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System Hangs


Marshall Buttrey's Avatar
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01-03-01, 12:14 PM   #1  
Marshall Buttrey
I recently started playing Pinochle on the Yahoo game site. (It's a card game). After I play for about 2 hours my PC sometimes hangs. When I Ctrl/Alt/Del I get a message that system resources are dangerously low and that I should stop the application. I can't stop it, and the only way out is to Ctrl/Alt/Del again to re-boot.

All seems well on my Resource Meter, even just prior to the hang.

I suspect this is the infamous MS memory leakage problem, but can't prove it. I am running Win 98 on a 333 E-Machine, with 32 Meg. (I have 128 Meg. on order (back-ordered of course))

How can I prove the culprit? Also, what is GDI resources on the Resource Meter? The accronym escapes my senile memory and I find nothing in Windows Help.

Thanks in Advance

Marshall Buttrey

 
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01-04-01, 10:01 AM   #2  
I am not really sure the exact problem in this instance , hopefully someone may have a more precise answer. I just wanted to make some comments. 32 megs is really the absolute min you need to operate that system, I would recommend at least 64 meg of memory , your 128 that you have on order will serve you well. I personally don't worry if a single game has a problem , there are lots more that will work perfectly, and if all the applications work good, I don't worry about it. However if it is a favorate game, the person may have a differemt view. The stack may be getting too large, and/or it could be as you said. Hopefully your new memory will arrive soon and hopefully you will notice a performance difference.

perhaps others could be more specific on the cause.

 
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01-04-01, 12:59 PM   #3  
Marshall Buttrey
Thanks dkerr. Mem scheduled to ship Friday, but we all know how that goes.

The game is not only my favorite, but now my wife's favorite. I might get to buy a new PC just so I can use one. (Not all bad)

It is a resource problem, but the message doesn't say what resource. The more I see it the more I am convinced it's memory, and I am surprized this hasn't received more speculation from avid DIY users. At least it should be a good learning topic for lots of us.

Thanks Again
Marshall Buttrey (TN)

 
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01-04-01, 04:16 PM   #4  
mikejmerritt
Marshall Buttrey, GDI-graghic device interface. This is explained in the article on resource leaks by Fred Langa found at this link http://www.winmag.com/columns/explorer/2000/11.htm Hope this helps...Mike

 
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01-05-01, 08:47 PM   #5  
Marshall Buttrey
Thank you very much Mike. GDI makes sense.

I read the article and guess I don't have the kind of leak I thought it might be. At least there seems to be no resource leaks shown by the resource meter.

I have experienced exactly what the article discusses, as I imagine we all have. This one is different. Additional memory shipped today, so maybe I'll know more next week.

Thanks for the effort of sharing your knowledge.

Marshall Buttrey

 
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01-07-01, 04:47 AM   #6  
mikejmerritt
Marshall Buttrey, I do hope adding RAM helps your troubles. If your resources are holding steady I will bet you have a clash in one or more programs. I preach this clash thing at this forum to often but many problems are found by narrowing running programs and startup items. Here is a link to download a very useful tool called Startup Cop. It allows easy removal of startup items. Get this program, it's free and you'll be glad you did.You'll have to paste this link into your browser. For some reason the whole link will not show up as active. Maybe it's the commas.
http://www.zdnet.com/downloads/stories/info/0,,000YKL,.html


Mike



[Edited by mikejmerritt on 01-07-01 at 07:57]

 
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01-07-01, 06:52 PM   #7  
Marshall Buttrey
Thanks Mike. I appreciate your help. I installed Startup Com today. I had no idea how many applications where starting. I stopped a few, but there are still probably 20 starting. I feel pretty comfortable with the ones I stopped, but it will takes lot of research to find out what some of the others are, and then determine if I want them to start or not.

Again, thank you very much. Everyone should know about this program, and the applications that are running on their machines without their knowledge. I dread the research, but I think it will be time well spent.

Marshall Buttrey

 
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01-08-01, 05:57 AM   #8  
mikejmerritt
Marshall Buttrey, Opinions differ on what MUST be kept in System Configuration and a Startup Cop list but these are the ones that I leave without a doubt.... a. ScanRegistry
b. SystemTray
c. LoadPowerProfile (Usually twice)
d. TaskMonitor

Deleting some or all of these can lead to an unbootable PC. I can tell you from experience that everything else can be safely removed to troubleshoot or slim down startup...Mike

 
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01-08-01, 07:15 AM   #9  
Marshall Buttrey
Thanks Mike. I crashed again last night (after) stopping some applications. Only difference this time is the second Ctrl/Alt/Del did nothing. If I get bold today I'll stop all but the ones you mentioned, and try again.

I plan to post the results here, to share your knowledge with others.

Thanks again.

Marshall Buttrey

 
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01-09-01, 08:39 AM   #10  
Marshall Buttrey
Here is the latest.

I stopped most applications yesterday morning, and saw a vast improvement. I did crash once, but after 7 hours. (previous crashes were every 2 to 3 hours). I stopped two more applications today, but left Norton's anti-virus and my Firewall (ZoneAlarm) running. (I use a DSL connection, and won't stop ZoneAlarm to prevent crashes.)

I will stop portions of Norton's tomorrow if I crash today, but plan to keep the e-mail scan functioning. I will of course schedule a scan every day.

Thanks again Mike.

Marshall Buttrey

 
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01-16-01, 09:45 AM   #11  
Marshall Buttrey
If anyone is interested, I concede defeat.

I continue to freeze while playing Pinochle regardless of what I do. I am running with 160 Meg. of memory, I have stopped all non-essential appls. from starting, and I have tried Netscape 4 and IE 5. When I freeze my resource meter is in the 70s, with graphics even higher.

I am about to believe a Yahoo problem, but most likely JAVA.

Thanks for the help and good advise. The good part of this bug is that I have learned a lot about application conflicts.

Marshall Buttrey

 
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01-16-01, 10:07 AM   #12  
The only other thing you can do is to format the drive and re-install the system....BUT.....

Is it worth it for one game ? My view is if everything else works, move on...

Whenever there is a need to redo the system then try the game again just after a fresh system installation, I of course cannot guantee you the game will run.

 
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01-16-01, 12:55 PM   #13  
mikejmerritt
Marshall, As dkerr says a format and/or re-install may be your only way out but that is radical if your only crashes occur at a yahoo site. Why don't you see if anyone else is having trouble at yahoo chat. Just a thought but a friend found many to be having trouble with a checkers site so he was able to put it behind him. He plays for all he's worth, freezes, reboots and moves on. Quite frankly if I had no more freezes than you say I would be happy even though a freeze in the middle of something can make us very ill. You never have posted what OS you have and if your "crashes" involve any error messages or just freezes. I believe it is Norton that has a utility call Anti-Freeze that works very well if freezes are all you are having. Don't give up on your games! If I froze at DIY I would persist until resolved because the money we have in our systems is wasted if you can't enjoy the things we like to do. If my product was as faulty as Windows I would be starving next week. Marshall, if you have Win 98 go to START, RUN, type "faultlog.txt" without the quotes and see if you get a log of errors that may or may not have been presented at the time. If there is a repeating fault get back with it and we'll see if it can't be resolved.....Mike

 
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01-16-01, 05:27 PM   #14  
Marshall Buttrey
dkerr amd Mike,

Again I am impressed with responses to my post, and appreciate your effort. Mike, I am running Win 98, but the fault file you mentioned is not present.

If you have read some of my posts, I am the only person I've read that carps about hardware vendors tech support constantly advising callers to rebuild their systems. MS pulled a coup by getting hdw. vendors to provide support on PCs that seldom have hardware problems. Enough.

This time I might rebuild for the 1st. time in many years (since Win 3.11). I wouldn't except I have a big advantage: I installed a 20 Gig. HDD this weekend, which is an exact copy of the old one. I can re-format and re-build the old 2 Gig. drive and be operational in a few hours. (If I wasn't retired I wouldn't consider it. Besides, after 38 years in the IT profession it's hard to get the problem solving out of my system). When I get energetic, I'll do it. Hopefully this post will still be available for me to provide results.

Thanks Again, and keep up the good work.

Marshall Buttrey

 
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