Guide to updating device firmware through USB stick?

I have several battery devices that I would like to update the firmware on. I would like to use my laptop and my usb zwave stick to do it, but I'm not sure of the steps.

I'm actually thinking what I might want to do is use the pc controller software to exclude the device, join it to a new network, update the firware, and then include it back into Hubitat using the zwave replace feature. Though, I've never tried that with a battery device. Just testing on the zwave details page and hitting refresh on one of my battery devices several times, I was never able to get the replace button to appear. Several of these battery powered devices were not included where they ultimately ended up and I think they've held onto their old routes. Some only see like 1 or 2 neighbors and they should see a lot more than that. So I was thinking a fresh include could be helpful.

I want to use my laptop so I can move it close to the device when doing the firmware update. In my limited experience, the device being further away from the hub makes the file transfer go way slower. Normally I don't care, but with a battery powered device I'd rather it go faster and not drain as much battery.

I have only used the zwave stick for a few basic things. I think I have it included to my Hubitat. It shows in the zwave details (but with a discover button) but not in the device list. I vaguely remember it showing in the device list before using just the generic device driver. The PC Controller can see the other devices on the network.

I seem to remember reading elsewhere that it doesn't need to be visible as a device, as long as it has an ID. Maybe in this thread: Z-Wave Ghost Removal using a UZB-Stick - How To

From HE staff Z-Wave guru on this issue:

As long as it shows up in your Z-Wave Details page, and you see all your devices in PC Controller, then you should be good.

Good is relative... lol. I'm not sure how to do anything with battery devices in the z wave pc controller. Everything I click for a battery device just pops up an error that says there is an application error and the error descriptions is "Wakeup interval for current node is not assigned." Waking up the device immediately before clicking the button doesn't change anything.

I've never messed w/battery devices w/PC Controller, only ever worked w/mains powered. More info below on battery limitations...

And @jtp10181 may have more info?

Pairing directly to the USB stick works best, I think PC controller will wait for it to wake up before sending commands if you do it like that. But it can also be done as a secondary, if you check the little box next to the node to force it as a "listening" device. Also check the "disabled" box in Hubitat so the driver does not respond to the wakeup. Once you do that it acts like a mains powered device in PC Controller. The catch is you have to wake it up and time the commands so they hit the device while it is awake.

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How do you do that? Do I need to exclude it from Hubitat? I'm hesitant to do that with a battery powered device because I cannot get the zwave replace option to appear in zwave settings for battery powered devices. I've tried a few. I've tried powering down and unplugging and trying right away. The button just does not appear for battery powered devices.

Is there a reason for wanting to use the USB stick instead of the Hubitat Hub?

Exclude from the hub would remove the node so then replace would not work anymore. I think I have done factory reset and then replace afterwards with battery devices. Otherwise, yes you would need to exclude then pair again. You could use a virtual device to swap the apps to while it is removed, then swap back after pairing again.