Solved: Ideas troubleshooting software that hangs

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Mulderator

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I use a multi-media DVD player--its here:

http://www.momitsu.com/dvd_880n.html

And it uses a server program (MMC) to communicate with my computer, which is here:

http://www.momitsu.com/dvd_880n_mmc.html

I've run the MMC software on three differenct comptuers all networked and running XP and on one computer it works fine and on the others, it hangs (hourglass running) although the Momistu player can access the computer fine (it loads, I just can't get to the menu choices, so it doesn't finish loading). I've tried selective startup and closing all programs running--same thing. Something is stopping the program from finishing loading. Any ideas on how to troubleshoot to find out what is stopping the programs from loading?

Again, since it works fine on one computer and not on two others--all running XP, it has to be something specific about the two computers that it won't load on.
 
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Mulder,

Have you tried to find out the hardware differences between the three computers, e.g. running Everest Free on all of them and whittling down to the minimum set of differences (services activated, processes, etc.).

-- Tom
 

Mulderator

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I don't think its hardware because one that works is a dell laptop and one that doesn't is also dell laptop. The other one the doesn't work is a desktop (generic). Like I said, I tried diagnostic startup and that didn't give me anything.
 
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Mulder said:
I don't think its hardware because one that works is a dell laptop and one that doesn't is also dell laptop. The other one the doesn't work is a desktop (generic). Like I said, I tried diagnostic startup and that didn't give me anything.
So, do you know if you have the same dvd hardware in all three - if not, that may be a factor - but, for the moment, let's ignore hardware, and we can visit that again if need be.

In my last message, I mentioned services, so here is what you should do to understand what is running on each computer using the one that works as the ideal setup for your dvd client and server programs. The objective here is to have a consistent services configuration on all three computers, so we can rule out that as contributing to the problem - which we are trying to isolate:

Start->Run->services.msc to get a window of all of the services that are either Automatic, Manual, or Disabled on the one computer where everything works.

Check it out on each of the other computers, and set the services to coincide with the one computer that works if there are any differences.

After making the changes, try rebooting and running the server program MMC on each computer that was having problems to see if it will finish loading. If it works, problem solved.

If not, then we might consider that there may be a scheduled program that fires up and is possibly locking down a common resource like a library or file or mutex or semaphore that the server, MMC uses, thus preventing it from making progress and hanging it.

Suggest you download and install Process Explorer from http;//www.sysinternals.com
With this little gem of a tool you can monitor processes and see the dlls, mutexes, semaphore files that they use. If the above hypothesis is in the ballpark, i.e. there is a resource deadlock situation, then we might be able to find a common resource being used that hinders the MMC from fully loading.
If we can identify the process that is preventing the MMC from making progress, we can also kill it with Process Explorer.

Hope you understand this - if not, ask a question about it,

-- Tom

P.S. Running the Everest Free is still a good idea to understand the hardware differences, like how much memory, and if there are different dvd hardware, etc.
 

Mulderator

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Thanks for you help lotus. I finally got it solved and it was more luck then anything, but your suggestions are great for other problems. I'll tell you what it was.

First, this little program defaults to selecting the "My Documents" folder for pictures, music, and video as your default folders (so on the menu, you choose to play music or view films or videos from there). Well, when you said to try the Diagnostic Startup, I had already done that on my desktop computer to no avail, but it made me realize I hadn't tried it on the Laptop, so I did it on that and the program loaded fine, which didn't make sense at first. But to understand this, you need to understand that I have my laptop's "My Documents" folder linked to the "My Documents" folder on my desktop computer because the laptop pretty much stays at our house and so all documents are automatically kept on the desktop computer where they are backed up (I don't even think the rest of the family realize that! ;) ). They just save stuff to "My Documents" on the laptop and don't realize its actually being saved over the network to the desktop computer .

Anyway, I started thinking what it if had something to do with the network link because without any of the services running on the laptop, it of course did not link up to the network. Although the other laptop (mine from work) ran fine linked up to the network, but what was different was the "My Documents" folder was not linked up on my laptop to the desktop computer like the other laptop. So, I then moved the "My Documents" link on the desktop computer to another folder and sure enough the program ran fine. I've got a lot of files and folders in My Documents, so I painstakenly went through moving files and folders until I eventually isolated the offending folder and when I looked in there I knew right away what it was. It was one of my kids folders and they had created a shortcut to the folder in that folder! So it seems like it created a "do-loop" or something for the program because that shortcut was to itself. As soon as I removed that shortcut, it worked fine.

For months that program didn't work (I was able to half-arse it by dropping shortcuts into the My Documents folder rather than change the directory defaults in the program, so I never worried about it too much, but a newer version just released let me do some cooler stuff, like add music to slideshows, etc., so I was determined to find out what the hell the problem was. I spent half of Sunday screwing with it! :mad:

But its always nice when you get something working because I had already reinstalled Windows a few months prior trying to solve the damn problem. But it boils down to poor programming on the part of the company that designed the software. The Momitsu Network DVD player is great, though--an awesome little machine that's more like a computer than a DVD player--really high end performance for $299.

;)
 
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Great news Mulder! (y)

Please mark this thread as Solved with the Thread Tools at the top of the page.

-- Tom
 
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