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Fatal Exception during show


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I did a test run of the show on Wednesday night and then a full show last night (with voiceovers inserted). Both nights I had a problem about 3 hours into the show. Everything started fine and ran fine until about 3 hours into the show when everything stopped, music & lights. The computer screen showed a fatal error. I rebooted the computer and everything would run fine, with the show closing automatically at 10:00 as scheduled. I don't even know where to start looking or what information to provide to you for help troubleshooting. I am running off my laptop which is the same computer that I used for sequencing. I turned off the standby and hibernation functions as well as the shutdown hard drive function, which are the only changes I made in the laptop configuration. The laptop runs XP. Do you think this is a computer problem or a software problem with LOR? Any suggestions about where I should start troubleshooting?

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Are you using a USB to Serial adaptor? I have one for my laptop (not from LOR, and it doesn't run my shows.) However, when I do use it for tested, I will run into a fatal exception error every once in a while.

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Don,

Yes, I am using a USB to serial adapter. Guess there is nothing I can do about it this year other than reboot when it occurs if that is the cause. Will get the USB485 next year, if that will solve the problem. Being new to LOR this year, evey time something doesn't work properly, I figure I did something wrong.

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Tracking down an error of this type is very difficult. If you know someone who has another brand of adapator, you might try it. If it requires drivers, you might see if the manufacturer has updated drivers, which might help.

Aside from getting the 485B next year ... I think those are your only real viable options.

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circus4u wrote:

Don,

Yes, I am using a USB to serial adapter. Guess there is nothing I can do about it this year other than reboot when it occurs if that is the cause. Will get the USB485 next year, if that will solve the problem. Being new to LOR this year, evey time something doesn't work properly, I figure I did something wrong.

Is it a LOR supplied USB to serial adapter?
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Dan,

It is not the LOR adapter, but an IOGear GUC232A. I did as Don suggested yesterday and found an updated driver, but that didn't help last night. I received the same error at 1 hr and 45 minutes into the show. I rebooted and the program ran flawlessly until shut down 2 1/2 hours later. During my testing, I didn't have the problem, but then I never ran the complete 5:45 to 10:00 show either. Also, I didn't have the preshow sequence in the show scheduler either. Following the other threads, I turned off my screen saver as I thought that might be causing the problem, but it had no affect. One thing I did notice though, and I don't know if this might be the cause, shortly after I rebooted, for some reason, my virus scan automatically started to scan. It's not set to do an automatic scan at that time, but I am going to turn that function completely off tonight before the show and see if that might be the cause.

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circus4u wrote:

....Everything started fine and ran fine until about 3 hours into the show when everything stopped, music & lights. The computer screen showed a fatal error.

Did you get the "Blue Screen of Death" fatal error?
If so, post the first few lines of the error message. "Sometimes" it will reveal what program or hardware item is causing the fatal error.
You could also try a Google search on the fatal error message and see what you come up with.
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Griswold wrote:

circus4u wrote:
....Everything started fine and ran fine until about 3 hours into the show when everything stopped, music & lights. The computer screen showed a fatal error.

Did you get the "Blue Screen of Death" fatal error?
If so, post the first few lines of the error message. "Sometimes" it will reveal what program or hardware item is causing the fatal error.
You could also try a Google search on the fatal error message and see what you come up with.

It is not uncommon to get fatal exceptions from USB->Serial adapters.
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Ran the show all night last night and no errors. If it happens again though, I won't panic if it is a fairly common thing with the serial adapter. I will upgrade next year, though, to the USB adapter. Thanks for the help and advice. If it happens again, I will try to post the error message.

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Denny:

I work with these adapter problems in a daily basis at work. We have found ones that use the FTDI chip to be the most reliable and stable. Ones that use a Prolific chip are trouble. To find out what your adapter has, go into the device manager click the USB serial port and click properties (you must have the adapter connected for it to show up). It should give you the manufacturer.

LOR's USB adapters use the FTDI chip. The problem is most manufacturers of the adapters do not specify what chip they have in their units, and you only find out after you install the drivers.

Mike

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Mike, If I am in the right place, all it tells me is that it is an ATEN USB to Serial Bridge. It's under Ports (Com & LPT) in the Device Manager. Manufacturer is ATEN.

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Did not have the problem last night; two nights in a row now. I guess Dan should mark this thread as resolved since it is probably the adapter that was causing the problem. At least others that might experience the same thing will know what is causing it and it does say on the LOR website that they can only assure you that there won't be problems if you use the items they have tested (which this adapter is not).

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FYI, I think I have the same serial-USB adapter and I had a problem once a couple of nights ago as well. Seems to be working fine now but I did get a BSOD and it was the device driver for the USB serial port causing the problem. I may look for one from the other manufacturer but like I said, it has been working for now.

Glad to know I am not alone!

Jeff

ADDED: I noticed that it DOES use the Prolific driver. This is for the ATEN USB Serial Adapter. Mine is an IOGEAR as well.

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While the problems above have been with non-LOR USB adaptors, I have been having a similar problem with the LOR USB485B adaptor. Hardware utility works OK, but when running a show, the show will just stop at some apparently random point - stop times have been anywhere from about 2 to 60 minutes into show.

I'm running XP pro (auto updated), 5 LOR 1602D boards, have updated firmware to latest, shut down screen savers etc, ... Lights run for a time, then stop; NO error messages are given, but task manager indicates LOR is not responding. After the stop, the com port is still listed as in use and the only way I have managed to run again is to reboot.

Tomorrow I will try reverting to the old com port & adaptor, but need more cat 5 cable first.

Any suggestions or fixes would be much appreciated.

Regards - Geoff Harvey

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No problems again last night; everything worked fine. Don't know if this could be a cause, but after I disabled my screen saver, I have had no more problems -- so far.

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Geoff Harvey wrote:

While the problems above have been with non-LOR USB adaptors, I have been having a similar problem with the LOR USB485B adaptor....


FTDI has driver version 2.0 from May 2006 listed on their web site HERE.
Make sure you download the driver for the correct operating system.
Maybe check your driver version to see if this one is more current?
Just a thought....

Good Luck!
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John

Thanks for the link - I downloaded & installed the updated driver for XP, however the problem remains although possibly not quite as frequently.

Yesterday I installed more leads and reverted to the original com port control. Sequence now runs without a hitch. I will continue using this setup this year but will further investigate the USB485B problems after the season is finished.

Geoff

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Dan, or anyone

I have the 485B, and the driver is dated 12-12-05, it is a FTDI unit.

the link above is for vcp drivers. should i upgrade the driver. and is this the right one.

FT232R, FT245R, FT2232, FT232B, FT245B, FT8U232AM, FT8U245AM version 2.0

rarely does the system lock up during a show, but every other day i am experienceing a lock up before the show. but no BSOD. a reboot fixes it.

i am on comm port 4

currently using 1.5.0, hardware utitliy is 5.7. i will also be upgrading these today to 6.1. just curious about the usb485b update file being the right one. thanks

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After I upgraded to the 6.1 two nights ago, the show would stop like before, but now LOR stops running and the control panel will close. Then, I get a message that Windows has recovered. No Fatal Exception Message now. Rather than reboot, I just have to start the control panel again and the show starts over from the beginning. Don't know if this is also related to the IOGear adapter or not.

The original Fatal Exception problem went away after I updated the driver to the 09/2006 version from the IOGear website. As I mentioned, the shutdown has happened the last two nights since installing 6.1

Denny

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Rick

I too have the 485B installed on a desktop XP pro system and even after I upgraded the driver to the version 2 drivers indicated on the above link (which is for FTDI drivers - VCP is an acronym for 'virtual com port'), the lockup problems continued although perhaps not as frequently.

I reached a workable solution by reverting to my original com1 to 485 converter and installing an additional cat5 cable to enable connection of all my LOR units in series. Since then I have had a flawless operation of LOR.

Geoff

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thanks, i'll keep that in mind if i continue to get lockups. i am hoping the new usb driver and the upgrades will put an end to the lockups.

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AHHHHHHH!!!

My show stopped twice tonight because the computer crashed. In a previous post I mentioned I'm using the IOGEAR USB Serial Adapter. The system crashed on me once on November 25th. It has been working fine since then until tonight when it crashed twice!

I think I need to get away from this USB-Serial device. If I get the USB-RS485 from light-o-rama, does this avoid the whole USEB-Serial problems described in this post? If so, I'll order one right away!

Jeff

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about 5 days ago i updated the driver for the 485B, and upgraded to 1.6, and have not had a computer lockup since. i'm keeping my fingers crossed though.

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I have a locally bought IOGEAR device so I can't use that driver.

Anyway, I looked at my system more closely and it DOES have a serial port but I was using it for my UPS system.

For now, I've switched the UPS system to the USB-Serial cable and have LOR plugged into the standard serial port. I will wait and see if that helps and if it doesn't, I just get the LOR supported one from their online store.

Jeff

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