The return of the knob

(Cross posted from L/J...)

After much fiddling, it turns out that one can get the Griffin PowerMate to work under Vista. You just need some patience. And a bit of luck.

In particular, you need to:

  1. Run the installer.

  2. Copy the Control Panel Applet, PowerMate.cpl, from the installation media to C:\Windows\System32\. (If you don't have the original installation media, you can use a universal extractor to grab the files from the installer, or just install the software onto a different machine and find all the files by hand.)

  3. Copy the PowerMate.exe file from the installation media to your C:\Program Files\Griffin Technology\PowerMate\ install directory.

  4. Copy the PowrMate.sys file from the installation media's System32\Drivers\Windows2KXP\ directory to your C:\Program Files\Griffin Technology\PowerMate\Driver sub-directory.

  5. Load up the Device Manager and look for the Human Interface Device with the hardware ID "USB\VID_077D&PId_0410". (If you can't find the device, you may need to unplug it and plug it back in as Vista may tag it as non-functional by default.) Choose to update the driver, and browse your computer for the driver software. Opt to pick from a list of device drivers on my computer, and then click on the "Have Disk" button. Select the C:\Program Files\Griffin Technology\PowerMate\Driver sub-directory with the PowrMate.inf and PowrMate.sys.

  6. Run the PowerMate.cpl as an administrator to set all of your powermate settings.  (Just browse to C:\Windows\System32\, select PowerMate.cpl and Run as Administrator.)  This will ensure that the PowerMate executable, which we'll also run as administrator, loads the correct settings.

  7. Lastly, you'll need to set the PowerMate executable to run in app-compat mode so that it’ll have access to the hardware volume, rather than getting its own independent application volume.  Also, you'll need to run it as an administrator.  Right click on the PowerMate.exe file and select properties, navigate to the Compatibility tab, and then Show Settings for All Users.  Choose to Run this program in Compatibility mode for Windows XP (SP2) and Run as an administrator.

  8. Run PowerMate.exe.

OK, so probably not worth the effort, but there was geek pride at stake here... πŸ˜‰

BTW, this was also pretty neat. Clearly the answer the next time is to write code to solve the problem.

Hopefully this will help others running into the same issue.

Comments (25)
  1. The whole problem with installing the Powermate is running the installation program.  Vista rejects it.  So how do you perform your step #1?

  2. Tom says:

    Vista doesn’t reject the installer.  The problem I’m having is that I can’t update the driver with the one in the Powermate directory.  Says that it’s either not a driver, or not 32-bit.  

  3. Tom says:

    Nevermind, I got it.  Just leave the driver as a "HID-compliant consumer control device".  Then end the powermate.exe process, and rerun it with XP SP2 compatibility as administrator.  Working great now!

  4. Ben says:

    Thanks a lot for this — I got the driver files off another machine, but I couldn`t figure out how to get it to adjust the system volume!

  5. Steven says:

    I can get the Powermate application to work, but under Vista, when I bring up the Volume Mixer, the Powermate shows as a separate device and won’t control the Global Volume.  Any way to associate the Powermate to do the same thing my keyboard dial does (change everything)?

  6. pablo says:


    I have the same problem.


  7. Pete says:

    Hm, i made the mistake in the beginning to let windows find drivers. now even though i could figure out which device it is, by plugging in/out, Vista won’t let me update the driver, since it thins the current one is decent enough. i tried to uninstal it, but as soon as i plug it back it, it reinstalls with same windows drivers. Also i got it to work with those drivers but like Steven and Pablo, it wouldn’t change sound, just appears as a device in volume settings.

    any help?

  8. Smitty says:

    Thanks so much for this i was starting to thing it was a wasted $20

  9. Kelly says:

    I had gotten like half of those steps done and then gave up. Just got the "official" response from Griffin as well that there are no plans to support Vista for that device.

    Awesome! Thanks – I thought I wasted $35

  10. nate says:

    Works great — thanks so much!  

  11. Specter says:

    Has anyone been able to get it to adjust the system volume?  I ran it in XP SP2 compatability mode and it didn’t work.  Then tried it as admin too.  That didn’t work either.  Works for everything but system volume.  I even tried forcing it is stay in global mode… nothing.

    Can anyone confirm it will work to adjust system volume?

  12. Kurt says:

    Ummm… I have to agree with Jeffrey. My Vista rejects the installer aswell. How did you all get your Vista to run the installer. It tells me that my OS is not adequate

  13. August says:

    Set the Rotate Right function to Send Key and enter 0XAF to Increase volume

    Set the Rotate Left function to Send Key and enter 0XAE to Decrease Volume

    Set the Click function to Send Key and enter 0XAD to Mute Volume



  14. Scott says:

    Thanks a lot for the instructions!  I had stumbled it through it myself when I first got Vista back in January or so and got it working fine, but I just did a clean install and needed to get it working again.  Your instructions made that process a lot easier than it was the first time!

  15. Ryan says:

    Wow, it took me a long time to wrap my brain around the per-application volume feature in Vista, but I finally got it.

    Turns out, it’s controlling the ‘Speaker’ volume, while the whole time the ‘Digital Audio Interface’ was what I was looking at.

    My Powermate works after following the instructions, and I’m happy.  I may keep this Vista thing for a while after all.


  16. Rob says:


    I have been trying to get my Powermate to work following your instructions but it only seems to install it’s own powermate driver within the mixer panel.

    If I set powermate.exe as 2k compatible then it only controls the Digital output Device (SPDIF)

    Any help would be much appreciated


  17. zombi27 says:

    noooice, it works dude πŸ˜€

    after 1 hour of pain, i finally did it πŸ™‚

    With the "keys" from August, the right driver and the compatmode of winxp sp2 it woks perfect!

  18. DrtyBlvd says:

    "So probably not worth the effort…" pretty much sums up that hateful little black knob.

    It isn’t that it doesn’t work, just that you need to keep installing it all the time – or at least, I had to under XP… Pretty paperweight though.

  19. Ka7mai says:

    Hmm… apologies for the troubles people have been going through.  After getting the Powermate to work on Server 2008, I went through the directions and updated them to be a bit clearer.

    Jeffrey, Kurt — I’m not sure why the installer is being rejected for you.  I was able to download & run the installer directly from Griffin’s site just fine.  However, if it’s still giving you trouble, you can run the installer itself in compatibility mode.  (Just right click on the setup executable, choose properties, and then navigate to the compatibility tab and set it to run it as a Windows XP (SP2) compatibility mode.  Also, you’ll want to run the program as an Administrator).  Hope this helps.

    Steven/Paplo/Pete — It sounds like you’re not running PowerMate.exe in compatibility/priveleged mode.

    Hope this helps,


  20. Ka7mai says:

    Also, if you’re having a lot of trouble working with the installer, you can try to work around it.  For the most part, it only really copies the PowerMate exe and drivers into your program files, the PowerMate.cpl into your system32 directory, and writes some reg keys.  If you copy over the registry keys from your HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE from a machine where the install did work, along with the files in C:Program FilesGriffin Technology, you should be able to get it working _without_ the installer…

    (I remember having to do something similar to get the device to work under Windows Server 2003, back when it wasn’t supported.  Needless to say, Griffin’s lack of support for new Operating Systems isn’t a new thing…)

    Hope this helps,


  21. Cliff Miller says:

    I found that the new Vista driver from GriffinTech wouldn’t work (older PowerMate firmware?) and the legacy XP install didn’t work with Vista, so this was my only hope!  Thanks – your procedure worked just fine for Vista Business and the legacy version PowerMate_Win_1-5-3_D.exe from GriffenTech.  My only problem was finding the ".sys" and ".inf" files after running the installer.  For the record, on my system, I found "PowerMate Driver 1.5.3.msi" in  "c:users<your username here>AppDataLocalTemp_is38A4"  My universal extractor wouldn’t extract the executable from Griffin, but it did extract the msi, providing all the files needed.

    I certainly appreciate the work you did in putting this together…

  22. Ryan Stanley says:

    I just got the 1.5.3 drivers working for 32-bit Windows 7 after following your instructions.  I used a program called Universal Extractor (, which after some fiddling (run it as Administrator) got me the files I needed.  The steps involved are slightly different than your instructions for Vista, but are completely obvious once you’re in it.  I’m a bit new at Windows 7 so I had some trouble getting the actual Device Manager, but once I found it replacing the driver was easy.

    Why not use the newer drivers? I like these better, they seem to be lighter and faster – the response time seems way better.

    Anyway, thanks for this work, I’m glad it’s still working today.

  23. Andrew says:

    Thanks all.  Ryan I downloaded and ran the 2.01 driver in win7 and it is a neater and easier interface.  No probs controlling system volume or configuring for new apps except one… In the user interface there are only options to configure for right and left turn and depressed right and left turn.  No click or long-click are even shown.  Has anyone come accross this?

  24. Wayne says:

    To Andrew above: yes I have Windows 7 Home 64 bit and the 2.0.1 driver. I am having exactly the same problem as you i.e. Actions

    5. Single Click (depress once briefly)

    6. Long Click (depress and hold)

    are missing from the Editor software. Did you ever get these to appear? I have emailed Griffin and am awaiting response..

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