MoI v3 - crash debugging

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 From:  hairykiwi
5452.1 
Michael,

First off, many thanks again for all your efforts with the continued development of MoI. I really enjoy using it!

I wonder if you or anyone can suggest where I should start to debug the crashes of MoI v3 when no crash file is created. I presume if one is generated, it's saved to the install directory?

My v2 install is quite stable under all conditions (even when free memory is low due to other apps). v3 (certainly the last two Beta versions) on the other hand will crash either with or without any 3dm file loaded - not ever straight after starting the program, but after an indeterminate period of around 5 - 10 minutes. I've tried running it without other applications open, but this seems to make no difference.

Many thanks,
Hamish
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5452.2 In reply to 5452.1 
Hi Hamish, usually no crash dump is related to running out of memory since it also requires memory to create the crash dump in the first place.

The crash dumps will try to go in the install folder but on some operating systems like Vista and Windows 7 it won't be allowed to be created there and in that case they'll go to your Temp folder instead, type in %tmp% in the search box on the start menu to go to there, and look for any files named moi_report1.zip, moi_report2.zip, etc... and please send those over to me at moi@moi3d.com

- Michael
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 From:  hairykiwi
5452.3 
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the quick reply. I searched as requested... and for "moi_report".

As I suspected - no crash dump files exist. I'm (still) running XP with a total of 2.9GB (2882028 K) physical memory showing in Windows Task Manager. Available ~642000 K.

Just on the off chance it's a bad/outdated driver issue, this is my mobo:
Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H with onboard Nvidia GeForce 9400 graphics chipset + E8500 Core 2 Duo.

- Hamish
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5452.4 In reply to 5452.3 
Hi Hamish, it could be worth updating your graphics drivers to see if that's the issue but if it was I would expect v2 to be problematic as well.

Is it possible that you're running some kind of anti-virus or anti-spyware software that may have modified any of MoI's installation files?

Also one other change in recent betas is that the display engine now uses multiple threads, maybe that's having some bad interaction on your system, you can try disabling that by editing moi.ini as described here: http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=5315.2

- Michael
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 From:  hairykiwi
5452.5 In reply to 5452.4 
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately no improvement as yet.

Can you elaborate on how the installation files might have been modified by my AV? i.e. What is the typical evidence of the AV interfering?

I edited moi.ini to show "DisplayThreadLimit=1" - no change.

After a lot of experimenting, I managed to get XP to accept the latest graphics driver by uninstalling the original and letting Windows sort itself out on the subsequent reboot. Installing the latest drivers using the supplied installer failed several times.

Cheers,
Hamish
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5452.6 In reply to 5452.5 
Hi Hamish,

> Can you elaborate on how the installation files might have been modified by
> my AV? i.e. What is the typical evidence of the AV interfering?

It's just a guess on one possible problem source - Anti-Virus programs have a tendency to hook into the system at a low level and that type of intrusion can sometimes have side effects.

If you are running any anti-virus or anti-spyware programs, you might try temporarily disabling them, and then doing a fresh installation of MoI and see if that behaves any differently.

- Michael
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 From:  hairykiwi
5452.7 In reply to 5452.6 
Hi Michael,

Active AV disabled, MoI v3 reinstalled. With or without AV active MoI continues to crash as before.

I've been keeping Windows Task Manager open in the corner while I work - available physical memory with nothing else open is 1.65 GB and remains quite stable.

Where I said I'd managed to get the latest driver installed, I'm not convinced it was a complete install. The video driver configuration program reported a version mismatch. I'll have to do some more searching on installing the Nvidia drivers - it appears to be a known problem with no hard solution.

If you have any more ideas, I appreciate your time, but solving this is not urgent; I'm just saving more regularly and using v2 where I don't need v3 features.

Thanks,
Hamish
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5452.8 In reply to 5452.7 
Hi Hamish, can you describe a bit more about what exactly happens when you get the crash, when you check Task Manager, is moi.exe still running or not?

And just to confirm, if you only simply launch MoI and do nothing else at all (no loading of files, etc...), you get a crash after a while just having left the program totally undisturbed?

Can you please open up a cmd.exe shell and go into the MoI install folder and do a dir and post back here what exact file date and size for the moi_lib.dll file, for the Sep-1 first v3 beta it should be:

09/01/2012 04:12 PM 5,273,088 moi_lib.dll

- Michael
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 From:  hairykiwi
5452.9 In reply to 5452.8 
Hi Michael,

File version/date for moi_lib.dll for the Sep-1 v3 are exactly as you state: 09/01/2012 04:12 PM 5,273,088 moi_lib.dll - here's the screengrab of my v3 SEP 01 install directory, if that's of any further interest: https://www.dropbox.com/s/u5ccn9fmyojgfre/MoI%203.0%20beta%202012-09-01_cmd_screengrab.jpg

The only change I've made within the v3 install directory is adding the CustomDistance.js /.htm script (dated 6/13/2008) to the commands folder.

>when you check Task Manager, is moi.exe still running or not?
moi.exe is no longer present after any crashes.

>And just to confirm, if you only simply launch MoI and do nothing else at all (no loading of files, etc...), you get a crash after a while just having left the program totally undisturbed?
Correct. And for further clarification, it makes no difference whether other programs, (whether started automatically at system startup or manually) are running in the background or not. However, the average period between starting MoI and it crashing seems to have increased (from 5 - 10 mins to 10 - 20 mins) since I changed the video drivers and had a good clean out my installed programs; this might be coincidence.

BTW, it makes no difference if my AV is active or temporarily disabled.

I'll do a memory test tonight using Memtest86+ and let you know how it goes.

Any other ideas for stress testing?

Also, is there any point in seeing if MoI will 'crash-while-idle' in safe-mode? Perhaps this might eliminate or implicate the display driver? I noticed when I tried running MoI in safemode I received the error "Unable to create Direct3D9 device", identical, except for the (higher) display resolution, to the one when the latest video driver wouldn't install properly as shown here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ylxawznl7zzs410/moi_screen_dump_640_480.JPG

Thanks,
hamish
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5452.10 In reply to 5452.9 
Hi Hamish, well that's all pretty baffling.

The main thing that's particularly weird is that there haven't been a whole lot of changes in the display mechanism (other than the multi-threading which you already disabled) from v2 to v3, so I don't really understand why only recent v3 betas would show this problem for you...

Is there any possibility that your video card is overheating? If you don't have any method set up to measure that you might try using a monitoring app (here's one: http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html) to see if the temperatures are creeping up while the 3D graphics functions of your card are in use. Also if your machine is clogged up with dust that would be good to vacuum out and if it has gotten pushed up close to a wall maybe it needs more space to get better airflow through it.

But if those were the case I would really expect to see v2 behaving like that as well, I don't understand why you would only see this on v3.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
5452.11 In reply to 5452.9 
Hi Hamish, can you contact me through e-mail at moi@moi3d.com ? I'll prepare some test versions of some older v3 betas and send them to you and see if that can narrow it down to one specific change that then causes the problem.

- Michael
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 From:  hairykiwi
5452.12 In reply to 5452.11 
Hi Michael,

I'll be in contact be email.

Thanks for the link to CPUID Hardware Monitor. Very useful.

On the slightest chance this is of benefit to anyone else:

As expected, the Memtest86+ tests resulted in a pass with zero errors.

According to the CPUID HM, CPU temp was around 30 degC, while GPU temp was at 86 degC. (My Mobo has onboard graphics and only a CPU and PWR supply fans due to small case size.) Re dust, there is a little, but I did already vacuum out a LOT of dust a few months back as the entire PC kept repeatedly crashing. Since then I've had no system crashes - and MoI v2 is stable under the current (relatively hot GPU) conditions.

As an exercise, I just rigged up a 2.5 cu.m/min (88 cu.ft/min) fan to blow into the open case. GPU temp is now 38 deg C, while system and CPU are 25 and 21 degC respectively. Left idle, at the lower temps, MoI v3 continues to crash however.

- Hamish

EDITED: 7 Oct 2012 by HAIRYKIWI

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 From:  stevecim
5452.13 
hi

I've found in the past, that once a CPU/GPU run to hot for 2 long, it's time to replace them... :(

Cheers, Steve
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