It was “broken” because it would not work in Windows Vista. Personally, I wouldn’t consider “not working in Vista” a reason for something to be “broken.”
So I began to look deeper into this “broken” SCR, and see what the deal was. It is a SCM Microsystems SCR331.
From the above link, it would appear that they still support the SCR331. So I looked at the support page for some Windows 7 x64 drivers. I found one here:
I chose the appropriate download (for Windows 7 x64) to get started.
So I’ve got the drivers… I must be good to go.
Well, I connected the SCR to my system, pointed to the drivers, and voila!
Maybe this darn thing is broken. Maybe Windows 7/Vista just can’t use it.
No way… Why are there drivers to use it, when it isn’t “supported?”
Trial and Error
So I fired up a Windows XP VM, loaded the drivers and voila! It worked. Alright, something is a little strange here.
Then I noticed something… Looking at the downloads page for Windows 7 x64 and Windows XP I noticed something very different between the two.
Updating the Firmware
I figured that this wouldn’t work in Windows 7 x64, but what the heck, the SCR was “broken” anyway.
Upon downloading and extracting the .zip file, I ran the included FwUpdate.exe to begin the upgrade process. Surprisingly, no compatibility issues, and it ran without issue.
My firmware was at version 1.40, and this package 5.25. Afterward, the SCR was fully patched to 5.25.
And then afterward:
I added the appropriate drivers to Windows 7 x64, and voila! It worked.
Moral To The Story
I know that these devices are not that expensive, a Google Shopping search lists them around $15 each.
I can only imagine how many of these have been discarded by various entities, because they “didn’t work” with Windows Vista/7. So it would cost an organization with 100 of these, about $1500 to replace them with a similar “supported” device if the prices were comparable.
In short, before something is discarded, be 100% certain is isn’t going to work. It could cost you in the long run.
Now maybe I can see if I can get it to work with VMware View… I guess I’ll start with Jason Langone’s post: How to Configure VMware View 4.5 with US Department of Defense CAC Authentication.