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Technical Note 23
When Updates fail to update

 
From time to time, we make maintenance updates of Eminence Designer available via our website. These updates usually include new and/or updated driver parameters and factory enclosure designs. Unfortunately, we occasionally receive reports that these updates, while appearing to install properly, do not seem to work because the old program, driver parameters or factory designs still appear afterward. How do you know if an update has been successfully installed?
 

How to know if an update has installed
Before assuming that an update has failed, it is best to test it. For programs, check the version number. For the driver parameters, compare the list of driver files on your computer with the list on our website here.

  • To determine if a program update was successful, check the version number displayed on the title window when the program is first launched. You can also view the title window any time while the program is running by selecting “About Eminence Designer...” from its Help menu. The version number is located in the upper left corner just above the picture. The version number should match the latest update that you installed.
     
  • To determine if the driver parameter update was successful, first launch the program. Then select the “Open Design” command from the File menu (keyboard shortcut Ctrl+O). the “Open an Eminence Designer File” dialog should open. Use it to navigate to the “Designs” folder where the driver parameters are stored. Compare the list of driver parameter files to the list on our website here. All of the drivers listed on our website should be included. Your computer may also have some older drivers that are not included on the list on our website—just ignore them.

 
How to avoid common problems
The following suggestions should help you avoid most unnecessary problems:

  • If it has been a while since you last restarted Windows, restart your computer so you are using a fresh instance of Windows.
     
  • Use a Windows user account with administrator privileges. This should be the same user account that was used when the program was first installed. Eminence Designer 1.0 is not designed for a multi-user environment and switching user accounts to use the program or install an update can lead to various problems.
     
  • Exit all unnecessary programs before installing an update. Ideally, the only program that is running when you start the updater is Windows, itself.
     
  • Always exit Eminence Designer before installing an update. The updater cannot update the Eminence Designer program if it is running.
     
  • If you found it necessary to temporarily disable the security software on your computer when you first installed the program, then you will probably need to temporarily disable it again each time that you install an update. This includes all antivirus, antispyware, antimalware and firewall software. Important: To keep your computer safe, always disconnect it from all networks including the internet while the security software is off.
     
  • If you found it necessary to explicity give the installer (setup.exe) administrator privileges when you first intalled the program, then you will probably need to do the same thing to the updater each time you install an update.

 
Advanced troubleshooting
If you followed the above recommendations and the updater appeared to operate normally, but you’ve determined that the update was not successfully installed, then the update may have run afoul of the Windows virtual storage system. Beginning with Windows Vista and continuing through Windows 7 and 8, Microsoft has used a virtual storage system to deter malicious software from harming sensitive areas of your hard drive. This includes folders where the operating system, itself, is stored. And it includes application areas like the “Program Files” folder on 32-bit versions and the “Program Files (x86)” folder on 64-bit versions. Major components of Eminence Designer are stored in the program file folders during installation.

To protect applications like Eminence Designer from virus attack, Windows usually creates virtual copies of key components and directs programs without explicit administrator privileges to use them in place of the original components. The problem occurs when the updater fails to update the files in the correct location or fails to update the files in both locations (original and virtual).

Troubleshooting this problem is difficult for inexperienced Windows users because the virtual storage system and many of the sensitive areas of the hard drive have been hidden since Windows Vista. In order to locate and correct the problem, we need to make these hidden folders and files visible. Fortunately, it is easy to do. But a word of caution is in order: Making the hidden system folders and files visible can be disorienting to the novice and it exposes areas of your hard drive where you can damage your software—even Windows, itself. So the following steps are recommended only for experienced users with technical competence with Windows.

If the default settings were used during installation, the relevant Eminence Designer files would have been originally installed here:

64-bit Windows
C:\Program Files (x86)\Eminence\
 
32-bit Windows
C:\Program Files\Eminence\

After the programs are launched and used, Windows will usually create copies in its virtual storage area here:

64-bit Windows
C:\Users\[Your Account Folder]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Eminence\
 
32-bit Windows
C:\Users\[Your Account Folder]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Eminence\

You must substitute the name of your account folder for [Your Account Folder] in each of the paths above. For example, if your name is “Alin” and you used your name for your Windows user account, then the virtual storage path on a 64-bit version of Windows would probably be:

C:\Users\Alin\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Eminence\

If you’re not sure what your user account folder is named, you will need to search for it in the C:\Users\ folder after you have made the hidden system folders and files visible.

The solution to the update problem is usually a simple matter of examining both the original and virtual locations with the Windows Explorer to locate where the updates were installed. The updated files will usually be the largest and have the most recent date. Whichever location has the newer or updated files should be used to replace the older ones in the second location. Here are the relevant files to examine:

Eminence Designer 1.0 program file:  EDesigner1.exe
Driver parameters:  bb6 files in the “Designs” folder
Factory designs:  bb6 files in the “Designs\Factory Designs” folder

The above files are the only ones updated by each of the respective updates. The rest of the files can usually be ignored.

 
How to make hidden system folders and files visible
Remember: This should only be done by users with technical competence with Windows. If you are a novice, we strongly advise you to obtain the help of a friend or professional with the experience to understand this Tech Note and the skill to use our suggestions safely. Note: The following steps are based on Windows 7 since it is still the most common version in use with Microsoft’s virtual storage system.

  1. Launch the Windows Control Panel (Start > Control Panel). The Windows Control Panel should open.
  2. Click on “Appearance and Personalization”.
  3. Click on “Show hidden files and folders”. The Folder Options dialog box should open and its “View” tab should be pre-selected.
  4. In the Files and Folder section, locate the “Hidden files and folders” options and select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”.
  5. Uncheck (turn off) “Hide extensions for known file types”.
  6. Uncheck (turn off) “Hide protected operating system files”.
  7. Click on the “OK” button of the Folder Options dialog to accept the changes and close the dialog.
  8. Close the Windows Control Panel.

Use the Windows Explorer to navigate to the aforementioned original and virtual storage locations for Eminence Designer, determine where the updated files were installed and copy them to whichever of the two locations where they were not updated. After you’ve finished and the updates are working, launch the Windows Control Panel again and restore your folder options back to their previous settings.

It is sometimes possible to overcome update problems by purchasing a replacement installation disc from Harris Tech. The replacement disc is made to work only with your original Eminence Designer serial number and it always includes the latest maintenance release of the program, driver parameters and factory designs. Therefore, no prior updates are required. You would uninstall the old program and data using the standard Windows uninstaller via the Windows Control Panel and install the new copies from the replacement installation disc. However, this doesn’t always fix update problems because the Windows uninstaller will sometimes fail to remove all vestiges of a previous installation from the virtual storage area. It may be necessary to manually delete all old Eminence Designer program and data files from the virtual storage area after the uninstaller has been run via the Control Panel.

 


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