar pickle, and do something else (for example call tech support) then you fail at problem solving – just so you know. I can’t emphasize this enough: googling the error message is super effective roughly 90% of the time.

I seriously don’t know why people always assume I have solutions to trivial but non-obvious problems memorized. I seriously suspect that most folks assume that this is what they teach you in computer science courses. They show you error messages and tell you how to fix them. Seriously, we have built a whole industry around the idea that “normal” people do not want to RTFM. I would say that around 90% of tier 1 tech support is basically people who read the manual back to you over the phone, or google error messages for you, because you are to lazy to do it yourself.

The solution turned out to be quite simple. Install .NET. Yep, Dell now requires you to have .NET 2.2 or higher to install their Wifi driver on Windows XP. This is the first time I have seen this, and I’m not sure if I like it. I mean, yes – .NET is pretty much ubiquitous on Windows systems now. But it does not ship with XP by default. So this can quickly turn into catch-22 situation when the only resources available to you are the Dell driver CD and a Wifi connection. To get on the internet you need to install your Wifi driver, but the driver requires .NET and the only way to get .NET is to download it from the internet. Good job Dell!

Also, I’m almost 99.9% sure that the driver itself doesn’t not require .NET. It is probably used by the installer itself, or the annoying user interface that everyone always disables, because Windows can handle Wireless connections on it’s own pretty well.

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10 Responses to Setup.rul 380

  1. ths GERMANY Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    you could try installing the MSI from the command line and avoid the GUI.
    there are nice tools out which can decompile the MSI and check what switches it supports or requires.

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  2. icebrain PORTUGAL Google Chrome Windows Terminalist says:

    Requiring .NET for drivers is already facepalm inducing, but they could have at least asked Microsoft if they could distribute the framework with the CDs -it’s not like Microsoft is going to be upset that more users have .NET installed…

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  3. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Is it possible to extract the required driver files and manually install it using Device Manager?

    Side note, Windows XP? That is sooooo 2001!! :P

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  4. Ben UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Haha, almost as bad as my WinXP restore CD that came with my eMachines box. It didn’t come with ethernet drivers. I had to boot a linux live cd to download the drivers to a usb drive to get them into windows.

    @Mart: I know the business I work for isn’t switching from win2k and winXP for the downgrade to Win7. I don ‘t blame them, I hate the interface. Using default security settings I have to allow notepad++ every time I run it, no opening a file from a context menu.

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  5. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Mac OS Terminalist says:

    @ Ben:
    I feel it’s a kinda like heresy to be saying this here, but I very much prefer Windows 7 over XP, which I am currently using in office. The icing on that cake is that Cygwin is Win 7 compatible. You can turn off UAC if you like. Having lived for almost a year without an anti-virus on my Win 7 desktop, I am thoroughly convinced that malware and virus infections on one’s PC is almost always a PEBKAC issue.

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  6. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ ths:

    Fortunately I had another computer so I was able to quickly download .NET and transfer it on a USB stick. So it wasn’t so bad.

    @ icebrain:

    If I’m not mistaken, Vista and Windows 7 may actually have it slip streamed into the installation disk. I haven’t really done many clean Vista/Win7 installs though so I’m not sure.

    @ Mart:

    My company is desperately clinging to XP because that’s what everyone else in our industry is doing. We tested Win 7 not so long ago and it turned out that 4 different apps and templates we use wouldn’t even start. These were custom made by our clients btw, and have no plans to upgrade them for now.

    Also our full disk encryption software does not support Win7. Last time I looked into this it seemed that switching over to the new version would be annoying and time consuming.

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    @ Ben:

    Strangely enough, Vim works fine under Vista 64 bit. Go figure. Then again, I might be running a specialized build optimized for that configuration. I vaguely remember having some issues with it when I first installed it. :P

    @ Mart:

    I don’t mind UAC that much on my Vista machine. Coming from Ubuntu it is like those graphical sudo popups you get – just modal and retarded.

    The thing I hate about Vista the most is that Microsoft somehow figured out how to make transferring files 200% slower than it was on XP. Hell, now even moving files takes time. I remember that on XP moving files between two folders on the same drive was almost instant (copying took time, but moving was fast). Vista has to go through the whole progress bar routing every time though.

    Have they fixed that in Win7?

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  8. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Mac OS Terminalist says:

    @ Luke Maciak:
    Hmm, I do hear people complaining about the slow-copy issue you mentioned, but back when I was using Vista, I didn’t really notice it. Moving files were instant for me. Same as in Windows 7. MS did some fundamental changes to the copying process it seems in Vista, so I would expect that the process would be polished in 7.

    I’ve been using 64-bit versions of Vista Ultimate, 7 Home Premium and 7 Ultimate btw. (Those OSes are a mouthful to say and type. MS really, really needs to give better names to their OSes. Case-in-point: “Windows Embedded Compact 7″. Ugh.)

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  9. Alex Google Chrome Windows says:

    Excellent, thanks for the advise… also, great read, made me laugh. I too am IT support and I totally sympathise with your comments on the industry.

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  10. Mike UNITED STATES Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I go onsite to lots of clients and I always hear “How do I do this” or “why is this different” etc. 75% of the time I have no idea…so I sit down and google it right infront of them and usually they are like “ohhhhhh, why didnt I think of that!”

    BTW, thanks for this great article. Very entertaining. Unfortunately though it didnt work for me. Installed .Net, restarted and still same message…back to google I guess :)

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