08-10-2010 05:56 PM
Unless you have the same problem with the Samsung drivers, we should move you to your own thread.
08-10-2010 09:08 PM
I feel as if I have just done battle with a giant angry gerbil (they can be really tricksy). If I had not just gone through this experience, I would never have believed it (sad head shaking).
I've 'successfully' installed the Samsung "New" PC Studio with a few caveates.
WIN 7 reports their Modem Driver (properly located in device manager) stopped working (addressing issues), and is no longer supported by Samsung. But at least I can remove the driver.
WIN 7 Restore: still working on this one. It took me about 8 hours to resolve the Samsung issue and I'm kinda bushed. I suspect that one will take a lot more effort - or alternately, might have been self corrected after I finally succeeded in installing their prpoduct. (Hey - I can be an optimist)
Sequences / Process
If you try to install the Samsung mobile phone software from their CD then set aside about an hour or so (at least) and abandon all sensible choices. Eventually there is a solution - it's just so damned slow and unnecessary though.
Disable NIS2010 - including tamper proof - for at least 1 hour. Sorry, this takes at least that long.
Don't connect the phone to the PC via USB until the process is entirely completed.
Install from the CD. It doesn't matter if you accept or reject flawed driver messages when they pop up (and there are many) because even if you allow them to be installed, they don't work and you see a slew of error messages similar to ones I posted earlier.
I did try to remove the Samsung drivers that appear in the program list as the Korean Samsung site advises (per Allen) - but it doesn't work.
I ran the program and only then did it do an online search for an update. "Beauty" I thought - "this will download the latest version!" and waited patiently while it downloaded and then installed about 85 megs.
I noticed a check for latest version button and sadly, yet another existed - about 135 megs. Slow download, valium, toilet ... voila. It ran (seemingly) well and recognised my phone when I connected it via USB. But the program does not appear to have any option to look for another 'latest' update. Maybe it's a startup call and I have really got the latest?
I checked the program list and was disappointed to see SAMSUNG drivers in the list - but on the upside, they were different and a lot less.
I did not try to remove any of these to see if it was possible - because I was tired. *Maybe* it's possible - I'm not hopeful.
I sent Samsung a detailed note about this experience and included suggestions about how to avoid such problems. For example, do an online check for the real latest software and install that one in preference to forcing customers to go through this snail pace painful experience, write code that complies with contemporary standards, create a tool to remove all SAMSUNG files / registry entries from a system etc.
I captured quite a few images but they are probably more useful for the more technically oriented among us. A few I chose not to include because, under normal circumstances, I could never advise anyone to do what I did - it's unsafe. At least I can (mostly) sort out my own mistakes and by that time, I had run out of reasonable ideas so I went with the dumb ones - which worked.
If I get anything back from Samsung I'll post it here - but won't get oxygen starved waiting.
While I cannot be 100% absolutely certain, I'm convinced that NIS2010 had absolutely nothing at all to do with the install problem that lead to the Restore error. The Samsung code was really very bad and until I see proof to the contrary, remains the primary suspect here. (maybe someone might see this when they do a google search?)
If I have any luck / new on the Restore issue then i will report back.
Heartfelt thanks to all for their valuable contributions - love this forum :)
08-10-2010 09:22 PM
Thanks very much for the update. I don't envy you what you have gone through. Question, are you comfortable with their software after this experience?
If you do want to remove this software, it sure seems to me that they are obligated to help you do so and I 100% agree with you that they need to have a special removal tool, much like the ones virtually all reptuable anti-virus companies supply.
I'm getting the impression that this software digs into your OS even more than most if not all security software.
Regarding system restore, this is absolutely critical that this be able to work. You certainly don't want to be faced with an issue later and not be able to roll back because of something with this software.
If you want to keep the Samsung software I would encourage testing system restore by creating a fresh restore point and then after a while (day or two) try to roll back to this restore point and see if it works, making sure to disable Tamper Protection when you do this test.
This will at least ensure that system restore will work post Samsung install. BTW, I have seen driver installs mess up system restore before. It is somewhat unusual but I've seen it before.
A side note: I would highly encourage you to get a good image backup program like Norton Ghost. With an image backup, you could 100% restore your system after a problem like this to it's pre-Samsung status with no muss and no fuss. An image backup program is an absolute hair saver when you encounter something like this.
We'll be looking forward to further update.
Best of luck my friend.
08-11-2010 10:29 PM
Here is the reply I just received from Samsung customer support. I'm underwhelmed at their response but at least i received a response.
I'm still finding my way with the (really cool) editor and would like to add my original detailed message to Samsung because it provides better context to their response. Is that wnat the attachments option is for?
Apologies in addvance for a long post - but you might have a giggle :)
Hmmm ... wonder how I should rate my satisfation with their response? It looks like a robot auto-response. Forgive my ignorance, but (asuming they do what they say they will do) why pass a technical matter onto a marketing team at all? Shouldn't tech related issues go to the developers / coders? Does an apology adequately compensate me (and others) for their negligence which has harmed my system and cost me many hurs of time? Naaaa .... not even close.
Who knows, maybe I'll get a slew of Samsung promotional literature? (jumps up and down for joy(
And here is my original (one of two) posts to Samsung:
It's never a good idea to post anything when you are tired and annoyed - and I accept that my post to Samsung was not as constructive as it might otherwise have been. Can't undo the past - and will try NOT to repeat this poor behaviour again.
I hope that you are very well.
I've finally installed the 'New' PC Studio software for my new SGH-F480i mobile on Windows 7. It's taken many hours and broken what was a previously perfectly well behaved operating system.
THE product install CD contains, in hindsight, woefully unsafe and out of date software. It's been years since I have seen such an appallingly coded program - but then along came this delight.
None of the drivers were capable of being installed even when I disregarded the WIN 7 warnings not to do so. Initially I refused to allow them to be installed and tried to terminate the install process but could do nothing. For some unexplainable reason, driver 'programs' appear in the WIN 7 installed program list. But it's impossible to remove them - that happens regardless of whether or not I allowed WIN 7 to let the drivers be installed.
I could uninstall the main program easily enough - but no matter what I tried, nothing could remove the flawed drivers which, BTW, should NEVER appear in the program list unless they really are programs.
I was unable to restore my system to an earlier state - despite turning off Norton Internet Security and and disabling 'product tampering' options.
I provide support on the Symantec forum - and this has us all beat. A korean Samsung site contained instructions to remove these drivers BEFORE uninstalling the main program (stupidly bad program design) but perhaps you have different versions of code for different countries because that too would not work.
I've lost many hours working this problem and have ALMOST resolved it. I turned off all AV related features for over an hour (because the entire install process took so long) and despite install failures, carried on and then repeatedly updated the product until I reached one that does not even have a product version number or button to check for a new update. All versions are called 'NEW' PC Studio - is that some sort of inside joke?
The product almost works. However, WIN 7 reports that the modem driver (properly located in device manager) has stopped working and is no longer supported by the manufacture. Oddly, according to device manager it appears fine (no errors reported) - which is beyond my skill to understand.
I realize that it's not possible to include the 'latest' software for products that get distributed worldwide and might be sold months after initial release. However, it is wholly negligent to release fatally flawed software which violates all basic program design standards onto the public.
This is my first Samsung mobile phone purchase but, based upon my very positive experiences with Samsung TV's and monitors (all of which were of the highest quality - including manuals etc), I thought I had made a good choice.
Total time wasted to resolve your program flaws: 12 hours.
System - now unable to restore to previous state.
(a) Drop the 'pretty' graphical install software completely. It's slow, buggy and adds unpredictable problems during install time (took 5 minutes to load on my fast PC).
(b) Adopt software design / programming standards that have been the norm for many years. There are very good reasons for applying contemporary coding practices for software and drivers - too many for me to list here. But for God's sake, NEVER include drivers (that cannot be uninstalled) in a windows installed program list. This just causes customers to get really pissed with Samsung for no possible good reason. Google will be a good start to look up contemporary program design practices.
(c) Be customer centric - as in, BEFORE installing out of date crap software and forcing customers to repeatedly update ... CHECK your server to see if the install software is the latest - and ONLY install the latest version from the outset. Sure this might require a download (in my case I was forced to update twice >> 500 megs - because Samsung failed to adopt this industry common practice even on a second tier update. Unbelievable!
(d) You MUST know that the modem driver is flawed if, according to the Microsoft driver report Samsung no longer supports the driver - so what on earth is anyone thinking by FORCING users to install flawed unsupported drivers that must then be removed manually by the user!
Don't allow unsupported drivers to be installed during any software installation.
(e) Include a program that will remove all possible traces of SAMSUNG program / code / devices from their systems. This too is now common practice - Symantec have such tools for years.
Finally - what do you propose to do to make this situation right for me? I am not in the habit of writing to companies about things like this but my experience was so bad, and time consuming, and has left me with more problems, that are solely caused by Samsung's badly written code - that the least you can do is attempt to make things right. [I added this to see if might result in the issue going up the line,]
I leave it up to you to decide how best to handle that issue.
If you do nothing else, please please please - consider my observations and suggestions about your bad code - it won't take much to fix and will save Samsung a fortune in reduced product support and improved sales.
Because based on my personal experience, I could not in good conscience recommend anyone purchase a Samsung mobile.
Samsung is a great company - this falls far below your normally exceptional standards. Please - do better.
Since I have taken some effort in giving you (hopefully) constructive feedback - please do me the courtesy of replying via email.
Mike [... details removed...]
PS - I have PLENTY of screen shots relating to my experience so if you would like to see them, just let me know and I will happily pass them on to you.
I'm still researching the Restore error issue - a bit more to do - and will post my results. (Allen - yep, Ghost sounds like a brilliant idea so before I get down and dirty, I'm going to grab a copy and image my system.)
08-11-2010 10:51 PM
Thanks very much for the update. I should NOT even say what I think of their response to this!! Let's just say that words fail me and my honest opinion is that it looks like an admission of "guilt".
But I didn't say that!
Please keep us posted on status. And if you have any questions/issues with Ghost please post in Other Products.
I'll look forward to updates.
08-13-2010 02:55 PM
I waited a bit to allow my temper to cool down before contacting Samsung again. A reasonable message can easily get lost among angry words.
So ... I clicked "1" where they ask "How satisfied were you with the information in their response". Nothing happened.
Hmmm - OK, not a good start. Then I clicked on their link "If you are not satisfied with the answer click here". Cool ... It took me back to the same web form that I used to give them my original complaint.
After varying bouts of belly laughing and anger, I sorta calmed down. Without knowing how Samsung processes these sorts of issues, one could conclude the complaints process is a "make busy" loop. Customers who have legitimate complaints have to look really hard to locate the correct web form (different by country), fill it out, get a Robot auto-response that amounts to "Thanks - got your complaint. We robots have limited authority and ability so we can't actually help you in any practical way but we hope you don't notice this. Please fill in another complaint / problem form (infinite loop) until either you die, go away, the problem resolves itself or you get tired of behaving like a gerbil on a formfilling treadmill."
I'm no Gerbil. Although one day I aspire to become one - we can all dream.
So I called the 1300 number and actually spoke to a real person - who seemed genuinely unhappy about my experience. He asked me to send him the email I received from Samsung - as well as the name of the person who sent it to me. Big companies (especially big ones with operations centres acrsoss the globe) do have trouble knowing how systems / processes unrelated to their immedate function, work. Plus, despite our age of relative instant communications, the sheer volume of communications can become a problem all by itself. Anyway, this guy seemed genuinely surprised / annoyed / embarassed that my email response from Samsung was unsigned - ie: from a Robot (auto-responder).
He explained the Samsung site falls under marketing and suggested (hoped) that my comments might eventually have reached a real person, in due course. Perhaps he was musing out loud, but he did not sound like he was a fan of the Samsung site - all fluff and no substance. He volunteered info I already knw - as a customer, it's all but impossible to find what you need and if you do find support info, it's often accidental / luck - not by design.
(For an example of how to create a far more customer centric functional site - see Symantec's website: a few clicks and off you go.)
I am actually a big fan of Samsung products and until now my experiences have all been very positive. No electronic equipment is 100% perfect - after sales service issues have all been handled promptly and professionally - in keeping with their approach to product design, operation and delvery. Until now, that is.
He seemed genuinely upset that what I received was not only appalling (his words), but unacceptable and reflected badly on the company. He now has the email they sent (including heaader info) and has promised to follow this up for me personally. I let him know that the Samsung email and my original complaint were placed on the Norton support forum which is accessed by lots of people doing simple Google searches. (READ: Here is an opportunity for Samsung to sort this out and come out of this mess with an improved reputation.) After a pause, I think he understood where I was going with this. It's 2010 - people use the internet all the time and stuff like this hangs around for a very LONG time as does a positive outcome.
I asked him what he would like me to write on the forum, on Samsung's behalf, about this issue. I think it only fair to give companies a chance to respond - especially if they haven'r really had time to look closely at a problem.
"Samsung are wholly committed to proving the best products and customer services possible and strive to be market leaders in both key areas. The response that you received is completely unacceptable and falls well short of our standards and existing QA systems. We appreciate the effort you went to to look at the issue and offer valuable feedback. Now we will look very closely at the matter and take whatever steps are required to address the problems you identified and make things right by you personally."
(I took a bit of liberty to dress the quote up a little - but the substance is accurate.)
As much I'm tempted to post further email communications between me and this guy, I think that's quite inappropriate - and unfair to the person and the company. Instead, I will report on the outcome.
To those who happily dump on Symantec as the cause of all woes or terrible support - there is not much I can say that might alter closed minds. However, this is one (of many) practical examples where Symantec's professionalism stands out as the Gold Standard for coding and customer service. Samsung could do well to model Symantec (coding / software support etc) - and we all win.
System Restore Error - continues. Tricky bugger. There are just too many potential causes, independently and collectively, which might be involved.
I think I might set up a test partition and slowly add to it to the point just before I installed the bad Samsung program. If I can't work the problem through to success (I won't devote my life to this) then I'll post what I did, results and reasons for walking away.
This and other valid reasons are why Ghost exists - my personal lesson: I'm an idiot for not having purchased it earlier. Lesson well and truly learned. (is there a suitable icon for eating humble pie anwhere )
08-13-2010 03:25 PM
Thank you very much for the update. I hope they will do something for you.
Regarding the restore point dilemna. Have you tried creating a new (post Samsung) restore point and then attempting to restore to that say the next day or even an hour or two later?
I am trying to determine if the restore point issue is specific to attempting to restore to a PRE Samsung state or if you continue to have this problem even with a NEW restore point.
If you are having this problem even with newly created restore points, perhaps one possible course of action is to open a ticket with Microsoft. Assuming you have not previously used it, you have 90 days free support on Windows 7.
This starts with your first call to Microsoft for help and NOT the date of Windows 7 activation. So this might be worth considering.
Remember to disable Tamper Protection in NIS any time you attempt to use system restore to revert to an earlier restore point.
Best wishes and thanks again for the update.
08-13-2010 04:03 PM
Allen, thanks as always for the invaluable practical advice.
It's about 8.30 am Saturday here - and in my experience, weekends are never a good time to do any serious tinkering.
That said, I want to get my hands on Ghost and maybe a decent external drive. Niether will break my bank so - no biggie.
I have mobility problems which affect my legs and hands (long standing spinal injury) that make life interesting - can't tell from one day to the next if I can walk or use my hands. (not complaining - lots of people have far far far worse situations). Over the years I've learned to adapt which is a nice way of saying I have to be careful about pacing myself. I'm my own worst enemy here because I get 'lost' when working on interesting problems - beats living a cotton wool existance though.
So I have to be boring and lie down for a loooong while - and then I'll get back into it properly. And your suggestions are top of the list on my 'things to do'. Did not want you to think I might be ignoring your suggestions if there might be a longer response gap than I anticipated.
08-13-2010 04:25 PM - edited 08-13-2010 04:25 PM
No problem my friend. The most important thing as always is to take care of yourself. The rest can come later.
I'll be here any time you have questions as will many other community members.
Best wishes and relax and take care of yourself.