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Help with specific (but random!) crashes in EW4 SP1 RRS feed

  • Question

  • G'day,

    I've been using EW4 SP1 for a few months now, dipping in to bring myself up to speed as needed. However, this last week I've spent about 30 hours working in EW4, and I've had to redo a huge amount of work due to random (but specific) crashes. By this, I mean EW4 crashes out after a random period of time - an hour, 10 hours, 2 hours, 3 hours (from my crash data) - but nearly always in response to a particular action : deleting highlighted text.

    My workaround is to save all my files repeatedly before marking or deleting text, but that's not really satisfactory.

    I've been through most of the "EW Crashes" postings here, and I understand that I probably need to raise a support issue, but I don't want to be billed hundreds of dollars if this turns out to be a non-EW bug! Since it only happens in EW, and only in certain specific conditions, I assume it IS an EW bug, but I daren't take the risk!

    So I  thought I'd ask here first, and see if anyone can suggest a method of attack to help figure out where it's going off the rails.

    The problem occurs mostly when I've selected some text within a p tag with the mouse, and press either the delete key or the backspace key. EW then seizes up and reports the crash dialog.

    Occasionally, this also happens when I select a whole p tag (by clicking on the tag handle above the paragraph) and pressing delete or backspace.

    I started a debug session this last time, and the debug output was as follows :

    'ExpressionWeb.exe': Loaded 'C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\diasymreader.dll'
    Unhandled exception at 0x56074458 in ExpressionWeb.exe: 0xC0000005: Access violation reading location 0x00000094.
    First-chance exception at 0x56074458 in ExpressionWeb.exe: 0xC0000005: Access violation reading location 0x00000094.
    The thread 'Win32 Thread' (0x4d0) has exited with code 0 (0x0).
    The last 2 crashes reported the same UAE address (0x00000094) but different exception addresses.

    I'm using EW4 SP1 (build 4.0.1241.0). OS is Win7 x32 Premium edition on a HP/Compaq Presario CQ42, with ALL the very latest HP drivers, and ALL W7 hotfixes. I haven't "upgraded" to W7 SP1, and I won't until I'm sure it's stable.

    EW4 is the only application that reacts this way. I can use Frontpage 2003 till the cows come home with no problems. EW4 can be the sole application running, or (more usually) with PS CS5 Pro, Word 2007, and SmartFTP running in the background (but idle).

    Interestingly, the last time EW crashed, while I was debugging, SmartFTP seized up too, until I quit the debugging session. At this time, Smart FTP was uploading an image file from the local web I was working on. However, in EW, I was editing a totally unrelated source file with no links to the image file that was being uploaded at the time. After I finished debugging (I have no idea what I was doing there, except trying to create a minidump, since that seems to be important to figuring out what's going on) the file upload completed successfully and I regained control of SFTP.

    I did manage to create a minidump file, and also what looks like a symbol file, in my EW4 directory, if that's useful to anyone.

    Please let me know if anything else is needed, or if I've forgotten or badly explained anything. I realise this isn't an MS support forum, but if anyone can help me figure out what's wrong and what I need to do to fix it, I'll be happy to post the results here for other folks.

    Thanks for any suggestions not involving my wallet or rebuilding my machine!

    Kind regards,

    PCPete

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 12:49 AM

All replies

  • Please read the first post in this forum (FAQ - Start Here) if you haven't already.  This isn't MS tech support.
    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 2:05 AM
  • Pete,

    I'm afraid this won't help much but, in answer to one of your questions, I was experiencing the same problem (deleting or overwriting highlighted text in the Design pane often caused a crash) in EW4 on Windows XP. I'm pretty sure I haven't had the problem since installing EW4 SP1, however. But, yes, it was a problem peculiar to EW4 at the time.

    Good luck sorting it out!

    Trevor.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011 11:18 AM
  • Hi Kathy,

    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough in my posting. Maybe you just missed it reading through. I'll post it here again.

    I realise this isn't an MS support forum, but if anyone can help me figure out what's wrong and what I need to do to fix it, I'll be happy to post the results here for other folks.
    

    I did read the FAQ, and around 30-40 posts by other users with similar (or identical) issues. None (or at least, a vanishingly small percentage) of those problems have no resolution at this time. This is obviously affecting a significant fraction of users, and as no-one wants to risk paying for support for a problem that no-one seems to know the source of, I don't have any other alternatives - I have to ask for help wherever it seems appropriate, with the usual disclaimers.

    Thanks for responding so quickly.

    Regards,

    PCPete.

    Friday, May 20, 2011 12:54 AM
  • Thanks for your suggestion, Twevva. I'm already using SP1, so there's obviously some issues that haven't been resolved with the service pack.

    It seems that this type of issue (UAEs when deleting or editing in EW) has been a problem since EW1! Having said that, hopefully someone's seen or experienced a similar issue and found a workaround or fix that might help me, and others experiencing this frustrating and annoying issue.

    Thanks anyway for a positive reply!

    Cheers,

    PCPete

    Friday, May 20, 2011 12:57 AM
  • Further to this issue, I've just experienced for the second time this week another problem, I don't know if it's related or not.

    EW4 just disappeared in the middle of an edit.

    I was pasting in some plain text (about 70 characters) in design view, replacing the existing highlighted text within a P tag, and as soon as I hit Ctrl-V, EW flashed off the screen. It was not in the taskbar, nor in the tasklist. It just went away. No error message, nothing in the error log, just vanished.

    I didn't press anything else, I didn't hit close, I didn't move the mouse, I hadn't even taken my fingers off the ctrl and v keys!

    Interestingly (or bizarrely, depending on your point of view), when I restarted EW, my pasted text had been saved on disk - and this included a number of other small edits I hadn't yet saved.

    The first time this happened, I figured I must have done something wrong. Now I'm sure I'm not.

    I'm wondering, has anyone else experienced this behaviour?

    Thanks for reading!

    PCPete

    Friday, May 20, 2011 1:04 AM
  • Pete, my point was not that the FAQ had a solution, but that we can't do anything regarding a bug in EW, or a system-specific issue, whichever it is.  The FAQ is where it's pointed out that this isn't MS support, and tells where you can report bugs, or even seek (possibly paid, depending on what the cause turns out to be) support from MS if you get desparate.

    Friday, May 20, 2011 1:22 AM
  • Pete,

    I've just had a couple of crashes with EW4 SP1 so apparently SP1 hasn't fixed it for me after all.

    I haven't experienced the disappearing EW4 - very odd.

    Back to the crashing problem, it obviously doesn't affect everybody so perhaps we could look at what our systems have in common (software only - I doubt it's hardware related)? I note that you have the problem even when EW4 is the only application running, so that cuts out a lot of possible conflicts. Do you use a firewall and anti-virus? I use Outpost Pro Firewall and NOD32 AV.

    Cheers,

    Trevor.

    Friday, May 27, 2011 10:26 AM
  • No, you cannot rule out hardware related problems. No software running on your computer puts more demands on the video subsystem than EW. And EW is the only program on your computer that relies on DOT.NET 4 and uses the WPF for the interface.

    I would start by turning down some video settings--drop the color depth, decrease hardware acceleration settings, etc. One at a time, and see if it helps.

    If it were A/V related they'd have solved the problem by now.


    "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." Henry Ford
    Friday, May 27, 2011 2:43 PM
  • Bill, thanks so much for following up, but I'm afraid you may be overestimating my skills in how I use Expression Web 4!

    I don't use or integrate audio or video with any of my sites, so EW4 is actually putting FEWER demands on my video system than any other software, not more!

    EW4 crashes rendering or editing a page with HTML 3-level markup, not embedded video or streaming or complex behaviours. This is what you'd probably call "beginner-level" markup - DIVs and CSS are the most complex entities on any of the pages where EW crashes. I wish I had a need to use all the fantastic streaming and multimedia capabilities! But while their inclusion in the software platform may be adding to the problem, they're not directly causing the issue based on the page content.

    Imagine for a moment that you're replying to a question on this forum. You realise you've spelled a name wrongly, so you highlight the name in your post edit area, press 'delete', and... your entire browser suddenly and instantly crashes with nothing written to the error or event logs. That's what I'm experiencing in EW4. I hope this analogy helps clarify this.

    It seems to be a bug in the core IDE code (whether that's a library call to the WPF or .NET code or a "native" function within the EW binaries), not the addins or libraries. Since EW dies doing the most basic and simplistic UI interactions (highlighting text in a window - whether a "rendered" view in "Design View" or a text-only view in "Code View" - and deleting it), this seems to imply that the addins are innocent.

    So I can indeed categorically and unequivocally rule out a hardware issue. :)

    However, you're absolutely right in one sense : EW is the only application on my system that uses .NET 4 (and WPF, as far as I'm aware). So the bugs are either in .NET or in the WPF, or in EW, but not in my OS or hardware! That's helped me to think the fault diagnosis through a bit better, and I thank you for pointing that out, I didn't even think the support software could be contributing, I just assumed because of the basic nature of the bug/fault, it could have been related to an OS library or function. It most obviously isn't.

    I'll make the call to M$ $upport, I'm more confident than ever that this is a flaw in the software. I'll keep this thread posted as and when I sort things out.

    Thanks again for your help clarifying the issue!

     

    Cheers,

    PCPete

     

    Saturday, June 4, 2011 3:35 AM
  • Pete, Bill's point has nothing to do with you having audio or video on your website (that would have nothing to do with EW design anyway, since it doesn't play them).  The reference is to EW's use of WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) for itself, and its own demands on your system.

    I'm not saying that causes your crashes.  I've already pointed out that we can't possibly know, and repeated posting here doesn't change that.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011 5:08 AM
  • Thanks Kathy, I wasn't sure if anyone else noticed!!

    I would very much appreciate it if you or Bill (or anyone else) could point me to some comparisons of WPF and DirectX so I can understand better the 'demands' placed on the graphics subsystem by WPF and EW4?

    As a somewhat rusty game developer, I just naturally assumed that a DirectX rendering application (by way of example) would be a significantly more demanding use of the GPU than the MS IDE in EW.

    That makes statements such as Bill's (and yours) quite interesting to ponder, both from a developer's and a player's perspective. I have a number of quite sophisticated graphics applications installed that would seem to demand quite a bit more from the GPU hardware than EW/WPF does (at least, in terms of CPU load, memory and IO resources and bandwidth, etc), and they all seem to run flawlessly without a need to reconfigure the driver settings.

    Hence my confusion WRT the reference to colour depths and acceleration settings, which I understood (possibly incorrectly) as generally only applying in a texture-based high-end coordinate projection/mapping or video rendering situation, not a 2D rectilineal window-based application.

    But of course, I could be wrong!

    Hence my request for details to help me understand why these recommendations could be likely to apply to my and Twevva's similar issues.

    Thanks again for following up, you always give me cause to carefully think through my responses!

    Kind regards,

    Peter

    Saturday, June 4, 2011 6:57 AM
  • Pete,

    You need to post your crash report over at http://connect.microsoft.com which is where it will get to a MS technical triage person. You should eventually hear back from them. It won't be quick but it will be free.

    FWIW, I've never use a third party FTP tool to upload from a site I'm working on while I'm working on any part of the site. I've also never used Smart FTP. I use either Filezilla (free) or WS-FTP Pro for my third party FTP clients. If using Smart FTP while editing is a common event you might want to try not doing so. :)


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    Saturday, June 4, 2011 12:53 PM
  • Pete,

    Expression Web makes extensive use of WPF - Windows Presentation Foundation and that is the video/audio subsystem that Bill is referring to. IF there was a core IDE issue with ASP.NET then a whole lot more people would be having these random and serious crashes. (MS defines bugs that cause data los as "critical" bugs that have the highest priority for getting fixed.)

    MS has sold hundreds of thousands of copies of Expression Web and yes, there are some random crash reports but they are in the minority even here.

    Last year on a different computer than the one I'm now using I was getting random crashes using Photoshop. The issue wasn't 64bit Photoshop CS5 Extended but rather a single sector on a one of the ram chips that made up the 4 gig of ram on that system. Replacing that ram chip solved all my crash problems with Photoshop even though I don't recall the crash ever happening when Photoshop wasn't running.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    Saturday, June 4, 2011 1:06 PM
  • Aaaargh! Pete! A/V is AntiVirus, not Audio/Video. I was replying to Twevva's post, which clearly mentioned antivirus. AV, A/V, A-V, however it's abbreviated, is always antivirus when you're talking about computers. Sheesh!
    The bird, the bee, the running child are all the same to the sliding glass door. Dimitri Martin
    Saturday, June 4, 2011 1:08 PM
  • That's all right, Bill, I just (mis)figured from the context - video settings in the preceding paragraph- that A/V (which I agree *always* means Anti Virus... except when it *always* means Audio/Video... heh :) referred to the previous sentence. D'oh!

    I've literally just finished a major upgrade on my studio system and I've just recomissioned it yesterday (4 2.6G AMD cores, 12G ECC RAM, 16Tb RAID storage, etc), and I'm about to install EW4 on that. I can't think of a more different system, hardware-wise, and since I haven't had an opportunity to run EW on more than one system for any length of time so far, it should be a good touchstone. Or boat-anchor...

    Sunday, June 5, 2011 1:03 AM
  • I have had the same problem with EW closing by itself while i ws editing
    Pete
    Saturday, June 18, 2011 4:09 AM
  • Don't cross-post. One thread per topic. If you have people answering two threads you'll never get anywhere.

    And doing so pushes other posts off the front page, where they are more easily viewed and dealt with.


    The bird, the bee, the running child are all the same to the sliding glass door. Dimitri Martin
    Saturday, June 18, 2011 4:19 AM
  • I have the same crash, when pressing the Backspace or Delete with text highlighted. It happens about five times an hour and has done it for at least a year. I'm just really good at saving the file every time I make an edit. I have the latest SPs and Windows 7. A simple search makes it very obvious we're not alone with this problem...
    Monday, July 18, 2011 8:35 PM
  • What a refreshing detailed post. A couple of things I can suggest. First, any recent updates to Windows or drivers? YOu might try a rollback to before this problem started.

    EW relies very heavily on Windows Presentation Foundation which makes it a bit sensitive to updates. You may also want to check for updated video drivers (wpf issues again) and your mouse drivers.

    Have you tried running Steve Easton's FP Cleaner for your version of Expression Web? If you have any cache corruption that will clean it out. There have also been crashes related to corrupt font files which your mention of symbols seems to reinforce.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    Monday, July 18, 2011 9:28 PM
  • I haven't installed any recent updates to drivers (and this has being happening for years).

    • I ran Easton's FP Cleaner.
    • I ran Windows Memory Diagnostic.
    • I ran my manufactures dialognostic tool (Thinkpad System Toolbox).
    • I updated my Monitor (not Display Adapter) and my Mouse drivers. (I'd been postponing these "suggested" updates because I didn't think drivers could be causing my EW crash.)
    • I updated my BIOS.

    We'll see what happens...

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:40 PM
  • I still crash after the five updates in my previous post to this thread.

    I also ran Microsoft's "Fix It" application which suggested disabling three codecs. I did. Expression still crashes.

    Expression may rely heavily on Windows Presentation Foundation, but EW is the ONLY app that crashes on me (and it happens daily). Many ntdll.dll crash discussions on the web refer to crashes in Internet Explorer, but I only crash when editing in EW (i.e., when pressing Backspace, Delete, or typing new text WHILE other text is selected). It's very difficult for me to believe this is caused by an out of date driver (that's chewing up memory).

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 5:47 PM
  • A user forum can only do so much.  We really can't debug your problem for you.  This is not MS technical support.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011 6:53 PM