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Thread: Recovered file from Illumination system not opening

  1. #1
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    Recovered file from Illumination system not opening

    I have a customer with a P5 Series 8 processor - from the looks of it, it looks like a H8P5-D48-120 and two additional D48 boards and the system is full of Vario dimmers and GRX Grafik Eyes, many hidden all throughout the house. In other words, it was one of those "job security" installations. On top of that, the person who installed this 15 years ago (or so) never bothered engraving the see-touch keypads or even bothered putting on stickers on it. So yesterday, I was tasked with trying to make sense of the system and perhaps even engraving the keypads so I tried to extract the programming.

    I created a dummy file and added the processor to the enclosure, fired up terminal and voila, found the processor and extracted the database and saved it. So far so good. I closed the dummy file and tried opening the extracted file and it would give me a "3343 Unrecognized database format" error. I thought maybe the system was an Interactive system but the Interactive software told me that it was an Illuminations software. I tried extracting the database again using RS232 and got the same result. The file size is about a 1.6 Megabytes and the same as all the other HWI files that I have so it extracted something. I've emailed a copy to tech support but in the past when I've had the exact same issue, they had no luck opening the file so I have little hope that they will now so I need options into opening it, even if it's a corrupted file.

    Perhaps, someone can give me a tip about extracting the file correctly. This system probably hasn't been touched in 7 years so should I use an older version of Illumination? Could the original installer have somehow added more "job security" and password protected the database so jetski wouldn't work? This is frustrating for so many reasons. I of course can't make any change to the system, but even more scary, that's a 15 year old processor so if it dies, even if I'm able to source an old processor off Ebay or Lutron by some miracle has one in their factory for $4000 (again to this day I haven't got a straight answer from obsoleteproducts@lutron about what they actually have), I would have to factory reset the ENTIRE system which I know nothing about which would take a week to trace and even then I probably couldn't get it to where it was before; or if they ever have to upgrade to QS, again, it would take days to trace. For the life of me, I don't know why Lutron has made extracting so hard on both their systems. On QS you need the exact version and on Illumination, I've got corrupted files a few times.

    Oddly enough I remember being at another house some years ago and had the same issue but when I revisited the exact same house and the exact same processor (which the owner sweared nobody else had touched since), I was able to extract and open the file. So what happened there? Was the memory corrupted and became uncorrupted? I probably used 1.64 (or older) the first time and 1.65 the 2nd time but in the current case I've just used 1.65. Any help is appreciated.

    Looking into the future, if I ever do have to upgrade this to QS, can I use QSX? There are no RPMs here and I know the Varios would need to be replaced with RF dimmers, but can I use the legacy keypads and legacy GRX grafik eyes with QSX or are they not going to do that?

  2. #2
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    I forgot to mention that I tried opening the file with just a text editor and all that shows is that it's a Jet Database which is what Microsoft Access uses. I downloaded a tool called MDB Plus which can open up my other Illumination files and show me all the tables, primary keys, etc. which is actually pretty cool, but it also could not open up this file and furthermore, all the other tools I have downloaded which can repair MDB files have failed. Is there any tool that can view the raw data - corrupt or not?

  3. #3
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    One trick that has worked for me is to save the temporary file first. It doesn't always work but it is worth a try. Make sure you have the model number of the processor correct and are using the same or newer software.

    Those files always get corrupted. Something to do with damaged header. It would be awesome if someone would develop a way to extract the running database. That one never seems to get corrupted. If you can find a programmer that specializes in databases they might be able to hack into it. If you find one...please share!

    Since you are looking at replacing the dimmers and processor and there are no RPMs, I'd look at RA2. It's more economical and you can run the keypads off 48vdc.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

  4. #4
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    Hi Randy! I'm fairly sure I picked the right processor but say it's a regular 8 series processor and I chose the one with the built in D48 board in my generic file, would the extracted file be different?? But yeah, if it comes to it, Radio Ra2 might be the cheaper route to go because by the time I use the GRX Grafik Eyes and license fee; use the old keypads and the license fee; and add a wireless link which would require another QS processor, and then any savings with reusing the old stuff is gone... and given that Lutron still hasn't said whether the legacy stuff would work with QSX and the age of the dimmers, it may not be wise to use them anyway.

    The homeowner has some "convincing power" so I hope he can track down the original programmer and get the file from him.

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