Truly bizarre unwanted instant power shutoff, somehow related to Netflix ONLY!

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Ninethe, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Ninethe

    Ninethe Well-Known Member

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    Hi, folks! Gird your grid for a very long OP describing a truly baffling puzzle. I apologize for the length, but I've spent a great deal of time and effort researching this issue and experimenting and testing various hypotheses, so I've provided a lot of details which I hope will allow you very capable folks here to help me solve this...

    I use my Dell 1526 laptop running Win7 SP1 primarily for watching streaming video from Netflix, and, until recently, it has worked perfectly for a few years now. It has HDMI output that I connect to my Sony HDTV through a Yamaha AV receiver. The laptop is always plugged in (instead of on battery power).

    But since about mid-December 2012, every time I watch anything on Netflix, within roughly one hour of playing (sometimes less, sometimes more), the laptop suddenly just shuts itself off within 1-2 seconds, with no warning or error whatsoever!

    And now I can say with certainty that streaming from Netflix is the only thing - the single, solitary, ONLY thing that causes the problem! I can use the laptop non-stop for any number of hours and days in a row to do anything at all (other than watching Netflix), and the machine will never, ever shut down or show any other problems.

    A crucial point to note and keep in mind is that I can watch streaming HD video from other sources I've tried -- including Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, and even YouTube -- for any number of hours, but these other sources NEVER cause the power-down problem that occurs every single time I watch Netflix! (The only difference between Netflix and these others that I'm aware of is that Netflix uses Silverlight while the others all use Flash, but I don't know it that's relevant).

    Anyway, when I power it back up after this occurs, the event logs shows nothing relevant except for the expected ones:

    "Event ID: 6008 - The previous system shutdown at <time> on <date> was unexpected.", and

    "Event ID: 41 - The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly."

    So I checked all the usual suspects...

    • Was there a temperature-related failure? NO: Both CPUID's HWMonitor and the Open Hardware Monitor both showed that the CPU temperatures never exceeded 174° F / 79° C (AMD's spec says the max is 203° F / 95° C). The disk temp never exceeded 108° F / 42° C.

    • The graphics card doesn't report it's temperature, but I experimented with that, too, and I'm confident that's not the problem either. Why? Because, as I mentioned above, I can watch streaming HD video from Amazon for hours upon hours with no power problem, but surely the graphics adapter would get as hot or even hotter than it would watching less than an hour of Netflix. So that explanation simply doesn't wash.


    • Could there be some external power problems? Maybe there was something wrong with the AC adapter. For the first month of this problem, I didn't have a battery attached to the laptop, so I began to wonder what would happen if there was. Would the battery take over when the sudden shutdown occurred, as always happens when I deliberately unplug the adapter while it's running? I bought a new battery, charged it up and connected it to see what would happen. But whether the battery is connected or not, it makes no difference whatsoever. Therefore, between that and the fact that the power issue never occurs when I do anything other than watch Netflix, it proves that there's no external power problem.


    • Maybe it was a Firefox issue? I then tried the two other Netflix-compatible browsers, IE and Chrome. It turns out the same thing happens regardless of browser.


    • Microsoft usually asks people to test things out in safe mode to see if the problem remains, but that's both impossible and totally irrelevant in this case because, as I described above, everything works perfectly in full Windows mode for any length of time, as long as I don't watch Netflix.


    • I also considered another issue that's apparently unique to Netflix: When one watches Netflix long enough, a special kind of "pop-up" comes up that pauses playback and prompts the viewer to either (1) Continue, (2) Play it back from the beginning, or (3) Return to browse titles (if I recall the options correctly). Interestingly, after this power-crash started happening, I've never seen that prompt again. In fact, for weeks it very much seemed to me that the power crashes occurred right about the time I expected that pop-up to appear! Now, however, it seems that the power crash is happening too soon -- often after only 20-30 minutes -- for that pop-up issue to be involved.


    That's all I can think of to report, but I'll happily provide more info upon request.

    So, folks, any ideas?

    [HR][/HR]

    Brief system summary: Dell 1526 laptop running 32-bit Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium (My profile provides more detailed system specs). All updates and hotfixes have been applied.

    I've uploaded a rar file some additional info, including CPU-Z report and screen caps, MSINFO32.nfo, etc...View attachment AdditionalSysInfo.rar

    Thanks!
     
    #1 Ninethe, Feb 1, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Have you opened the Siverlight utility and checked it for update status? Is Application storage allocated, like a Quota of 1 MB and the Enable application box checked?

    I haven't found a way so far, but if you can uninstall the Silverlight update, it might reload.

    Video drivers updated? Did you get one around the time the problem started?

    Have you asked Netflix if there was a way to reset your data on their site, or something on your system? I will check the site later to see if I can find anything.

    I did see a help page at Netflix for a troubleshooter. You may have to be logged in to locate the page, but it goes through resetting Silverlight and some other things.
     
    #2 Saltgrass, Feb 1, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  3. Ninethe

    Ninethe Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for your quick and thoughtful reply, Saltgrass! :thumbs_up:

    Regarding Silverlight: All the Silverlight config settings you asked about are set just as you thought they should be. I've attached a rar file containing screen caps of all the Silverlight tabs (except the camera settings which seem irrelevant), below.

    Its Silverlight version 5.1.10411.0, which appears to be the latest, and auto-updating was on. In the Application Storage tab, both movies.netflix.com and a Microsoft site had their quotas set to 1.0 MB.

    But I followed your advice and uninstalled Silverlight (for Win7 users: Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> right-click "Microsoft Silverlight" -> Uninstall, but I used Revo Uninstaller Pro instead because it roots down deep to remove all traces, including from the registry).

    Then I reinstalled it again, and the settings it was installed with are exactly the same as they had been originally (and so the screen caps I attached are identical to the current settings).

    Regarding Video driver updates: The latest updates to any of the video driver components was in Feb of 2010 (the laptop was made in 2008).

    Regarding Other Updates: However, when I first discussed this problem (as a side-issue of a different problem) with the wise and helpful GeneralHiningII a while ago here, I wrote: "... this NEVER happened before the Microsoft update set of 13-Dec-2012"

    Since then, I carefully investigated the possibility that those mid-December Windows updates were somehow involved in this power crash situation. First, I tried simply uninstalling all the 13-Dec updates, but the problem remained. Then I decided to get very serious indeed and so (after creating a current system image), I completely replaced the system disk with a full backup image from early November, and turned off all updates so that nothing could "sneak" back in. Alas, the power crash still occurred exactly as before!

    Boy, did that surprise me! What on earth could be going on? Obviously, I still have no idea, which is why I came to you smart folks. (By the way, I've since restored the newer system image and re-enabled updates so everything's current).

    Regarding support from Netflix: [Soapbox mode ON] Damn, they sure make getting tech support incredibly difficult! The only way to ask them specific tech support questions is over the phone, but can you imagine how utterly futile and ludicrous it would be to orally describe all the data and trouble-shooting steps I've taken to some telephone support agent, even if that agent were highly technically skilled? It would be some kind of Kafkaesque farce!

    As you point out, Saltgrass, at least now Netflix has what they drolly refer to as a "support site" (Search Netflix Support | Support), but can you actually post technical support requests there? Absolutely not! All that site allows one to do is to search it to see if, in their Highly Reluctant Beneficence, Netflix has deigned to briefly mention some technical issue that might possibly relate to us lowly users' "needs". Sheesh! What a waste! [/Soapbox OFF]

    Anyway, I've searched it and found what you've found, but none of that helps, and nothing else I can find there relates to this bizarre power crash problem.

    However, now that I've uninstalled and then re-installed Silverlight, I'm going to watch some Netflix again to see if the problem remains or not. I'll report back with my results...

    Thanks again, Saltgrass, for your kind and helpful reply!
     

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    #3 Ninethe, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I have been trying to think of something that would shut your system down without giving some type of Blue Screen error, and I do not know of anything.

    There is a chance your external power adapter might be having problems, there is more in those than just a power transformer to convert the a/c to d/c. If the logic has gone bad, it might explain the problem.

    If it isn't happening on some recurrent time constraint, it probably isn't something that is scheduled. If it happens only close to some repeatable time you have been watching Netflix, it might be related to that. If you watch a 1 1/2 hour movie, does it always shutdown after some specific timem and if so, does it make any difference as to how long the system has been on prior?

    You said you checked Netflix, did you see the part about deleting the "is" folder for Silverlight in the AppData\LocalLow\Microsoft directory? This might be a fix for problems watching a specific video, not really sure, but if something is corrupted on your system, it might help...but it also might cause the system to forget where you are in certain programs.

    And you have looked on your system and there are no .dmp files? Have you set you system, in the Advanced System Settings - Startup and Recovery, to not restart for Blue Screens and to write a small mini-dump file?

    Have you tried changing Power Plan Settings?

    And since Netflix is on the net, I suppose the Network Adapter can not be ignored.
     
  5. Ninethe

    Ninethe Well-Known Member

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    Re: Truly bizarre unwanted instant power shutoff, somehow related to SILVERLIGHT Only!

    Thanks for your new reply, Saltgrass!

    But before I reply to your latest comments, I have some new info to report: In my OP, I thought it was only watching Netflix that caused the problem and knew it did not occur while watching Flash video. I knew that Netflix uses Silverlight, but I wasn't aware of any other video streaming service that also used Silverlight, so I couldn't try them. But on Saturday I learned that HBO's streaming service (HBO GO) also uses Silverlight. So I watched some HBO GO, and sure enough, that power-crashed too! So now it's virtually certain that the problem isn't actually related to Netflix per se, but to any video streaming service that uses Silverlight. Therefore, as both your replies had strongly suggested, it is Silverlight that causes the power crash, not Netflix specifically as I had first thought.

    But before I continue, I'll address your most recent reply...

    But if that were the case, it would happen any arbitrary time regardless of what I was doing. But since it only happens while watching streaming Silverlight videos, we need to keep looking.

    To answer your last question first, I'm entirely certain that the system uptime makes no difference whatsoever. It's power-crashed after hours of other work prior to watching Silverlight videos, and it's happened only minutes after being off a day or three.

    But regarding your first question, the longest I've been able to watch Netflix since mid-December has been approximately two hours. But the most recent test I performed, just an hour ago, the power crashed in less than 15 minutes (I wasn't actually watching it, so I don't know for certain, but I can say it was definitely less than 15 mins). In general, I'd estimate the average time to be about 45 minutes.

    Well, I'd found an old thread that began with an OP about Silverlight and a shutdown problem that was answered with that suggestion to delete the IS folder (at social.msdn.microsoft.com here: Netflix conflict with Silverlight, from December 2008). I did try that -- in fact, I tried it again with that test I just made an hour ago, but it made no difference. I'd be happy to upload the contents of that folder if you think it might be useful.

    I've thoroughly checked everywhere for any .dmp files after the crash (I deleted all the old dump files from before this power crash started happening so I wouldn't get confused), but the only .dmp files I've found since then have all been zero-length files in Firefox's roaming directories.

    I did not have quite those Advanced System Settings: the record to event log and save minidumps options were enabled, but I also had automatic restart enabled too. Interestingly, the system never automatically restarted after these power crashes. Do you think that's an important clue? It seems that it could be.

    In any case, I just changed those settings to match your suggestion, and I'm currently running another test. I'll report back what happens....

    That was one of the first things I did when this started happening in December. I changed them to "Maximum Performance" for both AC power and while using the battery, just to be sure this wasn't a power policy issue. Although for the first month I didn't even have a battery attached, from then on I did. Nothing made any difference.

    Perhaps, but then why does the system never power-crash when watching HD Flash video from Amazon or Hulu or YouTube, no matter how long I watch? Why would my truly excellent Netgear 300N adapter cause a problem only while watching Silverlight video?

    [HR][/HR]
    Here's what I think...

    Not to boast, but I've got 30 years of professional experience and expertise in software design and development (though none of it under Windows). A great deal of that experience was with embedded/real-time systems, where hardware and software are interrelated and intermixed quite closely. With that in mind, along with this new information that points directly at Silverlight 5 (rather than Netflix), I've come to strongly suspect that there may well be a bug in Silverlight that causes some kind of memory over-write -- perhaps a buffer overflow (especially considering how so many modern programmers are inexcusably terrible at protecting that from happening, what with all the Flash and Java buffer overflows that are an endless plague these days). Perhaps one of the addresses that gets clobbered is related to the power-control subsystem (probably an interrupt vector or the equivalent), and that sets up a condition that ends up causing an immediate power-down.

    That would explain nearly all the evidence we have, including:


    - Why it happens only with Silverlight video, and never Flash video.

    - Why the uptime and the system temperatures make no difference (i.e., overheating is not a factor).

    - Why there are never any crash dumps, and no relevant event log entries exist (except for the after-the-fact entries described in my OP). Admittedly, I don't know anything about how Windows 7 treats unhandled exceptions or clobbered interrupt vectors, so we'd need to consult an expert on these issues (but surely there are some of those right here on these fora -- perhaps you're such a person, Saltgrass?)


    However, I readily acknowlege that there's one key aspect that my hypothesis doesn't fullyexplain: Why did this power-crash problem only start happening in mid-December 2012? And why did it continue to happen even when I restored that system image backup I made in early November 2012? The Silverlight version I'm using is v5.1.10411.0 , and the config page reads "(c) 2011 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved." Of course, I don't know if that means that Silverlight was never updated since then. Does anyone know?

    But if Silverlight hasn't been updated since then (or if the most recent update was prior to November 2012) the problem simply cannot be with Silverlight alone. Therefore, I've attached a rar file containing an HTML file that lists of all the updates currently installed on my laptop...



    ================== Discontinuity ==================
    As I was writing the above, there was a family medical emergency, but I'm now back from the ER and, aside from some bruising and and some stitches, a full recovery is expected.

    But when I wrote above about re-testing the power-crash problem "an hour ago", that's now many hours out of date. And for the record, the second re-test I said was "currently underway" has since failed exactly the same way it always has after only 10 minutes, and again there are no dump files or relevant event log entries.

    I apologize again for the great length of these posts, but I've long been very much of the opinion that too much information is far superior to providing too little...
     

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  6. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Re: Truly bizarre unwanted instant power shutoff, somehow related to SILVERLIGHT Only!

    With no dump files unloading, this would indicate that the kernel is unable to even log a problem before there is a total failure (possible GPU or CPU exception that kills any further activity). However, you are indicating that the system is automatically restarting. Under Advanced system settings, make sure that the system is set to actually generate minidumps. This is set under Startup and recovery options under "System failure": Write an event to the system log [x] and Automatic memory dump or Complete memory dump. Also, try to disable the automatic restart option, to at least catch if a BSOD is being generated. It is possible a BSOD is being generated, but for some reason or another, is not written to the disk or event log.

    On the issue of event log, you should really check for Warnings, Errors, and Critical issues around the time that the system goes down using the Filter. This can be accessed quickly with Windows Key + R -> compmgmt.msc as you probably know. Outside of this, I know of no Windows updates that create this issue. When using third party browsers and Netflix for a prolonged period of time, I have seen the issue whereas the system thinks it is idling and simply goes into Sleep Mode. To avoid this, it is best to use Internet Explorer when watching Netflix under Windows 7. In fact, if you have not tried this, I would be very surprised.

    I have often connected a laptop with standard HDMI cable to multiple HDMI televisions to watch Netflix and have not had this issue whatsoever. You may actually want to start looking at the possibility of even a general RAM issue using memtest86+. Usually, nothing will come up except for malfunctions within the computing environment when a stick of RAM starts to fail. If there is anything wrong with your RAM whatsoever, a bootable USB stick for memtest should give you this info by the 2nd pass. I am using a system with 24GB of DDR3 and this was a cause of numerous system integrity problems that had no logical explanation.

    In your case, it must now be a matter of process of elimination, which can be an excruciatingly annoying process. However, it usually does not fail. Drawing a false conclusion about Silverlight is not a good idea, since Netflix works w/Silverlight on the majority of computer systems throughout their consumer base. If it did not, customers would be complaining in droves. It cannot simply be that your system has identified some unknown flaw in Silverlight that prevents Netflix from running properly. This is an extreme statistical improbability. Here is what I would recommend:


    • Check the event logs for any issues related to a failure of some Windows sub-system or HAL issue around the time the issue takes place.
    • As mentioned above, do not automatically reboot on system failure and have BSODs set to drop a complete dump file in case they happen to be turned off.
    • Run memtest86+ available as freeware @ Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool
    • Run Prime95 to see if the processor can still pass burn-in testing.
    • Run the AIDA64 system stability test, available as a free trial for system diagnostics (formerly Lavalys Everest - well known in IT diagnostic circles). This will test your CPU, GPU, FPU, HDD, system temps, and provide a graph for this data.

    What running Netflix will do, especially on a board with an integrated controller, or even with a dedicated GPU, is that it will task the GPU to a point where there may not be enough ventilation for certain systems to exhaust heat. This can lead to the motherboard or CPU reaching close to the TJMAX and just force a shut down or reboot. Windows is not equipped to detect this type of problem, as forced clockdowns and restarts are generally handled above the OS kernel level. Specifically, you may want to run an exclusive GPU stability test: FurMark: VGA Stress Test, Graphics Card and GPU Stability Test, Burn-in Test, OpenGL Benchmark and GPU Temperature | oZone3D.Net

    If at any time during the operation of these tests, your system fails, reboots, black screens, or goes down, you know it is a hardware issue. I found that running Netflix for a prolonged period of time required me to use a USB laptop cooling pad.

    If you pass all of these tests, and NOTHING is discovered, check for system integrity violations using sfc /scannow. For further info: http://windows7forums.com/tweaks-guides-howto/19250-system-file-checker-great-windows-fix-tool.html

    Remember, that failing memory modules can also cause hardware malfunctions that seem completely unrelated and will also generate hard drive and file systems aberrations. This is an entirely time consuming process, but it should eliminate most hardware failure concerns and help you determine if you may have a file system consistency problem within the operating system.

    Of course, if you have recently updated your graphics card drivers, you may want to either download the latest version of them, or actually revert to an earlier WHQL certified version. The latter can be accomplished easily with the rollback feature in Device Manager, but if you have a GPU control panel program installed, this could create additional problems. Best to completely uninstall and re-install the latest version of the graphics drivers after ensuring that you have no system integrity violations or hardware problems.

    To the best of my ability, these are some of the best general diagnostic tips I can give you for your particular problem. For some reason, I have a hunch that a GPU stability test may reveal problems in your instance, but I cannot be sure until the process of elimination completely takes place. Until then, who knows what factors could be at work. One thing is certain: Silverlight and Netflix work on millions of other laptops without incident, so this is why this is an extremely unusual problem and must be in some way related to your system configuration.

    If you have recently installed new software that continuously runs in the background, like an anti-virus or anti-malware program, you may want to uninstall or revert back any changes that have been made to the system since the problem started. Easier said than done! Best of luck.
     
    #6 Mike, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2013
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Re: Truly bizarre unwanted instant power shutoff, somehow related to SILVERLIGHT Only!

    It seems you are not the only one have the same problem. I did find some other questions from a couple of folks.

    Heat could still be involved, but normally, a system will warn you if something is getting overheated. You might be able to change the monitoring in the bios to give you an earlier warning for certain items. You have checked the exhaust fan for debris?

    Could something else be conflicting with Silverlight, like another type of video codec or service?

    I checked my .Net updates and did not see any around the middle of December. But there were others, and one was for Windows 7 and one for Windows 7 security..along will several MSE updates. An IE8 update was included since I don't run IE9.

    I have an Inspiron 1545 I can run Netflix on for testing. I will let you know later is there were any problems.

    Sorry I can't view your .rar attachments since I don't have it installed. I just use the .zip built into Windows 7

    Edit: I also do not allow the Bing Desktop...
     
    #7 Saltgrass, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  8. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Regarding your Silverlight data upload, the version in Windows 8 is Version: 4.1.10329.0. Who knows why this is, but it seems to be an earlier version of the one you have. Albeit, one can be sure it is the latest. Second, all of the settings are the same, except for Application Storage, whereas I have it enabled but do not have any websites listed with quotas. Further, the Hardware Accelerated Playback option is no longer available in the Windows 8 version I am using. I am doing this as a comparison to see what significant difference is there. Perhaps disabling hardware acceleration and seeing if you come across the same issue may be a blanket way to temporarily solve the problem and bring you closer to identifying the source? If it is a hardware problem, it has been recommended that turning off hardware acceleration can often times resolve these types of graphics rendering issues. Remember, that you are not even rendering graphics, but simply pursuing video playback, which should not be a major ordeal. I would also agree on not using the Bing desktop at this time...
     
  9. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    It is strange, I just did an update on another computer and the Silverlight version was not offered. It still has the 4. version but I will watch to see if it shows up. I might uninstall the 5. version on this system and see if it is re-offered.

    And one question for my testing. Do you watch the videos in full screen or windowed mode?
     
  10. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    If given some time, I can load up Windows 7 in a virtual machine on a clean install and see what version of Silverlight is installed by default. I'm going to wait for the OP to respond for that.
     
  11. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Just watched Netflix on my laptop for 2 hours and no problems. I am running the 4.1.1... version of Silverlight and there are no updates offered for the 5.0 version.

    Something about the heat issue I forgot is that the way the cooling fan behaves is a good indication. Mine cycles to high speed ever so often, but most of the time runs at the low speed.
     
  12. Ninethe

    Ninethe Well-Known Member

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    Re: Truly bizarre unwanted instant power shutoff, somehow related to SILVERLIGHT Only!

    Sorry about the delay in responding -- my family medical situation has required more of my time than I had anticipated...

    Thanks, Mike, for your very knowledgeable and full response! Your time and efforts are much appreciated. I'll now respond to some of your comments and questions...

    Indeed. This became clear back in December...

    Sorry, that's not quite correct. It is true that the setting to automatically restart had been enabled in the past, but as I explained to Saltgrass above, the laptop never actually automatically restarted. Here's what I wrote to Saltgrass:

    So even though the advanced settings have always been set to log an event and create minidumps, no relevant event log entries or dumps have ever been created, even after disabling the "automatic restart" setting.

    I have done exactly that each and every time, but besides the two event log entries described in my OP...
    ... there's never been anything else in the event logs near the time the power crashed.

    Sure, sporadically I'll see another annoying "Error 3 Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-EventTracing
    'Microsoft Security Client OOBE' stopped due to the following error: 0xC000000D", which -- as with many other users -- occasionally keeps returning no matter how often I follow Microsoft's fix procedure, but nothing else that's relevant to this power-crash problem.

    In mid-December, after determining that overheating was not the cause (according to various hardware monitoring software, and for any component that contains a temp sensor (which the on-board graphics system on this laptop does not), I ran memtest86+ v4.20 for approximately 30 passes, with no error. I figured that running that test so long might also indicate any overheating, but everything ran perfectly without any problem.

    It seemed so to me, as well. I knew perfectly well from the start that, if this were a common problem, I would have easily found many references to it during my Google searches. But even when I failed to find such, it was also plain that logic did not rule out a software problem, because outside of some business environments (where admins ensure more uniformity), it is also an extreme statistical improbability that any two Dell 1526 laptops would have exactly the same hardware and software installed and were identically configured. After all, the hugely mind-boggling variety of hardware and software that Microsoft and all other software developers have to deal with is probably the biggest and most labor-intesive part of releasing a new or updated application or system!

    In other words, the problem could still definitely be related to some bug in Silverlight or a related system software component that is only seen under extremely rare and improbable combinations of hardware and software configurations. And the fact that the problem NEVER occurs watching hi-def Flash video and ALWAYS occurs watching Silverlight video is a strong argument for my hypothesis. Of course, I will certainly acknowledge that some kind of hardware-only issue may well be causing my problem. So I'm very grateful indeed for your advice and your recommended hardware diagnostic software. I have a bootable general-purpose hardware diagnostic CD which I ran back in mid-December that reported no errors at all, but that's a decade or two old, so it's results probably don't mean much.

    The three steps above have been run and checked (and the auto-restart has already been disabled), but no relevant event logs or dump files are created, and the memory test showed no errors after 30 passes.

    Thanks very much, Mike, for pointing me to these diagnostic tools. I've searched for diagnostics I could run, but there are so damn many of them out there I didn't know which to choose (other than CPU-Z, GPU-Z (with thanks to GeneralHiningII), and some others).

    As I've explained elsewhere, I'm pretty much convinced that this power-crash is not related to any kind of overheat problem. The facts against that hypothesis include: (1) The system has often power-crashed within ten minutes or less after boot-up when watching Silverlight video from Netflix -OR- HBO GO, even after the laptop had been turned off for several days before-hand!, and (2) The laptop gets much hotter when watching Flash HD video from Amazon and other sites for several hours in a row, but the power-crash NEVER occurs. It is ONLY while watching Silverlight for even just 10 minutes that the power-crash occurs.

    Thanks again for pointing me to another good diagnostic tool! I'll run Prime95, AIDA64, and FurMark and report back on what I find. If they show no problems, I'll continue with the rest of your suggestions.

    Please accept my considerable gratitude, Mike, for all the time, effort, and knowledge you have so kindly passed along to me!
     
  13. Ninethe

    Ninethe Well-Known Member

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    That's a good tip, Saltgrass! Next time, I'll turn the sound way down so that I can more easily hear the laptop's fan noise. Thanks!
     
  14. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    What's odd is that we are using Version: 4.1.10329.0 in Windows 8 and it appears Saltgrass in Windows 7 is on the same version. Your initial screenshot showed a version of 5.1.10411.0? This may actually be an issue of contention, as I want to confirm after fully patching Windows 7 Pro from a clean install that this is the right version of Silverlight... Why would both Saltgrass and I have version 4.1.1*?

    P.S.: I am actually installing VMWare Workstation and doing a clean install of Windows 7 to figure this out right now. It is that unnerving.
     
  15. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    Default version of Silverlight in Windows 7 Ultimate with all updates is:

    Microsoft Silverlight (64-bit)
    Version: 5.1.10411.0
    (c) 2011 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

    This does differ significantly from the Windows 8 version.
     
  16. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

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    I have been running Netflix with the 5.1 Silverlight version and have seen no problems, but this is a desktop with a powerful Nvidia video card.

    My thinking is the 5.1 Silverlight update was offered around Christmas. Shortly thereafter, folks complained and Microsoft removed it. I have 3 Windows 7 systems, and the only one with the 5.1 update is my primary system, which was up around Christmas. The others were not even awake and have been set to not automatically retrieve the updates.

    But the next step is fairly obvious, remove the 5.1 install and let Windows redo an update, which will probably be 4.1... I do not know if this will cure your situation, but it will remove one possibility. I might do some research to see if there is a better way to remove all parts of the 5.1 update, but on my system, for now I will just uninstall it in the Programs and Features window.

    Edit: I may have to change my comments. I just uninstalled 5.1 from my primary system and the update replaced it. KB2636927 contains two items, Silverlight and a Security Update for Silverlight. The Silverlight update was from 5/2012 and the other one later. But I again have Silverlight 5.1 on this system. More research is needed.... But the other systems have still not been offered the 5.1 update.
     
    #16 Saltgrass, Feb 7, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  17. Ninethe

    Ninethe Well-Known Member

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    NOTE: I haven't been able to make any more progress because (I'm ashamed to say), I "wellered" my laptop's OS while changing things around for more testing (the term "wellered" originated after a fellow college student attempted (and failed) to assemble his new Altair 8800 kit with a Weller soldering iron meant for plumbing work!) I'll explain where I am and how I'm trying to fix the problems in a subsequent post...

    [HR][/HR]
    But for now, I'll address your excellent observations and suggestions, and later below I'll discuss the Silverlight version issues...

    An excellent idea. I'll try that when I get my OS repaired...

    Oh, I wouldn't install that to save my life! I quite despise the new indexed search system that Microsoft introduced with Vista and retained for Win 7 (trying to compete with Google's desktop search, I suspect). No, I much preferred XP's more basic search. So for Windows 7, I use an old favorite search util named "Effective File Search", and I'll never turn back. But I digress...


    I watch in my browser, but when the film begins, I switch to full screen mode. On the Sony TV I almost always use, the video resolution is not particularly high: It's only roughly 1280 x 960 (I can't recall exactly, but I can't check right now because the system's not booting).


    Thanks enormously for the kind offer, but I can't ask you to perform all that work on my behalf, and I don't think it's worthwhile, either. I'll explain when I get to my discussion of Silverlight versions below...


    My Reply Regarding Silverlight versions:

    Here is the Silverlight version history: Microsoft Silverlight Release History. According to that page, the recommended Silverlight version for Windows 7 (and other os's) is v 5.1.10411.0 Released May 8, 2012 That version fixes some serious security issues and other bugs, and it also seems to be what any Win 7 system will automatically update to IF your Silverlight configuration Updates settings are set to "Install updates automatically (recommended)". As I understand it, it seems that the Silverlight update settings are (or can be), independent of the regular Windows/Microsoft Update settings, which might explain why you both were running v4.x rather than v5.1.10411.0.

    Just FYI, here's a link to an official Microsoft Silverlight blog entry describing the 9-Dec-2011 release of Silverlight 5: Silverlight 5 Available for Download Today.

    And regarding this part of what Saltgrass wrote: "My thinking is the 5.1 Silverlight update was offered around Christmas. Shortly thereafter, folks complained and Microsoft removed it", my guess is that the Christmas 2012 Silverlight release that got pulled back later was not version 5.1.10411.0, but rather version 5.1.10516.0. Why do I think that? While that version number isn't listed anywhere on the Silverlight Release History page, my XP Pro/SP3 machine that I'm using right now shows that version is installed! Here's a screen cap:

    XP Pro Silverlight version.


    So I don't think there's any reason to believe that Silverlight v5.1.10411.0 is part of the problem, since it's been installed and working on my Win 7 Dell laptop since 8-May-2012, yet this power-crash problem didn't begin until 13-Dec-2012. And although I've always had the "Hardware-accelerated playback" option enabled all along, I think Mike's suggestion to disable it and see what happens is still a very good idea.


    Oops! Please accept my humble apologies. I'll use ZIP format from now on, and perhaps I'll replace those older RAR files, too.

    I'll briefly discuss my idiocy regarding my self-inflicted "wellering" of my laptop in my next post, but I want to close this one by emphasizing that Mike's post above about testing more thoroughly for hardware faults using those hardward diagnostic tools is truly an excellent idea (and that's just what I was starting to do when I stupidly fouled up my laptop). That being the case, I would feel more comfortable if you would both suspend any more of your generous time and efforts until after I've learned more about any hardware problems that may exist...

    Thanks again for all your hard work!
     
    #17 Ninethe, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  18. Ninethe

    Ninethe Well-Known Member

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    OFF-TOPIC: How I wellered my laptop's OS, and how I'm trying to fix it

    So here's the stupid thing I did to damage my laptop's Win 7 SP1 operating system...

    Earlier in this thread, I wrote:
    Well, I installed Comodo Program Manger a week or so ago (the only utility I could ever find that would easily uninstall an ancient Dell software modem driver for Vista that occasionally created Errors in the Event Log), which actually completely solved the problem! But yesterday, because of that annoying OOBE problem (which is reportedly related to Windows Defender/Anti-malware), I used it to uninstall Windows Defender.

    Bad move! I'm not sure why, but when I tried to reboot, all I would get after the "Starting Windows" animation was a black screen with only the mouse pointer showing. The same thing happens when I boot to Safe Mode or even Safe Mode with Console Prompt.

    So I booted up with the installation DVD and tried "Startup Repair", but that fails with the message "Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically" with one of the problem signatures reading "MissingOsLoader". I found dozens of support sites explaining how to fix that, including:


    ...but I've tried just about everything they've suggested and nothing yet has solved my problem.

    However, I still haven't tried the "Nuclear Holocaust" option described in this very good tutorial from the makers of EasyBCD: Recovering the Windows Bootloader from the DVD, but I'm going to try that next...

    For the record, I've tried using System Restore with either of the two recent Restore Points that Comodo's Program Manager created, but no luck there (older restore points were too old). I've also tried booting with the "last known good configuration", but the results were the same. I also ran "CHKDSK C: /F /V /R", which found and repaired a single corrupt sector, and when I ran it again, no problems were reported. Also, I ran "SFC /scannow /offbootdir=C:\ /offwindir=C:\windows" a few times and it found and reportedly repaired a few problems. Here's the log's contents:

    Code:
    2013-02-09 03:03:45, Info   CBS  Failed to initialize COM security. [HRESULT = 0x800706ba - RPC_S_SERVER_UNAVAILABLE]
    2013-02-09 03:03:45, Info   CBS  Starting TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 03:03:45, Info   CBS  Trusted Installer core was not initialized.
    2013-02-09 03:03:45, Info   CBS  Ending TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 03:51:57, Info   CBS  Failed to initialize COM security. [HRESULT = 0x800706ba - RPC_S_SERVER_UNAVAILABLE]
    2013-02-09 03:51:57, Info   CBS  Starting TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 03:51:57, Info   CBS  Trusted Installer core was not initialized.
    2013-02-09 03:51:57, Info   CBS  Ending TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 03:55:06, Info   CBS  Failed to initialize COM security. [HRESULT = 0x800706ba - RPC_S_SERVER_UNAVAILABLE]
    2013-02-09 03:55:06, Info   CBS  Starting TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 03:55:06, Info   CBS  Trusted Installer core was not initialized.
    2013-02-09 03:55:06, Info   CBS  Ending TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 05:48:21, Info   CBS  Failed to initialize COM security. [HRESULT = 0x800706ba - RPC_S_SERVER_UNAVAILABLE]
    2013-02-09 05:48:21, Info   CBS  Starting TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 05:48:21, Info   CBS  Trusted Installer core was not initialized.
    2013-02-09 05:48:21, Info   CBS  Ending TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 05:59:58, Info   CBS  Failed to initialize COM security. [HRESULT = 0x800706ba - RPC_S_SERVER_UNAVAILABLE]
    2013-02-09 05:59:58, Info   CBS  Starting TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 05:59:58, Info   CBS  Trusted Installer core was not initialized.
    2013-02-09 05:59:58, Info   CBS  Ending TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 08:38:21, Info   CBS  Failed to initialize COM security. [HRESULT = 0x800706ba - RPC_S_SERVER_UNAVAILABLE]
    2013-02-09 08:38:21, Info   CBS  Starting TrustedInstaller finalization.
    2013-02-09 08:38:21, Info   CBS  Trusted Installer core was not initialized.
    2013-02-09 08:38:21, Info   CBS  Ending TrustedInstaller finalization.
    I don't know what to make of any of that, however. But remember that the SFC scans were all done from the Win 7 Install DVD command line, so there was no networking in place and apparently the install DVD repair tools don't run with the "Server" or RPC services running, which perhaps explains those error messages.

    Anyway, it's on to the "Nuclear Holocaust" repair option next! I'll let you all know when my system is working again...
     
    #18 Ninethe, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  19. Ninethe

    Ninethe Well-Known Member

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    Re: Truly bizarre unwanted instant power shutoff, NOW known to be hardware failure!

    Dear Saltgrass and Mike,

    Even though I've been able to boot properly from an older, backed-up system image on an external USB drive for about a week now, I was never able to learn how to perform a Windows 7 nondestructive repair install from the old system on the USB drive but onto the internal hard drive.

    So once I gave up trying a repair install, it finally dawned on me that I could still use the older system on the USB drive to perform the hardware diagnostics that Mike directed me to in post # 6 of this thread.

    (If you'll recall, the machine successfully ran 30 iterations of Memtest86+ earlier, but I hadn't been able to run FurMark or AIDA64 because of the Black Screen problem.)

    Anyway, when I ran FurMark's full (laptop) screen burn-in tests just now, after approximately 20 steps, the system power-crashed the same old way, with no event log entries and no crash dumps! Aargh! It was a hardware problem after all! I'm SO sorry I used up so much of your time!+o(

    Prime95 runs okay, as do many AIDA64 tests, but eventually AIDA64 causes a power-crash, too. Unfortunately, neither FurMark nor AIDA64 left behind any (non-empty) logs or other hints as to exactly what failed. I've yet to decide whether I'll ship it our for diagnostics/repair (I found a good place for that: Laptop Rescuer Co. in Santa Clara, CA) or buy a new laptop, but clearly something needs to be done.

    This thread can be closed now, but first I very much wish to extend my profound and enormous gratitude to you both, and to the Windows 7 Forums as well! :thumbs_up:
     
    #19 Ninethe, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013

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