Windows 10 (Build 1903) Connected to Promethean Interactive Whiteboard Crashing – Part 1

Have you a Windows 10 computer connected to a Promethean Interactive Whiteboard that is regularly crashing in recent times following the latest round of Windows Updates installing? We have had this issue on a number of Windows PC’s connected to Promethean Interactive Whiteboard as Windows update installs Build 1903 on laptops. Having had personal experience in one classroom where the laptop crashed and restarted three times in the space of ten minutes alone, prompted me to look for a solution. There has been much discussion on various Promethean Community discussion boards on this issue since schools returned to school after the summer and the technicians were coming under a lot of pressure to come up with a fix. The good news is that recently, following all the complaints from users, Promethean has found a solution. In this posting we will look at the solution for post 2009 Promethean Interactive Whiteboards – 100 Series, 300 series and 500 series boards. There are three stages to implementing a solution to the problem on these particular interactive whiteboards. Steps one and two can be interchanged, you will have to reboot twice and you must have full administrator access to complete step two below.

  1. Update the ActivDriver to the latest version 5.18.12, which can be downloaded from the following link. You will have to restart your computer following installation.
  2. Manually update the firmware on your interactive whiteboard to the latest version by downloading and installing the latest firmware version following the guidelines given in support document 1038 – ActivBoard 100 series and 300 series firmware upgrade instructions here. If installing this firmware upgrade do take note of Promethean’s advice that firmware upgrades should only be carried out using a computer that is connected directly to the interactive whiteboard, bypassing any connection plates or wall boxes, using a 3m USB cable. An extra pair of hands may be advisable when connecting a shorter USB cable as one side of the board may have to be lifted of the wall mount as there may be very limited access behind the board.
  3. Update the firmware on your interactive whiteboard  to Promethean’s HID firmware (HID stands for Human Interactive Device) as outlined in Support Document 1779 – My Windows 10 computer crashes when I connect it to my ActivBoard which can be linked to here. This document lists in a table the latest versions of firmware necessary to have installed for different sizes of 100 series, 300 series and 500 series interactive whiteboards. Once the HID firmware is installed do remember to turn off the ActivBoard, disconnect the USB cable and restart the computer as outlined at the end of the document

I have had success with the solution above on a number of Windows 10 computers connected to Promethean Interactive Whiteboards (300 series) in the last two weeks. However after the HID firmware has been installed some users experienced difficulty with the pen not working, in particular with laptops which might be disconnected each afternoon or as teachers moved rooms (see here and  here).
Solution seems to be if pen is not working –

  1. Disconnect USB cable from board to the computer.
  2. Turn off mains power to the board at the switch on side of the board, switch turns red
  3. Reconnect USB cable to the computer and wait for board to power up, you will notice flame in the corner cycle colours until white
  4. Power on mains to board using switch at side, switch turns green.

Promethean also have a different solution for older (First and Second Generation Interactive Whiteboards – pre 2009, the ones supplied without the inbuilt sound of which we still have a few in use in classrooms which I hope to test in the next day or two and plan to write about next week. If you have some of these older boards check back here again soon.

If you are interested in the technicalities involved in all of this with Windows (Build  1903) take a look at this posting on Promethean’s Community Forums

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