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benjamin bunny

unpredictable crashing. Ideas?

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I''m working on a program for my 4e3 entry, but it''s developed a tendency to halt the whole system every now and again when it''s left running. What happens is a pixel in the upper-left hand corner of the screen becomes white, and everything stops working except the mouse, then if I press a key, that stops working too, forcing me to do a hard reset (no ctrl-alt-deleting out of this one). As the problem occurs very infrequently, its very hard for me to track down exactly what''s causing the problem. Basically 20,000 odd lines of code are suspect (No, I''m not posting them). So, I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and knows what caused it in their case. I''m slightly at a loss here. If it is a software problem, I reckon it''s got something to do with openGL calls. A video card problem would explain why the entire system crashes. To give an idea of what the graphics are doing, I''m using pretty big textures (512x512), vertex arrays, multitexturing, cube mapping (GL_TEXTURE_CUBE_MAP_EXT). My card is a geforce 2 Pro 64MB. I haven''t ruled out a hardware problem due to the residual humidity and temperature in the room I''m working. It does only seem to occur when it''s hot and muggy, although it is most of the time (it''s mid-summer here). The code is pretty CPU and GPU intensive, so it''s just about feasable that it''s overheating. Any ideas are appreciated ____________________________________________________________ www.elf-stone.com

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Overheating normally gets really weird ''video corruption'' I''ve heard, this sounds too predictable for that. With and older machine I had that would overheat, I could take a large 24" (~60 cm) fan and place it next to the open tower, and that''d keep it cool during almost anything.

If you have the time, what I do in my project is ''manual debugging'' through logging each and every function call to a ''manually kept stack'' (which I can have written to a file after each function call). You get output like "Gamma <- Beta <- Alpha <- EntryPoint". These are really easy to implement if you only have a single thread. Since it''s all written to a file (and flushed after each write), even if your system goes down you get the location of the problem. This might be too much work to retroactively add to a project though. If you''re using Win2K/XP you would also want to disable that HDD write buffering, which would make a solution like this useless.

Good luck finding an easier solution from the other people here .

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Ive had my whole system lock up many times from over heat, its nearly as you describe but everythinig goes and its a hard reset job, not noticed any pixels changing color.

Like you, the only times mine tends to go is when the room I''m in is hot and muggy.
I crashed last nite like that playing Neverwinter Nights (quite grahical intensive on the settings I''ve got) coz of overheat... turned a fan on to move air around the room and it was all good again, so try improveing the case airflow with a fan it might help.

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I''ve had problems with a geforce2 card in the heat.

When using certain 3d functions it would cause the computer to not work.

Happened in empire earth the most.

Guess the cards heat up lots when doing 3d stuff compared to 2d stuff.

I too used a big fan pointed into the open case ( when other people didn''t steal it to point onto themselves). Glad it''s not that hot here now(in winter here). Spacing out harddrives/cdroms, and pci cards can also help a lot. I leave as much distance between my video card and the rest of the cards as possible.

Does the bug happen on other computers?

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My old Geforce 2 MX 400 overheated a lot and vertexs started appearing in off locatoions and polys where slicing people in half, in my games I played. sometimes it crashed and restarted, I stuck an old Cpu fan on it''s heatsync and it stayed real cool not it has no such problems.

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That happens to me too -- I've seen Q3A, JK2 and my own application all die in that exact way. No idea what is causing it. It only started when I upgraded to Win2k though.

I have a TNT2 btw.

Due to the context, I'm betting it's some OGL+NT conflict, but I really have no idea why it should do that. Be happy, it isn't your code only/

[edited by - Cirian on June 30, 2002 4:38:43 AM]

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quote:
Original post by Cirian
Due to the context, I''m betting it''s some OGL+NT conflict, but I really have no idea why it should do that. Be happy, it isn''t your code only.

I''ve never had this issue when I use Win2K (my box has had a TNT 2, a Geforce 2, and a Geforce 3). Nevertheless, I could just be lucky (I don''t play games as often as most people, and I''m not in Windows often), and you could be right about this being a common issue.

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I''ve had it happen to me in OGL AND D3D games, so I dont think it would be related to an OGL+NT problem.

In fact, during the winter months my computer is perfectly stable and happy, not crashing at all, its not until the summer that things start to get flakey with it (this includes fresh installs)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Have other people test it. The Judges have suggested you having the game tested by as many other people as possible. If you game crashes on their machine, they will not give it back for you to fix and resubmit.

-James

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Pop the case and run the computer naked to the colder outside air, maybe with a fan pointed at it, just for good measure. If it works then heat is your culprit. I''ve had my share of heat problems too, this is one of the first things I do when I get unexplained problems.

------------
- outRider -

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