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Request - Tips and Tricks for Troubleshooting Frozen EQ Clients

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#1
Hello!

I'm looking for tips/tricks people have done to successfully troubleshoot clients randomly freezing up. I had this issue in the past, and it seems like rolling back to earlier video drivers corrected (or at least reduced the instances) of the problem, but that's no longer working. It seems like every time a patch happens I end up getting major client freezing issues.

Any ideas or suggestions on how to fix it would be helpful. Even better than just blindly trying a bunch of things and hoping one works would be any suggestions on ways to truly identify what might be causing the problem (similar to EQ crash dumps, etc.). I'm not aware of anything similar to that in Windows 10, but thought I'd ask anyway.

For reference, my system is running:
ACPI x64-based PC
Windows 10
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
Intel i7-6700K CPU @ 4GHz
Intel 100 series/C230 Chipset Family SATA AHCI controller
32 gig of RAM

I also run ISBoxer with MQ2.
 
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#2
Yes, disable smart firewall after start up before you load your EQ session as well as autoprotect. This has caused freeze ups. If this stops it you know its your settings/allowances in Nortons or other that you use.
 
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#3
Disable Windows Defender or exclude your EQ directories, especially your log directory. Is it locking up the whole computer or just the instance of EQ?
 
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#4
Disable Windows Defender or exclude your EQ directories, especially your log directory. Is it locking up the whole computer or just the instance of EQ?
Already did that (and verified a few times it was done).

It's only locking up one or more random instances of EQ. I will have a group churning, walk away for a moment, and come back to one client frozen... or be at the computer, pull up webpage (like I'm doing now) to look something up, and when I pop back find three out of six frozen. There is no CTD... just frozen clients that need to be hard reset (have to close them via task manager) in order to re-login.
 
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#5
Yes, disable smart firewall after start up before you load your EQ session as well as autoprotect. This has caused freeze ups. If this stops it you know its your settings/allowances in Nortons or other that you use.
I only use Windows Defender ... no 3rd party firewalls or virus programs. Would the firewall and autoprotect still cause issues if the folders for innerspace (ISBoxer), RG, and EQ are all on the exclusion list?
 
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#6
If I remember correctly, Windows Defender doesn't handle subfolder exclusions very well, you have to exclude direct. Do you have logging turned on in EQ? Just as a test, turn logging off on all clients.
 
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#7
I only have logging turned on in one client (my SK) because of GINA. I can try turning it off, though.

The client freezes aren't limited to my SK, unfortunately. So, I'm not sure how logging would affect the other clients, as well.
 
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#8
Just crashed again, and all I was doing was running the updated bazaar.mac from here to set prices in bazaar before I went offline.
 
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#9
Just had two of four clients freeze that weren't doing anything.... just AFK in PoK. Also, MQ2 was not loaded. I do have ISBoxer loaded up.

I guess next thing to try is to load them up without anything and see if they still crash. If that's the case, then I'm really at a loss.
 
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#11
I sure hope u find your issue, maybe it will help my issue
Well, excluding mq2, ISBoxer, and eqgame from windows defender hasn’t helped. I updated video drivers, which hasn’t helped. Next will be rolling back drivers again and seeing if that helps.

If not, fresh installs galore.
 
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#12
Well, excluding mq2, ISBoxer, and eqgame from windows defender hasn’t helped. I updated video drivers, which hasn’t helped. Next will be rolling back drivers again and seeing if that helps.

If not, fresh installs galore.

Just came back to 3 of 4 clients frozen on my computer.... with NOTHING loaded but EQ. No MQ2, no ISBoxer, etc.

I'm at a loss. I've done fresh reinstalls of my vid drivers and rolled back drivers.... guess I can try that again. I've also excluded my MQ2, EQ, and ISBoxer folders from Windows Defender AND excluded the executables themselves.

If rolling the drivers doesn't work I'm not sure what the issue might be.
 
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#13
I went into my device manager and updated all the drivers that I possibly could update (right click, update driver, let windows automatically search for updates). I also rolled my graphics card drivers (NVIDA GTX 1080) back to the March 2018 drivers.

With MQ2 and ISBoxer loaded, I've had four clients online for the last two hours without any freezes. I'll wait up tomorrow morning and see what the situation is..... keep your fingers crossed.
 
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#14
Came back to one of four clients frozen this morning after taking the above action. Time to “murder my eq file folders”, as @kaen01 said.
 
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#15
I am having the same issues. It seems that if i have only 1 client loaded on PC A, and the rest on PC B I do not have this issue. But the moment I load more than 1 EQ client on PC A I end up with varying numbers of client freezes.
 
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#16
I am reinstalling DirectX currently. Cross your fingers.
 
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#18
It appears it might have worked. i downloaded this... https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=8109 ... extracted it to a random new folder, then ran the DXsetup. Still testing but Usually by now I've had a client lock up.

I got the idea from this thread:
https://forums.daybreakgames.com/eq...erquest-directx-and-launch-pad-issues.194173/

I tried the web installer mentioned on that post, however it said DX was already current, so I opted for the manual install, to over write any potentially corrupt files.

I hope this helps.
 
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#19
Two thoughts while reading the thread. Any chance your machine is trying to transition to Sleep mode and/or does the Nvidia driver have different power states that could cause an issue during the transition?
 
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#20
Two thoughts while reading the thread. Any chance your machine is trying to transition to Sleep mode and/or does the Nvidia driver have different power states that could cause an issue during the transition?
For my issue... No to both questions. my power profiles are "always on" or whatever they call it now in widows 10. No client freezes since I did the manual install of DX. STILL testing though. I am about to load most of my boxes on to the problem PC and see if that recreates the issue or if it's solved.
 
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#21
sum1 a did all u have suggested, multiple times. did the dx manual install. reinstalled win 10, rolled back drivers to as far as 15. my power is set to never sleep or never go to screen saver. also my clients dont freeze more like just drop out. i reinstalled eq, and last night did a complete file recheck. may have done other things too, i just dont recall.
 
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#22
Ok DX install did not fix my issue. Just had 2 clients lock up. *the search continues*
 
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#23
sum1 a did all u have suggested, multiple times. did the dx manual install. reinstalled win 10, rolled back drivers to as far as 15. my power is set to never sleep or never go to screen saver. also my clients dont freeze more like just drop out. i reinstalled eq, and last night did a complete file recheck. may have done other things too, i just dont recall.
I've done almost all of this, except a reinstall of Windows 10 and a complete reinstall of EQ. I'm convinced the problem is either with EQ itself or with an update/patch to Windows 10, as I didn't have these problems earlier this year. In the past I could run 12+ accounts on this computer days and days and days on end afk with no issues. Now, I can't even have 3 or 4 loaded and standing in PoK and/or the bazaar without eventually losing 1-3 (or in one case, all 4).

I checked my power settings and I'm all maxed out. The only thing that I have a small question about is the Hard Disk setting. That setting is set to turn off the hard disk after 20 minutes. I'm presuming that wouldn't be affected by EQ, since the hard disk is actually working the whole time.

Otherwise, I don't know what else it might be. Back to the drawing board? I sent @eqmule a Windows 10 dump of the frozen client, but I haven't heard back from him, yet. It's also possible I fucked up the dropbox transfer lol. Also, I suppose it doesn't matter if I successfully sent the dump, since the issue doesn't appear to be MQ2 related.
 
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#24
Speaking of patching, Microsoft has been releasing all these kernel level updates (Spectre and Meltdown) including one just this morning for Intel CPUs. Those could be causing your issue and if so you're kinda screwed. You've tried different video drivers but have you used only the WHQL-certified drivers? Those are supposed to be the most generic and supported drivers on Windows.

RE: 20 minute disk shutdown... I presume you have an SSD so that shouldn't really matter but disable it just to be safe. Shutting down a traditional hard disk can be problematic due to the spin up time when some program doesn't get a response in time and blows up.

RE: 32GB of RAM... have you swapped RAM modules around on the motherboard? Maybe you have a RAM problem that is manifesting as a video issue? Possibly run an extensive memory diagnostic? (will take all night!) And in conjunction perhaps run with only 16GB as a test case? Drivers are funny animals around major memory boundaries and 32GB is still a bit on the high-end side.

Motherboard BIOS updates? To go along with the Windows kernel updates. While in the BIOS use the page that displays power supply voltages and make sure you don't have a weak 12v rail. Video cards live and die on the 12v side of things.

Disk corruption? Open a command window as Administrator, type chkdsk c: /r and allow the test to be scheduled. On the next reboot prepare to wait several hours for a complete test. /r tells it to read and verify the entire disk including unused space. If you you the /f switch instead it will be much quicker but will only verify in-use portions of the disk. (Over the years I've actually had this solve a few problems which seemed to point to other subsystems. A bit of corruption in the wrong file can really lead to unanticipated issues!)

Other possibilities include loose cabling inside the case or loose screws holding the motherboard down to the standoffs. If you go this far inspecting your case I would at least re-seat the RAM modules so the contacts get scraped clean. Maybe do this before investing in the time to run a RAM diagnostic.

I realize I'm going way out there especially if the machine has NO other problems than EQ client related. But the thing about doing wide-ranging diagnostics is sometimes you see something else that helps zero in on the actual problem.
 
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#25
I deleted my EQClient.ini file, and am testing to see if that fixes the issue. Have you already tried this Sum1?
 
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#26
I deleted my EQClient.ini file, and am testing to see if that fixes the issue. Have you already tried this Sum1?
No, because I f'n HATE resetting up the eqclient.ini.

Shoot, and now that I look at it... I have different eqclient-character.ini for all my damn characters. I even have doubles that have my server in parenthesis. Hrm.... not sure what did that.... guessing ISBoxer (since it can load different .inis).
 
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#28
You could back it up first, see if it fixes it, then you at least know where to look.
True, and that's a much more simple solution than busting into my box and trying to swap RAM around and stuff. This computer is like two years old, so I'd be pissed if stuff already started failing.
 
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#29
as far as my hardware ive checked ram seating, cables, reseated the cpu, pulled the vid card and put in a seperate pci-e, checked hdds, and my ssd
 
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#30
Speaking of patching, Microsoft has been releasing all these kernel level updates (Spectre and Meltdown) including one just this morning for Intel CPUs. Those could be causing your issue and if so you're kinda screwed. You've tried different video drivers but have you used only the WHQL-certified drivers? Those are supposed to be the most generic and supported drivers on Windows.

RE: 20 minute disk shutdown... I presume you have an SSD so that shouldn't really matter but disable it just to be safe. Shutting down a traditional hard disk can be problematic due to the spin up time when some program doesn't get a response in time and blows up.

RE: 32GB of RAM... have you swapped RAM modules around on the motherboard? Maybe you have a RAM problem that is manifesting as a video issue? Possibly run an extensive memory diagnostic? (will take all night!) And in conjunction perhaps run with only 16GB as a test case? Drivers are funny animals around major memory boundaries and 32GB is still a bit on the high-end side.

Motherboard BIOS updates? To go along with the Windows kernel updates. While in the BIOS use the page that displays power supply voltages and make sure you don't have a weak 12v rail. Video cards live and die on the 12v side of things.

Disk corruption? Open a command window as Administrator, type chkdsk c: /r and allow the test to be scheduled. On the next reboot prepare to wait several hours for a complete test. /r tells it to read and verify the entire disk including unused space. If you you the /f switch instead it will be much quicker but will only verify in-use portions of the disk. (Over the years I've actually had this solve a few problems which seemed to point to other subsystems. A bit of corruption in the wrong file can really lead to unanticipated issues!)

Other possibilities include loose cabling inside the case or loose screws holding the motherboard down to the standoffs. If you go this far inspecting your case I would at least re-seat the RAM modules so the contacts get scraped clean. Maybe do this before investing in the time to run a RAM diagnostic.

I realize I'm going way out there especially if the machine has NO other problems than EQ client related. But the thing about doing wide-ranging diagnostics is sometimes you see something else that helps zero in on the actual problem.
20 min disk shutdown - I can't actually disable this. You set the time to shutdown, but that's all... I suppose you could try setting it to some extreme number, but I started with the performance power settings and modified from there, so I assume that's fine as it is. The performance settings already do things like disabling sleep and other things with the computer.

I haven't swapped RAM around on the motherboard... would there be an issue with me pulling 16 of the 32GB RAM out and swapping those around? Windows automatically recognizes the RAM and will just bump back to 32GB when I put the sticks back in without me fiddling with any settings, right?
 
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#31
yes sum1 it will say that u downgraded ram bla bla bla in bios stuff, confirm ans stuff
 
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#32
No, because I f'n HATE resetting up the eqclient.ini.

Shoot, and now that I look at it... I have different eqclient-character.ini for all my damn characters. I even have doubles that have my server in parenthesis. Hrm.... not sure what did that.... guessing ISBoxer (since it can load different .inis).
So far it seems like its working alright. I'll give it a bit more time though, maybe put a movie on as well because of reasons.
 
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#33
So far it seems like its working alright. I'll give it a bit more time though, maybe put a movie on as well because of reasons.
Let me know. I'm about to cull my eqclient.ini herd, but I have inis for every character... so it would be a giant pain in the ass.
 
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#34
Let me know. I'm about to cull my eqclient.ini herd, but I have inis for every character... so it would be a giant pain in the ass.
Yeah that didn't work. Just downloaded a new client. Testing again. Wish i could have pinpointed the issue before doing it. If it ends up continuing it I might just have to go office space on this PC.
 
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#35
When you say "downloaded a new client" you mean you deleted and redownloaded the eqgame.exe application?
 
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#36
No i created a new folder, downloaded a new patcher and downloaded everything. I've been running for 4 hours, so far no clients have locked up. I've kept running my SK on the "old" one and 2 others on the new install and have had no issues. I copied my UI files ofc. Sorry for the delay in my response, I took a nap :)
 
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#37
No i created a new folder, downloaded a new patcher and downloaded everything. I've been running for 4 hours, so far no clients have locked up. I've kept running my SK on the "old" one and 2 others on the new install and have had no issues. I copied my UI files ofc. Sorry for the delay in my response, I took a nap :)
I just had another client in PoK lock. It sounds like a few set of files has been working for you. If you run them all night (afk or whatevs) without a frozen client Ill nuke my files and start again as well.
 
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#38
I just had my first client lock up while I was directly playing it. Was using both MQ2 and ISBoxer at the time. How's the test with the new eqclient.ini working out?
 
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#39
a new eqclient.ini didnt fix. Had to do a fresh clean install. Been going for 6 hours 25 mins and 57 seconds running with 3 chars on the problem computer (1 using the original problem install, and 2 using the new install, imported my UI files, caused no errors so far.)
 
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#40
a new eqclient.ini didnt fix. Had to do a fresh clean install. Been going for 6 hours 25 mins and 57 seconds running with 3 chars on the problem computer (1 using the original problem install, and 2 using the new install, imported my UI files, caused no errors so far.)
*sigh*

Brand new download of all the files... loaded up ONE toon using all default options... didn't even move over any .inis.

Woke up to one client frozen.

This is getting ridiculous.
 
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