PixInsight Forum

PixInsight => Bug Reports => Topic started by: 1DegreeN on 2019 November 17 18:54:44

Title: Blink breaks
Post by: 1DegreeN on 2019 November 17 18:54:44
Since upgrading to 1.8.8, I've managed to break Blink 3 times. The 3rd time was today, on 1.8.8-1, the previous 2 instances were before the 1.8.8-1 update. Today's instance was very simple, I can describe exactly what happened - but I was not able to recreate the error when I repeated the actions.

I'm running the x64 Windows version on a Windows 10 Pro PC (build 10.0.18362) which has an Intel i5 CPU, 32GB of physical RAM and an Nvidia 1050 graphics card.

Here's what happened today:
Launch PI
Open Blink
In Blink, open a set of 20 FITS files.
Click the button to "apply auto histogram to all images"
Click the play button to loop through all the images, then pause.
Zoom in a bit on the image window then step through the images one by one using the "close selected images" button to move through the image list.
After closing the last image I then opened another set of 19 FITS images from another location. The image list was populated and the image window opened and a red error message was displayed in the console, as shown in the attachment.
When I tried to close the Blink window, another similar error message was displayed in the console (not with the same address). There were 2 events recorded in the Windows application event log - these are attached.

I then started PI again and repeated this same sequence of actions but this time there were no errors.

I've used Blink on 1.8.8 many times now (love how much faster it is!), this error seems to have a random element to it.
Title: Re: Blink breaks
Post by: Juan Conejero on 2019 November 18 12:50:58
I cannot reproduce this problem on any platform, following the sequence of steps you have described. Chances are that this problem is being caused by wrong interaction with a third party application. For example, can you try disabling your virus protection software (for example, disable real-time scanning) to see if this eliminates the problem?
Title: Re: Blink breaks
Post by: 1DegreeN on 2019 November 18 19:08:31
I'm just using the standard built-in Windows Security software, I've never had any issues with it before but I will try disabling it next time. As it happens I had another crash this morning, before I read your post, when I was processing the subs I captured last night. Slightly different manifestation of the same issue, here's what happened:
Open PI, apply outstanding update to image integration (but didn't restart).
Open Blink.
Open in turn 8 sets of FITS files, approx 150 files in total, and in each set inspect each image and close it, as described in the previous post, and then open the next set.
After closing the last image from the 8th set, click the open files button and browse to the folder where the 9th set of files are located. I want to create a sub-folder in that location so before selecting any of the files in the file explorer window, I right click and type W,F but PixInsight has already crashed. It happened very quickly, I didn't notice if the Window's file explorer context menu was displayed in response to the right click. The Process Console was not open but in any case the crash was instant so I don't know if PI wrote any error to the console. Windows recorded 2 crash events in the app event log (see attached).

I restarted PI and Blink, browsed to that file location again and this time there was no problem creating the sub-folder and processing the files.

I've never had any issues like this prior to 1.8.8 and my PC hasn't changed for 3 years. As I said, next time I'll try disabling Windows Security before blinking through my subs but I really doubt that could be a factor.
Title: Re: Blink breaks
Post by: Mybluox on 2019 November 18 19:47:25
I don't think it's PI that's causing this error. I think you have bad RAM. You might want to do some extensive testing of your RAM. You might have only a couple of bad blocks bad and never have an error until you are using a lot of RAM. windows 10 has a built in memory tester.
Title: Re: Blink breaks
Post by: 1DegreeN on 2019 November 19 15:38:09
Thanks for the suggestion re the possibility of bad RAM. I've run diagnostics but no errors were detected. I've run other memory hungry PI processes such as ImageIntegration and DrizzleIntegration many times since upgrading to 1.8.8 without any issues, only Blink has crashed. I'll continue to monitor and report and try to find a repeatable sequence of actions leading to a crash that can be reproduced.
Title: Re: Blink breaks
Post by: pfile on 2019 November 19 16:25:48
to really test RAM you need to use memtest86 which writes all kinds of patterns to memory... for best results you need to boot from a USB drive or CDROM containing just DOS and memtest86 so that most of your memory is available for test.

also the prime95 benchmark is pretty punishing on both ram and cpu.

it's always hard to know whether problems like these are caused by hardware or software... but PI does really push computers pretty hard, which does expose hardware issues.

Title: Re: Blink breaks
Post by: 1DegreeN on 2019 December 02 23:44:06
I notice that another couple of users have now reported similar problems with Blink. For myself, I have now upgraded to 1.8.8-2 but this has not resolved the issue. However I have an observation: if I do not click the "apply an automatic histogram transformation to all images" button then I do not encounter the error. Clearly this is still very anecdotal but I've been using Blink every day to process typically a couple of hundred images captured overnight (in the dry season here and we've been blessed with a run of clear nights).
Title: Re: Blink breaks
Post by: Juan Conejero on 2019 December 03 08:54:46
This is being caused by a wrong or outdated graphics driver. We cannot reproduce it after updating Intel HD drivers to their latest version available for Windows 10.
Title: Re: Blink breaks
Post by: 1DegreeN on 2019 December 04 18:14:52
I'm using an Nvidia graphics card (1050Ti), not Intel graphics, but I updated the Nvidia drivers to the latest version yesterday and I've now used Blink to process two nights of subs, with the histogram applied to each image, and I have not encountered the error. I could not do this previously without coming across the error so this is very promising. The old graphics drivers were from August 2018, not that old really. For anyone else that has the same problem with Blink, try updating to the latest graphics driver.
Title: Re: Blink breaks
Post by: 1DegreeN on 2019 December 06 14:55:03
Turns out updating the graphics driver did not resolve the issue but I note Juan's comment in another thread that a fix is in the works. It's been just a minor inconvenience for me, even with the crashes Blink is so much quicker its been a net gain.