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Mach 3 Driver??
« on: October 27, 2018, 01:36:25 PM »
Hi guys. Another problem getting my machine to run. Have managed to get the demo version of Mach3 loaded onto machine but nothing on machine moves. I am convinced I have some sort of driver issue. Im using Windows 7 32 bit OK and my parallel port seems to be working. When I try the Driver test on the Mach 3 files it won't open and I get a red, like brick wall symbol. Should there be a unique driver that I am require to load? Have tried to load the special driver in same file but it fails to load properly, when I open software and toggle the arrow keys I can see software reacting on screen but no machine movement. I am new to all this and would really appreciate any advice which would get my machine running. Trev
Re: Mach 3 Driver??
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 02:49:24 PM »
Hi,
there are two parts to Mach, the GUI and Gcode interpreter and the Mach3 parallel port motion controller.

From your description the GUI/Interpretor is installed and working but not the parallel port.

May I suggest open the PC's Device Manager and see if Mach's parallel port driver is listed. If it is remove it.
When you run DriverTest.exe it should re-install the driver.

This is from the Mach3 Installation Guide, if you have not rebooted during the installation of the parallel port driver then it describes
your problem:
Quote
2.1.3 The Vital Reboot
You must reboot Windows before running Mach3. This reboot is vital. If you do not do it, you will get
into great difficulties which can only be overcome by using the Windows Control Panel to uninstall the
driver manually. So please reboot now.
If you are interested in knowing why the reboot is required, then read on. If not, you can skip to Section
2.2.
Although Mach3 will appear to be a single program when you are using it, it actually consists of two
parts: a driver, which is installed as part of Windows like a printer or network driver, and a graphical
user interface (GUI).
The driver is the most important and ingenious part. Mach3 must be able to send very accurately timed
signals to control the axes of the machine tool. Windows likes to be in charge. It runs normal user programs
when it has nothing better to do itself. Because Mach3’s operation is so time-critical, it cannot
be a “normal user program.” It must be at the lowest level inside Windows (that is, it handles interrupts).
Furthermore, to do this at the high speeds possibly required (each axis may be given attention
up to 100,000 times per second), the driver needs to tune its own code. Windows does not approve of
this (it's a trick that viruses play), so it has to be asked to give special permission. This process requires
the reboot. So if you have not done the re-boot, then Windows will give the Blue Screen of Death and
the driver will be corrupt. The only way out of this is to manually remove the driver.
Having given these dire warnings, it is only fair to say that the reboot is required only when the driver
is first installed. If you update your system with a newer version, then the reboot is not vital. The
install sequence does, however, still ask you to do it. Windows XP boots reasonably quickly, so it is
not much hardship to do it every time.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach 3 Driver??
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2018, 03:21:55 PM »
Hi Craig.
First of all a big thank you for your help and advice last weekend. Loading the Mach3 software was down to the updates as you suggested. I finished up re-loading a clean version of Windows 7 with updates now switched off. Software loaded OK.
I have attached a photo of my listed devices from the Device Manager, Is this suggesting that the driver has not loaded?
Trevor
Re: Mach 3 Driver??
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2018, 03:37:30 PM »
Hi,
it may be that its loaded but corrupted, that is what happens if you don't reboot through the installation procedure.

It has been many years since I first installed a Mach3 parallel port I do recall it took numerous attempts for me to get the
sequence correct including the reboot before I got it to work.

These days I use Mach4 and a SmoothStepper and the sometimes cranky/quirky/buggy parallel port are but a memory.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach 3 Driver??
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2018, 03:41:07 PM »
I did the reboot before I opened the software but it looks as if something went wrong. Hopefully you can help as I am more used to Mac computer. Do I left click on the Mach3 driver to delete? Then do I download a driver from the internet?
Re: Mach 3 Driver??
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2018, 03:51:45 PM »
Hi,
from memory you right click the driver. You may be able to delete it directly or you may have to inspect the Properties
to delete it.

You should not have to download it, the code is included in the Mach3 folder.

If you run DriverTest.exe it will install it for you.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach 3 Driver??
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 04:35:53 PM »
Getting screen attached when I uninstall but still question mark  against device driver as per earlier photo. Did a complete uninstall and reinstall of Mach3 but still the same result.
Re: Mach 3 Driver??
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2018, 04:54:18 PM »
Craig. What smooth stepper do you use? My machine is a Chinese 3040, whats involved in converting? If you know.
Trevor
Re: Mach 3 Driver??
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 05:10:58 PM »
Hi,
the Ethernet SmoothStepper by Warp9 TD.

Changing over is a learning curve but it does avoid the frustrations of the parallel port.

Craig
My wife left with my best friend...
     and I miss him!
Re: Mach 3 Driver??
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 05:20:24 PM »
Thanks again Craig. Will have a look if I don't get any success with my current setup.