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keyboard and mouse locking up
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keyboard and mouse locking up

  #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
Vernon, BC, Canada
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker/Data: Zaner Group (Transact)
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 103 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 113 given, 62 received

keyboard and mouse locking up

I do not see this topic on futures.io (formerly BMT) so I am guessing the problem is related to my setup.

Tech problem: I seems about once a session, my keyboard and mouse lock up and I have to do a hard reboot to get my session back.
Environment: I using an I7 computer with Win7
My hardware is old basic PS2 keyboard and PS2 roller ball mouse


What I have tried: I have tried switching out hardware ( I had USB2 keyboard and USB2 optical mouse) - the PS2 seems better
I checked my device manager and everything is working fine

Other: It seems to happen during bursts of data

I am using Transact data feed and a DSL 6 mbps line
My DSL is showing very good download and my ISP says that there is nothing wrong with my DSL line
This usually only happens during a trading session.

I guess I am asking: I know that bursts of data can be an issue for many, that is why we have broker on speed dial, is a locked up keyboard a common issue for day trading setups?

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  #2 (permalink)
Elite Member
East Coast
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Ninja
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Posts: 125 since Apr 2010
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If you looked in the Windows System logs and there are no errors there, and there are no virus problems, then...

If it were possible, I would install the setup on another PC (a notebook maybe - borrowed from a friend if necessary) and just run it there for a day to see if the system locks up (in which case it is connection or charting or data related).
If no problems, wipe out any sensitive data and return it, if borrowed.

If no problems on another pc, then look to update drivers (video drivers can be a problem - esp Nvidia. You might want to try using Microsoft's vid drivers as a test). At that point you know it is in the PC, so it is a step-by-step to eliminate each possibility (hardware/software). Best to strip it down to minimum to run your test, then add back software as you go.

BTW - you should also be monitoring your resource usage in Task Manager for CPU usage and memory problems...

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  #3 (permalink)
Elite Member
NC, USA
 
Futures Experience: None
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Is the entire computer locking up? Meaning, when your keyboard and mouse have frozen, is the data on the screen still updating or is it also frozen?

If the entire machine freezes then it sounds like a hardware issue. I would check your fans are working and blow out any dust in the machine (while powered off and unplugged). Use compressed air in a can from an office supply store. This is good general maintenance, but many people forget. If the problem still occurs then it may be defective RAM or CPU.

If data is still updating on the screen but the keyboard and mouse are frozen then you may want to update to the latest BIOS from your manufacturer just to eliminate this potential issue. Be careful in performing this procedure, you don't want to interrupt the process. Make sure you eliminate any other potential freezing problems from overheating before doing this. Otherwise you could "brick" your machine beyond recovery.


Last edited by MrYou; September 11th, 2012 at 12:37 PM.
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  #4 (permalink)
Elite Member
Vernon, BC, Canada
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker/Data: Zaner Group (Transact)
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 103 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 113 given, 62 received

YES - the entire computer locks up during a trading session, I do a hard reboot

things I have done due to your responses --

I checked memory with the Win7 memory checker - all OK
I blow dust out of my computer every 6 months and I keep it off of the floor
I checked the event log ----
no security or system or setup errors
1 application error about that time---- critical Window-WMI error - this may be do to the hard reboot
I have installed my setup on a much older computer with WinXP - but I do not recall if I was having the same keyboard issue there. I may have to try installing my setup on the WinXP computer again.

more things that I have done

I use Sierra Chart and their help topic #4 says to cut down number of charts open. I now have only 1 chart open and I deleted a Sierra Chart study that I was not using, which may have been downloading data for $Tick and $Trin and I cleaned out all of my data files except for ES data

I am going motorcycle camping up north with my wife for 3 days, so will look at your responses when I come back.
I am interested to see if Sierra Chart help topic #4 has solved my problem, will monitor when I get back

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  #5 (permalink)
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Random lock ups are usually hardware related. It could be bad memory (win7 memory tester is junk), it could be heat related, it could be hard drive related, etc.

I would start with downloading memtest86+:

Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

Put it on a USB stick and let it run for 24 hours.

If it passes, you can assume memory is good.

Heat related - you can take the case lid off, and leave it off, and see if problem goes away. Also download something like RealTemp or CoreTemp to keep an eye on temps.

Run a malware scan, Microsoft Security Essentials is good enough.

Mike

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  #6 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Random lock ups are usually hardware related. It could be bad memory (win7 memory tester is junk), it could be heat related, it could be hard drive related, etc.

I would start with downloading memtest86+:

Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool

Put it on a USB stick and let it run for 24 hours.

If it passes, you can assume memory is good.

Heat related - you can take the case lid off, and leave it off, and see if problem goes away. Also download something like RealTemp or CoreTemp to keep an eye on temps.

Run a malware scan, Microsoft Security Essentials is good enough.

Mike

@Big Mike i just ordered two more sticks of ram and ran them in the newest memtest+ on usb stick and they both have errors, i know this is possible, but is it likely? also when i do get errors i have them display in the list on memtest, but then memtest eventually 'goes blank' and my monitors go to sleep and nothing will wake up the screens unless i hit the power button and restart.. on sticks that are good it runs continuously just fine. it was doing this on a memtest version of like 2.11 and also on the newest 4.20 version..

dont believe anything you hear and only half of what you see

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  #7 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
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Platform: My own custom solution
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madLyfe View Post
@Big Mike i just ordered two more sticks of ram and ran them in the newest memtest+ on usb stick and they both have errors, i know this is possible, but is it likely? also when i do get errors i have them display in the list on memtest, but then memtest eventually 'goes blank' and my monitors go to sleep and nothing will wake up the screens unless i hit the power button and restart.. on sticks that are good it runs continuously just fine. it was doing this on a memtest version of like 2.11 and also on the newest 4.20 version..

Could be bad DIMM slots on mainboard. You would need more known-good memory to know for sure.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

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  #8 (permalink)
Elite Member
NC, USA
 
Futures Experience: None
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Posts: 403 since Jun 2011
Thanks: 618 given, 193 received


madLyfe View Post
@Big Mike i just ordered two more sticks of ram and ran them in the newest memtest+ on usb stick and they both have errors, i know this is possible, but is it likely? also when i do get errors i have them display in the list on memtest, but then memtest eventually 'goes blank' and my monitors go to sleep and nothing will wake up the screens unless i hit the power button and restart.. on sticks that are good it runs continuously just fine. it was doing this on a memtest version of like 2.11 and also on the newest 4.20 version..

Are you overclocking? If so, try the default clock rate and run the test again. I also always recommend updating to the latest BIOS if possible. Ideally outside of Windows if your machine is experiencing problems.

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  #9 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Denver, CO USA
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Oanda
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Posts: 15 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 1 given, 9 received

I know you said you clean your computer regularly. However I had an old PC one that did something similar to what you have going on even with my regular cleanings. It turned out that the heatsink on the cpu was massively clogged with old dust, and I didn't find this out until I unscrewed the cpu fan from the cpu heatsink (the fan was mounted on top of the heatsink).

Hope that helps, good luck in fixing your issue.

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  #10 (permalink)
Elite Member
Vernon, BC, Canada
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker/Data: Zaner Group (Transact)
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 103 since Apr 2010
Thanks: 113 given, 62 received


I thank all members for their help.
I have been waiting to see the effect of my changes

My results from your suggestions
1. run latest memtest86 for 18 hours for 15 passes with 0 errors
2. blew dust out of my computer, it was dusty, but I do this every 6 months. I have not taken the CPU fan off, although I do blow into all fan blades to deep clean.
3. I have a high end computer with 6 Gig RAM and high end video card, but I am not overclocking
4. Sierra Chart help #4 said to eliminate any unnecessary charts, Now I only have ES 1500T with ema20 only.
I think I have the latest BIOS update applied - I will check this
5. I scan my computer every week with Microsoft Security Essentials and also with Malwarebytes and never an issue

Current situation
6. in the past 3 weeks it has only happened 2X on Live (SIM) trade. which is better because when I asked for help, it happened 2X in 1 hour and usually at least 1X a week. So something has improved.
7. the keyboard, mouse AND monitor continue to lock up, but seems to only happen when running Sierra Chart trade software
8. during Sierra Chart REPLAY, I have gotten a blue screen and the lockup issue

Going forward
My original question, was --- is keyboard lock up normal using trading software. From your responses, I would say NO.
I really haven't done much except some tests to verify all hardware is in best condition and to minimize my data feed
I am going to continue monitoring. At the moment it seems to be acceptable.

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