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Understanding the HAL Firmware Update Process

What to expect during a firmware update

Updating the HAL is a two part process:

  1. Transfer of new files into the HAL.

    Halogen displays a Progress bar in the Connect window as files transfer.

    After all the files are in the HAL, the Connect window clears - no HAL is shown during part 2.

  2. Updating all HAL device(s) with the new files, including an automatic HAL reboot once complete.

    While the hardware updates, the HAL & EXP front panel, and the RAD & DR indicators flash left-to-right and nothing is displayed in the Halogen Connect window.

    Firmware update is complete when all the indicator racing stops and the HAL is again shown in the Connect window.

    note: Sometimes the front panel indicator racing stops and then restarts during part two of the HAL update.

How long should it take?

The update can take ten or many more minutes in larger systems. New Firmware includes a new Linux OS for the HAL, new firmware for all 30+ HAL System products (EXPs, DRs, RADs...), and new code for both the HTML web & TCP/IP control servers.

Be patient and take a break or start the update and go to lunch. When you think the firmware update might have failed you are wrong. Keep waiting. The HAL WILL come back and all will be well.

Once the HAL firmware is updated, the HAL then automatically updates the firmware in all connected devices (EXPs, RADs & DRs). This is where, in large systems, the firmware update time can extend into tens of minutes since, perhaps you have 47 HAL System devices total. It does and will update firmware in parallel - not just one at a time.

note: During a firmware UPDATE, the HAL's configuration file is also updated to the latest feature set. But, during a firmware ROLLBACK (to an older firmware version), your HAL's configuration file is completely cleared and blank. Accordingly, saving the HAL’s file before a firmware update and keeping your old design files is recommended and very wise.