1.    18 Sep 2017 #1
    Join Date : Sep 2017
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1703

    KB4034674 now KB4038788 disables Steelseries/Ideazone Merc Keyboard


    The topic was addressed here; but, apparently breezed over due to a prevalent discussion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maegirom View Post
    Hello. This KB4034674 breaks the merc stealth keyboard software and driver. Has been reported worldwide by every merc stealth "active" user (yes, we are few people). The problem is that this is an oooold (although a very good and rock solid) keyboard and Steelseries (the brand company) has discontinued this item.
    In my case, the keyboard is recognized but the software or drive associated with this doesn't work, so I can't make use of macros, special keys, weblinks, profiles... As I've said, it's clear and proved that this KB4034674 is the cause. Reverting the system to a previous state fix the problem.
    We can't expect a solution by steelseries side, but maybe a revision or fix by Microsoft side?
    Regards.
    No Support: Steelseries refuses to update the driver. No surprise, it took them forever to release the half-baked x64 driver (Win 7 x64 signed) that we users currently work with. And, I doubt MS is going to do anything because the user base of this product is the size of a flea on a elephants ass...

    Reality: Which doesn't change the fact that hundreds of users are without the full function of their keyboards(Merc Stealth) or Gamepad(MercFang). So, I come here to tenforums.com seeking the sages/gurus help.

    The problem lies in a driver file Alpham164.sys which after the KB4034674 release, is now deemed unsafe. Cough.. Bullshit! It has worked for ~10 years, that is the apex of "SAFE".Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Alpham_164.PNG 
Views:	4 
Size:	466.3 KB 
ID:	153986

    The Workaround: Currently, we users that are in the know, are uninstalling the update. However, it's cumulative and this is going to become more difficult over time.

    What we need is a way to tell Windows that this file is safe. I'm pretty sure disabling driver signature enforcement, side-loading, and developer mode have all been attempted, to no avail.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    References:
    Cumulative Update KB4034674 Windows 10 v1703 Build 15063.540
    https://www.reddit.com/r/steelseries/comments/6suq0j/psa_windows_10_update_kb4034674_breaks_z_merc/

    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...3-d81e3c63f151
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    20 Sep 2017 #2
    Join Date : Sep 2017
    Seattle, Washington
    Posts : 1
    Windows 10 Pro 1703

    Same here.


    I can confirm.......My Merc Stealth broke again until I uninstalled KB4038788. Microsoft needs to give us back the ability to select what updates we want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtydeedz View Post
    The topic was addressed here; but, apparently breezed over due to a prevalent discussion.


    No Support: Steelseries refuses to update the driver. No surprise, it took them forever to release the half-baked x64 driver (Win 7 x64 signed) that we users currently work with. And, I doubt MS is going to do anything because the user base of this product is the size of a flea on a elephants ass...

    Reality: Which doesn't change the fact that hundreds of users are without the full function of their keyboards(Merc Stealth) or Gamepad(MercFang). So, I come here to tenforums.com seeking the sages/gurus help.

    The problem lies in a driver file Alpham164.sys which after the KB4034674 release, is now deemed unsafe. Cough.. Bullshit! It has worked for ~10 years, that is the apex of "SAFE".Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Alpham_164.PNG 
Views:	4 
Size:	466.3 KB 
ID:	153986

    The Workaround: Currently, we users that are in the know, are uninstalling the update. However, it's cumulative and this is going to become more difficult over time.

    What we need is a way to tell Windows that this file is safe. I'm pretty sure disabling driver signature enforcement, side-loading, and developer mode have all been attempted, to no avail.

    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    References:
    Cumulative Update KB4034674 Windows 10 v1703 Build 15063.540
    https://www.reddit.com/r/steelseries/comments/6suq0j/psa_windows_10_update_kb4034674_breaks_z_merc/

    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...3-d81e3c63f151
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    20 Sep 2017 #3
    Join Date : Sep 2017
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1703
    Thread Starter

    It's a "Cumulative Security Update." Without it your Windows 10 just stops updating. You can uninstall the update, then block it from updating http://download.microsoft.com/downlo...owhide.diagcab ; but, Windows 10 literally stops installing all other updates.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	NoUpdates.PNG 
Views:	0 
Size:	16.7 KB 
ID:	154261
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    24 Sep 2017 #4
    Join Date : Sep 2017
    Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1703
    Thread Starter

    Solution


    Solution(with clarification):


    You will need 20-40 minutes to complete this process. Plus, additional time to update your Windows 10 installation.

    1. Install Windows Driver Kit (Ignore a number of warnings during the install. Click "OK" through them... you're not developing a driver)

    2. **NOTE.. Requires reboot. Disable Signed Driver Enforcement (step-by-step instructions)
    Skip steps 1-3.5 by holding down "Shift"+[Click]Restart while continuing to hold "Shift"

    3.Locate your ZEngine Directory: e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Ideazon\ZEngine
    a. Copy & Paste "Kernel2k" directory/folder to a different folder, e.g. Documents, to preserve the original untampered version.

    4. In the Kernel2K dir/folder, e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Ideazon\ZEngine\Kernel2K, rename every file that starts with Alpham or alpham to something else. (ex. Alpham1.sys => Merc1.sys). I changed mine to Alpham1KB.sys

    5. Open the renamed *.inf file in a text editor (Notepad++ C:\Windows\System32\notepad.exe) and do a similar find and replace(Ctrl+H) on "Alpham" replacing with "Merc" (or whatever you used), replace all. NOTE**You may need to take control of the *.inf file. Click for Instructions

    6. Locate and Delete *.cat file(the security catalog file) e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Ideazon\ZEngine\Kernel2K\Merc12.cat

    7. Add "inf2cat.exe" installation directory to the Environment Variables - PATH:
    a. In the search/Cortana box, type "Path", then select "Edit environment variables for your account" or press "Enter"
    b. In the "Environment Variables" window, in the top box > "Variable" column > select the row "Path"
    c. Click edit.
    d. Click "New" in the "Edit environment variable" window.
    e. Click "Browse" and add the directory of your inf2cat.exe file & press "Enter". Mine was in D:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\bin\x86.
    f. Select "OK" on all open windows.

    8. Generate a new .cat file
    a. Know the PATH to the new *.inf file. e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Ideazon\ZEngine\Kernel2K
    b. In the search/Cortana box, type "Command", then select "Command Prompt" or press "Enter"
    1. for Windows 10 x64 type: inf2cat /driver:"PATH" /os:10_X64
    2. for Windows 10 x86(32bit) type: inf2cat /driver:"PATH" /os:10_X86
    **NOTE The "quotation marks" ARE included. And, PATH = the directory/folder where the *.inf file is located. (8.a.)
    e.g. inf2cat /driver:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Ideazon\ZEngine\Kernel2k" /os:10_X64

    9. Locate the entries "Ideazon Merc MM USB Human Interface Device" and "Ideazon Merc USB Human Interface Device"
    a. In Device Manager ([Right click] Windows Button/[Select] Device Manager)
    b. Locate & Select "Human Interface Devices" (or they may be under "Keyboards")
    c. Right click > update driver > browse computer > Let me pick > Have Disk > Browse > manually select your newly renamed *.inf file.
    d. Acknowledge any unsigned driver warnings(Click OK).
    **NOTE..You must do this for BOTH entries.

    10. At this point my ZEngine icon, in the task bar, was green again. However, I was prompted to restart my PC; which, I did.

    11. Unhide the horrible KB4034674 now KB4038788 and resume Windows 10 updates.

    Enjoy a working zMerc again!

    All the credit to zathrath03 @ tomshardware.com
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    28 Sep 2017 #5
    Join Date : Sep 2017
    Posts : 1
    Win 10

    Great, hope it works


    I have sent a desperate request to the original developers of the driver Alpham164.sys and Alpham264.sys and requested if it was at all an option to patch the driver or any other solution is possible
    The company's name is Protolog and this is their websitehttp://www.protolog.com/

    I'll try the fix... of course, I so hope it works
    It looks solid, I was thinking of trying the same kind of thing (changing names and some of the lines that refer to the "new" driver, but it would have taken me quite some time to figure out what is where etc

    If it works, thanks mate, of course I will also send the guy who came up with it a hearthy thanks
    Last edited by PurpleHaze65; 28 Sep 2017 at 06:34. Reason: Didn't notice the solution was posted while I was typing my "life's story
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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