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  #1  
Old 04-21-2008, 11:47 AM
coldtoes coldtoes is offline
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Spinning Arrow of Death

Hi folks - I just fired this email off to Sage Support. I've been going through the forums for a while now, trying to find a solution for this issue with Sage hanging on me. I thought I'd post it here too, to see if anyone might see something I'm missing.


HP Pavilion A1450N
 Latest BIOS
 AMD X2 4200 (AMDís drivers for CPU and Dual Core Optimizer)
 2 Gigs of RAM
 Mother Board Ė Nvidia NForce 430
 3 x 250 gig SATA Drives.
 Hauppauge PVR-500 Ė Drivers from 3.4D CD
 Hauppauge HVR-1600 Ė Drivers from 3.4D CD
ATI 2600XT PCI-E
 Catalyst 8.4 drivers (updated from 8.3)
 HDMI out for video and sound
 Avivo Codec
 Also tried Nvidia, Sage, and others
Windows XP SP2 (patched to current)
Java version 6, update 5.
Sage 6.3.10

To Sage TV Tech Support:
I have been struggling with Sage TV for some time. Basically, since I upgrade from 2.2.8 to 6.3.5.

I am a victim of the spinning arrow of doom. At seemingly random moments, Sage locks up completely, with just a spinning arrow. Rarely, it comes back. More often, I find it spinning hours later. Sometimes it locks up in the middle of the night, sometimes in the middle of the day. I havenít identified a time when it might be doing something.

Iíve tried everything I can think of Ė I have even reloaded the computer with a fresh version of XP and reloaded with a fresh version of Sage.

I do not have any power saving on Ė it is not set to turn the monitor or keyboard off. It does not go into standby. I did, for a while, try with powersave for the HDD on, just to see if maybe that was the problem, but that does not seem to have made any difference.

Iíve tried with the version of Java that Sage comes with and the most recent version.

Iíve tried SageTV in service mode and not in service mode.
Sage itself can definitely not be put into Standby mode Ė if I do, it will always lock up.

Iíve tried it without the two customizations that I use Ė Dynamic Menus and Comskip playback (I use Showanalyzer and Dirmon2 Ė both the latest versions - but I did not re-install them right away when I reloaded the os, and the problem persisted even without those two loaded.

Iíve tried XP as just SP2, with no further updates.

Iíve removed the Import libraries, which I had entered as UNC names. I added the back with local drive names.

Finally, Iíve tried this on another computer, which was my old server and worked perfectly with Sage 2.2.8. When I upgraded to 6.3.5 (Iím at 6.3.10 now), this issue started happening, which is why I moved SageTV to the computer it is on now.

Any suggestions you might be able to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
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Motherboard: Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Storage: 1 x 250Gig SATA HDD,2 x 2TB SATA HDD
Video: Nvidia GT610 (HDMI Out for Audio and Video)
Tuners: Hauppauge PVR-500, HVR-1600, HVR-950Q,
OS: Windoze 8.1
Software: Sage 7.1.9.256, Java 7 update 51
Remote: Logitech Harmony One
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2008, 12:05 PM
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Humanzee Humanzee is offline
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When it locks up, look for the process transcoder.exe or sagetranscoder or something like that. Try killing that process and see if sage comes back to life. Sometimes I get corrupt recordings off of my digital devices. I have a 1600 too and firewire recording. I think in my setup the transcoder is trying to make a thumbnail from a corrupt file and it just hangs up. I can induce the circle of doom by mouse over on one of the bad recordings.

There is probably a way to disable thumbnails but it isn't that frequent for me so I just cope.
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2008, 12:18 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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This is going to be hard to diagnose. Have you tried a clean install of Sage without transferring your properties file? Have you tried without transferring your wiz.bin file? Not transferring these things, at least when we do testing, might help find the problem if its related to imported videos/music.

You said that you tried it with two versions of Java. Are you sure you were using the older/newer version of the Java JRE when you tried this?

A while I looked my Sage server directly up to a TV using the computer's GeForce 4200 video card. Sage crashed about twice a day with that setup. I'm about 90% sure it was the video card drivers, since it didn't crash on me when it was hooked up to a monitor instead of a TV. Are you using TV-out or a monitor?

What exactly is your setup? It sounds like you're connecting this computer to a TV and your running the Sage UI on it all the time (that is, you're never putting the UI to sleep). Is that true? Do you have problems if you put the UI to sleep? What process is eating the CPU cycles when this happens? (Presumably its NOT the service)

Although I think memory issues are too often blamed for software bugs, have you tried testing your memory?

Last edited by reggie14; 04-21-2008 at 12:21 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-21-2008, 12:36 PM
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HawgGuy HawgGuy is offline
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My kidz call it the "circle of death".
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  #5  
Old 04-21-2008, 12:49 PM
coldtoes coldtoes is offline
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Humanzee - that is an interesting idea - it would also explain the odd timing. Any idea if I can turn off thumbnails altogether?

Reggie14 - You are absolutely right - this is a difficult one to diagnose. I feel like I've gone through just about every possible trouble shooting scenario. Yes, I have tried a clean install when I reloaded the OS. I tried with a new Wiz.bin and Sage.properties file. It didn't seem to make any difference. I've tested the RAM with Memtest, and it is fine. As for Java, I am only running the most current one right now - I had removed all versions and re-installed the most current one. Remembering too -this issue was happening on my old SageServer (PIV 1.8, 1 Gig Ram, FX5200) which is why I changed to the new machine to use as a server. The old version of Sage, which I liked a lot, I had to give up in October of last year when I could no longer download guides from Zap2it (I'm in Canada).

My setup is that I am connected directly to the TV via HDMI which is an adapter coming out of the DVI port. I was having this problem before with VGA (to the TV).

As I mentioned in my (very long) explanation above, I do not put SageTV to sleep any more, as standby mode makes a lock up far more likely when I come back. By which I mean, without Standby, I have a decent chance of Sage working when I turn it on in the moring. With standby on, I never see it working in the morning.

As for CPU cycles - well, the CPU is just idling. Nothing is cranking 100%. It would be more understandable if it did. Sage is just experiencing the spinning arrow.

I will note - I have not tried the beta HVR-1600 drivers. I'm a little nervous about them. I don't want to colour the discussion, but it seems to me like something is being turned off - like Sage is not able to get to one or more of the folders. But that also makes Humanzee's idea an interesting one.

It has be a frustrating experience, I wish I could pin down the problem.
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Motherboard: Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Storage: 1 x 250Gig SATA HDD,2 x 2TB SATA HDD
Video: Nvidia GT610 (HDMI Out for Audio and Video)
Tuners: Hauppauge PVR-500, HVR-1600, HVR-950Q,
OS: Windoze 8.1
Software: Sage 7.1.9.256, Java 7 update 51
Remote: Logitech Harmony One
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2008, 12:50 PM
coldtoes coldtoes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawgGuy View Post
My kidz call it the "circle of death".
LOL - my wife and daughter too. Luckily my daughter is young enough that she's happy Daddy can fix (ahem - reboot) the problem.

gg
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Motherboard: Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Storage: 1 x 250Gig SATA HDD,2 x 2TB SATA HDD
Video: Nvidia GT610 (HDMI Out for Audio and Video)
Tuners: Hauppauge PVR-500, HVR-1600, HVR-950Q,
OS: Windoze 8.1
Software: Sage 7.1.9.256, Java 7 update 51
Remote: Logitech Harmony One
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2008, 01:03 PM
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Boxpin Boxpin is offline
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Spinning Circle of Death

I to logged in today to report this. I was happily on 6.3.5 and upgraded to 6.3.10, now I get the 'Spinning Circle of Death' when I fast forward or rewind a show. Completely overtakes the machine and a hard restart is all I have been able to do. I rolled back to 6.3.5 but still have the problem now. Arrrrggh
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2008, 01:14 PM
reggie14 reggie14 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldtoes View Post
As I mentioned in my (very long) explanation above, I do not put SageTV to sleep any more, as standby mode makes a lock up far more likely when I come back. By which I mean, without Standby, I have a decent chance of Sage working when I turn it on in the moring. With standby on, I never see it working in the morning.
Actually, I'm referring to putting the Sage program (really just the UI) to sleep, not the computer. That is, basically half way closing Sage (hitting Sleep in Sage's main menu). I remember the Sage UI crashing on me like this a lot back when I never put Sage to sleep.

Also, I want to double check what's going on. Are you always doing something when it crashes, or do you come back to the idle computer to find the icon spinning? I assume it's the later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldtoes View Post
I don't want to colour the discussion, but it seems to me like something is being turned off - like Sage is not able to get to one or more of the folders. But that also makes Humanzee's idea an interesting one.
People have certainly had problems with the transcoder generating thumbnails. That's why you should definitely try running Sage for a little while without any imported files. But, I think in most cases users having problems with the transcoder reported that the SageTranscoder.exe process was pegged. Apparently you're not experiencing that.
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2008, 02:14 PM
coldtoes coldtoes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reggie14 View Post
Actually, I'm referring to putting the Sage program (really just the UI) to sleep, not the computer. That is, basically half way closing Sage (hitting Sleep in Sage's main menu). I remember the Sage UI crashing on me like this a lot back when I never put Sage to sleep.

Also, I want to double check what's going on. Are you always doing something when it crashes, or do you come back to the idle computer to find the icon spinning? I assume it's the later.



People have certainly had problems with the transcoder generating thumbnails. That's why you should definitely try running Sage for a little while without any imported files. But, I think in most cases users having problems with the transcoder reported that the SageTranscoder.exe process was pegged. Apparently you're not experiencing that.
We're on the same page with the Standby thing. I turned off all power management (so the computer itself is not going to sleep) but I have also had to stop putting Sage (the program itself) into Standy / Sleep mode (last option on the main menu, right?). That was when most of my issues happened.

You are correct about returning to find the icon spinning - that it the most regular issue. I sometimes have it hang when I am doing something (hitting the ff button a bunch of times was one recent example), but the most common issue is when I come back to find it spinning. When I come back to find it spinning, the GUI has clearly hung when the spinning has started - I can usually identify when the spinning started by the clock. One time it was 1:24am (I checked this one at 7am), another was 10:36am (I found this one at 8pm).

I am interested in the transcoder thing. Either removing the Libraries, or turning off thumbnails (if I can). I will try tonight. But you are correct - my processors are not at 100% when I find it hung.
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Motherboard: Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Storage: 1 x 250Gig SATA HDD,2 x 2TB SATA HDD
Video: Nvidia GT610 (HDMI Out for Audio and Video)
Tuners: Hauppauge PVR-500, HVR-1600, HVR-950Q,
OS: Windoze 8.1
Software: Sage 7.1.9.256, Java 7 update 51
Remote: Logitech Harmony One
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  #10  
Old 04-21-2008, 02:21 PM
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matt91 matt91 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldtoes View Post
One time it was 1:24am (I checked this one at 7am), another was 10:36am (I found this one at 8pm).
So does the log show anything at these times?
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  #11  
Old 04-21-2008, 02:30 PM
brewston brewston is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxpin View Post
I to logged in today to report this. I was happily on 6.3.5 and upgraded to 6.3.10, now I get the 'Spinning Circle of Death' when I fast forward or rewind a show. Completely overtakes the machine and a hard restart is all I have been able to do. I rolled back to 6.3.5 but still have the problem now. Arrrrggh
I was suffering this one and there was a thread on it recently - try changing your audio decoder to AC3 filter (Just changing from the Sage one did it for me)

cheers
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  #12  
Old 04-21-2008, 02:35 PM
coldtoes coldtoes is offline
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Good question. I have not looked. Kind of embarassed by that, actually. Spent a lot of time in the event viewer, but never thought of the Sage logs.
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Motherboard: Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Storage: 1 x 250Gig SATA HDD,2 x 2TB SATA HDD
Video: Nvidia GT610 (HDMI Out for Audio and Video)
Tuners: Hauppauge PVR-500, HVR-1600, HVR-950Q,
OS: Windoze 8.1
Software: Sage 7.1.9.256, Java 7 update 51
Remote: Logitech Harmony One
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  #13  
Old 04-21-2008, 07:17 PM
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HawgGuy HawgGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxpin View Post
I to logged in today to report this. I was happily on 6.3.5 and upgraded to 6.3.10, now I get the 'Spinning Circle of Death' when I fast forward or rewind a show. Completely overtakes the machine and a hard restart is all I have been able to do. I rolled back to 6.3.5 but still have the problem now. Arrrrggh
Definitely experience more COD related to fast-forward or rewind activity.
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  #14  
Old 04-21-2008, 07:19 PM
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HawgGuy HawgGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewston View Post
I was suffering this one and there was a thread on it recently - try changing your audio decoder to AC3 filter (Just changing from the Sage one did it for me)

cheers
Did that - didn't work.
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  #15  
Old 04-21-2008, 07:27 PM
DynamoBen DynamoBen is offline
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I've been having this same issue for at least two months. I've contacted sage support and they have yet to come up with anything. Basically the UI is hanging when I FF or RW. It was so bad that I was unable to use sage while something was being recorded because if it hung I would loss the show. The only way I found to correct the pin wheel of death was a reboot or CNTRL-ALT-DELETE. I have since backed up to 6.3.5.

BTW I reported this issue during the beta and noticed that it got worse in 6.3.10.

Please if you are having this issue report it, we need all the help we can get on this one.
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  #16  
Old 04-21-2008, 08:40 PM
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sleonard sleonard is offline
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I recieved a reply from Sage support today that said that 6.4 has a new audio decoder that should solve the issue of Sage becoming unrsponsive upon a skip.

S
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  #17  
Old 04-21-2008, 09:39 PM
DynamoBen DynamoBen is offline
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Which will be fine...the big question is what do we do for now and what is the timeline for 6.4?
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  #18  
Old 04-22-2008, 07:30 AM
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matt91 matt91 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DynamoBen View Post
Which will be fine...the big question is what do we do for now and what is the timeline for 6.4?
Totally guessing, but I wonder if a new release would be timed to coincide with the release of the hauppauge hd-pvr unit, supposedly in May.
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  #19  
Old 04-22-2008, 07:36 AM
CollinR CollinR is offline
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AMD+Nforce+ATI = 100% exactly what I suggest people not do.
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  #20  
Old 04-22-2008, 08:30 AM
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sleonard sleonard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DynamoBen View Post
Which will be fine...the big question is what do we do for now and what is the timeline for 6.4?
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt91 View Post
Totally guessing, but I wonder if a new release would be timed to coincide with the release of the hauppauge hd-pvr unit, supposedly in May.
For now I reverted back to 6.3.7 and stopped using the Sage audio decoder (switched to the PowerDVD one.) I haven't had a problem since.

As for 6.4 I too am guessing that it will be for the release of the Hauppage HD-PVR, at least that's my hope.

S
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