Oregon Scientific Smart Globe 3 FAIL (website and update)

Rarely do I get so irate over a product that I want to reach out and blog about it. I am generally more likely to post when I am really happy about something. Of course, I am not really upset at the product as much as the update and the website, so this is not really a knock on the smart globe.

If you don’t know what the smart globe is, it is a globe that comes with a “pen” that can tell you about spots on the globe. It contains many MB, maybe GB, of information, or at least I would guess so from download times.

The reason for update is the pen was saying the President was George W. Bush, so my daughter wanted it upgraded to say Barrack Obama. I am not totally convinced I like that upgrade, due to the current state of things, but we voted for change so I needed to change things. Yes, this paragraph is tongue in cheek. 🙂

I may be a little overly critical right now, but the product has me a bit miffed.

Missing Drivers

The first problem I have with the product is installing on Windows 7. It identifies 3 drivers are needed, but only finds 2. It is possible this is a Windows 7 issue, but it makes me wonder if a missing driver might have something to do with my issue. I search for about 30 minutes and I cannot find a driver. In fact, navigating the Oregon Scientific site is often painful. I wonder if these guys need a web developer, as I am currently looking for my next gig. 🙂

Suggestion #1: Make sure drivers are updated and easily accessible from your site.

Registering the Product

The first clue that there was something not quite user friendly comes when you insert the CD to install the software and it takes you to this site:


I see access code and tell my daughter she needs to find the access code. She finds the SG18 on the pen. This, it turns out, is the item number, not the access code. We try a few other things and I then have her go and get everything she has on the globe. The access code is on page 9 of the user’s manual. Now it is fine to put an access code in the owners manual, but why not state it on the site. I think you can have something like this:


Proper User Experience dictates that you help the user. If nothing else, state “You should read the user’s manual before filling out this form” or something. Don’t make me search for it.

Suggestion #2: Add clues to where information is found.

Update, take 1

We start up the program and choose United States as the country and ages 9-14 as the age range. Immediately after reconnecting the pen, it resets to ages 5-8. Why?

Suggestion #3: Set a flag in your program that states “the user has already screwed with settings. DO NOT RESET” rather than resetting. A bit later in the night, my wife tried and almost clicked download with the wrong settings, as connecting the device after program start resets all of the settings you have set.

Suggestion #4: Don’t rely on Windows update to update the drivers. You have an installer program for the software, install the proper drivers as well. You can have it contact the server with country if there are different versions. Or, you can have a code on the pen to identify the proper driver and ask during set up.

Not a big deal. Try again by resetting everything and clicking download. Here are the steps. Run the program:


The first step (download news) – about 8 seconds:


Then download data – Almost 5 minutes. (NOTE: 28678144 out of 25763845)


Then more data – 3 minutes


Then the program – less than 1 minute


Then update into pen – 10 minutes


Total Time = ~ 20 minutes

Man, that is slow. Admittedly the speeds above are on wireless, and I could have made sure I was on the wireless n node at 5 MHz rather than wireless G on 2.4 GHz. The speed does not really bother me that much, but it sure makes things painful when things go awry.

Everything seems fine. My daughter goes upstairs proud that the pen now states Barrack Obama. A few minutes later she comes down and says “Daddy, you did not use US English”.

Me: “Yes, Rebecca, I did.”

Rebecca: “No because it says the U.S. map only works with US English”.

Suggestion #5: Make sure the user downloads the right content. Assuming I let the reset get the best of me somehow, which is not probable in my memory, but possible, give me a confirmation before a 20-30 minute download. Come on!

Update, take 2

Taking a chance I might have clicked something or had it reset to something, I run the program again. Each time I run it, it takes about 30 minutes to complete. Very time consuming. And, if you download the same data set, it still takes 1/2 hour. Can’t you guys cache the information with a date stamp on my computer so I don’t have to redo EVERYTHING?

This time I get an error that the download failed. No, it did not. Bad error message. This reminds me of the old Access error message.


All that comes out of the pen is a clicking sound. Ouch! Click the reset button on the pen. Still clicking. Now this is absolutely annoying.

Segue: Customer Service

So I figure I will check and find a customer service number on the site. After about 5 minutes with no luck, I use Google. Okay, guys, when someone has to use a site specific Google search to find a customer service number on your site, you are FAILING. Only hours during the day. No luck.

So, I go to the customer service form. Here is the form:


The only pain here is having to go and find a Serial Number (none on the product) or UPC code (on the box we threw away). Google again. I get the form filled in and submit. If you have this problem, you can use this UPC, as it is all over the web. 🙂

Submit and get:


Yes, you need to have 09 instead of 9. Once again, a user experience person is sorely needed here.

Suggestion #6: Put a bit of pain on the developer and have the web form allow me to format things my way.

Fix and submit.


I think there must be someone at Oregon Scientific saying “the programming team must be doing much better these days, as we are not getting any customer service email”. I guess I will have to call.

Update, Take 3

Cannot do anything now.


Suggestion #7: Don’t assume I successfully got the latest data. Allow me to say “I know, but I am stupid and want it anyway” or “Last time your program FAILED. Let me ddownload again”.

Update, Take 4

Have to update with Age 5-8 to get things working properly. Another 20 minutes of my life gone. Downloads fine and can now use the pen, but the age range is wrong. Daughter not happy as she is not 8. She is actually taking it pretty well since I have had her pen for quite some time now.

Update, Take 5

An hour after starting the update process, it still says:


Assume another fail and I want to go to sleep now. Daughter now asleep, so no complaining.

Update, Take 6

Since this is showing again


I guess I have to click another age range and then click download and then stop it and flip back to the right age range.



Until I get a chance to talk to someone in customer service, my daughter is in the 5-8 age group. After trying this 6 times, I had my wife install the program on her machine (Windows Vista). It seemed to complete everything. We waited a bit and unplugged the pen and it popped up an error message that no device is attached. By this point in time, my blood pressure was so high and it was 11:25 PM, so frankly I was too pissed to do anything other than reinstall the pen again with the 5-8 age group. At least it works.


I am a developer and I understand that stuff happens. But repeated failures like this are indicative of a larger problem. Product failure. Web failures. The product is pretty neat, but now that I have seen this, I start to wonder if the misses on the product are another programming bug (what I mean here is you can use one of the quizzes and click on the right spot and have it say try again numerous times before it gives you a new target to find).

I would personally be embarrassed to put this type of failure on my resume. In fact, I have quit jobs that put me into situations that required me pushing out something when it was not ready. I would rather quit than sign my name to something inferior.

To be fair, the Smart Globe is a lot of fun and has a plethora of interesting information. But the product update is very inconvenient and I wonder if the inconvenience is on accident or to ensure that a smart person cannot download the files and update the device himself without continuing a subscription. If so, the failures in updating are largely due to trying to ensure they continue to make money. And if this is the case, my final suggestion is allow people to easily update the product by treating the pen more like a USB flash drive and offer a reason to continue subscription (you have news, so that seems like a good hook) rather than hold me hostage through a process that forces me to stress my bandwidth again and again when your update fails. So let me make this a formal suggestion.

Suggestion #8: Set up the pen so it can be updated by simply moving downloadable files to the pen.

We have bought a few Oregon Scientific products for our children (Barbie products primarily) and the kids enjoy them. Fortunately, my daughter does not have to see the extreme frustration updating this one is causing me. 🙂 The bad thing is it leads me to question the quality of their products.

I know this blog entry sounds like I am really against this product, which is not the case. My daughter has played with it every day since she got it and the other children are having a huge amount of fun playing with it. I would recommend the product for others with children who are interested in geography, other countries, etc. That is why I have offered a number of suggestions, as the update process and website are a big FAIL in an otherwise pleasant experience. Perhaps Oregon Scientific has set up a Google alert and will see this tomorrow morning?

UPDATE: My daughter informed me the pen will not work with the book any more, so another FAIL. I guess I have to call customer service today.

Peace and Grace,

Twitter: @gbworld
Blog: http://gregorybeamer.spaces.live.com


52 Responses to Oregon Scientific Smart Globe 3 FAIL (website and update)

  1. Raffael says:

    Greg, you are to polite. I purchased this smart??globe which looks like a great idea, but it simply doesn’t work. I tried to install the update software on an XP and a Vista machine and in either case it has a driver installation failure for the mass storage device of the pen.No the pen doesn’t work at all, and I have already spend about 2 hours trying to find a solution. There should be a regulatory body that does prohibit the sale of such products that have not been sufficiently tested. However I have to admit I purchased it at a large supermarket reduced from A$279 to A$100, this might explain why they are discounting it so heavily. I will go back tomorrow and return this most frustrating useless gadget.Regards, Roger

  2. Matt says:

    Right there with you Roger! I have no idea how to get the pen working (it was working straight out of the box once batteries were added) but now its totally not working at all. I think we have a different version to Greg as at least he gets some dialogue box saying he’s downloading something! Not good enough Oregon Scientific, not good enough. You have created a very dissatisfied customer and one who will now be very vocal on dissuading his friends/family to buy anything you make. Email me at mcf33333@yahoo.com if anyone has figured out how to fix this !#%@#% globe.

  3. Olivier says:

    Hi,I have the same driver problem how did you get the drivers working?Your help would be very appreciated as the pen is useless now.Thanks

  4. Frank Timmerman says:

    My father in law bought this for my 8 year old, my wife read many bad reviews and in all of them they all said the same thing. She did syay that she read in one that you had to update w/o the batteries in the globe for it to work but i’m not taking any chances.

  5. Robert says:

    The pen worked right out of the box. The date and time were off, so I did the download. It took as long as indicated. When it told me to disconnect the pen I did so. It hasn’t worked since. When I plug in the pen and click “download” it says “Connecting to smart pen and then nothing happens.

  6. Eric says:

    Same problem only now I can not get it to work at all. At one point said formating pen then it now does nothing.

  7. Alec says:

    Do you want to welcome me to the club? I am also a software developer and a person who spent 1.5 hours last night unsuccessfully trying to upgrade the SmartGlobe. All three times I received an error at the end. No troubleshooting or customer support phone number found on the web site. Do they really think want to renew my subscription when it expires? I also used a Windows 7 computer; I can try to use Windows Vista, but it should not matter as I am updating the pen with new data, not its software and not my computer.

  8. Sergey Zaikin says:

    This product works until you do the software update. I’ve 2 units and they both did same thing. I’ve bought the unit for my son birthday when he was 8 years old. Came home and like a computer geek, plug in to computer and did software update, only to find out that the device just Click’s NO SOUND NO WORKING NOTHING, which really pissed me off. spent some time and decided to go back to costco to replace it. Replaced device came home and was able to update succesfully. Device worked for about 1 year but then found it shows wrong date & time and need to have another update. Only to find out that now it is screwed up again.Gave me “failed data error” so I will have to call this ***** company too have them replace it becase this is ******.

  9. Joanne says:

    I feel your pain. I have already been told by Oregon Scientic that 1) I “fried” the pen but in the spirit of co-operation they will provide me a new one for only the cost of my shipping the original one back – which I did 2) that I must turn off my fire wall and virus protection software or they might corrupt the download 3) that I must wait until I get a registration confirmation email before attempting to connect the pen and most importantly 4) DO NOT FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE BOOKLET!!! Gee why would I do that???? This has turned out to be the gift that keeps on taking – I didn’t buy it for my daughter – her well meaning Great Aunt did – so I persevere. So far 4+ hours on line, 7 tech support phone calls and two pens and I have never recieved the registration confirmation email AND my pen is still not updated. But the best folks is this – at the end of customer service call 6 the tech asked if I was interested in purchasing any other Oregon Scientific products – I could not contain my laughter!

  10. JC says:

    Well… You know what happened to me. The same thing that happened to y’all. Worked great until I tried to update the darn pen. I thought I had screwed it up, but I see this is bigger than me. I sent an e-mail to the good people at Oregon Scientific. We’ll see how it goes.

  11. Tracey says:

    I’m having the same problems with the globe/pen. The first pen worked fine until I tried to update it. I installed the program on the CD that came with the globe. It stopped in the middle and I received the “Write Nor data failed! Please try again” message. The 2nd time, nothing happened at all AND the pen no longer worked at all with the globe. It’s bad enough to not be able to update the pen (the feature we bought it for), but a failed update stops it from working completely. I called Oregon Scientific and they sent a new pen. THIS pen could never be connected to the program at all. I called OS 2 days ago and after 45 minutes of trying to explain the problem and that this was my 2nd pen (to a person with very little command of the English language and a heavy Mexican accent), she told me to uninstall the CD program, reboot and go to another site to download another program. I did and the program finally recognized the pen and started the VERY long download. I made it to the point where the pop up screen says “updating news & data” and half way through, I get a pop up that says “write data failed”, followed by “download aborted.” I just spent 1 hour on listening to hold music before customer service finally answered. I think it’s the same Hispanic person I spoke to. She says her computer tells her my pen is “good to go.” I told her “my dead pen says otherwise.” We’ll see what happens. I have a very unhappy 5 year old who can’t use her favorite toy AGAIN!!

  12. Allan Welldon says:

    OK.here’s a new slant on things…smartglobe worked fine on our p.c. with the first (free) update, then we got a new computer and had to reinstall the software.THATS when the problems started. On clicking desktop icon to open program to update,it turned the bloody computer off and the pc went into restart mode !!!!!!!!
    I have spent HOURS ringing the company, getting links to their supposed latest software, and every time I uninstall and reinstall this crap the same thing happens.
    I’ve tried doing it with antivirus off then on, there is nothing left to try. I know computers backwards and have NEVER had software I couldn’t handle but this thing has me stumped.
    I don’t even have time to connect the pen before the pc switches off and goes into reboot.
    sometimes,even,when I click their update link, page comes up as ”server not found”., as if oregon scientific does not even exist !!!!

    Any answers to this one out there ??

  13. AWS says:

    So probably best I leave it without updating, at least the it will have correct data (granted from a while ago). Let me know if you resolve – I am not computer literate so the last thing I want is to muck anything up and the blog has scared me into doing nothing – so pleased I found it thank you

  14. Alejandro says:


  15. KW says:

    You were so nice to post all this. I hope they hire you. Has anyone every successfully updated this product? It is such a great concept. Compared to leapfrog it’s a better product and studier. You just can never update it. It’s sad the company cannot get this fixed. On one hand we have loved this thing. On the other it’s misleading advertising. And there should be a way to complain about electronics that don’t work. it’s bad for the environment when it becomes garbage. It’s unfair to consumers. There is no recourse. Altho I might contact the better biz bureau. (Boy I have a lot to say about the digital hello kitty camera I bought last year!)

  16. flip says:

    Hi, I wish I read all this before trying to update, now my pen is not working at all. Was working fine before I tried the update. Can one reset ? whare is the reset button? Has anyone managed to get the pen working again, even without the updates?

    • Robert Leopard says:

      I’m sorry, but there seems to be know way to retrieve the original programming. After hours with customer service we took ours back and got a new one. We had to decide whether to update or not. We decided we didn’t want it if it wasn’t current, so we tried updating and it died as well. We took it back too. That was over a year ago. It’s mind-boggling that A) they haven’t fixed it and B) that anyone is willing to sell it.

  17. Colin M says:

    Just another one We have tried for over three months to get our pen working and contacting their customer suppoer is like bashing your head against a brick wall.
    The sent us a “New file” for our pen and I tried to install it and now the things will not work at all.
    All because i wanted to update the pen. If you get it working in any age group with any data no matter how old, DONT TRY TO UPLOAD NEW DATA. The thing just stops working.
    As for help on the web site or finding the driver.. all I can say is GOOD LUCK! they are just not there… Thank god for Google and the back door listings that finally gets you to this page.
    I for one will never buy another Oregon Scientific product.

    • Colin Mead says:

      Here is an update on my saga it is now December 2012 and still no working pen, since the posting in December 2011 there has been ongoing emails with the support people and then i gave up trying, finally my children asked me to see if it could be fixed so i started again and here is a copy of the last email from Oregon.on the 27th december 2012..
      Dear Colin,

      Thank you for contacting Oregon Scientific Customer Support.

      We received your email inquiry and want to assure you that you will hear back from us with a detailed response which is typically within 2-3 business days so we could track the pen you sent to parramatta.

      Hope this information helps and should require further assistance, please feel free to call our customer service hotline at 1300-300-155 (Toll-Free within AU). Phone and email support are available Monday – Friday from 9AM to 6PM ADST. Excluding Public Holidays.

      Spartan Torres
      Oregon Scientific Customer Support

      —– Original Message —–

      Thank you for your email.

      The serial number of the pen and details I sent to your Parramatta
      office attention Tee Tran.

      This is all I can find.


      >>> 1. Model/item number (located on battery cover of pen) Item No.SG18

      >>> 2. Serial code located inside battery compartment of pen device. XXXXXX


      >>> 3. Access code (6 letter code located in user manual or on CD-Rom cover)

      >>> Cannot find these but did register online when bought

      >> then

      >>> sold the computer with the login.


      >>> 4. Computer operating system. Windows 7

      >>> 5. Country of origin? Not sure what you want the pen says “made in China”


      >>> The globe has the number XXXXXX stamped in the bottom.



      On 18/12/2012 9:15 PM, Oregon Scientific Customer Service wrote:
      > Dear Colin,
      > Thank you for contacting Oregon Scientific Customer Support. We are
      > sorry to hear that you are having issues with your Oregon
      > Scientific product.
      > We received your email inquiry and want to assure you that you will
      > hear back from us with a detailed response which is typically within
      > 2-3 business days. Please reply to this email with the following
      > information for us to provide you the status of the replacement.
      > 1) Model # of the unit.
      > 2) Serial # of the pen located at the battery compartment on white
      > sticker.
      > 3) Country where the unit is bought.
      > Hope this information helps and should require further assistance,
      > please feel free to call our customer service hotline at 1300-300-155
      > (Toll-Free within AU). Phone and email support are available Monday –
      > Friday from 9AM to 6PM ADST. Excluding Public Holidays.
      > Sincerely,
      > Spartan Torres
      > Oregon Scientific Customer Support
      > —– Original Message —–
      > Dear Sirs,
      > I sent a globe pen back to you at your request, it was sent by courier
      > to your Parramatta office about 5 weeks ago together with all the email
      > correspondence relating to the pen not working and being unable to load
      > the software.
      > I also included all contact information with the pen phone numbers,
      > email address and so forth.
      > To date I have not received a reply in any format about the pen and
      > would like to know what has been done to fix the pen.
      > Regards
      > Colin Mead
      > 0416-280-999
      > colin@fanstorm.com
      > orders@fanstorm.com

      • Stuart says:

        Hi Colin

        I can clearly see that this problem is not just limited to Australia, and I can also see that the problems that you have been having with the Australian division of Oregon Scientific mirrors the same responses that I have been having. I decided on Friday to lodge a complaint with the ACCC against the retailer I purchased the Smart Globe from, as they have not responded to any emails that I have sent. Now that I have heard your story I am going to also lodge a complaint with ACCC against Oregon Scientific Australia. This is a complete breach of consumer law and rights within Australia. Thank you Colin for sharing your story, I do hope that you will soon have a product that works as it should.

        Stuart Byrnes

  18. Janine says:

    Same boat here, trying to update and now pen not working at all. Tried ringing but no response. Daughter loved it, but thinking I have to take it back to the shop and put up with the tears!

  19. Steve Langley says:

    Spent ALL DAY yesterday just to experience the same thing. Thanks for posting, at least I know I’m not alone. Just spent $14.99 for one year update to add insult to injury.

  20. SN says:

    Yes, me too… after 20 minutes waiting through numerous types of downloads – “Download failed. Please pull out the pen and restart the program”. The pen works on the globe, it just won’t update with any new information, news, etc…

    Come on Oregon Scientific… I’m not even going to bother with Customer Service as it seems to be a joke too….

  21. ricardo m says:

    I just bought this smart globe as well. i am now having the same errors. mass storage device driver error. The device worked until you tried to download to it. I think the formatting is some how messing up the pen. I wrote oregon scientific a e-mail if they can not give me a answer on how to fix this i am just going to return it and talk to the regional toy r us manger so that they might pull this product from the shelves. To the author of this great article. If they send me a fix i will post it here.

  22. Carolina Castro says:

    Hi there, I AGREE WITH EVERYONE. I bought mine in Spain and after having had the pen changed once and the complete set (globe + pen) changed today “I” have yet again messed up the pen by trying to update it – which is the reason I bought this globe. Luckily I bought it from a great store which – if they are true to their word – will give me my money back. It is not what I wanted since it is a great gadget. I think Oregon should forget about updating news and just leave all the fact info without having to update since it just messes the whole thing up. SO UPSET & DISAPPOINTED!!!

  23. Fred says:


    Same problem here, when I tried to updte the pen, I doesn’t work all. I bought it for the french version but I am unable to change the language. My granddaughter is so dissapointed…

  24. drjige says:

    Hi Greg. Thanks for this very useful post which will avoid me to spend time to fix this problem. I will return the product to “Natures et découvertes” in Belgium.

    My config: Smartglobe 3. Since the update (Windows 7 64 bits) the pen does not work anymore.

  25. Johan Bergquist says:


    I bought the Japanese version 2 (PR18) which ironically is called “Perfect Globe” by the Japanese distributor Doshisha. Although I succeeded in switching to U.S. English by running the update utility supplied on the CDROM, switching language is always accompanied with an update so I’ll have to spend ~1 hr downloading and installing every time I switch languages. After a year from purchase, we’ll also have to pay JPY2500/year for just being able to switch languages – shame on Oregon and Doshisha.

    Surprisingly, however, it worked even on an English-language 64-bit Win7 PC, and even though driver installation of a “USB Mass Storage Device” failed. Driver for “SONIX MULTIMEDIA DEVICE” installed correctly, though.

    Voice is better and there are more facts in the U.S. version, and the Japanese map in the drawer works in Japanese just as it did before the update. The only problem is that national anthems are missing after switching from Japanese to U.S. English.

    Let’s see if I’ll be able to switch back to Japanese…


  26. mairead campbell says:

    Hi, i bought the globe last october as a christmas gift for my 11 year old daughter. Like so many others the problems started when i attempted to get the latest around the world data. The globe broke down completely and after several fraught emails with customer service they agreed to send a new globe, i had lots of trouble obtaining a postage refund from them. After several emails and an extremley rude email from customer services I threatened to complain to the consumer regulating body, i promptly got an apology and a cheque for my £12 postage costs. Despite all of the above the new globe still does not download any new information. oregan are at best misleading customers.

  27. CassanIam says:

    Thank you so much for this post. Same problems here. I called Customer Service at one point when trying to do an update on my Win 7 machine. They actually expected me to utilize a win xp emulator to do the s/w update. Really a shame for a product that my kids (7 & 12) enjoy.

  28. Martin says:

    Hello, I have buy the SmartGloble3 for my 8 years old boy in Québec, Canada. I have try to download the french version (many times), but failed. I have try to turn off thr firewall before downloading and it failed again. There is no explaination on the web site or troubleshouting for this problem. I will probably return this product to Toy’s R Us.

  29. Robert Leopard says:

    We tried two and both died after we tried the download. We returned them to Toys R Us. We can’t imagine why they still sell it.
    We gave up and bought one from National Geographic which seems to be the same globe BUT IT HAS NO DOWNLOAD CAPABILITIES. So far we are happy with it.

  30. Samuel says:

    Hello. Same probleme in France, during 2012 christmas. We bought an Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe 3 for our nefew. The product is cool but the update generating a fatal system bug. The pen doesn’t work now on the globe. I read your publication and understanded that we are not alone. Thanks for that 🙂 Tomorrow, the product returns to the “Nature et découvertes” shop.

  31. Stuart says:

    I have two SmartGlobe products, Smart Globe 3 & Smart Globe Star.

    On recent updates the pen was recognized by the computer and new data was found. The install went fine until the final process when an error message indicated that the data could not be loaded onto the pen. Now I am left with two pens that only make a “click” sound when connected.

    The two pens are SG18 and SG18-11. I live in Australia and have contacted your Australian division. The only responses to this problem has been to download the same software again, which does not solve the problem, or to buy a new pen which is AUD $79.99. I have only had these products since November 2012, and this is simply not acceptable. I am a Primary School teacher and these were purchased for classroom use, but now I have two expensive, non interactive globes.

    I do hope that you can find a solution to rectify this situation. I never thought that I would experience this problem with an Oregon Scientific Product.

    • Almudena says:

      Hi, I bought the Smartglobe in Amazon.fr because i wanted in French but they sent the German version instead, after unsuccessful exchange of mails with their cs and i had to keep it but I wanted to at least change the language in the pen to French. I’ve just had the same problem than most of you and was desperate as after registering the item successfully when downloading it got just to 3/4 and then it showed the usb problem not possible to finish downloading.

      To my amazement all data on the pen were erased and I had a totally useless pen with no info on it. I was using Windows 8, tried to download Spanish and English version but no success.

      Just a few minutes ago and decided to try from my husband’s computer, and BINGO, it worked, the Operating System on that computes is Windows XP and i’ve downloaded successfully first Spanish and then French versions and it was fast just 5-10 minutes and work perfect.

      I’m so happy that I wanted to share the trick with you just in case it’s works for you too. Good luck!!

  32. Almudena says:

    Hi, I bought the Smartglobe in Amazon.fr because i wanted in French but they sent the German version instead, after unsuccessful exchange of mails with their cs and i had to keep it but I wanted to at least change the language in the pen to French. I’ve just had the same problem than most of you and was desperate as after registering the item successfully when downloading it got just to 3/4 and then it showed the usb problem not possible to finish downloading.

    To my amazement all data on the pen were erased and I had a totally useless pen with no info on it. I was using Windows 8, tried to download Spanish and English version but no success.

    Just a few minutes ago and decided to try from my husband’s computer, and BINGO, it worked, the Operating System on that computes is Windows XP and i’ve downloaded successfully first Spanish and then French versions and it was fast just 5-10 minutes and work perfect.

    I’m so happy that I wanted to share the trick with you just in case it’s works for you too. Good luck!!

  33. tsering says:

    I too had the same problem. Downloaded the update for Windows Vista. But when pen was connected nothing happens. Not even a message. No success. Throw the globe into trash?

  34. Dan says:

    Here is what i have found and successfully updated my pen to work after hours of trying. I am a developer and computer geek so after doing allot of backend analysis i found this to work on updating my pen. You must be very careful and do in order for this to take:

    1st be aware that there are at least two versions of the smartglobe software…a version 1 referred by Oregon as the “Cosco” version and Version 3 which is their newer version. I had the initial CD to my globe which was version 1. I installed that intially and did my update all the way through. It gets to a point where it tells you to disconnect the pen and let the clock time update. That is where the trouble begins. if you follow directions…it will break. The software fails to add the serial and version numbers to your registry and the pen now is useless.

    To repair……i went on the web and got the latest “Cosco” download:


    i downloaded the “COSCO download” version …..

    Uninstall all smartglobe software from your computer first……i went so far as to clean the registry of items. (Very dangerous if you dont know what you are doing…leave it alone you should be alright)

    reboot the computer after you uninstall..

    now install the exe that you downloaded.. SmartGlobeDeluxeSetup.exe it should be about 2400- k in size. let that install…pick the defaults and when it is done …reboot….i know i know but the reboots help to validate the install…

    now start the smartglobe software…when it tells you to plug in the pen…do so, the light should turn green…now….press the reset pin ( found in a little hole on the pin about midway up the side of the pen…do this while it is plugged in………..hold the pin for 3-5 seconds…the pen light will go red and you may even here ticks from the speaker………)

    now press the download button…………the software will begin the download……let it go..it takes a little while…………eventually you will get to the point where it tells you to unplug the pen to start the clock update..DO NOT UNPLUG THE PEN, DO NOT PRESS OK……….SHUT DOWN THE COMPUTER FROM THE START MENU OF YOU COMPUTER…….by doing this, the computer takes over and shutsdown the software and that seems to write the proper items to the computer………turn the computer off, do not press “restart”……..when the computer is off, unplug the pen and turn it on….a voice should come on saying ..welcome…

    As far as getting the true updates that are out there…i am still working on…for now, this will restore you pen and you will at least have a useable device…….good luck.


  35. Fred says:

    Hi all,

    I can say it DOES update successfully, I started trying to update our pen when my second child turned two now he is in school and after over 30 attempts to update it worked. I am now giving up on all lotto etc as I have used my life’s worth of luck.

    • Johan says:

      Although a bit slow, my globe updates flawlessly and we use the update function primarily to switch between languages (Japanese and English). However, it’s a shame that we’d have to pay a subscription just to switch languages. The Japanese version has a domestic map in a drawer which, however, doesn’t work in the English version.

      We were hoping to use Google Earth on a tablet as an alternative but at least the iPad version doesn’t contain as much contextual information (“layers”) as the PC versions do. Has anyone tried the Android version of Google Earth?

  36. Joe says:

    Same here. This company sucks.

  37. Josep says:

    Same here. I updated the pen and that was it. It does not work anymore. It second Oregon prodcut that I have problems with. Never ever again. What a s…..t company!

  38. Antonio says:

    Esto es mundial, en España tampoco funciona o por lo menos a mi, el mismo problema que a todos, intento actualizar y se va lagarete, no funciona nada la pluma. Esto es una chapuza.

  39. Siegfried Wiederkehr says:

    Same her. Is there any solution for this Problem? My son is really very sad because his gift no longer works.

    • Siegfried Wiederkehr says:

      I’ve called the Support Hotline in Germany. And within a short time (2 hours) i received a answer mail with tips. unfortunately it did not help and we had to replace the pen.

    • drjige says:

      Simple solution: buy a new globe, exchange the pen with the faulty one, return the globe and get your money back ! Big shops that sell this item are co-responsible. In fact they should ban it in their stores.

  40. Paula says:

    Grrrr just signed up for another year’s subscription so i could update my pen but no matter which pc I plug the pen into, the computer doesn’t even notice that it’s just had something plugged into it! Anyone able to help? I have emailed Oregan but hoping to sort t sooner rather than later

  41. RZL says:

    Finally i got the update work. What a relief! I bought the smartglobe for my son as birthday present. After open the box for one day, when I update the pen following the instruction. The pen was dead. It started with a few unsuccessful update attemps, and after that the software was trying the format the pen every time I plugged in. Of the format was unsuccessful. And the pen was tottally dead. I also notice that there is always a question mark on the “USB Mass storage”. Just before I was deperated and ready to contact the after sales support, I tried this and it revived the pen. I’m using Windows 7 64 bits.

    1. uninstall the program and reinstall again.
    2. Download the lasted driver from the FAQ page http://smartglobe.oregonscientific.com/faq.php, at question number 5.
    3. unzip the driver to a folder, and copy the file 9kdUSB64.sys to C:\windows\system32\drivers directory. Replace any file if there is.
    4. Restart the computer and launch device manager, plug in your pen to USB port, make sure the light is green. Go to USB section and find “SONIX MULTIMEDIA USB DEVICE”, right click and update the driver, stop any auto searching choose the directory of the unzip directory in 3. Now you should see the driver name change to “MULTIMEDIA USB DEVICE”. The question mark at the USB Mass Storage is still there, but it is OK.

    Now you can try to update the pen again with the software, wait patiently for about 10-15 minutes, the pen is back again with the latest software.

    Hope this helps


  42. Roland says:

    Well I got this from a second hand “Goodwill” store for $13… Day one it worked great. Day two I click on leaders and it says “George Bush”.. .so I go online for the update and the history of the product updates still stands. This is not updating… I tried the costco download and the instructions given above but it does not download but only clicks after a pin reset. Bummer… out $13 .

  43. Pingback: Oregon Scientific Globe Manual

  44. Veronique says:

    Went through the same crappy frustrating steps as everybody above.. Time and date was wrong so I tried to update and …. the smart pen started acting stupid …
    I tried many many times and I was about to lose hope (and tell my son that his xmas present had to go to the garbage…) but then I decided to try once more while holding the cable firmly into the pen (just in case the problem was due to some simple connection) and it worked. Not sure if it will fix the problem for everybody but I am sharing, just in case (oh, and I also made sure my firewall accepted the software… but that on its own did nto fix it). I have to say this is the first and LAST time I ever update ….

  45. Gretchen says:

    I was using RZL’s instructions and still having no luck. I swapped out the usb cable that came with the globe and used one of my own. Updated no problem.

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