I RARELY see the SL viewer crash on my PC anymore. I’ve been though at least two different PCs and SL viewer dosen’t crap out on me as nearly as much as it plagues everyone else I know. I can multi-task, play music, surf the web, and run 2-3 more instances of the SL viewer with little problems. Even before I’ve been running Windows 7 beta/RC (64bit), but since January it’s only crashed on me once. A lot of the problems I tend to find are with bad RAM, problems with the hard drive, and overheating. Don’t assume that just because other games and apps don’t crash or cause problems like this, yet SL viewer is the only one that crashes, dosen’t always mean it’s the fault with SL’s software.
About five years ago I was running on a Athlon XP 1900+(Palomino) and later on I got a 3000+ (Barton). Many times I had the SL viewer crash on me and often times it was due to a bad hard drive; BUT the HDD wasn’t defective. It was mostly due to a inherent 127gb drive size limitation with Windows XP 32bit (and BIOS) where it can only handle hard drives smaller than 127gb. There are ways around that (service packs, reg’ tweaks, etc) but it depends on your hardware and the HDD manufacture might have a software bundle to fix it. Fixing this little issue solved 90% of all my crashing problems with the Second Life viewer, since I started using HDDs 150gb or larger. Running a 64bit OS also overcomes this limitation.
Problems with your RAM is also a big culprit with SL crashing. A lot of people assume that if your RAM is okay if it gets past th boot-up RAM test (where you see it count up your RAM) then it beeps and boots up. However that is not a reliable way of testing RAM. To truly test your RAM you should use MemTest86+. You simply download a small .ISO file you can burn to a CD and boot from it. This little program will perform a series of pattern tests and memory function calls on your RAM and it will tell you if there is a problem. It can take a good while for it to finish a single test pass, but it IS worth the wait to make sure. If it is failing in MemTest86+ and you’re overclocking, consider clocking it back down to stock speeds, or maybe underclock it if your PC is overheating. If your RAM keeps giving errors you should just buy new RAM, it’s very cheap these days.
Another problem is with overheating. Especially around summer time, your PC is more likely to overheat in the summer. Especially if you’re not that technically inclined and you’ve had your PC for six months to a year, there’s likely a nice layer of dust inside your PC that’s keeping the heat in side your PC, causing hardware failures. This can damage your CPU, RAM, and video card. Also your power supply (PSU) is also prone to over heating, and can literally burn and smoke and fry everything inisde your PC.
Speaking of PSUs, if you ARE technically inclined and you’ve been steadily upgrading your PC with more RAM, more hard drives, faster CPU, and faster video cards, you should also upgrade your power supply accordingly. If you load up too much hardware and your PSU dosen’t have the wattage to supply all your power hungry hardware, you will suffer from crashes. If you do get a new PSU, do not get some generic brand. Good brands are Antec, PC Power & Cooling, Thermaltake, and Zalman.
One last thing is if you had your PC for more than a year, and you’re running Windows, you really should considered backup up all your data (not your apps or the OS) format your hard drive (boot C: drive) and install a fresh copy of Windows all over again. Install all your drivers, update windows as needed, and then install your most needed apps. At this point you might want to do perform a full image backup of your freshly installed system, and save it on a DVD, or another hard drive. So the next time you need to do this you can just load it from the backup image… just like making your own restore CD.
If you’re curious to know what my nearly trouble free PC consists of, this my hardware list.
- Windows 7 Release Candidate (Build 7100) 64bit
- Antec Basiq 450W BP450 (PSU)
- Intel Core 2 quad Q9300 2.5ghz/1333mhz (Yorkfield CPU)
- Asus P5Q motherboard (Socket 775 P45/ICH10R)
- XFX GeForce 8800GT (Alpha Dog) w/ 512mb PCIe (Video Card)
- Two 2Gb sticks of GoldenMars DDR2 800mhz RAM (4gb total)
- Western digital 150gb Raptor WD1500AHFD (sata) C:
- Samsung 1TB HD103UJ (sata) D:
- Sony DRU-810A Dual Layer DVD+-R (pata) E:
- Internal Multicard reader (USB)
- Generic baige case