Over the last couple of months I’ve been using and enjoying Antelope’s Zen Studio. Just a word of caution today about updating the firmware, for the record I have Windows 7 professional 64 bit. Antelope’s Zen Studio control panel is great at telling you when updates are available. In fact when you first run the software it hurries off the check if updates are available. And these updates can be software for the control panel or firmware for your hardware. I think I have experienced both the positive and negative sides of the package. Currently my software is at 1.35 and my hardware at 1.36. However the upgrade to firmware 1.36 was a little painful. I followed the instruction for updating the firmware and paid little attention to the warning about a failure leaving the device non functional. However that is exactly what happened. Part one of the update went fine but part two failed.
I could tell it had failed because the front panel display of the Zen announced ‘Failure’, however the software didn’t seem to realise this has happened and proudly declared that the update had been successful. When I rebooted the Zen Studio I was presented with the “Loader Golden Boot” message on the front panel, not good. Never mind I thought, try again. And again, and again, and again. I probably tried about six times. Before thinking – time to try something else. First I tried the re-set option – powering up the Zen Studio while holding down the up and down buttons on the front panel. No joy. Again I tried this four or five times.
What next? I tried reflashing to an older version of the firmware. Again I tried five or six times, again no joy. And then I vaguely remembered a usb problem I had once had which was cable dependent. I searched the house for an other USB AB cable and found one upstairs under the bed. I was a bit anxious at first as it was even longer than one that I was using and I had a feeling cable length might be part of the problem. Anyway, I powered down the Zen Studio, swapped cables, and hey presto, the update dialogue appeared and having I clicked Update and within a few mintutes – success!
However when I rebooted the system the software couldn’t find the hardware! I tried a couple of reboots of the hardware – nothing. So I swapped the cables back and rebooted the Zen Studio and normal service was resumed. Great, I now have updated software and hardware. Well no, in my rush to update I hadn’t selected the latest firmware, damn. I ran the update and it failed, Loader Golden Boot, welcome back. So I swapped the cables over and again this did the trick and now the firmware and software really are up to date.
So a cautionary tale. However I was genuinely worried that the firmware update failure would brick the device and that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least not in my case. However if I close the Zen Studio control panel and reopen it, it currently can’t find the device – it just sits there with the USB device disconnected message on the screen. I disconnect the USB lead and reconnect it and restart the control panel – non. I leave the control panel running while I disconnect and reconnect the device – nein. With the control panel open I power off the Zen Studio and back on again – niet. I close the control panel and then power down the Zen, then power it back up again and then run the control panel – non.
I’m still working on this last problem – more when I have resolved it. The interesting thing is that the Zen Studio seems to be working fine, within the limits of hardware control only, despite the fact that the app can’t ‘see’ it.
Well, in the end a reboot of the PC did the trick, more investigation needed.