AXE027 drivers

Maleny

New Member
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

Senior Member
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.
 

Maleny

New Member
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

Senior Member
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
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
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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Maleny

New Member
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.
 

MartinM57

Moderator
All good here on Win10 Pro 1803 ...I set up AXE027 literally years (6+) ago and it seems to have been unchanged since
1555406772075.png
 

hippy

Senior Member
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.
 

PhilHornby

Senior Member
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

Senior Member
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.
 

Maleny

New Member
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

Senior Member
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.
 

Maleny

New Member
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.


The 2.08.14 drivers we provide work on all Windows versions from XP onwards; Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
 

Maleny

New Member
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.
 

hippy

Senior Member
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.
 

PhilHornby

Senior Member
The 2.08.14 drivers we provide work on all Windows versions from XP onwards; Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
Reading the Release Notes for 2.12.28, I count some 21 relevant bugs, that have been fixed since 2.08.14. Three of these can potentially cause a BSOD! The rest merely relate to corrupt data and USB enumeration errors ...

So by what measure, do Rev Ed consider that these drivers work? FTDI don't think they do.

Most of my contributions to this forum, are those of an enthusiastic hobbyist. However, dealing with issues like this, is how I used to earn a living...
 

hippy

Senior Member
So by what measure, do Rev Ed consider that these drivers work?
I would guess lack of reported problems with using those drivers over the many years we have been providing them and the numerous people who have used them without issue.

All software will have bugs and issues, but that does not mean they will be encountered in the field, in particular situations, or will have the worse case consequences there could be.

"Issue" itself is rather poorly defined and does not necessarily mean it is or will be problematic. It may just be that something is not ideal or could be better. Where an issue is in a particular part of the software, but that part of the software is not used, then it will never exhibit itself. Some of the issues may relate to things which are not a part of the way an OS will normally interact with a driver.

It's also difficult to tell what issues there are with any particular version of a driver when only fixes are listed without reference to which previous versions those fixes relate to. There may be numerous fixes between one version and the latest, but that does not mean they relate to that particular version. They may be issues which have appeared only in later versions, often, and annoyingly, as a result of fixing other issues. It is not uncommon to find that trying to make things better actually makes things worse.

It is also highly likely that there are bugs and issues with whatever version is the latest, and that will continue to be the case. It is impossible to know if those bugs and issues will be more problematic than any bugs and issues in other versions.

One could ask by what measure the latest drivers are considered to work when it is almost certain those will have bugs and issues ?

I suppose the bottom line is that something may have the potential to not work, but when no one has found that it doesn't work, has never encountered a situation where it doesn't, then by some measure it does work.
 

Aries

New Member
I thought I would describe my recent experience after an automatic Windows 10 upgrade earlier this week. Everything was working fine until teatime, when the system decided to restart. It then came up with the dreaded blue screen saying the computer was unable to restart. I spent the rest of the day trying various things, such as "restore previous version" but to no avail. I did manage to get things working in Safe Mode, but every attempt to start in normal mode ended up with a System Thread Exception error. My problem was not knowing what was causing the exception, as Microsoft seems to provide no guidance as to where to look. The following day, after casting around, I found a utility called "Blue Screen Viewer", which displays the contents of "MiniDumps" and, having installed it (in Safe Mode, of course), I discovered the culprit was FDTIBUS.SYS. That would have meant nothing to me but for this thread (thank you Phil et all) which prompted me to check the AXE027 drivers. FDTIBUS was still the original - no unexpected update. However, I deleted the device and drivers and - behold - I got a clean restart. I then came to reinstall AXE027 and found there was still one in the list (I usually work with two COM ports for my two AXE027 leads so that I can watch two Picaxes at the same time, and obviously I had deleted only one. I reinstalled the other one and there were still no problems. The supplier of Blue Screen Viewer (https://www.nirsoft.net) also has an "Installed Driver List" program which can help to identify what a driver is used for, and where it is. I spent most of the rest of the day reinstalling the Windows Update - again, no apparent problems. This morning I successfully reprogrammed a Picaxe, so all seems to be back to normal.
 

lbenson

Senior Member
Thanks for relating that. "Blue Screen Viewer " is now on my radar as a useful tool (not that I have had any non-recoverable BSOD events for some years, knock on wood).
 

hippy

Senior Member
I discovered the culprit was FDTIBUS.SYS ... I deleted the device and drivers and - behold - I got a clean restart. I then came to reinstall AXE027 and found there was still one in the list ... I spent most of the rest of the day reinstalling the Windows Update - again, no apparent problems. This morning I successfully reprogrammed a Picaxe, so all seems to be back to normal.
This is what's so really odd with Windows at times. It seemingly borked itself on FTDIBUS.SYS, but then was fine, even though there was still another FTDIBUS.SYS there, and was perfectly happy even when the other was reinstalled.

That suggests to me Windows is somehow 'getting its knickers in a twist' rather than it being an actual problem with the drivers. But when it does go wrong it seems impossible to figure out why.

It seems most .SYS files are reported to have been the cause of some BSOD at one time or another, even Microsoft's own, so one can only imagine it's something 'odd' which happens with Windows and things go downhill from there. Yet everything is fine once set back to how it was before Windows decided that wasn't okay.
 

lbenson

Senior Member
Thanks for relating that. "Blue Screen Viewer " is now on my radar as a useful tool (not that I have had any non-recoverable BSOD events for some years, knock on wood).
Well, my wife tells me that you can't just say "knock on wood", you have to actually do it. So this afternoon I got on win10 not a BSOD, but an unrecoverable lockup at the pin screen before the pin entry field appeared. No number of forced power-offs got me anywhere but back to that screen. A search on another computer led me to someone saying that holding F8 down while powering on used to get you to where you could go to safe mode, but no longer did with win10. I tried it anyway and booted straight to the PIN screen with entry box, which worked--nothing further required.

"It's all too hard"
 

erco

Senior Member
If Microsoft is to be believed, we'll all be sticking with Win10 and its yearly/monthly/weekly/daily updates, as opposed to buying a new OS every two years. Not sure what their business model is, continuing to freely support/develop/refine Win10 (hopefully improving drivers too) while having a much smaller revenue stream (mainly new computer sales). I guess those secret government subsidies to provide the CIA easy access to everyone's personal info must be pretty lucrative.

BTW, the free Windows 10 upgrade is still available, believe it or not. Window 7 support ends soon, so if you missed that "Get Windows 10" deadline and regretted it, jump on this "secretly" available upgrade while it lasts. As the article says, it could end anytime. I have successfully upgraded eight different Win7 computers this year, as recently as last month. Check your specs, but many older computers (including Atom and Celeron processors) can handle Win10 and run respectably well. With some trickery, I even got a stubborn Dell 2110 upgraded. The Intel Graphics adapter blocked a direct upgrade path but I did a hard drive swap from another computer mid-upgrade and it's working perfectly. IMHO, Windows 10 does an amazing job of sorting itself out and adapting to different hardware.

This full-length article boils down to this: use another Windows 10 computer to create media (USB thumbdrive) for the latest update (currently v1809 but v1903 is imminent). Shove thumbdrive into Win7 computer and boot up to upgrade. Take a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG lunch. :)

https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how-you-can-still-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade/
 
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PhilHornby

Senior Member
This is what's so really odd with Windows at times. It seemingly borked itself on FTDIBUS.SYS, but then was fine, even though there was still another FTDIBUS.SYS there, and was perfectly happy even when the other was reinstalled.

That suggests to me Windows is somehow 'getting its knickers in a twist' rather than it being an actual problem with the drivers. But when it does go wrong it seems impossible to figure out why.

It seems most .SYS files are reported to have been the cause of some BSOD at one time or another, even Microsoft's own, so one can only imagine it's something 'odd' which happens with Windows and things go downhill from there. Yet everything is fine once set back to how it was before Windows decided that wasn't okay.
The thing about Device Drivers, is that when loaded, they become a part of the Operating System. They are not merely programs, that Windows "keeps an eye on" ... they are Windows.

So in the case of the OP's problem, something has driven FTDIBUS.SYS through a code path containing a bug, which has resulted in the default Exception Handler being invoked. Said Exception Handler instantly brings the system to a halt (because its integrity has been brought into doubt, the system is halted to avoid any further damage).

Since the analysis of the bugcheck reveals FTDIBUS.SYS to be the culprit, it's done something instantly detectable (divide-by-zero, or writing to readonly or non-existent virtual memory, for example). What sent FTDIBUS.SYS through that code is anyone's guess (without access to its source code) - but the aforementioned change-log documents a few known instances ... which seem to be related to 'surprise device removal'. (Perhaps Windows Update was attempting to load a new 'USB Controller' driver, that was signalling to its attached devices, that a config. change was occurring - but just guesswork on my part).

At least it wasn't one of the more dangerous types of bug, where a driver succeeds in doing something untoward ... resulting in a system crash, some time later, in some seemingly random location.

... (not that I have had any non-recoverable BSOD events for some years, knock on wood).
That's a direct result of Microsoft's WHQL process.

The first version of the FT232R drivers that are certified for use on Windows 10, is 2.12.06, from July 2015
 

lbenson

Senior Member
As it happened, I started this win7 to win10 upgrade this morning before you posted on a 4GB Asus EEEPC with AMD 1.7GHz processor. 9 hours later (mostly unattended), it's up and running. I haven't done enough to see if there are problems, but since it struggled before under win7, I'm hoping the hype that win10 gives better performance with low-memory PCs is true.
 

inglewoodpete

Senior Member
As it happened, I started this win7 to win10 upgrade this morning before you posted on a 4GB Asus EEEPC with AMD 1.7GHz processor. 9 hours later (mostly unattended), it's up and running. I haven't done enough to see if there are problems, but since it struggled before under win7, I'm hoping the hype that win10 gives better performance with low-memory PCs is true.
I regret "upgrading" my low-spec (AMD E1) laptop computer from Win7 to Win10. It just doesn't enough processing power to do anything useful now. Windows 10 is best used on relatively high-spec computers.

I sometimes wonder if I'll live long enough to get any benefits from windows updates that can run for hours, locking me out of using the laptop.
 

kfjl

Member
I regret "upgrading" my low-spec (AMD E1) laptop computer from Win7 to Win10. It just doesn't enough processing power to do anything useful now. Windows 10 is best used on relatively high-spec computers.

I sometimes wonder if I'll live long enough to get any benefits from windows updates that can run for hours, locking me out of using the laptop.
I was given a low-spec dual core AMD E1-1200 with 4 GB DDR3 RAM (Packard Bell EasyNote LE). I use it every day.

Now that Windows has made yours unusable, it might be a good time to upgrade (without quotation marks) to Linux.

I very much doubt anyone will live long enough to get any benefits from Windows updates.
 

lbenson

Senior Member
it might be a good time to upgrade (without quotation marks) to Linux
I already had Ubuntu on this EEE PC with dual boot, and thought it not unlikely that that would confuse the win10 update--but it all went smoothly (if lengthily) and Ubuntu still works, so I can use that if win10 is sluggardly. If it all goes south, it's no real loss to me.
 

erco

Senior Member
Agreed, Win10 isn't a miracle and won't cure a terminally slow processor. I put Win10 on two older 15" AMD laptops (E300 IIRC) and they were a bit sluggish using the default settings. There are various animations and options (like hide scrollbar) dedicated to tablet use which slow down a laptop. Turning those off made noticeable improvements. Google "speed up Windows 10 laptop" and you'll get tons of hits, including the one below, which gives details under "Make Windows Ugly", ie turning off visual effects.

https://fossbytes.com/speed-up-windows-performance-tips/
 
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erco

Senior Member
Yesterday I updated an older Dell laptop (E6400 with a Windows Vista sticker!) to Windows 10 and she's working great. Initially, video & audio had an occasional stutter but I found this thread:
https://www.dell.com/community/Latitude/Latitude-E6400-with-Windows-10-updated-to-1803-sound-now-is/td-p/6079998 which led me to the solution (use older driver) at
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/25165/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-User-Interface-and-Driver?product=55005

Working great, even though Dell has orphaned this family of older computers. It's a solid little machine, feels good to breathe new life into it. Obtained off ebay for $39 shipped: https://www.ebay.com/itm/333192650042
 
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