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Why is Flash CS5 crashing on my system?

Jan 21, 2014 6:09 PM

Tags: #problem #cs5 #crash



Just finished building a new pc (16GB RAM), installed Flash CS5, and it's randomly crashing.  I imported a bitmap and traced it into a vector image, making the file 198.9KB.  It is only one frame long, two layers (one is a guide, the other is the vector image).  If it's crashing now, I imagine it won't be able to handle much further ahead.  Why is this happening?


I tried looking into forums, saw discussions about scratch disks, cache amounts, all of which are supposedly available in the Perfomances option under Preferences, but I can't find any such option.


If someone could please help me out, that would be great.  Thank you.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 22, 2014 9:27 AM   in reply to lighthouse01

    In my experience CS5 was very stable. Chances are if you're only experiencing this after a full system upgrade (of which you almost certainly installed a fresh OS) then I'd bet on it being software corruption (OS or Flash, probably the latter), or some hardware you seated isn't playing nice.


    If it's software corruption on the OS, other apps will be crashing as well. If it's specifically Flash then that install may simply be corrupted and a quick reinstall would solve that.


    If it's hardware, that's a bit harder. It's very tempting to grab gobs of cheap (G.SKILL, PNY, etc) unmatched RAM these days. Even tried and true brands that are cheap are overlooked (Corsair XMS). In my experience (hundreds of systems built), RAM or an overheating CPU are almost always the culprit. A very distant 3rd and 4th place are motherboards and power supplies.


    If I were to throw a dart at a possible hardware problem, I'd choose RAM that isn't playing nice together or CPU thermal grease that isn't performing well (CPU overheating causing crashes). Luckily both are easy to test, grab a copy of good ole' Prime95 and torture test your system. If any part of your RAM, CPU, FSB or PSU are acting up then it will fail tests. Then you know what the problem is:


    Don't sign up for the team or allow it to run while your system is idle. Simply uncheck all of that and ignore the team request. When you run it, if the torture test doesn't spawn a dialog to start, run Options->Torture Test:




    Leave it at the default Blend test and verify it counted your cores correctly (I'm sure it did). For me, this old dev rig is an old i5-2500k which does not have hyperthreading so it only has 4 cores. If you have hyperthreading then you'll see double your cores (4 for dual core, 8 for quad, etc):




    Click OK and leave the system alone for a while (hour or so). If your RAM has any issue you almost always see it error out within 10 minutes. Open your task manager to see it utilizing all available CPU and gobs of RAM while it tests.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 27, 2014 8:23 AM   in reply to lighthouse01

    If you ran memtest86 for 11 hours I'd say your RAM is pretty solid. Setting it to their correct setting never hurts as well. If you overclock, typically mixed RAM will need to be underclocked to remain stable, but you said you're not overclocking so that shouldn't be any issue.


    If prime95 ever errored (4 hours isn't too long), I'd run it again over night or for as long as you can to see if you can get it to error consistently. If you do, there's an issue. If I were to guess, it's probably either a CPU overheating issue or you're finding a weakness in the PSUs continual output. You can run the same test again for CPU or try the PSU abusing test to rule that out. It really should never fail (although your electric bill will get smacked around hehe).


    That said, if it took this much to get it to error, I somehow highly doubt this is your issue in Flash. It doesn't push a system anywhere near this that much CPU in the IDE itself. Especially not in the circumstance your OP mentions, just a traced bitmap. See if you can get it to consistently crash doing a specific set of steps. That's the best way to test it although I'll only be able to test those steps on CS5.5 which is a bit different.


    While you're using Flash, open up your process list and watch the Flash process. You'll see it uses almost no CPU (always waiting for RAM to feed it) except when it first launches or when you're testing playback of a complex movie. But just using the IDE itself, CPU usage is extremely low. Nowhere near torture test level.


    Did you try a quick Flash reinstall BTW?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2014 7:32 AM   in reply to lighthouse01

    You crashed within 4 hours so if heat is the issue then the only thing I'd suggest is testing while awake. Pick any time you'll be available to keep an eye on it. I've seen motherboards blow capacitors and that can be dangerous if left unnoticed (extremely rare and the PSU knows to shut down in this situation anyhow).


    Your thermal range is perfectly fine. The "ideal" temperature is 39C (102.2F) for i7 4th generation and it only gets wildly higher (e.g. up to 100C on some older i7s, or 212F!). They have built in thermal throttling (not OS controlled) which will underclock to cool just as it will overclock when in ideal range. Pegging out a CPU at 100% is exactly what the chip is designed for. If you're not using 100% of your CPU at all times then it's simply underutilized. Don't worry at all about that.


    Don't be afraid to push components. The longer you have something malfunctioning in your rig the longer you chance the problem getting worse or even out of warranty/exchange time.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2014 11:13 AM   in reply to lighthouse01

    It takes 10 minutes to reinstall, I'd think you'd do the easy part first ;).


    Try tracing it to a vector in a different app like Illustrator if you can. The limited outline feature in Flash may just not be up to this bitmap if it's extremely complex or large.


    Backing up, are you sure you need to stretch it so much a vector is required here?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 3, 2014 6:12 AM   in reply to lighthouse01

    Bitmaps render extremely fast (memory speed) with little to no CPU overhead (depending on what you're doing with the bitmap). Vectors require CPU to redraw, unless you're cachingAsBitmap, and at that point are just back to bitmap, except when you resize.


    Tracing (to me) is for very specific images (cartoons, logos, simple ultra high contrast images). The colors generated do scale better as a vector but you will pay the penalty of performance loss.


    The best way to know if you really need it considering you are the only person that knows the image you're scaling is to use it as a bitmap, scale it how you need and consider the results.


    As for the hardware issue, prime95 should never fail. There is definitely a hardware issue, however I could not say what component is generating it yet. Motherboard, CPU or memory are still suspicious, although memtest made memory less likely.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 11, 2014 5:33 PM   in reply to lighthouse01

    Glad you're fast and stable albeit not your original choice in versions. You're welcome and good luck!

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