Random crashes with Windows 98 SE

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Random crashes with Windows 98 SE

Post by Pixel3D »


Before I describe my problem, I would like to briefly introduce myself.

My primary hobby is computers. Fixing them, studying them, etc. I also like
to do computer art. Until recently most of my work was in MS Paint or a
tablet, but over the years I've played around a bit with Blender and finally
felt confident enough with my abilities to try a little semi-serious 3D work.

I've run into trouble recently though. For some reason, Blender is
randomly crashing during rendering or animation. It'll proceed partway
through, then I'll get "Invalid page fault in BLENDER.EXE" and have to shut
it down.

It happens with multiple versions of Blender. Version 2.42a will often crash
during a 5 second/300 frame animation of a regular-sized cube in default
position rotating 360 degrees around its Z axis, which I set up as a test.

Blender is also crashing during still rendering of an actual artwork file I'm
working on.

I'll admit I have a lot of programs running on my comp most of the time,
and the total usage of system memory (without Blender) is about 50%

However, I've had most or all of those programs shut down and then
start Blender, and it would still sometimes crash. It would get further
along, but crash anyway. Always with the "Illegal operation" error. Here
are the versions of Blender I've tried (and had this problem).

Blender 2.42a
Blender 2.43 RC1
Blender Jan 13 2007 (SSE optimized) build from BlenderBuilds
Blender 2.43 RC2

I realize the BlenderBuilds build is not official and likely outside the scope
of this thread, but I thought it might be good to mention it anyway.

Here are my system details-

CPU: AMD Athlon XP 3000+ 333
RAM: 512 MB PC2700 DDR 333
Video Card: Aopen GeForce 4 440MX with AGP8X (64MB Video RAM)
Video Card Driver: NVIDIA ForceWare version 81.98 (Dec-10-2005)
Operating System: Windows 98 SE

and about the blend file-

Vertices - 16,108
Faces - 20,343
Raytracing (Blender Internal) Yes
Objects - 10

I like Blender a lot and have big dreams for what I can someday do if I
have the talent, but these crashing problems (whatever the cause) are

I realize the problem may not even be Blender - it may be my machine.
Because whatever is wrong is exhibiting itself in Blender, I didn't know
where else the problem might be. Please help.

If I can provide any more info that might be helpful, let me know.

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Post by stiv »

Your operating system has expired! Time to upgrade.

All snarkiness aside, Microsoft ended support for Win98 back on 11-july-2006. Win98 was never suited for intensive tasks like 3d graphics.

I admit to being a partisan of unixy operating systems and I realize that nothing happens in a vacuum but you will be much happier with a newer version of almost anything. And so will Blender.

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Post by Pixel3D »

I tried animating the spinning cube I mentioned above once using a static
build of Blender 2.42a in Mandriva Linux 2006, and the programs just
suddenly closed up on me, which I assume was a crash in Linux.

I'm not against Linux. If I had more than a dial-up connection, I'd have done
probably tried the majority of Linux flavors.

I'm not really sure which Linux is best for 3D, either.

If I had easy access to a wide variety of Linux versions, I'd be interested
in switching. I managed to (with a lot of dedication) pull a 3-disc install
of Mandrake Linux 10.0 Community off the net many moon ago, and
was lucky to get that.

As for Microsoft. Well time marches on sure, but in my opinion they'd drop support
for Windows XP today if they could get away with it.

I get discouraged every time I see yet one more program drop older
Windows support in favor of XP. It feels like everyone is pulling me in Microsoft's
direction. Pay through the rear for a buggy, insecure OS, then in 5 years
do it again because MS changed enough of the OS to make new software
incompatible with the older OS.

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Post by stiv »

As a rule of thumb, random crashes are usually dependant on the platform - the operating system and underlying hardware. From your specs, you have a machine that should easily be capable of running Blender. Even low-end nVidia cards tend to work well. This leaves Win98.

One thing is make sure you have the latest video drivers for your card. Yes, the phrase 'latest video driver' is a bit of an oxymoron when talking about an 8 yr old unsupported OS.

A complete shot in the dark is going into the BIOS and reducing the memory access speed.

If you have any sort of interest in Blender, you need to upgrade your operating system. More Windows is an option. So is Linux. You can buy Linux retail for $US 50-100. Or talk nice to someone and maybe they will loan you their disks. Ubuntu was giving them away.

Personally, I am suspicious of Mandriva, but that is only because of some weird video-related bugs we have seen.

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Post by LetterRip »

shipit will send you an ubuntu CD for free,


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Post by Pixel3D »

I'm disappointed that Windows 98 seems to be causing so much trouble. I don't really
want to upgrade to XP, though.

I'm on my Mandriva installation now, downloading RC2. At least maybe it'll work better.

I held out on trying Blender on Linux because of all the hassle installing nVIDIA's Linux
Drivers, then fighting the X config file to get the monitor working right. It appears though that
may be what I have to do from now on.

I'm interested in dealing with another Linux distro. Which one works best for Blender?

I've looked into the ShipIt service. Is it based in Europe? I live in the US, it might take
a long time for me to get a disc from them.

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Check on your lower/upper memory

Post by redsun »

I have not seen neither use this "dinosaurs" for ages. see if my comments can give you some thinker going on.

If your windows memory management automated by Win during *fdisk* initial installation you are in the risk of blue screen of death more often on high graphics intensive applications like 3D.

First thing first, your CMOS setup enable/disable your Shadow RAM buffer. I dont remember in Win98 but in unix I have to enable the shadow buffer for some unix boot screen. Just play around with the shadow ram first then continue with your DOS mem check.

Although you may have 512Mb do check on your memory available space both on upper and lower memory segment. For this instance you need more space in upper memory segment. I hope you know how to use DOS-> MSD to check on your mem and manual adjust these two junk files (Autoexec.bat and config.sys. Otherwise search the web for DOS geek tutorials on DOS command /MSD.exe or some tools.

Rules of thumb
1> dont rely on MS automated tools for memory. Manual config/edit your Autoexec.bat and config.sys parameters.

2>free-up as much upper memory as possible.

I hope this will solve your problem.

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Post by mchs3d »

You don't have to go with Windows XP. Vista will be released in five days, and if your hardware is enough, you can install that. This may sound inconsiderate, but I don't believe there is much that anyone can do if your computer is 8 years old. Even a super-cheap computer from Office Depot will be five-hundred times better. Best of luck, and I hope you get Blendering soon without any problems! 8)
"It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world."
- Abraham Lincoln

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Post by stiv »

but I don't believe there is much that anyone can do if your computer is 8 years old.
The poor guy's computer is relatively new - a Pentium 4 class machine. It is his operating system that is nearly a decade old. With a newer OS, it should run Blender just fine.

I would stay away from Vista at least until the first Service Pack comes out. Besides, he will need another half gig of memory to run it.

His best bets are either Win XP or one of the major Linux distros. Or Solaris, now that Sun is giving it away. A number of Linux distros have a bootable CD you can test without having to go the install-the-whole-OS route. Of these, Damn Small Linux is the smallest - only 50 Mb or so.

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Post by Pixel3D »

I rendered a few things in Windows 98 with earlier versions of Blender (I
think some in the 2.3x area) and I didn't have significant problems. It might
have crashed once or twice, but it didn't seem like it was as bad. I guess
that's why I thought the crashes I've had with newer versions were bugs.

That said, I've been told that the actual problems were probably related to
OpenGL drivers in Windows 98. I remember, I had quite a few problems
displaying the Blender GUI with newer nVIDIA drivers. Don't quote me
on this, but if I remember correctly, I got alot of drawing errors (missing text
and garbage buttons, etc.) When trying to use Blender with nVIDIA
drivers somewhere before the 81.92 release. (Maybe 64.x-77.72 releases)

The GUI drawing issues were cleared up by 81.92.

I'm wondering if it the crashes might be an issue with nVIDIA's Win98
OpenGL drivers.

If it is, I'm probably out of luck there as well. nVIDIA stopped releasing
new Win98 drivers over a year ago, so I doubt they would be willing to
fix any problems with them now, if that were the problem.

Even though there will likely never be a solution (within Win98), I'm going
to study the issue some more and see if I can discover where the culprit
is, starting with OpenGL.

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Post by LetterRip »

yes the drivers are a likely culprit,

is win xp you can turn down your driver acceleration - I don't recall if you have that option for win98.

If it is a driver issue than linux might not have that issue nor might win xp.


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Post by Pixel3D »

My understanding is that there are two OpenGL drivers on a Windows (9x)

OpenGL32.dll (Windows Client Library)

A vendor-specific Installable Client Driver (in this case, nvopengl.dll).

As an experiment, I renamed them both and discovered that Blender
can function in non-realtime (e.g. not running game engine) without
the ICD. However it has to have the Windows Client Library, even if
nvopengl.dll is available, it still must have OpenGL32.dll to function.

Are there any more OpenGL drivers I should know about? Will Blender use
the ICD (nvopengl.dll) for anything if it is available?

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Post by Pixel3D »

I've just been working on a project in Blender (LINUX this time). I was using
the builtin "wood" texture. In the "Map To" section, I turned it's size x, y, and z
(I believe) properties up to "100.00" and hit F12 to render. It renders a couple
of tiles and...

*blip* and the Blender program disapears from the screen, leaving me back at
my desktop. So far, this is the second crash I've had in Linux (Mandriva 2006).

I hope I'm not fixing to have crash problems in Linux, too. I'm beginning to
think Blender just doesn't like me very much. :(

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Post by xand »

i use blender on pentium II 350MHz, 192Mo, ati xpert 98 (8Mo) and win98 (first edition) with no problem.
my last was with sculptmode but everyone crash sculptmode.

go to microsoft website and look for opengl driver for win95 and install it in your blender directory.


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Post by Pixel3D »

Thank you for the suggestion, xand. Unfortunately, it didn't help. I copied
the OpenGL DLL's from the file you mentioned into my Blender program
directory, and left Windows 98's own OpenGL DLL's in the system directory.

I don't get it. You're not having any random crash problems during render,
and you run Windows 98? Yet I'm having random crashes.

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