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My company acquired a press brake for bending large structural steel plates. We received it second hand and it came with an embedded copy of windows XP. Now for the part that's driving me nuts: plug and play has been turned off, also accessibility options has been disabled. What does this mean for me? Keyboards will not work! Nothing that plugs into a USB port will work and it does not have a CD ROM drive. I have tried to turn on plug and play using the on screen keyboard but it is not there since accessibility options is turned off. I would just get an updated copy of the the embedded OS but they come from Sweden and are extremely expensive. I assume there has got to be a way to get a USB devices to work. We need to get a wifi adapter on it so I can use team viewer and remotely configure it for our needs.

Things to keep in mind:

  • There is no keyboard so everything has to be done with the mouse

  • There is no PS2 port for a keyboard just a mouse. Odd.

  • I am 5 states away from this location and have been working with a tech who is physically installing the machine.
  • System 32 seems to be missing A LOT of files, the tech told me there is only 8 folders in there and no other files (I don't even understand how Windows is running like this).

If anyone has ANY ideas I would appreciate it, I am unsure where to go from here.

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Does the system have an Ethernet port already? Why not just get a wireless bridge (amazon.com/dp/B0024G48VA)? If you can't update it, are you sure it is wise to connect it to the Internet? Why do you want to connect to the network anyway? –  Zoredache Jan 13 '11 at 22:17
    
@Zoredache I don't need to connect it the web just our internal WAN. It does have an Ethernet port but the cable run would be well over 100 meters, we are talking about a very large warehouse. We have Ruckus wifi gear installed there which allows incredible range within the facility for wireless. So getting a wifi adapter is a much better option then another fiber run from the MDF. It needs to get networked either way so our techs can upload specs and designs to the warehouse. –  Kyle Jan 14 '11 at 13:48
    
Right, but I didn't suggest running a long cable. I suggested a wireless bridge which will allow you to get onto to the wifi network via the ethernet port. It should also be dead simple to setup and cost about $50-75. One common usage of wireless bridges is to get gaming consoles with only an ethernet port onto a wifi network. –  Zoredache Jan 14 '11 at 14:23
    
@Zoredache ahh, I see what your saying. Do you think that would generally be a better option than a USB Wifi adapter? Will I need drivers? –  Kyle Jan 14 '11 at 14:40
    
If the Ethernet port is working you wont need to do anything on the embedded system. If you want to set a static IP on the Ethernet you can. You just need to configure the wifi setting on the bridge, and the plug it in. It will be best to do the initial setup of the wireless bridge from an standard windows computer, and then connect it to the press after the setup is done. –  Zoredache Jan 14 '11 at 15:22

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

A customer of mine has several similar machines. They are all a little bit differently configured depending on the manufacturer and the model. Here are some tips I can give you:

  • Usually those systems have two states, one is the standard mode and the other one the administration mode. Normally you get into the administration mode by pressing either a special button at the industrial pc while starting up or by pressing a special button configuration on the front panel (often at start-up too).
  • Do not expect to use any remote management software on these machines. The technical specification are pretty low. The only thing we are doing is saving the blueprint on a mapped share on the windows server.
  • Many systems have their own configuration interface. My customer has even one machine where the network card is configured in their software. So it could very well be that your local guy has to configure everything for you.
  • What I can recommend you as well is to go to the website of the manufacturer. They often have the PDF of the manual there. This PDF explains you how you get into this administration mode and what you will be able to do there.
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I wish I could up vote you like 15 times. The tech said there is an admin mode and he has a manual that should have instructions on how to enter it. –  Kyle Jan 14 '11 at 13:41
    
I have never received one of these second hand. They normally come new with a support team and a tech from the company to install it. who knows what the people who had it before did... –  Kyle Jan 14 '11 at 14:17
    
@Kyle: Thanks. :) I am glad that I could help you. –  Raffael Luthiger Jan 14 '11 at 16:02

If you can boot from a USB drive that might get your foot in the door.

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+1 I'll have the tech check the bios, this is a solid idea though. –  Kyle Jan 13 '11 at 22:11

First off, Plug and Play has nothing to do with Accessibility options. As for how to get around your problem, I don't have XP embedded, so this is pretty much guesswork.

  • See if the Plug and Play service is installed. Perhaps it has merely been disabled, not uninstalled.
  • Does XP embedded have Remote Desktop? I suspect not but if it does you can do whatever you need through that.
  • If you really want to reinstall the OS contact Microsoft. It is they who created it, not the machinery supplier, and I suspect they will sell it somewhat cheaper. If embedded is anything like workstation you may be able to perform an in-place reinstall, saving you from having to reinstall applications.

As for the lack of a PS2 port, that's becoming very common now.

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1  
I think OEMs have a lot of flexibility when it comes to embedded versions of Windows about what they can customize. I would be very concerned about not being able to set the system up the same way given just the XP embedded media. –  Zoredache Jan 13 '11 at 22:52
    
Chances are the controller also contains specialized software for running the press brake, which wouldn't be included in software from Microsoft. –  Joe Internet Jan 14 '11 at 1:43
    
I read the question to mean that Plug and Play isn't recognizing a physical keyboard and Accessibility isn't available for an on-screen keyboard. The common factor: "keyboard". –  Dennis Williamson Jan 14 '11 at 1:43
    
@Dennis, that's certainly not how I read the question, which makes me wonder just exactly what was meant. –  John Gardeniers Jan 14 '11 at 3:36
    
@Joe, you apparently stopped reading before you got to the part where I mentioned the in-place reinstall, which normally means installed software is essentially unaffected. –  John Gardeniers Jan 14 '11 at 3:38

Also, there is such a thing as a PS/2 port doubler/splitter: I used to use them sometimes on laptops with a single PS/2 port. Maybe it would also work on your industrial PC?

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You could pick up an MSDN subscription with XP Embedded for testing/development purposes, then go from there?

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