Thursday, October 22, 2015

Updating the FocusLynx software on XP

Optec has recently updated their focus software which controls the Starlight Instruments Handy Stepper Motor FocusBoss II hardware.

The new software goes with new firmware, allowing many more steps than the original 32000.  This now allows the HSM to run the full focus distance from fully racked in to full extension.

Under Windows 7 and later, the update is simple.  Under XP, the software installer will stop and not progress.  I tried a new download, tried rebooting in safe mode.

I contacted Optec and they provided a quick way to force the install.  Note that a previous version of the FocusLynx software needs to be installed.  The version that was on the CDROM shipped with the Starlight Instruments hardware was already on my netbook, so this was the first hurdle complete.

This method requires using the command line.  Paths should be exact for where the files are located.  I've updated the example for what I used on my machine.

msiexec /a “path to .msi” /qb TARGETDIR="path to program folder"

msiexec /a “C:\setup\SetupFocusLynx_Starlight(2.0.0)\Setup_FocusLynx_Starlight(2.0.0).msi” /qb TARGETDIR="C:\Program Files\Starlight Inst\FocusLynx"

Running this command allowed the software to update with no problem!

The Optec tech says that the software that they are using to build the updates no longer supports XP, so it's likely that futher updates may not work on the platform.  So long as this trick works, then I can continue to use XP.

Hope that other users will find this helpful when working on their observatory machines.