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Error After Startup
Posted: 27 May 2016 08:16 PM

I have a Spectrastar 2400 unit. After I turned on the instrument an error message appears just before the infostar software starts. I’m attaching an image. Help please!

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Posted: 31 May 2016 09:44 AM   [ # 1 ]

Hello Javier,

That error is almost always due to failure of internal communication between MS1100 controller board and the PC-104 embedded computer board.  There are numerous potential causes, including:  1) Dead MS1100 board (or bad power to board), 2) Bad connection to board (ribbon cable between MS1100 board and PC-104 board), 3) Access conflict (two programs attempting access to controller board at same time), or 4) Configuration problem of some sort (generally this is in BIOS settings of LPT1 port or configuration in “RegVars” as accessed/changed via MS11SrvTest, but it is also true that if logged in user does not have administrator access to local computer, the device driver will not function properly and can cause this).

I think the ones to investigate first are:

A. Is another program open that has communication access to the board?  A restart of the instrument can ensure that all other programs are closed.

B. Are the computer BIOS settings correct?  Mainly, is the LPT1 port configured in ECP mode.  You can look at “ports” in Windows Device Manager to check on this.  It should list the port as “ECP Printer Port (LPT1)”.  If it lists it as something else, then the answer is “no”, and most likely the battery on the embedded computer is depleted, causing BIOS settings to revert to their defaults.

C. Is the correct LPT port set when running MS11SrvTest, in the“Set RegVars” submenu?  To check, open the program “MS11SrvTest” (may be shortcut on Windows Desktop, otherwise use Windows Explorer and find the program in the “c:\unity\software” folder).  With the program open click on “Set RegVars” button and look at the field labeled LPT Port.  It should be set to 1.  If not, change it to 1 and save the changes, close the MS11Srv Test program, then retry running InfoStar.

D. Does the “Diag Tool” (or “HT Diag Tool”) diagnostic program respond?  When the system is restarted and “Diag Tool” is started from shortcut on desktop (after clearing “0x3” error and closing InfoStar), is there continuous stream of information being displayed over the course of many minutes?  If so, the system is likely trying to initialize with incorrect NVRAM settings, and most likely the battery on the MS1100 board is depleted and the board has lost its NVRAM settings.  If the “Diag Tool” is not displaying any information and does not respond to commands then that would point in direction of malfunction of MS1100 controller board, or perhaps power to it.

If it is possible to connect this system to internet we should be able to work with you to install TeamViewer host program version 7.x and make a remote connection to the unit to aid in troubleshooting.  I am located in USA and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Office phone:  847-487-4237.  Cell phone 847-757-8510.


Arnold Eilert

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Arnold Eilert, PhD.
Senior Scientist
Unity Scientific