View Full Version : Computer freezes up

09-21-2005, 07:01 AM
I am running the windows software and occassionally the stop button flashes after the file has completed and the shopbot has returned to the home position. I press the escape key or the space bar and it will not stop. It says the tool is still in motion. I have to use alt control delete to shut the software down and the start over. Any ideas as to why this may be happening?



D.Hunt (Unregistered Guest)
09-24-2005, 11:09 AM
Assuming you're running XP,that is..

This may not be a ShopBot software problem?
It may be a MS-Windows problem, in that your computer may need a darned good cleaning out(software-wise)...
Download and use CCleaner v.2-something,
which should get rid of lots system litter (log files,dead shortcuts,stuff you never dreamed of!).

Defrag the system.

Run Disk Cleanup(at least annually, if not once a month). :-)

Spend an hour on diagnoics,generally,
run Spybot and Anti-Virus, (both updated as of Today..)
in other words, clean up the software system generally, and THEN try running ShopBot again.

Most (non-ShopBot)computers I visit are in terrible shape, and needs lots Routine (software)Maintainence.
Yours may be one of them.

I wouldn't ShopBot unless my software system was SQUEAKY CLEAN.

09-25-2005, 09:14 AM
New wintel box for my new Bot (happy boy). I have a plan to have only the system and SB software on the machine. All CAD work will be done, stored and virus checked on a seperate box. Then cut files will be loaded as need. It will never go online.

I haven't used a wintel since 3.1 and am paranoid about wintel "malware". Is this a decent plan to keep things SQUEAKY CLEAN or is this being overly simple? Advice please.

09-26-2005, 07:30 AM
Jim... wonderful idea!

We just did a similar thing: did a minimal Win.98 install on a brand-new hard drive,
and then installed the old ShopBot 229 software(for sheer familiarity).
That box will never go online, never do design.
All it'll ever do is drive the ShopBot.
No problems with viruses or any malware.

Yes, you'll have the perfect setup.
If you don't already have the operating system software installed,
try for a minimal install of the OS,
without all the Networking and Multimedia 'rubbish'.

All you really need is the system core,
and accessories like System Tools (Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter).
All else is irrelevant to running a ShopBot.

Brady Watson
09-26-2005, 04:08 PM
Just to add my $.02...

I run a Win98 SE box with nothing on it. I have run DOS and SB3 with no problems. If you are running DOS, be sure to run the latest and greatest release for your machine. If running SB3, then be sure to install the latest version of DirectX, which I believe is version 9.0c, or you will experience strange issues.

One thing to think of before you do the install of the OS is how you are going to get your designs to the control computer. If you are using a USB thumb drive, then you will probably not be able to see it in the tree via DOS. If you plan on using a floppy, be sure to clean the drive frequently...and have a spare drive on hand. The workshop envirnoment is pretty rough on 3.5 drives...and of course you will be limited to 1.4M of data per disc...which if you plan on doing intricate v-carving jobs or 3D work, it will not be adequate. A CD would work for capacity...but they get costly when you are trying to tweak a toolpath. Of course, networking is also an option and with current security schemes offered now, there is no real risk of viruses etc unless they are on your network...which in my opinion is a lot of hype.


09-26-2005, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the tips:
- yes, it was suggested to me that we simply install DOS, rather than Win.98,
and run the ShopBot software over DOS,
but I backed outa that one, since I never knew DOS and am a bit leery of it (fear born of ignorance)...but for those who do know/remember DOS, that could be Performance Magic!

Thanks also for the tip re. keeping a new,spare floppy drive handy
(or at the very least a floopy-drive Cleaning Kit, with its alcohol bottle!)
- good idea, especially since new floppy drive are so very cheeaap,these days.

Lucky for us,though, our new setup now has both the ShopBot computer and its 'brain'-box
on the other side of the partition(in the design office)
with the 15 inch. screen 'looking into' the ShopBot room thru the large observation glass panel.
The only things now in the dusty SB-room
are an elderly but functional keyboard(protected in suitably-loose plastic wrap)
and a cheap second hand mouse!
All else is in the far-less-dusty design office!
Cut files get written to floppies,between design machine and ShopBot machine,
but now our floppies never get dusty,
they just get transferred between two machines almost side by side,
a nice almost-dust-free solution!

09-26-2005, 05:38 PM
Thanks for the input.
Has anyone used a LAN to connect design machine to Bot driver? Still neither being online.

Brady Watson
09-26-2005, 06:10 PM
There is really no performance gain that you will see by only loading DOS...If you want a performance gain, run the SB3 software if your computer is fast enough to run it. You can jog a real 5 IPS with better ramping and smoother movement than the DOS software can. By only running DOS as an OS, you just make it inconvenient for yourself.

Yes. My machine is networked to my design computer (XP Pro) and also the internet if I need to download a SB update etc. It doesn't matter if the machine can get online or not...just don't BE online when you are running the machine and have Windows Update disabled to keep it from doing (and even trying to do) an update while you are machining. I have run my machine for days at a time non-stop with no problems...machining and digitizing. I wouldn't re-invent the wheel when loading up your control computer. 98SE and XP are both very good choices. The network drivers are fine on the install. Just get rid of any AOL etc nonsense.


09-26-2005, 08:20 PM
I am running windows XP and the only thing that I have on this computer is the shopbot control software. This past week I was running the same file over and over. The fourth time it ran I noticed that the part did not cut all the way through so I checked to see if the bit was tight and I re-zeroed the machine. This time it still did not cut thru. I checked my VU setting and something caused the z value to change. I changed it back and it cut fine.

The computer that I am using is only an 800mhz machine. It has me baffled. I never once experienced an issue running the DOS software, however the computer that ran on was hit by lightning.

Thanks for the input.


09-27-2005, 07:46 AM
The difference is that DOS is an operating system that Bill Gates bought (stole) from someone and XP is one that he build.

If there were a viable alternative to Windows, I would use it.


09-27-2005, 08:37 AM
Me too!!

09-27-2005, 12:04 PM
My current system is XP. Of all of the Windows systems supported by ShopBot, which is the most stable? Usually reliability isn't new and shiny. (XP)

Next, does staying with an older version (98) limit options with supporting CAD/CAM from other vendors? Do those vendors update only XP versions or are their improvements compatable with 98?

09-27-2005, 09:28 PM
If you are running Windows 98SE (second edition) you can find unofficial service pack updates at this site.


I have two machines running their service packs and both have been very stable......so far

Found them through my internet service providers useful downloads section.

09-28-2005, 01:19 AM
Back to the floppy drive problems mentioned above.
I use an old lap top to drive the ShopBot, and the CD drive packed up, so I transfer via floppy.
I was having huge problems until I threw away a load of old discs I was using (about 4 years old!) and bought new ones.
Since then no problems at all.

09-28-2005, 02:20 PM
Again, thanks to all. Great Forum!