Merc Stealth Zboard not working after Windows 10 KB4034674

After the recent Windows 10 Cumulative update KB4034674 my Merc Stealth Keyboard drivers has stopped working. Specifically the Alpham164.sys is not being activate/trusted in Device Manager. Uninstalling the update allowed it to start working again. I can only push windows updates so long.

Uninstalling and reinstalling the driver software did not work. SteelSeries.com no longer supports the Merc Stealth, so there is no Windows 10 specific driver but it has worked fine until this patch.

How can I get Windows 10 to trust/allow Alpham164.sys?

 

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Last updated April 4, 2020 Views 37,449 Applies to:
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Answer

THIS FIX DOES NOT REQUIRE PREVENTING WINDOWS UPDATES It solves the problem by renaming the alpham driver associated with the zboard so windows no longer blocks it. It is a permanent solution and leaves your system in its original condition security-wise.


There are people who are posting the driver they generated with this process for download. Please recognize that it would be very easy to put malicious code into a driver installed in this manner. I strongly recommend just generating your own as described below. Download someone else's driver at your own risk.


0) If you don't already have ZEngine installed, you can get it here all the way at the bottom under ZEngine.

1) In your D:\Program Files\Ideazon\ZEngine copy the Kernel2k directory to preserve an original untampered version.

2) In the Kernel2K dir, rename every file that starts with Alpham or alpham to something else (ex. Alpham1.sys => Merc1.sys). 

3) Open the renamed .inf  file in a text editor (Notepad++, etc)  and do a similar find and replace on "Alpham" replacing with "Merc" (or whatever you used), replace all. (some people have reported needing to run their text editor as an administrator)

NOTE: Some people have reported being able to skip steps 4-7. You can try jumping from here directly to step 8. If it doesn't work for you, come back and start at step 4 again.

4) Delete merc12.cat (the security catalog file)

5) Install Windows Driver Kit ( it's going to give you a number of warnings during install that you won't be able to develop drivers since you don't have an IDE installed. Just OK through them... you're not developing a driver)

6) Add the inf2cat.exe installation directory to your PATH variables (Type path in search and select "Edit environment variables for your account" then select Path in the top window and click edit. Click new then add the directory of your inf2cat.exe file. Mine was in D:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\bin\x86. Hit enter, then OK all open windows.)

7) Generate a new .cat file (open a Command Prompt and type: inf2cat/driver:"path" /os:10_X64,10_X86 where "path" is the directory of merc.inf. So, for me it was inf2cat /driver:"D:\Program Files\Ideazon\ZEngine\Kernel2k" /os:10_X64,10_X86)

8) Disable Signed Driver Enforcement (step-by-step instructions)

9) In Device Manager locate the entries "Ideazon Merc MM USB Human Interface Device" and "Ideazon Merc USB Human Interface Device" (most likely under Human Interface Devices)

10) Right click > update driver > browse computer > Let me pick > Have Disk > Browse > manually select your newly renamed merc.inf. Acknowledge any unsigned driver warnings.


11) Enjoy a working zMerc again!

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