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2015

Now that VX releases can run side-by-side, it can be tricky to determine the active/current release. For example, if you double-click a .pcb which version of Xpedition or PADS Layout will it launch in?

 

Further below are a couple of different scripts that can be used to report the currently configured SDD release (see sample screenshot below).

 

 

Script Option #1:

 

This script determines the current release based on the "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\<executable>\eProductDesigner" registry string.

 

Instructions: Copy the lines further below into a file that end with ".bat", and double-click to run.

 

BEGIN script contents (copy content BELOW this line):

 

echo off

 

set DXKEY="HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\viewdraw.exe" /v eProductDesigner

set EXPKEY="HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\ExpeditionPCB.exe" /v eProductDesigner

set PADSKEY="HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\powerpcb.exe" /v eProductDesigner

set PADSPROKEY="HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\ExpeditionPE.exe" /v eProductDesigner

 

REG QUERY %DXKEY%

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

  for /f "skip=2 tokens=1,2,3" %%A in ('reg query %DXKEY%') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%C"

  goto end

)

 

REG QUERY %EXPKEY%

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

  for /f "skip=2 tokens=1,2,3" %%A in ('reg query %EXPKEY%') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%C"

  goto end

)

 

REG QUERY %PADSKEY%

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

  for /f "skip=2 tokens=1,2,3" %%A in ('reg query %PADSKEY%') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%C"

  goto end

)

 

 

REG QUERY %PADSPROKEY%

if %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (

  for /f "skip=2 tokens=1,2,3" %%A in ('reg query %PADSPROKEY%') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%C"

  goto end

)

msg * "No current SDD configuration found!"

 

:end

 

END script contents (copy content ABOVE this line)

 

 

Script Option #2:

 

This script determines the current release based on the file association for .pcb (can be configured for other file extensions on the "set extension=" line in the script).

 

Note: This script assumes the target install folder is one level deep, for example: 'C:\MentorGraphics'. If you've installed 2 or more levels deep, for example: 'C:\Program Files\MentorGraphics', simply increment the "E" in "%%E" near the end of the last line in the script, one letter for each additional level. For example: %%E for one-level deep (C:\MentorGraphics), %%F for 2 levels deep (C:\Program Files\MentorGraphics), and so on...

 

Instructions: Copy the lines further below into a file that end with ".bat", and double-click to run.

 

BEGIN script contents (copy content BELOW this line):

 

echo off

:### set the extension type to check for. Some examples:

:  .pcb for Xpedition or PADS Layout.

:  .prj for xDX Designer.

:  .sch for PADS Logic

:###

set extension=.pcb

 

for /f "tokens=1,2 delims==" %%A in ('assoc %extension%') do for /f "tokens=1-6 delims=\" %%C in ('ftype %%B') do msg * "Currently configured release is %%E"

 

END script contents (copy content ABOVE this line)

There may be cases where a driver update can have unintended consequences. On occasion you may back rev the driver to restore functionality, but then later find that Windows Update has dutifully updated the driver for you again the next time it detects an update is available.

Turning off automatic updates would prevent the problem, but your IT policies may require Windows Update be set to automatic. Fortunately, there is a distinction made between device driver and OS updates so you can leave automatic updates enabled for the OS updates and disable them for device driver updates..

To disable device driver updates, do the following (procedure applies to Windows 7):

  1. Open the Devices and Printers folder by pressing the Start button, right clicking on Devices and Printers, and selecting Open.
  2. In the top row of the window you should see a computer icon that has your systems name on it. Right click on it, and select Device Installation Settings.
  3. Select No; Let me choose what to do, then select Never install driver software from Windows Update.
  4. Select Save Changes, and close the window.

 

OS updates will continue to install automatically, but device driver updates will not. You still have the option of installing these by running Windows Update manually and selecting the drivers you want to update, just be careful not to pick the one that breaks your system.

This setting applies to all device drivers. There does not appear to be a way to target a specific device driver and prevent it from updating while allowing others.

Now that Xpedition flow is supported on Windows Server 2012 you may be considering that platform for your Remote Server Configuration Manager and/or xPCB Team Server host. If so, be aware of a new system default setting in Server 2012 that prevents the system from responding to a ‘ping’ from a remote computer. Not being able to ping the server it makes troubleshooting a bit more difficult if you have problems connecting to it.

 

You should verify your IT policy first, and then if you determine that the default setting is more security than you need and your IT policy allows you to enable a ping response, you could use one of the methods below to enable it.

 

The first thing you need to know is that this policy is enforced through a firewall rule, and to change the behavior you’ll need to modify the rule. Of course if you plan on completely disabling the Windows firewall anyway, then you’re already done.  Once you turn the firewall off there is no need to do any of the steps below.

 

Method 1: Windows Power Shell

 

If you have Windows Power Shell installed you can enable the rule from the shell window with the following commands:

 

PS C:\> Import-Module NetSecurity

PS C:\> Set-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName “File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv4-In)” -enabled True

 

Note: To use this method the rule must already exist. If you need IPv6 ping, then you must also enable the rule called ‘Echo Request – ICMPv6-In’.

 

Method 2: Graphical Interface

 

To use the graphical interface to change the rules follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel and select System and Security
  2. Select Windows Firewall
  3. Select Advanced Settings
  4. Under Windows Firewall with Advanced Security, select Inbound Rules
  5. Locate the rule called File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request – ICMPv4-In)
  6. Right click on the rule and select Enable Rule
  7. Verify that a green check mark appears next to it when you look at the Inbound Rules

 

Done! There is no need to reboot the system. It should respond to a ping from a remote system now.  This works for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012R2.

Note: If you need IPv6 ping, you can use the same procedure to enable that rule.

These two features are available in Windows 8.1:

 

Quiet Hours to Disable Notifications
A new feature of Windows 8.1 is the option to turn the notifications off or set a period of time for which the notifications may appear. During the Quiet Hours you will not receive alerts from IMs, texts or basic apps. To do this, go to Change PC settings, click on Search and Apps, select Notifications, and configure the relevant options.

 

Configure Automatic App Updates
Unlike Windows 8, app updates in Windows 8.1 will be automatically installed by default without the user’s consent. To stop this from happening, open Windows Store and access the Settings Charm menu – the charm must only be activated once in the Windows Store or else it will not display the required menus. In the Settings Charm menu, select Settings and navigate to App Updates. Enable or disable the option to automatically update apps.