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system instability - system restore not working

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology' started by narlus, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    ok - in order to get my wireless audiostreamer (www.slimdevices.com) to stop dropping connections and having it be a real pain to re-connect, i took some advice and updated my router/WAP firmware and changed the broadcast channel. here are the specifics:

    OS - winXP pro
    router - BEFRS41 version 2
    WAP - WAP11, version 1.1 (bridged from router, both Linksys)

    i downloaded the firmware files from linksys, but in order to flash the firmware on the WAP via USB connection, i needed to run the USB driver utility. this wasn't on this PC, because it had already been configured on my older PC (originally via Win98, then Win2K).

    upgraded firmware, used the USB utility to change the channel, all is well. or not.

    blue screen hits, w/ the line something like DRIVER_IRQL_LESS_OR_EQUAL and a STOP 0x00000001 command line. all signs point to a hardware issue, so i did a system restore to before i mucked about w/ teh firmware and USB utility driver.

    it doesn't stop the crashes.

    MS is no help; the resolution from the knowledge base is just to check the approved hardware choices for MS, and of course since my router and WAP are old, they aren't on the list fir XP. well, it was working before? and why doesn't the system restore rollback any driver or firmware updates?

    i suppose i should call linksys as well, but figured i'd through it out here.

    :angry:
     

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  2. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Can I ask why you're using the USB connection instead of connecting it via an ethernet cable?

    Linksys has a decent online chat, by the way, if you don't want to listen to Apu's accent.

    If you disconnect the router(s), does the system stop crashing? When does the crash occur - as soon as you boot up?
     
  3. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    the WAP11 needs to connect to the PC via USB (or so i am led to believe)

    i tried that the other night but never saw a response from the Indian guy on the other end after his initial greeting. i typed my question, waited a while, typed an "are you there?" reply, saw nothing, and hung up. i got a transcript of this sent to email address, and the guy was replying to me. weird that i never saw it on my chat screen.

    haven't tried disconnecting the router yet. the system crashes are unpredictable. yesterday the box was on all day, and was still running when i got home (it wasn't running anything though). then it crashed. sometimes it stays up a for a bit, other times it's fairly quickly after you get the desktop loaded. it was a race against time to get to the system restore menu once.

    why wouldn't system restore work in this case?
     
  4. clancy98

    clancy98 Monkey

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    because a firmware update would be on your device, not your system. I have never seen system restore used successfully, (FWIW) and it is turned off on anything I put together, because of virus/spyware issues and their ability to reside there unchecked.

    CLancy
     
  5. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    actually i did use system restore successfully on this PC once. was on a weeklong vacation and was running DC++. some crash took it out while i was away, and really frigged up my ability to reconnect to hubs after i rebooted. i'd uninstaleld and reinstalled DC++ but that didn't work. i finally did system restore and that did work.

    so then i should look to roll the firmware version back on the router/WAP?
     
  6. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    oh yeah, a couple more things...when the PC is rebooted after a crash, it always wants run CHKDSK on one of my 3 internal hard drives (and always the same one). CHKDSK doesn't find any bad sectors or other problems, and the drives are healthy when viewed under disk manager.

    also, i can't seem to get into safe mode. when i hit F8 during booting, it takes me to a screen where i can select which device to boot from, but that's it. i can't find a safe mode option anywhere. isn't that a bit strange?
     
  7. Toshi

    Toshi Harbinger of Doom

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    :devil:
     
  8. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    The chkdsk thing is normal, and should always happen after a blue screen.

    As clancy said, the firmware is different from the drivers, so I'd try restoring your old firmware version and see if that solves the problem. If it works, and you still need the updates to keep the music player from dropping connections, do your updates one by one. Switch the channel. Make sure it works. Upgrade the firmware. Make sure it works. Then do the drivers.

    If rolling back the firmware doesn't fix the problem, re-install the new USB drivers.
     
  9. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    i think i figured out the problem...that USB/WAP utility is old, and wasn't written for XP. i searched (frantically, before the PC would crash) under "add/remove programs" and found the firmware update, and removed it. didn't see any other Linksys-type program listed. i restarted this morning, and it took the icon off the desktop and appeared to be ok, but i just called my wife and it's given me the BSoD once again. :(

    how do i remove this driver? i searched under device manager and didn't see it under any USB setting.

    looks like i need to chat w/ Apu @ linksys
     
  10. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    The drivers should have been under add/remove programs, and the system restore should have rolled back any Windows drivers. I'm not sure what specific kind of drivers were installed, but you could re-install the USB drivers that came with your motherboard in case Linksys overwrote some system drivers.
     
  11. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    the really annoying thing is that i can't get into Safe Mode, so i never know how much time i'll have before the PC crashes, while i'm trying to fix it.
     
  12. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Yeah, I'm not sure what the deal is there. Are you sure you're hitting F8 right at the beginning of the Windows bootup and not when your system is still in POST?
     
  13. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    you mean, before you get the black screen w/ the Windows logo and the flickering, horizontal status bar? yep.

    maybe i need to get into the Setup screen, and Safe Mode is available from there?
     
  14. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Why can't you get into Safe Mode? Seems like there's some issues there if you can't get into Windows diag mode (Safe Mode).
    I'm w/the other guy, kill sys-restore, indexing and QoS.
    This sound suspiciously like an older motherboard/BIOS issue w/ the USB and older driver version. I don't know how you can pull this off since you use your USB to get out, but check the MoBo's site for newer BIOS and USB (or motherboard) driver.
    For a baseline diag try disconnecting the USB device. See if it still Blues out on you (you don't actually need to disconnect, just go into BIOS and criple any USB support).

    Edit: Setup in POST is for BIOS, not Safe Mode.
     
  15. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    it's a new ASUS mobo (al-8n or something like that). the issue is that the WAP11 was not designed for XP, and i loaded a USB config utility driver that i shouldn't have.

    removing it's the pain; not sure where to look?
     
  16. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    FYI, if you use a MS wireless keyboard, you'll need to hit the "F Lock" key during post so you can have access to the function keys. I have one of these and it makes getting to the Safe Mode a bit tricky at times since the 'puter boots crazy fast.
     
  17. Pau11y

    Pau11y Turbo Monkey

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    Ok, it is software. You can use the manual uninstall method of regedit. Disconnect the USB device (by disabling it in BIOS) first so your machine quits crashing every 13 mins. This can get REALLY hairy if you del the wrong thing so proceed at your own risk. Start/Run type in regedit. Goto the root (My Computer) and hi-lite. Ctrl + F to bring up the find. Now, you'll need a keyword for the software you (should have) installed so you can go thru and search the registry and del all entries for it. For example, if GAIN was on my machine, because I installed the free DivX Codec bundle, then search for entries like gator. When done, the search thingie will let you know. Reboot and re-enable your USB when you come back. See if this helps...

    Gotta goto class. Good luck.
     
  18. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    how do i disable the USB device in BIOS? it's not a real device, it was just a utility to configure a device via a USB cable, which is now disconnected.
     
  19. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    the live chat w/ the linksys tech help person told me to install another driver for XP.

    we'll see what happens.

    smoke?
     
  20. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    well what do you know. it appears to have worked.

    hallelujah!
     
  21. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    so far so good. i think i am out of the woods/weeds.

    that said, i may think about updating my wireless network hardware...it is pretty old and streaming FLAC files does cause some interruptions.
     
  22. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    My Linksys WAP54G has been bulletproof.
     
  23. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    is that a combo router & wireless access point?

    my network is still variably spotty, so although i did get the BSoD issues sorted, i may still want to update my network hardware (and it would be nice to have a bit more speed for network file transfers). i'll have to throw 2 PCMCIA wireless cards to the list too.

    did you get the "speed express" model, or whatever they are calling the 'G+' class?
     
  24. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Nope, it's just a wireless access point. No such thing as a combo router and wireless access point - access points are access points, routers are routers. Some routers have wireless capabilities but they're not access points.

    Yep, I got the speed booster model and card, but I can't say I've benchmarked it. I don't have anything to compare it against anyway, this is my first "G" network.
     
  25. narlus

    narlus Eastcoast Softcore
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    so what other hardware do i need? here's my current configuration:

    cable -> modem -> BEFRS41 (4 port router)

    BEFRS41 -> Desktop PC ethernet card
    and
    BEFRS41 -> WAP11 (providing wireless connections to my laptops and squeezebox)

    do i need anything else other than the WAP54G and the PCMCIA cards for the laptops?
     
  26. binary visions

    binary visions The voice of reason

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    Nope. The WAP54G will plug into your router and your PC cards will connect to that.

    If you want to eliminate a piece of hardware, you probably don't need the extra functionality a wireless access point will provide, and can stick with a regular 5-port + wireless G router. Then you could get rid of your current 4 port router. That's up to you, though.

    Wireless access points can be set up in different configurations depending on your needs. They can be set up to bridge other access points, they can be set up as a repeater for the wireless signal (good if you get poor wireless reception in parts of your house, you can have a second WAP on the first floor or something)... Good devices, but if you don't need the extra functionality, the 5-port + wireless router gets rid of your extra device.