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Starshoot autoguider doesn't work on Windows 8

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#1 SpaceFreak131

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:01 PM

Hey guys, I recently bought a SSAG. I plugged it into my windows 7 desktop, and was able to get it to work. I went outside with it, and attached it to my telescope, and plugged it into my Windows 8 laptop, but the computer kept saying it was an "unknown device." I reinstalled the drivers but that didn't work either.

The next day, I wiped every trace of the SSAG drivers and PHD guiding from my laptop and started from scratch with a fresh installation of each, but no luck. Then I tried manually pointing Windows 8 to the driver ".inf" file which was supplied with the installation files, and that didn't work either.

I was playing around with various settings for about an hour until I finally gave up. I was wondering if anyone here has had the same problem and if they had managed to fix it.

#2 SpaceFreak131

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:02 PM

Update, I just saw another thread posted within the last few days about the same topic, I will be perusing the thread.

#3 michael hester

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 02:37 PM

The general rule of thumb with astronomy products and operating systems is this:

- It generally takes at least 1 year for astronomy products to have drivers for a new operating system and not everything is guaranteed to work after that.

You'll need to find a way to put Windows 7 on that laptop either through a direct install (wiping out your windows 8 ) or through a virtual machine software like VMware, Virtual Box, or Microsoft Virtual PC.

Some astro software even requires Windows XP to run or to use all of the features.

#4 JGTillery

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:23 PM

I'm having exactly the same problem with my new Acer Ultrabook, Win8, only USB3.0 ports. Orion said that they think it's a USB3 issue where the driver "isn't playing nicely". I've gotten it to work a few times on the Acer, but I've un-installed, reinstalled, rebooted, wiped, etc, etc, etc so many times that its simply not worth the trouble of trying anymore until Orion fixes the problem. It ran fine on an old HP Vista machine but that died last week. I've had to resort to lugging my iMac outside to couple to the SSAG just to test the hardware. It runs fine on the iMac PhD Guiding, so it's definitely a problem with coding. I hope Orion comes through with a solution. I posted a review of the camera that pointed out the issue I am having while giving it a good review otherwise. I hope they publish it so new laptop purchasers can be warned.

#5 BigC

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:00 PM

It is an annoying fact that the hardware long outlasts the manufacturer's software support in many cases.

I conclude the solution may be to keep an older computer just for scope and camera control.You can transfer the image files to the new computer for massaging in the program of your choice.

It is pretty certain that there will long be a legacy XP machine here NOT connected to the internet.That way it won't get viruses,won't fail the "OS legal" test,etc.

And one needs to keep archived copies of all needed software because what you can download from the interet today may be gone forever tomorrow!Dazzle 80 ,anyone?Just one example of an orphaned image accessory .

#6 Raginar

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 07:46 AM

Hester is right. Honestly, do image capture with an old laptop running XP. You'll have less problems overall and if it rains or the humidity kills your laptop, you'll care less :).

#7 JLovell

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:08 AM

Does the SSAG have Linux drivers? Linux is free and quite a bit more stable than Windows, especially 8. You can install it on a Windows machine in a dual boot configuration without wiping Windows off. http://www.ubuntu.com/ is probably one of the easiest to use flavors of Linux.

Well, I just looked at Orion's web site, and they don't, but Linux is still a possibility. There is a Windows emulator for Linux called Wine, also free. It runs Windows programs in more of a Windows XP mode. http://www.wikihow.c...e-Wine-on-Linux

#8 budman1961

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:20 AM

A buddy's Lodestar hated USB 3.0 also......

#9 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:30 AM

[quote Linux is free and quite a bit more stable than Windows, especially 8. [/quote]

I'd like to know where you are getting your information. I've been running Windows since version 1.0, and after I retired from the US NAVY I was a full time employee at the product support call center in Charlotte, NC.

I beta tested Win8, and the only reason I'm not using it now is because I don't have a tablet, or a PC with a touch screen.

From that experience I have learned that Windows is a good OS. MS had some issues, but with the exception of hardware and 3rd party software, Windows Vista, Win7, and Win8 run just fine thank you very much.

And, in case you're interested, it is not Microsoft's responsibility to write hardware drivers. That falls to the OEM, so you need to stop accusing MS and go after Orion.

#10 JGTillery

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 09:18 AM

It's amazing how many solutions are out there to fix this driver issue. Some of them require serious programming skills to modify the driver and no single solution that I have seen works for everyone.
I'm basically a Mac guy and drivers are usually invisible to us. That said, I'm very impressed with the touch screen interface of Windows 8. I suspect that the USB3 issue is entirely Orion's problem to resolve. It sucks to have to buy an ancient laptop just to run one piece of equipment and bring another one along for imaging.
Does anyone know if I could install XP or Vista on a USB external hard drive or a large chip and boot off that or must I always boot on the internal drive? Can I install XP or Vista in a partition on the Ultrabook? Would the USB3 ports run as USB2 under that scenario?
Thanks for any help anyone can offer.

#11 JLovell

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:09 AM

[quote name="Cliff Hipsher"][quote Linux is free and quite a bit more stable than Windows, especially 8. [/quote]

I'd like to know where you are getting your information. I've been running Windows since version 1.0, and after I retired from the US NAVY I was a full time employee at the product support call center in Charlotte, NC.

I beta tested Win8, and the only reason I'm not using it now is because I don't have a tablet, or a PC with a touch screen.

From that experience I have learned that Windows is a good OS. MS had some issues, but with the exception of hardware and 3rd party software, Windows Vista, Win7, and Win8 run just fine thank you very much.

And, in case you're interested, it is not Microsoft's responsibility to write hardware drivers. That falls to the OEM, so you need to stop accusing MS and go after Orion. [/quote]

Well, I am mainly speaking as a person who sells, maintains, and provides technical support for computers with Windows 8 installed on them. We've had a very significant percentage of them getting returned due to all kinds of weird problems that have nothing at all to do with hardware or third party vendors.

For example, did you know you cannot print an email from the Windows 8 mail app without performing a workaround? There just isn't a function to print built in that app. How many people do you know who never print an email?

Another built in app/feature that seems problematic is the photos library and app. I've had MULTIPLE returns from people that have large collections of photos, have them in the right place, and Windows simply loses them. The photos app simply doesn't show them.

I could go on and on and on and on .... about the problems we've had with Windows 8 that are definitely Windows 8's fault and not a hardware or third party software issue, but this isn't an OS argument forum. I was just making a suggestion of something that might actually work.

For the record, I personally have about 8 computers and several tablets. ALL of the computers are running Windows. Windows does have the best software and hardware support in terms of the number of programs and pieces of hardware designed to be used on it, but the fact remains that no matter how good Windows is, Linus IS more stable and robust. It has the limitation of lack of support for a good bit of hardware, and lack of commercial grade software without writing your own or running emulators. I never said MS was responsible for writing drivers either BTW. I know that's the vendor's job.

#12 SpaceFreak131

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 10:58 AM

I guess I can always try to install Windows 7 on a USB drive, and have the computer boot into it.

#13 csrlice12

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

I can't wait till my 2-year commitment to my Windows8 phone expires so I can smash it into a thousand bits.......

#14 SpaceFreak131

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:31 PM

It's unfortunate that some devices don't have Windows 8 support yet, but as far as the OS goes, I really like it. There were a few unnecessary additions/subtractions, but otherwise, I like that I can switch to the tablet interface, or switch to the desktop if I feel like it.

#15 Paco_Grande

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 02:05 PM

I can't wait till my 2-year commitment to my Windows8 phone expires so I can smash it into a thousand bits.......


Yeah, we know we know! :lol:

Ah, so, there is an old rule of thumb that has always worked for me: Select the application first, then buy the machine that has been proven to run it properly.

Hence, if you're going to ride on the bleeding edge, ie. taking a USB 2.0 device like the Orion guider and use it with USB 3.0, why would you expect it to work without a problem? USB 3 is NOT USB 2. And just because it's supposed to be backward compatible, good luck with that, especially something like a guide camera.

So who to blame? Probably no one is to blame. Ride the edge, you bleed some times. Ain't fair but that's the way it is.

#16 UBHSTRY

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 07:10 PM

Makes me so happy we hunted high and low last week for a new laptop and desktop.,.,......and we finally found windows 7 :)

#17 Erik30

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:29 PM

I'm running Windows 8 64-bit on an HP laptop and SSAG. When I first plugged it in there were issues of it not seeing the device.

Windows 8 will not dual boot unless you have Win7 installed first, and will not boot to a USB device on start up. (newer BIOS pc's)

The solution I used to fix my issue:

Installed MS virtual machine with Win XP SP3. Installed the drivers and made sure the SSAG was working. restarted the Win 8 pc and it found the drivers in the virtual pc directory. (Yes I know it sounds dumb, but it worked) I now use just my Win 8 64-bit laptop and SSAG along with my SXVR-H9C without a problem.

PS, I did change the USB from 3.0 down to 2.0. The new HP laptop I have has both... But... The SSAG works on both speeds for me.

#18 Al8236

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:58 PM

My solution was simple, Buy new laptop, Wipe new laptop, Clean install Win 7, No more OS that doesn't belong on a PC.
Who's idea was it anyway to put a tablet OS on a PC I mean REALLY!

#19 Paco_Grande

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 10:07 PM

Congrats on a fix. And to think that we can achieve joy in life simply by making our Windows PCs work. :lol:

Have you ever read the user agreement contract you signed when you bought a cell phone? In essence it says, there is no promise that the service will work anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night. That's the state of the art in cell phone service in the 21st century. How far we've gone and yet how far we've fallen. :p

#20 bluesteel

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 11:33 PM

If you think it's bad with astronomy things not keeping up with operating systems, you have not done any HAM radio work... I know of guys still running Win 95 SE because there aren't drivers for any other OS! Linux included.
...and the different flavors of Linux are only as stable as you configure it.
Using the MS Virtual Machine as Erik30 stated is your best bet. Wine won't work for what you are trying to do, it is more for software emulation and your problem is with hardware drivers.

#21 SpaceFreak131

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:47 AM

Thanks for the tips guys.

I always considered the idea Win7 on a virtual machine as an if-all-else-fails plan, I just hate going through the steps to do it. But I guess since I can't natively run it, I will just have to bite the bullet and do it.

#22 BigC

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:21 AM

If you think it's bad with astronomy things not keeping up with operating systems, you have not done any HAM radio work... I know of guys still running Win 95 SE because there aren't drivers for any other OS! Linux included.
...and the different flavors of Linux are only as stable as you configure it.
Using the MS Virtual Machine as Erik30 stated is your best bet. Wine won't work for what you are trying to do, it is more for software emulation and your problem is with hardware drivers.

Yes,hard to get new drivers for working hardware no longer supported or the seller and manufacturer have closed shop.Besides the old scopes there are old computers here!Can fire up a Win 3.9,3.1,3.11,95,98,Me,200,NT,XP,and 7.
Linux was getting just really capable then they messed with the interface and turned me off it.
New and different usually means a pita with computing.

#23 Paco_Grande

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 11:32 AM

Thanks for the tips guys.

I always considered the idea Win7 on a virtual machine as an if-all-else-fails plan, I just hate going through the steps to do it. But I guess since I can't natively run it, I will just have to bite the bullet and do it.


It may or may not solve your problem, especially if the new machine has USB 3.0 hardware... Anyway, hope it works out.

#24 bluesteel

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:18 PM

It may or may not solve your problem, especially if the new machine has USB 3.0 hardware... Anyway, hope it works out.

Most new machines have a combination of USB 3.0 and USB 2.x ports. If one USB port is not working for you, try switching to a different one. You might be able to reference which ports have which specification.

Yes,hard to get new drivers for working hardware no longer supported or the seller and manufacturer have closed shop.Besides the old scopes there are old computers here!Can fire up a Win 3.9,3.1,3.11,95,98,Me,200,NT,XP,and 7.
Linux was getting just really capable then they messed with the interface and turned me off it.
New and different usually means a pita with computing


Man! Windows 3.11! My system died a couple years ago when the RAM took a coffee break and never came back. Still is/was my favorite operating system. Minimal overhead. Sold my Win95 machine a while back to a HAM operator that needed that type of system. Didn't want to get rid of it for archival and "just in case" sake, but the offer was tough to refuse!

If you want to have the dual operating systems, I would recommend a "dual boot" setup rather than a virtual machine. I have NEVER got drivers to cooperate 100% in a virtual environment.

#25 Al Miller

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 03:36 PM

It is pretty certain that there will long be a legacy XP machine here NOT connected to the internet.That way it won't get viruses,won't fail the "OS legal" test,etc.




I have three such machines right now. One for use at the scope, and two backups all loaded with the same software. Those should last longer than I'll probably use the equipment they are attached to. I just don't like to "fix what isn't broken" or fool around with new installs every time Microsoft comes out with a new gimmick.






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