Help with Cricut Firmware

Scroll down for easy step-by-step instructions.

 

 

Technology is often explained so poorly that it can overwhelm us. Such is the case with terms like "firmware" and "USB."

These are not complex and I will help you understand what they are and what they do. A very important concept to keep in mind is this: Communication is vital to computing but impossible without understanding.

 
Something you should keep in mind about your computer is that it communicates. In fact, without the ability to communicate, it is useless.
 
Internally, your computer's microprocessor communicates with the hard drive, RAM memory, CD or DVD drive and more. Externally, your computer communicates with printers, digital cameras, scanners, other computers and your Cricut. Your computer also communicates with you by displaying information on a monitor or printer. Finally, you communicate with your computer by using a keyboard, mouse or other such devices. As you can see, communication is vital.
 
However, for communication to occur, there must be understanding. As human beings, each of us has the same communication equipment and we communicate the same way: With our mouths, lips, vocal chords, tongue, eyes, ears, arms, etc. However, there are many languages and customs which is why we have translators, dictionaries, instructions, rules and protocols.
 
The same concept applies to the world of computing. Computers and equipment like your Cricut communicate with the same electronic signals but, without translators, instructions, rules and protocols there is no understanding.
 
"USB drivers" and "firmware" are simply instructions your computer and Cricut need to help them understand what is being communicated to them. They are essential.
 
In the illustration below, I show you what  "USB drivers" and "firmware" do for your computer and Cricut.
 
I would like to recap and mention seven items to help you: 
 
1. USB Drivers are installed on your computer.  This allows your computer to understand what is connected to it.  Without a USB driver, your computer "sees" something is connected but doesn't know what it is or how to talk to it. 
 
2. You only need to install a USB driver if your computer doesn't automatically detect and communicate with your Cricut.  Many new computers will detect and communicate with your Cricut or detect and automatically find and install the correct USB driver.  Generally, Windows XP users need to pay closer attention to USB driver needs. Mac users do not generally need to install a USB driver.
 
3. Firmware is installed on your Cricut through your computer. In other words, the way you get the firmware into your Cricut is through a computer that is connected to your Cricut using a USB cable.  Firmware gives your Cricut the ability to understand instructions from programs like Sure Cuts A Lot and Cricut Design Studio.  
 
4. You only need to update your Cricut's firmware if it doesn't already meet the minimum version requirement to work with Sure Cuts A Lot software.  Below, this list, I ask the question:  "Do you need to update your Cricut's firmware to use SCAL 2.0?" Just click on the question to see the minimum firmware requirements and how to find out what version is currently on your Cricut.
 
5. The firmware you may need is made by your Cricut's manufacturer and is 100% safe for your machine.  It is stored in memory on the Cricut itself and remains on your Cricut even when disconnected from a computer which means you don't have to install it again.
 

6. You must look and listen when updating your Cricut's firmware.  Follow the instructions precisely.  During the process, you need to press and hold buttons simultaneously on the machine until you hear a "beep."  This action puts your Cricut into a special mode which makes it ready to accept the firmware from your computer.  This is a vital step.

7. Your Cricut is like a printer.  If you have ever connected a printer to your computer, your computer needed a USB driver and your printer needed a "printer driver." Firmware is nothing more than a "driver" and is specific to your Cricut machine. So, relax. You'll do just fine.
 
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+ Do you need to update your Cricut's firmware to use SCAL 2.0?

+ How to Update Your Cricut's Firmware.

+ Troubleshooting 1: What to do if your Cricut firmware doesn't update.