Windows 8.1 and Nikon D800 Tethering Problem

Saturday, May 10th, 2014 at 2311

I love my D800. Admittedly not as much as my Fuji, but it’s a great machine to work with. For a while now since getting several gigs as a Poledance Photographer I’ve taken to shooting tethered via Adobe Lightroom. Now, due to not being able to afford a fast laptop (D800′s are expensive…) I make use of a loaner machine, a rather lovely Dell XPS15 (2013 model). Prior to the Windows 8.1 update everything was running smoothly, but after the jump, the D800 stopped working.

On connecting the camera you’d hear the “USB Device Connected” chime, but it would only display in device manager with a yellow /!\ exclamation mark and would not show up in windows explorer. In device manager the camera would show up as a code 28 “Driver not installed”. I knew there was an issue with the MTP driver, but couldn’t get Windows to “forget” the device to install a clean version. Nikon blamed Adobe (And in fairness, verified my exact setup on their own machines as working), Microsoft blamed Nikon and asked for $99 to remote desk to the PC to investigate it, and Adobe? Well, it turns out Adobe don’t DO customer service. They have a “user forum”, where you can sit and wait for the wind to answer your questions and that’s about it.

I wouldn’t be blogging this if I hadn’t fixed it, so what was the fix?

  1. Disconnect the camera, run USBDeview and remove the camera from here. You should see it listed as a not connected Nikon D800.
  2. Install the MTP Porting Kit. I’m not sure if this is required, but I did it anyway. Reboot.
  3. Reboot into safemode, then run “sfc /scannow” at the commandline
  4. Reboot normally, then reconnect the D800. You’re not done yet, as if you have my issue, it will still be registered as a code 28.
  5. This is the important step. In device manager, open the D800 then “Update the Driver” for the D800, and select “Browse my computer”. Select “Let me pick from a list”, then scroll down looking for “Portable Devices”.
  6. (If you don’t see this, hit “Have Disk” and point it at c:\Windows\Inf\wpdmtp.inf )
  7. Now select (Standard MTP Device) from the left column, and MTP USB Device in the right. OK everything, even if you get warnings.
  8. Reboot. Hope for the best.
  9. If you’re lucky, the MTP driver will now install correctly. What I think is happening is the MTP association failed originally and it was impossible to “purge” the driver associations from Windows. Forcing the issue by convincing it that it really is an MTP USB Device seems to work.

    Bizarre? Yes. Frustrating? Immensely. Resolved? Yes.

    As a bonus tip, if you have trouble with Lightroom not detecting your D800, open Lightroom and go to File->Plugin Manager – disable the Leica and Canon tethering plugins if you don’t need them. I found the Leica tethering application was firing up and blocking the Nikon one from detecting successfully, your mileage may vary.

    An additional bonus tip, sometimes killing the tether_nikon.exe process in task manager can encourage LR to gets its act together and play nicely. Sometimes.

7 Comment for “Windows 8.1 and Nikon D800 Tethering Problem”

  1. BobbyA Said this on

    I tried this fix until step 6, no wpdmtp.inf shows up while browsing for the new driver. My problem is windows 8 machine will only sometimes detect my D7000 while trying to tether with CaptureOne pro 8 or Lightroom 5.7 the only program that has no trouble at all seeing the camera during thther is digicamcontrol. Works everytime. However it falls short of LR and CO 8 in too many other areas to just use it. Thanks anyway for the suggestions. BTW, One of the things that appeared to help was in control panel, under Auto Play, set camera memory to Take No Action.

  2. Denyerec Said this on

    Hey Bobby,
    Without hitting “Have Disk” if you select to “Choose from a List”, you can then scroll on the left side to “Portable Devices”, hit that, then on the right column choose “Standard MTP USB Device”. There are a couple that are very similarly named, one of them works the other doesn’t but as I don’t have the laptop here to check I couldn’t say at the moment – easy enough to try both.

    I will also try with the “Take no action” option, I can’t recall the dialog attempting to intervene but it’s worth double checking.

  3. Denyerec Said this on

    As a suggestion, if DigicamControl allows you to take photos and store them in a folder on the machine, could you not use that for the tethering and configure Lightroom to watch the same folder and auto-import ?

    I had planned to use this approach with C1′s tethering as that seemed to be more reliable than Lightroom’s.

  4. BobbyA Said this on

    Take no action, was in the list of suggestions adobe has for this problem with LR.

  5. BobbyA Said this on

    I would like to get C1 to do what it is advertised to, if possible. I (and others) think it does a better job processing the raw file then LR. Both can get to pretty much the same end result. But since C1 initial conversion starts out closer to the end result, it’s less work on my part.
    If I can’t get C1 or LR to be reliable tethering, I will likely go with digicamcontrol and use a hot folder with LR. I already own LR, and would have a hard time paying the extra money for C1 as a raw converter only. But that could just be me.

  6. BobbyA Said this on

    Sorry I should have added in the first reply. The “take no action” problem may not produce a dialog because the computer has already decided what to do with your camera whenever connected.

  7. Denyerec Said this on

    I’ve personally had to trade C1′s improved output for LR’s superior workflow and ergonomics – the C1 interface is far too sluggish and clumsy for me to use for a large number of varied images. It might work well for an Ad agency shooting 304 views of the same setup, but if you’re in a situation where you’re changing from shot to shot it’s terrible.
    I also have the requirement to tag incoming shots with different keywords (Typically the names of the subjects, who change from shot to shot – think highschool photos but more interesting!) and C1′s keywording tools are hopelessly clunky.

    Shame, as the RAW output is superb. I think if I shot a more focussed and deliberate subject it’d be a fine tool, but it’s certainly not agile.

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