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Debugging in Win2000Pro

I'm experiencing debugging both before a clean reinstall of Windows and after if I try to stop some programs that won't stop running. First an error pops into Task Manager followed by a "debug" notice. The computer sits and sits frozen. I can recreate this over and over stacked up all over. Only way out is just to reboot. Very inconsistent. Mostly has to do with a CD burner, but sometimes any program can freeze, I try to exit, and there she goes.

What is "debug" and how can I do anything to it? Seems I'm ask to do something, but what? I just get to thinking I know a little bit about this OS when something new pops up that I know nothing about! Debugging was a problem before reinstall of Windows and is a problem after (with the burner only as best I can recall and only here and there with that).

Wish I knew how to run diagnostics on this sucker! And without paying anything for it. I've put out too much on maintenance already!

I have very little on the hard drive right now. This would be a good time to try and figure this out. On a 24+ GB hard drive I have over 21 GB free. I can start all over at this point and not have my feelings hurt, but I must know what to fix (and how to make three partitions which was NOT offered the other day during the reinstall when I thought it would and had been told it would "ask" this of me....NOT). I may have to begin again with new question on clean install of Windows as my last venture three days ago has not "healed" all problems. I think I'm getting sick of this now. ;)

Thanks.

Lindsay
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Lindsay37
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Lindsay37
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Julian HansenCommented:
Lindsay,

The debug message is displayed when an application does something illegal - the OS stops the app from running and throws a message to the effect that the app performed an illegal instruction. You have the option to terminate or debug the application. Usually you would select debug - for hard core systems guys they would select debug and then step into the machine code to see where the application crashed. For ordinary mortals (referring to myself here) this is not really an attractive idea.

The thing is to find out what is causing the instability. Can you open task manager and make a list of all the apps there. Can you also give details of the apps that won't stop running.

Based on your other posts there are a lot of fingers pointing at that CD burner - any chance of taking it out or disconnecting and seeing what happens?

After you rebuilt the machine did you install any other drivers or software on the PC - if so could you provide details.

Partitions - I did respond to this in your other post (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win2000/Q_21396860.html#13892865). I described the process for removing and creating the partitions there (refer step 4). If you need more info on this post back to the other thread and I will pick up there.


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Lindsay37Author Commented:
Julian, thanks. I'll work on this tomorrow when I revive. It's rarely doing this, and it has to do with me getting exasperated and hitting Task Manager sometimes too quickly to close out a slow program. Most is my fault. Some is the burner which I will get worked out too.

Yes, I'll look at the "manage" stuff in My Computer and check stuff. I was looking in there a while ago.

Back later!

Ciao
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Lindsay37Author Commented:
Julian, MANY things running as always, and this system is so new and fresh. Sheesh. Tried to stop just a few. No dice. I've seen all of these or most before. I could run Hijack.   ??? Think I will anyway for my own edification.

When CD burner is offline or just not being used I "think" I don't have problems. AND it happens with disks that went bad. I have a lot of trouble with some RW disks (they told me to use them for ease of use ("you can format and reuse" HA!!! What a joke! NOT) and that it's a CD-RW burner but supposed to burn CD-R too). Unless I remove every single file separately after removing "read only"! If I try to untick "read only" in a bunch I lose the disk, and the burner goes nuts. The disc is not salvagable when I do that. Think how many files can be on one CD! I did do a one-by-one untick of "read only" the other day, and I got everything off, and all was well. You can't delete them like on the main drive. If I try to delete something on C: it just asks if I REALLY want to move or delete a "read only" file. I tell it I do, and it does what I want. Not so when burned to the burner. So what's the point of RWs if it takes a hour or two or more to delete each file burned to it? (I know. This doesn't belong here, but it irks the heck out of me). Sorry bout that.

If you want, absolutely want, me to write down all running systems I will later. I can do a screen shot in two snaps and save to a jpg or bmp, but I don't know how to show it to you.

Lindsay
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Julian HansenCommented:
Hi Lindsay,

You can upload the images to a website and post the link or you can mail the the images to me - I will post them on a website so that other readers of the forum can see them (see my profile for email details).

Regarding CDRW - I don't use these much but the way I understand it is that the CD filesystem is significantly different from the Hard Drive file systems. This may have changed but my understanding was that RW disks were reusuable but you needed to clean them first using a CD format/erase equivalent rather than removing the files by highlighting and deleting. There should be options in your CD Burning software to do this. As I said I don't use these disks - I prefer WORM CD/DVD's so my experience is limited. If you get really stuck you might want to post another question on this topic and hopefully pick up someone a little more knowlegeable on the subject.


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Lindsay37Author Commented:
Computer running really nicely. I picked up THE most interesting "factoid" or rather an entire method of closing up ports that we get hit in this past week. Win2000 is a snap to do. The instructions are for the other versions of Windows such as XP. It's the ShieldsUp site (where you used to be able to have them scan your ports, probe them and so forth to see how safe you were running ZA firewall). Anyway, these instructions are fantastic and have to do with the TCP/IP or whatever area. You unbind it all, untick stuff and voila! you are free, and no one can sneak in those ports. MS could have told us, but the guy running that site has it all. MANY pages. Let me know if anyone would like to have links. I've never seen this addressed before so I'm in awe of it all, and I'm not getting hit except via cookies which are caught religiously.

If you want those jpegs of what's running in Task Manager, let me know where to send as I don't have a website (well, I have one, but it's not set up).

The CD burner is behaving itself with high quality CD-Rs. I even got the "gold" archieval e-film company's 300 year keepers! I have not put my photos to one, but I did save a lot of stuff to a Verbatim CD-R without a hitch earlier today. I think the CDs I was using were just not up to snuff. However, it's been temperamental. If it stops again, I'll just contact Iomega. One techie told me that he can sometimes get a stack of good CD-Rs and use several, say ten, and suddenly no dice. So one good one in a stack does not guarantee an entire stack of goodies. The gold CD-Rs should be good to go as they are a bit spendy but the only way to truly keep photos in mint condition!

I still have bugs that happen rarely now. Has to do with closing out O.E. (once or twice past week) and I get an error message. A bad CD from before that burned will act up, and that will blow the computer's mind and I have to reboot. That's where the debugging error messages pop up, and I still know very little about debugging. I can not get the machine to come back. It just freezes "forever" with a debug. I just finally reboot.

I got ONE error message about something when I did a restart yesterday. Can't see them long enough to read. Lots of numbers, Xs and 0s as I recall. But it's rare. I think I get impatient when I want something to just stop, and I hit ctrl-alt-del, and we are off to the "freezing" game! I should just walk away even if a process is taking forever.

I note that right clicking on C:\ or my other CD-drives will set it to sitting and literally spinning (barbershop thang in "old fashioned" theme) on and on until finally it will open up. I don't know what that's about. Not a huge problem but CAN be annoying. Would love to know why any right clicks to see or delete or search would not get me there in seconds to minutes. Any thoughts?

Thanks.

Lindsay
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Julian HansenCommented:
Are there CD's in your drive when you do this. One of the "features" with widnows is that any operation relating to the filesystem triggers windows to go and check all its filesystems (including CD-ROMs) whether you are using them or not and if you have CD's in your drive you have to wait for those to spin up.

Not sure if this is the problem.

Debbuging - don't worry about this - when given the option always select the option NOT to debug.

Regarding the other error messages (O.E) etc - these seem to indicate that there is still a problem in your system somewhere. In your other thread I asked if during the reinstall of the box you selected Reinstall or new install - the former would potentially leave you with the same problems as before.

O.E - I don't like it - I prefer Outlook.
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Lindsay37Author Commented:
Julian, Yes, there is always a CD-R, RW in the drive. That's what gets stuck and freezes entire system (just on one or two though, but when a RW or two did it I scratched my head).

Debug goes with or without me. I have no choice.

Yo! I thought I did a clean install. Now that I see your words, something is nagging that I had a choice of "repair" or "reinstall." I think my CD is sick. It never offered up the partition thang either.

So.....what now. Start all over? I've spent all this time putting programs back on. It's barely bothering me, but what could I run to see what's causing it to spin when I right click on C:\ or close O.E. or restart (NOT consistent). Happens maybe 5% of time. But thing about spinning when checking a drive is VERY slow. Didn't used to be that way.

I tried Outlook and loved the interface. HATED the slowness of Word coming up every time I wanted to check my mail. What's with THAT? It's a great program otherwise. But if I have to wait a full minute maybe ten or more times per day I'm outta there. Guess I could just leave it running (but that's piggy on the system). ;)

Hey, the longer we talk the more questions I have. Did this make enough sense that you can take my "questions" one by one and address them perhaps? I'd so appreciate it. I know you can. I think I'm apologizing for going all over the map on this! Sorry!!!!!!!!

Lindsay
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Lindsay37Author Commented:
Just noting that Julian will be continuing on from a "joint" question some time early next week. He's going to go through how to replace a CD and how to really truly do a CLEAN install of Win2000 as it seems I have leftover problems...and after ALL this bloody work. NUTZ!

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Julian HansenCommented:
following on from thread (http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win2000/Q_21396860.html#14043881)

Regarding media kits - not sure where you would find these - here we get them from various software suppliers. Although it is possible I don't think the problems you are experiencing are from the CD.

Have you applied the latest service packs (SP4) as well as updated the machine from Windows Update?

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Lindsay37Author Commented:
Julian, I applied SP4 last week. I just decided to see everything that might apply and searched for service packs. I had 2 on here then I went after 3. I found 4 last week. I'm on auto update, and I've had to chase for two. Weird. I show Windows 5 SP4 and I.E. 6. Am I finally up to date?

You're probably very right about the CD, and I'll never pay any $20 for some replacement. I imagine it's more like $10 and directly from Microsoft with me proving my serial number IF I were to need it. I've kept it in a container very clean and safe so it should be okay. I just think I don't know what to look for in reinstalling is the thing. So when you do get back with each point I'll greatly appreciate it.

There is no need for me to reinstall just now as things are great. AND with that zippidity doodah "fix" with the TCP modem unbinding and disconnecting via Networks I have had no Trojans, viruses or spyware come through the ports. I do get junk via cookies. Gad, they are loaded, but Spybot runs daily and I clear them. I also go in and delete many times whenever I think about it. If I would always delete cookies before programs run I'd rarely see anything wrong. No viri so far. I love that Shields Up site with the explanations for closing down the ports. They are NOT needed, obviously. I'm here, and I get my e-mail. I travel the Internet. So why doesn't MS just tell people how to better configure the Networking ports? Duh!!! I'm just a single computer, but it's still possible for a network of computers to do it. It's really easy on 2000. Bit more steps involved for XP et al. I was blown away by finding that great idea. The site is http://www.grc.com/su-fixit.htm for the fixes. It just used to be a place to have ports probed and checked. Zone Alarm was "born" there. Now it's this really nice fellow who seems to LOVE writing about the safety for computers!

Thanks again.

Lindsay
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Lindsay37Author Commented:
I guess this is going unanswered. I'll be off on June 14 so catch it someone, please. I have another question I'll post. Very important.


Thanks
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Julian HansenCommented:
Hi Lindsay,

My appologies for not getting back to you.

I compiled the list for installation but I cannot find where I put them (embaresed). I am pretty convinced though that when you did your reinstall you selected the option to install over the existing version rather than the option to start fresh.

If the installation program finds a previous installation of Windows on your hard drive it will give you the choice of either installing a fresh copy of windows or reinstalling the existing version. If you choose the latter you are not given a choice to partition and format the drive.

If you do decide to rebuild post back and I will make sure I get you a comprehensive set of instructions.

Regarding how up to date you are with the current version - the only way to tell would be to go to windows update and run a check.


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Lindsay37Author Commented:
I remember distinctly checking NEW install with full format. It took forever to download updates since then. ;) I think I just missed the thing about partitions . I remember there was something, and I had one to three choices. I believe I chose wrongly.

I'm up to date when I run another update that came in just now. I'm into ver 5 with SP 4. I.E. is ver 6.

I have a new question here that I think we can sneak in: I have received two messages in a row just now stating "vsmon.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows...." I then restart vsmon. What's that all about? I was using O.E. both times and didn't have to restart O.E.

I have another question going about Windows shutting down just as it reboots and loads off and on. It's around here somewhere. Someone thinks I have a bad motherboard. I think you can find it if you are curious. I have to do everything myself. No way I can afford a consultant. Usually they charge too much for poor work anyway. I just have to learn how to fix more things myself. Hey, I soldered in a new fan on one computer. I'd never soldered, but I watched my dad dozens of times so I just used the memories and voila! Done deal! New fan. ;)

Oh, and remember, my computer is six years old. Dell Dimension XPS. It's old but wonderful. So far no hardware problems. I had a Trojan which blew it apart Windows-wise. Sought helps from technicians locally. Never again! Even if I could afford it I'd never go there again. Few local technicians are worth their salt. I felt "scammed."

Did you see that I have unbound the TCP/IP ports and now do not get viruses? I love it! Only cookies seem to be nasty. ;)

Thanks, Julian!

Lindsay
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Lindsay37Author Commented:
Not sure where we are on this yet. ;) But I may have resolved most problems with CD-burner. I needed the new patch. I had to close firewall, turn off AV software. I tested last night and got great results. I'm almost ready to put in a gold e-film archival disk and see what happens. they are a bit spendy so I have been using Verbatims to test system.

In my other question somewhere I am asking why my system often shuts down the instant it comes up! Very maddening. Someone suggested my motherboard may be in trouble and to look for "bubbles" or whatever on it. Huh? I get inside there, but "bubbles" (I'm disremembering the exact word) on a part of motherboard? That one lost me.

IF my motherboard is dying this is VERY serious for me right now. Means I have to consider everything peripheral and that EVERYTHING works, that the "price is right" and all that stuff. I think I'll see if I can find a place to get advice on buying new computer as I have to get THE best bargain and yet a great computer at the same time. I am starting a client's dissertation so this is all very vital now! URGENT is the word.

All is well if I am here to catch the reboot up like moving mouse or whatever. Usually if I'm away I hear the "goodbye" song and dread it. The idea is to just stay UP and going and no installs (some upgrades require restarts) at least for a time.

I'll go see if I can find where I can discuss new computer ideas. Guess this means I'll be around another month as my month sub is up tomorrow. But it's worth it to be sure I'm doing the right things.

Thanks.

Lindsay
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Julian HansenCommented:
Hi Lindsay,

It does sound like a hardware issue (I think I did raise this as a possibility early in one of these threads) When machines just shut down for no reason (especially after you have done a system refresh) then chances are something is the problem. I had a similar problem with a client's laptop - eventually figured it was the motherboard (after trying everything else) changed that and all is well.

If it is hardware fixing is not an option really you need to replace.
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Lindsay37Author Commented:
Julian! Thanks for your helps. No more debugging issues for some time. Several updates have come in (Windows, O.E. and I.E.), and maybe they helped. That problem of shutting down just as Win came up MAY have been fixed by simply blowing out the dust which was that Windows would just get up and ready to go and then shut down. People on Hardware thought my capacitors were blown. Not! :) I have one capacitor. (?) Other than the dust my old Dell (Feb. 1999 is stamped on a belt; purchased May) looks SO clean and neat in there after I blew out the dust bunnies. I was relieved as I have dust everywhere. I'd been less faithful on this score of late. I've been hit with medical crap for a while (most recently I sprained and chip fractured my ankle resulting in a walking AirCast...waaaay cool thing). I'm healing quickly, but I've got a few weeks more of therapy then rehab. I'm getting good answers in hardware and here.

I've always taken great care with any equipment and it truly pays off (must be a chip off the old block...my dad! He's gone at age 95, but I still honor him today as one of the greats! Too bad we can't just chat, but I can't and won't. He taught me about things mechanical and electrical as he worked in our backyard all my growing up years). He taught me to respect tools and equipment to the hilt. "A place for everything, and everything in its place." We NEVER closed down the shop or left the yard (small farm) until EVERY single thing was put away and clean, shop floor "scrubbed," things hung neatly in rows. Then there was the barn with its "stuff" for feeding animals, moving hay, and boy, if anything was left in the yard from that, woe be to me! ;) I think my dad would have gotten a kick out of computers had they come around (as in PCs) by the time he was 50, but he was into AD by the time I bought my first one in 1986 ("portable" Epson). I never hauled it over for him to see. I knew it would only confuse him even though he remained fairly clear to within two or three years at the end which was amazing to me!

Got the CD Burner working okay (at least for now). I have to remember to engage Internet lock, turn off ALL AV software then proceed! I was turning off AV stuff, holding my breath (although with the Network "unbound" NO viruses, NOT ONE! No spyware either) and trying. I bought top of the line CD-Rs (e-film Gold Archievals plus some Verbatims), upgraded program, and it's working as it should (I can now even set the speed to slow because I use USB 1.0 still...I could not get that thing to hold still before long enough to check it until this past week). With everything upgraded and following ALL the rules I got two CDs burned (maybe three).

Once I sort the photos as to subject I'll burn them again. I got them but very disorganized when I thought I would reformat (which I did). They take up over 4 GBs of space and will only grow once I get back out and "shoot." I have some work to do for city's website as a volunteer. Dang! "Broken" ankles don't do well out there. I have to be patient. ;)

So for now I believe this question can be closed. I should also back up the Registry right now because all's well with the computer in this moment in time. ;)

Thanks. I'm now going to try to solve a problem with a "ghost" piece of hardware we have never resolved here since last year. Very weird. I also HAVE to begin the work on a dissertation for someone...lost two weeks due to ankle! Lousy timing.

Lindsay
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Julian HansenCommented:
You are most welcome. I am glad you are up and running again.
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Lindsay37Author Commented:
Well, let's say the computer is trying to be up and running. ;) I'm not quite there. Wish I were! Ever bust your ankle/foot just as summer comes in? Oy!!!

Thank YOU for your helps. Watch for "future installments" from moi at least through July 14 as I'm still not sure if this thing needs replacing. I honestly cannot put out the money now. I know Dell offers a monthly pay plan OR I can charge it and get 5% back on my MC. But that all is still money out that I am uneasy about because I'm on disability. Ouch! I'm also getting old(er). I am the official Summer Is Here gal! Born today, on Father's Day that year, and the day the Russians landed in a small air field in Vancouver, WA! Let's see if you can figure that one out. ;)

Lindsay
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Julian HansenCommented:
Can't help you with the upgrade I'm afraid - wrong continent ;)

Hmm - probably long before my time but given you said something about your father being 95 and the info above I would guess you are probably referring to the incident in June 1937 when some Russians made the first flight from Russia to North America over the North Pole ...
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Lindsay37Author Commented:
You're good. Most people have no clue! You get a gold star! Oldie but goody here. ;)

No one has to answer this. It's a closed questions. I'm just letting off a little steam!

Well, phooey! I had hoped you could help with new computer. I tried Dell an hour ago. Same ole problems: on hold, sales guy did NOT inspire me and during our long chat somehow he managed to cut us off so that was all lost. No one called back. Now why am I surprised. We did at least get into the Dimension 4700 series, but the guy still was not on MY page. Oy!

I merely needed info on what the new "lingo" is with the new computers. Can't tell what to buy if I can't make sense of something. And I surely have a knack for getting sales, support people who don't understand much of anything let alone what I'm talking about. Do they really want to make sales? Makes me wonder. Entered feedback, but I doubt it will even be read. They never return answers to me (over these past six years). I'm so underwhelmed with Dell I could go to sleep were I not so frustrated with them.

I think you HAVE to know exactly what you want then place an order. Then you forget about support or anything related. Great machines; lousy support. Time has not changed them one iota!

Lindsay
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