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20030504 instable under XP, just like all the last nightlies

Discussion about official Mozilla Firefox builds
djst
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Post Posted May 5th, 2003, 2:04 am

TGOS wrote:What is more annoying is why talkback seems to not work. See, if talkback is working, we can eaisly figure out if it's a problem with the current Phoenix code or with my PC. If Pheonix crashes without any internal error right before the crash, it's a Windows bug (or driver bug), as Windows has killed the program, even though everything was working fine.

That's what I'm beginning to suspect since you seem to get a lot of crashes. I'd recomment creating a *completely* new profile without copying in the old files. Of course, you can still keep the old profile for reference, but the point is to see if this is something that is possible to reproduce.

TGOS
 
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Post Posted May 5th, 2003, 10:13 am

djst wrote:That's what I'm beginning to suspect since you seem to get a lot of crashes. I'd recomment creating a *completely* new profile without copying in the old files. Of course, you can still keep the old profile for reference, but the point is to see if this is something that is possible to reproduce.


I created a new profile yesterday and everything was working fine for 2-3 hours. Today it was working fine for maybe an hour and now it justed crashed again (while loading a page, crashed after about 50% of the page was loaded, but I visit this page daily, so it's not directly connected to this page).

Talkback ID TB19799083G

TGOS
 
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Post Posted May 5th, 2003, 10:26 am

ehume wrote:1. The problem may be based on the underlying Mozilla code, which I believe departed from 1.3 to 1.4a around the time you began having problems.


Possible, but I don't like Mozilla. It starts slowely, it reacts slowely and it doesn't support all the themes and extensions. It stopped using Mozilla in favor of Phoenix.

2. The problem may be based on Win XP. I'm using Win XP Pro, and I recall having several updates in the past month.


But it worked before as well. So if it's a XP incompatibility, it must have been caused by recent code changes.

3. If you have an old PC, one of your memory chips may be failing. Failing memory produces unpredictable problems. How old is "old"? i don't know.


No, it's not that old. 1 GHz Athlon, but the memory is newer (not even a year old). And if it would cause problems, it would cause them in other applications, too.

4. You could be snake-bit: the gods frowning upon you. Sound weird? Dig this: It's hard for me to invoke the autocomplete crash bug. I've done it, but it's been rarely. My wife, OTOH, has it happen to her at least once a day, often several times. She's snake-bit.


Oh, I know this bug, too. Even though I haven't had it recently anymore. I don't like auto-complete anyway, Phoenix is configured to not store auto-complete information, but it seems to not care for this setting.

But before I sacrifice a lamb and bath my computer in its blood, could we maybe get talkback to work and then simply look what's the last line of code being executed before a crash? ;-)

djk

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Post Posted May 5th, 2003, 11:32 am

Hopefully this can be tracked down.

I advise to install (cleanly) a build of firebird that you _know_ didn't crash randomly. If it doesn't crash randomly, we can start to assume that nothing on your computer is failing.

It's still possible that a driver and/or hardware problem is causing your trouble with firebird. I have an old ATI vid card on my work machine, and only Gecko tickled bugs in it; all other programs displayed things just fine. Maybe something got turned on / changed in firebird which is now stressing your drivers/hardware in new ways which trigger a crash. Perhaps a driver update would help.

I recall that a certain version of the Java Virtual Machine and Radeon video cards would also cause problems. What video card and Java version do you have?

Finally, some software you installed may be causing problems. Do you recall installing anything around the time firebird became unstable?

my $0.02

Dunderklumpen
 
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Post Posted May 5th, 2003, 12:00 pm

Here´s a general suggestion. I have been writing my own computer diary for several years now. At first by hand in a book - nowadays I have a small program installed that I use for noting every change that I do. Any upgrade, change or anything like that. It has saved me a lot of time during the years since I can always go backwards and keep track of what I have done and what I did the last time.

I use a small piece of software called Diary. Get it at:

http://home.tiscali.nl/selfaware/noscript.html

Look for downloads and then Diary. Small and simple program that will help you to keep track of any changes. I note any upgrades, any installation of patches, security fixes etc. etc.

I have also tried several of my clients to do this and I can assure you that the ones that do, has saved a lot of money since their systems are so much easier to "debug". It boils down to to try to get back to where the systems was stable and then try to remove only the recent changes.

TGOS
 
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Post Posted May 5th, 2003, 1:34 pm

djk wrote:I advise to install (cleanly) a build of firebird that you _know_ didn't crash randomly. If it doesn't crash randomly, we can start to assume that nothing on your computer is failing.


But that means I have to use a very outdated version for quite a while and even if it hasn't crashed till the end of the week, I wouldn't bet that it's 100% stable.

What's wrong with using talkback to identify the last piece of code being executed right before the crash? Is it expensive to deceipher a talkbar report? Or is it that talkback doesn't really work with Phoenix? If so, we should get it working, as it identified quite a lot of nasty bugs in Mozilla in the past and was really helpful.

It's still possible that a driver and/or hardware problem is causing your trouble with firebird. I have an old ATI vid card on my work machine, and only Gecko tickled bugs in it; all other programs displayed things just fine.


Yes, I still remember the NVidia bug. NVidia had a bug in their driver for Win98. If you stretched a picture to a multiple of 2048 in hardware, the driver crashed (because of a divide by zero error), causing Mozilla to crash and finally your whole system hung. This bug was only triggered by Mozilla, as no other program used that function, maybe except games and the chance that they scale a bitmap two a mlutiple of 2048 is very unlikely, while webpages use often "spacing pixels" that are only one pixel and scale them quite a bit.

NVidia fixed that bug and since that day everything is working fine. Strange enough, this bug was probably in the NVidia drivers from the very beginning and it took years to find a program that triggers it.

Maybe something got turned on / changed in firebird which is now stressing your drivers/hardware in new ways which trigger a crash. Perhaps a driver update would help.


I could run a NVidia driver update, but last time Talkback also helped to find out that the NVidia crash always happened when a picture is scaled in hardware. So again, talkback would be helpful.

I recall that a certain version of the Java Virtual Machine and Radeon video cards would also cause problems. What video card and Java version do you have?


NVidia, Geforce2 MX.
Java 1.4.2beta, but the crashes are not related to Java pages (that's one of the few things I can exclude for sure). The Java Plugin wasn't even loaded during the last crashes.

Do you recall installing anything around the time firebird became unstable?


XVid video codec, but that's only used when playing videos or encoding them. It's definitely not loaded while Phoenix is running and if it crashes anything, it's only the video player or encoding tool.

Despite that, I'm not using a lot of software. The same News and Mail client for months, the same video and audio editors for almost half a year now. No new browser plugins. It would have to be something that is running while Phoenix is running, but I already had crashes when Phoenix was the only running program (and I don't have hundreds of things in tray like some other people, I hate it if background tasks run that are not necessary and just eat up my memory).

If Talkback doesn't work, maybe I have to see what Dr Watson says about the crashes. Already when I had the NVidia crashes on Win98, Dr Watson was able to tell me that the program was killed due to a divide by zero error. Most of the time crashes are NULL pointer crashes.

Dunderklumpen
 
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Post Posted May 5th, 2003, 5:27 pm

TGOS wrote:
djk wrote:I advise to install (cleanly) a build of firebird that you _know_ didn't crash randomly. If it doesn't crash randomly, we can start to assume that nothing on your computer is failing.


But that means I have to use a very outdated version for quite a while and even if it hasn't crashed till the end of the week, I wouldn't bet that it's 100% stable.

What's wrong with using talkback to identify the last piece of code being executed right before the crash? Is it expensive to deceipher a talkbar report? Or is it that talkback doesn't really work with Phoenix? If so, we should get it working, as it identified quite a lot of nasty bugs in Mozilla in the past and was really helpful.


We are only trying to help you and this means that you just might have to go back a bit to get the stability back. I think djk:s suggestion is the proper way to do it. In order to start somewhere you have to see if this is related to Firebird or something else, or at least get a clue of what is causing this.

When it comes to Talkback - well we are not the developers and we don´t have access to that code or information and my guess is that de developers are much to busy to do it for us or for you.
Last edited by Dunderklumpen on May 6th, 2003, 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

oliversl

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Post Posted May 5th, 2003, 5:37 pm

TGOS wrote:I'm a permanent nightly tester, because the 0.5 version is so extremely out of date. So far I was always happy with the nightly builds, but the last 6-10 builds I used were all highly instable.
...

Had to disagree, Phoenix is more stable than ever in WinXP.
Try creating a new profile and see.

I only get crashes now in autocomplete in form inputs.

djk

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Post Posted May 6th, 2003, 6:59 am

TGOS wrote:NVidia, Geforce2 MX.
Java 1.4.2beta, but the crashes are not related to Java pages (that's one of the few things I can exclude for sure). The Java Plugin wasn't even loaded during the last crashes.

Cool, at least there's one thing that isn't causing the problem. :-)

TGOS wrote:
djk wrote:Do you recall installing anything around the time firebird became unstable?

XVid video codec, but that's only used when playing videos or encoding them. It's definitely not loaded while Phoenix is running and if it crashes anything, it's only the video player or encoding tool.


Even if that program isn't running, it could have modified a file or setting which is causing the instability.

I again suggest to go back to a known 'stable' build of firebird and see if this new setup is what's causing crashes. Then maybe even uninstall the xvid codec and see if newer builds still crash as frequently.

Or hope that a developer pays attention to your Talkbacks... (though they're probably concentrating on topcrashers now that 1.4b is just around the corner.)

shadytrees
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Post Posted May 6th, 2003, 9:06 am

Two things:

1. Please try to follow the instructions. I have found creating a new profile does solve problems.
2. Talkback works for me. It makes me happy to send Talkback information. However, I have found Talkback to work only on certain crashes. It works for me on memory crashes (don't ask).

TGOS
 
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Post Posted May 6th, 2003, 11:15 am

hao2lian wrote:Two things:
1. Please try to follow the instructions. I have found creating a new profile does solve problems.


No, it doesn't. I already told you before. Today I had another crash, already with the third new profile. But I may have found a page that triggers the crash (not sure, have to play around with it some more; it reloads banners in a subframe every few seconds, after a while (20 minutes or so) Phoenix seems to crash).

2. Talkback works for me. It makes me happy to send Talkback information. However, I have found Talkback to work only on certain crashes. It works for me on memory crashes (don't ask).


Well, Talkback does work, but when I click on detail, there's no information inside, while in case of Mozilla there always used to be all kind of information inside.

oliversl

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Post Posted May 6th, 2003, 1:28 pm

TGOS wrote:
hao2lian wrote:Two things:
1. Please try to follow the instructions. I have found creating a new profile does solve problems.


No, it doesn't. I already told you before. Today I had another crash, already with the third new profile. But I may have found a page that triggers the crash (not sure, have to play around with it some more; it reloads banners in a subframe every few seconds, after a while (20 minutes or so) Phoenix seems to crash).
Well, you will have to provide testcases. Firebird is rocksolid here. I only see crashes in autocomple in a form.

old Harry Waldron
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Post Posted May 6th, 2003, 3:13 pm

XP has been a very reliable environment, as the May 4th build is working well under W/98, 2000, and XP pro.

Theoretically, no application should crash in XP (at least according to our friends in Redmond - LOL). Seriously though, I've never had an XP crash and I've been running XP since BETA 1 (Whistler).


* * *

NOTE TO TGOS -- I suspect a low-level driver issue (video cards can be an issue). Capture any abend codes and post back. You might lower your video resolution and make sure you have at least 1.5 times the amount of virtual RAM as you do real RAM. Also, this list might help:

Windows Tune-up Checklist
http://forums.mcafeehelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=5388

Aqua.

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Post Posted May 6th, 2003, 5:36 pm

You misremember what the folks in Redmond are saying.

They aren't saying that no application should crash in XP.

They're saying that no application should crash XP itself.

Strangely enough, the only program I have that can crash XP itself is Microsoft's Age of Empires I LOL, and it does it regularly.

old Harry Waldron
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Post Posted May 7th, 2003, 12:54 pm

Hi Aqua -- You're absolutely right on XP crashes as stated. What I meant to say is that "Theoretically, no application should crash XP" (e.g., XP isn't supposed to BSOD). The May 4th build is solid as a rock for me in 2000 Pro SP3, W/98, and XP Pro SP1.

With the latest build, I did go in and delete the prior Phoenix folders in "Documents and Settings" under Application Data (so I'd get a fresh start).

Hopefully TGOS will have Good luck on this and continue posting.


P.S. We both need to batten down the hatches as T-Storms are coming to NC and VA - lol
Last edited by old Harry Waldron on May 7th, 2003, 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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