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  1.    #1  
    A warning for anyone thinking of going out to buy a new Hyperthread Intel box. Dont expect any Palm OS device including a Treo to synch with it via USB. I got the bluescreen of death in XP Pro. It seems that Intels software for hyperthreading is not as seamless as they might claim and it does not always play well with device drivers - palmusbd.sys is one of them.

    It's not just me either - I went back to Dell and verified the problem on another similar box.

    It could take some time for PalmSource/Handspring to come up with a fix. Meantime I am synching via IR and being patient. If anyone has a suggestion for a workaround besides the obvious one of nagging Handspring tech support for an issue affecting a relatively rare Pentium grouping.

    http://www.intel.com/technology/hyperthread/
    and
    http://www.dell.com/us/en/esg/topics...-henriksen.htm
    and
    http://www.ap.dell.com/ap/au/en/bsd/...3q02-ht101.htm
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by Poryphyron
    Dont expect any Palm OS device including a Treo to synch with it via USB. I got the bluescreen of death in XP Pro. It seems that Intels software for hyperthreading is not as seamless as they might claim and it does not always play well with device drivers - palmusbd.sys is one of them.
    I don't have hyperthreading and only have Win2K SP3, but I've had to give up on synching via USB. I get bluescreens about every 5th sync, or so. Sooooo, I just take advantage of unlimited Internet access and do a network sync.

    It makes no sense to me why PalmUSB.sys works at a level that can crash a computer. There is nothing else that crashes my PC.
  3. vebix's Avatar
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    #3  
    hmm, I'm using win2k sp3 as well, and I've never had a hotsync problem, no matter how many times I do it. Something else must be throwing off your system. Are you using the latest/greatest hotsync manager and palm desktop?
  4. #4  
    Originally posted by mportune
    hmm, I'm using win2k sp3 as well, and I've never had a hotsync problem, no matter how many times I do it. Something else must be throwing off your system. Are you using the latest/greatest hotsync manager and palm desktop?
    Yes to both.

    This may be "something else", but if HotSyncing is the only thing that causes blue screens then it is hard to point the finger elsewhere. Regardless, I still don't know why a USB peripheral runs at a level that can crash the OS. I would appreciate any explanations for such behavior.
  5. vebix's Avatar
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    #5  
    >Regardless, I still don't know why a USB peripheral runs at a level that can crash the OS

    Well I definately agree with you there. I wish I could offer more info. I'm also curious about the original poster's question, as I'm on the verge of springing for a HT P4. But I really don't want to lose my hotsync capability.
  6. burrzoo's Avatar
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    #6  
    Here, I have the solution to your hot sync issues and you'll never get the dreaded B.S.O.D. again...Ready...
    BUY A MAC! Go ahead and switch, you'll like it, I did and like it a ton. I still have a Windows PC but almost always work on the PowerBook. Truly a wonderful piece of equipment.
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by Burrzoo
    Here, I have the solution to your hot sync issues and you'll never get the dreaded B.S.O.D. again...Ready...
    BUY A MAC!
    I would love one of the new 17" PowerBooks. Could you please lend me $4,000 so I could buy one?
  8. burrzoo's Avatar
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    #8  
    Sure...I'll lend you the Moola. Don't you want some more so you can buy all of the accessories as well?

    Here's my bank account info:

    0523-18oo-6et-real
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by Burrzoo
    Sure...I'll lend you the Moola. Don't you want some more so you can buy all of the accessories as well?
    I definitely think Macs are superior. However, Mac vs. PC trolling is as old as the hills. Never has a Mac zealot offered to help finance a tenative Mac convert. I guess there are limitations to everyone's beliefs. ; )

    I'd be happy with just the laptop itself. : )

    Cheers
  10. burrzoo's Avatar
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    #10  
    Sorry "Lucky",

    Can't help you finance a Windows PC (or even a TREO) either. Maybe an Apple Loan will suffice! There's not enough toys in our lives, is there?

    Take care and don't forget to smile and laugh today!

    Burr
  11. #11  
    Let me confirm for everyone: Two different machines, two different OS (Win2k and XP) and I get BSODs every 2-3 syncs... been going o for two years - any USB palm based device that syncs to my machine.

    Would love to get a fix... are any of you using Companionlink or any other unusual Ppalm conduits?

    L
  12. #12  
    Alas most any USB device under Windows (any version of Windows - 9x, ME, NT, 2K, XP, doesn't matter) needs a driver that runs in ring 0 (kernel mode). The device enumeration and power management support requires a kernel mode driver. That's all there is to it. This is great for people like me -- I write drivers for my living. : ) But failures in ring 0 will cause OS crashes.

    Financial considerations aside, this to me is a great problem with the whole concept of USB, at least as implemented under Windows. With a serial port device, all you need to talk to it is a user mode app; they all use the same serial drivers. The app might die unexpectedly but under the NT family at least (NT/2K/XP) there's no way it can crash the OS. It takes buggy code in kernel mode to do that.

    It would be great if MS would come up with a "simple USB device" spec for simple widgets like sync cradles. All such devices could be supported by a single k-mode driver, and any device-specific enumeration or power management stuff could be done with the aid of a few simple tables. But that just isn't the direction USB has headed.
  13. #13  
    That said, I may have a fix to suggest:

    I had this same problem with my Visor Prism's cradle but the "USB problem" I was seeing was not confined to that device. See, I tried switching to the Prism's serial cradle, and using one of those USB to serial converters. Those converters like all USB devices are supposed to be hot-pluggable. Alas, hot-unplugging it crashed the OS!

    Hmmm... I can't have such buggy stuff in my machine; so it was back to legacy serial ports for my hotsyncing.

    A few weeks later though I had occasion to add a PCI USB 2.0 controller to the main box. Specifically I used an Adaptec DuoConnect, which most conveniently also has a firewire controller on the same card.

    Of course this USB host controller uses a different bus driver than the USB 1.1 controller on the motherboard. Just on a whim, I connected the Visor USB cradle to the USB 2.0 controller. Naturally it only runs at 1.1 speeds, but ... success! Hotsyncs work fine now. The USB to serial converter works fine too.

    I connected my entire USB 1.1 string to the USB 2.0 controller. (No, this will not slow down transfers to USB 2.0 devices, not that I have any yet.) Lots of other strange USB problems went away. Most notably my USB mouse stopped dropping off and on the bus.

    So, a possible fix: Buy a USB 2.0 controller and plug it into a spare PCI slot or, for laptops, a spare CardBus slot. I believe that they all use the same driver and that this driver shipped with Windows XP SP1. For earlier OS versions, check the box or the manufacturer's web site and make sure they have support for your OS.

    A bit more background: There are two basically different USB 1.1 controller designs, one called the Universal Host Controller Interface and the other the Open Host Controller Interface. These are names you will see for the controller device in Windows Device Manager. The problems folks are seeing here might be associated with one and not the other.

    The USB 2.0 controller, fwiw, shows up as an "Enhanced Host Controller" and adds a couple of "Open Host Controllers" to the system besides (this is for back-compatibility with 1.1 devices).
  14.    #14  
    Thanks for the tips Kmode. I suspect that my particular problem is deeper than USB but your tips seem very applicable to the usual kind of USB 'shenanigans' that make people pull their hair out.

    USB is like certain political initiatives at the present time - it is sold in the marketing spiel as a universal and done deal but is really ignoring a lot of hidden variability and unknowns. USB devices have multiple modes based on their power usage - they are not all standard and don't just work OK regardless of how you chain them together. PDAs and other synching devices like cameras that are power-saving are very different than mice or scanners that always stay connected.

    I have often seen one of a set of USB ports stop working for no reason. My solution was simply to plug my device into the other port. A few days later the port works again. It seems to make no difference what the device is. The other thing I have found is that cheap USB multi-ports are cheap for a reason - they dont work very well with all devices. Buy one with a power supply if you want reliability - it's a pain having a load of wall rats but beats having one of your devices stop working or fail to work at all.
  15. #15  
    > I suspect that my particular problem is deeper than USB

    Don't be so sure. I'm running a dual processor rig here. (Not HT, real dual processing. ) And lots of driver bugs are going to be a lot more eager to jump out and bite the OS on any sort of multiprocessor system (including HT) than on a uni.

    You can get PCI USB 2.0 adapters for dirt cheap these days - last week outpost.com was selling one for $5 after rebate. It's definitely something to try, assuming you have a slot open.
  16. #16  
    I've had the same problem almost from day one between my Treo 300 and my Dual-Xeon Dell Precision Workstation. I get BSoD with tremendous regularity when I try to sync. I think my Treo came with a USB->Serial adapter. I'll have to give it a try.
  17.    #17  
    I presume Microsoft got fed up with support calls from all quarters about BSOD and device driver problems etc. I really like the website they setup to help you decide if your setup is broadly supported under your Windows version.

    http://www.microsoft.com/hwdq/hcl/default.asp (HCL = Hardware compatibility Labs). They call this page Hardware Driver Quality Home now.

    This is the most useful entry point: http://www.microsoft.com/hwdq/hcl/search.asp

    Handspring support provide a pretty good description of what to check for your USB setup using this site:
    http://support.handspring.com/esuppo...solutionId=609

    Basically, you look on your PC to see what USB Host Controller you have and then cross check that your version of windows works with it and its current version. You may be able to solve some USB problems by updating the driver or just by abandoning the controller altogether by getting a new USB 1.1 or 2.0 card with a more modern controller.

    e.g. I have W2K. In my device manager, I clicked on USB to see the hub and controller information. I have an Intel 82371AB/EB PCI to USB Host Controller. MS HCL mark this as compatible with W2k, Me and XP. They don't say anything about 98 or older OS.

    The Intel Host Controller 82801BA/BAM is listed however as only being compatible with Windows 2000. Presumably MS will not support you if you try this controller with XP and by inference, I dont think anyone else would either.

    USB 'not so universal' serial bus :-|
    Last edited by Poryphyron; 04/11/2003 at 05:23 PM.
  18. #18  
    I took Kmode's advice and added a cheapo ($20) PCI USB2.0 controller to my computer. I've now sync'ed my Treo 300 5 times without a Blue Screen crash! Syncing through the on-board Intel USB controller, there's no way I could have done that. The box would have crashed at least twice.

    Just for everyone's info, my computer is a Dual-Xeon Dell Precision 530 running XP Pro.

    Thank you Kmode!!!
  19. #19  
    I enabled HT on my Dell Xeon Workstation a few weeks ago and all was fine. Then like last week I couldn't sync, almost every time I would get BSOD. I actually have autosync enabled, so I would wake up to find a BSOD every morning.

    I finally got fed up with it and searched the net, not even thinking it would be the HT. I thought it might have been a new Firewire drive I added. Nope. I found some threads on the net mentioning Dual CPU's.

    For anyone having this problem, here is a summary of the solutions I found, and what I actually did.

    1) This was supposedly fixed in PalmUSBd.sys Version 1.04, handspring uses 1.03. I copied the 1.04 from my wifes Palm m505 software and rebooted. Be sure to replace all instances of the driver. (this didn't work for me!)

    2) Go to task manager and set processor affinity to only one process for hotsync.exe. IF it was a multiproc issue, this should fix it, at least temporarily. (This didn't work either)

    3) Disable HT. This is what I did, wasn't get much of a boost in performance anyway... Syncs are flawless once again, and no more blue screens.
  20. #20  
    Just out of curiosity, how does one go about enabling or disabling hyperthreading?
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