AXE027 drivers

#1
I have just been forced to change to Windows 10 and I really can't remember if I have tried to program any chips since then but now my AXE027 has a driver problem.
Windows device manager/USB controllers tells me the device is working properly but device manager/other devices and devices and printers tell me there is no driver loaded.
The unzipped version of the driver will not work (fair enough, I have had the cable has been plugged in before) the zipped version tells me the install was successful.
I have tried disabling the cable from USB controllers, and so many other things that I can't even remember but the bottom line remains the same.
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#2
One of the problems with determining how to get things working is it not being clear what state you may now have your system in.

The best approach may be to plug the AXE027 cable in and use Device Manager to try and sort things out.

On Windows 10 right-click on the "My Computer" icon, select Properties, then follow the Device Manager link at the top left.

Don't use the Settings app or Control Panel / Devices and Printers as they may look a bit like Device Manager but are not, and don't so easily allow what needs to be done.

Once in Device Manager, remove any AXE027 devices you can find. Remove / Uninstall anything with a yellow exclamation mark. Unplug the AXE027 cable and reboot. That should clear the existing AXE027 installation back to 'nothing'.

Once re-booted, plug the AXE027 cable back in. Wait for any 'bing-bong' sounds and any driver installation messages to pass, then go back into Device Manager. There should be some USB / AXE027 device with a yellow exclamation mark. Manually Update its drivers to the ones unzipped to disk.

Two important things to ensure for manual installation are -

1) That the files must be extracted from the downloaded .zip to a separate directory on disk. If not the files may appear to be seen by Windows Explorer but not by Device Manager.

2) When pointing Device Manager to the extracted directory, the top level directory must be selected; the one containing the 'amd64' and 'i386' sub-directories.

Also note that the installation is a two-step process as two drivers must be installed. If the second step is not completed then there will be issues in accessing the installed AXE027 cable. After installing the first driver look for any new exclamation marked devices.
 
#3
Having followed your instructions I made a little progress. Windows tells me the AXE027 is ready to go and the editor tells me com 3 is ready to use.
Device Manager / Other Devices shows the cable again with a yellow exclaimation mark however when I try to update the driver Windows tells me it can't install it (not can't find it). Also does the 2 step process require me to do anything or is this just how it works?
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#5
Is the AXE027 based on a FTDI or CP210x adapter
The AXE027 is based on the FTDI chipset though we recommend using the drivers we supply rather than those from the FTDI site or elsewhere because we know those work with the AXE027, on Windows XP through Windows 10, while others may not.
 

PhilHornby

Senior Member
#6
The AXE027 is based on the FTDI chipset though we recommend using the drivers we supply...
The Rev Ed drivers will only be a starting point though ... Windows Update or the installation of another FT232R-based product may well update them to a later version. In fact, they may not even be a starting point, if that 'other product' is installed before the AXE027...

You would think that renaming the driver files (and re-signing the driver package) would be advisable, but FTDI advise against it (on page 29 of this document).

(None-the-less, that's what I did to keep all my fake FT232's working ;) )
 
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PhilHornby

Senior Member
#8
It's quite hard to stop the drivers being updated though ...

My Windows 10 Pro Version 1809 system thinks it has the Rev Ed supplied drivers (2.8.14.0) installed, but drilling down to the executables, reveals that they are in fact Version 2.12.14.4. I didn't install these...

FTDI.png

The lastest drivers on the FTDI web site are 2.12.28.x, so who knows what installed that version.
 
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#9
I have been using the AXE027 ever since they became available on both XP and Windows 7 without any of these problems. I have given up with Windows 10 and gone back to my laptop which is running XP.
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#11
Windows and other operating systems can all suffer from the problem which is colloquially referred to as 'DLL hell'. This is where a common library on the system is required by multiple programs but each program requires a specific version of that library.

That's a problem when the OS will only load one version of the library. Programs which want some other version won't work as expected because the wrong library has been loaded by the OS. If the right library were then loaded for that program it would push out the version required by the other programs and they would stop working.

The same applies for devices and drivers. In this case the common libraries are 'ftser2k.sys', 'ftserco.dll' and 'ftserui2.dll'.

In general it shouldn't be a problem for anyone who has only installed an AXE027 on their system using our provided drivers. But there can potentially be an issue when other FTDI chip-set cables or modules and their drivers are installed or a system auto-updates drivers, though I am not aware of that being a Windows policy by default, as MartinM57 shows.

I must admit I cannot remember exactly what the problems have been in installing other than our provided drivers. I think it was mostly that some 'latest FTDI drivers' may have been buggy with older product before being fixed. "Just use ours" is the easy solution there. We could say "use this specific later version" except we don't track which versions may be problematic.

I also don't recall any problems actually occurring when other FTDI-based cables and modules have been installed, when that has bumped up the library versions to be different to what was initially installed. It's a potential problem but generally not something to worry over unless things one day stop working.

And I don't think this is the issue the OP was/is having. It's more likely that having disabled stuff in device manager it's now proving difficult to get things back to how they should be.
 
#12
Windows and other operating systems can all suffer from the problem which is colloquially referred to as 'DLL hell'.
I could probably write a book on this topic, having become intimitely familar with it, back in 1999. Microsoft's stance, is that you never *remove* an interface from a DLL ... and if you need to *change* it substantially, you create a new interface instead and leave the original intact. Whether or not everybody else has learnt this lesson over the last 20 years, is another matter :unsure:

and he said:
... or a system auto-updates drivers, though I am not aware of that being a Windows policy by default, as MartinM57 shows.
It looks like FTDI don't release their drivers into the Windows Update eco-system. (Actually, if they did, Rev Ed wouldn't have needed to make them available at all)

later he said:
"Just use ours" is the easy solution there. We could say "use this specific later version" except we don't track which versions may be problematic.
IMO, you should test the AXE027 against the latest WHQL certified drivers on the FTDI site, and then, make those available on the PIXAXE site. You could even argue, that all you need is a link to the FTDI drivers, rather than a copy of them...

It's worth remembering, that there are two aspects to the driver 'working properly'. It obviously has to fully support the device ... but it also has to play nicely with the Operating System. In this brave new world of Software As A Service, that Operating System is forever changing :(

And I don't think this is the issue the OP was/is having.
Me neither.
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#13
IMO, you should test the AXE027 against the latest WHQL certified drivers on the FTDI site, and then, make those available on the PIXAXE site. You could even argue, that all you need is a link to the FTDI drivers, rather than a copy of them...
The problem with linking to FTDI hosted drivers, or hosting those ourselves, is the AXE027 uses a different PID than standard FTDI devices so those drivers don't technically support the AXE027.

We could rebuild the driver we host every time FTDI release a new version but that means having to do so and would require comprehensive testing. It's not clear that's worth doing when the drivers we host have been used and proven to work by many people. There's just no way we could test newer drivers to that extent.

And where is the gain with using later drivers when the ones we host work ? It feels to me a bit like insisting only this year's coins are handed back as change and not older ones, doing it just for the sake of doing it.

The biggest issue with AXE027 drivers is people plugging the cable in and then running the pre-installer, not having followed the manual installation instructions to the letter, or not understanding driver installation and digging a deeper hole while trying to fix things. I believe there have been very few actual issues with the drivers and installation itself.
 
#14
I finally managed to get the drivers to load but I didn't try them out (had enough for one day). The next day I turned on the computer, Windows 10 told me I had a "problem" did a system restore and uninstalled them again.
I note that the Rev Ed documentation for the AXE027 is dated 2013 and so does not claim to run under Windows 10.
I can still use my laptop which is running XP but it's a pain so right now I am considering paying to change back to Windows 7.
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#15
I finally managed to get the drivers to load but I didn't try them out (had enough for one day). The next day I turned on the computer, Windows 10 told me I had a "problem" did a system restore and uninstalled them again
When windows reverts back to a restore point it will usually lose everything done since that restore point. It would be worth reinstalling the AXE027 drivers and seeing if that survives a re-boot.

I note that the Rev Ed documentation for the AXE027 is dated 2013 and so does not claim to run under Windows 10.
The 2.08.14 drivers we provide work on all Windows versions from XP onwards; Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
 

hippy

Technical Support
Staff member
#18
I finally got it working and the answer was on my new computer (only a few weeks old) the AXE027 will not work on a USB 3.0 port but it will work on a USB 2.0.
The AXE027 works using the USB 3.0 port of my Windows 10 PC, but it could be that not all USB3.0 ports are implemented the same way. USB3.0 ports are meant to fall back to being USB2.0 when an older USB device is plugged in so should work.

It could be that whatever has been done trying to get things to work has locked that particular port out from being used with the AXE027 but other ports, having not been locked out, can be used.

Though we usually recommend connecting the USB cable to the PC it would be interesting to see if it works through a cheap USB2.0 hub connected to the USB3.0 port.
 
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