Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Installation Guide for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10

Many college students find ourselves using the Altera DE2 board in our circuit design classes. Installing Quartus is an easy and pretty simple task; however, installing the USB Blaster drivers for the DE2 is a huge pain.

Recently I moved to Windows 8 and was presented with the task of re-installing all of my programs and with that trying to get the USB Blaster to work. Doing so on Windows 7 is quite simple but with the new Driver Signature Enforcement in Windows 8 the drivers that Altera provides refuse to install properly.
As a result I searched around and  found a solution on Altera's forum:

Looking at the final post in the thread by Blackwater we are presented with a quick and dirty solution that doesn't require you to install any additional software. 

Here are the steps: 

1. Windows Key + R.

2. Enter shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00 
3. Click the "OK" button
4. System will restart to a "Choose an option" screen
5. Select "Troubleshoot" from "Choose an option" screen
6. Select "Advanced options" from "Troubleshoot" screen 
7. Select "Windows Startup Settings" from "Advanced options" screen
8. Click "Restart" button 
9. System will restart to "Advanced Boot Options" screen 
10. Select "Disable Driver Signature Enforcement" 
11. Once the system starts, install the "USB Blaster" driver as you would on Windows 7

Here is a link to the 32bit and 64bit drivers 

To install these:

1. Open device manager
2. Find USB Blaster 
3. Right Click and select "Update Driver Software"
4. In the popup window select "Browse my computer for driver software"
5. Browse and find the location of the files that you downloaded earlier selecting "x64" or "x86" depending on your system. 
6. Go next and install. If you get a popup saying that the driver is unsigned just ignore it and click continue. 
7. Hopefully it works out and now you are ready to use your DE2 with your Windows 8 system

If you want to check out what I've been up to lately please check out my website at There I will be posting more tutorials and other updates!