So once again, Google saves my butt… but let me start at the beginning.
I love Ebay. It is without a doubt one of the best shopping resources in the world. If you can’t find what you are looking for on Ebay, it probably can’t be found. As a result I usually drop in at least once a week to see what’s new, what’s hot and hopefully find a deal or two that I can’t refuse.
So about three weeks ago I dropped in and was checking things out. I stumbled across a vendor selling a twin gamepad set that used just one USB port called cryptically, a “Double Shock Controller PC USB Game Pad.” This item would allow me to have two game controllers plugged into my computer using only one connection (replacing my single joystick with two gamepad controllers instead!)
The other nice thing was that because they were game pads (instead of traditional joysticks) they should be easier for little hands. This latter part is important because I have two wonderful grandsons (ages four and two) who love coming over to play at P’po’s (grandpas).
A bit more history here…
I went out of my way recently to find some emulators (a program that would allow me to pretend I was another type of computer, so that I can run their programs) in particular Atari 800 and Sega Genesis, to run on my computer. I didn’t have and could not find any “simple” games for really young kids to play and in my mind the Atari 800 was probably the best machine out there for educational programs for preschoolers. The Sega just happened to fall into my lap and had some great (and simple) car race games that I knew the boys would like.
After getting the emulators installed (with the appropriate software.) I introduced both of my grandsons to my computer. I’m glad to say that they both took to it like water but I had a problem (or to be more accurate they had a problem) because I only had one joystick!
When they come over to play I always have to take one or two of those “Quick Grip” clamps (those things that you can find at Canadian Tire or a Hardware store) and lock the joystick down on my keyboard tray, otherwise they would quickly loose direction and control (it too easily twists and turns in their hands) during the intensity of the play. The other issue of course was two boys but only one joystick.
Many of the packages available work with multiple joysticks/controllers, but I have quickly run out of connections on my computer for them, PLUS I didn’t have space on my keyboard to lock down TWO joysticks!
So seeing this little package on Ebay was a windfall for me in so many ways! I then searched specifically for that item and found tons of them and ordered a set from Discount Source Direct (who also have their own independent web site.)
Well due to the strength of the Canadian dollar right now, it would seem everyone is ordering product via the Internet from the United States. It took three weeks for it to come it. (Canada Post is now saying that delays of four or more weeks is common, and if you want to order from the states for Christmas, you had best do it now!)
As expected the controllers, like everything else these days, was made in China. What was a surprise however, was that no installation instructions or documentation of any kind was included with the package, save for a small CD which said “25 minutes 225 megabytes“. Looking at the contents of the disk only showed an installation program… so what to do…
At first I just tried plugging the controllers into the same port that my joystick used and got nothing. No familiar ding-dong, which occurs on my computer whenever I insert a USB device into one of those ports (including the one my joystick resides on.) Looking at the devices list I can see where it is plugged in, but the computer says it is an unknown device with no drivers. So I tried the installation disk…
I got exactly the same result – nothing but “unknown device” – sigh… So I fired off a support question and waited several days hoping for a response but unfortunately none came. Ebay was now getting on my case about giving them feedback on the sale, but I wanted to do everything I could to get this thing working first (if I could) or else send it back for a new one (if it was broken) so I started digging deeper, using Google (of course.)
The installation program itself was called “VL811 Setup”, so I tried several different queries combining VL811 and game-pad and/or joystick. I actually found a software manufacturer that made the driver, with updates which I downloaded and tried but to no avail. Uninstalling and re-installing with numerous reboots gave me nothing… The computer still found no driver for this hardware!
At this point I decided to dig even deeper. The setup installation must have included a driver, where did it go and why wasn’t it working? So I looked at the installation logs and found the driver, but still couldn’t get the computer to recognize it, and so starting digging into the configuration files and stumbled across another name “RisingDragon” which of course is a perfect name for an up and coming Chinese manufacturer. With this I then used Google again and searched for “RisingDragon” and USB and Gamepad. I found thousands of hits, many if not all, in Chinese!
This is where Google starts saving my butt. Google has an amazing translation service. From what I can tell it translates every page it indexes into all the appropriate languages that Google can be accessed in. So if you are looking for say, RisingDragon in english it will find the Chinese, French, Arabic and even German versions for you if it can. Even if you can’t read it – it’s still there!
So, if your search finds a page with foreign language content you have the option of either disregarding all foreign language pages OR you can click on a special translation option on the link for that page and Google will translate (as best as it can) that page into your native tongue so that you can read it. It is absolutely amazing! Wow!
None of the translated Chinese pages that I found seemed to list anything like a support desk or “how to” page. Many were actually sales pages and a few were forums (where like minded people discussed issues online) and most of them were ecstatic about how well their “RisingDragon” Game-Pads were working.
One of those pages, however, was in German not Chinese. It too was a web forum with a title that read (for me, in English) “USB Problem”. The text however was definitely all in German. When I translated this page – I finally hit gold!
It appears that I wasn’t alone after all. Someone else was having a similar, and actually a worse problem than I was! I eventually discovered that I was suffering from not one, but two problems!
In my case my first problem created my second which had to be resolved before I fixed the first one (if that makes any sense.) Windows XP does not need any drivers for 99.9% of most USB “plug and play” devices. Sometimes if you install the device and it isn’t needed, it can actually make matters worse (which of course is what I had done.)
Uninstalling a USB driver, does not always completely uninstall it. The person who originally posted his problem on this forum ,”Ttstar”, actually found his solution elsewhere, but posted it (thankfully for me) on this forum. I’ll let him say it in his own translated words here…
Juhu it works. File deleted, and neustart gamepad is immediately detected and installed. The MP3 player funzt now without problems
The file is called “infcache.1” and is in the folder c: \ windows \ inf. But the folder is hidden
Thx to you both * karmageb *
The delete this file is a cons? Because it’s still somehow have a chop. Otherwise it would have medion yet made public. Yes, quite a few people seem to have problems with this bug.
(As an aside, when I pasted this translation into this document, although I copied just the English text, both the original German and English were pasted into the document…)
So after reading his recommendations I went into the hidden folder “\Windows\inf” and found and deleted the file “infcache.1” and while it didn’t fix everything right away, it also didn’t break anything either!
My final solution came at the top of the page by another user by the name of “Nenrik” who actually commented and questioned him about his hardware and asked…
The problem, I know … You have a Medion PC with SiS 648 chipset? ?
On my computer I am actually running two different sets of USB ports. I had originally run out of ports (plug-ins) on my computer. I had tried using a USB Hub, but found it more problematic than it was worth and had opted instead to get a PCI card (a card you can purchase to install inside your computer) with four USB ports and four Firewire ports.
I had been, all this time, trying to run the game-pads off of the PCI card USB ports. Now, I don’t know what the chipset is on that card, but I thought it worth a try so I quickly disconnected an item off of my original USB ports connected directly to the motherboard and “ding-dong” the computer recognized the game-pad right away!
So I spent the next 20 minutes reconfiguring and rewiring essential cables on my original computer ports to accommodate the game pad and even tried it out on a couple of the programs – it works like a charm.
Now I can’t wait to see what my grandsons think of it next time they are over. They’ll probably fight over who gets the #1 and who gets the #2 game-pad, but that’s for another day!