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Windows 7: ataport.sys BSOD caused by WMP

29 Sep 2009   #21

Windows 7 RTM Professional
getting nowhere fast

So, I feel like I didn't learn anything new this last round of troubleshooting and testing. I have done the following (I'm not sure why some results are not consistent):

VGA Mode:
640x480 256 colors (by default)
error saying, "Windows Media Player cannot play DVD video. You might need to adjust your Windows display settings. Open display settings in Control Panel, and then try lowering your screen resolution and color quality settings."
I figured it was actually referring to settings that were too low.

800x600 32-bit (32-bit at first then tried 16-bit with same results)
DVD playback froze when moving window around and touching the aero snap areas.

I then switched back to non-VGA mode to do more testing.

I messed with hardware acceleration settings (the slider can go from off (0) to 1-5 different modes with 5 being full enabled). My results are:

0/5-->poorer video quality, no problems with freezing.
1/5-->trouble keeping up at playback speed when full screen. Frequent coloration issues (colors would go ugly for a couple of frames). no problems with freezing.
2/5-->ditto 1/5
3/5-->Sometimes I got it to freeze, other times I couldn't (I'm confused on this one). Otherwise playback was sufficiently normal.
4/5-->I got it to freeze when I touched the top aero snap, but not the side one (another rather bizarre inconsistency).
5/5-->I got it to freeze rather easily.

Most of these hardware acceleration tests were done without rebooting the computer (since it appeared to be enabling something or making some change after applying the different setting--with a dip to black and then back).

I have been unable to get another blue screen since I rolled back to the previous driver ( two days ago. Last night I re-installed the latest driver ( and have done all my testing tonight with that driver installed--another bizarre inconsistency with why I can't force a BSOD anymore, when it was so easy before. Maybe my driver wasn't fully installed properly before and that is now fixed (with another problem hiding in the shadows--that of freezing)?

I also thought that it may have been DVD-specific since it seems that some DVD's use some different kind of formatting (I've had some DVD's play on my laptop in Vista Business--with no out-of-the-box MPEG2 decoder--and others wouldn't). This proved fruitless as I was able to freeze my computer with two different DVDs from different sources and companies.

I also even tried playing an .avi file located on an external hard drive (DV video codec captured from a Mini-DV camcorder) and found that I could also get it to freeze. I hadn't tried video files. I then tried another .avi file (Motion JPEG Open DML, much lower quality), located on my internal PATA hard drive, and got my system to freeze (though audio continued to play as long as I let the computer sit there frozen).

I have often left my computer sitting frozen for minutes, seeing if it would thaw itself; it hasn't yet.

NOTE: To be consistent, all of this testing was done using Windows Media Player, since it's built into the OS. Unless otherwise specified, hardware acceleration was set to highest (best).

So, my conclusions thus far: it's not my DVD drive, it's not WMP or VLC (since they have the same problem). It's not any of my hardware (since everything worked fine before upgrading to Windows 7). It's not a codec, since it happened with two different .avi's, and two different DVD's. My guess would have to be the video driver and/or chipset accelerator.

I will try using my old hard drive (with Vista Business) to verify that this never happened before going to Windows 7. For now, I'm tired of having to push the power button on my laptop (probably 15-20 times today just for powering down).

If you successfully read all this message, congratulations and THANK YOU! There's a lot to digest here!

P.S. Symantec Endpoint Protection is finally compatible with Windows 7--yea!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2011   #22

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Feb 2011   #23

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit

Also, my STOP code is "0x0000007E (0xC0000005 0x881FD000 0x9BF5DC3C 0x9BF5D820)"
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 ataport.sys BSOD caused by WMP

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