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[solved] System not recognized correctly...???
#1
Not sure if it's a bug in HWINFO64, but...

I have an Alienware M17x R3.  Been using HWINFO64 for several months with relatively no problems, until 2 days ago.

I noticed my Rainmeter skin that reports the fan RPM was showing -9999.  When I went into the  HWINFO sensor screen, the field that should have been showing "DELL EC" was reading "Alienware M17X R2"??????

Nothing short of restarting the laptop cleared that reading.  It will be well for about an hour and it will go back to reading "Alienware M17x R2".

I've tried going back to known, working version of HWINFO for me, but the problem persists.  I also tried deleting the HWINFO64 registry keys and .ini files and starting fresh.

Any help would be appreciated.
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#2
Hi. Martin and I are discussing. Please give us a bit longer and we'll reply back.
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#3
Thanks for your valuable time.
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#4
There have been some changes to the API that I have not implemented in the Rainmeter plugin yet. I'll try to update it soon.
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#5
Do you think it's a Rainmeter issue?

Seems more like HWINFO or even possibly a BIOS issue (I do have the latest updated BIOS).

The fact that it's HWINFO reporting "Alienware M17x R2" seems to be what's causing Rainmeter to show "-9999" on the RPM skin. If I shut down HWINFO that reading changes to "0".

Additionally, I forgot to mention that when this happens and I try to restart the laptop, it doesn't shut down properly. It seems to exit Windows to a black screen, but it's still powered. I have to long-press the power button to shut it down.

Thanks again for your response though. Looking forward to a possible fix, since I LOVE both these programs! Smile
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#6
That "-9999" means an invalid value is read from the sensor. Such a value should be ignored by the plug-in and not displayed, so this should be fixed.
I think that the reason why HWiNFO is showing the "Alienware M17x R2" sensor is that you previously had the "EC Support" option in HWiNFO disabled, and now you enabled it. This results in accessing the sensors via a different way. Check here for more information about HWiNFO on Alienware (and fan control): http://forum.techinferno.com/hwinfo32-64...ntrol.html
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#7
Martin, thanx for the info.

I read up quite a bit on HWINFO before trying it. I never check EC Support and SW SMI at the same time (should I?). The fact that I have an R3 and not an R2 as HWINFO is showing is what's puzzling. And HWINFO never showed that reading when I used EC Support in the past. It use to say something like COMPAL EC, not Alienware M17x R2.

Additionally, I stopped using EC Support all together because it ALWAYS freezes up on me (not the laptop, just HWINFO monitor) after about 30-40 mins without fail. Haven't been able to figure out a solution. SW SMI would occasionally freeze, but I solved that by basically disabling the fan in the BIOS, i.e., setting the MIN and MAX speed to "0". I figured that if the BIOS didn't try to set the fan speed at the same time that HWINFO was also doing it, it might minimize the freezes. That work-around actually got rid of the freezes all together for several months, as I mentioned in the OP.

Yesterday I reset my BIOS completely and again deleted all the HWINFO registry entries and started fresh. It was fine all day yesterday and most of the day today. But just now I got that funny reading again.

Not sure what changed after so many months of perfect functionality...? Sad I have not installed any new programs lately.

Still love your program though. Worse comes to worse, I'll just disable the RPM skin in Rainmeter for now. Everything else in HWINFO works great. Thanx for all the hard work and support.
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#8
(09-06-2014, 08:12 AM)Mechromancer Wrote: Martin, thanx for the info.

I read up quite a bit on HWINFO before trying it. I never check EC Support and SW SMI at the same time (should I?). The fact that I have an R3 and not an R2 as HWINFO is showing is what's puzzling. And HWINFO never showed that reading when I used EC Support in the past. It use to say something like COMPAL EC, not Alienware M17x R2.

Additionally, I stopped using EC Support all together because it ALWAYS freezes up on me (not the laptop, just HWINFO monitor) after about 30-40 mins without fail. Haven't been able to figure out a solution. SW SMI would occasionally freeze, but I solved that by basically disabling the fan in the BIOS, i.e., setting the MIN and MAX speed to "0". I figured that if the BIOS didn't try to set the fan speed at the same time that HWINFO was also doing it, it might minimize the freezes. That work-around actually got rid of the freezes all together for several months, as I mentioned in the OP.

Yesterday I reset my BIOS completely and again deleted all the HWINFO registry entries and started fresh. It was fine all day yesterday and most of the day today. But just now I got that funny reading again.

Not sure what changed after so many months of perfect functionality...? Sad I have not installed any new programs lately.

Still love your program though. Worse comes to worse, I'll just disable the RPM skin in Rainmeter for now. Everything else in HWINFO works great. Thanx for all the hard work and support.

I can't tell you where that "Alienware M17x R2" reading is coming from. But the issue with the Rainmeter skin is most likely due to changing internal IDs. The scheme used to define the sensor ID in the Rainmeter skin has not been updated to accommodate changes in HWiNFO.

I suspect if you run the shared memory viewer tool included with the skin both before and after the issue, you'll notice the ID for "DELL EC" has changed. And the ID for "Alienware M17x R2" is now using the ID that "Dell EC" was using prior to the issue. This is why that reading would be showing instead. So I need to update the Rainmeter plugin to ensure the IDs no longer change whenever HWiNFO detects any changes in hardware.

Make sense?
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#9
(09-06-2014, 08:12 AM)Mechromancer Wrote: Martin, thanx for the info.

I read up quite a bit on HWINFO before trying it. I never check EC Support and SW SMI at the same time (should I?). The fact that I have an R3 and not an R2 as HWINFO is showing is what's puzzling. And HWINFO never showed that reading when I used EC Support in the past. It use to say something like COMPAL EC, not Alienware M17x R2.

Additionally, I stopped using EC Support all together because it ALWAYS freezes up on me (not the laptop, just HWINFO monitor) after about 30-40 mins without fail. Haven't been able to figure out a solution. SW SMI would occasionally freeze, but I solved that by basically disabling the fan in the BIOS, i.e., setting the MIN and MAX speed to "0". I figured that if the BIOS didn't try to set the fan speed at the same time that HWINFO was also doing it, it might minimize the freezes. That work-around actually got rid of the freezes all together for several months, as I mentioned in the OP.

Yesterday I reset my BIOS completely and again deleted all the HWINFO registry entries and started fresh. It was fine all day yesterday and most of the day today. But just now I got that funny reading again.

Not sure what changed after so many months of perfect functionality...? Sad I have not installed any new programs lately.

Still love your program though. Worse comes to worse, I'll just disable the RPM skin in Rainmeter for now. Everything else in HWINFO works great. Thanx for all the hard work and support.

Sorry, I missed that you have an R3 and HWiNFO is showing an R2. This is definitively a bug in HWiNFO. I have analyzed it and I think this happens if you disable EC support. It's clearly a bug in HWiNFO - I'll fix it in the net build.
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#10
Try this build, it should fix it Wink http://www.hwinfo.com/beta/hw64_445_2302.zip
Let me know...
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#11
Martin, the link is not working...? Sad
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#12
Ah, sorry. Check this: http://www.hwinfo.com/beta/hw64_445_2310.zip
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#13
OK, got it. I'll report back tomorrow, when I get a chance to let the laptop run for a good while to make sure.

Thank you so much for such a quick response.
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#14
The update to the Rainmeter plugin is done. This should prevent any change in hardware from affecting the information being passed to Rainmeter. It should also prevent invalid readings of -9999 from being displayed.

http://www.hwinfo.com/forum/Thread-Rainm...HWiNFO-2-0

Thanks,
Nick
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#15
OK, gentlemen, I apologize for the delay, but I was getting some unusual behavior. I wanted to sort out any anomalies before I came back with a report.

First, let me start by saying that I am very PC-fluent. I actually had small private business in PC repairs; hardware and software related issues. HOWEVER, though I have dabbled in C++, LUA and VB, I'm by no means a programmer, so take my observations accordingly.

In short, the HWINFO updates did not solve the problem. Within an hour of the update, I got the -9999. Additionally, the RAM and Battery skins stopped working and the HWINFO shared memory viewer could no longer display those IDs.

Since, as I had mentioned, everything had been running smoothly for several months, I started to think back to see what had changed, thinking maybe I can isolate a problem:

1. I have added a laptop cooler that plugs into a USB port. I know sometimes usb devices cause problems.
..Tried unplugging the laptop cooler. Didn't work.

2. I had added an email skin to Rainmeter.
..Tried unloading and also completely deleting the email skin. Didn't work.

3. I had changed a couple of Rainmeter INIs to use HWINFO plugin data instead of polling the laptop directly (or however that works)
..I changed them back (I had back-ups). Didn't work.

I decided to check the Event Viewer and there is an ACPI 13 code, related to the EC controller. Not sure if that could be the culprit. I looked around for a fix, but they mostly referenced updating the ACPI (?) or updating the BIOS (of which I have the latest).

All my drivers are the latest for this laptop.

I would just like to make clear that I'm not concerned about a mere aesthetic issue. The reading of "-9999" doesn't bother me that much; I can do without the reading. HOWEVER, what is a bummer is that, although HWINFO continues to run, it does lose control of the fans. They will not respond to temperature changes.

I have not tried the new Rainmeter plugin yet. I will do that now.

Thanx again.
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#16
The -9999 value you got, was that in Rainmeter only, or did HWiNFO show it as well ?
Which sensor do you see now in HWiNFO, is it the "DELL EC" or "Compal EC" ?
What settings do you use now - "EC Support"=disabled, "SW SMI"=enabled ?
You might also try to do "Reset Preferences" in HWiNFO to see if that helps.
Regarding the ACPI error code in the Event Viewer, this is sort of normal. It's because both HWiNFO and the ACPI Windows subsystem try to access the EC simultaneously, which might also be the source of the fan issues. Unfortunately there's no fix for this. This is described over at the Tech|Inferno forum thread for Alienware fan control.
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#17
The -9999 value you got, was that in Rainmeter only, or did HWiNFO show it as well ?
HWINFO show it as well.

Which sensor do you see now in HWiNFO, is it the "DELL EC" or "Compal EC" ?
Well, since i'm using SW SMI, i see DELL EC. When I chose EC Support, I see Compal EC.
I should mention that if I restart HWINFO when this happens, neither DELL EC nor Comapl EC show up. They're completely gone, until I restart the laptop.


What settings do you use now - "EC Support"=disabled, "SW SMI"=enabled ?
Yes, those are the settings.

You might also try to do "Reset Preferences" in HWiNFO to see if that helps.
I'll try that.

Regarding the ACPI error code in the Event Viewer, this is sort of normal. It's because both HWiNFO and the ACPI Windows subsystem try to access the EC simultaneously, which might also be the source of the fan issues. Unfortunately there's no fix for this. This is described over at the Tech|Inferno forum thread for Alienware fan control.
Ah, OK, good to know.

Thanx
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#18
Please bear with me on this message, as it needs some explanation.

All the above suggestions did not solve the problem.  Since what seemed to be stopping the fan monitoring AND control was the DELL SMI and/or the EC Support, I decided to go with EC Support (so I could set the custom rpms at something other than 0, 2400, 4000) BUT disabled the monitoring of the EC.  Surprisingly, the system went several days and I couldn't see the rpms (obviously) but I could hear the fans ramping up and down without any issues.  Sweet!

So I tried enabling the monitoring of the EC to verify that's what was casuing the problem...surprise again...a couple of days and no problems!  Awesome!

HOWEVER, before all this "success", I had taken the battery out of the laptop, as I have it plugged in all the time.  Well, I put the battery in, just to give it some use, and within like 10 minutes the problem returned????  WTH!  I took the battery out, rebooted...everything has been running fine for almost two days now.  The battery being in the laptop is causing the issue???

Martin???  ;-P
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#19
Ah yes, that explains it Smile
The battery information is accessed using the same interface as the fans are controlled by HWiNFO. This interface is not well designed, so when there are more applications in the system using this interface a conflict can occur which results in serious effects. The battery is accessed by the ACPI subsystem (via EC) in Windows and unfortunately the designers of this interface don't support other applications to use it too. So HWiNFO uses this interface on its own and when the battery is present it can cause conflicts with Windows ACPI.
Unfortunately there's no workaround for this Sad I cannot change the interface nor ACPI drivers...
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#20
Ah, OK.  No problem.  At least  we have confirmation.  I thought I was going crazy.  Tongue
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