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Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« on: December 01, 2011, 01:30:48 PM »
I've had our CAMaster MC2840 CNC machine since November 2009 and have used our own computer as the controller. However, every so often from the very beginning to yesterday, while the machine is cutting and Mach3 is controlling, the computer would suddenly freeze up. The CNC would stop in it's tracks and I'd be dead in the water until I did a cold boot. Sometimes the computer would unfreeze itself and the operation would restart without skipping a beat, but usually I don't have the patience to wait for it to "thaw" and do a hard cold boot.

I wonder if the PC I'm running isn't up to par with what is required?

Here are our specs:
Intel Pentium 4 CPU 2.66GHz
1 GB of RAM
Windows XP, Version 2002, Service Pack 3

It's basic computer with Cut2D and Mach3 installed. It is also connected to the internet and has Internet Explorer running in the background for mail and radio.

9 days out of 10 we run without a hiccup. But it seems like the past few days has had a hiccup or two each day.

Any idea what may be causing these intermittent problems?

Thanks,
Bryan

Offline BR549

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Re: Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2011, 03:17:05 PM »
The problem is you are running a machine tool with a multitasking computer. It takes a great deal of resources for Mach3 to drive the machine much less check your email and run on the internet doing who knows what.

The freezing up is when your computer is going out and doing OTHER task . WHEN it does this it cannot running the machine properly.

IF you want the machine to be dependable dedicate a computer SOLEY for that purpose like it should be.

Just a thought, (;-) TP
Re: Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2011, 03:22:55 PM »
That's just a hard pill to swallow because I've been checking email and streaming music every day for years when running the machine. It doesn't happen all the time nor can I ever estimate when it will freeze. I've gone weeks of running the machine with IE streaming music behind Mach3 and never a single hiccup. It's completely out of the blue. However, when the machine is running, I dare not touch the mouse to surf the net or change radio stations. I've seen the machine hiccup when that happens.

Offline BR549

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Re: Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2011, 06:39:21 PM »
EXactly my point you will NEVER be able to predict WHEN mulitasking will interupt the machine process.

I call it the Game Boy Syndrome (GBS) , (;-) TP

Offline Sam

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Re: Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2011, 12:59:19 AM »
Well, I guess I have GBS, also. Most likely there IS a drug for it, or at the very least, a lawyer willing to sue because of it. :)
I also had the same problem with the computer freezing up. I also stream music and all that other fancy jive your not supposed to do. Just like you, I NEVER do anything while Mach is cutting. I did uninstall everything not related to mach, trying to resolve the situation, however, it persisted anyway. I did manage to figure out the problem ONLY happened after I plugged in a USB stick. It might not happen for 5 minutes, or it might not happen at all, but one thing was for sure, it would NEVER freeze up if I didn't insert a USB stick. If I do have to transfer some files via USB, I reboot after I use it, and it runs purdy as a fluffy kitten.  Now I can listen to my tunes, and use Mach, with a lower amount of anxiety over doing so. Dunno if this helps you any, but it was worth a try. I'm not disagreeing with what BR549 said though, it's not really a good idea to use your computer for anything other than Mach.
"CONFIDENCE: it's the feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation."

Offline BR549

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Re: Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2011, 09:41:51 AM »
NOW for the flip side I use a Usb stick all the time it stays in the machine AND i transfer back and forth with it. ALL the cut files stay on the stick.

 NOT a single glitch in years from the use of the stick.

I guess it all just depends, (;-) TP

Re: Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2011, 09:44:47 AM »
NOW for the flip side I use a Usb stick all the time it stays in the machine AND i transfer back and forth with it. ALL the cut files stay on the stick.

 NOT a single glitch in years from the use of the stick.

I guess it all just depends, (;-) TP



Same here. USB stick hasn't moved from the back of the computer in years. Acts as my backup.

I'm going to run in stealth mode and completely optimize Windows for Mach and run nothing but the controller during cutting. Last night was the first trial and the machine ran like a hot knife through butter for the hour and half I needed it. We'll see if this continues.
Re: Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2011, 09:49:35 AM »
I also find it odd that the entire computer just locks up and freezes. I would understand if Mach was so demanding of the resources that the machine would stutter step and produce crappy cuts, but freezing the ENTIRE computer, really? I've never had a program that would lock up the computer due to lack of resources. It may run slower, but never call it quits.

Offline BR549

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Re: Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2011, 10:04:39 AM »
You normally do NOT have the MACH3 driver running in other cases of computers. THat MACH3 driver is a mix of wizardry and trickery JUST to be able to do what it does with Mach3.

Have you ever noticed that NOONE else can run CNC from the lpt port in WINDOZ. (;-)

BIG DIFFERRENCE , (;-) TP
Re: Computer freezes while running Mach3 - Windows XP SP3
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2011, 10:14:21 AM »
You normally do NOT have the MACH3 driver running in other cases of computers. THat MACH3 driver is a mix of wizardry and trickery JUST to be able to do what it does with Mach3.

Have you ever noticed that NOONE else can run CNC from the lpt port in WINDOZ. (;-)

BIG DIFFERRENCE , (;-) TP

I know; may be time to upgrade to WinCNC.