Windows 7 Bluescreen, Spot Collector and Meinberg

Charles Morrison

Dave asked me to follow up to a few emails that he and I have exchanged about a bluescreen that started a month or two ago on my ham computer.  

So the computer is a Win7/64, 8GB ram, SSD disk running in a Dell Inspiron I7 machine.  Out of the blue for no apparent reason it began to randomly bluescreen.  Each time I'd look through the minidumps and memory dumps and they'd point to spot collector.  So I emailed Dave who assured me that it couldn't really be SC because of the underlying programming (things much above my non programming, networking/sysadmin experience).  So this randomness continued for some time, at some point switching from blaming Spot Collector to Keeper itself.

Next step was to blame hardware, so I moved the SSD from the Inspiron to an Optiplex.  Within 3 days it bluescreened again.  Looked at the minidumps and the memory dumps and it was NTOSKRNL and Win32K.sys.  I tested the SSD as it was the last piece of hardware and it passed, so I ruled out hardware.  One day I came in and it had locked but not bluescreen and it was blaming JTDX, out of resources!   So I rebooted and didn't leave JTDX loaded, it bluescreened within 3 days.  I followed that up of course with the updating of all drivers, as far as possible from both Dell and the chipset change.

As I told Dave, in my focused processes, I never bothered to look beyond the dumps.. until last week.  I happened to glance at the Application log and voila.. NTP would throw 3 dozen stop errors with all kinds of gibberish error codes.. MEINBERG!  I uninstalled Meinberg that was installed per the WSJTx documentation and its appearing to subside.  Seems that possibly somewhere along the lines, perhaps one of the Security Rollups or Cumulative Updates in Win7 made some changes to NTOSKrnl and/or Win32k.sys, and the system would just spin out of control.  All resources (it didn't specify, but Im assuming memory) would get consumed and it'd bluescreen.  Thus far after uninstalling Meinberg, I haven't have a bluescreen in almost a week.  I've gotten back to leaving all DXLab apps, as well as HDSDR for a panadapter.. no sign of memory errors.

So just in case someone is beginning to have random bluescreens, and you're thinking spot collector or some other DXL Suite app, check out your Application Log (no idea why I didn't check that FIRST, as I usually would).  Could be pointing to Meinberg/NTP if you have that installed for FT8.


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