The FARO software is only required if you are using the system with a FARO scanner. The LIDAR USA setups will automatically start a FARO setup if it is appropriate. You do not need to install a FARO setup independently.
Installing the FARO software is a little bit involved. Since many of the applications are 32-bit and some are 64-bit, even on a 64-bit computer BOTH the 32 and 64-bit installations are required.
The FARO software installation is provided directly from FARO. We try to stay as current as possible and are generally only a few days behind FARO updating our own setup files with the FARO setups. Here's what the initial setup screen looks like.
Please note that the FARO setup will also initiate a Microsoft installation for redistributable software. You need to run this only once, ever.
While many applications will install the FARO DLL files, etc., in their own installation folder structure, we adhere to FARO's rules by using their setups directly. This results with files being installed in the <System Folder>\Windows\winsxs folder. For instance, after installation you would likely find folders such as these:
The winsxs folder is a Windows invention. Once files go into these folders, they never come out. The advantage of the winsxs structure is you can have many applications all requiring the FARO DLL's but using different versions. This means you can install any number of the FARO DLL's without breaking other installations.
A brief search on the internet will reveal that the proliferation of FARO DLL's by vendors often times leads to DLL Hell. It is not a fun place to be. What happens is some vendor installs the necessary DLL's for their application in their own installation. This would be something like:
c:\Program Files\My Special Program\faro
Their software also registers the (usually two) files which require registering with the Windows Registry (via regsvr32).
Now imagine you have installed the latest ScanLook software with the latest FARO setups and later you install My Special Program with a FARO setup two years old. My Special Program will likely run just fine. However, any new programs such as ScanLook that require the newer setups will now most likely cease to run properly. This is because, even though the winsxs folders have been used by ScanLook, My Special Program violates the Windows “treaty” and overrides all other installations with the older files. Bam! Most, if not all, new programs will no longer function as expected.
This mess can be salvaged, hopefully. If FARO has done their part (which they have so far) and kept all newer versions compatible with older versions then what must be done is to simply register the latest FARO software. Since the newest software is likely already installed, just re-installing it often won't help because the installation programs are often “too smart” and look for pre-existing, same version, installations. If they find that the current version is already installed, they simply exit gracefully with a successful and uneventful installation (and they should).
To simply fix this we have added a small program with the ScanLook installations requiring FARO. Simply search your Program Files folders (32 or 64 bit) for a file named RegFaroDlls.exe. When you find it, right click on it and use Run As Administrator. The cursor will show it is busy for only a moment. This little helper goes to the winsxs folder and registers the most recent FARO DLL's. After doing this, ScanLook programs should once again work AND all other programs using FARO DLL's should work as well.
One more important note. Even on a clean machine with a fresh install of ScanLook, you may get a FARO DLL warning when you initially try to run the ScanLook software. Apparently there is something within Windows that does not allow even the FARO setups to properly complete registration. Knowing that this is so, our setups all run RegFaroDlls.exe as a last step in our setup process. However, sometimes it just doesn't seem to work. If you have any doubt, go run this program after installation as noted above.