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October 31, 2019 at 1:14 pm #18124Adam K PrometheanModerator
UPDATE – ActivBoard 100, 300 AB500 Firmware now released
As part of Promethean’s commitment to our existing customers using our legacy ActivBoard products, we have been extensively investigating a number of solutions for the recent Blue Screen Windows crash issue.
A major part of this investigation centered around driver certification for these legacy products on Windows 10.
Users of 1st and 2nd Generation ActivBoards
Despite our best efforts, the change that has been introduced to Windows 10 build 1903 means we can no longer offer support for drivers or software for our 1st generation and 2nd generation ActivBoards when used with Windows 10 build 1903. These products were first introduced over 15 years ago and have not been offered by Promethean since 2009.
The following support article will allow you to determine if you have a 1st or 2nd generation ActivBoard: https://support.prometheanworld.com/article/1088/
In an attempt to help our long time users of these legacy products, we have produced a modified ActivDriver, that appears to avoid the blue screen problem on 1st and 2nd generation ActivBoards. However this driver is not supported by Promethean. In other words, Promethean has not put this driver through our formal testing and quality assurance procedures therefore, installation and use of this ActivDriver is entirely at your own risk. We cannot guarantee that the download and installation of this unsupported driver will fix the problem and we also cannot guarantee that the installation and download of this driver will not have other unintended consequences. As such, we recommend that you test this unsupported driver in your local environment before making a decision to roll it out broadly.
IMPORTANT: If you wish to access this unsupported ActivDriver please use the details below.
The link to the unsupported ActivDriver is here:
The use of this unsupported ActivDriver may require you to perform one of the additional options detailed below in order to get a successful connection to your ActivBoards after the installation.
Option 1: Disable ‘Secure Boot’ in your computer BIOS if it is supported by your computer/ operating system.
Option 2: Disable driver signature enforcement within Windows 10.
· Click the Start menu and select Settings.
· Click Update and Security.
· Click on Recovery.
· Click Restart now under Advanced Startup.
· Click Troubleshoot.
· Click Advanced options.
· Click Startup Settings.
· Click on Restart.
· On the Startup Settings screen press 7 or F7 to disable driver signature enforcement.
Users of 100 series, 300 series and 500 series ActivBoards
A new version of ActivBoard firmware is now available for these ActivBoards that fixes the problem. Details on how to update your ActivBoard to this firmware are contained within the following support article:
Why can we not release a new certified ActivDriver to resolve this problem?
Unfortunately it is not as simple as renewing a certificate, we have looked into this extensively and if this could be done, it would have been.
There are x2 certificates that need to be and have been considered:
Code signing certificate, which lets users know that the software comes from a ‘trusted source’.
Our installers, including ActivInspire & ActivDriver, are signed with a code signing certificate. Our certificate that provides this did recently expire, and was renewed.
Hardware device driver certificate, This certificate is provided by Microsoft and is embedded into third party kernel mode device drivers, and allows the driver to be run without any of the driver certification protection being turned off.
To elaborate on the issue further, Windows 10 1903 has introduced a different way of talking to, amongst other things, kernel mode device drivers; which is what the core of our ActivDriver is when it is being used with all of our legacy ActivBoards.
The new firmware for the ActivBoard 100, 300 and AB500 means we will no longer have a dependency on Microsoft’s hardware device driver certification. Because of the way that Microsoft now certify device drivers, it is actually impossible for us to achieve device driver certification due to technology limitations in the older ActivBoards – hence why we have changed the firmware to remove the kernel mode driver dependence and therefore remove the need for the hardware device driver certificate in the ActivDriver.
The reason why we can only look at this method for AB100, 300 / AB500 and not 1st and 2nd generation ActivBoards is purely down to the technology that those ActivBoards utilise. It means we cannot provide a firmware for 1st and 2nd generation ActivBoards to remove the kernel mode driver dependency for those ActivBoards.
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