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Old Nov 8, 2009, 9:00 PM   #1
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Default DANGER: Technaxx X2 toycam crash Win98 registry =>dead internet

I had bought on eBay a quite funny little 0.1 megapixel CMOS toy digicam Technaxx X2 3in1, which has no screen and stores 18 grainy photos (resolution 320*240 CIF) or enormous 10 seconds of video in internal RAM (no flash ROM, i.e. empty battery erases all pictures). There is even a mode with only half that photo resolution (176*144 pixels QCIF) for up to 72 photos and you can even use it as a webcam (with stand) at the same resolutions. The thing runs on a single AAA battery and draws relatively high standby current to supply the "1M*16b" (i.e. 2 megabyte?) SDRAM, so it is recommended to transfer the photos to the PC soon after use and then take the battery out to avoid battery leak.

The camera is fully automatic, has an optical viewfinder, a beeper, a small 2 digit LCD and no flash. The USB cable has a special plug, so do not loose it. The photos look... eh impressionistic? They have some funky colourful snow in them and the fixfocus plastic lens with often overexposed parts have a strange ancient Polaroid appeal. This is the right toy for camera tossing or lomographic art pictures with well visible pixels. Its a lo-fi fun thing that should not be confused with a real digital camera.

Apparently this camera is technically identical with various even tinyer keychain digicams. They can be recognized because the photo upload software has the name "MyDSC2" and installs itself in /windows/TWAIN_32/MyDSC2. The DLLs in that directory are Capt905c.sys, Camd905c.sys, Compress.dll, SQDLL.dll, ToyCam.dll, SQRS.dll, and there are also some INI files with plenty of parameters those look hackable to tweak internal functions. My driver CD is black with white Text "DIGITAL CAMERA" and lists the programs "Arcsoft Photo Impression 4.0", "Arcsoft Videoimpression 1.6", "Pccam". There is a type number "EOTSQAAJ" on label and center ring of the CD.

DANGER!

If you haven't done it yet, do not try to install the driver for such a camera before you have read this text to the end!

The drivers from 2004 were branded "SQ Technology" aka "Service_Quality Technology", however they unfortunately have neither service nor quality, but contain a catastrophic software bug, that can make your Windows system unusable! This Bug is not fun at all; I spent 2 entire days and nights to get my PC to work again.

The driver setup of the mini digicam corrupts the registry of Windows 98SE (I use German version) =>all internet programs crash, so internet access becomes impossible, which can not be fixed by simply uninstalling the driver! Firefox 2 and Thunderbird crashed immediately during start, other browsers (Netscape 4.75, Internet Explorer) as soon any internet access is tried.

It is unknown whether the fault only occurs in combination with the ZoneAlarm firewall. Apparently the setup installs some ancient "Video For Windows"/ "Microsoft Netmeeting" internet rubbish that conflicts with the task Vsmon in "ZoneAlarm AntiVirus 6.1" and makes Winsock fail. WebWasher 3.4 alerted something like that it could not create a socket. ZoneAlarm sometimes locked up Windows completely after the Vsmon crash.

The setup installed under "Netzwerk" ("networking"?) the obscure function "Microsoft TV/Video Connection" (function description: "Receives Internet data embedded in TV broadcasts and other video."), which obviously has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of the camera. Deleting it from "Netzwerk" in the "Systemsteuerung" ("control panel") didn't help. This seems to be the main problem.

It produces the following access chain:

SQ905c.inf -> KSCAPTUR.INF -> NDISIP.INF

The latter 2 seem to be part of Windows. NDISIP.INF installs the villain "Microsoft TV/Video Connection". (NDISIP.INF is also called in BDA.INF and BDASETUP.INF, those don't matter here.)

registry repair:

After failed installation the previous registry (SYSTEM.DAT, USER.DAT) needs to be extracted with EXTRACT.EXE from the backup file \WINDOWS\SYSBCKUP\rb00*.cab of correct date (from shortly before installation) and copied back to \WINDOWS\SYSTEM in plain DOS mode. For this I had extracted both files to a directory \myReg on my windows Partition. The rest is like this:

ATTRIB -H -S \windows\*.dat
COPY \myReg\system.dat \windows
COPY \myReg\user.dat \windows

(Before copying registry back, you may search with regedit in the registry all entries with the string "DualCamera" and export them to a .REG file. Import that file into the new registry before (important!) you connect the digicam again. When you forget this, the faulty installer will pop up automatically and immediately ruin the registry again the next reboot! Unfortunately it will do that also once you connect that digicam to another USB port, thus the .REG file is no permanent fix and likely not necessary anyway.)

fix:

The correct solution seems to be to edit the file \WINDOWS\INF\KSCAPTUR.INF and comment out any rows containing "NDISIP" (insert a ";" before them). After this it will be harmless to connect the camera. In my KSCAPTUR.INF file they are these 3 sections:

Code:
; Install NdisIP miniport
;HKLM,Enum\Root\NDISIP\0000,HardwareID,,"NDISIP"

; Install NdisIP miniport
;HKLM,%RunOnce%,"NDISIP0",,"rundll32.exe streamci,StreamingDeviceSetup %NdisIP.DeviceId%,NDISIP,%NdisIP.GUID.BDANetInterface%,%17%\ndisip.inf,NdisIP.Reg"

;NdisIP.DeviceID="{48926476-2cae-4ded-a86e-73ddebed6779}"
;NdisIP.GUID.BDANetInterface="{9aa4a2cc-81e0-4cfd-802f-0f74526d2bd3}"
So the proper fix should be to edit KSCAPTUR.INF before you install the camera driver from its setup CD and especially before you reboot or try to connect the mini digicam.


On my Win98SE the Technaxx X2 digicam is now properly recognized, although the program "PCCam" crashes during first activation of "preview" and then produces only 1 fps while it slows down the entire PC and mouse pointer during this (despite my 550MHz AMD K6-3+ CPU and graphics card run YouTube perfectly) until the mode or program is quit. As a Twain device I can also access it with other webcam supporting programs.
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Old Nov 11, 2009, 8:44 PM   #2
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A lot of fuss over a piece of junk. Suffice it to give the warning of the software problem and leave the stupids up to their own devices.
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