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Request for help with software driver test diagnostics
« on: August 06, 2010, 11:12:22 PM »
This is the first time I've posted on a forum, and it looks like I may be doing more. Please pardon my ignorance.

I have 3 computers that I've tried with my milling machine, 2 of which have a clean install. It has to be, the only one that will run the machine is the one that is not a clean install and is my wife's. Which means that she is using my business computer as long as I have her computer attached to the machine. Not a good situation.

I've gone through the tutorial and the Optimization Guide, and tried to find a post that will help without success. I'm hoping someone can help by looking at the screen shots attached of the driver test. To me a picture is worth a 1000 words. At my typing speed that could be an eternity.

Everything seems to be hardware related because I see very little if any change in the test with the different installs. If this is an incorrect assumption, please let me know.

First my wife's computer is about 6 years old with all the original install garbage from the manufacturer. It's a Compaq Celeron and it has all her pet software. The driver test on here computer looks just as good as the one in the tutorial.

Now the computers I have to work with:

The first image is a AMD dual core running XP Pro with a clean install.

The second is a Pentium 4. It has been loaded with XP Pro and XP Pro Standard Mode (per the Optimization Guide) and now XP Home. The pattern is always the same.

See attached screen shots.

I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks in advance.

-- Richard

Offline rcaffin

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Re: Request for help with software driver test diagnostics
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 12:45:11 AM »
You haven't actually explained what the problem is with the two machines which don't work. Bit hard without knowing that.

You can get MUCH better screen shots by tapping the PrintScreen button, then doing a paste into Paint. That creates screen shots which are much easier to read.

Cheers

Offline Hood

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Re: Request for help with software driver test diagnostics
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 04:21:13 AM »
Do these computers have onboard graphics?

If you have followed the optimisation steps then probably not much more you can do :( Using an external motion device such as the SmoothStepper would mean you dont have to worry about the computers bad pulse, so might be worth considering that route.

Hood
Re: Request for help with software driver test diagnostics
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 11:01:12 AM »
Hood, thank you for your feed back. From your comments, it does sound hardware related. Both of the computers have on board graphics. I'm trying to understand, is there is a graph pattern that's associated to a device. Both of these computers are very basic, nothing fancy. The test patterns are so different, one would think that the pattern could be nailed down to device or at least a group of devices. Is that group typically the graphics.

I'm trying to plan my next plan of attack. It's a new machine and I don't mind spending a few hundred dollars to put together a mini computer that would fit inside the machine cabnet. I don't want to spend the money and still have something that doesn't work. Any ideas?

rcaffin, Sorry about the one screen shot (picture). When I installed XP Pro in standard mode it disabled my USB devices. I could do a screen shot, but there is no way to get the file from one computer to another. Taking I have so much time in this now, I wasn't going to mess with trying to install drivers to export a screen shot.

Thank you both for the feed back.

Offline ger21

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Re: Request for help with software driver test diagnostics
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2010, 01:09:28 PM »
Make sure ACPI is disabled, and on the dual core machine, look in the BIOS for C1E or EIST and disable them as well.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

Offline Hood

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Re: Request for help with software driver test diagnostics
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2010, 05:33:53 PM »
On board graphics were notorious for causing problems with the pulse from the parallel port so it may be worth throwing in a PCI one if you have one.

As for small computers then you may want to look at the one I use on all of my machines, its the via Pico and measures only 100mm x 72mm. It doesnt have a parallel port so you would need to use something like the smoothstepper as well.
In the pic below you will see the computer and the smoothstepper.
Hood
Re: Request for help with software driver test diagnostics
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 08:16:43 PM »
Thank you Ger21. The test is likely as clean as it can be. The mill is running and we are both happy! :)

I don't know if it is possible but a chart of the poor test patterns with possible causes could save other users a lot of time. From your suggestions looking at the trace, it sure helped me.

Hood,

In hind sight I wish my machine manufacturer had filled me in on the benefits of smooth stepper. They spent more time trying to convince me that I needed to buy their (expensive) controller with Mach3, instead of helping me make an informed decision and maybe buying their controller.

Thank you both for the help.
Re: Request for help with software driver test diagnostics
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2010, 01:14:48 AM »
Ger21 & Hood,

FYI, This is the Driver Test with the changes made.

Thanks again.

Offline Hood

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Re: Request for help with software driver test diagnostics
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2010, 03:20:10 AM »
Driver test looks good now :)
Presume that was the C1E or EIST setting that changed it for the better?
Hood