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9:33am on Saturday, 10th February, 2024:



My Corsair K95 Platinum keyboard, like other Corsair products, uses their iCUE system. This is a large piece of software that handles all manner of Corsair products, including the mouse and the computer's cooling system. I don't have Corsair versions of either of those, nor of anything else Corsair, just the keyboard; nevertheless, I have to install the whole package.

There are occasional updates to iCUE. I always install these in case they're there to make iCUE talk to Windows when the latter has or is about to update. Once such iCUE update three days ago had the effect of crashing when the iCUE loader was loading. This left my keyboard in some kind of demo mode, rotating flashing lights at me, while not giving me access to any of my carefully-constructed keyboard macros. There were no error messages, because the error-reporting program also crashed.

After trying assorted solutions recommended by people who had had similar troubles for earlier releases, I removed the new software in its entirety (which involved four manual deletions of full directories) and did a fresh install from scratch. The problem was freshly-installed along with it.

OK, so clearly I needed to restore an old version of the software. Sadly, if not entirely unpredictably, there was no old version of the software. I don't know if iCUE tells Windows that it doesn't want backing up, or if it removes the backups itself, or if the reinstalls I did overwrote the old backups. I do know that Corsair doesn't make any versions of iCUE available online except the latest, though. You can download them from assorted dubious web sites that may or may not have modified them with keyboard loggers or worse, but not from the Corsair site.

Eventually, deep in a forum about iCUE loader crashes, I located a very long URL pointing to somewhere on the Corsair site that kept an earlier version of the software (4.33.138 — it's currently 5.11.96). It must have escaped their deletion net. A fresh install of this one worked fine, and my keyboard is mine to command again. In fact, it's better than that: many of the things I want to do are much easier in the old version — recording and assigning macros to keys, for example.

Corsair knows that its software is so bloated that it's prone to falling flat on its face. Why it doesn't provide recent-but-superseded versions to download when this happens is beyond me. I would have been less cross if I could have downloaded 5.11.95 than I was when I had to waste a couple of hours trying to source something legitimate that wasn't going to install ransomware alongside it.

Somewhat ironically, I'm currently reading "The Inmates are Runningr the Asylum" by Alan Cooper, which has just spent a chapter ranting about exactly this kind of thing. Its examples are often obsolete, though; it really needs updating....

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