Windom: Installation/Technical Problems

I am thus closing the Windom thread and starting two new threads:

Windom: Sound Impressions

Windom: Installation Problems

The original all-purpose Windom thread is here.

Please let me know if I can otherwise help.

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Anyone having issues with Windom cutting out after a song or two via USB? Reinstalled all firmware, software, drivers, etc. I’m running JRiver 22 and Win 7. Everything works fine with Snowmass 3.0. Bridge works fine. Just an issue with USB. Can’t seem to figure this one out? Any suggesting on what I can try?

seems to me that if there’s any issue in knowing that you’ve got the files unzipped and they are 100% accurate, then PS Audio should just post a hash list of the files (MD5 is easy and easy enough for anyone to verify). Once PSA issues a firmware, they could easily include an MD5 hash list. Then upon downloading and unzipping on your end, you can run the hash and verify you have bit-perfect downloaded updater files.
For anyone’s edification, hashing a file and matching that hash on your end is an easy way to verify that a source file and its destination copy are bit-for-bit the same. Many companies offering downloads also offer a hash list for easy verification. This isn’t difficult or time-consuming to do, especially with the small size files on order here. Just a thought…

There isn’t often an integrity problem with the files (unless the OS’s Eject function isn’t used, but MD5’s wouldn’t help there anyway.) The problem is the in the update process and a bug which doesn’t seem to upgrade / update the user’s stored parameters correctly.

I’m not saying people’s problems with upgrading have anything to do with this, I know that. I’m just responding to the sentiment some people seem to have here that they’re unsure whether the files they download and unzip match what PSA has. This is a legitimate concern in any file copy scenario. Further, there are plenty of opportunities in basic Mac or PC file copy operations where the source and destination could possibly not match in a corrupt copy or corrupt destination media. In video production and cinema distribution, we use hash-verified copy techniques all the time. I can tell you that I personally have received corrupt media from professional shoots that didn’t use hash-verified techniques to copy their original camera media. In digital cinema packages for distributing films to theaters and screening rooms, baked into the mechanics of creating a DCP is a file hash so any cinema projection system ingesting can verify with certainty that they received a perfect copy from the source.

The update proces already makes use of CRC’s.
So, when there’s a problem with an unzipped file then the update won’t ‘take’.
On the contrary when the update ‘takes’ (you can verify this very easily in the ‘configuration’ window on the DSD) then the unzipped files where perfect.
In this case you can still suffer a less than optimal load, because maybe one or more stored parameters can be ‘corrupted’.

I find this idea quite unrealistic. It is extremely unlikely that file download, zip, unzip, or copy operations to an SD card involving a handful of files would result in file corruption or differences. If PS Audio provided you with the checksum of these files, I suspect you could download them, unzip them, and move them to SD card or USB thumb drive for 20 years and never encounter a bad file.

I would not believe it myself except I have encountered it, more than once. This is why programs like ShotPut Pro exist. This is why Netflix requires an MD5 hash to be generated for every file you send them for their archives. Spinning disks and solid state media go bad and you never know when. You only know when you spin up a disk or open a file and it has a dropout. For camera media on shoots, we require the original disks not be wiped for at least 48 hours so we can verify the integrity of the copied media. And I’ve had to call in for the original camera media several times due to bad file copies. Yes, extremely unlikely in most anyone’s world qualifies. But if it’s one file out of 1,000,000 - I may come across a million files in a week. This is why file hashes exist.

I used to run a datacenter so I know what happens. The problem isn’t with moving the 5 or so files around like downloading them from PS Audio, or unzipping, or copying them to a SD card or USB thumb drive. Those operations are solid. It’s having the files sit on a big hard drive for a long time. If you have a 1TB drive, you likely have about 3 files that are corrupt in some way. But that is several hundred thousand files and an immense amount of data. The odds are almost zero with small files copied to small storage mediums like SD cards and USB thumb drives.

So, maybe a couple of people have had issues with corrupt data over the course of the history of DirectStream upgrades. It certainly the case with 99.9% of the problems with upgrades reported here.

And one quick question about updates in general.

After you update the DAC, do you take out the SD card or leave it in. If I leave it in does the DAC updates to the same version everytime I reboot or just checks the version on SD card and do nothing if versions match.

I felt like it takes longer to reboot with the SD card in so I was wondering.

Take it out after the update.

Thanks Baldy.

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Yes, but I had the same problem with Snowmass.

Yes, if you power off (or lose power to) the unit and turn it back on with a disc inserted that contains a firmware update the firmware will reload – every time.

How do you fix this, or did you fix it? Interestingly, no issues with Snowmass 3.0 and prior updates, but USB randomly cuts out on SM 3.06 and Windom, so something changed right in that time frame. Nothing else has changed in my system, so I’m figuring it’s either an update issue, compatibility problems, or buggy files. When I do the upgrades everything looks good, so I’m at a loss here.

I am curious as to what kind of troubleshooting you guys have (@tony22?) tried. I am not a USB input user, but I just can’t get my head around how there could be a connection between one of these firmware updates and the stability of the USB input.

I don’t doubt your experience. I don’t understand how the issue could be linked to the firmware.

Sorry if I missed pertinent information somewhere earlier in this or in other threads.

Hope you get it sorted soon…

First, I think I need a lesson on how the DS works. I’m under the impression there is bootloader software and then also software upgrades named after mountain peaks. If you look at the PS audio website they have several folders in the archive named Directstream 1.1.6, 1.1.7, etc. The latest of these posted is 1.2.1. I figured that is the bootloader software, or what I’m calling the firmware. Then there’s the software upgrade files, Yale, Torreys, Snowmass, etc. There is also a firmware upgrade button on the DAC itself. In my case, I hit that and the system updated something, I assuming via the Internet? When that didn’t fix anything, I downloaded “firmware” 1.2.1 assuming it’s the latest and greatest version and installed that. No luck. I uninstalled the USB driver from my laptop and reinstalled the latest version posted on the PSAudio website. No change. Went back and forth between SM 3.0 and Windom a few times with the same result each time. I even tried going back 2 or 3 software versions with same end result. SM 3.0 works flawlessly with Bootloader 1.13, FPGA 0.139, and USB 00.33 shown on the screen, Windom does not. Any education on all of this would be appreciated. I’m a casual user with a fair amount of computer skill, but how all this works together is a bit confusing to me.

I am afraid that I, personally, can’t be of much help. I can tell you one thing for sure, though. The on-screen updates on the DSD (“Sr.”) is for updating the Network Bridge software. It is my understanding that updating the software for the “built in” Bridge on the DS Jr. works the same way.

[Edit: Maybe if @tedsmith or @Paul stumble across this thread, they can shed some light onto the matter.]

Mr. Elk,
Good decision and excellent job as always. I agree wholeheartedly. Realizing that Windom will be around for months, maybe longer, the division is necessary for organizational purposes. Most important to me, keeping lengthy threads to a single point.

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Since upgrading to Windom, I have been having problems when playing over USB. Mysteriously, the playback would go silent and I am unable to use USB again until I reboot the Direct Stream using the back power button. Over time, this has happened with a number of USB cables so I don’t think that the cable is the issue.

This happens in JRiver, Roon, and simply playing audio through the PS Audio USB driver straight from windows.

I mostly use the bridge II and Roon for playback, but watching youtube videos or playing music from Jriver, it becomes impossible to play the audio through the Direct Stream DAC.

I’ve been exchanging messages off and on with TJ and until recently I wasn’t having issues with a specific USB cable that I’m using, causing me to think that the USB cables could be the issue, but that cable now has the problem too.

Just to add to the mix, I’m powering everything with the PS Audio P20 with Multiwave set to 6.

Any thoughts or help in getting this resolved would be appreciated.