Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Microsoft LifeCam software progress: now the blue screen can't be read

I bought a Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000 over a year ago. That was before I realized the quality consumer desktop videoconferencing market was dead on Windows. (Ok, there may be an rare exception.)

At the time it installed without a problem on my home XP machine, but on my Dell Latitude D620 it was another story:

Gordon's Tech: Microsoft LifeCam VX-6000 - personal impressions

... On my pure, clean, office laptop however, it produced the XP Blue Screen of Death (STOP error) on launch. I don't remember ever seeing the XP BSOD. I think it's produced by an 'inner ring' memory error, something that only device drivers can do...This is what one sees in white on blue text:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer ...
STOP: VX6000xp.sys

Happens every time on launch of LifeCam (is it doing some kind of dynamic device driver hack?). When you get these errors, btw, you get to file a special bug report with Microsoft on system restart.

I restored the system to health per Microsoft troubleshooting recommendations:

System restore: restored to the point set by the LifeCam install.
sfc /scanonce: ran sfc.exe to verify core XP files were intact. See xp resource kit, system file tools
I'll try again in September when Microsoft says they'll put the installer files online.

Well, I didn't get back to it in September 2007, but I tried again today, 13 months later. I downloaded the latest XP SP 2 LC 1.4 installer.

I'm pleased to report that Microsoft has made a lot of progress in the past year. Now the blue screen vanishes so quickly it can't be read, and the system doesn't let me generate a bug report on restart.

I think there's something buggy with the video in my Dell laptop. Once again I miss my Macs.

I wonder if Microsoft is going to decide they need to buy Dell and emulate Apple ...

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