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  #1  
Old 01-08-2021, 05:22 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Unhappy frequent PC crashes - Sage memory issue?

Over the past month, my server has been blue-screening and/or spontaneously crashing/rebooting several times per week. Having looked into hardware and general Windows software issues, I'm looking for help here to see if the problem is somewhere in my Sage installation (since this server's primary job is as a Sage box).

Main symptoms:
1. Frequent crashes (as noted above)
2. I've observed in Task Manager that SageTVservice.exe is using 859mb RAM and SageTV.exe is using 350MB. I don't know whether this is normal or indicative of a problem.
3. Frequent hiccups when starting recordings - mostly occurring when the tuner in use is one of the PCI/PCIE/PCIX devices.


Diagnosis/Fix-attempts so far:

Updated video card driver

Ran memory checks
Ran hard drive checks

Ran cpu and video checks

Working with 7Forums to solicit additional ideas

Cleared dust out of the chassis and looking for obvious physical symptoms of hardware problems (capacitors, loose connections)

Ran sfc /scannow (no issues noted)

Swapped out one of my internal (PCIX or PCIE) tuners for another of the same model (Hauppuage 1800)

Other that the voluminous system logs that I've shared with 7forums (with no luck so far based on their suggestions),

System info

Windows Professional 7.1 (32 bit)
Dell Optiplex 745
4gb RAM
Ethernet (not wifi) connections to server and extenders

Sage info
Sage 9.1.2.662
5 active tuners (some USB some PCI(e/x))
Java 1.7.0_79

2 hardware extenders (HD200 and HD100), though the crashes occur even when those extenders are powered off

Large (multiple tb) collection of recordings.

Wiz.bin is abut 66mb

1.1tb space available for new recordings (most of my recordings are converted and stored on drives other than the recording drive)

Using Schedules Direct EPG

Server uses the SageTV3.xml STV; some of my extenders/placeshifter clients/mini-clients (used on local machines) use SageTV7.xml. In particular, I don't use Gemstone or any fanart: the gui is as barebones as I can make it (by preference, not as an attempt to avoid problems).

Although Firefox is also often running, the crashes occur even when Sage service & Gui is the only thing running,

I'm nearing my wits' end on this. I'm seriously contemplating a new build, but the hassles and risks of data loss of moving everything over is daunting. I'm thinking of updating my Sage installation to the latest software version, assuming that can be done without having to re-set up my plugins, especially the web server, difficulties with metadata, etc.

I've looked at Sage logs to see if there's anything to be gleaned, however, by the time I discover that the system has crashed & recovered, the logs pertaining to the time of crash have already been overwritten by newer logs. I do have a Zip of some logs that I managed to grab before they got overwritten. They're too big to attach (even zipped), but I may be able to locate, extract, and attach smaller portions that may be useful if someone can advise me what to look for.

So:

1. Any other things to try?
2. Would updating to the latest 32-bit Sage be likely to help?
3. What precautions should I take (for metadata etc. preservation) before running an update? (I do maintain frequent backups of all my recordings and the full contents of the folder containing wiz.bin and properties files). Where might I find a thread and/or general FAQ on this topic?
4. If I need to do a completely new Windows build, would appreciate thoughts/advice/FAQs on the least-hassle way to do this?

Thanks for reading through all of this and for any help or suggestions.
__________________
Server: Windows 8.1 4gb RAM; 4TB SATA + others. Homebrew quad core AMD. Inputs: Haup. 980, 850 & 950Q on ATSC; Haup 1600 on ATSC & Comcast 2 DTAs with USBUIRT for NTSC. Haup 1800 on ATSC. HDHR Dual (ATSC). Sage 9.22 64 bit.

Last edited by VCRUser; 01-08-2021 at 05:37 PM. Reason: sage log description
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2021, 06:17 PM
KryptoNyte's Avatar
KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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I had a machine like this once. It was a problem for months, even after running memtest86 from a DVD iso on bootup, it would report no memory errors. Then one day I accidentally left the boot DVD in the drive on a cold morning boot and after returning with my coffee it was showing a memory error. It shocked me that the memory would throw an error when it was 'cold'.

Probably a long shot, but if you have more than one stick of RAM in that machine, pull one out, and it the issue continues swap one with the other and narrow it down.

Otherwise, I'd recommend cloning the boot drive to another hard drive and seeing if it runs clean on that.

I know this is hard to do in your circumstance, but removing USB devices entirely, the re-introducing them one by one is another thing to check.
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2021, 06:21 PM
KryptoNyte's Avatar
KryptoNyte KryptoNyte is offline
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A more extreme option, but maybe least intrusive, using a new hard drive, clean install Win 7 64 bit and see if the bluescreen persists before dropping the old hard drive back in and putting the system back the way it was originally.
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2021, 06:34 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Thanks; I can try some of those. I think the RAM-pull would be least intrusive (unless a lesser amount of RAM is itself a problem). I have a spare (new) hard drive available, but to clone I think I'd need to temporarily remove the current 2nd hard drive currently in the system, and since Sage is expecting to find some recordings there, it could be an issue. I don't have a way to install Windows 7 64 bit (at least I don't think I do - will have to look at the available installation media, locate the current Windows key if it is good for either 32 or 64, etc.), since my current system is 32 bit. How could I tell if it my mobo & processor even support a 64-bit install?
__________________
Server: Windows 8.1 4gb RAM; 4TB SATA + others. Homebrew quad core AMD. Inputs: Haup. 980, 850 & 950Q on ATSC; Haup 1600 on ATSC & Comcast 2 DTAs with USBUIRT for NTSC. Haup 1800 on ATSC. HDHR Dual (ATSC). Sage 9.22 64 bit.
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2021, 06:35 PM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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Location: Southwest Florida, USA
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If youíre getting blue screens, itís very unlikely to be a Sage issue. Most likely hardware failure or driver problem.

Have you installed any new hardware recently?
Have you installed any Windows updates recently?
Have you updated any drivers recently?

If nothing has been changed, I would look for failing hardware such as RAM, or video card.
__________________
Server: Ryzen 2400G with integrated graphics, ASRock X470 Taichi Motherboard, HDMI output to Vizio 1080p LCD, Win10-64Bit (Professional), 16GB RAM
Capture Devices (7 tuners): Colossus (x1), HDHR Prime (x2)
,USBUIRT (multi-zone)
Source:
Comcast/Xfinity X1 Cable
Primary Client: Server Other Clients: (1) HD200, (1) HD300
Retired Equipment: MediaMVP, PVR150 (x2), PVR150MCE,
HDHR, HVR-2250, HD-PVR
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2021, 07:26 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
Have you installed any new hardware recently?
Swapped in a DVD writer. Since normally it just sits there, is that a likely culprit? It hasn't been in operation at the time of any of the crashes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
Have you installed any Windows updates recently?
Possibly - I don't normally install them except under duress, and have told Windows not to do so without permission, but there is evidence of an update that occurred recently - but after the crashes started, so it's hard to blame it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
Have you updated any drivers recently?
Only after the crashes started, as part of the attempt to fix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
If nothing has been changed, I would look for failing hardware such as RAM, or video card.
So far tests of RAM and video have not shown any errors, but I understand that isn't conclusive. I do have a spare video card (a different model, unfortunately, so that means more messing with drivers if I swap it in). I'd have to see if we have any spare RAM around to swap in, otherwise would just have to take some out to see what happens, and/or order some new replacement RAM to swap in. So both of those are possible things to try.
__________________
Server: Windows 8.1 4gb RAM; 4TB SATA + others. Homebrew quad core AMD. Inputs: Haup. 980, 850 & 950Q on ATSC; Haup 1600 on ATSC & Comcast 2 DTAs with USBUIRT for NTSC. Haup 1800 on ATSC. HDHR Dual (ATSC). Sage 9.22 64 bit.
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2021, 08:41 PM
JustFred JustFred is offline
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Have a look in Computer Management -> System Tools -> Event Viewer -> Windows Logs -> System. There will likely be one or more log entries at the time of the crash. Although somewhat cryptic, they can point in the direction to investigate.
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System #1: Win7-64, I7-920, 8 GB mem, 4TB HD. Java-64 1.8.0_141. Sage-64 v9.2.1 ATSC: 2x HDHR-US (1st gen white) tuners. HD-200.
System #2: Win7-64, I7-920, 8 GB mem, 4TB HD. Java 1.8.0_131. Sage v9.1.6.747. ClearQAM: 2x HDHR3-US tuners. HD-200.
System #3: Win7-64, I7-920, 12 GB mem, 4TB HD. Java-64 1.8.0_141. Sage-64 v9.2.1 ATSC: 2x HVR2250; Spectrum Cable via HDPVR & USB-UIRT. 3x HD-200.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2021, 11:04 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Actually, I've been combing through the system event logs, but can't make head or tail of them. I've posted those on 7Forums (they have a thread for such things), and the suggestions I've received there have yet to make a difference, unfortunately. They report the reboots, but don't provide any (as yet) useful info on what happened just before.
__________________
Server: Windows 8.1 4gb RAM; 4TB SATA + others. Homebrew quad core AMD. Inputs: Haup. 980, 850 & 950Q on ATSC; Haup 1600 on ATSC & Comcast 2 DTAs with USBUIRT for NTSC. Haup 1800 on ATSC. HDHR Dual (ATSC). Sage 9.22 64 bit.
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2021, 09:32 AM
gdippel gdippel is offline
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Support for Windows 7 ended a year ago so you may want to upgrade to Windows 10.
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2021, 05:10 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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I'm thinking my next build will be Windows 8.1. I have heard of so many issues with Windows 10 (chief among them the way it updates itself without permission and often breaks things when it does so and potentially interrupts processes, such as recordings, while doing so). Also issues of privacy, software compatibility, etc., Would welcome pointers to threads on suitability of Win10 (or 8.1) for a Sage server - as well as threads on migrating Sage installations to new builds/updates.
__________________
Server: Windows 8.1 4gb RAM; 4TB SATA + others. Homebrew quad core AMD. Inputs: Haup. 980, 850 & 950Q on ATSC; Haup 1600 on ATSC & Comcast 2 DTAs with USBUIRT for NTSC. Haup 1800 on ATSC. HDHR Dual (ATSC). Sage 9.22 64 bit.
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2021, 07:04 PM
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Tiki Tiki is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VCRUser View Post
I'm thinking my next build will be Windows 8.1. I have heard of so many issues with Windows 10 (chief among them the way it updates itself without permission and often breaks things when it does so and potentially interrupts processes, such as recordings, while doing so). Also issues of privacy, software compatibility, etc., Would welcome pointers to threads on suitability of Win10 (or 8.1) for a Sage server - as well as threads on migrating Sage installations to new builds/updates.
I see no reason for anyone to consider 8.1 at this point. It is also nearing end of life and has most of the negatives of win10 without any positives that I can think of.

By the way, you can disable updates in win10 using the built in Group Policy Editor. Itís not as easy as it is in Win7, but it is possible.
__________________
Server: Ryzen 2400G with integrated graphics, ASRock X470 Taichi Motherboard, HDMI output to Vizio 1080p LCD, Win10-64Bit (Professional), 16GB RAM
Capture Devices (7 tuners): Colossus (x1), HDHR Prime (x2)
,USBUIRT (multi-zone)
Source:
Comcast/Xfinity X1 Cable
Primary Client: Server Other Clients: (1) HD200, (1) HD300
Retired Equipment: MediaMVP, PVR150 (x2), PVR150MCE,
HDHR, HVR-2250, HD-PVR
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2021, 07:53 PM
Striker:WG Striker:WG is offline
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If this is purely for a Sage server, you could also make the switch to Linux.

I personally favor running Unraid and putting Sage in a docker container.

Both options would have you completely avoiding your Windows 10 concerns.
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2021, 09:46 PM
VCRUser VCRUser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker:WG View Post
If this is purely for a Sage server, you could also make the switch to Linux.

I personally favor running Unraid and putting Sage in a docker container.

Both options would have you completely avoiding your Windows 10 concerns.
I have very little experience with Linux, and none with Unraid or docker (I've seen the terms here a lot, but have no clue beyond that - seems like some sort of virtual machine?

Although the server is 90% for Sage, it does get some occasional other uses for which staying in Windows is at least convenient if not necessary. For backup and maintenance of my recordings library, I need to have direct read/write/delete access to the contents of drives & folders on the server from other (Windows) computers on my network, and have no idea how that would work with a Linux/Docker config. Currently, I access them in the normal Windows networking way.

Bottom line, I think I need to stick with one version or another of Windows, or the learning curve would be so great that I'd never get it done. So that would be an absolute last resort for me.
__________________
Server: Windows 8.1 4gb RAM; 4TB SATA + others. Homebrew quad core AMD. Inputs: Haup. 980, 850 & 950Q on ATSC; Haup 1600 on ATSC & Comcast 2 DTAs with USBUIRT for NTSC. Haup 1800 on ATSC. HDHR Dual (ATSC). Sage 9.22 64 bit.
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2021, 06:01 AM
NetworkGuy NetworkGuy is offline
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I still run Windows 7 for my Sage server. I am also concerned about Wins 10 update policy, lack of privacy, etc. With Windows 7, you are not always fighting with MS for control of the PC. I read somewhere that MS was thinking about turning off the licenses if it was not able to update for a period of time. They have not done it yet, but I can see it happening.

There are also production shops that still run Windows XP and support for that ended a decade ago.

II believe in keeping my systems up-to-date, but for a stable environment like my Sage server. I am much happier just freezing the environment and updating when there is an issue.
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Server: Intel Core i5-3330 CPU; 8GB (2 x 4GB); 3-1TB WD Blue SATA 6.0Gb/s HDD; Windows 7; SageTV 9
Tuner: (2) HDHomeRun Prime
Client: (2) HD300
Client: Mini-Client, ShieldTV
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2021, 08:09 AM
Striker:WG Striker:WG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VCRUser View Post
I have very little experience with Linux, and none with Unraid or docker (I've seen the terms here a lot, but have no clue beyond that - seems like some sort of virtual machine?

Although the server is 90% for Sage, it does get some occasional other uses for which staying in Windows is at least convenient if not necessary. For backup and maintenance of my recordings library, I need to have direct read/write/delete access to the contents of drives & folders on the server from other (Windows) computers on my network, and have no idea how that would work with a Linux/Docker config. Currently, I access them in the normal Windows networking way.

Bottom line, I think I need to stick with one version or another of Windows, or the learning curve would be so great that I'd never get it done. So that would be an absolute last resort for me.
I can certainly understand the hesitation. I would stay away from Linux then if you don't have any experience there. I've dabbled with it and there's a fair bit of a learning curve.

I got my Unraid server up and going by watching a few youtube videos and consulting their forums. It's pretty easy and they give a 30 day free licenses of their software so you can try it out. Unraid is at its core at a media/data file server operating system. It's managed through a web gui but its backend is linux based. A docker container is essentially a mini virtual PC without all the overhead of a full operating system. It loads just enough into memory to support running the software that is setup inside it. Any information that needs to be persisted is written to a location outside the docker container.

It's worth looking into if you're going to be doing a rebuild and want to avoid Windows 10.
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