HoppaLong

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  1. XP Pro_SP3 Unofficial USB driverpacks for 98SE was the primary reason I kept using this old system. You booted into Safe Mode, deleted everything related to USB in Device Manager and installed the driverpack. I performed this procedure twice. Each time the updated drivers improved almost everything. Removable USB devices loaded and unloaded smoothly and quickly, with very few glitches. For whatever reason, I've never had much luck with XP USB drivers. I use third party apps and my own scripts to manage removable USB devices. It helps a little, but not enough. A good analogy is an old car. When the engine starts (or doesn't start) there is always another problem to resolve. I'm reluctant to download that huge (almost a full gig) Unofficial XP_SP4. XP is limited to 3 gigs of ram, if you're lucky. The comments I've read are mixed. Adding so much to XP almost demands more memory. If there was a way around that 3 gig ram cutoff I would try SP4. Plugging in and ejecting a simple USB stick is a pleasure with updated 98SE drivers. I wish that were true for my copy of XP. Has anyone created an "unofficial" USB driverpack for XP Pro?
  2. Like millions of other people, I want to forever eliminate the Safely Remove Hardware icon. When I disable Stobject.dll the results are empty flash drives labeled as a "Removable Disk." Why is this happening? Am I the only XP user that has this problem after disabling Stobject.dll? Maybe I am, because I can't find anything while googling. After a system startup or reboot the first flash drive plugged into a hub loads smoothly. The second or third stick hangs. You see that USB icon symbol waiting and waiting until the drive finally loads. It's like a car without gas trying to drive uphill! Again, why is this happening? I'll try to answer my own questions. Perform a fresh install or slipstream the "Unofficial Windows XP SP4" and then perform a fresh install. A drastic solution maybe, but I can't think of anything else. By the way, you've probably noticed that Google searches about computing almost always list MSFN on the first or second page. I've joined and abandoned more forums than I can remember. You guys are the best. That's not a compliment, it's just a fact.
  3. XP Pro_SP3 Stobject.dll is an Explorer.exe process. It's the USB device "Unloader" with the Safely Remove Hardware icon. Disabling this DLL is a very popular hack in favor of third party apps like HotSwap!, USB Safely Remove, or USB Disk Ejector. The reason is obvious. They all display the complete volume label name, so you can't eject the wrong flash drive if several are plugged in. I've tried all four command actions listed below. The results are not good. My USB devices are listed as empty Removable Disks: One: Unregister the DLL with this "Run" command: regsvr32 "c:\windows\system32\stobject.dll" /u Easy to undo. Run the same command without "u/." Two: Use a command supported app like Icon Remover: IconRemover.exe /hideapp /removeicon /closeapp Three: Create or download a batch file. You can try the link below from the Raymond.cc blog. This batch file didn't work for me. In fact, it added an icon for Sounds and Audio Devices. Very strange! https://raymondcc.r.worldssl.net/hide-safely-remove-hardware.bat Four: My preferred method is a Startup folder script. It's the best way because you can control the startup order and add a logical delay between each app or process. The USB device "Loader" is launched with the ubiquitous Rundll: rundll32.exe newdev.dll,ClientSideInstall \\.\pipe\PNP_Device_Install_Pipe_0.{Registry Key} Something is also screwed up with Newdev.dll. If a flash drive loads smoothly, the USB device icon symbol does not appear in the Notification Area (System Tray). When this icon is visible and lingers for several seconds I know the system is having trouble loading the device. I created scripts to temporarily disable or workaround these two DLLs that load and unload USB devices. What I really need is a complete drop-in replacement for the entire process! I know, it doesn't exist. I do need help resolving these problems.
  4. You're absolutely correct, jaclaz. I was very tired when I stumbled across that junk app. Fortunately, a quick Google search was enough to bring my exhausted brain back to reality. I FOUND THE CAUSE AND SOLUTION! Several months ago I had to disable AutoPlay in the Group Policy Editor. It wasn't just crashing my system, it was exploding my system! As soon as AutoPlay was disabled, I could load a flash drive or an optical disk with no trouble. Disabling AutoPlay created another problem. I like to create my own autorun.inf files on flash drives. They're useless if AutoPlay is disabled. A very nice applet called "USB Detect Launch" will run any script or program. You provide the applet with a volume label and a command line for each flash drive (or any USB device): https://mattcollinge.wordpress.com/software/usb-detect-and-launch/ Shortly after disabling AutoPlay I found USB Detect Launch. I assumed it was created to ignore parallel connected devices like a floppy drive. Apparently, I was right until something changed a few days ago. After many months this applet decided to "seek" my floppy drive! The solution is very simple. Add this command to the list: ignore:a:\ This question has no logical answer, but I'll ask anyway. Why did USB Detect Launch ignore my floppy drive for several months without the "ignore" command?
  5. XP Pro_SP3 I know what you're thinking. Why would anyone need a floppy disk drive? In addition to having many bootable flash drives, I just feel more secure having a working floppy drive that can load a boot disk if needed. (I've got an unopened box with 200 new floppy disks.) The system is continuously flashing the floppy LED. I hear that brief jolt each time the system checks for a disk. This problem started about three days ago. It seems like malware is blamed for almost everything. The system is not infected with malware. Its clean. I tested the floppy drive with an MS-DOS boot disk. No problems. Its working fine. I temporarily disabled the floppy drive in Device Manager to protect it from self-destruction. I can't find any procedure on the web for resolving this problem. Several sites recommend an app called Reimage Repair: http://threadposts.org/question/2217973/Random-floppy-drive-seek-and-hard-drive-light-flashing.html If you google about Reimage Repair there are many negative comments. I don't think it's a good idea to install this app. Is there something I can do to stop XP Pro from seeking the floppy drive over and over?
  6. It's easy to find software that will show you a "before" and "after" snapshot of your Registry. This can be very helpful if you're concerned about malware, unauthorized downloads, etc. That's not what I need. About once a month I run a script created by me. The script has a miniscule flaw which is not fixable unless I junk many hours of work and start from scratch. I'm hoping I don't have to do that! Example: Before running my script there is a Value Name like "John Throws a Football." After the script terminates the Value is changed to a generic name like "Football." The problem is there might be a dozen "Football" Value Names, so I can't quickly find the old Value location and change it back to "John Throws a Football." Is there a Registry tracking app that can follow "John Throws a Football" before I run the script and show the exact location of the new Value Name after the script completes its run?
  7. XP Pro_SP3 I posted about a Start Menu problem a few weeks ago. Using a couple of process logging apps, I was able to determine the cause of some very erratic and quirky behaviour. Everything was working normally for several days. Now, I've got a new problem which may be easier to fix. The Start Menu instantly closes when I release the left mouse button after moving an item. Just to be clear, the items I'm dragging are all inside the Start Menu hierarchy. I haven't changed any of the "Taskbar and Start Menu" settings. The Start Menu shouldn't close after you drag a single item to a new location.
  8. ULTRACOPIER (Version 1.2.3.4) WORKED PERFECTLY! https://ultracopier.first-world.info/ As I mentioned in my original post, I've got external hard drives with USB and eSATA ports. I gave up trying to copy or move files with XP Pro and eSATA. It was impossible. I was forced to use the slower USB configuration. A few hours ago Ultracopier transferred thousands of folders stuffed with files. Copying to and from the eSATA connected hard drives and several SanDisk Cruzer flash drives. 50 GB of data without a single glitch! I WATCHED THE DATA TRANSFER SPEED. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY FLAWLESS! Ultracopier is stand alone app. It must function inside the Windows environment, but it not just a pretty shell extension for Microsoft's copy and move commands. Ultracopier loads and unloads from the system. It appears in the Context Menu only when its running. That's why it works so well! Thank you Dibya, FranceBB, HarryTri, MikeyV, and Mcinwwl.
  9. I did run CHKDSK before posting. It wouldn't hurt to run it again. You can check for PIO or DMA in Device Manager. Properties for each item under IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers shows the transfer mode as "DMA if available." Whenever I've got a serious problem I always assume there is something wrong with the operating system. Obviously, you should consider hardware as a possible cause, but in this case there no doubt in my mind the system is the culprit. Unfortunately, I must agree with you MikeyV. FranceBB, I think adjusting or limiting the data transfer speed could be the solution. The system freeze up occurs when the transfer speed reaches its peak. It's like a car accident where someone slams on their brakes and all the cars in the rear become part of a chain collision. I'll try TotalCommander (or a similar app) that can limit transfer speeds.
  10. XP Pro_SP3 Copying back and forth from a flash drive or external hard drive is almost impossible with several dozen small files or numerous large files. Specifically, the external hard drives have USB and eSATA ports. The system crashes and/or freezes using both configurations. All the problems go away if I use a Boot CD like BartPE or Hiren's. The small number of running processes in a minimalist boot disk must be the reason why copying (or moving) runs smoothly. As you know, there are many Copy/Move apps that supposedly offer better control when data is being transferred. I've tried BurstCopy and TeraCopy. There is no doubt that these apps move bytes quickly, but they hang just like Windows own copy and move commands. Most of the members at Stack Overflow are advanced computer users. They all say something like "I found this great app (name) and all the problems went away." TeraCopy is on this list, but it didn't fix anything. Is there any app listed here (or not) that might resolve my copy and move problems? http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1329/what-is-a-better-file-copy-alternative-than-the-windows-default
  11. When you finish building a desktop, there are usually unused SATA ports on the motherboard. I tried the optical drive cable in each unused port. The BIOS always listed the port number correctly during bootup, but it didn't fix the problem with XP. I started opening some boxes in my workshop with old expansion cards that should have been tossed in the trash or recycled. Suddenly, I had the solution! Provide the optical drive with its own inexpensive SATA Controller Card. Revision 1.0 has a maximum data transfer rate of 150 MBYTES/SEC which is more than adequate for an optical drive. I purchased a card on eBay for $14.49. Several dozen Silicon Image drivers on a CD were included with the package. IT WORKED!!! YIPPEE!!! To anyone who may find this thread while performing a Google seach, please be careful when you buy a cheap SATA Controller Card. Revision 1.0 (150 MBYTES/SEC) is fine for a CD/DVD burner. If you need extra SATA ports for a hard drive or SSD (Solid-State Drive) optimized for the latest Revisions (3.0, 3.1, and 3.2) make sure the controller card matches your requirements.
  12. I ran the "Add Hardware" applet in the Control Panel several times. There are dozens of Registry Keys showing the Pioneer burner installed, but the applet never finds anything. You can't "manually" select the device because it never appears on the list. The new PSU was installed several weeks before I replaced the CMOS battery. XP was completely stable (and normal) with the new PSU. After replacing the CMOS battery and restoring the RAID settings I booted into XP Pro. That's when the CD/DVD drive vanished from the system. I've built numerous load boxes since I was a kid. I have three in my workshop for small, medium, and large capacity power supplies. They're equipped with temperature sensors that shutdown the supply if it runs too hot during a test. Both old and new PSUs tested good. I also completely agree that testing is not definitive. Any device can fail. I think replacing that 25 cent battery screwed up the mobo firmware. These BIOS chips are EEPROMs (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory). There are bootable apps that will delete or "erase" everything. Don't worry, I'm not going to do it! This desktop has two eSATA hard drives. (USB 3.0 came along and quickly dethroned eSATA.) Most of the time they're not powered up. I use them mainly for backups and long term storage. At this point, I'm a little confused about the link you provided for "HotSwap!" I don't think I completely understand the benefits of this app. Are you saying "HotSwap!" might resolve the problems I'm having with my CD/DVD drive? If HotSwap! works that would be great. If not, I might buy a new CD/DVD drive or retire this desktop. It's hard to believe replacing a coin cell battery would cause so much grief. Ironically, it was an email from a friend that prompted me to replace the battery. He listed several awful problems with a laptop. Like most people, he didn't make backups so he was really upset! I recommended replacing the CMOS battery. All his laptop problems were cured. Too bad I didn't have the same luck with my desktop.
  13. Believe it or not, I may be very close to a solution! 1. Removed CMOS battery again. The contacts looked bright and shiny, but I cleaned them anyway with an electronics oxidation remover. Installed a different battery. 2. "Pioneer DVD-RW" is now listed correctly on the Boot Menu. BartPE booted perfectly. Problem solved. 3. When XP Pro completed startup, I disconnected and reconnected the power plug for the Pioneer burner. Almost instantly, my Pioneer CD/DVD drive is restored to Device Manager, My Computer, etc. YIPPIE!! For a few minutes I thought this nightmare was over. Unfortunately, when you reboot the problem returns. Gone from Device Manager and all the other locations it should be listed. 4. The Pioneer optical drive is model DVR-2920Q. I already have the lastest firmware installed. I ran the installer just to see what would happen. No go. Can't flash again with the same firmware. I've learned a lot about this problem, but I don't know what to do next. Disconnecting and reconnecting the power plug fixes the problem while XP Pro is running. What is the final step? I must find a way to keep the CD/DVD drive installed after a reboot (or a shutdown and startup). ( A computer SMPS is a marvel of engineering, but I always replace them before they get old or run too hot. The SMPS in this desktop was replaced about two months ago. The old one tested good, so I'll keep it as a spare.)
  14. When you buy external or internal hardware the manufacturer usually provides a junk cable. I never use them! The best SATA cables have a sturdy latch which keeps the plug firmly in its port. With a massive harness of wires in most desktop towers, all cables should have latch. If they don't I use small zip-ties so the plug never loosens. Except for the floppy drive, all hardware in this desktop I built several years ago is SATA. I wanted a speed boost, so I used two identical hard drives and setup a RAID 0 configuration in the CMOS. These days, you can buy screaming fast computers for less than $2000.00. I would never build another RAID 0! I've used laptops until they fall apart, but this desktop is in my home office. It was never used a lot, so it's almost like new. The mobo has spare SATA ports. I switched ports. Sure enough, the port number displayed next to my Pioneer burner reflected the number on the mobo. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with the SATA cable. jaclaz, I printed out the CMOS settings before changing the battery, but it was a waste of ink! Except for the RAID settings which I restored in five minutes, all other settings are default. As you suggested, I tried "Load Fail-Safe Defaults." For a few seconds it appeared to be working. The monitor displayed "Loading CD/DVD Drive" and the BartPE boot disk started to spin up. After that it just stopped! The monitor displayed nothing. I've never seen anything like this before! A couple of days before replacing the battery, I used my CD/DVD drive with a BartPE disk to create a new image backup. You probably know that imaging backup apps (like Acronis) don't work with RAID. The solution is a BartPE disk (or similar) with your backup software as a plugin. It works flawlessly. Except for my RAID CMOS settings, everything else is "Load Optimized Defaults." Since 99.9% of the CMOS settings are default, I don't understand why I'm having all this trouble. If this problem really is in the CMOS, replacing the Pioneer burner with a new model won't fix anything. It would be nice if I could flash the BIOS with some new firmware. Gigabyte doesn't have an update for this mobo.
  15. jaclaz, the CD/DVD drive is not shown in Device Manager or Disk Manager. Following your suggestion, I immediately rebooted and pressed the F12 key for the Boot Menu. Fortunately, I have many BartPE boot disks. They always worked perfectly before I replaced the CMOS battery. Now, the BartPE disk failed to boot! There has got to be something wrong in the CMOS settings. What else could it be? In the CMOS under "Advanced BIOS Features" the boot order is selected. "Hard Disk Boot Priority" lists the disk where your operating system is installed. There is usually no reason the change these default settings. First, second, and third boot devices are seperate items in the CMOS: First Boot Device Second Boot Device Third Boot Device My CD/DVD drive is listed as "Pioneer DVD-RW." If I was a little crazy, I could select "Pioneer DVD-RW" for first, second, and third boot devices. I've tried changing the boot order for "Pioneer DVD-RW" at least a dozen times. "Disabled" is also an option for each boot device. Nothing works! During bootup when the Pioneer burner is listed on the monitor I also clearly see the LED go on and off for POST. The tray opens and closes when I press the switch. It's working normally, but XP is failing to "see" this device. There is something a little scary I could try. Most external USB hardware is "hot swappable." I don't know what would happen if I shutdown the computer, pulled the power connector to the internal CD/DVD drive and reconnected the power cable while the computer is running. XP might respond and reinstall the device. I've never connected internal hardware while a computer is powered up. I'm afraid it might damage the CD/DVD drive. Should I try this procedure? I still think the answer is in the CMOS. Besides selecting the boot order for the Pioneer burner, what other CMOS settings might be causing this problem?