10 Replies Latest reply on May 5, 2006 7:16 AM by Linux Rules

    Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?


      Has anybody seen this behavior before and if so, is my IT guy right that RoboHelp is the cause?

      Whenever I try to work with images (saving them after creating them in PhotoShop, or importing them in to Dreamweaver or FrameMaker for use in our docs), whatever application I'm in freezes up. This does not happen in all folders containing images - sometimes I can work with images in a particular folder for several hours, but then, all-of-a-sudden, the folder will become corrupt and every time I try to import an image from that folder, or save an image to it, the application I'm working with (Dreamweaver or FrameMaker) crashes. And if I try to get in to the folder via Windows Explorer, that, too, will either crash or freeze up whenever I try to launch the offending folder.

      The IT guy at my company says he's seen this before on machines that have both RoboHelp and FrameMaker installed. He says RoboHelp does not play nicely with other applications. But I find that hard to believe.

      Here's what I've observed of this problem:

      - When I try to import an image into a document while using FrameMaker, Dreamweaver or RoboHelp, the application sometimes crashes or freezes up. This only seems to happen with certain folders that contain images – other images from different folders appear to import without any problem at all.
      - There’s no discernible pattern as to why or when this happens, but once it happens, I can’t work with that folder ever again – not in any of those applications, nor in Windows Explorer.
      - If I close everything and reboot, the problem does not go away.
      - If I try to just open Windows Explorer and extract the image from the offending folder, I can’t – Explorer just freezes up or crashes entirely. When it freezes up, I have to go to the task manager to end the task.
      - This doesn’t happen with all folders that contain images, only some appear to be affected. One folder might work just fine for several weeks, then suddenly corrupt. But once it’s corrupt, it’s all over. I can’t ever open or work with that folder again.
      - This only happens with folders that contain images. Folders that contain text docs (such as Word, FrameMaker or RoboHelp docs do not appear to be impacted).
      - If I physically copy and paste the folder to my desktop, the problem goes away. I can import with no problem at all. If I then rename the folder and copy it back to its original place with a new name, the problem is still solved. But if I then delete the original corrupted folder and rename the new one with the old folder’s name, the problem begins again.
      - I can’t just rename files or move them elsewhere b/c we have literally hundreds of images in 10 different online and print docs that are referenced from various files, so if I try to move images elsewhere, all of the other references break.
      - I’ve tried doing a disk cleanup and a defrag procedure, but that didn’t help.

      Any ideas? Suggestions? Thoughts?

      Karyn Hunt
        • 1. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
          ElisaFnord Level 2
          Hi, Karyn. I am so sorry for your troubles. (What I really want to say is "This really sucks!" but I'm too polite to say something like that.)

          If your IT guy has seen this before, it's certainly a possibility that RH is doing something. But it seems odd that RH could break file handling on your PC to that extent.

          One "baby" question: who installed RoboHelp on your machine? what login ID was the installer using? what security privileges did that login ID have for your machine?

          The correct answers are 1) you or the IT guy, 2) yours, 3) admin. If RoboHelp was not installed by the same user who uses it, or if it was installed without admin privileges, it has real problems. You must uninstall RoboHelp and reinstall it with your login and admin privileges. (Your IT guy can stand over your shoulder and take the privileges away again when you're done.)

          Yes, it's a pretty basic question, but until a mis-installation of RH is ruled out, you can't really go back to your IT guy and say "It isn't RoboHelp, find something else."

          • 2. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
            KLHunt Level 1
            I did the installation myself, logged in as myself, and don't remember what security privileges I had at the time, but figure it must be the usual non-admin user ones. I'll loop back with our IT guy and find out. And if I didn't have Admin privileges at the time, redo the installation with them activated. Will let you know what happens. Cross your fingers that this solves the problem!

            • 3. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
              KLHunt Level 1
              Shoot. I just checked and see that the user I was logged in as at the time of installation (myself) is a member of the "administrators" group. So I guess this won't solve the problem. Hmmph.
              • 4. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
                MergeThis Level 4
                Pick one:

                * IT peeps making you install RH without admin privs.
                * IT peeps saying it's OK to use RH on a network.
                * IT peeps conducting updates.
                * IT peeps installing piece-of-filth source control product.
                * IT peeps installing piece-of-filth firewall product.
                * IT peeps installing piece-of-filth virus-killing product.

                Are you seeing a pattern here? This behavior: "If I try to just open Windows Explorer and extract the image from the offending folder, I can’t – Explorer just freezes up or crashes entirely. " is simply not the result of RH "not play[ing] nicely with other applications."


                Good luck,
                • 5. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
                  Linux Rules Level 2
                  Hello Karyn -

                  Shot in the dark - I have had similar problems in the past with other applications and found the problem to be my hard drive going bad... specifically, a number of bad clusters showing up where the directories and files are located on the platter. Try running a diag to test integrity of the media.

                  • 6. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
                    Hello Karyn and all,

                    I thought I'd add my two cents here too, even though I am not sure I am offering the solution to your particular problem.

                    I have a had a lot of problems with RoboHelp in the past, especially regarding the placement an manipulation of graphics/images. It never rendered other applications useless, but it did cause applications to freeze and on some occassions, crash as well. This was particularly common with PhotoShop and SnagIt.

                    What i found to have solved my problem (but like I said, yours sounds more severe), is firstly to make sure RH is not saved, working on, etc, a network. That alone fixed most of my problems. I also did an uninstall and reinstall as a last-ditch effort, and the problem has not surfaced since.

                    I hope you can find and fix your problem!

                    • 7. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
                      KLHunt Level 1

                      RoboHelp is not installed on the network so I know that's not the problem (the guy who taught me the program warned me about that). And we've eliminated the admin privileges issue b/c I did have appropriate privileges when I installed.

                      So that leaves the integrity of the disk as one potential problem and possible interactions with other software such as CVS, anti-virus programs, etc. as another.

                      My original intent after reading all of these suggestions was to run a diagnosis for the integrity of the disk/media to figure out for sure if the problem was the disk.

                      But ... my IT guy says he doesn't have time for that. He wants to just start from scratch with a different computer.

                      So I'm going to reinstall everything - one program at a time - and carefully test along the way to see at what point the problems crop up. And this time, I'm going to do ALL the installations myself, and allow fewer programs to decrease the possibility of interactions (which may or may not be the problem).

                      If it does turn out to be a program interaction thing, I'll let you guys know. My guess/hope (*fervent hope*) is that the problem will go away.

                      Thank you all for your suggestions. You've been a tremendous help.

                      • 8. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
                        Linux Rules Level 2
                        Hello Karyn -

                        With Windows / Windows apps, starting from scratches is often the best/quickest solution (wish more apps were ported to Linux - don't have that problem).
                        Pay attention to the order of things...here is how I do it:
                        - Load Windows
                        - Call to prove you aren't a thief - do NOT connect to the Internet!
                        - Load Service Packs (from a CD or Intranet, NOT the Internet!)
                        - Image the installation
                        - Load AntiVirus app and updated Definition files (from a CD or Intranet, NOT the Internet!)
                        - Load MS Office apps
                        - Load MS Office service packs (from a CD or Intranet, NOT the Internet!)
                        - Re-image the installation
                        - Set up and connect to the Internet
                        - Check/Update antivirus definition files
                        - Load misc. apps/utilities
                        - Load misc. updates
                        - Load RoboHelp
                        - Call to prove you aren't a thief
                        - Load RoboHelp update
                        - Try RH and see what happens

                        Good luck....

                        • 9. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
                          KLHunt Level 1

                          Well, I think I've located the problem and it wasn't RoboHelp. It appears to be a problem with a very old verison of PhotoShop (6.0).

                          Here's how I figured it out: Got the new laptop (Dell), installed the OS (Windows XP), brought offending (crashing) images over and opened them successfully (tested). Seeing that all was well, I set a restore point - Restore Point #1. Installed FrameMaker 7.1 plus patches, tested, all was fine, then set another restore point - Restore Point #2. Installed RoboHelp X5, tested, and all was fine so set a third restore point and so on and so forth until PhotoShop 6.0, when the problem began again. No sooner had I installed it than attempts to open images crashed PhotoShop. Tried importing the same images in to FrameMaker and Frame crashed. So I used the system restore to roll back one installation and voila! The problem was gone.

                          So that PhotoShop installation file goes in the trash and we're upgrading.

                          • 10. Re: Is RoboHelp Causing These Crashes?
                            Linux Rules Level 2
                            Hello Karyn -

                            Good job! I'll keep your fix in my old gray matter...