Author Topic: Windows 7 with 64bit  (Read 5901 times)

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Offline jimthefish

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Windows 7 with 64bit
« on: November 29, 2012, 04:10:26 PM »
Hi got a questions. My Dell 580 desktop computer had a major hard drive failure last week, it seemed all the BIOS also got corrupted. I had a hell of a game to reload all my stuff after installing a new hard drive, couldn't even get it to load from the CD. Before the failure I was running Mach3 on it but not connected to my CNC machine, it worked fine. My question is can I still run Mach3 on my 64bit computer for program compiling without fear corrupting my hard drive or BIOS settings. I have no intention to run my CNC machine from this computer, this option allows me to construct the programs in the warmth of my living room on my 64bit. I then use a USB stick to transfer the program to an old 32bit computer in my workshop driving my CNC mill.
Basically I'm asking if Mach 3 software is safe to run on a 64bit computer as a program compiler and proving process providing its not connected to a CNC machine as I dont want to have the same problem.
Apologies if I'm stating the obvious only dont understand 64bit or 32bit options and dont want to repeat my computer failure again. 

Offline BR549

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Re: Windows 7 with 64bit
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2012, 05:21:36 PM »
As long as you do not load the LPT driver (sim mode) it should be fine. BUT there are some things in  Mach3 that do not work without the driver. SO it all depends (;-)

Give it a whirl,

(;-) TP

Offline EJParrott

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Re: Windows 7 with 64bit
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 02:30:48 AM »
From what I've been reading, in the run up to ordering my pc in the January sales (!), is that Win7 64-bit is fine as long as you connect to a machine by USB or ethernet.  Seeing as you're not connecting to machine, you should be fine.

Either that, or my information is wrong, and I need to crack it before I order my pc!

Offline jimthefish

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Re: Windows 7 with 64bit
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 03:09:04 AM »
Hi I think your correct. I know nothing about the internal bits of a computer but from what I have been told machines need 64bit processors if the have more than 4GB or more of process memory (most new computers). They have also stopped fitting the old port for the printer using the USB ports for driving the printer therefore our Break out Boards. This means most BOB's will not run from the USB port. Looking on the forum it looks as if smooth step is the way to go (whatever that means). I must admit there seems to be a gap on the Mach forum to help plebs like me understand the intricacies of 64bit v 32bit systems. There must be lots of basic CNCers using old computers that are going to be in trouble in the years to come. All I want to know is if I download the demo version onto my 64bit machine it will not corrupt my 64bit computer, and like you what do I do when my old 32bit computer (with a licence) running my machine in the workshop packs up. Is it going to cost me much to replace the BOB and possibly the stepper drives and D32 motors. I say a prayer evertime I go down to use my 1988 Denford Triac mill and my 2005 Dell computer still work. Its a shame that we might all be in trouble soon.

Offline EJParrott

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Re: Windows 7 with 64bit
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 03:25:22 AM »
You must use a smoothstepper with a laptop I know that much.  If I understand correctly, a desktop will output the movement command until the axis is to stop, but because of its powersaving gubbins, a laptop won't.  So what the smoothstepper does is hold the signal up until the end of the move, then tells the laptop its done it whats next?  Something like that anyway.  As I say, I believe its essential with a laptop.

Offline jimthefish

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Re: Windows 7 with 64bit
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2012, 03:46:17 AM »
Hi EJ yes I've been told laptops have problems, however I use a Dell Desktop in the workshop, it uses 32bit processing and has a old style printer port for my BOB. I was hoping my home 2010 Dell 580 would replace the workshop machine, but this does not appear to be the fact as its 64bit and does not have the old style printer port (called a RS232 port, I think!). Someone out there will advise me what I need to do in the event of the failure of my 32bit workshop computer or do I look for another old 32bit computer as a replacement. I use my machine as a hobby toll to make model 5" gauge steam trains so use it every other week for an hour or so don't want to have to make expensive alterations for such limited use. Jim

Offline EJParrott

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Re: Windows 7 with 64bit
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2012, 03:53:05 AM »
I use my machine as a hobby toll to make model 5" gauge steam trains so use it every other week for an hour or so don't want to have to make expensive alterations for such limited use. Jim

Its a small world...thats what mine is for!

I think, and an expert will be along sortly I'm sure, is that in the event of failure of the workshop pc, you would need to change you BOB for one that connects via USB or ethernet, thenyou'll be on the road again.

Offline Hood

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Re: Windows 7 with 64bit
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2012, 05:51:56 AM »
It is the operating system being 32 or 64bit that is the issue. You could install 32bit XP on a new computer, assuming you can get drivers from the computer vendor for XP.

If using a 64bit operating system to actually control a machine then  you must use an external controller to control the machine with Mach. That can be Smoothstepper (USB or Ethernet), CSMIO/IP, Galil, DSPMC, Kflop etc etc

If just wanting to use Mach in simulation mode, ie no machine being controlled, then you can run Mach on a 64bit operating system. As Terry mentioned some things will not work correctly in simulation, these things are the functions that use the driver or plugin such as probing. Otherwise it will work fine for testing and proving code.

Hope this helps clear things up a bit.

Hood

Offline jimthefish

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Re: Windows 7 with 64bit
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2012, 08:01:08 AM »
Hi Hood nice to hear from you. Can you explain smooth stepper to me. I have the origonal D32 stepper on my Denford mill and replaced the Denford stepper drives with 3 drive boards. Will I have to replace the motors and stepper drives if I use smooth step or just the BOB and spindle card pluged into the BOB. Jim

Offline Hood

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Re: Windows 7 with 64bit
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2012, 09:07:29 AM »
The SmoothStepper is a motion controller that connects to Mach with either USB or Ethernet (depending on which one you get, Ethernet one recommended).
The SmoothStepper was designed to be a simple plug in replacement for the parallel port so basically what you would do is disconnect the parallel port cable and connect the SmoothStepper to your computer via Ethernet (or USB) and then load its driver and plugin (both are bits of software) You would then connect the SmoothStepper to your BOB and that should be all you need to do, well maybe a wee bit of setup in the SmoothSteppers plugin but all your existing Mach settings will be fine.
So in summary all you would need is a SmoothStepper and connect that to your computer and BOB.
Hood