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BSOD (IRQ_NOT_LESS_THAN...) when trying to install a modem in vmware

Posted on 2009-06-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I did this about 6 months ago using the digi anywhere usb and best data 56k modem. and it worked fine.  Following the same procedure as before, this time when installing the driver for the modem, it blue screens with the IRQ_NOT_LESS...

The only difference this time is that I'm using a vm that was physical (converted from physical to virtual).  Would that have anything to do with it?  Perhaps a device that was left over in device manager when the machine was physical that is causing a conflict?
Question by:vianceadmin
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Expert Comment

ID: 24746896
(I hope you have a backup. Before tinkering..)

Couple things I'd like to know:
 Before installing / attaching the virtual HW to the virtual machine, did you install the driver to the OS?
   (Some instructions require this. and may not be good for the vm.)

 Have you tried to install a generic modem driver, then attach the port to the virtual machine?

The BSOD is definitly a driver issue - and USB drivers have always been ... touchy.


Author Comment

ID: 24748226
No, the way I did it in the past with the other server was to connect the USB over IP device on the network, install the drivers for the USB device on the server (so the server would see it), connect to it and once connected to the USB over IP hub, the modem that was connected to the hub showed up in device manager and I then installed the driver for it.  

I have read this is the only way to get a vm to see a modem (since ESX doesn't support PCI modems).  I did come across an article about removing un-needed hardware when you virtualize a physical machine.  I ran the command SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1 and then in device manager change the view to show hidden devices and I did see quite a few devices (that were present when the machine was physical but are no longer needed).  I removed the old PCI modems that were still in device manager but I still see these (attached).  Could one of these old devices be causing a problem?  Should I uninstall each of them?


Author Comment

ID: 24748831
Re-ran the command SET DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES=1 and devmgmt.msc in the command prompt and removed all old modems/network connections again (there were a few leftover).  Rebooted and same blue screen.  Obviously, it's a conflict with a "phantom" device that is no longer on the server but it still remembers the device from it's "physical" days....How do I find out what "phantom device" is causing the issue?

Accepted Solution

schriste earned 2000 total points
ID: 24753540
So, We are looking at a 'legacy' driver / hardware situation.

Firstly, and I should have asked this before,  there is a limited list of 'valid' hardware for VMWare - does this modem meet the Hardware Compatability List?


Just a thought, and it is a doozy, you may want to sysprep - clean out all the hardware and related drivers and let it do a 'from scratch' rebuild of the HW.  I honestly don't know if Sysprep works for VMWare.  We use Acronis for copying full server installs, which when using the 'Universal Restore' option, is just like booting from a sysprep-ed system. We have sucessfully booted to Virtual Machine a few times, some HW didn't detect until we dropped in the VMWare tools though.


Author Comment

ID: 24766271
Couldn't figure this out.  Seems like if I try to install the modem on a machine that was physical that has been virtualized using the vmware converter, the vm will blue screen.  Tested it on a machine that was virtualized from scratch (not converted) and modem installs fine.  Going to leave it as is on that server...

Thanks for your help though...

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