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Author Topic: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?  (Read 4957 times)
Daria
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Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« on: 2008 January 17, 11:17:03 »
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As per the incredibly long title...is there an easy way for me to identify which of my hair files is making my game completely crash?   It happens when I start scrolling through the hair files to change a Sim's hair colour. (Presumably it'd also happen in C-A-S, but I haven't had to make one new since the last major Hair update.)   I have deleted the thumbnails to cause it to refresh fully, and taken out one set of hair that I was a little doubtful about, but it hasn't fixed the problem at all.

I've used the (marvellous) Wardrobe Wrangler to go through and bin my hairs, but unfortunately it can't tell me which hair/mesh is doing the crashing.  They all load fine in WW.

I have tried Googling for answers without success, so all I can assume is that this isn't a common problem - either that, or my Google-fu is way off and I'm using the wrong search terms.
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notovny
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #1 on: 2008 January 17, 11:26:20 »
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Use a Binary Search.

Works relatively quickly. If you have, say, 100 hair files that are suspect, you can narrow it down to one in seven restarts.  If you have 1,000, it will narrow to one in ten restarts.  If you have 10,000, it will take about 14.
« Last Edit: 2008 January 17, 11:43:31 by notovny » Logged

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Daria
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #2 on: 2008 January 17, 11:32:47 »
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Not quite so easy as I'd hoped, but sensible.  I shall try this! Thanks Smiley
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Zazazu
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #3 on: 2008 January 17, 18:55:02 »
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If you have a lot of custom content, rename the Downloads folder to something like 2Downloads and put your hairs in a separate, temporary Downloads folder. That will cut down on game load time.
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #4 on: 2008 January 17, 19:27:44 »
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Additionally, if you know about when (in real time) the problem started, you can start your binary search process using just the hairs and meshes that you installed since just before that point (i.e. if problems started in late December, remove the ones that you added from December to the present).

This could save you some time.
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Daria
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #5 on: 2008 January 18, 00:31:40 »
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Unfortunately the problem started after I said 'Y'know, I should really clear all these hairs out and start over.  There's a lot of crappy ones in there and I can't pick them out from the file names, so I should just delete the lot of them and download, selectively, only the ones I really like the look of.'

Annnnd over 800 hairs later, there I was.  Being the methodical, mildly obsessive person I am, I downloaded all the hairs I wanted... then correct-binned them in the Wardrobe Wrangler... and only THEN did I reload the game and start playing.  Took me about a week, what with work and all.    Roll Eyes  When the game crashed (and it's a BIG crash, too - I can't just restart the game after, I have to restart the computer or the game just gives me a totally black screen when I try to restart) I thought to myself, 'Y'know, maybe I should'a done this in stages.'

Turns out there's more than one file doing the evil, too.  It was one in the Red files initially, but I just had it happen with a 'custom colour' one last night as well.

Weird, though, is that despite me having taken every single file in Wardrobe Wranger and ensure it's binned into SOMETHING (I prefer colours like dark purple, blue etc to come up under 'black') I have a crapload of 'custom colours' and the files don't seem to have moved at all.  Even when they're loaded for the very first time after I cleaned out the cache and thumbnails.  It's most peculiar.
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Tigerlilley
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #6 on: 2008 January 18, 00:43:56 »
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Theres a few hairs mentioned on MTS2 that cause crashes, especially with the H&M stuff pack.  I'm sorry I can't remember which ones they are.
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Daria
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #7 on: 2008 January 18, 01:01:09 »
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I don't have any Stuff packs, but I wonder if I've brought this upon myself... only just worked out that the WW has 6 files to a hair package (as you can see, I'm not that clued-in about how game files work) and when I was oh-so conscientiously binning all my hairs, I only ever changed the first file, because I didn't notice the slider on the side.

I don't know if that's enough to send the game into chaos, but it certainly wouldn't surprise me.

Thanks to everyone that's helped!  I'll let you know if this fixes it.  If I can't be a good example, I can at least be a horrible warning...    Grin
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J. M. Pescado
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #8 on: 2008 January 18, 01:03:06 »
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You know, if you had done the binary search procedure when you were told, you'd have found the answer by now. A binary search only takes as long as it takes you to load the game once, anyway, because each time you load with only half again as much crap.
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Daria
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #9 on: 2008 January 18, 01:22:21 »
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Actually, JM, I did the Binary thing for several hours.   It was while I was doing it that I discovered the problem was in multiple places.   

This made the binary a little harder, because BOTH sides of my next half-split made the game crash.  I can split them again and have 4, but at this point I figured 'Hey, maybe it's ME that's screwing things up, not an intrinsically faulty mesh'.   The evidence seems to be pointing that way.

So now I'm experimenting to find out if I, personally, caused the problem - because if I did, I'm going to continue fsking up files left, right and centre until I work out what it is I'm doing that's ruining them.

And if in the end it fails - well,  I've lost a few more hours of my life, have to re-download some files...  and possibly learned something in the process.  I can live with that.
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Daria
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #10 on: 2008 January 18, 01:46:06 »
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... at this point I figured 'Hey, maybe it's ME that's screwing things up, not an intrinsically faulty mesh'.   The evidence seems to be pointing that way.
Or to put it another way, 'Never attribute to poor coding what can be more easily explained by rampant stupidity'.    Grin
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #11 on: 2008 January 18, 02:09:18 »
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There seems to be a lot of double posting these days from infrequent posters, those who are usually lurkers, and (naturally) n00bs.  There is a Modify Post button, which allows you to add a comment or modify a previous post.  Use of this button is encouraged.

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Daria
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #12 on: 2008 January 18, 02:22:44 »
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I initially tried 'edit' but when I asked it to save, it reloaded my original post.  I assumed I'd missed a time-out period (this happens on an unrelated board where I post a lot - you only have up to 2 minutes to edit a post; after that it just throws you back to your original one) so I quoted instead.

If you reckon 'edit' works long term, then I must have pressed the wrong button or something.   I may very well have been working on auto-pilot and hit the wrong button because 'save' isn't in the same place as it is on the other board, perhaps. 

Of course, this is probably why I shouldn't post and multi-task.  Smiley
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #13 on: 2008 January 18, 02:26:56 »
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The edit button is known to be borked. Try the 'modify' button at the top. Smiley
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spambi
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #14 on: 2008 January 18, 06:41:04 »
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I had this problem with clothing. First thing I suggest is that if you used WW on any files downloaded directly from TSR (not TSR stuff on PMBD), get rid of those. I know that clothing downloaded directly from TSR and modified in WW will cause the game to crash, so I suspect hair will do the same thing. If you have the original TSR files I would just use them to over write what's in your downloads folder.

Other suggestions for improving on the binary method -- I hope you didn't have to rebin everything, so you can separate out stuff that was changed in WW from stuff that wasn't by sorting by date modified. AFAIK, Bodyshop displays custom content according to the date it was installed (not modified) and Clean Installer will let you sort CC by the date it was installed. When I was looking for the clothing that was causing my game to crash, I would fire up Bodyshop, count how many outfits were displayed before it crashed and then use Clean Installer to figure out which clothing file this corresponded to. Of course, this works better with clothing since you can use WW to sort it into Bodyshop categories (e.g. elder male outerwear) but you may be able to sort hair male/female or something.

EDIT: Coincidentally, I just found one of my clothing files was crashing my game and I discovered a much better way to find the bad files. Scan the folder in SimPE and then sort by the health of the file. In my game, the files causing the problem had red health reports (bad directory info or something like that.) And they were TSR files modified in WW (thought I had gotten rid of all of those.)
« Last Edit: 2008 January 18, 17:17:51 by spambi » Logged
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #15 on: 2008 January 24, 06:10:07 »
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...and that is why I do not use doohickeys to bin my crap for me.

Also, when messing about with files, rename for easy identification.

Is BS crashing as well, or just the game?
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Daria
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #16 on: 2008 February 03, 05:15:01 »
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Quote from: spambi
Coincidentally, I just found one of my clothing files was crashing my game and I discovered a much better way to find the bad files. Scan the folder in SimPE and then sort by the health of the file. In my game, the files causing the problem had red health reports (bad directory info or something like that.) And they were TSR files modified in WW (thought I had gotten rid of all of those.)

Oh, that's handy! Thanks!  You're probably right about the TSR files, too - I had/have a lot of those.  I'll check out PMBD, see if I can find the corresponding hairs there and overwrite them. 

Having normal-coloured hair appearing under 'custom' irritates me in a major way, so I'm willing to take the chance that I'll cause a BFBVFS again in the process of trying to put things where they SHOULD be...dagnabbit... but I'll avoid trying it on original TSR files now that I know they're evil.  Also, will do them in tiny stages instead of getting gung-ho and doing the whole lot at once.  (We'll call that a 'learning experience'...)

Sapnish - it was everything.  The game would crash (completely) and then it couldn't be restarted again unless I rebooted.  Similar effect to what WoW would do to it before they fixed the memory leak in the newbie Human zone.

Thanks for the advice, everyone.  Sorry I've not been back for a bit; Real Life has been kicking my butt lately!
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Re: Any easy way to identify which hair file makes my game crash?
« Reply #17 on: 2008 February 03, 11:32:27 »
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The best way to put order on hair folders would be to separate them all in specific folders, one for new hairs with new meshes and another for Maxis recolors only. Simple recolors very seldom cause troubles.
The new meshes should be placed together with the recolors and if you use to rename files for easier identification, try to rename the recolors with the same name as the mesh only specifying the respective colors used.
There are several problems that can happen when downloading material from very different sources. It happened to me that one hair had the same data as one of the clothes and I started to have bald sims without body. Checking the files I found one hair that seemed to be messed up with one of the custom clothing. I don't really know the reason, but maybe the identification used by BodyShop can also cause a duplicate. I deleted the hair and the problem was solved. Very seldom I get crashes, to say the truth, never, except when I cause it self.
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