December 2006

Peter Gutmann has written a superb article on Vista content protection, and the hidden costs. He also points out that it is designed to fail fast (or rather, degrade fast) in the face of security – or rather content protection – violations. However, having ’tilt bits’ spread widely throughout a system is orthogonal to resilience….

A recent support mail to Palm, querying the availability of an update to their PALMUSBD.SYS drvier, which is not tolerant of Hyperthreaded CPUs:

I start to HotSync the Visor Pro, and most times, PalmUSBD.sys generates a Blue Screen of Death with cause DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. This is intermittent.

This ONLY occurs on a hyperthreaded system, and no, disabling hyperthreading is not an acceptable solution.
I have set the affinity of hotsync.exe to one CPU, as suggested in many forums online, although this does not address the root cause of the problem, namely that palmusbd.sys is not tolerant of hyperthreaded systems. This driver requires fixing.

Also, note that MANY other users of more modern Palm handhelds (e.g. T3,TX) are complaining about this driver on various online forums.
Just google for ‘hotsync palmusbd.sys bsod’.
e.g. one T|X user has the same problem – see

I’d be very happy to beta test any updated drivers you may produce to fix this fault.

I have uninstalled and reinstalled Palm Desktop, latest version. This does not sure the problem.

I notice that on the Palm Desktop for Windows download page:
you state that you do not support
“Dual- or Multiple-CPU computers”.
This is untenable. You are targetting your excellent handheld computers at professional people. Many of these are highly likely to have modern computers, which are increasingly likely to have hyperthreaded CPUs, and will therefore be impacted by this fault.

I await your response. Thanks in advance,
Matt Gumbley

Waiting is…