Error Failed to Connect

I hope that I’m missing sometime simple.

We’ve recently bought a second hand Biomek i5 with a 1200ul 96-MC head. It arrived with the host computer that already had the Biomek 5 software installed…
Reading the manuals, it seemed like the instrument should be connected to the host computer with a simple USB-B cable.

Unfortunately, after plugging everything in, and going to Utilities->Hardware Setup, the device wasn’t connected. When I clicked “Home all axes” I get the error “Failed to connect, Ensure the instrument is connected and powered on. If the instrument has recently be powered on, try again.” - Needless to say I’ve tried many times, and the power was definitely turned on - the status light bar at the top of the machine was orange (and sometimes white).

I’m a bit confused as to why the robot, head, accuframe and orbital shaker weren’t connected, but after clicking “Add Devices”, the cameras could work?

The USB-B cable was definitely working, because when it was not plugged in, a bunch of other USB ports and two module controllers (and the two cameras) were not available under Windows Device manager, but become available after the USB-B cable connected the host-computer with the robot. Plus of course the cameras inside the robot case work.

[Cable not connected]

[Cable connected] - Biomek Module controllers become available.

The Beckman distributor in Chile tells us that we apparently have to pay USD15000 to register the equipment with them, and then pay more money to have some guy come and install it. That’s a lot of money for us, and I struggle to believe that the machine can’t be detected properly by the host computer without paying that money…

I’d really appreciate any help around how to get the Biomek Software to connect properly to the equipment.

Thanks in advance,

Did you try replacing the current instrument file with a backup file from a week or a month ago

I’d check if the s/n for your pod is also correct. Not sure where that’s physically located, but I assumed it would be near the back of the arm or beneath some of the cladding. I doubt it’s a tough fix, but there might be a few things to trial/error to get to the final solution.

That and possibly run the installer to repair anything or finalize any incomplete install. I have only set up a simulation version, but I can’t imagine that a connected instrument would be too much different since you’re clearly detecting the accessory in your device manager.

Yes, I’ve tried replacing the current instrument file with a backed up version of the previous user’s as well. From what I understand, everything had worked before they sold it.

I’ve checked that the S/Ns of both the pod and also the Biomek instrument are correct. Indeed it is on the back of the pod. But it didn’t make a difference.
Does it actually recognise the S/N by communicating to Beckman Coulter through the software though? It doesn’t pause or spend anytime “thinking” if the serial number is changed?

Do you know where I can find the installer? The host computer had arrived with the software already installed. Can I download the installer from somewhere? It doesn’t seem to be available on the BC site…

It really does seem crazy that I can’t connect to the core part of the instrument, but the cameras can work. It’s making me feel like I’m missing something really stupid simple, and yet it’s supposed to work with just the USB-B cable right?

Thank you for your thoughts so far.

Would you be able to connect offline? If possible, I can connect remotely to the computer to see what is going on with this issue. We are a service provider in the US that specializes in Biomek iSeries. Please reach out to and let them know that Dave asked you to contact us.


Yes! thank you, will do!

Just want to wrap up this thread and say thank you publically to Dave for being so generous and remoting in to connect the host computer to the instrument.

It seems that there were key configuration settings that needed to be accessed through the browser, using the address localhost address removed by admin, not mentioned in any of the manuals that I’ve read.

Thanks again Dave!


And now someone in the future will be able to hop on Google and find this response! That’s what this forum and community is all about.

Great job @dcmay!


I should perhaps also add a caveat that I don’t know exactly what Dave changed in the configuration settings to fix the issue, and that if anyone in the future tries to do so, it’d (obviously) be at their own risk. It’s probably not in the manuals that normal users to access for a reason.

If you want to be on the safe side, maybe contact dcmbio ( or Beckman for help.

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