Arc hangs when I try to run an application

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jms2
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Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by jms2 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:36 pm

Bit of a strange one this.

I went to use my A3000 today for the first time in a few months. It has always worked OK before and I have not changed anything recently.

Risc OS works fine and I can copy files, open directories etc. BASIC programs are fine. ROM-based apps (eg !Draw and !Edit) work fine. But...

...if I run a disc-based application (!Sparkplug was the first one I tried) the machine hangs. The mouse pointer freezes and not even CTRL+BREAK will reset it. The reset button does work of course.

Experimenting a bit, I found that many other applications have the same effect, for example !Spark and !Techwriter were two I tried. I also tried something else, which didn't freeze the pointer but did prevent the machine responding to any clicks.

I'm baffled. What could be going on here? Any thoughts gratefully received!

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by DutchAcorn » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:48 pm

What if you copy the application to the RAM filing systen first and run it from there? Can the disk drive be eliminated as a cause?
Paul

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by sirbod » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:14 pm

Rule out CLib as well, softloading it after running C based Wimp apps can result in the symptoms you describe.

Doing a SHIFT boot, so the boot sequence doesn't run is one way to rule out softloaded Modules.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by jms2 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:54 pm

Thanks! I did wonder about Clib. Assuming its the cause, what would be the underlying issue - inappropriate version? I'm not sure I understand the sequence of events you are describing.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by steve3000 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:13 pm

Another possibility, I wonder if you have one of ye olde RISC OS viruses, as these would affect disc based programmes and not ROM apps, and I recall often lead to crashes once they'd overwritten themselves a few times.

Do you have VProtect module loaded at boot (assuming you have a hard disc?)

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by jms2 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:23 am

steve3000 wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:13 pm
Another possibility, I wonder if you have one of ye olde RISC OS viruses, as these would affect disc based programmes and not ROM apps, and I recall often lead to crashes once they'd overwritten themselves a few times.

Do you have VProtect module loaded at boot (assuming you have a hard disc?)
Hmm, not sure. The machine did have the Icon virus, but I eradicated it. I'll check for vprotect.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by sirbod » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:56 pm

jms2 wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:54 pm
I'm not sure I understand the sequence of events you are describing.
Power the machine on with SHIFT held to bypass the normal boot sequence.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by jms2 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:17 pm

I understood that part Jon, I just wasn't sure what the complete explanation was for the problem. However, having revisited the machine today I think I understand what has happened, and why it is causing a problem:

1) Not too long ago, I installed a piece of software which needed a newer version of CLib than the one I had.
2) I managed to find v.3.99 online and installed that. However, I suspect that this might be too modern for Risc OS 3.10 (although I'm not sure how one would know that?)
3) My boot sequence is loading CLib 3.99 and any subsequent attempts to load lower-numbered versions would be unsuccessful.

In fact I can't find any applications which include CLib, of any version, so v.3.99 is always going to be loaded in practice.

I think what I actually need is CLib v3.75.

EDIT: I notice on this thread viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4037&p=34931&hilit=clib that version 5.46 is the latest CLib that will run on Risc OS 3.10. Anyone know where to find this?

One other thing to note is that I do not have the Universal Boot Sequence. Is this likely to matter? I don't really like it because it is so complicated!
Last edited by jms2 on Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by lcww1 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:45 pm

jms2 wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:17 pm
I think what I actually need is CLib v3.75.

EDIT: I notice on this thread viewtopic.php?f=16&t=4037&p=34931&hilit=clib that version 5.46 is the latest CLib that will run on Risc OS 3.10. Anyone know where to find this?
CLib v3.75 is probably in here- ftp://ftp.uni-stuttgart.de/pub/systems/ ... 2extra.arc

Later versions can be had from here (along with lots of other things) - https://www.marutan.net/db/modules.php?kModule=87

Edit: My bad - the www.marutan.net database doesn't seem to have links to the CLibs - apologies!
Last edited by lcww1 on Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by lcww1 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:47 pm

CLib versions 3.75 and 5.53 -
CLib.zip
CLib versions v3.75 and v5.53
(79.78 KiB) Downloaded 5 times

Edit: I've also got CLib 5.77 running quite happily on my A5000 with RO 3.11 - I'd be surprised if it didn't run on RO 3.10 - anyhow, give the versions in the zip above a try - I'll add 5.77 in a bit

CLib_5.77.zip
CLib version 5.77
(50.94 KiB) Downloaded 4 times
Last edited by lcww1 on Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by Phlamethrower » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:03 pm

One thing to be wary of with CLib (and some other important modules like FPEmulator) is that it's possible to build the module optimised for different CPU or OS versions. If you try running a copy of the module on a machine which is incompatible with the build configuration then assorted Bad Things can happen.

The System resources download on the ROOL website contains the latest version of CLib, in a build configuration that should work on 26bit OS versions as old as RISC OS 3.1. For it to work, you'll probably need to make sure suitable versions of CallASWI and FPEmulator are also loaded (see the !Run file included in !System).

Of course if older versions work fine for you then I'm not going to stop you from using them (and newer versions may have the odd compatibility issue here or there - e.g. bug fixes have been known to knock out some programs due to the programs being inadvertently reliant on the buggy behaviour). I'm just trying to dispel the myth that 5.46 is the last version that works, and explain why some versions may work while others might not :)

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by jms2 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:04 pm

Thanks everyone - the way that certain versions work but others don't is a bit strange!

Anyway I'll give those a try.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by jms2 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:49 pm

frustratingly, that didn't help at all. :( I tried various versions, but they all resulted in the machine locking up.

What's more, I have discovered that v3.99 is actually a ROM module in Risc OS 3.10, so it must be ok. My recollection of softloading a newer version must have been false. CLib is the only module dependency in !SparkPlug (which is what I am trying to run), so I guess the problem can't be module related.

The machine is running more or less vanilla RiscOS 3.10. Next i will copy the app to RamFS and run from there as Paul suggested. I also have not fully bottomed out vprotect - its there but not running.
Last edited by jms2 on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by jms2 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:23 pm

Loaded Vprotect as part of desktop boot file, and also tried running Sparkplug from RAMFS. No change unfortunately.

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Re: Arc hangs when I try to run an application

Post by jms2 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:28 pm

Good news: I've kind of fixed it now. :D

I decided there must be something nasty lurking in !System somewhere. I was sure I'd updated something about it - apparently it wasn't CLib, but the Toolbox modules were definitely in there, which wouldn't have been the case originally. I think I put them in to keep !DiscKnight happy, but even with them its desktop front end wouldn't work.

So I renamed !System to x!System and commented out the line in the desktop !Boot file which runs it, thus generating a completely rom-based system. Having also commented out the line in !Sparkplug.!Run which checks for the presence of !System, the app runs! I haven't tried anything else yet, but I am pretty confident it will work.

Now I need to get back to a version of !System which works reasonably well. As I'm not really bothered about running modern apps, I'm tempted to go back to the version on the original applications disc.

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