View Full Version here: : Blue screen of death
11-03-2012, 08:59 AM
I've started having issues with the laptop showing the BSOD mid way through an imaging session - it happened twice on Friday night and again last night. When I fire it up during the day to process images there are no issues so I'm thinking it must be one of the apps I'm using at night that is causing it. I haven't changed anything recently so I'm not sure why I'm having an issue now.
Is there a way to diagnose what is causing the problem?
11-03-2012, 09:37 AM
BSOD is the most mysterious Windows feature for anyone but Microsoft professional. It usually shows the cause of the problem - but unreadable to non-Microsoft enlightened mind is it.
In my practice BSOD means that there's something terminal in the system - on most occasions it was HDD. It can possibly be software-related, too. But a program that causes it damages the system to the level that it cannot straighten itself up.
In your situation I would run your Astro software in the daytime. If it still crashes the system - watch for a particular program to do it. Normally, it happens right on the start or after calling some of it's functions. If the system is able to withstand anything during the day but crashes at night - then HDD check is in order. Try to do it by instruments included in Windows. You can see the options by right-clicking the drive.
11-03-2012, 11:03 AM
All my BSODs are related to plugging and unplugging USB connectors when something drops out for whatever reason. If you weren't fiddling with the USBs and didn't have a loose USB connection then I would suggest as Michael said, do a hard drive scan and if it persists reload the operating system.
11-03-2012, 11:15 AM
Pete, if you go to control panel, find administrative tools and start the event viewer. Look for system events in the windows logs and see if you can find the crash. It will most likely have a red icon next to it. It should give you the hexidecimal error number for the crash which you can google, windows error 0x0004ef..... That might give you a clue.
The blue screen itself often tells you what is wrong in english but most machines are set to auto reboot after a crash so you miss it.
11-03-2012, 12:13 PM
Found this site that may be usefull.
11-03-2012, 12:56 PM
Peter, this points to a driver/hardware issue. Have you added or changed anything on your rig lately? Camera driver, extra devices for your mount or other? Hub?
11-03-2012, 02:18 PM
I don't think I've changed anything recently apart from installing Gemini.net so not sure why this has started happening now as it was all happy when first installed.
I found the event log - I think the 0x000000a code refers to a memory issue?
11-03-2012, 02:27 PM
Peter, as Marc implies, apps can't cause a BSOD. (At least not in Windows NT/XP/2000/Vista/7/2008.) It has the be something like drivers, and USB is a common source. Jiggle a cable and many drivers can't cope. Error recovery and its consequences is often overlooked.
If you have auto-restart turned on you could turn it off and you can note down the error code and the module it is blaming. Then reboot and a Google search will usually turn up the culprit.
Rolling back or upgrading drivers is usually effective. Also check all your connectors are firm in their sockets. It might be as simple as replacing a dodgy cable.
11-03-2012, 02:37 PM
That could be related. Which version? Is it for a G1 (think that is currently at revision 18) or a G2 (revision 30something)?
Does everything behave until you start using it? What ASCOM version do you have? V6SP1 is what you should be using.
You'll probably need to include some of the other codes in the event when you search. There are zillions of reasons for Stop-a. Did Windows ask if you wanted to check the crash reason?
It won't hurt to run memtest (http://www.memtest.org/) for a few hours to check out the hardware.
11-03-2012, 06:01 PM
Try WhoCrashed (http://www.resplendence.com/whocrashed)...it's a freeware app that gives info on BSODs and crashes.
Its solved a crash issue I was having.....told me what was crashing (NvidaXXX) the fix was a driver update.
11-03-2012, 08:04 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll check out the cables however I have them pretty well anchored at each end so I'll be surprised if this is the issue. I think I'm using V18 of gemini.net with G1L4 and ascom V6 - not sure if I have SP1 but will check tonight.
The laptop is not set to auto restart so I'll note down the error messages next time and will have a look at memtest and whocrashed.
11-03-2012, 09:24 PM
Gave WhoCrashed a try...interesting results. It is pointing to the Keyspan USB-Serial adaptors. I am using two since I got the G11, having used one for four years without an issue. Checking in Google it looks like others have had issues with this adaptor under certain circumstances.
https://www.google.com/search?q=usa19h2k.sys+Keyspan+Keysp an%20USB%20Serial%20%20Adapter#hl=e n&gs_nf=1&tok=9gsED0jM_uTDD5b66cWCwQ&pq=usa19h2k.sys+keyspan+keyspan+usb +serial++adapter&cp=9&gs_id=2m&xhr=t&q=USA-19HS+Blue+screen+of+death&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=USA-19HS+Blue+screen+of+death&aq=0v&aqi=g-v1&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=daf261b5baf568cb&biw=1280&bih=600&bs=1
8 crash dumps have been found and analyzed. 2 third party drivers have been identified to be causing system crashes on your computer. It is strongly suggested that you check for updates for these drivers on their company websites. Click on the links below to search with Google for updates for these drivers:
usa19h2k.sys (USB driver for the Keyspan USB Serial Adapter, Keyspan) (http://www.google.com/search?q=usa19h2k.sys+Keyspan+Keysp an USB SerialAdapter)
usa19h2kp.sys (Keyspan USB Serial Adapter - Serial Driver, Keyspan) (http://www.google.com/search?q=usa19h2kp.sys+Keyspan+Keys pan USB Serial Adapter)
If no updates for these drivers are available, try searching with Google on the names of these drivers in combination the errors that have been reported for these drivers and include the brand and model name of your computer as well in the query. This often yields interesting results from discussions from users who have been experiencing similar problems.
11-03-2012, 09:54 PM
It might be simplest to replace 2 single port adapters with one 4 port adapter and recover some of the difference by selling the others.
Unless the manufacturer supplies USB devices with different identifiers (I seem to recall MoonLite do for their focusers), putting more than one on a computer is just asking for trouble.
11-03-2012, 10:27 PM
Is it worth trying a driver update for the Keyspan first? I've got the original V3.4 however it looks like they are up to V3.75?
11-03-2012, 11:43 PM
It can't hurt, and it might work. There is a long entry in the FAQ about this. They reckon you can simultaneously connect up to 8x4 port and 8x1 port adapters but you need to read this entry:
"Can I connect multiple Keyspan usb serial adapters to my Windows computer?"
11-03-2012, 11:50 PM
Yep - already on to this - I've been using geographic com port mapping so each device retains the same com port number.
12-03-2012, 12:15 AM
If I use a single keyspan device to run the tak mount I get BSOD's as well. I replaced it with a cheapy to fix it. Here's a quote from chucks temma driver site, maybe your gemini is hitting the same issue.
12-03-2012, 12:50 AM
There's mail in one of the Yahoo threads saying the 4 port keyspan was OK with the temma driver. Then there is another one on CloudyNights that says the 4 port causes BSODs. Without knowing all the details of Windows versions, driver versions, etc it all comes down to trial and terror.
12-03-2012, 08:27 PM
I've updated ASCOM to V6SP1 and also installed the new Keyspan drivers. I've now got it all running in the house (no guiding!) without any issues for the last hour with the QHY8 happily taking darks.
Will leave it going for a couple more hours.
13-03-2012, 08:09 AM
The BSOD is not limited to computers. It happens to the TV (digital) every time there is a bad storm. Usually just before you find out "whodunit"
13-03-2012, 10:11 AM
thanks for an informative and useful post here which may have solved a long term problem I have had with BSOD'd since last July.
My scope control system at home consists of a laptop connected to a 7 port Belkin USB hub, then to a Keyspan USA-19HS USB High-Speed Serial Adapter, then to an Astrometrics Skywalker on a G11 mount.
The Belkin USB hub also connects to an ST10XE, and an Orion SS Auto-guider, and a Prolific 2303 USB to serial adaptor to control the long exposure input of a Canon 450D.
The same system is relocated to Leyburn for a night or 2 each month, weather permitting.
Since July 2011, BSOD events occurred both at home and at Leyburn randomly, sometimes more than once per night, on 2 separate HP laptops both with XP. A third laptop, an ASUS F3 with Win7, was also affected but not a frequently as the XP machines. Sometimes, the F3 can operate without a BSOD over several nights of imaging, but eventually crashes.
Brendan's post (thanks muchly) lead me to WhoCrashed which also showed that the Keyspan USB adaptor was the BSOD culprit on the XP laptops, and on the Asus F3 Win7 laptop.
So, I updated the driver on the ASUS laptop last night and imaged with it for 3 hours without a problem. Only time will tell if the problem has now been fixed.
Once again, thanks guys. (Doh,....now, why didn't I think of posting my BSOD issues here ages ago??)
13-03-2012, 11:49 AM
Your TV runs Windoze?
13-03-2012, 11:52 AM
Greg, does that mean with the rig running more reliably you'd be finding more supernovae?
13-03-2012, 12:39 PM
HI Andrew, hmm, I wish the BSOD's were the only things stopping me from discovering more, but sadly, no.
The main problem that limits my discoveries of course is the weather here in SE Qld.
After that, I have had 4 annoying issues that have slowed me down over the last 2 years as well:
1. occasional crash and freezes that I suspect were caused by a particular USB to VGA converter,
2. The BSOD issues described above,
3. pointing accuracy - mostly improved now by recent mount error analysis and error correction,and
4. occasional non-round stars caused by OTA out-of-balance once a meridian flip is done. Also mostly improved by more careful attention to PEC, and balance.
Issues 3 and 4 would probably be eliminated by spending many more $$$$ than I can justify, so I just chip away at the problems instead.
13-03-2012, 01:12 PM
My gear ran happily for three hours last night without any BSOD following updating the keyspan driver.
I did have an issue when I went to shut everything down where the Keyspan Serial Assistant prompted me to save changes to the configuration on exit. I stupidly clicked yes and it reverted to the wrong com port assignment for the two keyspan adaptors. When I tried to change them back to the correct numbers the Keyspan Serial Assistant was reporting "com port in use" (when I know they are not). I had a look at the windows device manager advanced settings and it is also reporting them "in use".
I assume there is a way to get XP to realise they are not really in use? Any help greatly appreciated.
13-03-2012, 01:16 PM
FWIW, using Windows device manager, I normally get the message 'com port in use' if i try to change my Keyspan from Port 13, say, back to port 2 for any reason. I just ignore its protest, and then change it to port 2 and everything is OK.
Also, I didn't have the Keyspan assistant intervene, it all shut down nicely, no questions asked. Now, will it all start up normally tonight...who knows?? I'll find out tonight.
13-03-2012, 05:54 PM
Thanks Greg - does it then remember the correct (com 2) assignment next time or does it keep reverting to com 13?
13-03-2012, 06:14 PM
As a matter of fact it does Win 7 premium. With a wireless keyboard and mouse. Good for checking emails during commercial breaks.
The blue screen is the standard view when there is no input to the set. It just has a floating sign that says "No Signal".
However I was just giving a bit of cheek to liven up the thread.
PS before I put a new faster computer last week It also ran XP and Linux as well as Win 7 64bit Ultimate.
13-03-2012, 06:30 PM
Yes peter it does remember port 2, until something curls the toes of the USB port for some reason and then it forgets, but that doesn't happen too often.
13-03-2012, 06:35 PM
Thanks Greg - tried it and it is all happy again! I'm now running everything inside again tonight (taking more darks) for a few more hours to see if it is going to behave. Fingers crossed.
13-03-2012, 06:44 PM
I also tracked down a couple of web pages that go into what to do to clear up the com ports.
This one explains how to show the hidden devices:
and this one talks about how to uninstall them:
I assume this it the way it is meant to be done?
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