Home Server PP3 Connector (or .net 2.0 ?) causes hard OS freeze on XP Media Center 2005 sp3 RRS feed

  • Question

  • All software is German.

    This is not a request for Support, just hopefully a little something to save someone some time, since there is nothing I could find anywhere that talks about this problem.  No KBs etc, and unfortunately no interoperability guides that I could track down.

    I am rebuilding an old work laptop for home usage with licenses that I no longer needed since my production machines are either current or using betas.  I installed XP Media Center 2005 (deutsch) and updated all the way up to sp3 + latest Windows Update recommendations.  Machine is stable until I add the Windows Home Server connector, and it is seen and can see the Home Server.  Problem occurs after first reboot. Then the OS is completely frozen.  If you are quick, then you can just manage to get the Task Manager open, but anything that requires a menu is completely unavailable such as Control Panel.  Not even CTRL+ALT+DEL is recognized once the freeze is final.    The first time I thought it was a legacy Compaq driver or util, and just re-installed the laptop. 

    I reviewed the compatibility on .net 2.0 and it looks like it is not supported on anything more current than Windows XP SP2.  Not sure if this is the cause.  I have not loaded any MDAC updates, but this should error out if it is as simple as a DSN problem.  In any case, it is a particularly difficult problem to troubleshoot since there is nothing that looks out of the ordinary in the logs, and no error messages.

    The Windows Installer is not available under Safe Mode, and setting WHS services to manual does not stop the load.  I suppose I could further test and isolate by disabling the startup in the Registry, but the best option is to boot using F8 boot options, and revert back to a point before the Home Server Connector installation using the System Restore tool.  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304449/en-us

    Any suggestions would be welcome especially if you have seen similar, since I would like this machine to be backed up along with the others.  All Win7 machines are happy.
    Tuesday, March 9, 2010 5:43 PM

All replies

  • What model laptop is it?
    Wednesday, March 10, 2010 1:40 PM
  • Hi Al,

    It's a Compaq Evo N610c.  It's old, but it has a 2.0 GHz Pentium 4 m processor.

    I am guessing that the differences in code between standard XP and XP Media Center 2005 is what is doing it, but a freeze this hard is still surprising.  The OS code modifications were stopped after this release since naturally it caused stability issues.

    Laptop is running like a champ with Office 2010 beta, all available updates, and full version Kaspersky 2010 AV.  My girlfriend is very happy with it so far, but I am not.  I really want this machine backed up, but now that it is "production"  I have limited ability to mess around with it.

    If I were to bet where the issue is occuring, it is in the toolbar section of code as it is loading at startup since it seems like the shell is getting completely frozen.  I have tried killing explorer.exe from Task Manager but it is not possible.  The WHS monitor initially shows a status of green, then greys out, and somewhere in there or after that the problem occurs.

    Any suggestions welcome.  If you have experience with using later versions of .net or know that a version > of MDAC is required, that would be good to know.
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 7:02 AM
  • Hi,

    How about trying the connector software without Kaspersky 2010.  I don't use this AV but maybe someone who does can say it there are any issues between it and the connector software.


    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 10:19 AM
  • It's going to be something unique about that particular machine; I have an XP Media Center 2005 machine which has the connector installed and backs up just fine.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 11:21 AM
  • Hi Al,
    AV could cause a lock like that.  Anyone using German XP MC 2005 + German Kaspersky 2010?  I am/have been using Kaspersky 2010 (German) (5 machine license) on various versions of Windows 7 (RCs, German and English, and release bits,) and it has not pounced.  Different OS though... 

    Hi Ken,
    It is a surprise for me too.  One difference is that it is German XP Media Center 2005.  If for some reason the paths are hardcoded in the WHS connector as opposed to using %system% (for example) then it could be making a library call and could hang after the error is suppressed.  International path issues would not be an issue in Vista or Windows 7 (pretty sure what we see is just a setting.) 

    As far as I know there is no way to get the connector to go verbose, and a suppressed message with a hidden OK/CANCEL prompt might be a possibility.  Only someone with debug access would be able to tell for sure or if I could add a flag to the startup. 

    Likely it is as you are stating some subtle difference or a missing library of some sort that is expected.  Cannot map the dependencies for troubleshooting though since I have like 5 seconds before the machine falls on its face.
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 2:30 PM
  • Yeah. Those are the hardest sorts of problems to troubleshoot, unfortunately. I wasn't saying there's anything wrong with your build, per se, just that there's a difference between your build and mine that's related to your problem. It could be language (though I doubt it, as there are plenty of German versions in use, and some are doubtless being used with XP MCE 2005), or it could be something odd about the drivers on that laptop. The latter is more where I'd be looking...

    Also, can you submit a bug on Connect?

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 2:39 PM
  • Thanks Ken and Al!
    I have wandered over to the Connect website, and registered.  Laptop in question is in use right now, so I will be downloading the WHS toolkit later and submitting.

    @Ken - the drivers are the latest (last) ones written. :(

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 8:55 PM