Troubleshooting: why does my generator continue to have the second channel randomly die within an hour of use, and both channels display 0 amplitude?

It seems more likely to me to be something in the operating system or setup of Windows.
First: When you got the laptop did you put it back to standard as supplied?
Most laptops have a hidden disc partition for this purpose, if it has the original hard disc.

Device Manager - Ports - Silicon... - Power Management - Allow the computer.... should not be ticked.

If not set back to original spec there could be for example an old driver polling the USB for non existent hardware.

I have found improved stability since the start of Spooky. Windows 10 seems better, and the software also. My overworked Desktop normally runs 2 XMs, 3 Browsers, (one operating a high resolution IP camera) virus and malware checkers, and anything else.

Its difficult to find the causes for the XM firmware crashing, as any monitoring software puts an extra overhead on the USB to serial and can cause instability.

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