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New issue with texture loading - Firestorm only


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Lately, around the past 2-3 weeks or so I have noticed a significant increase in the time it's taking to load some in-world textures.  The main symptom is that upon logging in or teleporting, there will be one or two textures that either never load at all, or take around 20 minutes to do so. It's not the same textures each time; in my home, for instance, it may be a table this time, a rug next time etc etc. They don't blur, they just stay grey.  If I log off and back again, nine times out of ten the grey texture will rez fine but another different one will be grey.  It doesn't seem to be related to texture size and is just as likely to happen with a small texture as a large one. Frame-rate is not affected, only texture-loading.

I normally use Firestorm and the problem only affects Firestorm, not the official viewer which is fine. But I REALLY don't want to go back to the official viewer because it lacks so many features that I use constantly. I haven't tried any other viewers.

I've tried experimenting with different bandwidth but whether I go as low as 500 or as high as 2000 doesn't seem to make any difference. My internet speed is typically around 25mb/s down and 6.5 to 7 mb/s up and this has not changed recently. I am (and always have) used a cabled internet connection at home, not wi-fi. Nothing has changed with respect to my hardware or internet connection - the only thing that has changed is that about a week before this started, I switched to using MS Chromium Edge instead of Chrome as my desktop browser. I've tried switching back though, with no luck.

Specs below, but I'm inclined to think it's not hardware, as the problem didn't start until very recently, and it doesn't occur in the official viewer. I'm more inclined to think it's a settings issue, or a software conflict of some kind. Any suggestions?

Quote

 

Firestorm 6.4.12 (62831) Dec  3 2020 22:34:49 (64bit / SSE2) (Firestorm-Releasex64) with Havok support

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-7300HQ CPU @ 2.50GHz (2496 MHz)
Memory: 16270 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit (Build 19042.804)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 1050/PCIe/SSE2
Graphics Card Memory: 4096 MB

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 26.21.14.4193
OpenGL Version: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 441.93

RestrainedLove API: (disabled)
libcurl Version: libcurl/7.54.1 OpenSSL/1.0.2l zlib/1.2.8 nghttp2/1.40.0
J2C Decoder Version: KDU v8.0.6
Audio Driver Version: FMOD Studio 2.01.05
Dullahan: 1.8.0.202007261348
  CEF: 81.3.10+gb223419+chromium-81.0.4044.138
  Chromium: 81.0.4044.138
LibVLC Version: 2.2.8
Voice Server Version: Not Connected
Settings mode: Firestorm
Viewer Skin: Firestorm (Grey)
Window size: 1920x1051 px
Font Used: Deja Vu (96 dpi)
Font Size Adjustment: 0 pt
UI Scaling: 1
Draw distance: 272 m
Bandwidth: 1000 kbit/s
LOD factor: 2
Render quality: Medium (3/7)
Advanced Lighting Model: Yes
Texture memory: 2048 MB (1)
VFS (cache) creation time (UTC): 2017-9-16T21:51:51 
Built with MSVC version 1916
Packets Lost: 243/529,008 (0.0%)
March 07 2021 12:43:18 SLT

 

My PC is a laptop. (Suggestions to upgrade it are welcome when accompanied by a cheque to pay for same). 

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@Karly KiyoriTwo elements of your settings as you give them stand out to me:

1) the draw distance of 272m...that is more than the width of a region,  so your viewer will be trying to draw the textures for a portion of all the surrounding 8 regions.  Frankly it is too high unless you are sailing.  Try 128m or even 64m

2) The Nvidia GPU driver is listed as 441.93...in terms of released drivers that is months if not years old and quite out of date.  You might go to the Nvidia site and download and install an updated driver.  I my opinion you should chance option 1) before attempting a driver update.

Beyond that there are other more knowledgeable folk that frequent this forum that may offer help.

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8 minutes ago, Aishagain said:

@Karly KiyoriTwo elements of your settings as you give them stand out to me:

1) the draw distance of 272m...that is more than the width of a region,  so your viewer will be trying to draw the textures for a portion of all the surrounding 8 regions.  Frankly it is too high unless you are sailing.  Try 128m or even 64m

2) The Nvidia GPU driver is listed as 441.93...in terms of released drivers that is months if not years old and quite out of date.  You might go to the Nvidia site and download and install an updated driver.  I my opinion you should chance option 1) before attempting a driver update.

Beyond that there are other more knowledgeable folk that frequent this forum that may offer help.

Ooops actually I was sailing right before I took those specs and forgot to change it. I am usually set around 100 or so, but no it doesn't make any difference to the texture loading.

How do I go about finding an up to date driver? And what do I do if it messes everything up and I can't use SL at all any more? Is there a way to revert if it all goes wrong?

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@Karly Kiyori Go to:

https://www.nvidia.co.uk/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-uk

type in you details and it will provide you with the driver download you need.  If there IS a problem, to roll back you will need to go to Device Manager and find your graphics adapter in there roll back is one of the options.

I am in the UK if you are in another country you may need to navigate to the appropriate page for your locale.

Edited by Aishagain
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12 hours ago, Karly Kiyori said:

Ooops actually I was sailing right before I took those specs and forgot to change it. I am usually set around 100 or so, but no it doesn't make any difference to the texture loading.

How do I go about finding an up to date driver? And what do I do if it messes everything up and I can't use SL at all any more? Is there a way to revert if it all goes wrong?

1060 GTX 6 GB GPU here, I run with 240 meters draw distance most of the time and this does not cause any problems normally. Your GForce 1050 4 GB handles SL without problems.

Couple of months old NVidea drivers should not be a problem, as the updated drivers mainly are targeted for high end games (ray traycing, game specific things) and if I remember correct no problems has been reported by NVidea regarding OpenGL/Vulkan lately. Current NVidea driver release is 461.72 (2021-02-25).

You should have GForce Experience installed, it can ensure you have updated drivers, just use manual install and set check mark in remove previous drivers, before you update drivers. GForce Experience keeps a copy of previous drivers/download unpacked, which can result in 10+GB harddisk space used.

What else could cause grey texture? Have you tried to clear the cache in FS? I have seen same as you from time to time on my old system, clearing the cache solved the problem. A simple error in the cache can result in missing texture. Also be sure to exclude your FS cache from virus checking.

Seldom it can be the SL servers, where the texture for some reason fails to load/getting updated. I have experienced this with own made mesh and textures and some hair I used for years, where suddenly hair texture went gray.

Edited by Rachel1206
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I did both update my graphics drivers and (reluctantly) clear cache..

One or the other of these things seems to have worked - it's still a little slower than the official viewer but by no means 20 minutes to load a texture, and certainly within tolerable levels.

Thanks to @Aishagain and @Rachel1206 for the suggestions. 

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@Karly Kiyori: the issue of the texture cache in SL viewers is one about which there are many "old wives' tales still told.  The short-term pain of re-caching txture is well worth it if you have texture issues such as yours or similar ones, in my experience, though precisely WHY the issues occir I still half no real idea.  There are many SL issue for which a cache clearance will have absulutely no effect but there are some which seems to work, so if it works use it!

One thing that does also occur is I assume you "whitelist" the cache and several other elements of the viewer in your antivirus.  You seem reasonably smart so I'd be surprised if you don't but just in case have a look at this:

https://wiki.firestormviewer.org/antivirus_whitelisting

 

Edited by Aishagain
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2 minutes ago, Aishagain said:

One thing that does also occur is I assume you "whitelist" the cache and several other elements of the viewer in your antivirus.  You seem reasonably smart so I'd be surprised if you don't but just in case:

 

Actually I have no idea, and no idea how to do that.

I'm not in any way technically-minded and haven't done anything with my antivirus besides default "as recommended" installation and updates. It's apparently been no problem since 2006 and after clearing cache and updating the graphics driver, it doesn't appear to be a problem today.

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