Win96 uploading issue

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Tim-in-TX

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Okay, hopefully I will be able to explain fully what I am running into. I'm pretty sure it is user error in some way, but let me bounce it off you guys....but be warned, this is gonna be a long one.

First, what i am running:
Windows Vista with Service pack 2
Win96 V01.74
Pro96 & 2096

Okay, tried to update my Pro96 the other day and ran into a little problem. I noticed that when I tried to upload to the scanner, the "Writing To Scanner" window popped up and appeared that everything was fine...until I noticed, that after the upload, the scanner still showed the it was still running the previous version of the file. So I tried again, this time I noticed that the LEDs on the programming cable were not flashing as they usually do and that the Pro96 screen still showed the usual "Press up to Clone" and that it was, in fact, not receiving the file.

So, thinking that it may be the scanner, I repeated the process on the Pro2096 in my truck, SAME RESULTS....nada...bupkis...zilch. Neither of the scanners appear to be receiving the file from the laptop/Win96.

Well, now I am thinking that is the cable that went bad...hello GRE. Ordered new cable (boy, I think the priced have gotten higher, but that is another story). 5 days later the new cable arrived and I tried again...on both scanners...same thing, Win96 shows that the file is uploading but, you guessed it, again, nada...bupkis...zilch happening on the Pro96/2096 end. Apparently the issue has nothing to do with the cable.

Now I'm thinking that it might be my computer that was the issue, so I start doing a little digging/troubleshooting and discovered that NONE of my USB ports on my laptop are working. With my new information (and being in a bit of a hurry to update my scanners) I transferred my copy of Win96 to my wife's laptop (also running Vista) and tried to update the scanners...do you see what is coming? Again, you guessed it, same as before....nada...bupkis...zilch happening on the Pro96/2096 end. HOWEVER, all her USB ports are fine and working...so it looks like it isn't the USB ports.

So I am at a loss as to what is going on. I am sure it has nothing to do with Win96 either since I see that no one else having the same issues. Whatever the problem is it appears that the transferring files are not even reaching the scanner cable since the LEDs do not come on at all...on either cable.

Anyone have any ideas as to what to try next? Not sure if it is going to help, but I plan on moving to Windows 7 after new year,

I hope i didn't leave anything out. I know it is a long post, but I wanted to make sure that I covered as much as possible so it would (at least might) be easier to reach a solution.
 

kruser

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Did you check the obvious - make sure Win96 is set to the same com port that Vista assigned to the adapter? Is the adapter and port free of conflicts under device manager?

You say your usb ports are all dead on your laptop. Even for a usb mouse or keyboard? That is odd and I'm wondering if something there could have fried both the old and new adapters being as you tried them both before trying the wifes machine. I think this is unlikely though.

You may try visiting FTDI's site and download the latest drivers for your flavor of Vista but the one that came with the new GRE cable should work fine I think.

The only other thing I can think of is, have you changed any security software on the machines? Some security apps now include device control that will block access to a variety of external devices. I'm not sure if a usb serial port would be on the list of controllable devices but it is worth checking.
I would think Win96 has the ability to monitor the progress and raise a warning if it is not communicating but it must not in your case.
I know the 1.74 version of Win96 was recently released so maybe there is a bug there. Do you still have an older version you could go back too?
I'd run some tests but my 96 is at work right now.

Good Luck!
 

Tim-in-TX

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Did you check the obvious - make sure Win96 is set to the same com port that Vista assigned to the adapter? Is the adapter and port free of conflicts under device manager?
Well, I know that in the past, you had the ability in Win96 to change ports, but I noticed that in the most recent version the only choice I have is Com3. Besides, everything was fine when I did some uploading last month. And all checks out in Device manager, I nave no conflicts showing there.



You say your usb ports are all dead on your laptop. Even for a usb mouse or keyboard? That is odd and I'm wondering if something there could have fried both the old and new adapters being as you tried them both before trying the wifes machine. I think this is unlikely though.
Yeah, ALL USB ports on my laptop are dead...to anything, not even flash drives, wireless mice, external HDs....anything...but like I said, that appears to be a WHOLE 'nuther issue I will have to deal with! LOL!!!
That being said, I did have the same issues with uploading to the scanner on the wifes laptop too. I guess I could have fried both cables (parish the thought!) I dug out my old Serial Port programming cable, but i need to buy an adapter for it first to see it I can use it.



You may try visiting FTDI's site and download the latest drivers for your flavor of Vista but the one that came with the new GRE cable should work fine I think.
All drivers are up to date and new drivers that came with the cable are installed.



The only other thing I can think of is, have you changed any security software on the machines? Some security apps now include device control that will block access to a variety of external devices. I'm not sure if a usb serial port would be on the list of controllable devices but it is worth checking.

Nope, same old security software I've been using for several years. Nothing new added in at least the last 6 months.

I would think Win96 has the ability to monitor the progress and raise a warning if it is not communicating but it must not in your case.
I know the 1.74 version of Win96 was recently released so maybe there is a bug there. Do you still have an older version you could go back too?
I'd run some tests but my 96 is at work right now.
I was thinking the same thing about the warnings, but I am not getting any warnings, Win96 continues as though everything is fine...even saying "Done" at the end and the pop-up window closes as it always does.

I did forget to mention above that I was already running the previous version of Win96 (1.73) when I realized I was having a problem, so I checked Starsoft and saw that there was a newer version and downloaded it. But that did not help either.



Good Luck!
Thanks, I need it! And thinks for the ideas and help, I appreciate it!


I decided to upgrade both of the laptops to Windows 7, after Christmas, anyway. Both machines are getting older (4 going on 5 years old) and it wouldn't hurt to get an upgrade, maybe a re-fresh will help.

I Think I may even try WineHQ. It is an emulator that is suppose to let me run windows applications on a Mac. I'll have to see if I can run Win96 on my Mac and try programming from it.
 

DonS

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in the past, you had the ability in Win96 to change ports, but I noticed that in the most recent version the only choice I have is Com3. Besides, everything was fine when I did some uploading last month. And all checks out in Device manager, I nave no conflicts showing there.
In Device Manager, do you see an entry for the USB-Serial cable under "Ports (COM & LPT)"? If not, then no COM port has been assigned and Win96 won't show you one (it only shows COM ports that actually exist).
 

Tim-in-TX

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Well, now that you mention it I don't even see a "Ports" listed under device manager...





The one Com Port Win96 does show me is Com3. But even if is a ports issue with my laptop, what are the odds that my wife's laptop would experience the same issue?
 
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DonS

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Yeah, you don't have any COM ports. (COM3 is probably a modem). But, that's not very surprising if all of your USB devices are dead.

As far as your wife's laptop... did you install the cable's driver on that machine? You can get it from the manufacturer of the USB-Serial part used by the cable:
D2XX Direct Drivers

In the table on that page, you want the 2.08.14 setup executable (top right of the table, under "Comments").
 

Tim-in-TX

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Yeah, you don't have any COM ports. (COM3 is probably a modem). But, that's not very surprising if all of your USB devices are dead.

As far as your wife's laptop... did you install the cable's driver on that machine? You can get it from the manufacturer of the USB-Serial part used by the cable:
D2XX Direct Drivers

In the table on that page, you want the 2.08.14 setup executable (top right of the table, under "Comments").
Geez! I totally didn't think about the drivers not being on her laptop! LOL!!! And I thought I had all my bases covered!

Thanks for the info, I will give it another try.
 

kruser

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One thing you should check on your laptop is get into the BIOS or CMOS setup just after power on and check if there are any settings for USB.
Dells always had a lot of USB options and one could totally disable them via the bios setup screens. It is odd that yours all failed although many laptops do only have one USB controller. Your screenshot indictates USB is active though.
The Dells we use at work had a BIOS option to disable the external ports but it left the internal controller running.

The screenshot you posted, was that taken with the usb scanner cable plugged in?
If the drivers were not installed, there should be an unknown device listed and I do not even see that.
USB ports are usually protected by a one time fuse so that could be what happened (fuse blew) with yours if a connector shorted or something during a connection mishap or static zap.

You mentioned upgrading to Win7. You may want to check your machine specs being 4 to 5 years old and see if it will run Win7 ok. Chances are that it will do ok as it is running Vista now but you may be happier with a new laptop. The prices have come WAY down on some really nice laptops over the last year.
A Win 7 upgrade will not fix your USB issue though. This sounds more like it may be a hardware problem unless your usb adapter was not plugged in when you took that screenshot showing no ports section.

Please do post back if you learn anything!
 

Tim-in-TX

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Update:

Finally got everything on my wife's laptop up and running and it uploads to the scanner now, so I have, at least, a temporary fix. And that also means that I did not fry the programming cables....thank god!

Still trying to troubleshoot my laptop issues. I have uploaded and updated the drivers from the site link Don posted above, but the USB ports still do not "see" anything plugged into them, nor do any Ports appear on the Device Manager list when I plug the cable in. I have noticed that, as I plug in the programming cable (or even a flash drive) into the laptop, I do get a momentary flash from the LED. I also get a quick flash from the LED when I unplug the cable from the laptop. Could it be that the USB ports are not getting enough power?

Something else a little quirky is going on that I noticed. Last week, just before I noticed my other issue, I had completed updating my p96 file for Pearland/Brazoria County Rebanding, plus I made a few other tweaks here and there. However, when I moved the P96 file over to my wife's laptop (emailed it to myself since the USBs do not work on my laptop) and opened it on her machine, the file was not the most recent version, it was what the file looked like BEFORE I made changes! But it was the exact same file that opens fine (and updated) on MY laptop! So I tried just moving the file to my external wireless hard drive, then, from my wifes' laptop, I downloaded the file and opened it on her machine...still it opens as the previous version. Very odd!

I'm still scouring the web for a fix for my USB issues. Hopefully, if I can get them working properly again, then that will fix my uploading issues.

Any other ideas?
 

kruser

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Update:

I have noticed that, as I plug in the programming cable (or even a flash drive) into the laptop, I do get a momentary flash from the LED. I also get a quick flash from the LED when I unplug the cable from the laptop. Could it be that the USB ports are not getting enough power?
Any other ideas?
Well, at least you are back up and running!
I'd think the fact that you do see an LED flash on external devices is saying the fuse has not blown. It is odd that anything you try powers up and down instantly. That does sound like it may be detecting what it thinks is excessive current draw and something is shutting the ports power back down. I'm sure you have tried all ports correct?
If the USB stack is still running, I wonder if a powered external usb hub would work. I'd hate to see you waste money on one though as it may not help. maybe you know someone that you can borrow from. It would need to be a powered hub though.
Does a usb mouse or keyboard work on any of your usb ports?
Or any usb device you may have sitting around that does not need a lot of power. Maybe a usb game controller. Even a simple external USB hub should show a new entry under the USB section of device manager. It should appear/disappear as you plug/unplug it. If you are not seeing that then it may indeed be a hardware problem or something that corrupted the usb stack in the OS.

So try and see if you can get any external usb devices to appear and work and show up in device manager. If you can, that says the hardware and usb stack is ok and the problem could be a corrupted driver for the serial adapter.

Below is some commands you can run from an administrative command prompt window. It will show orphaned devices in device manager.
After you run the commands, device manager will start. Then you must go to the view menu at the top and select the show hidden devices item.
Now expand your USB device as well as the ones under the Ports section.
The devices that are missing will be greyed out and you can see that when you compare the icons with devices that are present.
Right click on any usb devices that sound like they are part of the usb serial adapter or programming cable and tell it to delete them. If there is also a checkbox to permanently remove the drivers, also check that before you delete. Do the same thing for the items you find under the Ports section. Most likely everything you find under the Ports section can be deleted. Also look under the human interface devices as sometimes the usb serial adapters can place an entry there as well. Remember to look for the greyed out items. Don't mess around in the non plug and play drivers section or the system section unless you see a missing device that also shows an error icon.
If you do screw up and delete a active device, the drivers will be installed again the next time you plug the device or force a check for new hardware. After you delete the hidden devices, do a reboot before you try and insert the scanner adapter again.

The commands to do this below can be saved with notepad into a batch file to your desktop so you can run this easily without needing to enter all three lines each time you need to do this. Just save it to your desktop with a name like "Hidden Device.bat". Then you can right click it and run it as admin very easily in the future. Just don't forget that after device manager starts, you must still go to the view menu up top and tell it to show hidden devices otherwise they will not all show.
I'll try and attach the actual batch file but if it will not attach, you will need to just enter the commands yourself from a command prompt window that you opened with administrator rights.
I've used this trick many times to clear out bad drivers and phantom or ghost devices as far back as Win 2000 and maybe Win NT Server.

If this fails, you can go ahead and remove any usb controllers as the drivers will be reinstalled automatically. Just make sure the laptop still has internet access and access to the dvd drive in case it needs the OS disk.

The commands!:

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
set devmgr_show_details=1
start devmgmt.msc

Good Luck!
I did attach the above as a TXT file also. Just save it to your desktop but change the TXT extension to BAT so it will run when clicked.
This will automate the above commands.

edit: If after running device manager using the commands above, you find a new section that shows Unknown Devices or Other Devices, I’d delete any entries under them and also check the box to permanently remove the drives also before you delete them. This will clear out possible bad drivers that may have partially installed.
 

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Tim-in-TX

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LOL!! I just found the show_nonpresent info before I saw your post. I added it to the Environmental Variables and then did the View/Show hidden devices and now I do see the Ports (COM & LPT) and the COM4 port is there and is greyed out (inactive).

I'll try the external USB hub check next, I have a couple and will have find what I did with them first. I have a self-powered one and a simple one that powers from the laptop...I will try both. I will also give my USB mouse a try too, I had not thought to try those yet, thanks for the idea.

Just an FYI here is what my Device Manager looks like now:


 

kruser

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Perfect! Adding the info into the environment variables is the way to go but it was more than I wanted to explain!

Everything looks normal in your screenshots.
The usb controllers are being recognized otherwise they would also be greyed out. That worries me as it may be a sign of hardware failure after the controller chipset.

For a longshot, get a nice light and magnifier and look in each USB port on the laptop. Look for loose or hanging contacts, broken parts from some other device etc. that may be lodged in one of the ports or anything that does not look normal in just one port. Of course do this with the power off if you do see something that needs to be dug out!

Another longshot is power the thing down and remove the battery and power cord for several minutes.
If the laptop is set to go into standby, that may keep the usb chipset powered up and is preventing a reset perhaps. I'm just guessing now as I think I'm out of easy ideas.
The next thing would be to test the ports for 5 volts with a meter but that gets risky and may cause more serious damage as only you know your technical ablilities!
A lot of motherboards have one time fuses that are usually green in color and may be marked with the current rating. They often look like large chip resistors or sometimes like regular resistors. I know most usb controller chips also have a built in overcurrent protection that is supposed to reset automatically. That mechanism may need to be powered off in order to allow a reset so that is the reason I suggested removing the power adapter and battery for some time.
I've replaced open fuses before but on desktop motherboards.
The process is the same on a laptop but most laptops can be a royal pain getting them open and then remembering how to reassemble them:wink:

I'd be tempted to download a bootable linux DVD ISO like Ubuntu and let it run from the DVD without installing.
If your external USB devices work under that, that will rule out hardware issues for sure. If they do not, then it is at the hardware level unless you do find something physically shorted with one of the ports.

Good luck as usual!
 

Tim-in-TX

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Thanks for the info, I'll do the battery/power cable removal thing next.

I tried the USB hub & USB mouse and had no luck with those either. If the above doesn't work it looks like this is gonna be a hardware thing. May have to find a repair shop here in Pearland to take a look.....I really can't afford a new laptop right now...even a refurb.

I almost forgot about a Express Card slot adapter with USB....may try later if all else fails.

Thanks tons for all the help guys!
 
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kruser

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That's a great idea using a usb card slot adapter! Especially if you just so happen to have one laying around.

The only easy way I know to test the hardware is using one of the live linux things. I know there are some that are small enough to fit on a cd providing you have a burner of course. I don't mess with that enough though to offer any suggestions as to which would have a GUI interface on a bootable cd. I'd imagine all would enable the USB hardware though.
Do you have one of those USB powered notebook lights that you use to light up your keyboard? Those do not communicate with the usb hardware but they do of course draw their power from the jack. If the 5 volt supply is missing, the LED will not light. Another option is a cell phone or other device that charges from a usb port. If you have anything like that and they do charge or light when plugged in, that would be good reason to find a linux cd as that will load its own usb drivers and bypass any windows stuff. If that works then some windows troubleshooting is in order but a clean install may be needed. Of course reinstalling Vista should be the last thing as it is a pain setting everything back up!

If it does turn out to be hardware, then you have to wonder what caused the problem in the first place. Something to think about so hopefully it does not happen again!
I do really like your usb card slot idea though. That should bypass any of the laptops usb hardware. At the same time, using the usb pc card slot device should show if it is a windows issue if the card slot device does not work either.
 

Tim-in-TX

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Update:

Well, Good news and bad news.

Bed news: I never found out why the USB ports stopped working. No amount rooting around in Vista, tinkering, or troubleshooting fixed my problems.

Good news: Upgraded to Windows 7 and did a clean install, and (drum roll please)......the ports work again!! YEE HAW!! (did I just say yee haw?). Good thing I needed to upgrade anyway. Now I can take Win96 off my wife's computer and let her have it back.
 
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