Most Common Fix for DAX Driver errors in Windows Spring Update (1803) (You can do this!)

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As we continue to see high ticket rates related to the Windows Spring Update (often referred to as 1803), we can better recommend actions for our customers to take for fixing the problems.

The Most Common Problem

The most common problem is that the DAX Sound Device names are being mangled during the Spring Upgrade. The diagram below shows what a correct configuration of DAX should look like in the Device Manager:

After the Spring Update, here is what happened to one of my computers:

To list the problems with my installation, highlighted by the boxed entries, we find:
  1. We are missing 2 DAX IQ devices, that are present in the correct list. These are DAX IQ RX 2 and DAX IQ RX 4. Some of the mangled named devices are actually these two devices.
  2. We are missing 2 RESERVED IQ RX devices, DAX RESERVED IQ RX 2 and DAX RESERVED IQ 4. Again, some of the mangled named devices are actually these two devices.
  3. This system is one that I use PowerSDR on to test my Flex-3000 and use Virtual Audio Cables. You can see two of the VAC cables have been mis-named to DAX Audio TX and DAX MIC Audio.
Let's Fix This System!

If you see many multiple devices with the same name, feel uncomfortable in doing this procedure or just cannot figure out what to do, STOP! Create a trouble ticket and let Flex Technical Support work on your system.

Before we begin fixing these issues:

  1. Terminate SmartSDR and DAX. I know it sounds simple but I usually forget to do this! Double-check before you begin.
  2. Defeat your antivirus and malware software (as much as you can) during this process. Sometimes they will 'sandbox' these actions so they appear to be fixed but once you reboot, no changes are made.

To fix these, I will first right-click on the DAX Audio TX device that is a Virtual Audio Cable and select Uninstall Device. I will get the warning below, but will accept the risk and click Uninstall.

I will repeat this action for DAX Mic Audio device.

To fix the remaining items, I will open the Sound control panel app. When the Sound window opens, right click on it and you will see two items that are usually checked, 'Show Disabled Devices' and 'Show Disconnected Devices'. Uncheck them so we do not see these devices in our list (it will only confuse things!).

Now, click on the Playback tab in case it doesn't automatically open and scan for the name of the first erroneously titled device, which is DAX RESERVED AUDIO RX 2 which has the descriptor 'FlexRadio Systems DAX IQ'. Here you can see two of the mangled named devices in this window:

I will double-click on DAX RESERVED AUDIO 2 and see the property page below:

You notice that the device name is highlighted. I can now rename it to the proper name. Since I am missing a device that should be titled DAX RESERVED IQ RX 2 and this partially matches this device, I will assume its the one I am missing and rename it.

Press Apply, then press OK. You probably only need to press OK but I am a guy who wears belts and suspenders!

Look thru your list and see if any other devices are present that are mis-labeled. If so, repeat this procedure. You will see that the named device is partially correct, you only need to fix the part that isn't. I had a device called DAX RESERVED AUDIO RX 2 and renamed it DAX RESERVED IQ RX 2, for instance.

While you are in this window, make sure no DAX device is designated as the defaul playback device (green cirle with a white check-mark). If so, find the device for your speakers or headset and right-click on it, then select Default Device.

Now, click on the Recording Tab and perform the same action. By the picture below, I found DAX Audio RX 2 that is labeled as an IQ device:

Based on our approach from before, double-click it and rename it to DAX IQ RX 2.

Press Apply and OK and you have fixed another one!

Repeat for all the other misnamed devices you discovered in your examination of the Audio Inputs of the Device Manager.

Now, you have to reboot your system. If you do not, it will not work!

Once you reboot, go to the Device Manager control app and look under audio inputs and outputs, comparing it to the first picture above. It should be identical. If not, try the process again (we have had one customer report it took two tries to work on his system). After that, if it doesn't work, contact Flex Technical Support!

See you on the bands!
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Neal - K3NC

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Posted 1 year ago

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Greg - N8GD

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Hiring you was one of the smartest moves FlexRadio has made (not that Tim and others aren't competent).  Your extended knowledge of Windows and how it interfaces with Flex programs has proved to be an invaluable resource for all of us.  Thanks for providing this info to those of us who feel comfortable working "under the hood" of Windows.  I know it will greatly reduce the support load on the Flex organization.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Who do you think is teaching him? ;-)
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Greg - N8GD

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Yeah, Tim.  That's why I put the disclaimer in parentheses regarding competency.  I know you're happy to have Neal's help, especially when things like the Win 10 1803 debacle come along.  Don't worry, you'll always be the "Mayor" here on the Community!
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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I am the Exalted Grand PoohBah!  No lowly "mayor" for me :-D 
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Gary L. Robinson

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Neil N4FN

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Good job... Exalted Grand PoohBah!  The only thing better is "Sublime Wizard" and that is reserved for Mack W4AX and Chuck AE4CW
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Neal Pollack, N6YFM

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Tim mentioned that the reason an uninstall/reinstall cycle does not fix it is because MickySoft with their windows update migrated the entries to a new name and created registry entries that the Flex installer did not create.   Hence the Flex installer package did have that list of registry entries to uninstall.

As someone both cost conscience and also all about customer satisfaction, I still maintain the point
I made earlier;   If Flex wants to save money and reduce both user frustration and time spent on
support calls, they need to add an optional click-box on the installer package prompt screen that
lets the user select "Deep Clean, Re-Install", which will warn the user to backup profiles, then
proceed to scan the registry, purge ANY entry with Flex's keywords (This is what Norton
Uninstaller/cleaner does), and then after that proceed to reinstall.     With coding, it is very easy to
match/find the registry entries that MickySoft migrated with their update.   The risk is low in doing that.   The rewards are huge, both financially and customer frustration wise.

Work Smart, Not Hard.