9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 18, 2010 7:46 AM by BillWade

    ATI Video driver crashes

    BillWade

      Summary

      ATI Video driver crashes

      Product

      FileMaker Pro

      Version

      11

      Operating system version

      Windows XP w/ SP3

      Description of the issue

      I have a network of 7 machines running FileMaker Pro 11 that we just upgraded to in August from FileMaker 6. Three of the workstations are new, identical machines with AMD X2 250 CPU's, 2GB's of RAM, and onboard ATI Radeon 2100 graphics. The other workstations are a hodgepodge of various hardware of various ages.

      The problem is on just the three new machines, and none of the others.

      The databases we run are fairly simple customer account record keeping. FileMaker has a tendancy to crash the video driver on the new comps, usually when going from one customer's records, to another.

      It was causing similar crashes that would happen several times a day with the older version of FileMaker that we were running on these machines. To me, it sounds like a video driver needs to be updated, but the drivers on the comps are all up to date. ATI's driver for this video chipset is their Catalyst 10.2 Legacy with no new updates.

      The newest version of FileMaker doesn't crash nearly as often, but it does still cause video driver crashes.

        • 1. Re: ATI Video driver crashes
          philmodjunk

          Out of curiosity, what do you see that tells you it is the video driver that crashed and not just the FileMaker Program or some other windows component?

          When resolving video driver issues, it sometimes helps to pull up the settings for the video driver and adjust them slightly--sometimes you just need to slow them down a bit.

          • 2. Re: ATI Video driver crashes
            BillWade

            We will sometimes get STOP 0xEA blue screens (which point towards a video issue). Other times, the screen will freeze, and then go blank (black screen), and then just stay there locked up until the machine is reset. Sometimes after the black screen, Windows will come back up with FileMaker closed and a Microsoft Error Reporting box that says the crash occured in atikmdag.sys. This file is a core part of the ATI video driver stack.

            I thought initially that maybe the old version of FileMaker that we were using (v6) had some kind of problem with the newer hardware in the computers, either the video or the dual-core AMD CPU's. We would get the crashes at least 3-4 times a day. We put the trial version of FM v11 on the three comps in question and didn't have anymore problems, at first, so we purchased an upgrade to v11.

            We still have all the same crashes, just not nearly as often anymore. Sometimes we can go a few days without a crash from any of them, other times they might all crash once or twice in a day. I'm certain that some of the timing may be related to how heavily the database is being used on any given day, but it definitly got better upgrading from the old version to the newest one.

            I have also turned down the video acceleration one step on all three comps and it doesn't seem to have made a difference. I shouldn't have to to turn it down any more than that.

            • 3. Re: ATI Video driver crashes
              philmodjunk

              Have you checked your file for corruption? Even if corruption wasn't the original problem, all those crashes may damaged the file.

              • 4. Re: ATI Video driver crashes
                BillWade

                No I have not, and I suppose that's a possibility. How do I go about checking it for corruption? Is it in the server tools? I only ask because I haven't looked yet.

                I'll check for corruption, but I kind of doubt that would be the issue. This problem only occours on the new comps, but none of the older ones. And even if the issue is being caused by file corruption, why would it consistently cause video crashes? I would think if the database were corrupt or the program had a problem that it would crash FM itself, not the video drivers.

                • 5. Re: ATI Video driver crashes
                  philmodjunk

                  Hmmm, I've never seen that type of crash, but I read your earlier posts as describing situations where you were likely needing to force quit or shut down and restart your system while the file was open and that can damage your file if it is local to that machine.

                  To check a file for corruption, you can open filemaker without opening the file, and choose Recover from the file menu.

                  There's also a third party utility called FMDiff that can be used to make an even more detailed check of your file.

                  • 6. Re: ATI Video driver crashes
                    BillWade

                    The file is hosted on a Windows 2008 x64 Server setup as a domain controller running FileMaker Server 11.

                    We were originaly running FM Server v7 on a Windows 2003 Server when we started putting these three new comps on the network. We started with the FM Pro v7 licenses that we had on the new comps, and when we had all the trouble, we installed the FM Pro v11 trial on the three new comps because it could still use v7 of the Server. When we purchased a new server, we also upgraded to v11 of FM Pro and FM Server.

                    As I understand it, the way FM Pro works with FM Server, data corruption would be very difficult to have happen with client crashes, because the server helps to mitigate problems in communication between the workstations and the database file itself.

                    • 7. Re: ATI Video driver crashes
                      philmodjunk

                      Which is why I said "if it is local to that machine"--not the case here.

                      • 8. Re: ATI Video driver crashes
                        TSGal

                        Bill Wade:

                        Thank you for your posts.

                        Do any of the working machines have an ATI Radeon 2100 graphics driver?  If so, compare the settings between that machine and one of the newer machines.

                        Some video drivers have an accelerator option.  If this exists for this driver, try turning it off (or down) and try again.

                        Are you noticing the crash on one specific file?  Is there a startup script with the file being opened?  You mentioned this occurs when you switch to another record.  Is this always the same record?

                        Any other information you can provide, even if you can't pin it down, may be helpful.

                        TSGal
                        FileMaker, Inc.

                        • 9. Re: ATI Video driver crashes
                          BillWade

                          I don't have it running on any other comps with similar hardware. The problem occurs in both files that we use, and is not tied to any one particular field or record within those files. I don't believe there's a startup script of anykind within these files, but I may be wrong. Evertime one of them is opened, the program just pulls up the last screen that that user had open.

                          I had tried turning down video acceleration in Windows XP's Advanced Display Properties screen by one step, but that didn't help. If I go down any lower than that, then we run into other performance issues in Windows and really, I feel like that should not be neccessary.

                          Ultimately, we put in NVidia Geforce 8400 video cards in the three computers about a week ago and turned off the onboard ATI Radeon 2100. So far (with fingers crossed) we have not had any more video crashes.