Black Screen Crash when I open a browser, Windows XP SP3

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philiptory
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:56 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Black Screen Crash when I open a browser, Windows XP SP3

Post by philiptory » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:04 pm

This has happened 3 or 4 times now. I want to record a sound track that I'm listening to in a browser - IE8 and Chrome.
1. If the browser is open and I press [R] to start recording, I get a black screen crash. Or,
2. if I press [R] and then open the browser, I get a black screen crash.
Windows XP SP3, all latest updates; 3Gb memory, 200Gb free disk space.
Help!

kozikowski
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Re: Black Screen Crash when I open a browser, Windows XP SP3

Post by kozikowski » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:08 pm

The fuzzy version of this is to wake up Audacity with none of your custom plug-ins. I think you can do this manually, but if you can't find them all, there's a setup file you can change to ignore plugins.

A bad VST plugin can cause that kind of damage. I can't find it. One of the other elves will be along shortly.

If you do make a system change like that, be sure and restart Audacity.

You might also check if you have any hard drive space left. If Audacity goes to step on it's memory and there isn't any, it will be very unhappy.

Koz

philiptory
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:56 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: Black Screen Crash when I open a browser, Windows XP SP3

Post by philiptory » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:38 am

Hello Koz, thanks for your suggestions.

- I have no custom filters - just the standard set that came with Audacity.
- I did a fresh rebuild of my PC a month ago with new 500Gb HD, and installed the latest 1.3.13 that I downloaded in September.
- I can process WAV files OK - that is my principal use - but when I try to record anything that I hear via a browser - instant CRASH!
Disk space: C drive (all my progs) 460 Gb free. D drive (all my data) 310 Gb free.
Pagefile 2.8 Gb on C drive.
Memory: 3Gb.

steve
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Re: Black Screen Crash when I open a browser, Windows XP SP3

Post by steve » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:03 am

Even if Audacity crashes really badly it should not affect the stability of your system. Black Screen crashes usually indicate that there is a deeper problem with the system other than a single application. Possible issues that come to mind are:

There could be a bad bit in the RAM memory (run a thorough memory test program to check).

There could be a badly behaved driver (check that your sound card and video card drivers are up to date and the correct ones. If it is a home built computer, check on the sound card manufacturers website for the latest drivers for your hardware and XP SP3).

Some older versions of Flash could cause very bad behaviour by causing drivers to crash and in the worst case taking the system down along with the drivers. Check that Adobe Flash player is the correct version for XP SP3 and is up to date.

No drive space or no available memory (you have already checked that drive space is available, see here for an article about checking memory usage on XP)

The last possibility on that list is highly unlikely unless a virus or other malware is involved, so run a thorough anti-virus scan (Avast and AVG both offer very good free (for home use) anti-virus scanners).

Also, check that Software Playthrough is disabled (Transport menu). This will not on its own cause a system crash, but it will cause problems when recording sounds playing on your computer.
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

kozikowski
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Re: Black Screen Crash when I open a browser, Windows XP SP3

Post by kozikowski » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:53 am

Windows makes a very nice memory tester. Download the work and prepare a bootable CD (or floppy) Make sure your computer uses the CD as one of the selectable boot devices and start on the CD.

Watch the memory check go by.

http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

By common consent, the test has to run all night for the computer to pass. I have never had a broken computer reveal itself in the first two passes. Turn off the monitor and go to bed.

Koz

philiptory
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:56 pm
Operating System: Windows 10

Re: Black Screen Crash when I open a browser, Windows XP SP3

Post by philiptory » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:42 pm

Thanks for the tips.
I ran the MS memory tester; it's very thorough, although getting it to create a bootable CD was not well explained. When I ran it, it found no problems with memory.
Further testing revealed that Audacity 1.3.13 crashes whenever I tried to start a recording with [R], irrespective of whether I had a browser open or not.
I shut down the PC, cleaned the audio card connectors and re-fitted. Did a deep Uninstall of Audacity (I can recommend Revo Uninstaller - it's free, and doesn't leave a lot of stuff in the registry and on your hard drive that you don't need any more). I reinstalled 1.3.12, in case it's a problem with 1.3.13.
Anyway, bingo! It now works OK. Phew!
So, thank you everyone for your suggestions.
Job done.
Best regards,
Philip
Technical Author

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