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Kitwn
15-07-2021, 11:09 AM
When I first installed UCCNC a few months ago all seemed well. But recently it has shut down for no obvious reason on about 5 occasions. Up until today I hadn't seen the screen display when this occurred and wondered if the Ethernet connection was the problem but the connection seems OK. This last time I was standing in front of the laptop when it happened. The machine was idle at the time and I was made aware of the problem by the sound of the Z axis dropping under it's own weight due to a loss of the motor enable signal. I looked at the screen and saw the program just disappear. There was no warning display or anything obvious that I noticed, it just closed a second or so after I heard the Z axis and looked up.

When this happens I can always start UCCNC up again normally and it will then run for hours with no problem. It has happened soon after first starting up the machine and before I've got as far as powering up the VFD but I've also been able to leave the laptop and controller on all night and it's still normal in the morning. So far it hasn't happened during a cut but that luck can't last for ever.
The software is running on a 10 year old HP laptop with an intel i7 processor running Windows 10 and has a direct Ethernet cable to the AXBB-E controller. Wi-Fi is turned off and the machine is plugged into it's charger. I don't run any other programs at the same time and have turned off almost everything on the 'startup' menu. In every other respect the laptop seems to be working correctly. It's winter here in Tasmania so it's not an overheating problem. Windows is up to date.

I COULD try loading the software onto my shiny new DELL laptop but am not keen on taking it into the dusty workshop if I can avoid it. Has anyone seen this behavior before? Is there a known issue with an easy fix that I haven't heard about?

All help gratefully received.

Kit

dazp1976
15-07-2021, 12:44 PM
Any chance that Windows 10 has 'forced' an update at some point at all causing random blips?.
I absolutely despise win10.

A_Camera
15-07-2021, 03:54 PM
Check if HP Support Assistant is running or not. Also, check W10 Task Manager when it crashes next time to see if there is a process which runs and uses a huge amount of CPU percentage. Lately I noticed that the fan of my otherwise very quiet HP Elite Desk is occasionally running at high rpm. After some investigations, I found an exe file running and taking something like 50-70% of my CPU capacity for no understandable reason. I did some googling and it said that it's a buggy HP app or driver, but there is no fix or recognition on HP, except that the task can be killed and then everything is back to normal after that. I don't remember the file name, but in case it happens later on today, I'll add the information here. Anyway, it seems that my computer works fine without that task, so for now, I just kill it when I hear the fan speeding up. No side effects noted yet.

I don't know if the above would help you, but I suspect the issue is not UCCNC, but your installation, or Windows trying to access the server to get updates. Another question is your Windows version. UCCNC is not very demanding on the computer performance, so your PC is not too weak. After all, it can happily run on a 20+ years old PC with W95 or XP also, so if changing to your brand new Dell would help, it is probably because the differences in the installation, not because of the better PC.

What I would do is that I'd just do a clean install of the HP, not just UCCNC, but start from factory reset with the original installation. After the PC is up and running with Windows, install ALL updates (HP and Microsoft) and don't kill any tasks (you may have killed one too many earlier). Once that is done, install UCCNC. That way you get a fresh start. I am running Windows 10 Pro on my computers, so I can prevent or postpone W10 updates, but I really don't believe that Windows updates causes your issues. It won't crash UCCNC unless something else is wrong.

Note, that I am assuming you are running UCCNC version 1.2111, which is the latest official release. Test versions can have all different bugs.

AndyUK
15-07-2021, 07:16 PM
Hi Kit,

Looks like you've got two good responses to explore already; I'd add that you can find more information out using event viewer which may help figure out what has gone on. For the uninitiated, here are a couple of screenshots which should help show how to get there and what to look for. Gold dust would be finding an application error on UCCNC at the time of the crash, and you can use the other tabs to see if anything else on the system was happening simultaneously.

30246 30247

Are you running any plugins on UCCNC?

Have you double checked the power management settings to ensure that the PC never sleeps/hibernates etc? Sometimes you can also look at the drivers for the network card and set this specifically to stay awake which is important to keep UCCNC working well and connected.

FYI I've recently updated my CNC PC to Windows 10 (to get wireless Xbox controller support... I might to a how-to on that soon, it is after all awesome), I'm running v1.211, so will keep an eye out for similar behaviour.

JAZZCNC
15-07-2021, 08:39 PM
I don't know if the above would help you, but I suspect the issue is not UCCNC, but your installation, or Windows trying to access the server to get updates. Another question is your Windows version. UCCNC is not very demanding on the computer performance, so your PC is not too weak. After all, it can happily run on a 20+ years old PC with W95 or XP also, so if changing to your brand new Dell would help, it is probably because the differences in the installation, not because of the better PC.

Completely agree with A_Camera on this, it will 99% be a windows issue and not UCCNC or the controller. I have installed over 30 AXBB-E controllers since Xmas and most are running on Refurbished Dell PC's which are low spec compared to your i7 laptop and running on Win7, 8, and 10 without any issues if using V1.12111.
I have had a couple of issues with the development versions but these mostly revolved around low memory, it seems the new Development versions are more memory intense so if memory is on the low side, which the Refurbs tend to be then occasionally it would crash.

I'm not a Windows OS guru so follow the guy's suggestions and I'm sure you'll find the cause.

Kitwn
16-07-2021, 04:03 AM
Any chance that Windows 10 has 'forced' an update at some point at all causing random blips?.
I absolutely despise win10.

I think W7 was probably the best version from the user point of view.

Kitwn
16-07-2021, 04:07 AM
Check if HP Support Assistant is running or not. Also, check W10 Task Manager when it crashes next time to see if there is a process which runs and uses a huge amount of CPU percentage. Lately I noticed that the fan of my otherwise very quiet HP Elite Desk is occasionally running at high rpm. After some investigations, I found an exe file running and taking something like 50-70% of my CPU capacity for no understandable reason. I did some googling and it said that it's a buggy HP app or driver, but there is no fix or recognition on HP, except that the task can be killed and then everything is back to normal after that. I don't remember the file name, but in case it happens later on today, I'll add the information here. Anyway, it seems that my computer works fine without that task, so for now, I just kill it when I hear the fan speeding up. No side effects noted yet.

I don't know if the above would help you, but I suspect the issue is not UCCNC, but your installation, or Windows trying to access the server to get updates. Another question is your Windows version. UCCNC is not very demanding on the computer performance, so your PC is not too weak. After all, it can happily run on a 20+ years old PC with W95 or XP also, so if changing to your brand new Dell would help, it is probably because the differences in the installation, not because of the better PC.

What I would do is that I'd just do a clean install of the HP, not just UCCNC, but start from factory reset with the original installation. After the PC is up and running with Windows, install ALL updates (HP and Microsoft) and don't kill any tasks (you may have killed one too many earlier). Once that is done, install UCCNC. That way you get a fresh start. I am running Windows 10 Pro on my computers, so I can prevent or postpone W10 updates, but I really don't believe that Windows updates causes your issues. It won't crash UCCNC unless something else is wrong.

Note, that I am assuming you are running UCCNC version 1.2111, which is the latest official release. Test versions can have all different bugs.

The machine originally came with the HP version of W7 but it has long ago had it's mechanical HDD replaced with a SS version and loaded with generic W10 which I got when it was still free to upgrade. I do have a spare drive I can fit (the joys of old machines with removable drives!) and do a clean install on so that will be one to try.

Thank you for the suggestions.

Kit

Kitwn
16-07-2021, 04:38 AM
Hi Kit,

Looks like you've got two good responses to explore already; I'd add that you can find more information out using event viewer which may help figure out what has gone on. For the uninitiated, here are a couple of screenshots which should help show how to get there and what to look for. Gold dust would be finding an application error on UCCNC at the time of the crash, and you can use the other tabs to see if anything else on the system was happening simultaneously.

30246 30247

Are you running any plugins on UCCNC?

Have you double checked the power management settings to ensure that the PC never sleeps/hibernates etc? Sometimes you can also look at the drivers for the network card and set this specifically to stay awake which is important to keep UCCNC working well and connected.

FYI I've recently updated my CNC PC to Windows 10 (to get wireless Xbox controller support... I might to a how-to on that soon, it is after all awesome), I'm running v1.211, so will keep an eye out for similar behaviour.

Looks like we have gold dust Andy! I wasn't aware of Event Viewer but the two errors in the picture below would be about the right times. I owe you many, many HobNobs!. All I have to do now is work out what on earth the explanations mean. At least I have something to work on.

The only plug-in I'm using is the X-Box pendant one. I'll have to try running without it and see if that makes a diference. It worked fine for quite a while before this problem reared it's ugly though.

30248

Kitwn
16-07-2021, 04:55 AM
Completely agree with A_Camera on this, it will 99% be a windows issue and not UCCNC or the controller. I have installed over 30 AXBB-E controllers since Xmas and most are running on Refurbished Dell PC's which are low spec compared to your i7 laptop and running on Win7, 8, and 10 without any issues if using V1.12111.
I have had a couple of issues with the development versions but these mostly revolved around low memory, it seems the new Development versions are more memory intense so if memory is on the low side, which the Refurbs tend to be then occasionally it would crash.

I'm not a Windows OS guru so follow the guy's suggestions and I'm sure you'll find the cause.

I am using V1.12111 but as you will have sen above, Andy's pointing me to Event Viewer in W10 has thrown up some evidence. As a simple first option I'm gong to try re-loading UCCNC itself (after ensuring the configuration is saved!) in case there's been a corruption of the .dll file mentioned in the error report. If the problem shows up again at least I know where to find the error log which I can send to Balazs if necessary.


EDIT:
Having done some research on the ntdll.dll file blamed for the problem, this turns out to be a Windows issue as suggested. This little file has been part of every version of Windows since NT (hence the name) and it's corruption is a know cause of crashes of all sorts.

Thanks to everybody for the help.

Kit

AndyUK
16-07-2021, 06:48 AM
Having done some research on the ntdll.dll file blamed for the problem, this turns out to be a Windows issue as suggested. This little file has been part of every version of Windows since NT (hence the name) and it's corruption is a know cause of crashes of all sorts.

Thanks to everybody for the help.

Kit

Hi Kit,

Unfortunately the ntdll.dll error is quite a common one, but common because it can have a wide array of causes. It's basically the Windows kernel is freaking out and killing UCCNC. The status code it's given (0xc000374) is telling us that the reason is memory heap corruption - i.e. UCCNC is trying to use a bit of memory that it thinks should belong to it but Windows thinks otherwise. If you can copy paste / screenshot more of the details that screen shows it might be helpful, also slightly worryingly you have a lot of other warnings there which could give some clues.

This can be caused by a new update introducing a bug, a new bit of software that is being evil and corrupting the memory, a bad device driver (or a device misbehaving), or the PCs RAM is starting to fail.

I would try the following in this order:
Swap out the RAM for fresh / alternative sticks if you have them handy. If not, but slightly less conclusive, run a memory test tool like memtest86
See if disabling that plugin helps, could be the Xbox controller device / driver is faulting.
Swap to another ethernet card if possible to rule out the ethernet driver or NIC dying.
Try the windows SFC repair tool - long shot but if it works then easier than reinstalling everything.
Fresh reinstall of Windows, preferably on a new SSD (they're a lot cheaper than they were!)

Hope we get to the bottom of it soon...

A_Camera
16-07-2021, 08:48 AM
I still think it's a Windows installation problem. It's a good idea to start with the windows repair tool, but beware ONLY use repair tools which are issued by Microsoft. DON`T go for any other versions. Next step, if the Microsoft tool doesn't find any errors is to reinstall Windows.

Actually, if you have a known date before the problem then you could go back to that date (minus a few days) and try a Windows recovery from there. Windows will uninstall everything installed after that date. Note that only drivers and updates of Windows will be uninstalled. Software you have installed after that date will still be there, but if it needs any interaction with Windows it may no work and must also be reinstalled / repaired.

BTW, during all the years with W10 I have never ever had an ntdll.dll error. I don't understand why you say it's a known case. It can however be the result of unintentionally having removed something which is necessary for windows. Admittedly, I am not using any other UCCNC plugin than the Modbus master, but I think that the X-Box pendant is so popular and widely used, so it should have been quite intensely tested. Also, that plugin is very old, it is still the same version as from the start. This can of course be a problem in some cases, if Windows or UCCNC requires that, but it should be known in that case. Have you checked on CNC Drive forum?

Kitwn
16-07-2021, 01:09 PM
Thanks A_Camera, I will look at the Windows repair tool from Microsoft.
i said 'it's a known cause' only because my searching suggested that there have been many instances of programs crashing in general due to problems with this file, not that it's known for UCCNC. The CNCdrive forum has only one reference to a crash due to that .dll file and it relates to using later versions of the software (1.2112 and 1.2113).
I think I have a clone HDD for this laptop from about 18 months ago but I will have to search for it (I've moved house since then!) which might be an interesting test. I certainly have a spare mechanical drive I can load a new installation of W10 onto. I'm not going to trash the current installation if I can avoid it.

Kit

dazp1976
16-07-2021, 02:48 PM
Thanks A_Camera, I will look at the Windows repair tool from Microsoft.
i said 'it's a known cause' only because my searching suggested that there have been many instances of programs crashing in general due to problems with this file, not that it's known for UCCNC. The CNCdrive forum has only one reference to a crash due to that .dll file and it relates to using later versions of the software (1.2112 and 1.2113).
I think I have a clone HDD for this laptop from about 18 months ago but I will have to search for it (I've moved house since then!) which might be an interesting test. I certainly have a spare mechanical drive I can load a new installation of W10 onto. I'm not going to trash the current installation if I can avoid it.

Kit

How big is your current hard disk?.
If there is enough space you could create a new partition on it. Load a new os and uccnc on there. (This will basically make it dual boot so you can choose which os to boot to at the start). Test new setup out without wrecking the existing install. If it all works out then you can either:
Move all your docs etc over to new os partition and delete the old os partition when done. Or.
Use new os for machine until you find a fix for the existing os and then delete the newer one.

I still use xp for Mach via parallel and am in the process of putting uccnc on there. It's basic and not bloated to death like w10.
I'm also setting up win7 on a seperate partition with both programs.
I'll assess which is the better and go with it.
Not a fan of w10 update forcing regime, even if you get it disabled.

A_Camera
16-07-2021, 03:46 PM
In my opinion, a separate HD is better than dual boot. Hard disks are cheap and is safer, since if one partition crash, it may kill the other also, which can't happen if you have physically removed the hard disk you are not booting from.

You can't disable W10 updates, you can only postpone if (if you have a pro version). The only way to disable it is if you prevent Internet connection, or through some sort of third party "fix". Also, why would you prevent W10 updates? It is better to keep the computer in shape, just like you do with a car or any other machinery, than let it slowly degrade because of no bug fixes and other things which may cause issues. The only thing I don't let Windows to decide is when to install the updates and when restart is allowed (if necessary).

If you are still running XP and not even tested W7 then you are WAAAAAAY behind and outdated. Of course, if you run Mach3 on PP then you are forced to use these outdated systems, since Windows stopped supporting PP with W7 64-bits. W10 is the best Windows ever made, it NEVER crash unless you do something or use some buggy software, or if you try to "improve" it's performance through different third party "fixes".

BTW, don't ever buy a modern car if you are afraid of software / firmware updates... Tesla doesn't even ask you anything, just updates. BMW asks, but eventually updates automatically and I don't know for how long you are allowed to postpone, but the maximum is to the next service, where they ALWAYS start with updates. Other cars get updated automatically, like Tesla, or like BMW, or if the updates are never pushed out through the network then it is done when the car is in for a service. So in the end, all modern enough cars get new firmware now and then for the last 5-10 years. The only thing I hate when my BMW gets an update is that I have to go through all the settings I made to make sure that the car is configured as I want it to be, not as the BMW engineer thought it should be. Some times they change things, but that's all, never experienced anything negative which came from an update.

dazp1976
16-07-2021, 07:28 PM
If you are still running XP and not even tested W7 then you are WAAAAAAY behind and outdated. Of course, if you run Mach3 on PP then you are forced to use these outdated systems, since Windows stopped supporting PP with W7 64-bits. W10 is the best Windows ever made, it NEVER crash unless you do something or use some buggy software, or if you try to "improve" it's performance through different third party "fixes".


Well xp works FAULTLESS with Mach3. The machine is dedicated to it's cnc purpose so if it isn't broke don't fix it.
Have you ever had a win update destroy your pc?.
I have and it's a b*******d.
It's only Microsoft that cocks things like updates up. They generally don't test them properly before release.

Kitwn
17-07-2021, 02:41 AM
One of the things I like about this 'old' HP laptop is the ability to easily swop the hard drive. I have a spare SS drive and a couple of old mechanical drives and I also have a dual external drive holder that can clone a drive to provide that "I wish I could go back in time to yesterday" option and avoid the tears that can sometimes result from upgrades and changes. A version of UCCNC for Linux would be a welcome addition though.

We have started a few days of blue sky and sunshine here in the middle of a Tasmanian winter so I'm working outdoors under instruction from The Head Gardener. I may go quiet for a few days on this thread but will be back in the workshop when the rain returns.

As always, I've already learned some very useful stuff from everybody's input so far.

Kit

A_Camera
17-07-2021, 11:44 AM
Well xp works FAULTLESS with Mach3. The machine is dedicated to it's cnc purpose so if it isn't broke don't fix it.

Of course, I never said you should change anything you are happy with. That was not the subject at all.


Have you ever had a win update destroy your pc?.
I have and it's a b*******d.

Never had any PC destroyed because of an update. I think your conclusion of blaming Microsoft for that is not based on facts, but something else.


It's only Microsoft that cocks things like updates up. They generally don't test them properly before release.

That's just pure nonsense. Microsoft is more serious than you can ever imagine. They don't release ANYTHING which is not tested. It is clear however that you don't work in software development business area and hate Microsoft, but I could not care less. In every camp (Linux, Ios and Windows) there are some haters, but none are fact based, just emotions. Some people are like that and there is nothing to do about them, other than feeling sorry for them.

A_Camera
17-07-2021, 11:53 AM
One of the things I like about this 'old' HP laptop is the ability to easily swap the hard drive. I have a spare SS drive and a couple of old mechanical drives and I also have a dual external drive holder that can clone a drive to provide that "I wish I could go back in time to yesterday" option and avoid the tears that can sometimes result from upgrades and changes.

I understand exactly what you are saying. I have an Evo N610c which has the same feature. That was my last one which had this easy swapping possibility. Mi later Probook 6470b was still fairly easy to swap HD in, but not as simple as the Evo. On the other hand, the Evo runs on XP only, while the Probook is fine with W10 pro 64-bits. That one is also old, but with enough memory and an SSD it is really fast.


A version of UCCNC for Linux would be a welcome addition though.

That won't ever happen.


We have started a few days of blue sky and sunshine here in the middle of a Tasmanian winter so I'm working outdoors under instruction from The Head Gardener. I may go quiet for a few days on this thread but will be back in the workshop when the rain returns.

As always, I've already learned some very useful stuff from everybody's input so far.

Kit

Yes, I know exactly what you mean. Even my Head Gardener wants me to be out more. We have summer here, so our body must harvest the sun...

Kitwn
19-07-2021, 12:15 AM
I found the clone of my laptop drive from two years ago and allowed W10 to update itself overnight. Installed UCCNC, loaded the saved config files and connected it to the router. It sat idle for several hours with no problem so I'm hoping all will be well.

A_Camera,
The disk cloning feature was one I made good use of when using LinuxCNC on a desktop machine. It saved me more than once.

Your winter's will be a lot colder than we have here. This is our first year in Tasmania and we're finding the winter much milder than we were led to believe.

Kit

A_Camera
19-07-2021, 09:59 AM
I found the clone of my laptop drive from two years ago and allowed W10 to update itself overnight. Installed UCCNC, loaded the saved config files and connected it to the router. It sat idle for several hours with no problem so I'm hoping all will be well.

Good news. Holding my thumb for you...

If it works, don't forget to clone the working disk.


A_Camera,
The disk cloning feature was one I made good use of when using LinuxCNC on a desktop machine. It saved me more than once.

Cloning is good practice, but unless you clone every day, or on a regular basis, you still need to take regular backups. I am using Acronis for both cloning and backup. It runs automatically and I check the backup now and then, just to make sure that the software is running and nothing is damaged. After all, normally you don't know if the backup disk is usable before you need it, so it's a good idea to perform regular checks while the system is working normally.


Your winter's will be a lot colder than we have here. This is our first year in Tasmania and we're finding the winter much milder than we were led to believe.

Kit

Yes, maybe a bit cooler here, but I live in the southern part of Sweden, so the winters are not that cold, normally around +5 to 10C during the day, and while occasionally we do get some arctic chilly days with -20C, but those are rare. Yes, every year we get a few weeks of isy cold, but those days aren't many. Of course, up north it's a bit different and is much colder, but that's about 1600km from my home.

Kitwn
20-07-2021, 12:35 AM
Good news. Holding my thumb for you...

I assume that is the Swedish equivalent of the English 'crossing my fingers' for luck. Thank you.

Kit

Kitwn
22-07-2021, 01:02 PM
Unfortunately I had the same problem show up again yesterday. However, a look at the bug reports on the cncdrive forum included someone who got exactly the same shutdown problems when he unplugged his Xbox controller USB plug. I tried the same trick with my game controller and got all the same symptoms including the ntdll.dll report on Event Viewer. I definitely owe Andy tea and HobNobs next time he's in Tasmania for showing me that. Interestingly I can plug the controller into a different USB socket on the other side of the laptop and UCCNC doesn't have any problems if I take the plug in and out repeatedly. The Device Manager does list more than one USB port controller in the machine which is why I thought this trick was worth testing.

I'm assuming the problem is with the one USB port dropping out for some reason and have my fingers crossed for no more sudden closures from here on.

Kit

Kitwn
03-08-2021, 10:58 AM
A brief update for anyone who suffers similar symptoms.
As I've said before, I'm using a USB Nintendo style game controller as a pendant with the UCCNC built-in Xbox 360 plug-in. UCVCNC is running on a ten year old HP laptop with Windows 10.

Today the machine was sitting idle for several hours with no problems and then had a shutdown while idle again after an hour-long run of cutting. Interestingly I'd had a Notepad document open over the top of UCCNC for about 30 mins or more when it happened. Later, some while after restarting but not touching the machine, I found that whilst everything seemed normal the pendant would not work. Jogging direct from UCCNC was fine. Unlug/replug the pendant made no difference but closing and restarting UCCNC brought the pendant back to life.

I've since disabled "Allow Windows to stop this device to save power" on all the different USB controllers listed on Device manager and have disabled 'Auto suspend" when plugged in on the USB options in the 'Power' settings menu. I'm still thinking it's a USB problem related to this plug-in and controller and will be putting a real CNC Drive pendant on my Christmas list.

A_Camera
03-08-2021, 12:06 PM
Did you try to ask support on the CNC Drive forum?

Kitwn
03-08-2021, 11:12 PM
Did you try to ask support on the CNC Drive forum?

I haven't yet. I looked on the forum and found the reference to USB problems that I mentioned above and simply swapping the port I used for the game controller seemed to have fixed the problem until yesterday. The pendant stopping working is a new one though, so it probably is time to report what's been happening.