17 Replies Latest reply on Oct 30, 2009 8:44 AM by Author care

    RoboHelp persistent crash

    feebeegeebee Level 1

      Hi,

      I'm posting this in the desperate hope that someone else has seen this and knows what may be causing it.

      I have contacted Adobe Support, but have not yet received a response. Most problems that I have ever encountered have been resolved much more quickly vie the forum, so here goes...

       

      When I launch RoboHelp8, the mouse cursor flickers constantly between an eggtimer and arrow cursor.
      When I try to do anything, like open a folder in the Project Manager it is very slow.

       

      A Robo HTML dialog appears with the following message:

       

      "The reference to the file,
      C:\working_area\etc\etc\..\xyz.css
      from the file
      C:\working_area\etc\etc\helpfile.htm
      contains ilegal characters and will not be shown in the project manager.
      I only get the option to hit OK.
      This is normally followed by the crash.


      (Note: The aforementioned file IS visible in the project manager and it is not a new file or one that has been updated since the previous version
      of my project)

       

      After a short delay, RoboHelp freezes and I get a Windows error message that RoboHelp has been forced to close.
      I have tried using a different copy of my source files, with the same results.
      I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling RoboHelp, with the same results.
      Any ideas what could be causing this and what the solution might be?


      I notice there is a file called "$rhvariable$.htm" with a size of 0KB in the top level project directory, which I don't recognize. Is this connected?

       

      Thanks for any help.

      Regards,

      Feebeegeebee

        • 1. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
          feebeegeebee Level 1

          Sorry - should have specified RoboHelp 8 as the version I am using....

          • 2. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
            Willam van Weelden Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Hi,

             

            When I launch RoboHelp8, the mouse cursor flickers constantly between an eggtimer and arrow cursor.
            When I try to do anything, like open a folder in the Project Manager it is very slow

            Is this causing the same problem, see number 7 on Peter's using RoboHelp 8 page.

             

            "The reference to the file,
            C:\working_area\etc\etc\..\xyz.css
            from the file
            C:\working_area\etc\etc\helpfile.htm
            contains ilegal characters and will not be shown in the project manager

            Someone else had a similar error message, but I can't find the post. Anyway, if I remember correctly, the <link> tag contained an illegal (for Robo, the W3C validator accepted the file) reference. But it didn't crash RoboHelp. Can you post the html file so we can have a look?

             

            I notice there is a file called "$rhvariable$.htm" with a size of 0KB in the top level project directory, which I don't recognize. Is this connected?

            Good question, I don't think it's connected, but I don't know what the file is. This file is discussed on: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/453232?tstart=0

             

            Greet,

             

            Willam

            • 3. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

              I have the solution but I have to dash. Wait an hour or so.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

              • 4. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                Author care Level 2

                Peter,

                This is very similar to a problem I've posted today see RoboHElp 8 project being corrupted under RoboHELP thread. I'd be interested to see if the two issues have a similar solution. As my post says I'm seeing similar behaviour and a re-intstall and clean copies of the project didn't fix either...

                 

                 

                • 5. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                  The first thing is that having read this thread and your other post, I am not entirely sure of the cause. In another thread a two people have reported crashing and I hit the same thing in a big way on Monday. What was happening was that on opening the project we got the same flickering cursor problem and rebuilding the CPD then lost track of over 5,000 files.

                   

                  Things seem to go wrong if the CPD grows large and there are reports that people are finding it is growing quickly in RH8. The cause of that is unknown. So if your CPD was large and the usual renaming dance is not working, you are left with what worked for us. After renaming the CPD, we opened the project with the HHP file and when RH pointed out there was an XPJ we clicked No, we did not want to use it.

                   

                  That opened the project for us and I know it has worked for someone else. The problem is, the HHP file has no knowledge of a number of features in RH8 so they are lost on opening the project. Fortunately I think I have worked out how to recover them all. See the attached repair.txt file.

                   

                  Please let us know what the size of your CPD was before the project crashed and confirm that the solutions all work for you. Finally, please post a bug report.

                   

                  The more people who report a bug or request a feature, the more likely it is to be actioned. Please follow this link.

                   

                  http://www.Adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform&product=38

                   


                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                  • 6. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                    I omitted two things.

                     

                    First when we opened the crashed project, it was such a mess we had to go to our last backup, fortunately only hours old.

                     

                    Second, make a backup of the crashed project as it is worth tryiing the HHP in that, it might not be so bad as ours.

                     


                    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                    • 7. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                      feebeegeebee Level 1

                      Hi Peter,

                      Thank you for your response.

                      My projects .cpd file is 8.75MB.

                      I have separate backups thankfully.

                      I will try your suggestions tomorrow, but it seems very worrying.

                      I will also post a bug report, but I never get a response and I have never yet had an acceptable response to a support request. So far, no response at all, which is why this forum is so important.

                      Thank you very much.

                      Feebeegeebee

                      • 8. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                        Author care Level 2

                        Folks,

                        We've tested this problem again today using a clean install on a different machine, still no good, Here's what happened ..

                         

                        Following clean installation of RoboHELP, Framemaker and Acrobat components on  a separate PC..

                        Opened a clean copy of  a help project which had previously worked ok and been released as normal.

                        On opening the project the following message was displayed

                         

                        1error_on_open_project_images_missing.gif

                        The project previously had no problems of this nature.

                        Once opened the project had the flickering cursor and hour glass and then proceeded to crash displaying the following:

                         

                        2rh_firstcrash_error_message.gif

                        We then opened the project a second time. on openeing this time more erroe messages such as ...

                        3error_on_open_project_second_time_filesfolders_missing.gif

                         

                        This showed missing files. When opened the project had folders and files missing then crashed again.

                         

                        Error log showed trhe following:

                        4example_errorlogaftercrashes.gif

                         

                        So a project which previously was fine has bee trashed and RoboHELP seems to creash whenever this is opened.

                         

                        We then created a new project added a few topics and folders, compiled, saved and closed re-opened several times without incident.

                        This suggests projects have been damaged.

                         

                        Currently our thinking is that RoboHELP is not fit for purpose having a vunerability like this and we will be seriously considering alternatives if a definate cause cannot be established, I'll alslo be following Peter's suggestion and raising this to Adobe as a showstopper. I wouldn't be suprised to see more incidents.

                         

                        Final  question what antivirus software are toy other fellow sufferers using? we have McAffee...

                         

                        • 9. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                          feebeegeebee Level 1

                          Hi Author Care,

                           

                          Thanks. Not much consolation, but this is just what I'm experiencing and it is driving me mad. I cannot update a previously fine project.


                          I've tried to carry out some repairs and salvage a copy once it has been opened, but there is so much that needs to be reimported into the project manager. Besides, who knows what else has been corrupted?

                           

                          I am still updating some older projects that I work on in RH5 and these are fine, so it is definitely just a RH8 problem.

                           

                          I have logged this as a bug, as Peter requested. My support call to Adobe still hasn't even received so much as a response, which is why this forum is such a vital resource.

                           

                          This is so worrying if projects are simply being corrupted as soon as you launch them. Thank goodness I take regular backups. Doesn't fix the problem, though.

                           

                          Feebeegeebee

                          • 10. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                            Feebeegeebee

                             

                            The first dialog could be because you had turned that warning off on your normal machine, assuming the image is not in the project.

                             

                            The second one is what I would expect with this problem.

                             

                            The third one I am particularly interested in. It indicates the CPD has lost track of the folders and files but not necessarily that they are no longer in the project folders. Do they still exist if you look via Windows Explorer or are they truly missing?

                             

                            That is what happened to us but after repairing the project, it seems to be stable again. We had to go to a backup just before the crash as after it, the files were missing off the hard disk.

                             

                            What is common in these reports, and in our case, is the flickering cursor. I suspect that if the option to always recreate the cache is ticked, the crashes will stop. What seems to be behind them is the CPD growing too large. Why is not yet known.

                             

                            We are making a point of backing up several times a day and then reopening the project with that option ticked. So far it is working. Of course the test would be to work with that option off and see how the CPD grows and when it crashes, Forgive me but that does not appeal to me.

                             

                            If you haven't reported this yet, please do so. You may not get a response but we need Adobe to realise this is happening and needs urgent attention.

                             


                            See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                            @petergrainge

                            • 11. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                              feebeegeebee Level 1

                              Hi Peter,

                              Some files have actually disappeared. I've had to restore them from a backup and re-import them, which is vry worrying.

                              The file RH complained about initially, I actually removed from the project manager, to see if it was genuinely this file that was causing the problem, but the crashes persisted.

                              I have been resoring everything and have now managed to compile. However, I am making a backup before I attempt anything else.


                              I don't expect a reply to the bug report that I logged. However, logging a support call for something as show-stopping as a crash with Adobe Support should get some response.

                               

                              Thanks for all your help. It's much appreciated.

                               

                              Feebeegeebee.

                              • 12. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                                Author care Level 2

                                Peter, Feebeegeebee

                                Attempting that now. Will try repairing/restoring some projects but with set to rebuild cpd.

                                Will let you know how I get on.

                                 

                                Cheers

                                Authorcare

                                • 13. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                                  Veteditor

                                  Peter and all,

                                  "Set to rebuild cpd" actually wiped out more than half of two of my project files last month. So I am not currently using it, but the .cpd file for one of them is again creeping up in size, from about 2,500KB to 16,000 KB. Performance is slow - very slow. I back up my project files daily, so I can track the progress of the .cpd "bloat."

                                   

                                  Helen Schmidling

                                  Education Editor

                                  Banfield, The Pet Hospital

                                   

                                  P: 503-922-5547

                                  F: 503-922-6547

                                  www.banfield.net

                                  "Treating Your Pet Like Family"

                                  • 14. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                                    Author care Level 2

                                    Peter,

                                    What do you make of this? I am curently trying re-build cpd setting, but Helen's comment seems to hint at even more problems!!

                                     

                                    • 15. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                      I think that could be because the file was large at that time.

                                       

                                      Get your project to a point where it opens and closes OK. Close the project and then rename the CPD and reopen the project. Next turn on the rebuild option and close RH again. Zip up your project so that you have a safe copy. Open the project and work that way with regular backups. The logic is this will keep the CPD small and stop the instability.

                                       

                                      If you have a problem the first time you open the project after setting the rebuild option, turn it off and close RH. Then open the zipped copy you took after proving things opened and closed OK and you will at least be back to that position.

                                       


                                      See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                      • 16. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                                        Veteditor Level 1

                                        Peter,

                                        Thank you for phoning today. I'm glad that you did, because there seems to be about a 3- to 4-hour delay on receiving e-mail from outside sources. I had the same problem with an e-mail that John sent yesterday at 11:41 a.m.; it reached me about 3:45 p.m. It may be firewall issues on our end, I'm not sure. I would need to file a HEAT ticket to determine.

                                         

                                        Helen Schmidling

                                        Education Editor

                                        Banfield, The Pet Hospital

                                         

                                        P: 503-922-5547

                                        F: 503-922-6547

                                        www.banfield.net

                                        "Treating Your Pet Like Family"

                                        • 17. Re: RoboHelp persistent crash
                                          Author care Level 2

                                          Folks,

                                          By way of an update, have set RoboHELP to generate a fresh CPD each time project is open and have now successfully ran the  project I had difficulty with several times. It would seem that something unknown is corrupting CPD files but of course by generating CPD each time one opens  a project you can get round it.

                                           

                                          I've also reported this to Adobe. They need to take notice as this kind of  vunerability is a potential showstopper. We've seriously started to think about other applications during this crisis. Matters were not helped when I was not even able to post on the forum despite having logged  in and called support. I was not impressed.

                                           

                                          We keep  you all posted.

                                          Finally a big thanks for all the info you guys posted on this it's been very helpful and I've learnt some new project salvage techniques.