tomasz86

[SOLVED] Win2k - Windows console (cmd.exe) and random reboots/freezes

40 posts in this topic

I've been experiencing strange system crashes when processing batch scripts. They happen only when a lot of data is processed at once and the screen in cmd.exe is moving very fast. Suddenly system crashes and reboots. There is no BSOD and event manager only says that "system was not shut down properly".

Does anyone know what can be the reason of this?

It happens randomly so it's difficult to reproduce.

Edited by tomasz86
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I know this doesn't really help, but it sounds like some kind of overflow, either a stack or something so it just wanders off. It can't give you a BSOD because windows is no longer in charge monitoring things.

Cheers and Regards

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Can it be related to this issue, perhaps? dubbio.gif

Unfortunately this patch is for XP only :/

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I know :(

But the issue is in the NT-family OSes from the start, and has only been fixed, unofficially BTW, in XP and perhaps officially in the later OSes, if at all. It may be the source of your problem. Then again, I may be wrong.

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I don't know if it helps but also sometimes (once a day?) cmd.exe freezes and the only way to close it is to reset the computer. You can't even reboot normally as the system doesn't shut down because of the freezed cmd.exe.

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Do you happen to have another machine you could try to reproduce the issue on?

I had a motherboard fail on me, that only acted up on Win 2K, for a spell. But, it finally did it in my other OS a few weeks later. I tried most everything else, before I finally had to allow that it was the motherboard. I still have the motherboard and could use it in an absolute pinch.

Just a thought to try and reproduce the issue on another machine.

Good luck tracking the issue down.

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Maybe Process Hacker can shine a light on what's happening on your system...

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Process Hacker doesn't work under Win2k :o but I guess Process Explorer should be enough? I'll keep it running and see if there are some strange things when the problems occur.

I forgot to say that sometimes (not always) when I get this cmd.exe freeze and reboot the machine, devices connected to USB are not detected. I need either to reconnect them or restart the system one more time to get them to work again. I guess it may have something to do with the mainboard but hope it does not :(

Edited by tomasz86
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I've just experienced a freeze twice when processing something in CMD console... I had Process Explorer running in background all the time and I was able to check it when the freeze happened but there was nothing special in it :(

Could you recommend any other more advanced tools to see what the problem is? :/ When such a freeze happens the only way to get over is is to do a hard reset.

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I got another reboot when running yanklines.vbs script. After the reboot I ran the script again and the screen froze for a while but this time it didn't cause a reboot. After 5-10 seconds it continued its task.

I also observed that sometimes after such a reboot the USB devices (including mouse) connected to the computer are not detected until I replug them.

I wonder whether it may be hardware (mainboard?) oriented problem rather than the OS. What do you think?

Edited by tomasz86
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My problem had been if I left the machine and had a meal and came back, the mouse was froze. It would accept keyboard input, but the mouse was dead. (The mouse was USB) I figured that BIT ROT had finally gotten to me, since that install had came from 9x update and had gone through a few motherboard upgrades as well. I knew I had been pushing my luck. So, I did a complete re-install hoping that would fix it. But, it didn't, so thought I might have some memory going bad in the LOW addresses. Ran the memory test x86 or whatever it is that comes on most Linux CDs and found nothing. I even tried moving memory to see if that would do it. The problem persisted, but only in 2K, not in my Linux install. Finally, about a week to ten days later it did it to me in Linux. At that point, I accepted that it was a hardware issue.

So... I'm assuming that you have tried a fresh install, and have eliminated the memory as a possible cause. If so, then I would start to lean towards hardware. Do you have a USB device you could use to stress the USB circuits on the mother board? I am just thinking out loud, hoping that something I mutter might light the light of inspiration to solve the issue.

Good luck at getting it diagnosed.

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I'm starting to think that it's a hardware related problem because I have observed that when such a reboot happens and the mouse stops working, the optical light is also off BEFORE the OS starts to boot. Normally it turns on just after the computer starts and BIOS detects the devices.

I also remember that a few times there was an error saying that there is no keyboard. The keyboard was connected to USB-port by a PS2-USB adapter. I switched to PS/2 and haven't seen this error anymore since then. It also was displayed by BIOS before starting Windows.

I guess I need to check the memory first but I guess there might be something wrong with the mainboard itself.

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I haven't mentioned it before but the cmd.exe problem doesn't happen if @echo off is on. It happens only if many lines are moving very fast (visibly on the screen).

The crash goes like this

1. cmd.exe suddenly stops & artifacts show on the screen

2. monitor turns off (but music is still playing)

3. automatic reboot after 2-3 seconds

Could it be memory related?

Edited by tomasz86
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Might be memory or video card issue.

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I tested memory today (4 hours MemTest86+ 4.20) and no errors were detected.

As for the graphic card, I'm using the integrated one (Radeon 3000 HD) with unofficial BlackWingCat's drivers. I'll try to use an old Matrox G450 for PCI and check if these issues are graphic related.

I still suspect that's is the mainboard as today the USB mouse was not detected by BIOS once again :}

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In this case, it might be an overheating component (like southbridge and northbridge) on the mainboard.

Edited by allen2
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Is this system using any levels of RAID?

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Is this system using any levels of RAID?

Yes, it's a RAID 0 (3x Fujitsu MAX3036RC).

Full configuration:

Athlon II X2 255 (no OC)

Foxconn A76ML-K 3.0 (AMD 760 chipset)

Radeon 3000 HD (integrated)

Samsung 4 GB DDR3 1333MHz (1 stick)

HP 3042E SAS Controller (PCI-E)

3x Fujitsu MAX3036RC 36 GB

1x Samsung F3 500 GB (connected to mainboard SATA)

SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit (PCI)

Windows 2000 Advanced Server

Edited by tomasz86
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I am now able to reproduce this error. If I run a script where a lot of lines move very fast and set it to loop forever, the crash will eventually happen.

Monitor turns off, computer resets and USB mouse is not detected after reboot and has to be reconnected.

Could you recommend any more specialised way to diagnose this problem?

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You could try vga mode to see if it's really video related.

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I did two tests:

1. I cloned my system partition from RAID0 to a single drive so I could check if it was the RAID to cause this problem. Unfortunately, there was no difference.

2. I booted into VGA mode, ran the script and... no errors! Next, I uninstalled the drivers (BWC's Catalyst 11.3) and installed an older version (10.11). I rebooted, ran the script and guess what? It works flawlessly.

Thank you, allen2 :thumbup

Edited by tomasz86
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1. I cloned my system partition from RAID0 to a single drive so I could check if it was the RAID to cause this problem. Unfortunately, there was no difference.

Good you got it fixed. I brought up the RAID question because I had similar problems on a server which would either have the screen go black or the system would turn off/reboot with no Event logs relating to the shutdown. In my case, it turned out I had both a failed RAID member AND a faulty port on the backplane. The end result after troubleshooting resulted in loss of all data! But anyways, I had just remembered that behaviour so figured I'd mention it.

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Good you got it fixed. I brought up the RAID question because I had similar problems on a server which would either have the screen go black or the system would turn off/reboot with no Event logs relating to the shutdown. In my case, it turned out I had both a failed RAID member AND a faulty port on the backplane. The end result after troubleshooting resulted in loss of all data! But anyways, I had just remembered that behaviour so figured I'd mention it.

Actually I got fixed the problem with restarting when running a cmd batch script but the other problem - the one related to USB still persists :( and I still experience occasional freezes where I can do nothing but reset the computer. And the mouse is not detected after such a reset.

Unfortunately I don't have any other AM3 mainboard to replace with to check if it's a mainboard related thing...

Oh, and one more information which may be important - my data HDD (Samsung F3 500 GB) is connected to the mainboard SATA controller and I'm using the unofficial BWC drivers for AMD 760 chipset. I'll have to try changing it to IDE compatible mode and see if there is any difference.

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I'm reviving this topic because I've still been experiencing the cmd.exe freeze/stack problem. Especially recently I've been using batch scripts a lot and this problem is extremely bothersome :} I need to reset the computer each time it happens. I can't really say how frequently I encounter it but let's say that if I run a HFSLIP-like script for 5 times, the problem will occur at least once.

As I became more and more annoyed, inspired by dencorso I've just tried to replace the original W2k's wow32.dll with the fixed one from XP (+ I added XP's ntvdm.exe to fix the dependencies).

I'll see if it makes any difference.

Does anyone else have any idea what can be the reason for such freezes (if it's not the wow32.dll)?

In meantime I already changed mainboards and used different HDD/SSD on different controllers but it didn't help. Graphic card also doesn't seem to matter.

Edited by tomasz86
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