Kiwi, hopefully this helps. It sounds like you need the 3.10.1 driver instead, as it seems to communicate with the 2.8.2 driver better (but not perfectly). I'm just a regular user that happens to like the old-school SpaceBall, and figured this out through trial and error. These instructions are hackish in the worst way and are totally unsupported! Don't ask 3dconnexion for support on this!
As we all know, the SpaceBall is about 4 years out of support, and it looks like Windows 7 may be the final nail in its coffin. Shame, but I certainly got mileage out of mine!
Install instructions for 32-bit Win7
- Get both drivers
--- Go to 3dconnexion's site and locate the driver download area.
--- For Product, choose CadMan (that's right!) and 32-bit Windows. (SpaceBall 4000 will also work, but the CadMan allows the 64-bit XP driver).
--- Download the 2.8.2 driver.
--- Go back to the driver download page and choose SpaceNavigator, then 32-bit Win7, and check the box to show archived software.
--- Download 3dxsoftware 3.10.1 (not 3.11.3 or 3.8.2).
--- Download and install 7-Zip from www.7-zip.com
- Extract both drivers
--- Right-click each downloaded driver package, and use 7-Zip to expand them.
--- Now, go into the expanded directory of each, and use 7-Zip again to expand the installer within.
- Install the serial driver
--- Uninstall ALL 3dconnexion software first, reboot, and make sure the msiexec.exe process isn't running. You want a "clean" system.
--- Go into the expanded 2.8.2 driver directory > components > 3DxWare. Run "3Dconnexion 3Dxware.msi" and do a CUSTOM install. Don't tweak anything in the custom section; just let it use the default custom options. (Weird, huh?) It'll hang if you use the standard install.
--- When done, test the serial driver by opening one of the 3dconnexion demos from the 3dconnexion Programs folder. It should work, and the SpaceBall should beep when the driver is loaded and unloaded by the demo.
- Install the SolidWorks plugin
--- Go into the expanded 3.10.1 directory > components32 > 3DxSolidWorks. Run "3DxSolidWorks32.msi" and do a standard install.
- Launch SolidWorks. The SpaceBall should beep (if you have beeps enabled in 3DxWare) and you should get the "old-style" 3dconnexion driver window. It should work!
- It looks like the 3Dcontrol menu is unusable. I haven't done much testing, but it looks like hotkeys may not be programmable anymore. You can set up a profile in 3DxWorks but it's somewhat "fiddly."