14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2007 7:27 AM by HKabaker

    RH6 Crashes

    Frank Munday
      Installed RH6 on workstation. Installed source control on a new server, migrated the files of all projects, opened my project from source control. So far, so good, everything appears to be working as usual. So I attempted to generate WebHelp Pro. The process starts quickly enough, but at about the halfway mark of "copying files", it slows right down. AFter about 5 minutes, it then commences "generating WebHelp Pro". It's very slow and at about the halfway mark it crashes. I re-installed RH6, same thing. Deleted XPJ and CPD, and tried again.
      No dice, same failure.
      This project has been working fine for RH x5. The same problem occurs on colleague's machine.
      I am desperate! Has anyone had this problem? If I have a corrupt file in the project, is there a way of isolating it? It is a large project, 112Mb, about 3,000 files.
        • 1. Re: RH6 Crashes
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
          Welcome to the forum.

          I was inclined to ask if you have installed RoboHelp Server 6, which is not the same thing as the server side of source control. It is the equivalent of RoboEngine which you would have used to generate a WebHelp Pro output from X5. If you don't have those components, you should be generating WebHelp, not the Pro output.

          However, your topic summary also mentions CHM output giving a problem. Is it the same problem?

          Two possibilities. One is that you did not have admin rights attached to your logins when you installed RH. The other is that you have some tables in your source files with merged cells in the extreme right column and you are using a build expression.

          For the first, there is a topic on my site that explains about installing RoboHelp.

          For the second, look at Snippet 68. There is a patch that resolves that one.

          Let us know how you resolve it or post back if it is none of the above.

          • 2. Re: RH6 Crashes
            Frank Munday Level 1
            Thanks Peter. I have been a member of this forum for many years, but seldom post as I have a lot of experience with RHelp, RServer/Engine and RSource. I am system admin for the RHelp servers and the source control server. I have admin rights to the workstations for installation. I use Build Expressions quite a bit and have many tables with merged cells, so I will check this snippet and get back to the forum with my results.
            BTW, I had radically customised a skin for WHelpPro to fit in with the corp[orate design, I had done some JavaScript edits to do this so I am trying to generate my project using a generic skin (XPBlue). So far, it seems loike this is NOT the problem, so I'll persevere.
            • 3. Re: RH6 Crashes
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
              The number of posts is recorded in each post you make so when you see a post is someone's first post, you have to assume they are new to the forum unless they include some information indicating their experience.

              Pretty sure you will find the Snippet solves the problem.

              • 4. RH6 Crashes
                Frank Munday Level 1
                Sorry, Peter, I came across as a bit pompous then, didn't I? Not intentional, I wasn't thinking! This is the first time I have actually REGISTERED! I can't believe that I have been here since the eHelp days, and still haven't registered!
                Anyway, enough grovelling......
                I have narrowed down the problem to Build Tags. If I remove the definitions from the WebHelp Pro wizard, it generates and publishes just fine, albeit a bit slow. If you include the build tags, it gets halfway through the generation process, slows to a halt, the hard drive starts grindng and grinding and you have to shut it down. Start RHelp6, remove the build definitions, and it's fine.
                I went through the project and deleted all the build tags. Then I scoured each page for instances of "x-condition:" and deleted these, too (I had some old build expressions that had been created a couple of years ago still embedded in a couple of the pages). I then created a new build tag and included it in the process, and it crashed, same as before.
                I have carried out the recommended "bug fix" (snippet 68, thanks for that) but it had no effect.
                We use build tags quite a lot in our projects. Did I mention that all our other projects are just fine? It's just this one project, which is the most important one (of course) and the largest (114 Mb).
                I think the next step is to try and isolate the particular document that is causing us grief. Maybe creating a copy and deleting folders until the problem goes away.
                Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
                BTW, this project has evolved over the last 6 years, starting as a huge bunch of FrontPage files (about 15,000 pages), migrated into RHelp 3, then x5, DotNet upgrade/Rengine/Rsource and now RHelp6/RServer6/RSource6. It is launched as On Line Help into a large, distributed software application as context sensitve Help served up from a dedicated Help Server that I administer. There are two Tech Writers who collaborate on all projects that are in RoboSource source control, again, on a server that I administer.
                Thanks again!
                • 5. Re: RH6 Crashes
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                  It wasn't that you sounded pompous, just that knowing someone has experience tailors the reply.

                  Try something different. Output ordinary WebHelp to a folder on your local machine. What happens there? If that crashes too, then check that you did follow the patch instructions exactly. The only other time it failed was because someone had put the files in the wrong folder.

                  Let me know how that goes.

                  • 6. Re: RH6 Crashes
                    Frank Munday Level 1
                    Generating ordinary WebHelp and even generating a CHM file from HTML Help still causes the crash. I tried that earlier on in the investigation.
                    What I have done now is to copy the project to a different area on my local hard disk, and gradually delete folder after folder in RHelp 6 and try to generate WebHelp with the Build Tags defined each time. It has been laborious (delete, save, generate, crash, start again) but I have finally found the naughty file! It is a small file used as a legend, containing a two column, 20 row table with small .bmp, .gif and jpg icons and describing their functions. There are no build tags in the file. I am now in the process of finding out exactly what bit of the file is causing the problem, as I think it's important that we know what caused it.
                    I'll report back when I have more news.
                    • 7. Re: RH6 Crashes
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                      One thing to bear in mind. With the original problem it was the fact that the build used a build expression and contained a topic that had merged cells in the end column. That topic did not have to contain any build tag. It was that the whole build had both factors.

                      If you want to put that topic in a new project with a build expression and check that it still crashes, then send it to me, I'll be happy to test it.

                      • 8. Re: RH6 Crashes
                        Frank Munday Level 1
                        Thanks Peter. I couldn't see any merged columns in the file, although it may have them from a past edit. I copied the file to a temporary area, created a new file in the RHelp project with the same name, same Help ID. It works just fine.
                        I had expected that the files that were supplied by Adobe (from your snippet 70) would have fixed the problem? It didn't, as I had no luck after replacing these files and trying again. I still have the original file that caused the problem. I am assuming that you have a life after work, but would you like me to send it to you?
                        • 9. Re: RH6 Crashes
                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                          Ordinarily I would say to send it but right now things are extra busy. I have some RoboHelp related commitments outside work and my younger son is getting married in a couple of weeks so it is rather busy. So on the basis that you have bypassed the problem, I am sorry but I will have to say no this time.

                          Keep that copy for now though as I will look at it if it gives you further trouble.

                          • 10. Re: RH6 Crashes
                            HKabaker Level 2

                            Bear in mind that you don't need any connection between a build tag and the table with merged cells or the topic in which it appears.

                            The conditions are:

                            1. The project uses conditional build tags.
                            2. You are generating with a build expression.
                            3. Somewhere there is a topic containing a table with a row in which the last cell has been merged with the last cell of the row above or below.
                            When you generatte WebHelp, it bombs at the table.

                            The patch should have fixed this.

                            Finding merged cells can be tricky. For example, you can merge each cell in a row with the cell above, and it will look like a single row but the html code is for two rows. Or two rows appear with no border between them, and the last cells were merged. Show gridlines makes this visible.

                            If you go to View / Toolbars and enable Tables and Borders, the "merge selected table cells" and "split selected table cells" icons appear dimmed out. Click in any cell in the table. If it is the result of merging cells, the "Split...cells" icon lights up. If you select multiple adjacent cells, the merge icon comes alive.

                            Perhaps you have some combination of merged cells that the patch didn't anticipate?


                            • 11. Re: RH6 Crashes
                              HKabaker Level 2
                              Another thought. You wrote, "I think the next step is to try and isolate the particular document that is causing us grief. "

                              Are you certain you have identified the culprit?

                              You can watch as RH builds the output. In Windows Explorer, open the !SSL! folder and the WebHelp folder (or whatever you called it). If it's not empty, RH will clear and start refilling it. Note the name of the last complete file before the crash. The bad file would be the next one. ("next," in this context, is the next file in the RH database, which tends to follow the order in which topics were created or imported. You can use MS Access to open the CPD file and view the Topics table.)

                              Maybe you can pinpoint where RH begins to bog down and look at those files for anything unusual.


                              • 12. Re: RH6 Crashes
                                HKabaker Level 2
                                And one more, after rereading the thread.

                                You say the offending file has a two column, 20 row table with small .bmp, .gif and jpg icons.

                                Do you have any bmp files anywhere else?

                                If you convert the bmp file(s) in this topic to a gif or jpg, does it eliminate the crash?

                                If you have other bmp files in the project and convert them, does the WebHelp generate any faster?

                                • 13. Re: RH6 Crashes
                                  Frank Munday Level 1
                                  I converted the BMP files just for the offending page. I deleted the page, inserted a new table and edited the text accordingly. I then named it the same as the original, set the same Help ID, and it generated and published just fine.
                                  It takes a long time, but no more than RHelp x5.
                                  I am now attempting to install RHelp6 on another workstation, and it, too, is crashing on first start-up. I may be back with another thread!
                                  • 14. Re: RH6 Crashes
                                    HKabaker Level 2
                                    Is there anything about the original file name that's unusual? If you rename it in RH, does anything change?

                                    I had a lot of problems in a project with some file names containing special characters, for example:

                                    hot topics.htm

                                    Generally, it's safest to use hyphen (-) or underscore(_) only.

                                    RH will reject some characters when you enter a new or revised file name. However, when you import a file, RH is more "forgiving."