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hdnathan

Laptop intermittently crashes during BYN / PHD2 session

Question

Intermittently during a photo session with my Dell Latitude E6500 running BYN and PHD2 the system will suddenly freeze.  I have waited all night for it to unfreeze nor trying to get the systems attention by traditional means can I get the system back.  I have to power-down the laptop to bring it back.  I have loaded only the "bare essential" applications and the most bare essential background tasks. I suspect I'm getting COM port conflicts.

 

Is there a "best practices" for laptop configuration and/or diagnostic routine I can implement to increase system reliability during a session?

 

Thanks,

 

Nathan

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As for "Best Practices", it sounds like you've already pared down your running Application List (which is a good start)...

 

You haven't advised if there are any Error Messages associated with your Lockups, nor whether they always happen during the same portion of an Imaging Routine.

In fact, you haven't provided much any detail about the Hardware / Software / Camera combos (Dell E6500 has many configs) in play...

 

For Diagnostic Routines:

1) Look in Log Files (BYN and PHD2) for any Hints or repeatable Last Entries.

2) Look for any Repeatable Actions that can be used to reproduce the Lockup.

3) Pare down your Hardware to the Bare Minimum (turn off WiFi/Bluetooth; remove other USB Devices; Connect Cameras directly to Individual Laptop USB Ports; remove any other "Complications" such as ASCOM Focuser or Mount Connections).

4) Connect your Cameras to different USB Ports (if available).  Drop PHD2 from the combo for a Test of just BYN.

5) Consider testing with your AntiVirus Disabled (suggest you NOT Connect to 'Net while that test - no need to "Expose" your Laptop).

 

If you still have Lockup Issues, then report back (with as much detail as possible).

And, consider emailing Guylain a copy of a BYN Logfile for one such Lockup...

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In answer to the above inquiries, here is more information on my configuration:

 

·         Dell Latittude E6500

·         Windows 7 64 bit SP1

·         Intel Core2 Duo CPU P8700 @ 2.53 Ghz

·         4GB RAM

·         NVidia Quadro NVS 160M

 

No USB hub was used.  Three USB ports on the laptop initially were used:

  1. USB to Orion StarShoot AutoGuider 
  2. USB to Nikon D810
  3. USB to Serial Interface to Celestron Nexstar on Advanced VX mount

This 3rd USB was to control the scope via Stellarium (which worked fine - made selecting objects very intuitive), but thought it may be causing COM port conflict or CPU overload/memory resource conflict, but even without attaching/launching this 3rd item, the system still locks up intermittently. 

 

I have not been able to detect where Windows, PHD2 and BYN error log files may be located.

 

I am not dithering as I wanted to master the basics before invoking another sophisticated parameter. There is no anti-virus software at this time on the laptop and Wi-fi is turned off.  This is no ASCOM focuser.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Nathan

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BYN Log - Look for the "Quick Log History" to be displayed just below the Connect button.  This includes a Popup Log Window triggered by the "View Log History..." subtitle found in that display area.  And the "Open Log Folder" button at the bottom of that Popup will get you Explorer window of your recent Log Files.

 

PHD2 Log - The location for the files is controlled by the 'Log File Location' field in the 'Global' tab of the 'Advanced Settings' dialog. Creation of these log files is controlled by the two menu items under the 'Tools' menu, and these should be left "checked" as a normal practice.

 

Win7 Logs - You need to access the Control Panel Event Viewer, and go from there.

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