Here's some potentially useful info. I went to check on Jim's method of observing ReadyBoost action (which turned out to be the same screen as I reported under Task manager, Jim just accessed it a different way) and found out that...I had no ReadyBoost. Unplugging and reinserting the Memory Stick was no help, the XL3 claimed it wasn't fast enough even after retesting it.
I tried formatting it NTFS and boom, ReadyBoost was back. I still don't know if Microsoft's claim of a 4GB limit is a true limitation of Vista or just that the default FAT32 maxes out at 4GB.
(BTW Jim, I am suprised you've got a 2gig card in FAT(16) as the default for anything bigger than 512MB is FAT32. In any event, that's as big as you can go because FAT16 ends at 2GB and the largest file supported is also 2GB.)
It's a real pain to format a card NTFS under XP but it's just another choice from the DDL under Vista. So now I start putting everything back the way it was, which means popping back in that 2GB slow CF card that started this whole mess a month or so ago.
How slow? The Memory Stick formats 4GB in about a minute, full format; the 2GB CF took over half an hour. And remember, even when I tried a hot Class 6 CF card by itself ReadyBoost rejected it, so there's an issue with the CF bus itself on the XL3.
And now that I had everything set back up, ReadyBoost was gone again!
This time, however, when I unplugged the CF and rebooted, ReadyBoost re-appeared. Just for S&Gs, I tried formatting the CF as NTFS. It worked (taking a half-hour), which really suprised me that I could even do it, and now ReadyBoost was still available even with the CF card plugged in (summary: a slow 2GB CF card, formatted NTFS, coexists with ReadyBoost on a fast 4GB Memory Stick, also formatted NTFS).
However, I noted that I got a lot of activity light flashing. I mean, a LOT. I think I had stumbled upon a way to spoof ReadyBoost into using a drive system that it shouldn't when I formatted the much-too-slow slow-the-whole-bus-down CF card as NTFS. I could be wrong because I still don't see the actual speed numbers that Jim seems to be alluding to, but it makes sense and it took a good five minutes after bootup before the activity light started calming down.
Next, I removed the CF card and tried the 256MB SD card (FAT32) that I had originally gotten to work with ReadyBoost. Although it was not formatted NTFS, it did not impact the MemoryStick's ReadyBoost at all and did not seem to make bootup activity any longer. So for whatever reason, an NTFS MemoryStick is compatible with ReadyBoost alongside an NTFS CF card, but not a FAT32 CF card, but is compatible alongside a FAT32 SD card.
So, I will be retiring that CF card permanently, and will only leave the Memory Stick in. If I need to copy something to or from the XL3, I'll use SD as I need it.
Jim, when you are in the activity monitoring screen, what exactly are you looking under to see the writes to the card?
H.P. Lovecraft once prefaced a story with a remark to the effect of, just because creepy things happen doesn't mean they're not just coincidence. After reading D.C.'s link about Restricted Content errors resulting from buggy updates, I went to my XL3 to learn...it failed to record the last three shows, and I was now getting R.C. errors on every channel!
But that seems impossible...as you know, I am a evangelist against automatic updates, and I verified that my last update was back on April 7th. How could this happen to me when the reports deal with an errant update around May 25?
Nonetheless, I restored a backup (losing the licenses to a few more shows in the process), and for good measure re-flashed my ATI firmware from a known good copy, and shut down updates altogether.
Still no soap.
Terror began to take hold...I verified that I still had analog cable coming in. I had a good CableCard signal in the diagnostics screen, but I reinstalled the CableCard anyway, and revalidated the Digital Cable Tuner. No good. None of the fixes posted at The Green Button are working either. But this shouldn't be happpening: none of the conditions the Microsoft rep reported even apply to me!
Could it possibly have anything to do with the announcement that CableVision sent out saying that to get most HD channels, CableCard users will have to get a STB? That still doesn't explain why all my channels are affected, but maybe they screwed up and discontinued CableCard support for all channels instead of just my favorite HD networks. I call them, they want to transfer me to the CableCard department (uh, that'd be "Bill" in the utility closet studying the photos he took of me showing him how to set up a CableCard), I say no, that's not what I want, the CableCard is the one thing I know ISN'T the problem! Just tell me if you've made any system changes on your end in the past 36 hours!
But they insisted that only a CableCard "expert" could help me. I explained in vain that troubleshooting the CableCard is a waste of time with a known outcome. They transferred me; I hung up. Disaster loomed...if I was going to have to depend on some combination of Sony, Microsoft and Cablevision to solve this, I would surely never record another digital show on my XL3.
* * * * *
Two hours later, all channels reappeared on their own. It was just a routine Cablevision glitch...a coincidence having nothing to do with the update corruption issue!