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Script to Fix Windows Upgrades?????

Nick Member ✭✭
edited June 2020 in New Ideas
Have to manually uninstall/reinstall parts of SDR about 3 times a year after Windows update.  Also,  page given for doing this on FlexRadio site is no longer available.  SUGGESTION:  Create a script we can download from this site that will uninstall/reinstall all of the drivers.  Then we could just download the script and run it.  The error SDR gives just tells us to call the help desk.  This is a know problem with Windows updates and should have been solved with an automated solution a long time ago!


  • Tim - W4TME
    Tim - W4TME Administrator, FlexRadio Employee admin
    edited December 2017
    If it were only that easy....

    The exact nature of the failures are unknown, as these are Windows issues, not a failure of the driver itself.  We have no visibility into the inner workings of Windows.  And it is not only isolated to SmartSDR drivers; there are numerous reports of other hardware, both physical and virtual that do not survive the Windows upgrade process.

    The drivers that are failing after an update are kernel mode drivers and they have to be run with elevated privileges.  It is not a best practice from a security standpoint to provide scripts that allow for automatically elevating privileges. 

    Yes, it is really inconvenient when Windows screws up the installed drivers. You are just one person that has to deal with the inconvenience.  FlexRadio support has thousands of customers we have to work with to resolve these issues.   

    We have taken our knowledge learned from supporting our customers through this process and provided the user instructions for those who are comfortable with and have the requisite skill sets to run them.

    For DAX:

    For FlexVSP:

    And if you want to completely uninstall SmartSDR:

    And for those who do not feel comfortable doing these processes, or if the aforementioned procedures do not work, which occasionally happens, we provide assistance through the HelpDesk where you can open a ticket and get one-on-one assistance to resolve these issues. 
  • Kevin
    Kevin Member
    edited July 2019

    With Windows screwing Flex products up so badly and users being left to dig themselves out of a hole each time I wonder what kind of effort FRS has made to work with Microsoft to come up with a solution that benefits paying customers. Maybe it is because this is a Flex forum and not a Microsoft or other software forum but I can't remember hearing anyone rattling off a list of other failed software when they report FRS software has failed after an Windows update.  In the rare cases I've had software fail after an update (of the software or the OS) the vendor is usually out within a day or so with necessary patches. Sure, they still blame it on Microsoft, but they fix their product.

    Is it that Microsoft is maybe too big for FRS to work with? If so, stop. Make it an Apple only product or try Linux or something you can handle better. Is it because, to make things work, FRS has to develop software that takes advantage of undocumented features that aren't intended for use or maybe used differently than intended? I wonder if FRS has submitted any BRs to MS concerning the issues. Maybe write some diagnostic code into your components to recover when things seems to be wrong. I think that's one better than a script.

    If this were an open source development project where everyone participated in the design, coding and fixing for hobby purposes then I'd have a different opinion. But this is a tightly closed source, hidden road map product that costs a pretty good penny. Maybe not as much as travelling to Paris to buy shoes but nothing to sneeze at either.

    My impression is that these issues of SSDR and its components breaking seems to happen every single update - Win10 and before. They seem to break the same way every time. Enough so that there's documented workarounds as noted above. 

    Kev K4VD
  • Varistor
    Varistor Member ✭✭
    edited December 2017
    So why is this issue not pervasive across other drivers from other manufacturers? For example, I have had zero driver issues with my microHam boxes, virtually across all versions of Windows from XP to 10.
  • G8ZPX
    G8ZPX Member
    edited June 2020
    The solution is actually pretty easy, and I don't know FRS cannot do this in a nicer way.

    After many ****-ups with CAT, I discovered a year ago that provided the DAX & CAT apps are not allowed to auto start-up, AND are never left running on close down then the update problem NEVER EVER happens.

    I created a simple batch file to quickly close the apps and power-down the PC I also disabled DAX and CAT from the startup list.

    cd C:Program Files (x86)PstRotatorAz
    start PstRotatorAz.exe
    cd C:Program FilesFlexRadio SystemsSmartSDR v2.0.19
    start SmartSDR.exe --serial=xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
    cd C:Program FilesFlexRadio SystemsSmartSDR v2.0.19SmartSDR CAT
    start Cat.exe
    cd C:Program Files (x86)WoodBoxRadioSmart_SMeter_PLUS
    start Smart_SMeter_PLUS.exe COM6 ON /H
    cd C:Program Files (x86)RNA SoftwareSDRMonitor
    start SDRMonitor.exe


    taskkill /f /im Cat.exe
    taskkill /f /im SmartSDR.exe
    taskkill /f /im Smart_SMeter_PLUS.exe
    taskkill /f /im SDRMonitor.exe

  • Kevin
    Kevin Member
    edited December 2017
    I wonder why CAT and DAX are not started with SSDR and stopped when SSDR closes. I don't think either are useful without SSDR.

    I automatically start CAT and DAX with DXLabs Launcher and manually shut them down sometimes days later. I also run a scheduled task that restarts DAX nightly because of some other problems. I need to figure out a way to only do the restart if DAX is already running. I'll have to see how I can work this in.

    I guess it's a temporary workaround until Microsoft fixes Windows to be more compatible with SSDR. :)

    Kev K4VD

  • Varistor
    Varistor Member ✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Windows 10 Hamradio edition is eagerly anticipated by the ham developers community. There are several key enhancements that will appeal to ham radio operators around the world:

    1) Full support for unsigned drivers. Such drivers will be considered trusted until proven otherwise and allowed to run at the kernel level, including with Realtime priority. Further, they will be excluded by default from all antivirus/antimalware products
    2) Full native DOS and Windows 3.11 support. This feature will allow developers to freeze their development efforts to pre-Windows 8 times when all **** broke loose
    3) Software designated as ham radio will be allowed to run by default as System and have full read/write to all high security areas of the file system
    4) Windows Update will be permanently deleted from the file system so it is impossible to ever be executed again
    5) Windows firewall will be disabled by default. The C$ and IPC$ shares will no longer have any ACLs
  • VK7WH Winston
    VK7WH Winston Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Kevin, I've never had a problem with MS updates using Win7 over the past 4 years.
  • G8ZPX
    G8ZPX Member
    edited December 2017
    Since W7 was released way back in 2009 (and now discontinued from support), Microsoft have done a massive amount of work in W10 with regards to security infrastructure, app compliance, driver signing, stability and general susceptibility to the ever prevalent viruses, zero-day hacks, trojan and worms.

    Lets hope we don't have to abandon all that work by going back to 2009 just to make SSDR work in the modern more demanding framework.
  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    I like this little set of scripts!  I end up operating mostly from three different computers:

    Home station
    Work PC

    So I have the script in my dropbox and just enable the one I'm using.  It seems to work nicely.
  • Michael Coslo
    Michael Coslo Member ✭✭
    edited December 2017
    You are lucky is the short answer. There are a lot of other programs that get hosed with Windows 10 updates. I monitor many outlets, and this is a pervasive W10 problem.
  • Michael Coslo
    Michael Coslo Member ✭✭
    edited December 2017
    You are correct in that you won't know the nature of the problem any time it occurs. this is exactly why I prefer the **** it with fire approach, and at the first sign of a problem I just uninstall everything as deeply as Revo will let me, then re-install everything. This method has not failed me.

    This is why I have suggested that Flex write a program that will do this automatically. Save anything that needs saved, uninstall everything, then reinstall everything.

    This would not only refresh everything, but I am convinced it would be a psychological soothing exercise.

    If not, I fear Windows 10 will **** the Personal computer brand of SDR radios, and we'll all be using little boxes with knobs and features limited by the size of the boxes.
  • Ken - NM9P
    Ken - NM9P Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Kevin, one reason for CAT to run separately is that a person can have the rig on, and CAT connected locally, but connect via Smart Link remotely.  If they have DDUtil running on the Shack computer, there are macros that will run in the background even though the rig is being commanded remotely from another location.....

    This could include band-depended antenna switches, Band & Mode depended filter, AGC, etc., Antenna drivers for StepIR antennas, and more.  While SSDR would not need to be running on the main local Shack computer, some of these utilities may need to get band/mode information from the rig to the local computer that is hosting them.

    It took me a while to appreciate this.

    I am now in the habit of deactivating DAX and CAT from my Startup in Task Manager.  But I will sometimes leave CAT running when I am going remote. 
    DAX, on the other hand, always gets closed when I leave the rig on for remote ops.

    Ken - NM9P
  • Kevin
    Kevin Member
    edited December 2017
    Hi Ken. I think that makes sense to me. I have no experience operating remote and didn't think about that use. Whenever I stop SSDR locally all the interfaces in CAT turn red (Slice Not Present) so I thought CAT relied on a local instance of SSDR running.

    I also use DDUtil but I think it connects directly to the radio without CAT? SSDR still has to be running though.


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