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JPH

Houdini Fatal error: Segmentation Fault

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Hi All,

"Seasoned" New user and new to od[force] and I'm reaching out to everyone smarter than me on this one.

v.11.0.775 has operated daily for three weeks without issue. Today, Houdini freezes/crashes upon startup. I have re-installed 11.0.775 completely stock, license checked ok, restarted machine - app still crashes like clockwork so I'm assuming the culprit is some other data stored outside the installed directory that Houdini references upon startup. I have heard of adjusting or clearing out old environment variables but I have no idea how to do that, where that might be OR if that's a solution at all. Prior to this crashing issue, H11 was running bone-stock and factory installed.

A small Houdini Console reports:

"Fatal error: Segmentation Fault"

In the status bar (below timeline), in red, Houdini throws the error:

"Error: Beauty composite shader failed to compile. No color corrections will be applied to the beauty pass"

No remedy so far:

This problem has been posted before but there was no remedy to the issue:

HELP strange bug: Houdini won't start because of beauty shader

User "titor" had this problem until Houdini miraculously fixed itself without warning upon restart. Beats me.

I'd love to know where the external data might be and how to squash this buzzkill as fast as possible. Any wisdom would mean a great deal right now as I'm fresh out of ideas.

system specs:

Win7 Ultimate 64bit, SP1 installed

AsusP5/Q8400 Intel

8GB Ram

GeForce GTS 250

Edited by JPH

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The newer Nvidia 270 drivers have an auto-update option that's enabled by default. Did you install 270 or later with this option on? This might explain why suddenly it's changed under your feet. (I'd recommend turning this off, BTW)

You can enable the environment variable HOUDINI_OGL_DUMP_SHADER_ERRORS via the Control Panel>System>Advanced>Environment Variables dialog, that may explain why the shader isn't compiling.

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The newer Nvidia 270 drivers have an auto-update option that's enabled by default. Did you install 270 or later with this option on? This might explain why suddenly it's changed under your feet. (I'd recommend turning this off, BTW)

You can enable the environment variable HOUDINI_OGL_DUMP_SHADER_ERRORS via the Control Panel>System>Advanced>Environment Variables dialog, that may explain why the shader isn't compiling.

Problem solved!

Here's the brute force solution that worked:

#1) Navigated to H11's documents folder (C:\Users\me\Documents\houdini11.0)

#2) Deleted everything in the folder and re-installed Houdini

#3) Raided a frosty bottle of George Killian's Irish Red from my unsuspecting room mate and got back to work.

I have no idea how this approach will go over with a well established copy of Houdini (custom paths, installed OTLs, mods and such) but it effectively reset and reverted the app back to a pristine state.

malexander - thanks for giving this a shot, didn't get a chance to try your solution out but I'll keep this in mind if this problem pops up again.

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#3 is always a good idea when debugging graphics issues, I find. Glad you got it solved :)

  • Like 1

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Last file I was working on was a tutorial on creating procedural pipes, and I wanted to display some custom attribute values in the viewport, thus I added "test" to my custom markers display options. Afterwards, while continuing with the tutorial, Houdini crashed for some reason.. then it wouldn't open up, it would just keep showing me the fatal error message.

I kinda found the cause of the error on my end..

Sometimes it gave this message: 7104: Fatal error: Segmentation Fault

Narrowed it down to the display.pref file at your documents folder (win7).

Houdini added this line under the TEMPLATE_MODEL_RENDERING_OPTIONS :

user_flags ( test )

It also added it on some other areas as well:

SCENE_OBJECT_RENDERING_OPTIONS

GHOST_SCENE_OBJECT_RENDERING_OPTIONS

CURRENT_MODEL_RENDERING_OPTIONS

But TEMPLATE_MODEL_RENDERING_OPTIONS was the only one causing the crash.

I've attached the display.pref file (just remove the .txt extension) because I'm not sure if this error would also appear on other workstations.

Anyone care to try out the file and see if Houdini would crash from your end?

If you don't want to try the file out, you could just edit your display.pref and add user_flags ( test ) under the TEMPLATE_MODEL_RENDERING_OPTIONS.

post-3610-0-98364400-1368119599_thumb.pn

If it's an error that can be reproduced, then I suppose we can report it for fixing..

display.pref.txt

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Actually this is something I wonder. I don't have any segmentation errors, but should these errors be submitted to SESI support? Because whenever I did, I felt like I am submitting an issue that's only applicable to me, so should be disregarded :)

Sometimes when I use Houdini for a long time, it might crash, but that's not reproducible so I don't submit those.

Are segmentation errors legit errors? Because not sure if they are, or if they are actually a sort of catch all type of exception handler. Either way Houdini is the most stable 3d app for me, so please keep up the good work :)

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Thanks Ryan, I'll keep an eye out for other causes of this error.

You mentioned you didn't encounter the error?

One last thing to try:

  1. Open Houdini.
  2. Add a custom display attribute called "Test" to your Houdini display options.
    post-3610-0-40922300-1368155503_thumb.pn
  3. Save it as your default.
    post-3610-0-00746200-1368156462_thumb.pn
  4. Exit Houdini.
  5. Download the display.pref.txt file above and overwrite (back it up first) your display.pref.
  6. Open up houdini = mine errors out every time.
    post-3610-0-81331100-1368156570_thumb.pn

The simplest fix I found is to just delete the display.pref file. Houdini would generate a new one if I do another "Save as Default" on the display options window.

I wonder what it really means whenever that error occurs..

Edited by galagast

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Oh sorry I didn't try that one. I will try it tomorrow. I think that's a different error then segmentation? Because normally in segmentation errors, I still need to click OK in the message box shown but it's not this program has stopped working dialog. I don't see that.

I remember a similar issue for not starting correctly again. I forgot exactly what I did, but I think I installed all builds Houdini and then renamed the Houdini folders in the Users folder in your C drive. I think then when I reinstalled and brought my settings files, it worked. I might not have brought certain ones that I could make from scratch like the display settings. So maybe that's why it still happens in your case :)

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I originally encountered the segmentation error (plus the "stopped working" error) prior to finding this fix.. but while in the process of debugging, the segmentation error never appeared again :mellow: But I'm keeping a close watch hehe :lol:

Yeah, I suppose that the "stopped working" error is due to some user files not correlating properly with each other.. In my case, When I first had the crash, I'm assuming that Houdini did not complete writing out some user files.

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I haven't experienced this particular seg fault, but usually when I get segmentation errors it's because I made a drastic change to the scene or am trying to run something far too heavy for the machine to handle, so the crashes aren't completely unexpected.

Sometimes when Houdini crashes unexpectedly you might find that the preferences and settings in your home folder's houdiniXX.xx directory have become corrupted (I suspect this is mainly when you have autosave of preferences enabled in your settings).

Typically removing (or renaming) that directory will allow you to start Houdini back up as it recreates the directory from scratch. That's always my first step when I can no longer open Houdini up. You lose your preferences but you can get up and running again quickly, and if you keep a backup of your preferences to copy over (the files are fairly small, after all) then it's a quick fix.

Edited by ryew
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Thanks ryew, those are good to know. I now have a backup of my working preferences. :)

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I got this error message in H18, then found this thread.

For me, changing micropolygon to raytracing (mantra) solved the problem...

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