I have to say that the biggest instabilities in my Windows XP Professional system came from Adaptec ASPI. Olli, the author of various Elaborate Bytes products, comments on some of the deficiencies in Adaptec ASPI in this thread - about half way down the first page.
His comment number 3 is one that particularly upsets Nero - trying to turn on Nero ImageDrive was pretty much a guaranteed BSOD on my system. :Z
If you have Nero and use the BurnRights utility to allow Everyone to burn, it appears to allow SPTI tools work as a non-Administrator. Certainly I can use DVDINFOPro, Nero and Feurio as a user without having Adaptec ASPI installed.
As an Administrator, I went to the Device Manager, selected “Show hidden devices” on the View menu, and uninstalled aspi32 from “Non-Plug and Play Drivers”. I rebooted, deleted aspi32.sys from \WINDOWS\System32\DRIVERS and wnaspi32.dll from \WINDOWS\System32, then, for neatness’ sake, tidied up a few left-over aspi32 entries in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet part of the registry.
Bye bye Adaptec ASPI.
The only piece of software on my machine that sulks without Adaptec ASPI installed is Ariolic’s Active SMART SCSI (my main two hard disks are U320 Seagate Cheetah 15K.3 drives). It works after a fashion with the Nero wnaspi32.dll copied to its directory - though, in truth, I regret buying this software. It only works as an Administrator, and the user interface is pretty but overall it’s not well designed (the main part of the program really needs writing as a service). With Nero’s ASPI instead of Adaptec’s, it tries to monitor the four slots on my USB 2 card reader, as well as my three hard disks, and reckons they’re at the same temperature as one of my SCSI hard disks. Whether this is a bug in Nero’s ASPI or Active SMART, I don’t know.
If anyone knows of a good SMART monitoring utility that works with both SCSI and IDE hard disks in Windows XP Professional, and doesn’t cost a fortune, I’m interested.
At this point, things were a lot more stable.
To finish off the job, I used Add/Remove Programs to remove the Gear drivers that AudibleManager installed as part of its CD burning plug-in. They’re incredibly invasive - amongst other things, adding their filter to the Tape Devices class (why, I have no idea, but unlike many people in these forums I really do have a tape device on my box - a Seagate DDS-4 U2W SCSI drive). If I want them again at any point in the future, I can reinstall them.
At this point, my machine became completely stable when using Nero. Even with Adaptec ASPI gone, when I still had the Gear drivers installed, trying to continue a multisession disc (UDF DVD, as it happens - I had a >2GB file on there) in Nero tended to cause a STOP 0x44. Admittedly, though, I may have been making things potentially flakier by having InCD installed (which, as I’ve explained in another thread recently, is there to allow me to use DVD+RW media with Backup Exec for Windows Servers 9.1).
My belief is that it’s always better to uninstall things rather than just rip them out of the registry whenever possible, even if to get things completely clean you have to tidy up manually afterwards. It was on that basis I made my suggestion to uninstall the whole of your Roxio package and reinstall without DirectCD. My personal experience is that Easy CD Creator 5 uninstalled cleanly on this machine, not leaving any unwanted filters or drivers around. It just left behind a few garbage registry entries in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE that wouldn’t have caused any problems.
It’s really best to have the minimum number of different writing software packages installed - particularly if they install filters, services and drivers. I’m now down to just two - Nero/InCD and Feurio - of which only Nero/InCD, for various good reasons, installs filters, services (at least if you use InCD) and, if you use ImageDrive, some drivers.