Monday, 30 November 2009

Installing WebSphere Portal Express 6.1.5 on Linux

Following on from my earlier post, I've now documented my first installation of WebSphere Portal Express 6.1.5 here: -


Enjoy !

Creating an IBM Lotus Web Content Management site structure with one click

An interesting article over on developerWorks: -

If you work with IBM Lotus Web Content Management, one of your recurring tasks is defining site structure. This task by its nature is time-consuming and repetitive; you are required to take more than 10 distinct steps to create a single site or site area. Moreover, site structures are not portable by design; you cannot export your site structure from one library on one server to a different library on a different server. Instead, you need to recreate the entire site structure manually.

Because the number of sites and site areas that make up a single site structure can reach the thousands, you need a method to automate the process of defining the site structure and to make it easier to move, export, and import. In this article, you can learn a simple way to define your site structure as an XML file and deploy it accordingly.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Installing WebSphere Portal 6.1.5 on Linux ....

Having had a bit of a download fest in the office yesterday, I thought I'd start to document my first 6.1.5 installation.

I downloaded two deployments of WebSphere Portal: -

WebSphere Portal Express

- includes Lotus Web Content Management
- installs on/with/using DB2 UDB Express

WebSphere Portal Server

- just the portal framework with no WCM
- installs on/with/using Apache Derby ( aka Cloudscape )

For WebSphere Portal Express, I searched for, and downloaded elements of, the package known as: -

IBM WebSphere Portal Express for Linux x86, V6.1.5 Multilingual eAssembly (CR9UKML)

IL-Setup IBM WebSphere Portal Express V6.1.5 - IBM WebSphere Portal Express Install V6.1.5 (W-Setup, I-Setup, IL-Setup) Multiplatform Multilingual (CZ8G8ML)
IL-1 IBM WebSphere Portal V6.1.5, WebSphere Portal Express V6.1.5 and Lotus Web Content Management V6.1.5 - WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment for Linux on x86-32, V6.1.0.27 (IL-1) Multilingual (CZ8H5ML)
IL-2 WebSphere Portal Express V6.1 - DB2 UDB Express Edition for Linux on x86, 32-bit (IL-2) Multilingual (C1HA2ML)
IL-3 IBM WebSphere Portal Express V6.1.5 - Portal Server Express component V6.1.5 (Disk 1 of 3)(W-3, I-3, IL-3) Multiplatform Multilingual (CZ8I8ML)
IL-4 IBM WebSphere Portal Express V6.1.5 - Portal Server Express component V6.1.5 (Disk 2 of 3)(W-4, I-4, IL-4) Multiplatform Multilingual (CZ8I9ML)
IL-5 IBM WebSphere Portal Express V6.1.5 - Portal Server Express component V6.1.5 (Disk 3 of 3)(W-5, I-5, IL-5) Multiplatform Multilingual (CZ8IAML)

and unpacked them using the following shell script ( ): -

unzip    -d IL-Setup
mkdir                   IL-1
tar xvzf CZ8H5ML.tgz -C IL-1
unzip    -d IL-2
unzip    -d IL-3
unzip    -d IL-4
unzip    -d IL-5

into my /tmp directory.

It's worth noting that WebSphere Portal Express ONLY comes in a 32-bit deployment on Intel, unlike WebSphere Portal Server ( see below ).

For WebSphere Portal Server, I searched for, and downloaded elements of the package known as: -

IBM Collaboration Accelerator and WebSphere Portal Server for Linux on x86, V6.1.5 Multilingual eAssembly (CR9QVML)

IL-Setup IBM WebSphere Portal Server V6.1.5 - IBM WebSphere Portal Server Install V6.1.5 (W-Setup, A-Setup, H-Setup, HI-Setup, I-Setup, IL-Setup, PL-Setup, ZL-Setup, SS-Setup, SO-Setup) Multiplatform Multilingual (CZ8G7ML)
IL-1 IBM WebSphere Portal V6.1.5, WebSphere Portal Express V6.1.5 and Lotus Web Content Management V6.1.5 - WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment for Linux on x86-32, V6.1.0.27 (IL-1) Multilingual (CZ8H5ML)
IL-2 IBM WebSphere Portal V6.1.5 and Lotus Web Content Management V6.1.5 - IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment for Linux on Intel (64-bit), V6.1.0.27 (IL-2) Multilingual (CZ8HDML)
IL-3 IBM WebSphere Portal Server V6.1.5 - IBM WebSphere Portal Server Server component (Disk 1 of 4) V6.1.5 (W-3, A-3, H-3, HI-3, I-3, IL-3, PL-3, ZL-3, SS-3, SO-3) Multiplatform Multilingual (CZ8I4ML)
IL-4 IBM WebSphere Portal Server V6.1.5 - IBM WebSphere Portal Server Server component (Disk 2 of 4) V6.1.5 (W-4, A-4, H-4, HI-4, I-4, IL-4, PL-4, ZL-4, SS-4, SO-4) Multiplatform Multilingual (CZ8I5ML)
IL-5 IBM WebSphere Portal Server V6.1.5 - IBM WebSphere Portal Server Server component (Disk 3 of 4) V6.1.5 (W-5, A-5, H-5, HI-5, I-5, IL-5, PL-5, ZL-5, SS-5, SO-5) Multiplatform Multilingual (CZ8I6ML)
IL-5A IBM WebSphere Portal Server V6.1.5 - IBM WebSphere Portal Server Server component (Disk 4 of 4) V6.1.5 (W-5A, A-5A, H-5A, HI-5A, I-5A, IL-5A, PL-5A, ZL-5A, SS-5A, SO-5A) Multiplatform Multilingual (CZ8I7ML)

and unpacked them using the following shell script ( ): -

unzip    -d IL-Setup
mkdir                   IL-1
tar xvzf CZ8H5ML.tgz -C IL-1
unzip CZ8HDML.zi p   -d IL-2
unzip    -d IL-3
unzip    -d IL-4
unzip    -d IL-5
unzip    -d IL-5A

Right, time to start the first installation, and then make breakfast ...

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Jon Mell - first it was the WebSphere Portal 4 deployment guide, now it's Lotus Connections 2.5 ...

As per Jon's blog here, he's looking for input into his upcoming Lotus Connections 2.5 installation guide. Rather than hearing it from me, here's Jon in his own words: -

Plan to (belatedly) update my Connections 2.5 install guide soon (before New Year). Was thinking that for single server install the 2.0 guide works pretty well for 2.5 so thinking of something different ... Linux? Clustering? Different LDAP?

Answers ( on a blog posting ) to Jon ....

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Management 6.1.5 are released ...

Wow, a rash of new announcements from IBM today: -

IBM WebSphere Portal V6.1.5 and IBM WebSphere Portal Express V6.1.5 further improve the portal user experience

IBM WebSphere Portal V6.1.5 provides new features that further empower portal users, delivers improved capabilities for better portal performance and optimization, and adds support for popular Web programming tools and techniques that make it easier to contribute to, and manage, the portal. Combined with the Web 2.0 advances previously introduced in WebSphere Portal, these primary new features help organizations better deliver and manage exceptional Web user experiences.

IBM Lotus Web Content Management 6.1.5 Feature Pack adds value to your Web sites by simplifying the content creation and management process

IBM Lotus Web Content Management 6.1.5:
  • Unleashes the power of social software capabilities such as blogs and wikis to convert Web site visitors to participants and customers.
  • Reduces integration costs with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions by leveraging out-of-the-box Document Picker to access content from ECM repositories such as FileNet, IBM Content Manager, and Quickr.
  • Uses Web Content Integrator to provide incremental value by consuming and publishing of external content repositories.
  • Enhances ease-of-use by enabling authoring of content and template creation using tools such as Dreamweaver and WebDAV hooks.
  • Enhances rich text editor capabilities by embedding Ephox's EditLive Editor, thus, eliminating the need for separate installation.

IBM Portal Pack for SOA Configurations V6.1.5 further improves the portal user experience

Portal Pack for SOA Configurations V6.1.5 gives you the essential components needed to accelerate time-to-value for "people" interactions and collaboration, while also deriving additional value from existing systems and applications, taking advantage of service oriented architecture (SOA). It features the latest IBM WebSphere Portal Server V6.1.5 release, which provides capabilities that further empower portal users to contribute to, as well as manage, portal content and presentation. It also delivers improved portal performance and optimization capabilities, which can help contribute to a lower cost-of-ownership.

Guess what I will be downloading tomorrow ...

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Lotus Connections - Problems with person/people tagging in Profiles

Having spent much of the past week trying to resolve a problem with person tagging in the Profiles feature of Lotus Connections 2.5, I thought I'd share the solution.

To cut a long story short, the customer was seeing a problem whereby an authenticated user was unable to tag his/her own profile, using the Tags widget on the left-hand side of the My Profile page. There was no obvious error in the browser, and the tag cloud/list was never updated.

After much trial and error, we narrowed the problem domain down to it only occuring when we accessed LC via a pair of front-end HTTP server, via an HTTP load balancer - it's my understanding that the LB "merely" directs requests to one of the two IHS servers on a "round robin" basis, so has no real part to play in the story.

We were able to confirm that the problem WAS "caused" by the presence of the front-end IHS servers, by accessing Profiles directly on the WAS instance ( in the client's case, each Connections feature is clustered across two identical WAS ND nodes ). When we accessed Profiles in this way ( e.g. ), tagging worked as expected.

However, going via the HTTP servers ( both with the WAS plugin configured correctly to direct the requests to the cluster ), we saw the following string of messages ( some good, some bad ) in the IHS access.log file: - - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:02 +0000] "GET /profiles/html/ HTTP/1.1" 200 41226 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:04 +0000] "GET /profiles/html/ HTTP/1.1" 200 17 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:04 +0000] "GET /profiles/ajax/ HTTP/1.1" 200 1171 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:04 +0000] "GET /profiles/ajax/ HTTP/1.1" 200 12500 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:04 +0000] "GET /communities/service/atom/communities/all?userid=E7CEACE4-B7E8-BDD0-8025-76680020359C&ps=5 HTTP/1.1" 500 619 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:14 +0000] "POST /profiles/html/ HTTP/1.1" 200 8 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:15 +0000] "PUT /profiles/atom/forms/                                              3-9370-954f341c3096 HTTP/1.1" 403 319 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:15 +0000] "GET /profiles/auth/ HTTP/1.1" 302 - - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:15 +0000] "GET /profiles/html/ HTTP/1.1" 200 41226 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:16 +0000] "GET /profiles/html/ HTTP/1.1" 200 17 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:16 +0000] "GET /profiles/ajax/ HTTP/1.1" 200 1171 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:16 +0000] "GET /profiles/ajax/ HTTP/1.1" 200 12500 - - [24/Nov/2009:13:07:16 +0000] "GET /communities/service/atom/communities/all?userid=E7CEACE4-B7E8-BDD0-8025-76680020359C&ps=5 HTTP/1.1" 500 619

Of these, we can ignore the HTTP 500 errors coming from Communities, as that feature is not running ( I've taken the logs from my own LC25 clustered environment, as I was able to recreate the customer's problem ).

The important error is the HTTP 403 coming from the PUT method.

The customer was also using the HTTP mod_write directive, which I've again reproduced on my own setup here: -

LoadModule rewrite_module modules/
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule .* - [F]

Can you see the problem ? I bet you can - sadly, it took me a little longer ...

As mentioned, the person tagging feature uses the HTTP PUT method, rather than the more common HTTP POST method. The customer's configuration for mod_rewrite was explicitly blocking this, via the RewriteCond directive seen above.

Once we change the rule to read: -


and restarted IHS, all was well.

The moral of the story ? Break a problem down into logical domains e.g. test the core of the environment ( in our case, accessing Profiles directly on WAS on port 9088 ) and, if that works, focus on the HTTP servers, in terms of (a) non-standard modules/directives and (b) the access and error logs.

With thanks to Erik Sorensen, the Lotus Connections support team in Mulhuddart, Dublin, and, of course, my customer.

Sorted :-)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

I really hope my cat nevers get to see this ...

IBM HTTP Server installation wizard - not very wizardly

Whilst trying to install IBM HTTP Server 6.1 on Orac, I was getting very frustrated with my inability to get the installation running. Regardless of what I did, I wasn't able to get the normal installation wizard to run, either via a normal X11 GUI or via VNC. In all cases, the wizard "whinged" about the browser, even though I had the latest version of Firefox installed.

Realising that the installation wizard was actually trying to run a Java JAR file ( setup.jar ), I tried running it by hand using the command: -

java -jar setup.jar

from the IHS directory which is generated when one expands the installation package, supplied by: -

C87PSML.tar.gz  WebSphere Application Server V6.1 Supplements for Linux on x86Series, 32-bit Support


C87XSML .tar.gz WebSphere Application Server V6.1 Supplements for Linux on x86Series, 64-bit Support

but I then got the error: -

The wizard cannot continue because of the following error: could not load wizard specified in /wizard.inf (104)

which is particularly useful :-(

However, thinking laterally, I thought that the installer MIGHT be looking for the WAS JVM, so I ran: -

. /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profiles/AppSrv01/bin/ 
java -jar setup.jar

which did the trick :-)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

WSWS7007E and WSVR0501E Conflict between Lotus Connections 2.5 and Feature Pack for Web Services for WebSphere Application Server V6.1

This is the first of two posts documenting some fun n' games that I've recently seen with LC 2.5 on a WAS environment that also included this Feature Pack: -

Utility: Feature Pack for Web Services for WebSphere Application Server V6.1

I'll document the more pressing issue in the next day or so, but wanted to mention that, on my own environment ( aka Orac ), I hit the following exceptions when trying to start Connections: -

WSWS7007E: The peoplepages.war application module cannot be loaded correctly because of the following error: Annotation processing failed for class:  com/ibm/lconn/profiles/internal/service/AbstractCodesService.class

and: -

WSVR0501E: Error creating component null [class] Annotation processing failed for class:  com/ibm/lconn/profiles/internal/service/AbstractCodesService.class

In essence, I was installing the Feature Pack onto an existing node ( the first, and currently only, node within a WAS 6.1 cell/cluster ) that was running WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment

The Feature Pack ( downloaded as 6.1.0-WS-WAS-WSFEP-LinuxX32.tar.gz ) went in without problems, but I was then unable to start Connections.

The Annotation Exception problem is/was well known in earlier versions of WAS, as a Google search will show.

In the end, I had to do the following: -

a) Remove the Feature Pack
b) Remove the fixpack for WAS ND ( and its corresponding SDK fix pack 23 )
c) Install the Feature Pack ( which in turns upgrades WAS and the SDK to fix pack 9 )
d) Install and 6.1.0-WS-WASWebSvc-LinuxX32-FP0000023.pak for the Feature Pack
e) Install 6.1.0-WS-WASSDK-LinuxX32-FP0000023.pak and 6.1.0-WS-WAS-LinuxX32-FP0000023.pak

Having done all of the above, now returns: -

WVER0010I: Copyright (c) IBM Corporation 2002, 2005; All rights reserved.
WVER0012I: VersionInfo reporter version, dated 11/12/08

IBM WebSphere Application Server Product Installation Status Report

Report at date and time November 17, 2009 9:35:40 PM GMT

Product Directory        /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer
Version Directory        /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/properties/version
DTD Directory            /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/properties/version/dtd
Log Directory            /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/logs
Backup Directory         /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/properties/version/nif/backup
TMP Directory            /tmp

Product List
ND                       installed
WEBSERVICES              installed

Installed Product
Name                     IBM WebSphere Application Server - ND
ID                       ND
Build Level              cf230910.10
Build Date               3/10/09

Installed Product
Name                     WebServices Feature Pack
ID                       WEBSERVICES
Build Level              cf230907.03
Build Date               2/21/09

End Installation Status Report

and, perhaps MORE importantly, Connections 2.5 now starts, and then I hit the next problem ...

CLFRO0002E: Failed to post the bookmark to Bookmarks. java.lang.ClassCastException: org.apache.abdera.parser.stax.FOMText incompatible with

This is definitely a conflict between the Web Services Feature Pack and Lotus Connections, but I'm not yet sure how to resolve it .....

WATCH THIS SPACE ->>>>        <<<<--

SECJ0375E: Mismatch of realms during token validation

More notes from the front-line. Whilst trying to get WebSphere Portal <-> Lotus Connections <-> Lotus Quickr to place nicely using the Lightweight Third Party Authentication (LTPA) mechanism to achieve Single Sign-On, we were hitting these two messages: -

SECJ0375E: Mismatch of realms during token validation
SECJ0373E: Cannot create credential for the user <null> due to failed validation of the LTPA token. The exception is The realm in the token: does not match the current realm: defaultWIMFileBasedRealm

This was being displayed in SystemOut.log on the Connections server. The second message really says it all.

When we configured the underlying WebSphere Application Server instance for security, using a Federated Repository, Domino LDAP etc., we failed to change the realm name, but left it at the default of defaultWIMFileBasedRealm.

Interestingly, the LC25 Information Centre does imply that it's OK to leave it as-is: -

  • On the Federated Repositories page, enter an administrative user ID (for example, wasadmin) in the Primary administrative user name field. You can leave the other default settings, such as Realm name, unchanged.
    Note: The administrative user ID must be unique, and must not exist in the LDAP repository to be federated.


    However, the LTPA token that had been generated on the portal server ( WebSphere Portal Server running on WebSphere Application Server ), and contained the line: -\:389

    The solution ?

    We simply changed the Realm Name from defaultWIMFileBasedRealm to and then restarted Connections.

    Job done, next .....

    CLFRN1152E: Unable to contact the global search service. Please start the Search application if it is not started. If the service is started, please check the network connection.

    Working through my various notes relating to a recent Lotus Connections 2.5 clustered installation, we did see this error: -

    CLFRN1152E: Unable to contact the global search service. Please start the Search application if it is not started. If the service is started, please check the network connection

    This occurred despite the Search application ( actually installed onto the same WAS instance that hosts Home Page and News, as per the recommended practice ) being started.

    The problem was due to my having failed to completely update LotusConnections-config.xml after the cluster.

    This wiki article: -

    directs you to update the config. file ( using the wasadmin scripts to check it out and back in again ) to reflect the fact that all of the services are now accessed via an HTTP server ( actually a load balancer in front of TWO HTTP servers, in my case ).

    I'd missed this crucial line: -

     All entries in this file should be updated to the Web server URL with the exception of the three bootstrap entries – two of which should not be modified at all. The only bootstrap entry which must be modified is that for search. Leave the host and port blank as shown:

    In essence, I had to change: -

        <sloc:serviceReference bootstrapHost="" bootstrapPort="2811" clusterName="Homepage" enabled="true" serviceName="search" ssl_enabled="false">

    to: -

        <sloc:serviceReference bootstrapHost="" bootstrapPort="" clusterName="Homepage" enabled="true" serviceName="search" ssl_enabled="false">

    In other words, I removed the host name and port number for the bootstrapHost and bootstrapPort parameters, but *ONLY* for the Search service.

    Prior to this error, we had been seeing: -

    [09/11/09 15:01:12:978 GMT] 00000037 WsnInitCtxFac W   NMSV0602E: Naming Service unavailable. A communications error occurred.
    [09/11/09 15:01:12:979 GMT] 00000037 TagCloudServi E getEJBSearchHandlerFromSearchEjbDefault Caught naming exception!
                                     javax.naming.ServiceUnavailableException: A communication failure occurred while attempting to obtain an initial context with the provider URL: "".  Make sure that any bootstrap address information in the URL is correct and that the target name server is running.  A bootstrap address with no port specification defaults to port 2809.  Possible causes other than an incorrect bootstrap address or unavailable name server include the network environment and workstation network configuration. [Root exception is org.omg.CORBA.TRANSIENT: Connection,port=2811  vmcid: IBM  minor code: E02  completed: No]


    This particular problem was, in my simple world, was that the Deployment Manager node (DM) was being contacted by the WAS instance on which Connections was installed, but that the hostname / IP address was being incorrectly resolved; note that the FQ hostname differs within the error message.

    Once we fixed the DNS name resolution ( by hacking the /etc/hosts file ), that particular error message went away, and was replaced by the aforementioned CLFRN1152E.

    Wednesday, 11 November 2009

    IBM WebSphere eXtreme Scale 6 - Review to come

    Although it has not yet come up on one of my Portal projects, it's been a fact for some time that WebSphere Portal can be clustered to extremes via the WebSphere Extended Deployment. Therefore, it's timely that I am awaiting a copy of Anthony Chaves' book IBM WebSphere eXtreme Scale 6 from Packt Publishing.

    From Packt's site, here's a brief synopsis: -

    Build scalable, high-performance software with IBM's data grid
    • Get hands-on experience with eXtreme Scale APIs, and understand the different approaches to using data grids
    • Introduction to new design patterns for both eXtreme Scale and data grids in general
    • Tutorial-style guide through the major data grid features and libraries
    • Start working with a data grid through code samples and clear walkthroughs
    Not sure that I'll completely understand all of the content (!) but it should prove to be a useful reference, and will help me grow my understanding, especially as to how eXtreme Scale infrastructure works.

    Watch this space ...

    Thursday, 5 November 2009

    Lotus Connections 2.5 - All clustering together ...

    Will write this up more fully as time allows, but had a frightening moment yesterday - after 1+ hours, my Connections 2.5 installation ( the first node of a two-node cluster ) failed :-(

    The LC product had successfully installed onto the node, but failed to "ripple" across to the cell that was managed by a WebSphere Application Server 6.1 Network Deployment DM node. The error message being displayed was CLFRP1261E.

    The lcinstalllog.txt wasn't particularly useful, in terms of providing further details.

    As is always the way, I couldn't find owt about this message in the Information Centre or on't'internet etc. so had to rely upon native wit and intelligence ( OK, I guessed ).

    I took a look at /tmp using the df -km command and - c'est voila - it was showing at 100% used.

    I cleared /tmp down and re-ran the installation ( the second time around, one chooses to add a standalone installation to a cell/cluster ) and it just worked.

    Therefore, I'm assuming that CLFRP1261E actually means "Hey dude, you've like got no frikking disk space in /tmp, man" or something.

    Don't take my word for it, but it did work :-)

    Sunday, 1 November 2009

    Fun and Games with Windows 7

    No, before anyone asks, I haven't gone over to the dark side and "upgraded" my Mac or Ubuntu boxen to Windows 7 ....

    However, whilst staying with friends, I volunteered to help resolve an issue whereby he was getting no audio from his Windows Media Centre PC. The PC ( a Sony VAIO VGX-TP1 ) connects via a HDMI cable to a monster LG 42" LCD HD telly.

    Having worked OK whilst running Vista, all appeared to be well following an upgrade to Windows 7; however, something seemed to change, potentially due to a pesky Windows update.

    The symptoms were quite simple - no sound, anywhere, from anything, zip, nada, nowt, nuffink.

    The plumbing is quite straight-forward; a nice chunky HDMI cable from the the back of the Sony, plugged directly into one of the two HDMI ports on the telly. We tried the normal problem determination techniques; swapping HD cables, powering on/off PC and TV etc. but nothing appeared to help.

    To cut a very long ( 3 hours last night, 3 hours this morning ) story short, having upgraded/downgraded/regraded the audio drivers ( provided by Realtek ), I'd completely failed to realise that, in this brave new world, HD audio comes from the video card as much as from the sound card; the sound card only drives a so-called optical output on the rear-side of the PC. Once I downloaded and installed the latest drivers (15.​12.​75.​4.​1930) for the graphics card, an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 from: -

    and rebooted, all was well.

    For reference, we also used the most up-to-date Realtek driver (R2.35) from here: -

    but this made no difference; I switched to/from the stock Windows 7 drivers, but to no avail. The "killer blow" was the Intel drivers :-)

    Apart from trial and error ( and coffee ), credit must be given to this posting: -

    Good news!  I talked to a friend that worked in the Windows 7 development at Microsoft and he had the same prob with 2 of his computers and figured out the solution.  While it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, the HDMI Audio comes from the video card drivers.  I went to Intel's website and chose my video card, and they had Windows 7 RC drivers up, I downloaded those and installed, rebooted and my HDMI audio is now back in the soundcard list and I tested it, worked great! So to all of you above, go get the latest video card drivers and try again. Worked for me!

    which provided me with the clue to upgrade the frikkin' Intel drivers :-)

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