Bought a MP3000 with DTHC from CandCNC. The software for this is a plugin into Mach 3. First you install Mach then you install the plugins for the MP3000 and the DTHC (torch height control for plasma). The Mach 3 screens are changed to be specific to the MP3000 / DTHC and the MP3000 software interacts with the MP3000 unit.
I've re-installed XP in standard PC mode (formatted the HD first). Disable alsorts, no startup programs, no antivirus installed, no automatic updates, uninstalled just about every XP non essential program in Control Panel. Mach installs fine and driver test at 100 khz is perfect. However when I install and start the MP3000 software the systems freezes solid. Only a hard reboot get me out of it.
Communicating with one of the computer guys at CandCNC to try various troubleshooting ideas. Anyway I found the service that seems to be "causing" the crash. In msconfig if I disable PLUG AND PLAY the MP3000 software starts without crashing. However now I've got no parallel port communication.
So with P&P service disabled I uninstall MP3000 & Mach and reinstall. BUT Machs driver won't install with P&P service disabled in msconfig.
I've just ordered Windows 2000 and I'll reformat and install that operating system to see if this problem goes away. Until that time anyone got any ideas.