This topic deals with various problems where communications to the logger cannot be re-established at all following a change of PC or major updates to the Windows version or when data needs to be transferred from an old PC to a new installation.
Specifically, this topic deals with issues where a new Weatherlink installation has not been correctly established on a new PC or Windows environment or in locating and transferring existing data files. But a move to a different PC may occasionally cause some problems in configuring the USB driver correctly on the new PC. In this case, you may also need to review the more general notes on troubleshooting logger communications issues.
Reinstalling the Weatherlink for Windows software
In general, any change of PC or hard drive (or potentially a complete update of the Windows version, although this will not always be necessary) will require that the Weatherlink software be reinstalled from scratch. This means that Weatherlink must be reinstalled initially from an original CD or from a FULL download from weatherlink.com (see below). Trying to copy an old installation across from a backup to a new PC is rarely, if ever, successful – you do typically need to bite the bullet and organise a completely fresh installation.
Understanding Weatherlink versions and updates: Davis issue updates to the Weatherlink version from time to time and these updates can be downloaded free of charge from the Davis weatherlink.com website as described in the Download Weatherlink program section. At the time of writing (July 2019) the latest version was v6.0.5, but a newer update might subsequently be released by Davis.
However, these updates are just that – ‘updates’ to an existing installed version. The updates cannot be used to create a new Weatherlink installation. Instead, Weatherlink must first be installed from an original CD or from a download of the FULL Weatherlink program. In other words, there are two options for creating a new installation:
- Download the FULL version from weatherlink.com as described in the link above;
- First install an older version from an existing CD and then download the UPDATE version from weatherlink.com as described in the link above. Once the original version has been successfully installed then the update can be installed on top of the original version to give a fully functioning copy of the latest version.
We do strongly recommend when reinstalling Weatherlink on an existing or new PC that you do update to the latest available version to take advantage of the latest features and driver versions.
Weatherlink installation folder: Unless there are very particular reasons for doing otherwise, Weatherlink should always be installed to the C:\Weatherlink folder. This is the default on recent versions of Weatherlink, but versions 5.7 and 5.8 installed to C:\Program Files\Weatherlink. If you are reinstalling one of these older versions from the CD then always check that installation is being directed to C:\Weatherlink and override manually any attempt to do otherwise – there is a step in the installation process that displays the install folder and asks you to accept or change it. (NB Weatherlink will still work OK if it is installed to C:\Program Files\Weatherlink, but the problem is that the monthly data files are then tucked away in an obscure folder location – see below – and may be difficult to track down.) Any Weatherlink updates must be directed to the same folder that Weatherlink was originally installed to.
We do definitely suggest using drive C: for the installation folder. Although there is no obvious reason why eg drives D; or E: (if present on the local PC) might not be usable, there are occasional reports of obscure problems from users who have attempted to do so. It’s simplest therefore to avoid any such potential issues and to stick to drive C:. Using other drives as a location for the monthly data files (ie as distinct from the main Weatherlink executables folder) seems generally OK, although it is still best to stick to drives on the local PC, ie not network drives. Overall, it is simplest to remain with the suggested default and to keep the station’s data folder also within C:\Weatherlink.
PCs without a CD drive Modern PCs are increasingly not fitted with a CD drive and so the obvious approach for such PCs is to install from a download as described above. However, if you do have a Weatherlink CD but no built-in CD drive and are experiencing problems with installing from a download then another option is to buy or borrow a USB CD drive. These are often available quite cheaply (eg £20-30) and may occasionally be the simplest way of reinstalling Weatherlink on a new PC if other approaches are not working.
Moving Weatherlink data files
The Weatherlink files that contain your complete data archive may be readily moved from one PC or drive to another and so your full weather history can continue to accumulate on a new PC. The process of moving the data is very straightforward but there are one or two potential hitches, especially if you’ve never run a transfer before, so the notes below should help to achieve a smooth transfer to the new PC.
NB These notes deal only with data files created by Weatherlink v5.2 and later. This version actually dates from about 2002 and so should cover the great majority of transfers. If you do happen to have been using v5.1 or earlier (is there anyone at all left doing so?) then you’ll need to review the Weatherlink instructions about Importing Database Files in the online Help. IMPORTANT You do NOT need to use Import Database Files on the Weatherlink File menu for files created by v5.2 and later (these data files will have the .wlk suffix) and attempts to do so will result in program errors.
Understanding monthly data file names and location: Weatherlink stores its data in separate monthly data files, named after the year and month number of collection and all ending in the .wlk file suffix (very old versions of Weatherlink used a different suffix, but also used a different data format). Thus a new monthly file for May 2015 was created just after midnight on 1st May and named 2015-05.wlk.
These files are all stored inside the current station folder. When Weatherlink runs for the first time (or if you manually create a new station) it asks you for a station name. The first 8 characters of this name are then used as the station folder name. By default, the station folder is located as a subfolder of the main Weatherlink folder and so, purely as an example and if I had created a station called Station1 on a recent version of Weatherlink, then my May data would be found in the file at C:\Weatherlink\Station1\2015-05.wlk. (NB You can vary the location of the station folder to other folder locations; if you decided not to accept the default location, it’s of course then up to you to keep track of the location that you did choose.)
You should be able to see the location of these monthly .wlk files easily using Windows File Explorer (also known as My Computer or simply Windows Explorer in different versions of Windows). If you’re not clear how to find and to use File Explorer then you really need to seek help locally from someone who does – this is a problem about how to use Windows and not really a Weatherlink one.
Migrating existing data files to a new PC: NB This relates only to monthly data files and assumes that the main Weatherlink program files have been reinstalled on the new PC as described above.
Actually moving the data is a simple two-step process. First, run the Weatherlink program for an initial time. The ‘Walkthrough’ routine will run automatically and prompt you to create a new station (and hence create a new station folder within C:\Weatherlink, unless you change away from the default location) and to set the correct communications port for your logger. You can either stop the Walkthrough at this point – all of the subsequent settings can be edited later if required – or simply allow it to complete so that all of the standard settings have been given an initial value. Then close the Weatherlink program.
Moving the data files then simply involves copying them from the old station folder location on the old PC to the new station folder location on the new PC. A USB stick will often be the easiest way of transferring the copies between PCs but obviously any valid transfer method can be used. Once the copying is complete then Weatherlink can be restarted and the old data should now be visible eg within Browse mode of Weatherlink.
Data file location on old Weatherlink versions eg v5.7: If Weatherlink was installed to C:\Program Files\Weatherlink on your old PC then you may have trouble locating the monthly wlk data files because the station subfolder may well not have been placed inside the main Weatherlink folder but elsewhere.
The ‘alternative location’ is the ‘Virtual Store’ location within the Windows folder hierarchy and for Weatherlink files should be findable at:
where ‘yourusername’ is the user name that you use when you log on to Windows. You will need to drill down within Windows File Explorer along this folder path and to progressively deeper folder levels until you will hopefully find the relevant Weatherlink folder containing the set of wlk files. This obscure change was actually made for good technical reasons but in the event proved too confusing to users, hence the more recent reversion to using the simple C:\Weatherlink folder.
An alternative approach to search in File Explorer for *.wlk, ensuring that hidden folders are visible (the VirtualStore may be hidden by default and hence its contents won’t be scanned in a search).