Sunday, April 27, 2008

Serial Wacom tablet setup

Goggling for a whole day, I’ve found out that my serial Wacom Intuos tablet would work with Keyspan usb-serial (usb-db9, or usb-com port) adapters. But they are quite expensive. The same time, there are whole bunch of adapters available everywhere for cheap, most of them are based on Prolific chip. So I’ve decided to take my chances with TRENDnet TU-S9. It does work with my Wacom! I suppose other Prolific based adapters should also work, however I can’t promise that.

Fix for the “Wacom tablet cannot be found” problem

This is how to get serial Wacom working with the latest (6.x series) drivers. It does not matter if you use the adapter or your machine has a serial port. Still, sometimes the drivers have hard time finding the tablet. The driver installs fine, but “Wacom tablet properties” in Control Panel could not see the tablet.

Here what you need to do:

  1. Uninstall Wacom drivers.

  2. Install your usb-serail adapter driver, if you are using one.

  3. Install the latest Wacom drivers (don’t worry, that the driver says it is for usb tablet and you have serial).

  4. Create a Wacom_Tablet.dat file with the following text:

    PrefsFileVersion 4
    DriverOn1Off0 1
    DriverLanguage 0
    LeftHandedMouse 0
    FunkyButtonMode 0
    NoStartWarnings 0
    HowManyTablets 1
    TabletType 0
    TabletModel 201
    CommPort COM1
    TabletOn1Off0 1
    TabletPhysicallyOn 1
    TabletFlags 0
    HowManyTransducers 0

    and change CommPort to the one, where your tablet is plugged in. For the usb-serial adapter users, open Control panel, System, Hardware tab, Device manager and check the com port number of your adapter.

  5. Copy this file to:

    %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\WTablet\Wacom_Tablet.dat

  6. Restart Wacom service.

    I recommend you to use a batch file for that. Name it wacom.bat and put the following

    net stop "TabletServiceWacom"
    net start "TabletServiceWacom"

  7. Reboot your computer.

If at this point the utility in Control Panel finds the tablet, but the tablet itself does not work. Check that com port number in %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\WTablet\Wacom_Tablet.dat have not changed.

Don’t worry if you’d get “New hardware found” message, just ignore it.

Once you unplug your tablet and then plug it back, most probably it won’t work. Run wacom.bat instead of a reboot and it would work.

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