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A Word of Warning About Helix 2.0 Update

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I posted this on TGP, and I figured I should post here as well. I think others are having the same issue, so maybe we can help find the cause;

 

I was unsuccessful with the Helix 2.0 update today. After using the Line 6 Updater on 2 different computers (both running Windows 7), my Helix is bricked. I get either a blank screen, or I get alternating Helix and Helix Rack logos. I finally called customer support. The guy I talked to walked me through the update process again with no success. Then he had me try to revert to 1.10 using the Updater software, but that didn't work either.

 

Apparently, multiple people have had this issue and they have not been able to determine the source of the problem. The service rep said it doesn't seem to be a Windows/Mac thing. Unfortunately, I now have to send my Helix in to Line 6 and wait for them to find a fix. He said it may take a couple of weeks to resolve and fix the issue.

 

I've got 2 gigs next week, so I'm going to have to go back to analog. Luckily, I haven't sold any of my pedalboard (I was thinking of doing exactly that!). I've come to really rely on the Helix, but I'll manage just fine. I just wanted to warn people about the issue.

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A few cases like that have been reported here.  Not sure about all of them, but at least some of them were due to using the wrong Helix Editor version for the update, i.e., not updating Helix Edit to 2.0 but instead were using an older version.  And some have been able to revert to an older version of the firmware, get their Helix to boot, and then using the 2.0 Editor, update successfully.

 

I think when the new release first came out it was a little confusing on the web site.  I think the Helix firmware was listed separately from the Editor, and the Editor was down below.  You really only need to download the "Helix Edit" application, and the included Updater will download the right firmware for you.

 

I just looked on the web site and it appears that it's a little more clear now.  Hopefully that helps keep folks from making that mistake.

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Thanks for the info. I did download and install the 2.0 version of the editor as my first step. After a couple of failed efforts, I downloaded and installed it again just to be sure the file hadn't been corrupted. I'll double check the instructions on the website to make sure that I've done the correct steps. That said, customer support walked me through 4 or 5 attempts while on the phone.

 

Someone on TGP mentioned it may be an issue with USB 3.0 ports. I'm going to look into that hopefully tonight.

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PM'd you on the other board.  For the sake of continuity here, I'd uninstall any old editor versions then install the 2.0.  You may have already done that, but adding here as a suggestion to others.

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My Asus Desktop has 4 USB ports on the front of the machine... If you crack it open, it is basically a USB hub built in to the tower and doesn't play nice with the Helix. When using the ports on the back of the desktop machine it works fine.  If you are using a desktop make sure you plug into the ports on back of the machine and not something on the front of the case, which many times are just a hub to a single port on the motherboard.

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My Asus Desktop has 4 USB ports on the front of the machine... If you crack it open, it is basically a USB hub built in to the tower and doesn't play nice with the Helix. When using the ports on the back of the desktop machine it works fine.  If you are using a desktop make sure you plug into the ports on back of the machine and not something on the front of the case, which many times are just a hub to a single port on the motherboard.

Thanks for the good advice, but I am am using a port on the back of the desktop.

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What windows OS version are you using, and is it updated?

Is your Windows 7 OS updated?

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Thanks for the info. I did download and install the 2.0 version of the editor as my first step. After a couple of failed efforts, I downloaded and installed it again just to be sure the file hadn't been corrupted. I'll double check the instructions on the website to make sure that I've done the correct steps. That said, customer support walked me through 4 or 5 attempts while on the phone.

 

Someone on TGP mentioned it may be an issue with USB 3.0 ports. I'm going to look into that hopefully tonight.

Others have had it happen with versions of other Line 6 products on the PC. They had to uninstall everything from line 6 on the PC. Then they rebooted to make sure everything was out of memory. Then they reinstalled the 2.0 editor and either were able to install it normal it get into safe mode and install it.

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What windows OS version are you using, and is it updated?

Is your Windows 7 OS updated?

I just checked, and no it is not. I'm downloading updates now. I hadn't thought to check, so thanks for that!

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I didn't have any issues with my update, and used the front usb 3.0 ports on my homebuilt pc with Windows 8.1, so don't know about the usb version problem noted.

 

Dave

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I tried to update my helix today, using my laptop, my helix will not update, using all the current software and have

installed updated drivers... do you think it has something to do with my laptop? Im using windows 10.

 

any help would be appreciated.

1

thanks

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Tried to get the Helix working after updating Windows 7 on my studio computer (the laptop I had originally used is already up to date), but still no luck. 

 

I need to give a shout out to Frank Ritchotte who has gone out of his way to make sure I get taken care of. Great customer service!

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Well, I saw enough of these reports of "my bricked Helix needs to be sent to Line 6". I cannot justify taking the risk of updating to 2.00 while I have upcoming gigs or recording. Which means... never I guess. Pity they didn't hotfix the tempo led issue when it came up, it's the only thing currently really bothering me in 1.12. Snapshots seem great but not essential.

 

Anybody else thinks these problems with BIOS/firmware flashing and stuff are so 2000s...? :(

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I am using a Mac running El Capitan with current updates. I am using the latest version of Line 6 Updater and Helix Editor 1.12. I downloaded Firmware 2.0 and installed to the Helix. It caused the Helix to lockup to preset and completely disabled all functionality. I power cycled the Helix to see if resetting would help. Nope. I backed the Firmware down to 1.12 and it worked fine. I called support and spoke to the technician. He had me do the firmware update again. It appeared to work and then locked up as soon as I got off the phone. I backed the firmware to 1.12 again. My Helix is one of the first that came from Line 6 in late 2015 so I am wondering if there are any subtle hardware changes that were made that would block the proper working installation of firmware upgrades. If so, I am pretty upset because that would mean that I am stuck. The unit is still under warranty but this really concerns me. Anyone else having this same type of problem? The technician stated that presets that I had that might have been caused by older presets that were built on the older firmware. That also concerns me because that would mean that anytime there is an update, I would have to dump the presets and start over. That would mean a LOT of wasted preset development time. Line 6 please advise.

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I am using a Mac running El Capitan with current updates. I am using the latest version of Line 6 Updater and Helix Editor 1.12. I downloaded Firmware 2.0 and installed to the Helix. It caused the Helix to lockup to preset and completely disabled all functionality. I power cycled the Helix to see if resetting would help. Nope. I backed the Firmware down to 1.12 and it worked fine. I called support and spoke to the technician. He had me do the firmware update again. It appeared to work and then locked up as soon as I got off the phone. I backed the firmware to 1.12 again. My Helix is one of the first that came from Line 6 in late 2015 so I am wondering if there are any subtle hardware changes that were made that would block the proper working installation of firmware upgrades. If so, I am pretty upset because that would mean that I am stuck. The unit is still under warranty but this really concerns me. Anyone else having this same type of problem? The technician stated that presets that I had that might have been caused by older presets that were built on the older firmware. That also concerns me because that would mean that anytime there is an update, I would have to dump the presets and start over. That would mean a LOT of wasted preset development time. Line 6 please advise.

1.12 is not the latest version of the editor. You need to install the 2.0 version of the editor to use with the 2.0 firmware.

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Well, I saw enough of these reports of "my bricked Helix needs to be sent to Line 6". I cannot justify taking the risk of updating to 2.00 while I have upcoming gigs or recording. Which means... never I guess. Pity they didn't hotfix the tempo led issue when it came up, it's the only thing currently really bothering me in 1.12. Snapshots seem great but not essential.

 

Anybody else thinks these problems with BIOS/firmware flashing and stuff are so 2000s...? :(

 

I was initially concerned as well as I'm working every weekend, but in looking it over it's pretty clear the vast majority of problems come from people not reading the update instructions.  It clearly states several times that you must upgrade the editor to 2.0, yet you still see things like the previous poster who missed that.  I'm going to upgrade after this weekend, so we'll see.

 

As far as flashing firmware, that will always be the case on any system that doesn't have a full-featured, robust operating system that doesn't require real-time performance.  You'll see the same stuff on audio interfaces and any number of pedalboards, amps, signal processors, etc.  Anything with a real-time or near real-time performance requirement can't afford to have processes and extra memory just hanging around waiting for an update and storage set aside for image backups.  It's just that people have been spoiled by commercial operating system that can build in safeguards for rollback in case something happens during the upgrade process even when it requires a reboot.

 

That being said, I think L6 could do a better job of building a more feature-rich setup program that runs in Windows and Mac and takes care of many of the details involved in upgrading.

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I'm on El Capitan and installed 2.0.  However, when I start the Editor and go into About, it still says it's version 1.12 - this is after i explicitly deleted the 1.12 version of the application.  Is that just a bug (i.e. they forgot to update the About page for the 2.0 editor)?

 

I ask this because, after the update, my Glenn Delaune patches are causing the Helix to lock up.  Specifically the 5150 patch.  So, if I'm in mixed versions (i.e. 1.12 Editor / 2.0 firmware), then I would write that off as possibly being the problem.  But again, I explicitly deleted 1.12 and installed 2.0 and it still says 1.12 in the About page.

 

------------------------ update 7/14

 

Ok, I realize I had the 2.0 install sitting in the same directory as the 1.12 one from a while ago.  Even though i would explicitly run the 2.0 dmg file, "somehow" the 1.12 editor was being installed - strangely enough along with the new 1.09 updater.  Weird.  Anyway, I deleted everything else from that directory and explicitly removed the 1.12 app, ran the 2.0 installation and the proper 2.0 editor was installed.  All seems to be working well with my Helix Rack now.

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You are running a mixed, incompatible version of the editor and the firmware. The editor's About information is correct.

 

Somehow you have twice downloaded and installed the wrong editor version. Makes me think that Line 6 has a problem with a link somewhere on their website for the v2.0 Mac editor. Are there other users who have encountered this wrong-version problem who have resolved it and can help jkkrozak out?

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A few thoughts on this thread and random upgrade issues reported.  My upgrades have gone great, Helix is at 2.0 and I'm using Mac El Capitan. To build on the thoughts above, here's some more thoughts about upgrades and computers in general that may improve your chance of a good upgrade.  I’m not suggesting you've done anything wrong, or that I've done something that helps, but I do seem to have good luck with upgrades. 

-When the upgrade is running.  Tip Toe away from the computer.  Don't touch or do anything.  Don't multi-task.  Be patient.

-Read the instructions carefully and follow them.  Turn off the iTunes and anything using audio as requested.

-Use a good USB 2.0 cord, not some piece of junk that you may have laying around from some other old hardware.  Avoid hubs if you can.

-Reboot your computer (both mac and windows) before the upgrade. Reboot after doing installs or uninstalls if in doubt. Turn off extra stuff like virus scanners if you can.

-Your computer should be current and supported OS such as Windows 10 or a Mac with recent version.  Unless you are working for a big company with extended support for Windows 7, you should consider upgrading or get a new computer.

-Disconnect/turn off unneeded external devices such as soundcards or midi keyboards. It can't hurt.  While you are at it, make sure drivers for those devices are up to date as well.

 

I also offer the following thoughts to Line6:

-I like the updates, bug fixes and new features - thanks!

-I think I noticed conflicting information about which footswitch to press after upgrade  [i think the installer said to press 7&8], but the website and forum indicates footswitch 9&10.  I did 9&10.

-A more automated installer that automatically backs up and restores presets and doesn't require us to press footswitches would be welcomed.

-Separate out the upgrade instructions on the forum for Floor vs Rack and make them more concise.

 

Hope that helps someone.

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So someone please clear this up for me. If I am going to use the firmware updater to load 2.0 firmware, I MUST have the 2.0 Helix Editor installed? Are you telling me that the Updater does NOT work without the Helix Editor? Someone form LINE 6, please answer that question. Incidentally, someone (maybe me) should contact Glenn Deluane and let him know that his patches cause the 2.0 firmware to blow up if that is the case.

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So someone please clear this up for me. If I am going to use the firmware updater to load 2.0 firmware, I MUST have the 2.0 Helix Editor installed? Are you telling me that the Updater does NOT work without the Helix Editor? Someone form LINE 6, please answer that question. Incidentally, someone (maybe me) should contact Glenn Deluane and let him know that his patches cause the 2.0 firmware to blow up if that is the case.

 

If you're going to use the editor with the Helix after the 2.0 firmware update, than you must have the 2.0 version of the editor. If you're not going to use the editor, it doesn't matter. The editor isn't required for the update, only the newest version of Line 6 Updater is.

 

I will say this, though. The only way to back up and restore patches is through the editor, and after you do the update, you MUST do the reset procedure on the Helix which will clear out all of your existing presets. So if you want to have access to your old presets, you have to use the editor before and after to do that.

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According to this, The Helix Editor 2.0 should be the very first thing you download and install before you even update the firmware because you need the latest updater to install the new firmware.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

1. Shut down all Line 6 software as well as any software that streams audio, including, but not limited to: iTunes, Spotify, DAWs, etc.

 

2. Use your CURRENT EXISTING Helix application to back up all of your presets and IRs (if you want to keep them). If you’re running Helix FW 1.12, your current Helix application version should be 1.12.

 

NOTE: You may want to back up individual Setlists so you can restore them to empty setlists without affecting the new 2.0 factory presets.

 

3. Quit the CURRENT EXISTING Helix editor application and download and install the NEW Helix editor application (2.00), available here: http://line6.com/software/This also installs the newest version of Line 6 Updater (1.09).

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... If I am going to use the firmware updater to load 2.0 firmware, I MUST have the 2.0 Helix Editor installed? .....

You do not need v2.0 of the editor to perform the update. However, you DO need the most recent version of Line 6 Updater which is conveniently packaged with the v2.0 editor and is installed along with the editor. So you would have to intentionally download and install just the Line 6 Updater program in order to update the firmware without the editor.

 

However, after installing v2.0 firmware you MUST use the v2.0 editor with it. Previous versions of the editor are incompatible. So I don't see any practical value (but lots of potential problems) if you update the firmware without first installing the v2.0 editor AND the latest Updater program.

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So someone please clear this up for me. If I am going to use the firmware updater to load 2.0 firmware, I MUST have the 2.0 Helix Editor installed? Are you telling me that the Updater does NOT work without the Helix Editor? Someone form LINE 6, please answer that question. Incidentally, someone (maybe me) should contact Glenn Deluane and let him know that his patches cause the 2.0 firmware to blow up if that is the case.

Helix Edit 2.0 includes the latest Line 6 Updater.  You don't use Helix Edit to update, but you do use Line 6 Updater.  By installing Helix Edit 2.0, you are guaranteed to get the latest and required version of Line 6 Updater.

 

If you follow the Line 6 instructions which can be summarized as:

 

1) Backup presets using old Helix Edit (version 1.12 or earlier)

2) Install Helix Edit 2.0 (replacing the old Helix Edit)

3) Use Line 6 Updater that was installed with Helix Edit 2.0 to update firmware (the old Updater should be gone and replaced with the new one by now)

4) Let your Helix boot and go through it's process of rebuilding patches.  Don't touch it!

5) When that's done, before doing anything else, Power-off Helix and boot with FS9-10 held down to wipe it back to factory defaults

6) Use Helix Edit 2.0 to reload the presets you saved in step 1

 

If you do that, Glenn's and all your other presets will work without any issues.

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So someone please clear this up for me. If I am going to use the firmware updater to load 2.0 firmware, I MUST have the 2.0 Helix Editor installed? Are you telling me that the Updater does NOT work without the Helix Editor? Someone form LINE 6, please answer that question. Incidentally, someone (maybe me) should contact Glenn Deluane and let him know that his patches cause the 2.0 firmware to blow up if that is the case.

His patches work perfectly fine if all the update procedures are followed. I use them every day.

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There really should be a single piece of software that deals with all of this. It seems kind of silly to have to uninstall old versions and install new versions every time there is a firmware update when one would think (I'm no programmer) there could be a single "Editor" software that handles the updates for drivers, firmware, itself, without having to manually back-up everything, manually install new software and firmware every time....just click on a drop-down that says "Check for New Versions" (like almost every other piece of hardware-controlling software) and will automatically back-up presets, update firmware, update drivers, and update new features in the editor (like just about every other hardware-controlling software).

 

I've got too many shows in the next few weeks to mess around with the new FW even though I really, really, really want to use snapshots. 

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... It seems kind of silly to have to uninstall old versions ..

You don't have to uninstall anything.

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I've got too many shows in the next few weeks to mess around with the new FW even though I really, really, really want to use snapshots. 

Once I installed the new 2.0 firmware...I threw away ALL of my old patches. They were useless now because they were full of footswitch assignments.

 

I now use ONE preset that I made with 7 snapshots. It seriously took me no time at all to build it with the new modded 2204 amp. Just that and the Matchless (for clean)

 

And the new Vintage Digital Delay is the ONLY delay I'm using now. 

 

Trust me...do the update before you play another gig. It takes the Helix to a whole new level. Completely different beast now.

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Latest update; I've dropped off my Helix at UPS this morning to get shipped to Line 6. Hopefully they can get to the bottom of the issue. I believe that the vast majority of users have been able to update successfully. I just happen to be one of the unlucky few that ended up with a a non-functioning device. I'm really looking forward to getting it back and checking out all the 2.0 firmware has to offer.

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It is far from silly to have to uninstall old versions though it is not required. Especially on a Windows system. Many programs ove the years force an uninstall and reboot to uninstall major updates. It cleans out directories and removes drivers no longer used to prevent possible conflicts. While Line 6 did not require it, it never hurts to do so.

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It's silly that the software can't handle that on its own as part of the update process. 

 

My observation / experience: Every update process went fluently so far ;)

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I think I'll wait for 2.01

Amended my first reply. Maybe I'll wait a little longer too. I'm also a MAC guy running El Capitan, having finally tweaked my unit to where I want it [ and dutifully backed up and saved every step of the way], I'm paranoid about losing some of my fav patches, or having the unit crash on updating, or..

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Amended my first reply. Maybe I'll wait a little longer too. I'm also a MAC guy running El Capitan, having finally tweaked my unit to where I want it [ and dutifully backed up and saved every step of the way], I'm paranoid about losing some of my fav patches, or having the unit crash on updating, or..

Yup. I also read on a different thread that a user noticed that it made his patches a little brighter. I certainly don't need that.

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Yup. I also read on a different thread that a user noticed that it made his patches a little brighter. I certainly don't need that.

 

I've definitely not noticed anything like that. There were no changes to the existing amp or effect models with this update (other than bug fixes).

 

Of course, people aren't required to do the update, but if they're holding off from doing it because they're worried about the update process itself, I don't suspect that's going to change anytime soon.

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2. Use your CURRENT EXISTING Helix application to back up all of your presets and IRs (if you want to keep them). If you’re running Helix FW 1.12, your current Helix application version should be 1.12.

 

NOTE: You may want to back up individual Setlists so you can restore them to empty setlists without affecting the new 2.0 factory presets.

 

 

 

About that "CURRENT EXISTING Helix editor app" -

1- I bought this unit used so I really don't know what I'm doing.

2- I couldn't get the app to back up anything (before anyone says it - I know, just another techno challenged user).

3- I thought since nothing would back up that the IR's were part of the factory presets (duh) and obviously I lost about 24 of them that came with the unit from the previous owner. Any chance I can recover them?

4- Why can't I find any detailed instructions about "backing up setlist/presets etc or using the new SNAPSHOTS? I haven't found anything in the users manual. Is there an updated users manual for 2.0?

5- Are the bundles you make going to continue working with 2.0 and future updates? - I am looking at purchasing some of them?

Thanks, TW

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