THREAD_STUCK_IN_DEVICE_DRIVER no more! (Windows 8.1.*)

Today I tackled this obnoxious problem that certain Dell laptops running Windows 8.1 suffer from …for the second time and it looks like this one is my luck. I’ve decided to write down how I conquered this in a straight forward fashion to spare you the pain of going through pages of forum answers.

The common culprit of this BSOD and the inability of waking the laptop from sleep without it restarting is related to (1) the AMD Radeon HD 7730M display driver after updating to Win 8.1 –and (2) once update 1 installed you might get a nice “Catalyst Control Center stopped working” prompt in addition.

If you care for a story: the first time I ended up with the problem solved but my USB ports gone OOO. Somewhat misled, I had uninstalled one thing too many in my attempt to solve these two issues. Trying everything in my book to get them back (Safe mode, registry, restore, USB options in the BIOS…) and a chat with the friendly folks of the @DellCares team, the only option remaining was a Windows Refresh. Cool my USBs are back but of course after performing all updates and upgrade to Win 8.1.1 the issues too. Very cautiously these are the steps I took this time:

  • first off, create a system restore point just because, you know?
  • press CTL+SHIFT+ESC to open the task manager, go to “Startup” tab and select Catalyst Control Center Launcher from the startup items. Click ‘Disable’ and close the task manager.
  • press WIN+R and type ‘powercfg.cpl‘ to open the Power Options. Click ‘Choose what the power buttons do’, next ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’. Scroll down and deselect ‘Turn on fast startup (recommended)’. Close this window. [ref ]
  • go to the Dell support site for drivers, insert your Service Tag. Make sure Win 8.1 is selected as OS and scroll down to ‘Video’, select ‘AMD Rad[...]‘ and download the first package — Video_AMD_W8.1_A00_Setup-9NNDW_ZPE.exe — Close the browser. [ref 1 ]  [ref 2 ]
  • right-click the downloaded package, choose ‘Run as administrator’. The package will extract everything and launch the AMD software/driver install afterwards. Because I don’t trust this: cancel the installation.
  • with the File Explorer go to the extracted folder (default should be C:\dell\Drivers\9NNDW) and right-click ‘Setup64.exe’, select ‘Run as administrator’ seeing that we are superstitious…
  • in the AMD Catalyst wizard proceed as follows: install→custom→leave everything checked and start the install. Screens will flicker and actions performed. If all is done without incident you will be asked to reboot. Rightfully do so.
  • Let your laptop and Windows do their startup peacefully. Check if Windows goes to sleep and wakes up properly. If it does: Rejoice! You can now re-enable ‘fast startup’ in the advanced Power Options.  Last check: restart your Dell…

You might have noticed that the Catalyst Control Center is left disabled from my startup settings; I just can’t be bothered with it.

update 21.07.2014: I updated the Intel driver through Device Manager yesterday, no problems so far.

If this didn’t solve your problem you will have to search further, I can’t help you.

Web development on Windows, step 2

Step two is just as easy as the first one.
It simply consists of preparing my two virtual machines.

Creating VMs in VirtualBox is straightforward. With the wizard I set them two quickly up using the default values given. This done, I review their settings individually and adjust the ones where the wizard didn’t present options for.

Below screenshots for reference. Please refer to the manual to set these according to your system. <tl;dr: chapters 1.7 - 1.11 - 2.1 - 3>

To make the guest OS installs and their setup effortless mind that the ‘Network’ option is set on NAT and that you have designated the same sharing folder for both machines under ‘Shared Folders’.

Let’s go to step three for more serious funnier stuff.

to be continued…

Win 7 Pro  VM settings - step two Ubuntu VM settings - step two

Web development on Windows

“The only reason coders’ computers work better than non-coders’ computers is coders know computers are schizophrenic little children with auto-immune diseases and we don’t beat them when they’re bad.” Peter Welch, Programming Sucks

To a certain extend this can be applied to Windows. Windows behaves best when it stays ‘clean’. If your laptop is both for personal use and work, it is important to have a solid dev environment as some installations / configurations / operations are more tedious (read: a drag) to perform on Windows. And maybe there’s even interest to peek at other development fields or tools.

Long live Paint!

The schematic above presents five steps outlined in colors. Each step sets its own learning targets and brushes up on my knowledge in different areas. The order of things is: purple > this introductory chat and the little list of requirements below. Simply that. red > preparing VirtualBox for our Guest OS’s. blue > installing Windows and basic dev tools.   orange > first encounter of the Linux kind. green > communication breakdown Windows — Ubuntu .

Let’s start

  1. A laptop with preferably enough resources to run two virtual machines.
  2. Latest VirtualBox for Windows. *The release I got is 4.3.10 and I unselected the USB and Python packages at install -I won’t be needing them.
  3. Windows 7 Pro installation disc and valid key that just happened to be lying around… A surrogate for the Host OS, it’s a Windows workstation / development playground.
  4. Ubuntu Desktop 14.04 LTS (64 bit) iso – why not Server edition? They’re both more or less the same. link:
  5. The Internet.

Once these requirements checked, the first step in this exercise is finished!

If you want to follow along this exercise but don’t have a Windows install disc you can download a full feature evaluation copy of Windows 7 Enterprise from MS TechNet here:

step two ⇒

Pull request Icon font input proposal for WP-Bootstrap-Navwalker. [cristovaov/wp-bootstrap-navwalker]


Thu Apr 10 2014 15:43:09 GMT+0000
via GitHub

First draft for the input field in the backend, minor change in the
wp-bootstrap-navwalker file. Uses an extra file to put in theme directory,
add 'include_once( 'wp_bstrp_nav_menu.php' );'
before wp-bootstrap-navwalker line ‘functions.php’.
An icon font field will appear in the Menu Item settings page.
TODO input validation/sanitization, code enhancements
(eventually merge this extra file?)

github#1 - 'Menus ‹ Cristovao Verstraeten — WordPress' - wptrunk_dev_wordpress_wp-admin_nav-menus_phpgithub#2 - 'Menus ‹ Cristovao Verstraeten — WordPress' - wptrunk_dev_wordpress_wp-admin_nav-menus_phpgithub#3 - 'Cristovao Verstraeten I Tailored WordPress Development & Services' - wptrunk_dev

Added wp_kses validation to wp_bstrp_custom_field_update
and leaves database clean when empty -thank you JD Grimes!
The following tags have been allowed: <span></span>, <i></i>
-allowed attribute for both: class

Glyphicon works and all Font Awesome features too. Only tested with those two
but should basically work with every other icon font that uses the allowed tags!

Note: using other icon fonts or Font Awesome larger classes
and stacked icons (screenshots)
will require css adjustments > I don’t consider this an issue though.

github #4 - 'Menus ‹ Cristovao Verstraeten — WordPress' - wptrunk_dev_wordpress_wp-admin_nav-menus_phpgithub #5 - 'Cristovao Verstraeten I Tailored WordPress Development & Services' - wptrunk_dev

April 3, 2014 at 9:40AM
via GitHub