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Ken_Shea
06-04-2009, 11:51 PM
Just purchased a industrial computer with touch screen and enclosure for a CNC lathe conversion I am (have been) working on.

It will boot up under windows XP, shows the desktop for a few seconds and then immeadiatly to the program for which it was designed. I have tried all that I am aware of to get to the windows desktop environment or a command prompt but have been unable.
Booting using any other method except "Normal Boot" results in the infamous blue screen.

Any one have any ideas on how to bypass the autoexec.bat or config.sys?
While this operates under a Pentium 4 2.0 ghz and windows it clearly is not PC based.

The solution may be to remove the computer and all that neat stuff inside that conrolled 4 cameras and install a standard PC. It has four RS232 ports which is unusual, no sound, one USB port, two 24volt power supplies, a DVD/CD and a WD 40gb hard drive.

It program boots up with the Pfizer Logo splash screen:)

I do have a spare Windows 2000 operating system.

Thanks
Ken

fredf
06-05-2009, 01:38 AM
Just purchased a industrial computer with touch screen and enclosure for a CNC lathe conversion I am (have been) working on.

It will boot up under windows XP, shows the desktop for a few seconds and then immeadiatly to the program for which it was designed. I have tried all that I am aware of to get to the windows desktop environment or a command prompt but have been unable.
Booting using any other method except "Normal Boot" results in the infamous blue screen.

Thanks
Ken

Does it say "Microsoft XP" or does it just come up to a desktop?? I assume you have tried hitting f8 for safe mode??

does the program that it runs have a way of exiting control??

If it is XP, ctl alt delete should bring up windows task manager which should allow you to terminate any application. at that point I would look in the Start Folder on the start menu or in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Curr entVersion\Run the application most likely is in one of those two spots

if it doesn't say XP it could be a Linux (Unix) based system they have a couple desktop configurations that look a lot like xp

fred

macona
06-05-2009, 03:18 AM
I would just reinstall the OS.

You want a clean OS for Mach. Nothing running in the background. Who knows what lurking behind the curtains in there!

This is the board I am going to use for my Hercus:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121359

Cheap, tiny, and pretty speedy. Benchmarks I have seen put it about equivalent to a 2.6Ghz P4. A friend of mine has one and I installed Mach on it and I can get reliable pulsing up to 65khz out of Mach.

Ken_Shea
06-05-2009, 08:59 AM
Fred,
As I mentioned, booting any way other the "Normal" brings up the blue screed requiring re-boot, including safe mode. Ctr>alt>del only flashes the screen, the program exit invokes a pop up who's only option is exit the OS, this selection takes you to a Windows logo stating the system is ow safe to shut down. Start menu is unavailable as are any directory viewing workarounds.

I can understand why they do this, to keep all but the authorised out of it.

Thanks
Ken

Ken_Shea
06-05-2009, 09:27 AM
Macona,
That is good advice which I was intending to do, kinda wanted to snoop around the system to see what it was. An electronics surplus store near me has a number of HP P4 3ghz with XP Pro (I think they are 2ghz though) , they are very compact and would adapt nicely into the cabinet, only 512mb but surley can be up graded to at least 1mb and priced at a $100, notice the "only 512mb" haha, I can remember when I could not wait to get my hands on a 16K upgrade for my TRS 80.

Ken

biometrics
06-05-2009, 10:19 AM
If the machine boots up under Windows XP, it HAS to be PC based. I would jump into the hardware bios setup and tell the machine to boot from the CD/DVD drive using an XP install disk... then format the drive and just reload the operating system.

IF you have another PC that is operating under XP, you can remove the hard drive from the problem box and install it as the secondary drive in your PC. That should allow you to examine the contents of the suspect drive and possibly even make some changes in the startup files to allow the box to do what you want it to do...

You could also possibly use some freeware utility program you could download from the internet to determine the Install KEY that was used to load the original XP operating system and then reuse that KEY to reload XP...

Ken_Shea
06-05-2009, 10:41 AM
biometrics,
I had seen the words "Embedded Windows XP" which I believe is the industrial application of windows. Still Windows I guess. There seems to be nothing PC, in the traditional sense, about this system other then Windows.

May try the HD swap, that is easy enough.

Thanks
Ken

kf2qd
06-05-2009, 11:42 AM
Does it even have a hard drive? What type of disk drive cabling does it use? It might be all embedde3d in proms and flash type memory. Have you opened it up to see what is inside the box?

Sounds like an old piece of Med equipment and they were real picky about folks getting inside and messing up the software because of liability issues. May even have a custom set of boot ROMs. Can you find out who made teh motherboard? At the very least you will need to do a clean install of the OS and then go from there. Can you hook up a CD drive and boot from there? Can you get to a setup screen while it is booting? You will have to hook up a keyboard to do anything. (probably knew that already...)

lazlo
06-05-2009, 11:45 AM
This is the board I am going to use for my Hercus:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121359

Cheap, tiny, and pretty speedy. Benchmarks I have seen put it about equivalent to a 2.6Ghz P4.

Atom is basically a resurrected Pentium (a P54CS, specifically). It's a 2-wide, in-order architecture running at 1.6 Ghz.

From Anandtech (http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3562&p=5):

"In my subsequent testing I found that at 1.6GHz, Intel’s Atom performed like a 1.2GHz 90nm Pentium M (Dothan)."

That's about right -- Dothan was a 2-wide, out of order core (basically a modernized P6).

So the 1.6 Ghz Atom you linked will be about 40% slower than a 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 in compute intensive apps, and many, many times slower than a modern Penryn, or Core i7 or Phenom. which are 4-wide, out-of-order processors:

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/zotacion_051209114601/19144.png

Where Atom shines is in low power applications. But even there, the Via Nano is much higher performance:

http://media.bestofmicro.com/K/W/161456/original/pcmark_cpu.png

Ken_Shea
06-05-2009, 11:58 AM
Does it even have a hard drive? What type of disk drive cabling does it use? It might be all embedde3d in proms and flash type memory. Have you opened it up to see what is inside the box?

Sounds like an old piece of Med equipment and they were real picky about folks getting inside and messing up the software because of liability issues. May even have a custom set of boot ROMs. Can you find out who made teh motherboard? At the very least you will need to do a clean install of the OS and then go from there. Can you hook up a CD drive and boot from there? Can you get to a setup screen while it is booting? You will have to hook up a keyboard to do anything. (probably knew that already...)

Can get to the set up screen via F8 but nothing seems to change the boot up sequence. It uses a typical HD and DVD/RW, It's not all that old, built in 2007, has a built in keyboard, it appears to conventionally load the software. Going to pull the HD out tonight and see if I can do anything with that attached to a seperate computor.

Thanks for the reply.

Ken

lazlo
06-05-2009, 12:10 PM
Any one have any ideas on how to bypass the autoexec.bat or config.sys?

Ken, Windows 2000/XP/Vista doesn't bootstrap via DOS (autoexec.bat/config.sys) like the Win16 products used to.
Hitting F8 to dump you into the BIOS isn't going to help either, because Pfizer has apparently installed a custom XP startup program.

If you're trying to save the Pfizer OS install (and the license key), I'd suggest using a boot CD on either a CD ROM, floppy, or thumb drive, and then edit the registry startup entries to remove the Pfizer software.

There are several good boot CD's, with directions to burn directly as an ISO. My favorite is Ultimate Boot CD:

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/index.html

Peter.
06-05-2009, 03:12 PM
Ken I take it you have tried the usual windows hot-keys such as alt+enter, alt+F4, alt+tab etc?

b2u44
06-05-2009, 03:25 PM
Here's some info about the Embedded version of Windows XP from wikipedia:

"XPe includes feature components known as write filters, which can be used to filter out disk writes. The volumes can be marked as read-only using these filters and all writes to it can be redirected. Applications in user mode are unaware of this write filtering. XPe ships with two write filters..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_xp_tablet_pc_edition#Editions_for_embedded _systems

Seems like pulling the drive and overwriting in another machine might be your best bet, as any attempts on the XPe machine will be futile.

Ken_Shea
06-05-2009, 09:43 PM
Ken I take it you have tried the usual windows hot-keys such as alt+enter, alt+F4, alt+tab etc?

Well, errr, uhh.......no :D

Ran in and booted it up in hopes, but no joy.

They have things pretty closed, and for good reasons that are understood.

Would like to save the OS system and try MACH III on it so may try lazlo's suggestion but won't spend a lot of time as a decent P4 3Ghz can be bought for a $100.

Was a good suggestion though Peter.

Ken

lazlo
06-05-2009, 09:49 PM
Ken, if all else fails, mount the drive in another machine, and run Magic Jellybean KeyFinder on it. That will read the Product Key ("CD Key") and license key out of the registry hive:

http://magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

Ken_Shea
06-05-2009, 10:06 PM
Ken, if all else fails, mount the drive in another machine, and run Magic Jellybean KeyFinder on it. That will read the Product Key ("CD Key") and license key out of the registry hive:

http://magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

Going to do that right now, they made it easy, has a mobile rack, sure not like the one I have in my system, this sucker is HD.

Got to shut down, I will let you know later what was found.

Ken

Ken_Shea
06-05-2009, 10:33 PM
I can read the HD now but cannot get any keycode, the directory that I believe has this information is not accessible. The directory layout is not like my system, I believe it may be Windows NT and not XP.

Found a BOOT.ini that reads like it will load the program, may rename that so it can't find it and see if that makes any difference.

lazlo
06-05-2009, 10:59 PM
I can read the HD now but cannot get any keycode, the directory that I believe has this information is not accessible. The directory layout is not like my system, I believe it may be Windows NT and not XP.

Magic Keyfinder works on Win2K, XP and Vista. It sounds like you may have a Windows XPe (embedded Windows) system. I would suspect they use volume license keys that won't work on Win XP.

Ken_Shea
06-05-2009, 11:08 PM
It is definitely the embedded version as show up in the BOOT.INI.
"partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Embedded"

Oh well, was worth a try.

Thanks

Peter.
06-06-2009, 12:40 AM
I'm wondering if the computer you have bought has a BIOS that supports all normal PC functions - or a cut-down version. Hopefully they have saved a few $$ on development and it's the former.

macona
06-06-2009, 12:47 AM
That's about right -- Dothan was a 2-wide, out of order core (basically a modernized P6).

So the 1.6 Ghz Atom you linked will be about 40% slower than a 2.6 GHz Pentium 4 in compute intensive apps, and many, many times slower than a modern Penryn, or Core i7 or Phenom. which are 4-wide, out-of-order processors:



Hmm. The site I had found was using real world apps not benchmarking software so thats where they may have gotten higher speeds with hyperthreading and the like.

Either way the board is tiny, faster than the L2100 (Board has dual core atom), and pretty darn cheap. Plus it more than fast enough to run mach3.

I thought about getting a mini itx board that would let me use my Socket 479 Core Solo processor that was left over from upgrading my mac mini to core 2 duo.

-Jerry

lazlo
06-06-2009, 09:28 AM
Hmm. The site I had found was using real world apps not benchmarking software so thats where they may have gotten higher speeds with hyperthreading and the like.

Anandtech and Tom's hardware both have extensive benchmarks of Atom (that I linked above). On synthetic benchmarks, games and applications, the performance is pretty bad.

Keep in mind that Atom uses the PowerVR graphics chip, which has a hardware video encode/decode, so ignore the video encode/decode/transcode times -- Atom itself isn't doing that, and it's not going to help you with Mach3.

If I was looking for a cheap, low power Mach board, I'd go for the Via Nano -- it's a 2-wide, out of order architecture, and more than twice as fast as Atom.