BSOD on Laptops after late Feb update

Working my way through an issue with a laptop that started BSOD rebooting after install of Windows Update KB2670838.  Apparently hybrid video solutions (Intel on CPU video and ATI/Nvidia GPU) on laptops are a common on some laptops release in the last few years.

If you can stay booted long enough, try removing the update in Programs and Features under Installed Updates.  This should work in Safe Mode too, but if you have to remove Intel HD or ATI drivers, you will not be able to in safe mode, due to their installer methods.

Fair warning if any laptops start acting up, especially in droves.  Time frame is roughly the end of February 2013 when this update started being pushed out by updates.

EDIT: I think a another person I know is experiencing this.  Having them just try the update removal, because I think the other person’s PC is also reacting to a USB DisplayPort docking station.

Object Flicker on latest nVidia drivers

Let me start by saying this is my observation with using the 310.xx series (310.70 and 310.90 as of this post date) of nVidia drivers on my 570 GTX.  The issue that I address (and have seen in earlier drivers) relates to textures being displayed with quality issues, relating to specific objects.

My video card model is MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr II, running default clocks and reaching a full load (in-game) of 65 C.  I share this, since some of these issues sound similar to old school video overclocking issues.
I do have my CPU overclocked to 4300 MHz.  This is on default voltage with only modifier being changed.  I did however confirm the issues still occur at stock CPU frequencies.

By reading that, you could guess this is pretty enigmatic to confirm… until drivers 310.xx came along.  Reading the summary release notes on the download page, you will see the % performance increases for some newer games.  I have come to my own conclusion that this comes at the cost of disabling, less commonly components to boost the overall FPS output in certain games.

My control for tying this to the 310 series of drivers is thanks to the Final Fantasy XIV Benchmark. (FTB Download Link)  The telling indicator is at the end of the 1st custscene, where it puts the camera behind the standing character model.  You want to look at the goldish-yellow bottle on the table.
If you see it flickering, check to see if you are on 310 series drivers.  I was able to downgrade drivers back to 306.97 and the flicker has gone away.

I will try to do a fraps rip to give a visual on this issue.  Far Cry 3 seemed to also suffer from a little of this, and what was prompted me to roll back my video driver to 306.96.  The signs I was seeing here were some odd object pop-in, that looked like mis-rendered objects, that shortly afterward corrected themselves.

Another fairly recent game that also has similar issues, is Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  The HR issue tended to show up with awning like models.  What I would see is kind of like a broken reflection on the texture.  Only came up in certain areas on specific objects.

Anyone else able to reproduce or at least confirm some of these theories is welcome to share feedback.  I’ll try to gather more information, as I’ve gathered enough info to semi-intelligently track these issues.

Video rip by phone of flicker, as I mention in next post that Fraps video rip doesn’t capture flicker.

Attached Thumbnails

  • FFXivBench01-310.90.png

  • FFXivBench02-310.90.png

  • FFXivBench03-310.90.png

Task Scheduler skips scheduled jobs

Allow me to try and save you some time.  I’ve had an issue where Task Scheduler on Windows machines will run a scheduled task fine if you manually Run it, but any Next Run Time scheduled items will be skipped and unlogged by Windows.  The Task History would also log nothing for the skipped ‘Last Run Time’ process.

Trying to find info on this issue was largely unhelpful.  What I had were jobs that failed to execute as defined by schedule and/or triggers, but a right-click Run for said tasks was fine.  It turns out my issue was related to a Task with a Pending Status.  I tracked said process down in the following tree:

  • Task Scheduler Library
  • Windows Live
  • SOXE

Task name:
Extractor Definitions Update Task

I ended up having to disable this task, as trying to end it, left it in a Pending state.  Upon disabling this I got ~21 ‘Application1’ named windows erroring out, that looked like my cmd tasks scheduled into oblivion.  Closing these error tasks, I jumped back to my main Task list.

To my delight, the custom and desired tasks returned to running on their correct, automatic schedules.
Hopefully this helps you in any instance where Scheduled Tasks do not run, on a Windows box.

TLDR; Check entire TaskScheduler for any Status = Pending tasks.  Try to end them, if that doesn’t work, disable said task.  Mystery fail jobs should return to auto-executing.

DVI-I to DVI-D mod

It’s been a bit since I ordered any DVI cables and in my haste, I got the wrong one for my LCD.  The NEC LCD I have only accepts DVI-D inputs, while the Video card accepts either one.  Since an RMA on a $10 cable would be nearly the cost, I took to seeing my self-fix options.

Looking at the pin-outs, it turns out the 4 pins and the vertical large one aren’t needed for a digital signal.  If you want to make those DVI-I cables still useful for an LCD, grab your Dremel and get to hacking off those 5 pins.

I just applied said fix and it took about 5 minutes.  Hooked my cable up and confirmed it to be a winner mod.  Extra fun fact.  The vertical pin is larger for DVI-I than DVI-D.  I tried to lo-tech bend the other 4 pins, then noticed the vertical one was larger.

Creative Recon3D PCI-e

Instead of a sudo-review thread, I’ll cut to the cause for return on a Creative Labs Recon3D PCI-e.  Everything was pretty good, except when my front channels got blasted across the wrong speaker placement.

Windows 7 x64 is my OS.

To ‘fix’ the glitch,  I had to use the CP from Creative, to go headphone or from another mode back to 5.1 ch.  If I did a Test run in the CP when it was trippin out, I’d get my mapped channels scattered from their actual placement.  Toggle the output mode and the test was back to right physical outputs.

Luckily local shop didn’t hassle when I returned for faulty surround sound.  I also saw other folks have the same issue (at least since feb ’12) with unsupported promises from Creative for ‘fix in next version’.  Since there aren’t any other viable local card options, to the ordermobile I shall be going.

Looking for an Optical In capable card that will also play it on Stereo mix.  I really would have been set, if this card would properly do 5.1, but alas and goodbye Creative I’ll get the cheaper same spec card and fix it myself.  I hear a few other cards develop an occasional static feedback…  I’d be forced to smash that thing into a rage of rubble.

Edit to retort on stalking them if still an issue with alt, as everything else was pretty enjoyable.  Other options weren’t really sizing up and back on PCI is like my antib0x.

BSOD Debugging

I ran into an issue a few years back where a production server was kicking BSOD messages after an OS upgrade.  I had my suspicions but no evidence of what driver was borked, so I grabbed the Windows Debugging Tools.

The cut of that jib is that you’ll be able to run a BSOD dump file and it will process the .dll or similar cause of your BSOD.  I thought I had a topic about this from before but my searches came up dry.

Like most Microsoft tools, their documentation is really shitty.  Peep this MJ post for the overview on how to get rolling for your BSOD debugging.

Today’s cause is 2 like machines with only 1 crashing every 24-36 hours.  One appears to be fixed by video update, while the other remains to be a pain.  Not to be a troll, but these are also Mini ITX machines with AMD CPU and GPU action.  Point there being the temperatures are pretty shitty, but not outside of moderate operational acceptance.

Daedalus

Check this virtualized network security grid out.  While it’s all sorts of flashy, I really appreciate the relevant information presented in the details of flagged objects.

1995 like a Mofo on that virtualization, except it looks to provide viable functionality instead of massive manual port and log scanning.

Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs

As I joined the new PC party a month or two ago, I am rocking 2nd Gen i5 – Sandy Bridge CPU.  The 3rd Gen Ivy Bridge chips came out recently and have been tested to show that the reason for higher temps than the last gen, is because shitty thermal compound in use under the heat spreader.

Bad start to a new GPU line, where a few cents for better compound could have really made the release more interesting.  For now, if you get an Ivy fab chip, know what you are in for.

Windows XP and Installshield errors

I don’t really have a fix for the error currently, but certainly wanted to share that I will not miss InstallShield and XP having a shit fit.  2 XP machines trip on the install and say the source file is bad, while same install runs fine on Win 7.

Same installer runs fine on other machines, so another XP rig in the wild with borked install.  I do have me a love/hate relationship with Win XP.  Really looking forward to getting them out of my office.

Don't lose your smartphone

Taking a play right out of some 90’s software, Facebook stores your login credentials in plain-text on your devices.  Android is vulnerable to token snatching and to a slightly lesser degree, iOS as well.

iOS games often store their high scores in plaintext, and rely on the OS for protection, and some are clearly storing Facebook-connection tokens in the same place. Those tokens are only valid for 60 days, but it turns out that the Facebook application itself stores a similar token – which lasts until the first of January 4001. Copy that token onto another device, and you’re in.

Apparently you just need the auth file from someone’s device and you can login as if you were on their device and account.  The goofy part that crosses my mind, is how a FB profile has a link for your cell number.  I wanted to assume that was for authentication via mobile sites, but obviously that’s not the case.

I guess that explains those few random spam texts I got over the last few weeks.  At least now I can fix my profile to not leak my number to spam marketers.

Activating allows Facebook Mobile to send text messages to your phone. You can receive notifications for friend requests, messages, Wall posts, and status updates from your friends.
You can also update your status, search for phone numbers, or upload photos and videos from your phone.

Then again, the above dialog alludes to this ‘security’ being in place.  I removed my phone, interested to see if it actually shows any issue connecting.