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EG and lots of crashes

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Occasional Contributor
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EG and lots of crashes

I'm hoping to gain some insight into common possible causes of EG crashes, and I haven't found anything that's specifically applicable in the forums, Knowledge Base, etc., despite a lot of searching. In my current role, I'm using EG 5.1 (9.3) in a linux server environment, and I'm experiencing lots of crashing (of the "SAS has encountered a problem and needs to close" type). Sometimes this happens multiple times a day, resulting from different circumstances, somewhat continously. Other days are good, without too much trouble. The other person on my team with EG is also experiencing more frequent crashing, along with EG frequently hanging - sometimes just doing basic things like opening or closing a project. The frustrating thing is that In my previous role, I used EG in a different server environment, and never had the same issues, so it's really causing me headaches (especially since I was the one who suggested we use EG in the first place for my team!).

 

Anyway, I have submitted a help ticket to the SAS admins at my company, but I'm also interested in getting some insight from other users as I'm wondering if anything I've done stands out as a bad idea that could be influencing the crashing. I'm pretty experienced with general SAS programming, and I've been using EG for over 5 or so years, but recently I've created a project for my team's use that caused me to make use of a lot of "new-to-me" EG functionality, and I'm wondering if I'm stretching the limits of what should be done with an EG project. What I've done is created a project as sort of a re-usable project template, which includes the following features:

  1. Prompts created by the Prompt Manager used throughout the project  (some from dynamic lists using datasets registered to the metadata);
  2. Lots of queries built using Query Builder functionality, some against SAS or other db views, some with filtering based on prompts;
  3. Multiple (fairly complex) graphs produced using custom styles and GTL (to produce output compliant with our brand standards).

Is there anything on this list that stands out as a potential problem? Anything anyone would suggest to trouble-shoot/make changes/etc.? Any system configurations I should check? I'm doing some common-sense trouble-shooting, such as removing elements from the project and seeing if it performs better, but as we've seen a lot of variability in the frequency of crashing, it's been difficult to see any obvious patterns. The only things I've noticed so far is that I sometimes see a lot of crashing when copying and pasting html output into Powerpoint, and that I'm perhaps seeing more frequent crashing during times where my system in general seems slow (network traffic, perhaps?).

 

FWIW, the latest crash produced the following error:

Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: seguide.exe
Application Version: 5.100.0.13304
Application Timestamp: 52727064
Fault Module Name: wpfgfx_v0400.dll
Fault Module Version: 4.0.30319.34209
Fault Module Timestamp: 5348b526
Exception Code: c0000005
Exception Offset: 00004f35
OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.4
Locale ID: 1033

 

(However, I have seen other error messages as well.)

 

Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 


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‎03-03-2016 11:55 AM
Respected Advisor
Posts: 3,063

Re: EG and lots of crashes

[ Edited ]

The fact that this happens on more than one PC indicates that the problem is not PC-specific so a single PC hardware or setup issue can be discounted.

 

Are you able to say whether the crashes only happen when running the complex project you have built. Can it happen while working on a brand-new "blank canvas" project where you haven't yet created a lot of processes? If the crashes only happen while running your complex project then you can focus just on that.

 

However if they can also happen when you are starting afresh then you can discount your crashes being an EG project-specific problem.

 

Are you using 32-bit or 64-bit EG? How much memory do your PCs have? In my experience EG can easily consume over 1GB of memory on complex projects or after lots of processing so having plenty of spare memory is recommended.

 

If you haven't already done so I suggest you open a track direct with SAS Tech Support as they can analyse EG diagnostic output and also advise you how to switch this on.  

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‎03-03-2016 11:55 AM
Respected Advisor
Posts: 3,063

Re: EG and lots of crashes

[ Edited ]

The fact that this happens on more than one PC indicates that the problem is not PC-specific so a single PC hardware or setup issue can be discounted.

 

Are you able to say whether the crashes only happen when running the complex project you have built. Can it happen while working on a brand-new "blank canvas" project where you haven't yet created a lot of processes? If the crashes only happen while running your complex project then you can focus just on that.

 

However if they can also happen when you are starting afresh then you can discount your crashes being an EG project-specific problem.

 

Are you using 32-bit or 64-bit EG? How much memory do your PCs have? In my experience EG can easily consume over 1GB of memory on complex projects or after lots of processing so having plenty of spare memory is recommended.

 

If you haven't already done so I suggest you open a track direct with SAS Tech Support as they can analyse EG diagnostic output and also advise you how to switch this on.  

Grand Advisor
Posts: 17,329

Re: EG and lots of crashes

If there's an option, consider upgrading versions, SAS EG 5.1 is a bit old, and same as SAS 9.3 - released in 2012. 

 

If you're on Windows 7 I was having crash issues and it had to do with some Window setting. I had some issues with the Windows 7 animating features that was conflicting with something. Turn off the ones you need and see if that helps. 

 

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1908-visual-effects-settings-change.html 

 

I have also found SAS to crash when you have network issues, do you ever get an error about Windows file not being accessible? And you have to reopen the file. 

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8

Re: EG and lots of crashes

Although I don't consider my issue completely resolved, it's much improved at this point, and I wanted to come back and post some things I've picked up as I worked with this issue over a couple of months in case it might be helpful to others.

 

(For the record, I work in a very large company, with many very strict policies, so I'm constrained in what I can do as far as upgrading, etc. I'm also still working on the issue with our SAS help desk, so it's possible this could result in a track being opened with SAS support, although that has not happened yet.)

 

Anyway, I really appreciate the helpful responses, and I took the suggestion of starting off with a blank canvas project and adding in features until I isolated what was causing most of my problems. What I found was that the "perfect storm" set-up for crashing consisted of:

  • Having other programs open at the same time as EG, especially PowerPoint and an XBAP browser-based application I use frequently, and
  • Creating multiple, complex graphs in .html output and then copying and pasting them one by one into other Office applications

After the creation of 5 complex graphs which were then copied and pasted into a PowerPoint deck, I found that I could reliably crash EG upon exiting the program.

 

After some research, I found mentions of Office Clipboard causing problems with other applications, so I experimented with clearing the Clipboard after each copy-paste operation, and the crashing did not occur. In addition, when I used "Save As" functionality to insert the graph instead of copy-paste, the crashing didn't occur either.

 

Also, along the way, I had 4 GB of extra memory and a new solid-state hard drive installed in my laptop, along with a SAS re-install. All of that happened at the same time, so I don't know which of those items helped, but I can no longer reliably produce crashes under the same circumstances.

 

 

None of the other features I mentioned (Query Builder queries, prompts, etc.) seemed to have any impact on the crashing, for what it's worth.

 

So, at this point, EG performance is much improved. I wish I could definitively identify the exact root cause, but I suspect it was some combination of the copy-paste operation issue/system performance/memory problems/EG not handling the Clipboard issue well, etc. I also suspect EG may have a tendency to crash at times of network or server instability. I'm just glad it's better! Smiley Happy

 

Hope this is helpful, and I'll post again if anything else comes out of the investigation as I'm still keeping an eye out for crashes as is our other user.

 

 

 

 

Grand Advisor
Posts: 17,329

Re: EG and lots of crashes

Just an FYI - are you aware that SAS can write your graphics directly to a PowerPoint (SAS 9.4) or Word file directly? Or to graphics files so you don't copy/paste?

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 8

Re: EG and lots of crashes

Thanks for the suggestions! We're on 9.3 currently, so I'm definitely looking forward to our upgrade to 9.4 which is probably not happening until next year. I've done some experimenting with writing to graphics files, but encountered problems with that due to our server environment - referring to destinations properly, etc. I might circle back to that, though, and see if I can make it work if the current approach becomes really problematic.

User
Posts: 1

Re: EG and lots of crashes

the issue its happeing from fire wall end , if you have istalled your tools in Citrix plese check fire wall

 

This is 100 % fire wall issue . 9.4 we can control SAS it self we have new feature to control carshing applciations

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