How to Install or Upgrade the FLEX Firewire Driver

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How to Install or Upgrade the FLEX Firewire Driver


How to Install or Upgrade the FLEX Firewire Driver

  System Dependencies
  Minimum PowerSDR Version:     1.10.0  
  Applicable Hardware:     FLEX-5000 & FLEX-3000 

Content provided by: FlexRadio Systems Engineering


UPDATE: This procedure is no longer necessary when using PowerSDR 2.0.22 and above as the Firewire driver installer is integrated into the PowerSDR installer.

The FLEX family of Firewire-based software defined radios communicates with your personal computer running Windows XP, Vista or Windows7 via a Firewire (IEEE-1394) connection. Like any piece of hardware that communicates with Windows, a hardware or device driver is required. The Firewire enabled FLEX family of software defined radios is no exception. Before starting this procedure, you will need to download the current version of the FLEX Firewire driver to the computer that is connected to the SDR hardware. You can obtain the latest FLEX-5000/3000 Firewire driver from a link on the FlexRadio Systems home page.

NOTE: The FLEX software defined radio *MUST* be completely turned off or disconnected from your computer before starting this procedure. You will be instructed when to connect or turn on your FLEX software defined radio in the procedure below.

NOTE: The FLEX Firewire driver, version 3.4.0.x and above the driver installed package contains both a 32-bit and a digitally signed 64-bit kernel mode device driver, therefore the FLEX Firewire driver will work with *all* versions of 64-bit Windows without requiring any special operating modes, such as disabling the Windows x64 driver signing requirement.

REQUIREMENT: All hardware or device drivers, including the FLEX Firewire driver, must be installed with user rights of administrator under Windows.  Not all user accounts have these elevated rights, especially the defaualt accountes in Vista and Windows7.  If you install the FLEX Firewire driver on these operating systems and you are not absolutely certain that your login account has the required elevated rights to properly install the driver, then you need to use a feature of these operating systems to install or run a program with full administrator rights. 

To do this, right click on the FLEX Firewire installed program and select the option "Run as Administrator". If your user login does not have sufficient rights, you will be prompted to provide user credentials (password) for the administrator account to continue installing the FLEX Firewire driver.  For Windows operating systems with UAC (User Account Control) enabled, make sure you  answer affirmatively (Yes) for any and all prompts during driver installation.


Upgrading the FLEX Firewire Driver

If you are upgrading to a new version of the FLEX Firewire driver, you must follow the procedure outlined below in order to make sure that the old driver is completely removed from your system before the new updated driver will install properly.

Step 1
. Turn off the FLEX software defined radio hardware by powering it down completely.

Step 2.
Uninstall the existing FLEX Firewire driver. The driver can be uninstalled using the uninstall menu option in the FlexRadio Systems application folder or by using the Add or Remove Programs option in the Windows Control Panel. Make sure the FLEX software defined radio is turned off along with PowerSDR before uninstalling the Firewire driver.

Step 3.
Reboot your computer. This assures that the drivers are completely removed from memory.

Step 4.
Follow the procedure, Installing the FLEX Firewire Driver below for installing the new Firewire device driver.


Installing the FLEX FireWire Driver - For Windows XP, Vista & Win7
The directions below will instruct you how to properly install the FLEX Firewire driver for the Firewire-based FLEX software defined radios.  The screen shots used in the procedure are from a Windows XP operating system.  The screens will look a little bit different when installing on Windows Vista and Win7 due to the way Vista and Win7 renders dialog boxes, but the window content is identical. Also, the FLEX Firewire driver version numbers will be a bit different too.

Step 1.
After downloading both PowerSDR and the FLEX FireWire driver to your computer from the FlexRadio Web site (you can get the driver from the FlexRadio Systems home page), install or load the FLEX FireWire device driver software to your computer first.  Once the FLEX FireWire device driver is fully installed, then you will enable it by powering up the FLEX software defined radio.

Before we start, it is always a best practice to to close down any running applications before installing any type of hardware device driver. Open applications may inadvertently interfere with the proper installation of the Firewire device driver.


NOTE: The FLEX software defined radio *MUST* be completely turned off or disconnected from your computer before starting this procedure. You will be instructed when to connect or turn on your FLEX software defined radio in the procedure below.

Open up the folder where you downloaded the FLEX FireWire driver.  Either double left click or right click on the FLEX Firewire driver installation icon and select Run as Administrator to start the driver installation.




Step 2. After the FLEX Firewire driver Setup Wizard is displayed, left click on NEXT to begin the driver installation.




Step 3. After clicking the NEXT button, the Select Destination Location screen is displayed. It is recommended that you use the default location of C:\Program Files\FlexRadio. Left click on NEXT to continue.




Step 4. After clicking the NEXT button, the Select Additional Tasks screen is displayed. If you do not want the FLEX Firewire Control Panel icon on your desktop, un-check the “Create a desktop icon” option. It is highly recommended that you place a FLEX Firewire Control Panel icon on your desktop. You will use this control panel to manage your software defined radio.  Left click on NEXT to continue.




Step 5. After clicking the NEXT button, the Ready to Install screen is displayed. Verify that the options selected in the previous two steps are correct. If not, left click on the BACK button to change any of the incorrect options. Left click on NEXT to continue.




Step 6. After clicking the NEXT button, the Installing screen will be displayed. A Software Installation warning may also appear (if not, skip to Step 7). This warning is displayed because the hardware driver has not passed the formalized Windows Logo Testing program, which is not an issue as most hardware drivers are not Windows Logo certified. The FLEX Firewire driver has been extensively tested and will not destabilize or impair your system. Left click on Continue Anyway to proceed.




Step 7. After the file transfer is complete, the Completing the FlexRadio Setup Wizard screen will be displayed and you will be prompted to reboot your computer. Please select the option, Yes, to restart the computer now.

Before left clicking on the FINISH button, make sure that your FLEX Firewire-based software defined radio is powered off. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. You must complete the driver installation before powering on the FLEX software defined radio.

Once you have verified that the FLEX software defined radio is not powered on left click on the FINISH button to reboot the computer.




Step 8. After your computer has completely rebooted, power on your FLEX software defined radio by pressing the power button.

Windows Vista and Win7 Installation Procedure Deviation: Windows Vista and Win7 performs Steps 8 - 13 without any user intervention or displaying installation status dialog boxes. If you are installing on Windows Vista or Win7, skip to Step 14.

The following steps are applicable to Windows XP only:

The Found New Hardware Wizard dialog box is displayed once Windows XP discovers that the FLEX software defined radio, a new piece of hardware, has been connected. Select the option, No, not this time when you are prompted to use Windows Update to search for software. Left click on the NEXT button once you have made the proper selection to continue.




Step 9. The Found New Hardware Wizard will recognize that you are trying to install a FlexRadio FLEX software defined radio. Depending on the model of radio attached to your computer, the driver will properly identify the specific FLEX software defined radio you are installing. In the example above, the radio is a FLEX-5000. Select the option, Install the software automatically (Recommended), and left click on the NEXT button once you have made the proper selection to continue.




Step 10. After clicking the NEXT button, the Found New Hardware Wizard screen will be displayed momentarily.



Then a Hardware Installation warning may be shown. This warning, like the one in Step 6 is displayed because the hardware driver has not passed the formalized Windows Logo Testing program. Left click on Continue Anyway to proceed.




Step 11. After clicking the Continue Anyway button, you will observe the driver files being installed. See the screen below.




Step 12. After the driver files are installed you will see the Completing the Found New Hardware Wizard dialog box to indicate that the wizard has finished installing the software for the FlexRadio FLEX software defined radio. Left click on the FINISH button to continue.




Step 13. The FlexRadio Systems FLEX Firewire driver has three (3) sub-driver components.  The first sub driver, the FlexRadio Systems FLEX-xxxx core driver component was just installed in steps 8 - 12.  There are two additional sub-driver components that must installed to complete the driver installation process.

NOTE: After the FlexRadio Systems FLEX-x000 core driver component completes, repeat steps 8 - 12 for the two (2) FlexRadio MIDI drivers.  You will install a total of three (3) sub-driver components.  Do NOT stop installing the FLEX Firewire sub-drivers until all have been loaded.

After all of the sub-drivers have been properly installed, You should see a prompt in the bottom right had corner of your display that indicates that your new hardware is ready to use.

Step 14.  The last step is to verify that the FLEX software defined radio is properly communicating with your computer.  During Step 4, you should have instructed the driver installer program to place a FLEX Firewire icon on your desktop.


The FLEX Firewire Console icon may or may not look like the icon pictured to the left depending on your driver version, but will have the label
"FlexRadio".

Double click on the FlexRadio icon to display the FLEX Firewire Control PanelIf the driver was properly installed, you will see the name of your FlexRadio Systems FLEX software defined radio in the Device Description text box.  If the driver is not installed properly or the FLEX software defined radio is either not connected or turned off, you will receive a Device Not Found error message when you start the  FLEX software defined radio.







This KB article may reference additional files that are available on the FlexRadio Systems web site Downloads page. Please use the URL(s) below to download the referenced materials.

An Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required to open the file. You can download Adobe Acrobat from here.

KB Source Document(s):

None Referenced



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Last Modified:Saturday, August 27, 2011
Last Modified By: Administrator
Type: HOWTO
Rated 4 stars based on 2 votes.
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