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Crash opening ANY file (but worked fine previously)

 
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SunMesa



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Crash opening ANY file (but worked fine previously) Reply with quote

I am using the trial version of DPlot v2.2.6.7. It worked fine at first but now crashes upon opening ANY file (existing DPlot or data), apparently during the "Finding extents of data" step. The Windows error message box reads:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.

If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.

[Details]
DPLOT caused an exception 10H in module DPLOT.EXE at 0177:00646e2c.
Registers:
EAX=00d7e6b0 CS=0177 EIP=00646e2c EFLGS=00010202
[etc.]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This behavior began after installation of another code (BlastX) that I think MAY have an interface of some kind to DPlot, or may incorporate some (obsolete?) DPlot code internally. In any case, I have since uninstalled all of DPlot, BlastX, and ConWep (another code that definitely has a DPlot interface), run the Eusing registry cleaner, then re-installed DPlot. Still crashes.

This is very frustrating since it was working pefectly fine after the initial installation. Thanks for any info that might help me recover. I am using Windows 98 SE.

Mike
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DPlotAdmin
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Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 2135
Location: Vicksburg, Mississippi

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,
Sorry you're having trouble.

(Just an FYI: ConWep will use either the full version (or trial) of DPlot or DPlot Jr, which is distributed along with it. If both are installed it will use the full version. BlastX uses neither. It uses a much older ancestor, DPLOT95 - which should have been distributed with BlastX.)

The only thing I can think of at the moment is that the .GRF extension is now associated with the older DPLOT95.EXE. So if you double-click on one of those files or right-click and select "Open", it will be opened with DPLOT95.EXE rather than DPLOT.EXE, and DPLOT95 encounters a problem that it is handling very poorly.

If that IS the problem you can of course change the file association and/or open the files with the File>Open menu command in DPlot rather than double-clicking. If that is NOT the problem: What happens if you try to open any of the example files distributed with DPlot (e.g. ex01.grf)? If those work, please send me a file you're attempting to open that results in a crash.
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SunMesa



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi David,

Dplot crashes even when I open the example file ex01.grf from within DPlot itself (i.e., using File>Open>A DPlot File). However, when I tried to open the same file by double-clicking, Windows says "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action." So, file association may be the problem.

I attempted to create the proper association using Start>Settings>Folder Options>File Types. I created a new file type description ("DPlot File), with extension ".grf", but when I tried to define the Action (i.e., run dplot.exe), it balked, saying "The extension '.grf' is already in use by file type 'GRF_auto_file'. Choose another extension."

I'm not sure how to track down what application is responsible, except to march through the entire inventory of file associations. Does "GRF_auto_file" mean anything to you?

Thanks-
Mike
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SunMesa



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update to my above reply to David:

I have since corrected the file association for .grf files. Files with the .grf extension now show the correct Dplot icon, and double-clicking them does launch DPlot, which then immediately crashes with the error described above. So, I don't think file association is the problem.

Mike
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DPlotAdmin
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the info. FYI GRF_auto_file is plugged into the registry by Windows itself when you... actually I forget. It's either when you tell it to find a program to open the file after either double-clicking or right-click->Open, or set up the association in Explorer, or all of the above. But I didn't think file associations were the problem in any case, unless you were opening DPLOT95 and didn't realize that.

I'm stumped for now. If it were a common problem I'd have a lot of folks screaming at me by now, as that release has been out for 10 days. Of course I'd guess very few of them are using Windows 98, but off the top of my head I can't think of a reason why that would be a problem. I've kept an old Windows 95 system handy to test things on, and the last release seemed to work fine when I looked. But I'll give it a more thorough test right away.
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SunMesa



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some further details on this (still unresolved) problem:

When the crash occurs, the Windows error box includes a "Debug" button, which on my system launches the debugger that came with the Compaq Fortran v6.1 compiler. In the debugger, the error is described as follows:

"Unhandled exception in DPLOT.EXE: 0xC0000090: Float Invalid Operation"

which occurs at address 00646E2C. The debugger disassembly at this address reads as follows:

"00646E2C fld qword ptr [eax]"

if that means anything to anyone. What is intriguing is that I can instruct the debugger to ignore all Float Invalid Operation exceptions, and then jump ahead to a downstream address (I used address 0086010C), at which point DPlot suddenly comes back to life, opens the desired file, and works perfectly fine!! I can then open, manipulate, and save files of any type as usual.

Of course, deliberately crashing the program and then using the debugger to sidestep the offending line is too clunky to even be considered a workaround, but perhaps this offers enough clues to David, or whoever else may have access to the source code, as to what exactly is causing the crash.

I have also tried a 'hand-scrubbing' of the registry, manually deleting any and all keys or key-internal data that contain the string "dplot", and then re-installing DPlot. No change. I then repeated this exercise and downloaded and installed a new trial version from the DPlot website... again no change.

Interestingly, when the 'new' trial version launched it did not reset the trial period to 30 days, but in fact 'remembered' the date of the previous installation, which means that my 'scrubbing' efforts were obviously incomplete. This is of course how it should work, i.e., it shouldn't be that easy for me to reset the trial initiation date, but it also means that I am not getting a true uninstall... that is, I can't (or don't know how to) retrieve my original system configuration that existed prior to the initial installation.

I really need to get this thing working again. I've received a bunch of test data to analyze, much of it in the form of DPlot files that are not recognized by my older version. Thanks for any insight or advice!

Mike
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DPlotAdmin
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What is intriguing is that I can instruct the debugger to ignore all Float Invalid Operation exceptions, and then jump ahead to a downstream address (I used address 0086010C), at which point DPlot suddenly comes back to life, opens the desired file, and works perfectly fine!! I can then open, manipulate, and save files of any type as usual.


Well this gets weirder and weirder, doesn't it? I would not have expected this at all. This tends to make me think there is an uninitialized data problem somewhere, and those are typically very hard to find. And why it happens for you now when it didn't before with the same version is also puzzling... or maybe not:

I installed BlastX on my Windows 95 system and notice that it creates a \backup folder with comdlg32.dll, ctld32.dll, ctl3dv2.dll, and user32.dll, implying that it replaced the originals in your System folder. (When I checked on this system, those files were all identical to those in the System folder, so this may be a dead end.) It doesn't create those backups on XP or Vista. Unfortunately I don't have access to the setup script and so am not entirely sure what's going on there, but I'll bug the author about it as soon as possible.

This is not a much better solution than your stepping through things with the debugger, but you might try an older version of the trial:
http://www.dplot.com/downloads/2266/dplotsetup.exe
http://www.dplot.com/downloads/2265/dplotsetup.exe, etc.

I'll be very surprised if this makes a difference, though.
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SunMesa



Joined: 22 Sep 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi David,

Some encouraging news, this problem seems tentatively resolved! Although I'm not sure how... this has been the recent sequence of events:

I tried installing a previous trial version (2.2.6.6) per your suggestion, which also crashed as previously described, as you suspected.

At this point my system had both DPLOT95 and DPLOT v2.2.6.6 concurrently installed (DPLOT95 has performed normally and crash-free throughout this episode). Both BlastX and ConWep had been uninstalled since early after my initial problems with v2.2.6.7.

Since the initial problem seemed somehow related to the installation of ConWep and/or BlastX, and I was now grasping at straws anyway, I tried the following: I first re-installed BlastX, and ran it without incident. I then re-installed ConWep, which also ran without incident.

From within ConWep, I then requested a plot output, which normally would launch DPLOT Jr. (supplied with ConWep), but as you correctly noted earlier, it instead launched the existing v2.2.6.6., which successfully generated the desired plot. And behold, I could now open any of the files that were previously crashing DPLOT! I then shut down ConWep, which did not close DPLOT, but rather left it running independently, and it still worked fine. I then exited and relaunched DPLOT alone, and it worked exactly as it should!

Thus emboldened, I then re-installed the trial version of v2.2.6.7 on top of the existing v2.2.6.6 trial version, and it also now works flawlessly!

I have no idea what was fixed or how. I can only suspect there is some obscure, insidious relationship between DPLOT, ConWep, and/or BlastX that has great potential for mischief, at least on my OS (Win 98SE).

I guess I'm going to chance purchasing the full version in spite of these rocky beginnings... it's a powerful tool for a reasonable price, and in any case, there is no viable substitute in my situation. I'll let you know what happens.

Regards-
Mike
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DPlotAdmin
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Joined: 24 Jun 2003
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Location: Vicksburg, Mississippi

PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,
Thanks for your detailed reply. I haven't let myself off the hook with this yet, and I still suspect that there is an uninitialized data problem somewhere that results in a division by zero or some other NaN error. And it may hit you again. Aside from the normal difficulty in tracking those sorts of errors down, there's the added problem of not being able to duplicate it myself on 4 different computers (1 Vista, 2 XP, 1 '95, none running '98 ). But I'm still looking.

Please let me know if you run into any other problems.

In the meantime, I plan to start a new thread asking for donations to update your OS Smile
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