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Re: a harmless notebook crashes Windows 7: who else had it?

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  • Subject: [mg107335] Re: a harmless notebook crashes Windows 7: who else had it?
  • From: David Bailey <dave at>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2010 02:47:30 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <hkj8u5$dqp$>

John Fultz wrote:
> If Windows is blue-screening, which seems to be what you're saying, then it's 
> not Mathematica's least not directly.  No regular application has the 
> privilege to do anything that would cause Windows to blue-screen.  A blue-screen 
> happens when privileged code running in core parts of the operating system 
> fails, and the operating system is unable to contain the crash.  Typically, it's 
> a result of a bug in Windows itself, or a bug in a device driver which Windows 
> is using.  It could also, as you've already speculated, be the result of 
> malware.
> That being said, I can toss out one speculation.  We've seen a very small number 
> of cases where the presence of the Mathematica5 fonts on the system can cause 
> certain applications (not just Mathematica) to trigger a blue-screen.  We 
> haven't gotten to the bottom of this, yet...and it's only been reported to us by 
> three users.  I personally suspect that there's a flaky video driver behind the 
> problem, but I don't have the evidence to back up such an assertion, yet.
> On the off-chance that the problem you're seeing is the same problem, try 
> following this procedure...
> * Quit all copies of Mathematica.
> * Open the Fonts control panel.  Make copies of all of the Mathematica5 fonts, 
> then remove them from the Fonts list.
> * Reboot.  Open the Fonts control panel again and verify that no Mathematica5 
> fonts are there.
> * Launch Mathematica and perform the procedure which reproduces the blue-screen.
> * You may see some characters which display incorrectly on the screen. That's 
> okay.
> If this makes the problem go away, then I'd really like to get some more 
> information from you, and I can offer you some practical advice for working
> around the problem.  Feel free to email me directly with the results of your
> test.
> If that doesn't help, then you should reinstall the Mathematica5 fonts. They 
> can be found in the installation directory in 
> SystemFiles\FrontEnd\Fonts\Windows.  Send me a copy of the crash report that
> Windows creates, and I may be able to suggest other things you can try.
> -John
> On Fri, 5 Feb 2010 07:13:30 -0500 (EST), Alexei Boulbitch wrote:
>> *Dear Community,
>> I have recently installed Mathematica  (the Premier Service -
>> related Home Edition) on my laptop (ASER Aspire 4810TG with Windows 7
>> Home Edition). I faced a problem that started to show up right after the
>> installation of Mathematica:
>> Windows crashes always, if I open a certain notebook and scroll it for
>> few seconds. The notebook in question is a draft of my lecture and
>> contains mainly a text (e.g. text cells) and some short and very
>> primitive pieces of code. To give few examples of the code from that
>> notebook look here:
>> *1 - 3 \[Nu] /. \[Nu] -> 3/5
>> *or here:
>> *f = (T*c)/\[CapitalNu]*Log[c/(\[CapitalNu]*E)] +
>> B*c^2 + \[DoubleStruckCapitalC]*c^3;
>> \[Mu]p = \[CapitalNu]*\!\(
>> \*SubscriptBox[\(\[PartialD]\), \(c\)]\ f\) // FunctionExpand // Expand
>> Posm = c*\!\(
>> \*SubscriptBox[\(\[PartialD]\), \(c\)]\ f\) - f // Expand
>> *or here
>> *Panel@Style[
>> "Some text to be highlighted", 16, Blue, Bold]
>> *There are some other pieces of a code of the same type in that
>> notebook. The code seems to be quite harmless. However, Windows crashes
>> and restarts. Another thing that crashes Windows in the same manner is
>> launching the Outlook Express. This also started to happen first after
>> the installation of Mathematica.
>> Other notebooks as well as other applications seem to work well. I
>> checked for viruses with NOD32, seems to be no of them. The same
>> "criminal" notebook is running fine on another machine with Windows XP
>> and the same Mathematica version.  On this machine I did not face any
>> problem with this version of Mathemactica (at least, not yet).
>> My question:
>> Did somebody of you already experience things of this type, and what did
>> you do in this case?
>> Best regards, Alexei
>> *
I wonder what version of Mathematica was in use before 7 was installed, 
because I remember a problem similar to this when I first installed 6.0. 
The problem turned out to be a bug in the Dell screen driver, and 
upgrading this from their website fixed the problem.

David Bailey

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