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Crashing issues


Valerie Volare
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A few months ago, I was informed that having too many items in inventory causes crashes.  Since then, I have decreased my inventory from almost 300,000 items to about 70,000 items, but I'm still experiencing crashing issues especially on sims that inhabit a large number of avatars.  I've also performed numerous system scans as well.  What other things can I do to remedy this situation?

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I have about 65,000 things too, and I am not having any crash problems.  One thing that may be wrong with your inventory...its file structure may be too "flat".  If you only have a few folders, and have thousands of items in the folders, that's a "flat" inventory.  Try creating more sub-folders and splitting up the contents of folders with a great many items.

Other than that, a large inventory can slow your teleports down, but it should not cause you to crash.  See this article for other things you can check on: http://blog.nalates.net/2011/10/26/troubleshoot-your-sl-connection/

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It depends why you are crashing.
In the top menu bar of the viewer, go to Help -> About Second Life / viewer name, click the "Copy to clipboard" & paste all your system information here.

When the viewer crashes, does the viewer just poof to desktop or do you get an error message or do you see a notification saying "You have been disconnected from Second Life.  View IM/Quit" or similar?

If someone told you the large inventory was adding to the problem then I suspect either:
1) You are using a 32bit viewer & therefore at risk of out of memory crashes.  A large inventory eats into the precious memory a 32bit viewer is limited to. If you are using a 64bit operating system, running a 64bit viewer will fix that.
2) You are getting disconnected during or soon after login because your inventory is too flat & this causes the  login to time out.

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Lindal and Whirly are right. But, I'll say it another way hoping it helps and give you a key troubleshooting tip.

A large inventory will not crash you or affect your teleports. However, a large flat inventory, basically everything in one folder, can cause problems. Awhile back something changed and large flat inventories started blocking login. The engineers built a tool for support to rearrange a person's inventory so they could login. Basically, placing things in lots of folders. The pain point on a good connection was about 5,000 items per folder. Less on weaker connections. That you survived with 300k items suggests you do not have a flat inventory. So, deleting 270k items out of inventory was a waste of time... at least in light of the goal of stopping crashes.

As you are learning, before you start fixing things identify the problem. Otherwise you do a bunch of time consuming tedious things that do not fix the problem.

If Whirly nailed the problem as a 32-bit viewer issue, a change to a 64-bit would have eliminated the problem without deleting inventory.

A simple step in troubleshooting is to look in the viewer's log to see what went wrong. Look at the log immediately after you crash or exit the viewer. Logs are replaced the next time a viewer starts. You’ll find the logs in:

Windows: C:\Users\[Win_login_ID]\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\logs\

You will change folder and file names based on viewer used... But, they are all similar.

  • crashreport.log – This log is generated when the viewer crashes, the previous version of the file is overwritten. Rename this file if you plan to restart the viewer before examining the file. Otherwise, just read it with a text viewer (Notepad is good).
  • debug_info.log – This file is internally formatted as an XML file. I never find it of much use. It is mostly the specs of your machine.
  • SecondLife.log – This is the main log file. I find it the most useful. Start from the end of the file and work toward the beginning. Search for ‘WARNING’ and ‘ERROR’. With any luck, the messages there will give you an idea of the problem. Recent changes have added a section heading to parts of the file that can identify the general nature of the problem. There are lots of performance stats included.  At the end of a non-crash log there are secession stats;  Run Time, Average Packet Size, Dropped Packets, Resent Packets, etc. The file is replaced and recreated for each viewer secession.
  • SecondLife.error_marker – I don’t know what information is inside. I don’t have a copy to examine as I write this.  The presence of the file indicates where, when, and what error happened. I think this is a disaster backup file for crash reporting in which information about the crash is retained in the event the crash handlers are destroyed before they can create the other more complete crash files.
  • SecondLife.start_marker – There is no information inside. The presence of the file indicates how far into the start process the viewer has gotten. Whether the file exists or not is the pertinent information.
  • SecondLifeCrashReport.log – This is another file internally formatted to XML.  It is created when the viewer crashes. I think this is the new version of the crash log. It is mostly text.
  • stats.log – This is a short file containing network statistics. Similar information is in other log files. It is an easy to read set of stats that show how many packets were dropped and resent in a secession.

I find the SecondLife.log is the most useful file for tuning and troubleshooting the viewer. It is verbose and reasonably easy to understand. There is a Debug Setting that allows you to increase or decrease the level of reporting.

Most of these files are erased when the viewer starts. If you plan to send the files in with a trouble ticket or bug report, place copies in another folder before starting the viewer.

Marker files are temporary and may or may not exist at any given time.

Entries in the files associated with errors and warnings are labeled as such. That makes them easy to find by searching. Search and read through them starting at the end of the file and working backward.

Warning entries are common and do NOT necessarily mean there is a problem. Some warnings are a part of normal operation. Some errors are trivial and do not indicate a ‘noticeable’ problem in the viewer’s operation.

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