Windows 7 and the PNA Family of Network Analyzers

 

The PNA Windows 7 Upgrade Kit (N8983A or N8984A) and its various options are now orderable and available. Orders received for the standard N8983A or N8984A (SSD only) should ship within a week of receipt. Orders for the kit with either option PC7 or SP5 (see below) may take a while longer. All quotes for these items will show a six week delivery, even though the actual response time is much shorter. This web page will be updated with the latest information if anything significant changes.

Overview

In 2000, the PNA series of network analyzers originally shipped with Windows 2000. A couple of years later it switched to the XP operating system and has remained there ever since. Microsoft no longer supports XP as of April 2014. This fact, plus the 3GB memory restrictions of XP, required us to switch to a 64-bit Windows 7 operating system. This occured on March 1st of 2014. This web page describes the various implications, restrictions, and requirements of this change.

Some key points about Windows 7:
  • It is important to understand that all new firmware features, improvements, applications, and some bug fixes will only be applicable to PNAs running Windows 7. We will continue to fix XP firmware bugs for the remainder of the year, but XP releases will eventually become less frequent than the current monthly schedule. Critical bugs found in XP firmware will always be fixed, at least for the foreseeable future of 4-6 years. Replacement XP drives will likewise be available for the foreseeable future.
  • Upgrading to Windows 7 by itself will not affect the PNA's calibration or installed options. However, installing the new DSP5 assembly (Opt SP5) will require a full calibration.
  • There are no plans to ever migrate to Windows 8; maybe Windows 10 in the distant future.
  • Any PNA order placed on or after March 1st, 2014 should have arrived with Windows 7.

XP Migration Product Guide


Older PNAs and Windows XP Support

Earlier models of the PNA did not have a CPU that was capable of running a 64-bit operating system. Because of this, any PNA with the smaller 8.4 inch display will NEVER be able to upgrade to Windows 7. This includes all the C models. While technically possible, there are no plans to support a 32-bit version of the operating system since the CPU can only hold a maximum of 1GB of RAM. The only possible upgrade path is a trade-in. Contact Keysight for more information. While Microsoft will end support in April of 2014, current PNAs will continue to function normally. Lack of Microsoft support only means that there will be no more security or bug fixes. It is recommended that existing customers install and regularly update antivirus software. Keysight will continue to supply replacement hard drives (with XP already installed) for the foreseeable future.


ONLY the below PNA models can be upgraded to Windows 7:

  • N522xA   (All are Win-7 ready!)
  • N524xA
  • N5231A, N5232A, N5234A, N5235A, N5239A   (All are Win-7 ready!)
  • N5264A


Requirements for a Windows 7 Upgrade

The N524xA and N5264A models have shipped with four different CPU versions: 4, 5, 6, and 7. Only versions 6 and 7 can run the 64-bit Windows 7 operating system. If you are unsure of the installed CPU, the two best methods to determine what is installed are:

  • See this CPU picture link. Check the label (if present) on the CPU for a p/n of W1312-60196, W1312-60210, or W1312-60297.
  • In the PNA application, click on Help, About Network Analyzer. If it indicates a System CPU Version which is less than 6.0, it needs to be upgraded.
All newer CPUs were shipped with 8 GB of RAM installed in anticipation of switching to a 64-bit operating system. Note that an existing newer CPU with 8GB of RAM installed will only indicate about 3 GB of RAM in the XP Properties window; this is a limitation of XP; the newer CPUs really do have the full 8GB present.

DSP Note:  All of the PNAs that can be upgraded to Windows 7 have either Version 4 or 5 of the DSP board (aka, SPAM board.) The newer Version 5 DSP has been used since the beginning of 2012. Clicking on Help, About in the application will show which version is currently installed. BOTH Versions 4 and 5 are fully compatible with Windows 7. However, future firmware features may require the version 5 DSP board due to its higher IF bandwidth and significant increase in memory. You may want to think about upgrading this DSP board to Version 5. If you have the version 4 board, the newer version 5 part number is N5240-60078, but see the kit setup below. Customers that have all of the test equipment to run a full set of adjustments can install this assembly themselves. The only tools needed are TX-10 and TX-20 screwdrivers. Installation is simple for 4 port units; just swap the board making sure you reconnect the flexible IF cables to the proper jack (they are labeled.) For 2-port units, two of the flexible IF cables (for J2 and J5) may need to be replaced with slightly longer versions. These are N5247-60023 (for J2) and N5247-60024 (for J5); both are included in the kit below. After installation, perform the following adjustments in this order: IFGain, Receiver Characterization, and Receiver Adjustment. All require only a power meter and appropriate sensor(s). While the adjustments are not difficult, they can be time consuming and a bit tedious. For this reason, you may want to think about having this installed at an Keysight service center. Contact Keysight for more information.


What to Order

Assuming you already have a proper CPU, you only need to order the Windows 7 Upgrade Kit: model number N8983A or N8984A; see below. This kit will include a new hard drive (actually an SSD) with the operating system already installed. The drive will already be mounted in the slide-in drive cradle and the Windows 7 Certificate of Authenticity sticker will already be attached. A short Installation Note is also included, although most of that information will also be provided on this web page. The US list price is shown below. This price does not include labor; however installation is trivial and can be done by the customer in 2 minutes.

Look at the Help > About Network Analyzer screen on your PNA. It will show a "System CPU Version" with the number 4, 5, 6, 6.1 or 7. Only versions 6, 6.1, and 7 are compatible with Windows 7. If the PNA has CPU version 4 or 5, you will also need to order the version 7 2200 MHz CPU. This can be ordered using the part number W1312-60210 or the option PC7 shown in the table below. The N522xA PNA models and the N5231A thru N5239A PNA-L models were all shipped with the version 6 or 6.1 CPU and are already capable of running Windows 7. Installation of the CPU is also trivial and only takes 2 minutes.

If desired, an option to the N8984A kit can also include the DSP (SPAM) board; Version 5. It will also include the two needed IF cables for the 2-port units only; 4-port units will not need them.


Kits have been set up to make ordering easier and the pricing has been slightly discounted.
Prices shown below are approximate and are subject to change at any time.

Description Order Model US $
w/o install
US $
with install
Windows 7 SSD (includes Windows license)
For use with version 6 or 6.1 CPU only.
N8983A $1239 ----
Windows 7 SSD (includes Windows license)
For use with the 2200 MHz version 7 CPU only.
N8984A $1239 ----
Windows 7 SSD plus 2200 MHz CPU N8984A Opt. PC7 $6414 ----
Windows 7 SSD plus DSP5 board (includes cables) N8984A Opt. SP5 $5379 $6881
Windows 7 SSD plus 2200 MHz CPU and DSP5 board N8984A Opt. PC7 and Opt. SP5 $10554 $12206


Note for early N5242A models: The first 200 or so N5242A models were shipped with a different touchscreen that does not have an associated Window 7 driver. While the touchscreen will probably still work after the upgrade, it will no longer be possible to calibrate it. If this is a concern, these units must have a new touchscreen installed. If accurate touchscreen operation is not a concern, then make sure you calibrate the touchscreen one last time before upgrading. The N5242A units affected are those with a numeric prefix BELOW MY4822, SG4822, and US4812. The touchscreen replacement requires several parts, so it is recommended that the PNA be returned to a service center for updating. These parts are listed in the N5242A service guide, page 6-14, footnote 'a' and on our touchscreen page. The cost of the parts is about $600, but this does not include the approximate 2-3 hours of labor. If you have any questions on this, please contact us. Currently there is no kit set up; this may change.




Before you Upgrade

IMPORTANT   BEFORE beginning the Windows 7 upgrade process, it is STRONGLY recommended that you install the latest A.9.90.xx firmware on your existing hard drive in case you ever need to later use XP for any reason. The reason for this is that the existing flash memory system will be changed to a new format once Windows 7 is installed. While the Windows 7 firmware is aware of both formats, only firmware 9.90.05 and above can recognize both formats and act accordingly. If older firmware is not updated and the old XP hard drive is ever re-installed, the PNA will not function, errors will be generated, and the current contents of the Flash memory will be scrambled, making any recovery extremely difficult. Please take the few minutes to download and install the latest A.09.90 firmware to your existing XP hard drive before beginning the upgrade process. Firmware can be downloaded from our firmware download page.


Transfer any Desired Existing Files

Upgrading to Windows 7 will not affect the PNA's calibration or any installed permanent options, however, ALL temporary options will be lost. If the loss of temporary options is an issue, then save or print the text file gen.lic to some other media so that the keywords can later be reinstalled on the new hard drive. This file is located in: C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer.

You may want to transfer some existing files from your XP hard drive before you install the Windows 7 drive. This is completely optional. If you do not need to save any existing files, then this section can be skipped.

If you later determine you need some files on the old XP drive, the best method to access a file is with a USB 2.5-inch hard drive enclosure. These cost less than $15 and are very simple to use. Just make sure you get an enclosure that matches your existing hard drive interface. The only drives that have a PATA (IDE) interface are the ones contained in the 1600MHz CPU; all the rest (those with the slide-in tray) contain SATA drives. Linked here is an example of a suitable USB SATA enclosure.


Some files you may want to retain are:

  • State Files (.csa, .cst, .sta, .calfiles)
  • Result Files (.snp, .csv, .cti, .png)
  • Mixer Files (.mxr/.mxrx)
  • Device Driver Files for DC Source (and Generic Sources)
  • Disk Based ecal user characterization files (.euc)
  • Any created Calkit Files
  • Noise ENR Files (.enr)
Since the hard drive will be replaced, you should save any needed files to a flash drive (or other media) before the new hard drive is installed. Below are the locations where these files can be found for XP and where they should be located for Windows 7.



File Type XP Location Win-7 Location Notes
State Files (.csa .cst .sta .cal files) C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\Documents C:\Users\Public\Documents\Network Analyzer Copy from XP location to Win7 location
Result Files (.snp .csv .cti) C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\Documents C:\Users\Public\Documents\Network Analyzer Copy from XP location to Win7 location
Mixer Files (.mxr .mxrx) C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\Documents\Mixer C:\Users\Public\Documents\Network Analyzer\Mixer Copy from XP location to Win7 location
Device Driver Files for DC Source C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\Documents\Drivers C:\Users\Public\Documents\Network Analyzer\Drivers Copy from XP location to Win7 location
Disk Based ecal user characterization files (.euc) C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\ECal User Characterizations C:\Users\Public\Documents\Network Analyzer\ECal User Characterizations Copy from XP location to Win7 location
Noise ENR Files(.enr) C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\Documents\Noise C:\Users\Public\Documents\Network Analyzer\Noise Copy from XP location to Win7 location
User Cal Kits (.wks) C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\PnaCalKits\User\userkits_7.50.wks Hidden Folder In Win-7 on PNA, use the "Open.." button at the top of the Edit Cal Kits dialog to browse to the '.wks' file you copied from your XP PNA disk. Select the '*.wks' filetype filter in the dropdown to be able to pick your wks file, that will load-in all your cal kits.
Color Scheme C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\Documents\Colors C:\Users\Public\Documents\Network Analyzer\Colors Copy from XP location to Win7 location
User Calsets C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\UserCalSets Hidden Folder Ensure you've saved-as '.cal' files and/or '.csa' files the User CalSets you want to keep, treat those like other "State Files" as described above. Recalling those '.cal' or '.csa' files in the PNA in Win-7 will re-constitute those CalSets.
Cal Registers C:\Program Files\Agilent\Network Analyzer\CalRegisters Hidden Folder Ensure you've saved-as '.cal' files and/or '.csa' files the Cal Registers you want to keep, treat those like other "State Files" as described above. Recalling those '.cal' or '.csa' files in the PNA in Win-7 will re-constitute those Cal Registers.



Installation Instructions

Installation of Windows 7 is very simple if the DSP and/or touchscreen is not also being replaced. Just follow the steps below.
However, if the SPAM board (DSP) or touchscreen are to be replaced, then do those procedures first! Refer to the appropriate service manual for step-by-step instructions.

Note: HDD refers to the Hard Disk Drive even though it may actually be an SSD (Solid State Drive.)


  1. Shut down the PNA if it is still running.
  2. Remove all USB devices from the PNA except the mouse and keyboard. Disconnect any LAN cable.
  3. If you do not need to replace the current CPU assembly, then unscrew the HDD tray thumbscrew and remove it (see picture.) Now skip to step 7.
  4.     If you do need to replace the current CPU assembly, unscrew all 6 screws on the rear panel that holds the CPU in place. (see picture.)
  5.     Pull on the two latches to release the board. Remove this board and set it aside.
  6.     Carefully insert the new i7 CPU assembly, close the latches, and attach it with the 6 screws previously removed.
  7. Insert the supplied HDD tray assembly into the open drive bay of the CPU; hand tighten the thumbscrew.
  8. Again, make sure there are NO USB devices connected to the PNA other than a mouse and keyboard.
  9. Apply power to the PNA (if needed) and press the power button. The PNA should begin to boot from the hard drive.
  10. The PNA will go through its initialization procedure. This will take about 11 minutes and may involve as many as 5 reboots.
  11. Wait until no more activity is seen for 1 minute. You should now see the normal PNA measurement window.
  12. Most likely the touch screen will be uncalibrated and reversed left-to-right; this is normal. Calibrate the touch screen by pressing the front panel buttons: System, Touchscreen, Calibrate Touchscreen. Follow instructions displayed.
  13. If desired, copy any saved files to their new locations (or import them as needed); this is described above.
  14. The PNA is now ready for use.

Set aside the old HDD (and/or CPU if applicable) in case you later discover you need a file from the old drive.
The PNA does not come with any antivirus software installed. You may want to install an antivirus program before connecting the PNA to the Internet. You may also want to download and install any recent Windows Updates. The kit will contain a firmware revision of A.10.00.xx, however it may not be the most recent. Check our firmware page to verify the latest Windows 7 version available.
During use, you may notice that the Windows User Access Control (UAC) will prompt you for permission to install programs or make other critical changes. While this feature can be turned off, this is not recommended due to security concerns.




Firmware Revision Note:  Firmware for Windows 7 will always be A.10.00.00 or higher. Firmware for XP will always be A.09.99.99 or lower. You cannot run firmware below A.10.00.00 on a Windows 7 PNA. Likewise, you cannot run firmware A.10.00.00 or above on XP.

Password Note:  For many years now, the administrator user name has been "pna-admin" and the password has been "agilent". In Windows 7, the user name will remain the same, but the password is changing. This is because our company name has now changed to Keysight. All PNAs with Windows 7 will use the default lower-case password of "pna". If the short length violates your company policy, it can always be changed.

OS Note:  The Windows Properties dialog box (right-click on Computer, Properties) will not actually indicate Windows 7. Instead, it will show "Windows Embedded Standard". This is really Windows 7, but it is specifically for embedded systems such as the PNA.

Memory Note:  As mentioned above, Windows 7 uses a different flash memory format. While not recommended, it is possible to swap back and forth between Windows 7 and XP. If this is done, you may see the error "Your calibration file system is full..." when the OS is XP. For more information on this, see our Cal File System webpage.



If you have any questions, contact your local Keysight field office or email: csg.support@keysight.com.


Last Updated: May 6, 2016