Apr 18, 2008

USB Driver issues


This question goes out to all the teachers that read this blog. How do you go about installing USB drivers on your school network?

School network systems are usually locked down pretty tightly for security, and to install USB drivers for the NXT, you need to have logged onto the computer with Administrator rights. Now as each NXT has a unique ID, they have to each be identified with each computer you use. Hence if you have 10 NXT's and 10 computers, you would need to do 100 installs of the USB drivers. This gets even worse if you use your robot kits across multiple classrooms.

Does anyone have any good ideas as to how to roll out USB drivers (preferably remotely) over a school network? Post your ideas in the comments

--
Damien Kee

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Easy answer Damo. Use Apple Macs and you don't have a problem ;-)

Macs run Windows better than most PCs anyway! Have a look at the latest Popular Mechanics review

nxTeach said...

Damien:

I knew this was a problem with the older RCX drivers, but I haven't had any trouble with the NXT drivers on Windows XP. Could it be that you're still on Windows 2000? I'm curious to hear some more detailed experiences from others, so I started a topic in the forums. Feel free to post comments here or join in the forum discussion.

nxTeach

NXTMonger said...

I agree with anonymous, use Macs and your problems will go away!
But it's true that you should upgrade to XP if you haven't already. Windows 2000 is one of Microsoft's worst operating systems, except for maybe Vista.

topnet_vip_world said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mister said...

Use Macs might seem to be a clever come back, but it doesn't answer the question asked. In fact, it further alienates the Mac community by having us appear smug.

He's obviously got a PC lab, and saying "get a mac" is neither witty nor clever. Nor is it practical, is it anonymous? Monger?

We run a Mac lab, and have no problems. However, we also have PC laptops in the mix, with XP and the NXT, and there, we have no problems either.

So perhaps it's an upgrade issue?

Anonymous said...

No problems here winXP & NXT's work fine, I suspect that your best option is to speak to whomever configures your PC's check they are all upto date (XPSP2) and that you are using the right kind of bluetooth (ie one that uses the windows BT stack is best, or Widcomm? I think NXT works best with RFCOMM feature if your BT does not have this then you need to install ports each time? can someone confirm?) The dongle from Lego is the right type some cheaper versions use there own stacks and ar not very friendly...(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth_stack)


Hope that this comment is more useful that those above... and they wonder why they have a reputation...

Anonymous said...

If the answer is 'buy a mac' then the answer is wrong. There is always a way! because Pc's are so flexible there are many more options & things to consider.

NXTMonger said...

Sheesh you guys! The use macs thing was a joke, no need to get so upset!

Damien:
can you leave a comment as to what OS you're running?

Damien Kee said...

It's not actually my school, but a school that contacted me asking for advice.

I'll post the OS once I find out.

damo

Tom Harrison said...

It seems very likely that the problem is a result of the user (teacher) not having the appropriate priviledges on the computer. This would explain why it works fine for some and not for others. So I'll assume that you can get logged in as an admin for each computer.

In all likelihood, the USB installation uses an existing bit of USB software already on the computer, and is mainly just configuring it. The configuration is almost certainly stored in the Windows "registry", and bits of the registry can be copied and added to other computers.

So if you install all 10 NXTs on one computer, you'll need to search the Registry for the "keys" that were installed there, export them to a disk or network drive, and then on each of the 10 computers, import them into each.

The program you can use to manage the registry is called regedit.exe and lives in C:\Windows\System32.

The thing is, finding which keys are installed can be a big mess. There's a lot of jumble in that registry.

Unless NXT has a utility for this, it sounds like a modern version of something you would get the kids to do instead of clapping erasers :-)

Damien Kee said...

For anyone still reading, they are using WinXP.

The problem is not that they can't do it, it is that they need to have admin rights and log into every single computer which can become quite tedious. Add to this the reluctance of the IT department to grant even the teachers admin privillages

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