[Q] KIES Stuffed. A bad time to fail.

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http://forum.xda-developers.com – Eagerly awaiting JB update for my unlocked, stock I9300 (UK BTU). Trying to do things "by the book" and using KIES to check for updates. Yesterday KIES announced that it needed to do some kind of update related to firmware... Now, whenever I try to connect it reports "failed to retrieve device information" and doesn't connect. I've tried re-installing KIES, and it managed to connect once, after which I get the same message whenever I try again. I've tried disabling antivirus etc and using their connection troubleshooter, all to no avail. NOT HAPPY; very bad time for (HowTos)