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Getting Started with the Kinect for Windows SDK

Troubleshooting Your Kinect Installation

Most of my installations of the Kinect for Windows SDK and the sensor bar have had no problems. However, you might find the following troubleshooting tips useful.

Remove Old SDK Installations

Ensure that you have removed all the previous Kinect Beta SDKs. These can be removed using the Control Panel at Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features.

Ensure That Visual Studio 2010 Is Installed but Not Running During Installation

During the Kinect SDK installation the installer will add some environment settings that are picked up by Visual Studio 2010. For this to complete successfully, it is important that Visual Studio is not running on the computer when the Kinect SDK is installed.

Ensure That There Are No Windows Updates in Progress

The installation process will modify some system files that might be in use during a Windows Update. Before you start the Kinect SDK installation, you should check in the Control Panel at Control Panel | System and Security | Windows Update to make sure that no updates are in progress. You also should check to see if any updates are waiting to perform a reboot.

Ensure That the Kinect Is Powered Correctly

If Kinect fails to install all the USB drivers when it is plugged into the Windows computer for the first time, it may be because the sensor bar is not receiving any power. Make sure that the Kinect power supply is plugged in and that the green light on the power connector is lit.

If the Kinect is showing a steady red light, this may mean that the power supply is not correctly connected. When the Kinect is working correctly, the indicator light on the front of the sensor bar should flash green.

Remove Any Old USB Drivers

Make sure that any older Kinect drivers that are not part of the Kinect system are removed from your system before you install the Kinect SDK. If you have any problems with the Kinect device not being properly recognized because you have used other drivers, you can do the following:

  1. Ensure that the Kinect sensor is not connected to your computer.

  2. Open up a new command prompt running as an Administrator user. The best way to do this is to click the Start button, type CMD into the search box that appears, and then hold down CTRL+SHIFT and press Enter. If you get this right you will be rewarded with a User Account Control dialog box asking for permission to allow the Command Processor to make changes to this computer. Click OK.

  3. Next, you need to set an environment variable to tell the Device Manager that you want to see all the hardware devices registered for this computer, not just the ones that are active at the moment. In the Command box, give the following command:

    SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1
  4. Now you can give the command to start the Device Manager:

    devmgmt.msc
  5. Next, open the View menu and select Show Hidden Devices. This is actually quite fun, as now you will see every device that has ever been connected to your computer.

  6. If you use your machine like I use mine, you will see 50 or so different disk drives: one for every memory key that has been plugged in over the years. Look through the device tree for items with the word Kinect in the name, or the name of the package you are removing. Look in the “Human Interface Devices,” “Sound, Video and Game Controllers,” and “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” parts. To remove a driver, right-click on it in the list and then select Uninstall from the properties menu for that driver, as shown above. If the dialog that appears has a checkbox marked “Remove Driver Software Files,” then you should select this so that the driver files are no longer on the machine.

  7. Once you have removed all the drivers, exit Device Manager and close the command prompt. Now you can plug in the sensor bar and the latest versions of the drivers should be loaded.