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  • OT - Computer question.

    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

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ken_Shea
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      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/Produc...82E16813121359

      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.

      Comment


      • #4
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          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

          Comment


          • #6
            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...

            Comment


            • #7
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Some more info -

                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...)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by macona
                  This is the board I am going to use for my Hercus:

                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813121359

                  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:

                  "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:



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

                  Last edited by lazlo; 06-05-2009, 11:54 AM.
                  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kf2qd
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ken_Shea
                      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
                      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ken I take it you have tried the usual windows hot-keys such as alt+enter, alt+F4, alt+tab etc?
                        Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                        Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                        Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                        Monarch 10EE 1942

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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...bedded_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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Peter.
                            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

                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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/
                              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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