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USB Blaster disappearing - No Hardware (W7-64, Quartus Lite 18.1)

New Contributor I

After using USB Blaster for over a decade I started having issues since I installed Intel Quartus Lite 18.1 on Windows 7-64 system.

I can configure USB_Blaster hardware in Programmer, program my JTAG chain and few minutes later (design iteration) I get confronted with No Hardware (or similar) message.

Programmer window still shows the USB Blaster as selected hardware but clicking on [Hardware Setup] shows no available hardware.

  • Altera USB-Blaster is still displayed in Device Manager
  • JTAG Server status looks O.K. and restart doesn't help.

C:\windows\system32>c:\intelFPGA_lite\18.1\quartus\bin64\jtagserver.exe --stop

C:\windows\system32>c:\intelFPGA_lite\18.1\quartus\bin64\jtagserver.exe --start

C:\windows\system32>c:\intelFPGA_lite\18.1\quartus\bin64\jtagserver.exe --status

Installed JTAG server is 'c:\intelFPGA_lite\18.1\quartus\bin64\jtagserver.exe'

 Server is running

 Remote clients are disabled

  • Restarting programmer (or Quartus) doesn't fix the issue.
  • Reboot does for one more programming attempt.

Tired of rebooting (Daaahh!)

Thanks for any ideas. - Martin


0 Kudos
2 Replies
New Contributor I

I can narrow down the search:

  • Yes, there is another FTDI device attached to the USB. (FT231XS).
  • The USB_Blaster seems to be happy until I open VCOM port through TeraTerm.

Still suspect there is a bug at the USB Blaster driver / service rather thanwilling to blame it on TeraTerm (opening Windows service).

Anyone offering a clue how to make everyone on the USB bus happy?

Thanks - Martin

New Contributor III

This is a fairly common complaint. Using and FTDI device at the same time as a USB-Blaster can cause issues - on some setups. I frequently use FTDI based USB-UART cables - and they cause problems. However, I do find that, rather than having to reboot my machine I can recover my USB-Blaster by disconnecting my serial emulator (Tera-Term or equivalent) and unplugging the USB-UART cable.


In my experience this problem only seems to happen on 64-bit based windows setups. I have no trouble with this on the one 32-bit W7 machine I still use but have seen problems on my 64-bit W7 & W10 machines. No problem on Linux systems either (unsurprisingly).