Dave's Toppy Documents

How to install the Windows USB Driver for Topfield SD PVRs  


Which Files to Install?

For 32bit version of Windows, the most reliable method of installing the Topfield USB driver used to be to install the Topfield Windows Applications Setup v1.0.4. But since the release of the Vista 32bit compatible USB driver this has been replaced by the new TopfieldTools for XP and Vista 32bit (which should now be the most reliable method?). The old Applications installer is currently available here though you should try the new Applications installer first. If you use the old installer you should replace the included version of Altair with the newer v1.2.5.0 Altair.exe (see downloads links below).

I believe that, currently, the most reliable way to install the USB driver should be to install the:
TopfieldTools.exe (Note: This is not related to my ToppyTools in any way)

If that fails, installing the latest Altair version (via double-clicking the inf file or by pointing Windows to the directory containing the Altair files etc) might work:
Altair_XP.exe for all windows versions except Vista. (for Vista 32bit downloads see below)

Or try just the USB driver itself:
tfbulk.zip - USB Driver for all windows versions except Vista. (for Vista 32bit downloads see below)

Note: Uninstall any old/existing driver and/or application installations and reboot before trying to install the USB driver.


Different Altair Versions

The Altair v1.2.5.0 download has been replaced by Altair v1.2.5.0 for XP 32bit and Altair 1.2.5.0 for Vista 32bit. In fact all downloads now come in both XP 32bit and Vista 32bit version.
Interestingly the
Altair v1.2.5.0 for XP 32bit download (which is now a self extracting exe archive instead of a zip file archive) includes the old (Win9x compatible?) version of the TfBulk.inf file (that came with Altair v1.1.2.1). All other included files are the later version.

Note: Altair v1.2.5.0 is included in the TopfieldTools installation. The old 'Topfield Windows Applications Setup v1.0.4' only included Altair v1.1.2.1



Windows 95, 98 and ME Requirements

For installing the Topfield USB driver on Windows 95/98/ME you used to need to edit the TfBulk.inf file with notepad and change all references to TfBulk.sys to TfBulk.SYS (or visa versa?).

The
Altair v1.1.2.1 download included a TfBulk.inf file with all references to the sys file as TfBulk.SYS
The Altair v1.2.5.0 download included a TfBulk.inf file with all references to the sys file as TfBulk.sys

Note: For Windows 95 you may need to install Windows 95 USB driver update as the original Windows 95 version did not support any USB devices.


What about Vista and XP 64bit, Linux and Mac?

Currently USB drivers and Topfield Applications for Linux, Mac or 64bit versions of Windows are not provided by Topfield - though there are various 3rd party solutions available. Apart from additional hardware options like an NSLU2 (aka slug) or an Icebox2 etc that allow any operating system to access an SD toppy via any FTP client (even remotely over the Internet) check out the following:

For 64bit XP and Vista search the Topfield forums for topics on Aldarin's tfdll.dll

For Linux search the Topfield forums for topics on ftpd-topfield

If you own a Mac checkout the following sites:
http://www.noates.com/
http://www.mtop.co.uk/
http://members.inode.at/417486/tfmac5000/tfmac5000.html


Troubleshooting
If you are having problems you should uninstall any old/existing driver and/or application installations and reboot before trying to install the USB driver.

In some rare cases, before doing a clean installation, it might be necessary to delete certain 'tfbulk' related registry keys after uninstalling the USB driver and rebooting.

*** All USB cables are not created equal ***
If the driver installation was successful (Window's Device Manager is not reporting a problem) but Altair or TFD-USB can not see the Toppy when it is running and connected to the PC via a USB cable then try a different USB2 cable. Toppys can be very particular about the length and quality of the USB2 cable. Short (2mt or less) top quality USB2 cables often work when other perfectly good cables, of a different brand, would not work (or would work unreliably). Also try different brand cables until you find one that works.

You really should use a USB 2 cable, and not an old USB 1.0 or USB 1.1 cable.

*** My USB connection keeps dropping out ***
The cause of this is usually a dodgy USB cable or a USB cable that is too long for the toppy to work reliably. Sometimes a powered USB extender can help if you must use a long cable.

This can also be a symptom of a faulty USB chip on the toppy's motherboard - which is usually caused by a voltage surge coming from an unearthed antenna through the toppy's USB port to the PC when you connect the USB cable with the toppy turned ON. This is often also the cause of a dead USB port on a toppy.


Downloads for Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000 Pro and Server, XP 32bit Home & Pro

TopfieldTools.exe (Note: This is not related to my ToppyTools in any way)
Altair_XP.exe
tfbulk.zip - USB Driver
TFDN_USB(Firmware downloading tool).zip - USB port firmware updater
TFD-Down_2.03_XP.exe - Serial port firmware updater

Note: Altair, the USB Driver and TFDN-USB should be included in the TopfieldTools.exe installation.


Downloads for Vista 32bit

TopfieldTools.exe (Note: This is not related to my ToppyTools in any way)
Altair_Vista32.exe
Vista_USB_Driver.zip
TFDN_USB_Vista32.exe - USB port firmware updater
TFD-Down_2.03_Vista32.exe - Serial port firmware updater

Note: Altair, the USB Driver and TFDN-USB should be included in the TopfieldTools.exe installation.


All currently available Topfield Utilities can be downloaded from here
 

 

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