Synapse 1.0 not Recognizing BlackWidow Ultimate Fix

I had an issue where Synapse 1.0 software was not recognizing my BlackWidow Ultimate. My guess is that firmware got updated at some point (probably when I installed Synapse 2.0 without realizing it wasn’t what I wanted) which made the keyboard incompatible with the old software. Razer’s support website told me that I should try updating the firmware:

My BlackWidow or BlackWidow Ultimate is not being detected is there anything I can do? The latest FW v1.04 should correct most of these problems.

Unfortunately, just like the Synapse 1.0 software, the firmware installer could not detect the keyboard either and therefore could not flash the firmware.

Fast-forward me messing around with Synapse 2.0. The keyboard’s firmware was now at the latest version and magically the Razer_BlackWidowUltimate_FirmwareUpdater_v1.04.exe could now detect the keyboard. However, the updater said that “Device is already has the target firmware” and prompted me if I wanted to continue. At first, I did not want to proceed, but later decided to do it anyway for science. To my surprise the updater showed that my current firmware version was 1.08 and the new one will be 1.04. Considering how I’ve come across multiple devices where downgrading firmware was not possible, my first thought was “Uh-oh, I just bricked my keyboard.” Fortunately the downgrade went fine and nothing was bricked. In hindsight, given how buggy Synapse 2.0 I found to be after my messing with it (maybe I’ll make a post about that too), all of the above wasn’t really all that surprising. After the flash I decided to give Synapse 1.0 another try and it worked! The keyboard was detected and I was able to create macros. Best of all, I didn’t need Synapse 2.0. Yay!

In short, if Synapse 1.0 and Firmware Updater 1.04 do not recognize BlackWidow Ultimate:

  • Try updating firmware to 1.08 and then downgrading to 1.04.

If that doesn’t work:

  • Install Synapse 2.0
  • Use the offline hack to get firmware up to date
  • Downgrade to 1.04
  • Install Synapse 1.0

Hope this helps.

Razer Synapse 2.0 Offline Mode Hack

Skip to bottom half for the instructions.

I have one of Razer’s keybords and have been happily using it for probably roughly two years with Synapse 1.0 drivers. A recent system upgrade required me to install keyboard drivers again to get all the functionality. I went ahead and got the latest drivers (Synapse 2.0 by this point) and discovered that they required online registration as well as always-on Internet connection. That didn’t sit well with me so I found and installed the old Synapse 1.0 drivers. It appeared to work right away and I didn’t bother checking the actual configuration software.However, a few days ago I needed to create a macro and found out that the old Synapse software didn’t recognize the keyboard (although the OS saw it just fine). After a bit of searching I found this little gem from Razer:

Can I use the Razer BlackWidow or Razer BlackWidow Ultimate with the legacy drivers? Legacy drivers for the Razer BlackWidow and Razer BlackWidow Ultimate are available. However, if you have already used your Razer BlackWidow keyboard with Razer Synapse 2.0, you will not be able to roll back to the legacy drivers. Razer Synapse 2.0 configures your keyboard in such a way that makes it only compatible with Razer Synapse 2.0 and not with the legacy drivers.

For gamers. By gamers.”, you say? Looking further I found out that Razer recently improved their offline mode in Synapse 2.0. So I installed the latest version of those to see what would happen if I tried to launch them and register for the first time without a connection to the Internet. As I suspected, the registration/logon process failed due to network issues and there was no way to enter offline mode right away. A bit more looking around and I figured out a way to force the software into Offline mode and trick it into thinking it is logged in. Here’s how:

  • Install Synapse 2.0 drivers
  • Open up “C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataLocalRazerSynapseAccountsRazerLoginData.xml” (On Windows 7. Have not tested on other OS’s)
  • Change the contents to:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RazerLogins xmlns:i="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">

  • Relaunch the software and you should be logged in and ready to go!

Hope this help. Thanks to pentestgeek.com for posting their source of RazerLoginData.xml file which saved me from actually having to register an account.

And Razer… you disappoint me. Needless to say, I will not be buying your products again unless you start doing the right thing.