After years of frustration looking through the web for someone who knew
how to pull this off, and thinking it wasn't possible, I finally got it
to work!! If I am not the first, at least there is another hit on the
search to help now!
The problem was, as previous threads indicated, only basic support was
provided in Windows XP for the stick. There was no control panel for
programming it, and no test forces, and worst of all, the forces were
all at MAXIMUM in games, which rendered it pretty much unusable.
Too bad, the stick is so well built too. Trust me, I opened mine to
try to find a force adjustment. There isn't one. But a very
This procedure may work for the wheel, and the affected gamepads, I
TO GET IT TO WORK...
1. Joystick is assumed plugged in.
2. Get ahold of the sidewinder 4.0 drivers for the stick. On
driverguide.com, I had this success with the ff2_software4.0.zip file.
Extract the zip.
3. Right click the setup.exe file, and hit Compatability.
Select 'Run this Program in Compatability Mode' for Windows 2000.
Go through setup. You should SEE the control panel, and have SOME
operation at this point in Control Panel / Game controllers, but the
changes don't stay in effect. Keep going!
4. In the device manager.... (Control Panel / System / Device Manager)
Double Click 'Human Interface Devices'. On EACH of the Force Feedback
2 entries, click update driver, NO to Windows Update, Install from List
or specific location, Don't Search, Pick the entry that is... NOT
digitally signed. Do this for BOTH entries.
5. In the driver archive, under '\SETUP\setupdir\win2k' select the
GcKernal.sys file, and hit CTRL-C (Copy). Browse to the
windows\system32\drivers\ folder, and hit CTRL-V and agree to copy over
the newer file. Cleck the date of the file in this folder to be sure
that the correct one is there. Or just hit control-V again to see if
both files are dated the same in the warning box If they are, you are
good.. (Date: 6/28/2000)
System file protection tried to replace it back with the newer one for
me, but after repeated pastes, it stayed. Doesn't make sense to me
either. If you have trouble, try it in safe mode! Your goal is to get
the file dated in the year 2000 to STAY in the folder. (gckernal.sys)
6. Once alll of these steps have been done successfully, reboot.
7. To Test Operation - Control Panel / Game Controllers / Make sure
Force Feedback device is highlighted, and hit properties. On the
'Forces' tab. Change the force strength, and see if the changes STAY IN
EFFECT after repeated presses of the test buttons. If they do, the
GAME will work with the newly adjusted force! FINALLY!
Summary - Yes - we are tricking Windows XP to install the driver and
software, then FORCING it to install part of it that it didn't like.
Perhaps driver signing checking, if turned off, will allow a person to
skip steps 4 and on? Seems undesirable. Step 4 may be unneeded, I
don't know. I don't feel like undoing everything to find out. We are
getting Sidewinder 4.0 software to work in Windows XP! I just repeated
that to help searchers.