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Let me introduce you to a class of people called wankers. These are the people who, given some technology and a tiny bit of training are so efficient in their ineptitude, they manage to break things in ways that it should not be possible to break them...

I will give an example, the reason this post is going up:


I work with cameras at my company. High-res, low framerate, monochrome industrial cameras, which attach to a standard computer viaIEEE1394 or Gig-E. The drivers for all the cameras I use are made by a company called Unibrain. Unibrain drivers are pretty good, all things considered, and rarely cause any issues as drivers are wont to do on XP Pro.


I come into work today, check my email and take care of various non-camera-related issues for a while. Around 10:15, I fire up the vision computer to which my current setup is attached (I am gaging a bunch of samples to produce some accuracy figures for a customer) and open my profile to start gathering data. I notice that I have no image, so I go to Scorpion's Camera tab...and there are no cameras on the system.

"OK," I think, "This happens on occasion. I will just reinstall the drivers for the camera, and we will be all set..."

There are no cameras in Device Manager.

I fiddle with theIEEE1394 hub and cables, because they tend to be a little flakey, and click refresh in Device Manager.

There are still no cameras.

I reboot and log in as an Administrator.

There are still no cameras.

I try one of my Gig-E cameras--guess what? Still no cameras.

Problem Found

I decide to reinstall the drivers to the system as a whole, see if that helps.

The installer comes up with the error saying "The drivers are already present on the system."

"Um, OK, then..."

I try uninstalling them--"No uninstaller or files found."



A bunch of training guys were up in the shop over the weekend, being taught Scorpion. I am guessing one of them flailed about on the keyboard in just the right way to partially uninstall my camera drivers, in such a way as to remove the files while making XP think they were still there, thus preventing the reinstallation from succeeding...

/me STABS the wanker who just spent me the last hour trying to debug this issue, and who is now causing me to have to manually edit the registry in about eighty different places to make XP realize the drivers are gone so I can get them back...I guess that customer did not really want to get this gaging study back in any reasonable amount of time...