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Bug Media Media (Apple) Music Operating Systems Software Windows

ITunes 8 a Real Killer App; Taking Down Vista 735

CWmike writes "Apple 's latest version of iTunes crashes Windows Vista when an iPod or iPhone is connected to the PC, scores of users have reported on Apple's support forum. Plug in and Vista crashes and shows the 'blue screen of death.' The errors began showing up immediately after updating iTunes to Version 8.0, which Apple released Tuesday as part of its iPod refresh. 'I just installed iTunes 8 over my iTunes 7 on Vista [and] now whenever I plug in my iPod, I get a blue screen death. Three times so far. Even if it is plugged in on boot, I get a blue screen," said a user identified as 'sambeckett' on the support forum about 90 minutes after Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrapped up the iPod launch."
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ITunes 8 a Real Killer App; Taking Down Vista

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  • Good Marketing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom ( 715771 ) * <slashdot@nOSPaM.uberm00.net> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:31PM (#24969117) Homepage Journal

    Expect Apple to blame Vista.

    • by gooman ( 709147 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:34PM (#24969169) Journal

      Expect Slashdot comments to blame Vista too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Binder ( 2829 )

        Regardless of what the itunes application might be doing it should not cause the OS to crash. The application to crash yes... but not the OS.
        One of the main jobs of the OS is to protect processes from badly behaving neighbors.

        This is definitely a bug in Vista.

        • Re:Good Marketing (Score:5, Informative)

          by bhtooefr ( 649901 ) <[gro.rfeoothb] [ta] [rfeoothb]> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:44PM (#24969347) Homepage Journal

          Except the application installs drivers.

          And it's not necessarily a bug in the OS if drivers are causing it, unless you run all drivers in the userland like QNX does.

          • But still... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Tmack ( 593755 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:50PM (#24969449) Homepage Journal
            A driver should not cause the OS to crash. Your printer should be able to load its driver in a manner such that if it catches fire the kernel stays alive and can tell you so.


            • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:55PM (#24969545)

              Clippy: It looks like your printer is on fire. Would you like to:
              * Call 911
              * Put it out.
              * Let it burn.

              • by antek9 ( 305362 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @07:57PM (#24971447)
                Unfortunately, they changed the number to something to remember more easily:
                0118 999 881 999 119 725 3

                There is still the option to send an e-mail to the fire department, though.
              • Re:But still... (Score:5, Interesting)

                by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @09:52PM (#24972843) Homepage

                The "Printer On Fire" status code is strictly a UNIX phenomenon.

                Laugh all you want at Microsoft, but this one is mostly our fault :-P

                (For those not familiar with this meme, there was a certain brand of mainframe printer in the 1970s that was infamous for continuing to print after jamming, despite being able to correctly detect the jam and take the printer "off-line". This would cause an immense heat-buildup that would often lead to the paper catching on fire. Therefore, a printer that is somehow printing while off-line is reported by most Unices to have a status code of "Printer On Fire")

            • Re:But still... (Score:5, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:56PM (#24969571)

              That's a nice philosophy, but anybody who's actually written a kernel-level driver will tell you that's impossible. Kernel-mode drivers require direct access to your computer's memory and bus, and anything with that level of access can cuse your kernel to panic, period.

              You can make non-kernel-mode drivers that are much safer, of course, but at the expense of performance and capability.

              • Re:But still... (Score:5, Informative)

                by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:32PM (#24970113) Homepage

                You can make non-kernel-mode drivers that are much safer, of course, but at the expense of performance and capability.

                That depends entirely on what the device is doing - USB drivers live in userspace (only the generic read/write support for USB devices live in kernel space) and it works fine and support everything AFAIK, but running a modern GPU from userspace I wouldn't try. The iPod is definately in the former category.

            • Re:But still... (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:57PM (#24969583)

              Maybe for userland drivers like printers under Vista using the latest driver model, okay, but if you mean that no driver should ever be able to crash the OS, you clearly don't understand how drivers work.

            • Re:But still... (Score:4, Informative)

              by Z34107 ( 925136 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @07:16PM (#24970819)

              That's entirely possible for some devices in Windows - the Windows Driver Foundation lets some drivers run in userland. In fact, "all" printer drivers run that way on Vista - the WDF runs as a service and acts as a broker of sorts between userspace and kernelspace.

              For other devices, it's just not possible. Try writing a user-mode graphics driver and get back to me.

          • Re:Good Marketing (Score:4, Informative)

            by FellowConspirator ( 882908 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:03PM (#24969699)

            The drivers are USB protocol drivers -- they run in user space. iTunes doesn't (shouldn't) load any kernel-space drivers. It is correct to say that, under the circumstances, it should be impossible for iTunes to crash the OS. iTunes should crash, but Vista shouldn't.

            • Re:Good Marketing (Score:5, Insightful)

              by teridon ( 139550 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:27PM (#24970061) Homepage

              iTunes is "GEAR powered"; i.e. it installs the GEAR CD/DVD burner ASPI drivers. See:
              http://www.gearsoftware.com/support/drivers.cfm [gearsoftware.com]
              http://www.gearsoftware.com/wiki/index.php?title=GEAR_Powered_Products#iTunes_for_Windows [gearsoftware.com]

              Wouldn't those be kernel-space drivers?

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by ravenshrike ( 808508 )
                Of course, this still leads to a problem if it is those drivers.

                The GEAR drivers are signed by Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility, therefore are completely compatible with Windows Vista.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              I have never had a blue screen of death in Vista ever. Period. This is after a year of using it with many different programs and many different hardware configurations. It's much more stable than it's predecessors.

              I have never had an Apple program be stable on the Windows platform. iTunes is bloated at best, absolutely unusable if you catch it at the wrong time of the moon cycle, and just generally not that good. Safari crashes constantly for me whenever I've tried to use it. I've had iPods not work at a
              • Re:Good Marketing (Score:4, Insightful)

                by Sandbags ( 964742 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @07:56PM (#24971439) Journal

                BSOD in Vista is either hardw3are level resource conflicts, or an actual memory fault.

                I'm actually betting, based on the I/O is see in IT8 while it's building the thumbnail images, the massive background effort to create genius database info, and the high level of memory and disk I/O present in it's basic use that did not occur under IT7, that these machines were ALREADY FAULTY, but simply were not utilized enough to trigger these memory or hard disk faults.

                The DRM is exactly the same btw. No changes. Besides, DRM is a user space application, and can not cause BSOD. It;s impossible for that to be the cause...

                If you have not had vista BSOD, then all that means is your hardware is exceptionally well built and defect free, and that none of your components have resource conflicts with any others. My guess is your PC is OEM manufactured, likely by Dell, and is on the lower end of the spectrum (under $800 base system, that maybe you added a nice video card and some extra RAM to)

                Vista may not BSOD on you, but I bet you have frequent application crashes... I don't typically go more than a few days without an application bombing out, my desktop refreshing from an explorer crash, my printer loosing connection, or an app just hanging and needing to be killed by task manager.

                Sure, memory leaks may be a thing of the past, and generally when an app bombs, the machine stays up... My Mac has had those features for 6 years! When an app does bomb, I typically see in the logs that it;s a core driver or service at fault, and not even a file installed by the application.

      • by Aphoxema ( 1088507 ) * on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:46PM (#24969377) Homepage Journal

        Expect Vista to bla #####

        A problem has been detected and Slashdot has been shut down to prevent damage to your discussion.

        The problem seems to be caused by the following file: BLAMEVISTA.SYS


        If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error comment, restart your discussion. If this comment appears again, follow these steps:

      • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [vdalived]> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:58PM (#24969597) Homepage

        ...but what if Apple pulled a Microsoft and put an intentional bug into the app? Sure, it might seem a little too sophisticated for such a small thing, and people will still blame iTunes since it's the main application, but what if tomorrow Steve releases a press release apologizing to Vista users but blames it squarely on Vista "oh sorry something in our new version invoked a buggy piece of vista and we had to work around it." And what if that's what all the support people at apple are instructed to say? What if friends down the street say "oh dude I have a Mac/XP and it works fine for me" might iPod users say "fuckin' vista!" With a little careful preparation, I think this might be possible... maybe only a little bit of a stretch? :)

        Sounds a little conspiracy theory-ish, but keep an eye out the next couple of days. You never know.

        I am a mac fan, but I don't put evil past Apple by any means, they are a corporation after all. At the same time, evil attacking evil is loads of fun to watch, but I pity the people who get caught in the middle who can't sync now until a fix is released.

      • Good Call! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:04PM (#24969713) Homepage Journal

        The tags right now are [+] bug, media, music, windows, haha (tagging beta)

        Odd that Apple, iPod, and iTunes aren't tags for a story about a bug in their software?

        Vista sucks for not encapsulating the exception, but it sure sounds like the bug is on Apple's side of the issue.


    • Re:Good Marketing (Score:5, Informative)

      by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:39PM (#24969267) Journal

      And yet, the update demonstrably does not crash XP...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Here let me explain how computers work to you.

      Problem: Application crashes the OS.
      Blame: OS. Modern operating systems should not crash because of an application.

      Problem: Device driver crashes OS.
      Blame: In a monolithic OS the driver is at fault. So it is the drivers fault. If the driver is approved by the OS manufacturer then you can also blame the QA department of the OS manufacture.

      Problem: Application crashes.
      Blame: Application but maybe the OS if the Application works on a different version of the OS.

  • BSOD... (Score:5, Funny)

    by james1983 ( 1134755 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:32PM (#24969139)
    Yay!! I was getting worried I was never going to see the BSOD again.. Welcome back old friend
  • Shucks... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:32PM (#24969145)

    I thought you were going to say that Vista was causing the iPod metal shell to become highly charged and was responsible for electrocutions.

    After all, Vista kills babies!

  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by gentlemen_loser ( 817960 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:33PM (#24969157) Homepage
    That really IS horrible. I did not know that anyone was actually using Vista. - Steve J.
  • Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ohxten ( 1248800 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:33PM (#24969159) Homepage
    That this wasn't caught in the testing stages?
  • by CorporateSuit ( 1319461 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:33PM (#24969161)
    What are the chances your 1,000 songs are also gone when you start your computer back up after it's done crying for mercy? I still haven't reloaded mine from the last time iTunes crashed windows. :(
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:34PM (#24969175)
    iTunes ain't done, 'til Vista don't run!
  • by tiedyejeremy ( 559815 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:34PM (#24969183) Homepage Journal
    Does it seem like MS & Apple are fighting hard for the consumer dollar? Trying to one up each other? Trying to win market share?

    It really seems that causing a BSoD is something that would have come up in testing, no?

  • MS or Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JohnVanVliet ( 945577 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:35PM (#24969203) Homepage
    well is it Apples fault OR is it MS Vista that has the problem . Apple would have debugged it on a vista box , But it is posable that a vista update killed it .By mistake or on purpose ,your guess is as good as mine.
  • by Jon Abbott ( 723 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:35PM (#24969209) Homepage

    This sounds like a feature, not a bug.

  • by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:36PM (#24969215) Journal

    You know, it seems like there are an awful lot of problems with drivers under Vista. Certainly far more problems than I've seen on Vista.

    The thing that bothers me about that is the change in driver architecture was billed as a way to make Vista faster and more stable. Why, then, is it that most of the drivers for Vista are less stable and slower than the same hardware running in XP?

    • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:48PM (#24969423) Homepage Journal

      For every major Windows release vendors spend a lot of time and money on new sets of drivers. My guess is that to save time and money some of them didn't rewrite their drivers from scratch for Vista, but instead migrated as much code as possible. That would let certain problems slip through the cracks, such as the kernel level security issues we've heard about.

  • by catbertscousin ( 770186 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:36PM (#24969219)
    "iTunes has detected illegal music files. Now trashing your computer . . . please wait for the lawyers to show up."
  • Kernel mode driver (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr_Barnowl ( 709838 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:38PM (#24969247)

    AFAIK the only thing that can cause a BSOD is code running in the kernel space, ring 0.

    Quite why iTunes affects stuff that runs in kernel space is another matter... but I suspect it's probably to do with the Protected Media Path stuff. DRM, in other words. I can't think of anything in iTunes that should be running in kernel space - in Vista, all drivers apart from a component of the graphics driver are supposed to run in userspace.

    • by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <plugwashNO@SPAMp10link.net> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:14PM (#24969839) Homepage

      in Vista, all drivers apart from a component of the graphics driver are supposed to run in userspace.

      A couple of driver types got major changes (most notablly display drivers which got the DX10 related stuff and printer drivers which were pushed into user mode) but by and large the driver model didn't really change significantly from XP to vista (despite this MS for some reason didn't allow XP drivers to install on vista, in most cases this can be worked arround by editing the inf file).

      MS did introduce a framework for allowing some types of drivers to be developed in user mode but there are many that have to be done in kernel mode (anything that has kernel mode clients, anything that uses a memory mapped bus, anything that handles interrups) and many more that are still kernel mode because that makes the driver portable to more windows versions.

  • by AmericanPegasus ( 1099265 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:40PM (#24969291)
    "Wow PC, it looks like your Vista users are really having headaches running great software like iTunes 8. Mac runs them just fine."

    "You son of a bitch." (Pulls out a gun)

    "Whoa PC, whoa, let's not..."

  • Not Mine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by usul294 ( 1163169 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:42PM (#24969323)
    I had to switch from Ubuntu to check, but iTunes 8 with my iPod is definitely not crashing my Vista Ultimate (free from school, I only keep it because of software for class that requires windows)
  • My advice (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kredal ( 566494 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:43PM (#24969345) Homepage Journal

    This happened to me... I read the Apple thread, and followed simple instructions... unplugged my HP printer, and it stopped the BSOD's when I plugged in my iPhone. Most people are saying the problem is with the Apple USB drivers screwing with the drivers for HP printers and Logitech mice/keyboards. There may be other devices that cause the problem as well, but those two are the biggies.

    So until iTunes 8.1 is released, I can either charge my phone or print... but not both at the same time!

    • So until iTunes 8.1 is released, some people can either charge their phones or use their keyboards... but not both at the same time!

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:45PM (#24969367) Homepage Journal
    I went to RTFA. Before it showed me the article, though, I got a page that asked, "What are you waiting for? Make the move to Microsoft Vista with confidence."
  • by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <(ku.oc.draregdivad) (ta) (todhsals)> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:48PM (#24969425) Homepage

    Personally, I blame Linux.

  • media center (Score:4, Interesting)

    by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:49PM (#24969443) Journal

    Wow, and here I was thinking it's time to upgrade the media center from that elderly, barely supported (but solid) XP Media Center Edition, to Vista. 26 gigs of music, and no way to get it on our ipods... Yeesh. Oh, I know it'll be fixed, but stories like this give me chills.

    Upon re-reading that, it sounded like I'm dissing Microsoft. Not really, just prudently waiting for these kinds of issues to settle -- no matter who's fault they are -- before thinking about upgrading. By then, the CPU upgrade necessary to run Vista should be really cheap. :-)

    This is off topic, but I have to say it: I may have to turn in my Linux geek hat for saying this, but I've been running XP Media Center Edition 2005 since it came out, under heavy daily use, and have not had a single bluescreen of death. Not one. (Nobody is more surprised than me. :-))

  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @05:52PM (#24969509) Homepage Journal

    Geesh the last three versions were bloated to the heavens. I think it takes about a minute to start now. A least few recent versions flat out crashed or did not update correctly. And is there any piece of application software that takes more time to update than iTunes? I don't think so.

  • by immcintosh ( 1089551 ) <.slashdot. .at. .ianmcintosh.org.> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:01PM (#24969663) Homepage
    It's always seemed to me that iTunes for Windows was just slapdash kludge for allowing compatibility between iPods and Windows. My experiences with it have been nothing but buggy and slooooooow. Honestly, I think it just needs to be rebuilt from the ground up for Windows.
  • Not surprising (Score:5, Informative)

    by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:09PM (#24969781)

    Itunes in past has:

    - deleted your legit music

    - Unstalled othe mac applications without asking you

    - Hijacked volume control from windows

    - Modified code specifically to make it hard to work with the ipod outside of itunes

    - Is the largest pusher of DRM technology

      Really a BSOD isn't that big of a deal. And incase you are curious NO it isn't windows fault. Why is a music player installing drivers overtop of standard drivers that work perfectly? Aside from their hatred of doing things the same even when they are better only jobs knows. If windows tried to pull even half the bullship Apple has they would have been sued into dust. I find it disgusting its ok since its mac.

    • Is the largest pusher of DRM technology

      You're saying that Apple has shipped more copies of iTunes than Microsoft has shipped copies of Windows XP and Vista (or Windows Media Player 9 for earlier versions of Windows)? That Apple has shipped more copies of iTunes than all DVD players combined (worldwide!)?

      Well, no, actually, I think you're pretty far off base with that one.

      • by ozphx ( 1061292 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @10:05PM (#24973001) Homepage

        Wrong metric.

        Apple is the largest supplier of DRM media via the iTunes store.

        Microsoft is one of many vendors who has been strongarmed into supporting playback of DRM files. You think they want to spend money developing DRM shit, or snorting blow off hookers?

        Content owners are pushing DRM the hardest. They get the most blame. Then the content providers that agree to push this bullshit onto their customers.

  • On-topic enought to tell here: My computer won't even boot with an iPod attached. Might be just the shuffle, but I think having my old mini connected is a no-no, too. Won't even go past the BIOS screen, it hangs before the pseudo memory check at POST.

    Sometimes I don't even get an image on the screen, I think because it hangs too fast for the monitor too sync. I found this out the (very) hard way: Computer didn't boot, no image on screen, seemingly for no reason, so I did what I had to do, basic troubleshooting. Remove power cord and reconnect after a while, didn't do anything. So I started tearing out extension cards, disconnecting hard drives, removing RAM chips. Had pretty much the whole thing disassembled, short of removing the CPU (because removing the HSF is such a PITA). Erased the BIOS using a paperclip, nothing. Only then did I notice, by accident, that some USB devices, including the iPod, were still attached. Disconnected them, and the system booted fine. WTF.

    The whole thing is so strange that I promptly forgot about it and repeated the whole procedure half a year later. Doh!

    Note that everything works fine once the POST is done, I bet I could even boot of of it if I wanted to, and I can use them in Linux or Windows just fine. So really just a minor inconvenience, albeit a very odd one. (I blame my motherboard, BTW, not the iPod.)

  • HP Printer.

    Drivers on windows can be troublesome. It would suprise me if usbaapl64.sys has some issue previously undiscovered.

    This is fallout of shared component design MS uses.

    Should Apple have tested with HP printers? Probably, but no one can test every configuration of a PC.

    The USB set up MS is using is causing a fault in Ring 0. That's the only way I can see this causing a BSoD

  • by Orion Blastar ( 457579 ) <orionblastar&gmail,com> on Thursday September 11, 2008 @06:57PM (#24970513) Homepage Journal

    He mixed Apple iTunes sloppy code with Microsoft Vista sloppy code.

    That is why I don't use iTunes or Vista, both have sloppy code in them that cause crashed. When you cross both of them together you crash the system or at least cause it to lock up.

    It is also why my G3 iMac was never upgraded to Mac OSX and still runs Mac OS9, because of Apple's sloppy code in OSX. If I convert it to a new OS it will either be Linux or AROS, because both of them are stable and being ported to the PowerPC platform or have a port already.

    Apple "borrowed" a lot from Commodore, first it was the Vic-20 Commodore logo key copied as the Apple logo key on the Apple //e, then it was the Commodore Vic-20 and Commodore 64 compact design copied with the Apple //c, then it was the Amiga Workbench and co-processor support for 4096 colors and above with the Commodore Amiga in the Macintosh II (The Macintosh II was basically an Amiga 2000 rip-off after the Mr. Coffee Classic black and white Macintosh series was an epic fail), and then NeXT was an AmigaOS rip-off using BSD Unix (AmigaOS/AmigaDOS was based on the Unix-like TriPOS and Steve Jobs learned from his epic fail to use Unix as it is more like the Amiga to help make Next survive), Pixar ripped off the Newtek Video Toaster that Amigas had used (Steve Jobs saw how Amiga 2000s with the Video Toaster did great desktop video for movies and wanted to borrow that tech for Pixar), and then Mac OSX got the AROS and AmigaOS 3.X look and feel but with the Microsoft Windows bloat. AROS [sourceforge.net] does not have the Windows bloat but still has the AmigaDOS/Workbench "less is more" approach in that it is memory efficient and doesn't need a high end processor with tons of memory to run it.

    Basically Apple started to slowly evolve into Microsoft, and Amiga and the Amiga technology evolved into what the Macintosh should have been in 1985, and evolved into what it should be with AROS into modern times.

    Apple even is suing people like Microsoft did like Pystar because of its EULA, which is very much like the one Microsoft has. Apple vs. Pystar is very much like Microsoft vs. IBM over OS/2, so Apple is evolving to what Microsoft was during the OS/2 years in the 1990's.

  • by Tacvek ( 948259 ) on Thursday September 11, 2008 @09:40PM (#24972753) Journal

    Please see this apple knowledge base page: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2280 [apple.com]

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken