Upgrading firmware

Firmware is a small program on Promethean devices that controls basic functionality. It is supported by another program called the kernel. We enhanced the kernel when we introduced Self-Paced Learning and question sets, so ActivExpression devices need two upgrades in order to receive Self-Paced questions.

What do I need?

  1. 2.4GHz ActivHub
  2. ActivExpression devices: We recommend that you upgrade all ActivExpression devices at the same time. It is not necessary to register the ActivExpression devices to the ActivHub before upgrading.
  3. A computer with ActivDriver version 5.5 or later: If you are using a laptop for the upgrade, we recommend that you connect the charger. If this is not possible, ensure the battery has sufficient charge to complete the upgrade. If you are unsure, do not perform the upgrade until the battery has been fully charged.

Before you begin

Ensure that you are using ActivDriver version 5.5 or later by clicking the ActivManager icon in your system tray or toolbar. Select Control Panel and check the version at the bottom of the window.

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If you do not have ActivDriver version 5.5 or above, please download the latest version for Windows and Mac from our Support Site. Linux users should visit article 1017.

How do I upgrade?

You must follow the steps in the order they are listed in this article, starting with the ActivHub firmware upgrade before moving on to the ActivExpression firmware upgrade. Do not disconnect the ActivHub at any point during the firmware upgrade; doing so may damage the ActivHub.

ActivHub firmware upgrade

Please follow the instructions in article 1621.

ActivExpression upgrade

Just like the ActivHub firmware upgrade, the ActivExpression firmware upgrade is controlled by the ActivManager on your computer. Once the process has begun, ActivManager will continue to broadcast the upgrade until you stop it.

Firstly, check whether your ActivExpression devices have already been upgraded. Power on the devices and press the MENU SYM button. Press the Diagnostics hotkey.

Check the version.

If you see 9.01.xx you will need to upgrade the kernel and the firmware.

If you see 9.02.xx you only need to upgrade the firmware. Please ignore the Kernel upgrade section below and proceed to the ActivExpression firmware upgrade section towards the end of this article.

Kernel upgrade

Click the ActivManager icon and select Control Panel. In the Hardware tab, tick the Show all 2.4GHz wireless device types box. Select ActivExpression and click Upgrade.

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Select Internet as the source and click Load.

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If a firmware upgrade is available you will see a popup. The kernel upgrade is selected by default.

If your ActivExpression device has 9.01.xx firmware, you must upgrade the kernel first, otherwise the upgrade will fail which could damage the ActivExpression. Ensure the kernel upgrade is selected and click OK to download.

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Read the instructions and click OK.

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ActivManager will begin to broadcast the upgrade, and the progress bar will advance from 0% to 100%. This will happen repeatedly until you stop the upgrade.

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Whilst the upgrade is being broadcast, press MENU SYM on the ActivExpression devices and then the RF Upgrade hotkey.

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A warning is displayed; press ENTER to proceed.

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A progress bar will appear on the ActivExpression screen. Once it reaches 100% the device will switch off automatically. This means the kernel upgrade is complete. Once all devices have been upgraded, click Stop in the ActivManager window. A confirmation dialog opens; click OK, and then leave your ActivManager window open.

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ActivExpression firmware upgrade

Now that the kernel has been upgraded, you can proceed with the ActivExpression firmware upgrade.

Select Internet as the source and click Load.

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Select your preferred firmware file from the list. For example, should you wish to install the Arabic alphabet onto your ActivExpression devices, select the last option and click OK.

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Read the instructions and click OK.

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ActivManager will begin to broadcast the upgrade and the progress bar will advance from 0% to 100%. This will happen repeatedly until you stop the upgrade.

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Whilst the upgrade is being broadcast, turn on the ActivExpression devices. If you have just upgraded the kernel you will see a horizontal progress bar on the screen. If the kernel upgrade was not necessary and you are upgrading the firmware only, press MENU SYM on the ActivExpression devices and then the RF Upgrade hotkey.

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A warning is displayed; press ENTER to proceed.

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A progress bar will appear on the ActivExpression screen. Once it reaches 100% the device will switch off automatically. This means the upgrade is complete. Once all devices have been upgraded, click Stop in the ActivManager window. A confirmation dialog opens; click OK then Close.

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Your ActivExpression devices will now be able to receive Self-Paced Learning questions.