Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

'Blue Screen of Death' on Oil Rig's Computer ( Deepwater Horizon Oilspill )
HardOCP ^ | Saturday July 24, 2010 | Al

Posted on 07/24/2010 10:30:38 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Testifying at a federal hearing on Friday, the chief electronics technician told of numerous instances of a "Blue Screen of Death" on the computer system responsible for monitoring and controlling drilling. The largest oil spill in American history may be due to a simple computer glitch.

The machine had been locking up for months, Williams said, producing what he and others on the crew called a "blue screen of death." "It would just turn blue. You'd have no data coming through," Williams said today, according to the New York Times' story. With the computer frozen, the driller would not have access to crucial data about what was going on in the well.


(Excerpt) Read more at hardocp.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: oilspill
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-131 next last

1 posted on 07/24/2010 10:30:41 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Paging Bill Gates, Please pick up the blue courtesy phone. Bill Gates, paging Bill Gates.....


2 posted on 07/24/2010 10:32:57 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

3 posted on 07/24/2010 10:34:36 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Don’t these geniuses have an IT department?


4 posted on 07/24/2010 10:34:52 AM PDT by Repeal 16-17 (Let me know when the Shooting starts.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

LOL!

You can’t rely on Windows as a true real-time operating system. Same is true for the Apple OSes.

They need QNX or the like. Maybe then they would have saved billions of dollars.


5 posted on 07/24/2010 10:34:56 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (The NAACP is a bunch of cracker-hating bigots and I condemn the NAACP for being a racist element.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: central_va

I guess this means they’ll have to hold Microsoft, all the engineers who participated in Windows development, the integrator and the software developer all CRIMINALLY and FINANCIALLY liable.


6 posted on 07/24/2010 10:35:01 AM PDT by Mariner (USS Tarawa, VQ3, USS Benjamin Stoddert, NAVCAMS WestPac, 7th Fleet, Navcommsta Puget Sound)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: central_va

While I am no MS fan, is Windows the only OS that throws a blue screen when things go wrong?


7 posted on 07/24/2010 10:35:29 AM PDT by TheBattman (They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Should’ve used Unix or Linux.


8 posted on 07/24/2010 10:35:52 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.....Eagle scout since Sep 9, 1970)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

ouch.

SAFE Mode.

ouch

running OS2 or NT5.0


9 posted on 07/24/2010 10:36:21 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheBattman

Unix OS’s don’t crash like that. The software the UNIX OS is currently running might crash, but usually the OS stays up.


10 posted on 07/24/2010 10:38:12 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Someone didn’t understand the term “mission critical” when out shopping for software.


11 posted on 07/24/2010 10:38:31 AM PDT by thecodont
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mariner
I guess this means they’ll have to hold Microsoft, all the engineers who participated in Windows development, the integrator and the software developer all CRIMINALLY and FINANCIALLY liable.

I felt this way about MS way before this ever happened.

12 posted on 07/24/2010 10:39:20 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed, and I do not give a damn.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Sub-Driver; BOBTHENAILER; SunkenCiv; Marine_Uncle; onyx; NormsRevenge; Grampa Dave; SierraWasp; ...
This gives some detail on a host of problems....on the Trans-ocean Rig:

From The Times-Picayune:

Oil spill hearings: Bypassed general alarm doomed workers in drilling area, technician testifies

****************************************EXCERPT**********************************************

About five weeks before the accident, Williams was called to check on a computer system in the drill shack that was constantly on the fritz. Williams said the software was chronically bad, leaving a "blue screen of death" on the driller's interface and often causing the driller to lose crucial data about what was going on in the well. Once, when the Deepwater Horizon was drilling a different well, the computer froze up and the rig took a kick of natural gas while the driller was looking at "erroneous data," Williams said.

*****************************************************

Discussion on Today's TOD says the computer was running a Windows NT system...which is very much out of date .

Not aware whether Windows still supplies any kind of maintenance for it.

13 posted on 07/24/2010 10:39:20 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Crap. They still have meters and gages, and a guy watching the flow in the mud pit. It may not be as modern but tens of thousands of wells were drilled without computers. First drilling engineer I ever saw on a rig was using a slide rule.

It took a bunch of people not doing the job for this to happen.

14 posted on 07/24/2010 10:40:03 AM PDT by HoustonCurmudgeon ("I'll try to be NICER, if you will try to be SMARTER!" ~ MNJohnnie, FReeper)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

..well, you can blame it on the blue of death, or you can blame it on the Lee Harvey Oswald, but the real problem originates w/the greasy geezers on the grassy knoll......


15 posted on 07/24/2010 10:40:19 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Fairly un-humorous as a “blue screen of death” actually caused several deaths.


16 posted on 07/24/2010 10:41:16 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Who allowed the worst oil pollution disaster in American history and did nothing?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

They should have used a MAC.


17 posted on 07/24/2010 10:43:24 AM PDT by Not gonna take it anymore (Happily Catholic)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Testifying at a federal hearing on Friday, the chief electronics technician told of numerous instances of a "Blue Screen of Death" on the computer system responsible for monitoring and controlling drilling. The largest oil spill in American history may be due to a simple computer glitch. The machine had been locking up for months, Williams said, producing what he and others on the crew called a "blue screen of death." "It would just turn blue. You'd have no data coming through," Williams said today, according to the New York Times' story. With the computer frozen, the driller would not have access to crucial data about what was going on in the well.

No where in here does it talk about this being related to the oil spill.

But Obama will use this as an excuse to nationalize the software industry.

Effing socialist.

18 posted on 07/24/2010 10:43:24 AM PDT by Lazamataz ("We beat the Soviet Union. Then we became them." -- Lazamataz, 2005)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Anybody know what that operating environment is like?

If it's a high-vibration environment, that can wreck havoc on hard drives and connectors.

19 posted on 07/24/2010 10:44:06 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lazamataz

Bingo, thanks for pointing that out, these animals are a cancer that only lives to kill.


20 posted on 07/24/2010 10:44:46 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Before we blame the OS where where the IT guys?..This has been going on for months. Just another indication of sloppiness...


21 posted on 07/24/2010 10:44:52 AM PDT by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Sounds like that whole rig was a clusterf$ck. Disabled gas sensor, broken BOP, failing computer systems - the BP admins was INSISTED that the contractors press on with the drilling regardless should be tried for murder.


22 posted on 07/24/2010 10:45:34 AM PDT by worst-case scenario (Striving to reach the light)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConservativeMind

>>You can’t rely on Windows as a true real-time operating system. Same is true for the Apple OSes.

Of course you can. Wonderware, Intellution, WinCC all run fine under Windows. I run a large SCADA system (1600 RTUs) that controls the utilities in 3 counties and never have a BSOD.


23 posted on 07/24/2010 10:46:41 AM PDT by Bryanw92 (Obama is like a rocket scientist....who's trying to do brain surgery with a hammer.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: TheBattman
Is Windows the only OS that throws a blue screen when things go wrong?

I can speak about Linux and Solaris. When things go utterly, horribly wrong in those operating systems, the error messages generally appear in white or gray text on a black background (in character mode).

The Linux error messages from the kernel are sometimes written in a lighthearted manner starting with the string, ``Oops'' followed by a stack trace showing the low-level details of what actually caused the kernel panic.

In every case I've encountered (rare those have been), it has always been due to a hardware component misbehaving such as a dodgy memory module or an unrecoverable I/O error on a hard drive.

24 posted on 07/24/2010 10:47:03 AM PDT by re_nortex (DP...that's what I like about Texas...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: All; central_va; ShadowAce; Repeal 16-17; ConservativeMind; Mariner; TheBattman; P8riot; ...
Subthread from TOD:

ecsimonson on July 24, 2010 - 2:05am

***************************************EXCERPT********************************************

From todays Coast Guard hearing testimony it sounds like the "A, B and C chairs all had problems with the BSOD" In other words they ran Microsoft Windows NT and the computers would crash and blue screen.
The last version of Microsoft NT was released in 1996. I work in IT so I see lots of old hardware and software but I can think of much more stable platforms to run such critical systems on. Anyone want to comment about what rigs usually use for OS on the chair computers. Mike Williams testified that if all chairs failed then the only option was abandon ship.
I can think of several OS's that I would trust about 1000X more than NT to run in such a critical job. Yes they would have to port and probably rewrite some software. I have had machines I managed that ran continuously for over 3 years, and got worked hard. Definitely not running NT.

25 posted on 07/24/2010 10:47:58 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: TheBattman

Yes. Windows is the only OS which has an OS level crash often known as the blue screen of death. All NIX OS’s, including OS X for Mac, has process stops which do not crash the entire OS with a blue screen. This is a result of the fact that Windows is a layered OS built upon the original 8086 legacy architecture.

While the modern Windows OSs are deep and wide in their scope, the primary reason they are sometimes called “Bloated” is to retain backwards compatibility, the memory addressing systems just append code for each level of the improved design, each time, each upgrade, layer upon layer, call after call, until the OS cannot even keep track of where what process began or where the return calls need to go... then the whole house of cards comes down.... BSOD!

All NIX code has a very tiny and robust OS kernel that orders all the other apps, processes and devices around. if any of them, misbehave, the kernel closes them and restarts them, assigning them to new memory slots.

Over simplified, but that’s the general difference.


26 posted on 07/24/2010 10:52:03 AM PDT by RachelFaith (2010 is going to be a 100 seat Tsunami - Unless the GOP Senate ruins it all...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: worst-case scenario; HoustonCurmudgeon
It sure looks like there were lots of other problems than just this....but depending on how the computer is wound into the whole system this is not good.

And loss of power doesn't affect a slide rule if you have a flashlight.

27 posted on 07/24/2010 10:53:22 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I’m no fan of Microsoft Windows (Slackware since ‘96), but this sounds like classic toss the blame around to see what sticks.


28 posted on 07/24/2010 10:54:35 AM PDT by SpaceBar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Slide rules rule!


29 posted on 07/24/2010 10:54:46 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: RachelFaith

Nicely said.


30 posted on 07/24/2010 10:56:37 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Ha ha ha ha someone used it to watch porn and it got a virus!


31 posted on 07/24/2010 10:57:20 AM PDT by webheart (I am a Sarah fan.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: worst-case scenario

I agree with you. The implications for this disaster go much further than most realize.


32 posted on 07/24/2010 10:58:05 AM PDT by grapeape (Don't rally around BP. They are endagering the rest of the oil industry.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Good thing computers were invented, or we’d never have been able to drill for oil.


33 posted on 07/24/2010 10:58:23 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The Last Boy Scout)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bryanw92

Take a look at the follow two links:

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Real-time_operating_system

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_real-time_operating_systems

Windows CE is a real-time OS, but not any other version of Windows. The foundation of Windows is not good enough for real-time, but it can go a long time without crashing.

You don’t want Windows to run your car’s electronics. Period.


34 posted on 07/24/2010 10:58:53 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (The NAACP is a bunch of cracker-hating bigots and I condemn the NAACP for being a racist element.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: tacticalogic
wreck

wreak

35 posted on 07/24/2010 10:59:28 AM PDT by webheart (I am a Sarah fan.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

More than likely it’s something related to the computer itself and not the OS. I’ve done countless installs of Windows for myself and for others and every BSOD I’ve encountered was the fault of a attached piece of hardware, a peripheral or faulty memory stick or the motherboard itself.


36 posted on 07/24/2010 10:59:48 AM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (In 2012: The Rookie and The Wookie get booted from the White House.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SpaceBar
See full article at post #13.

They had other problems.

37 posted on 07/24/2010 10:59:55 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: RachelFaith

Well said!!


38 posted on 07/24/2010 11:00:15 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (The NAACP is a bunch of cracker-hating bigots and I condemn the NAACP for being a racist element.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: re_nortex

I hate to say it but the only OS I have ever used that was bulletproof (or as close as it gets) was OS/370 (now zOS).

If lives are on the line, that should be the choice.


39 posted on 07/24/2010 11:01:37 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (The frog who accepts a ride from a scorpion should expect a sting and the phrase "it is my nature.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

There are millions of machines out there just chugging along on old outdated software... many of them likely still in mission critical situations. not surprising considering the range of applications that NT has been a platform of choice for years, from banking to journalism, from the military to ‘adult’ stuff.

It don’t get no worse than ‘Hard drive not found’ (a generic paraphrase of a message that makes the tummy go.. unngh)

Abort, Blow it up or ReDrill?

heckuva dialog box


40 posted on 07/24/2010 11:02:30 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed .. Monthly Donor Onboard)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: BigSkyFreeper

I should also add that even poorly coded third party software will cause BSOD’s. Of all the computer I have owned over the years, the BSOD’s I have had were caused by third party software and devices like the CD-ROM and the memory sticks.


41 posted on 07/24/2010 11:03:33 AM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (In 2012: The Rookie and The Wookie get booted from the White House.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: BigSkyFreeper
It's not tolerant of equipment failure....for a personal PC a reboot may fix it.

For an industrial control computer it's not smart to willy nilly do a reboot.

42 posted on 07/24/2010 11:04:13 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Bryanw92

What is a SCADA system?


43 posted on 07/24/2010 11:05:44 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: tacticalogic
If it's a high-vibration environment, that can wreck havoc on hard drives and connectors.

High vibration, and high ELECTRO-MAGNETIC DISTURBANCES.

There are some huge motors and generators on that rig.

44 posted on 07/24/2010 11:06:42 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The Last Boy Scout)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
For an industrial control computer it's not smart to willy nilly do a reboot.

Yes, I am aware of that.  I've also run across instances when an error in Windows occurs, you have no recourse but to reboot and when you do, you encounter a BIOS "BOOT DISK FAILURE" error.  The only way around that is to pull the power cord from the power socket and wait one minute to allow the electrical charge to drain out of the motherboard. (on most motherboards, there is a green LED lamp that burns out telling you there is no more power going through the motherboard).

45 posted on 07/24/2010 11:09:06 AM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (In 2012: The Rookie and The Wookie get booted from the White House.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I’ve been running a SUSE Linux server continuously for the last 5 years without a crash, the only time I’ve had to restart it was after some doofus cut the power with a backhoe two years ago, and that was a safe shutdown on backup power.


46 posted on 07/24/2010 11:09:17 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.....Eagle scout since Sep 9, 1970)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

Watch for a story by the DoomsDay crowd that a computer operator on the Deep horizon responded to the BSOD message and choose “Blow it up”...


47 posted on 07/24/2010 11:09:57 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ( Support Geert Wilders)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: tacticalogic

At a company I worked for, they kept having problems with the CRT Screens getting distorted.

After having several (on different floors) getting the same problem, I noticed something.

All of them were located near the elevator shaft.


48 posted on 07/24/2010 11:10:01 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The Last Boy Scout)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: RachelFaith
Windows: n 32 bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor, written by a 2 bit company, that can't stand 1 bit of competition.
49 posted on 07/24/2010 11:11:33 AM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.....Eagle scout since Sep 9, 1970)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"the computer froze up and the rig took a kick of natural gas while the driller was looking at "erroneous data,"


50 posted on 07/24/2010 11:13:00 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The Last Boy Scout)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-131 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson