Waters Empower 2 software

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birddog1's picture
Waters Empower 2 software

I have recently started working with Waters Empower 2 to run two HPLC systems from a single computer. I have experience with Waters Millenium 2.5 system back in the 90's. And those experiences are not good. Lately with Empower 2, I see a mix bag of thoughts on this software. I have worked with Thermo's Xcalibur software and Agilent's Chemstation. These experiences with these other softwares has given me somewhat of comfortable insight on comparison for me.
To start with, I found if you have work with Chemstation the Empower Pro mode can be confusing at first. I shied away from Quickstart because of my experiences with Millenium years ago. But later went into Quickstart and I found it easier to work. But it was limiting because of modifications to the instrument method. Another issue was the frequency of communication failures between the software and the instruments. It was frustrating when I would come in on weekend to babysit a sample set run. I never found this an issue with Chemstation or Xcalibur.
Finally I upgraded the software to the most recent versions and I found the upgrade made the performance worse. Although I first received instructions from Waters phone help but I still needed Waters service engineer to come in fix the problem. Albeit he informed me that my first mistake was talking to the Waters phone help, which I find very strange.
Let me hear your thoughts about this subject.

Dr. Analytical
Dr. Analytical's picture
Your problem is a common one

Your problem is a common one among all Chromatography Data System (CDS) users.  The software is very complex, and sometimes it does not work well.  Sometimes there are errors in the program, but computer communications and networking problems can also occur.  It is difficult to determine what your exact problem is.
Since you recently upgraded the software, Waters should take responsibility for getting it to work.  You may have to call back to ask for "Advanced" support, if the regular support staff cannot solve the problem.
Among the things that can cause trouble are: firmware versions on the hardware, compatibility problems with network cards, instrument configuration, etc.  You will have to check all of these.

efoconnor's picture
1 computer 1instrument.    If

1 computer 1instrument.    If you have two instruments you will encounter at least twice as many issues.

parmaab1's picture

The same problem i have face in past few months back that is due to because of connectivity issue and network frequency error. first start computer and than instrument. and find both the HPLC start in the same mannerand same time. i hope you will not face any connection failure problem. for any more question plz reply

Viccroc's picture
Hi everyone,

Hi everyone,
I have been working for last few years with Waters Empower pro and millenium before
up to 3 systems on one computer
never had a problem with a software itself and very rare with hardware
Another one we have is LC Solutions, that one i would not reccomend

birddog1's picture
Thank You everyone for your

Thank You everyone for your comments. I apologize for the delay in responding. Let me tell you a story of the result of the software repair.
The Waters engineer found the computer was suitable for Empower Pro, a 2.4 Ghz processor and 2 GB DRAM. This is well above the minimum requirements stated by Waters. Also he found the network connections were all adequate.
The problem was two fold: first we found the screen saver mode was set to hibernate the computer system every 15 minutes. We did not find this problem right away because the software did not shut down when system hibernated. It would still run another sequence line and quit on the next line, a loss of communication. It was not an obvious problem even for an experience Waters engineer. In the meantime, he had remove Empower from the computer and reload it. Now to load and reload Empower software, you need four keys which are software on 3-1/2 in. floppy discs. The Waters engineer got our software keys and he found two of them damaged. These discs were held by our IT guy and I know he didn't put near anything magnetic which would ease them. How they got damaged I don't know. To make a long story short it was big process to remove and reload Empower Pro. The result was no more loss of communication however the software with the upgrades was much slower than before. Now I deal with the software freezing up.
All this tells me that Waters Empower Pro is a very difficult to use and to load. I don't like it. And I don't see the power in it if you struggle with understanding it as well as trying to deal with software issues.
I find Agilent Chemstation a much better software, Its easier to use and I loaded it to run four 6890 GCs, all of which run prefectly well.

DrBen's picture
Hi Birddog1!

Hi Birddog1!
I hope that you have your Empower "teething" problems sorted out!! - it has been a while since your last post. 
It was not good for me to read of your despair, and I am not surprised you are despairing as this is not what you or any one else should find with Waters Empower. 

From the information in your post (hard ware etc.) you should not be experiencing poor performance or network issues.

Empower is not so simple to configure or immediately user friendly. But after becoming familiar with the software you should find it just excellent!

I will send you a private message and we can chat about how you can make the most of your Empower installation and what you can expect from this product (and Waters ; -)  ) if you want.


Viccroc's picture
Hi birddog1,

Hi birddog1,
I know, you probably checked it but anyway,
Its all sounds like hardware problem (on the PC side), not software
All the best

Greg Pronger
Greg Pronger's picture
If you are looking at

If you are looking at potential other packages, I have been working with Dionex's Chromeleon which though taking a different approach to software design does (at least to me) to have some advantages over other CDS products.

A few things I have been impreseed with is first they have implemented controls for most other vendors GC and HPLC systems as well as some GCMS systems. I find the integration superior to the Agilent Environmental ChemStation. If you need higher system security (i.e., pharma requirements), this is a separate package. I see it as an advantage in that my experience with one of the Waters platforms, the advanced security made the software fairly cumbersome, fine if you need the greater security, but if you don't it is generally simply slowing you down.

Santosh@India's picture
Hi All,

Hi All,

The Waters Empower is one of the user friendly softwatrs I encountered, as compared to Agilent chemstation and Shmidzu Class Vp 10. The Connectivity issue for the PC and instrument is due to background process of the PC got hang because of two instrumnt data load. The problem will be much higher if the HPLC has PDA detector.Try to perform the instrument control operation from the pC sequentially, frequent and sudded switching over of instrumnet acquisition windows will hang the PC and any subsequent runs will be lost.

 When it comes to

 When it comes to instrumentation control , and /or data reduction software, the basic rule for powering up the instruments and the computeer, is:
First always power up the instruments, wait 'till they completely initialize, THEN, power up the controlling computer. This is the sequence that produces the best results. 

Walter Schrabmair
Walter Schrabmair's picture
How to Re-install EMPOWER on WIN 7

Hi, we had an WIN 2k system where we upgraded Millenium 32 to EMpower . Now I would like to kwow how I can transfer the EMPOWER system to a new PC. We have the Millenium 32 KEY DISK and the EMPOWER upgrade CDROM (and the sealed EMPOWER 2 Upgrad package). Can anyone here figure out what I have to do for 1) uninstall the Licence from WIN 2k  and  2) install it on new WIN 7 PC (32bit)and if it does not work how to transfer the licence again back to the old win 2k system.I have found this: https://www.scientistsolutions.com/forum/analytical-chemistry-chromatography/waters-empower-2-chromatography-software-windows7#comment-form Any help are very welcome - thanks a lot in advanced.Walter