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    Len Wants You!


    Linguica

    Len Pitre updated his homepage with the following announcement (I'll quote since this might turn out to be kinda important):

    If you have recently had any hard drive problems, I'd like you to sendme a list of the various Doom-related programs (editors, source ports)that you use.

    Why? A friend of mine has come up with a theory that could mean thatmany people using a certain Doom-related program under a certain OS areat risk of hard drive problems, but I don't want to make unfoundedaccusations.

    Please note that this is not a malicious trojan. It seems to be a bugthat corrupts an important part of system memory, which, in turn,corrupts the boot sector, MBR or partition table.

    Ooo, a mystery!

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    ... to all those "has anyone wondered why so many Doom projects seem to end up unreleased due to a 'hard drive crash'?" questions

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    Guest Opulent

    Posted

    Personally, I'd rather not have a third crash. Let's hope Len can find the 'source' of this problem. =) He can't do it without you crashers' help though...

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    Guest Daggah

    Posted

    My hard drive hasn't crashed yet, knock on wood!

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    Guest Slipgate

    Posted

    I may not have released any programs for DOOM, but I am familiar with the WAD file format and I do write little programs on my own to do stuff with them (maybe one of these days I'll release one, maybe). I sincerely doubt that "old-gen" utitilities that have been getting used for years like WinTex have bugs, intentional or otherwise, in them that haven't been felt till recently. Newer utilities, its also unlikely, unless intentional. And as for source ports, well, they're based on the doom source, which we've all been using compiled copies of for years (in the form of the old EXE), and they all have their source code released anyways, I'm sure someone woulda spotted a possible corruption bug by now. On the other hand, I can sincerely say Windows has given me a repeated headache, and more than once IT caused me to reformat. Doom and the stuff I use in relation to it has always been flawless, though.

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    It is possible for old programs designed for DOS to have compatibility problems with WINsomething OSs. That happens with old trackers with new soundcards (that have shitty DOS drivers). Why not with Doom utilities with new HD ?

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    the only problem i had with this type 'o thing is when i got Legacy. It ran fine for a while, but then one day i was online and when i got off, i went to the Legacy folder and saw that all the things that were in that folder was replaced by a bunch of HTML crap that i cant seem to get rid of. i dont know if this is common, but all i know is that I can't get ridda the file and I'm stuck with these weird, un-deletable files

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    Guest Slipgate

    Posted

    Hey Julian... I totally understand your point. There are sometimes compatibility issues (especially with WinNT with regard to DOS programs using sound and manually writing to the FAT themselves, or with Win9x and strange screen modes when multitasking (example: Run Wolf3D (using the old EXE of the game) on Win95 in a dos-prompt under windows (fullscreen). Then switch to window with alt-enter, and when you switch back, either the program won't be able to resume and will end, or the screen will be an exercise in trippy colors.) However, basic code in stuff like say CleanWAD or DeuTex shouldn't be a problem to Windows, and stuff like WinTex is designed for Windows (albeit Win 3.1) and doesn't really have a problem with win95 or winNT if you update the config file. As for more recent stuff... stuff that's been designed recently, any problems have to be intentionally or unintentionally the fault of what's being used. Because they're being run on the windows environment plenty by the programmers and testers, even if they're programmed under DOS on a win3.1 machine. A modern source port, that's being coded for DOS but that like everyone is using under Windows... with the source out so that potential problems would be spotted... it don't come out in the wash to me. Windows itself is plenty unstable, I've seen it do whack things even on PCs that never used a doom utility in their lives. Such as the public computer I'm on right now, it just started accessing its floppy drive for like a minute (no disk was in it) when it gave up (without displaying an error window). And I was only typing this in my browser window at the time.

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    Guest Doomlegend

    Posted

    I use WadAuthor and my HD never crashes,, i also scan it alot...

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    If you have any clue how systems like windows work, you will know that this "theory" is HIGHLY unlikely

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    For years now, I have had very occasional problems with DOOM editing and crashing. I have had problems under DOS 5 onwards, win 3.1 and win 95/98 and over 3 different computers (486, pentium and PII). What I have noticed is that DEHACKED if used repeatedly eventually will lock things up totally. This was most obvious when using it under DOS, and then coming out to test the hacked EXE. If I had done this a number of times I would expect a system lock up. This would not usually happen in DEH itself, but in DOS when starting or quitting DOOM. With the advent of win 95, I found I could run DEH in a DOS window, and also test DOOM that way. The lock up would still occasionally happen, but Ctrl-Alt-Del ing would usually allow a return to windows, a shut down and restart. I still use DEH, NWT, WinTex, WinDEU, DeeP97/sea, DEUTex, DMGraph and DMAud extensively under win 95. VERY occasionally things lock up, but this seems to be less so now that I use source ports (usually ZDOOM) instead of DOOM(2).EXE. BOOM seemed to cause the old problem a little more often. As a matter of interest, twice the lock up has trashed files or areas on my hard drive, once when the lock up could not be Ctrl-Alt-Del ed out of, a significant chunk of data from "My Documents" got trashed along with the ZIP file back up that I had not yet transferred to floppy. Sorry if this was a little long.

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    Actually, with Win9x, it is possible for a badly behaved Win32 or DOS program to stomp on memory it doesn't own (not sure about Win16 programs). This is because, for compatibility reasons with various DOS programs, Win9x leaves parts of the bottom 640k of RAM completely unprotected and accessible to everybody. Thus, it's possible for a program to trash some critical data structures. WinNT does not suffer from this problem. But the news item doesn't say this happens under Windows. It just says "a certain OS," which could be DOS. It has far less memory protection than any version of Windows.

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    Guest Nostromo

    Posted

    I've been using PC's since 1993. I've been developing games and add-ons almost from the day I started using one. I've probably tried out or used almost every editing tool and utility for Doom at one point or another. Then, with my work at Banjo, I used several tools extensively along with the Quake, Quake2, Unreal and Genesis engines. I've never had a hard drive crash. In fact, the first hard drive upgrade I made to my system is still running as my back up in my current system. My original hard drive is in a computer I put together for a customer's son and it's still running just fine. I've used Dos, Win 3.1, Win 3.11, Win95, Win98 and now Win98 SE (which is the most stable version of Windows thus far) and never had hard drive problems. I've had other problems ...like DCK will not run unless you run it in a true Dos environment and I couldn't get several tools and utilities to operate during a short time when I was using an AMD 5x85 P133 chip. (I no longer use anything in new systems except Intel CPU's and Intel chipset motherboards). One of the reasons for my success, however, may be because I refuse to switch to a FAT32 disk operating system. When I set up new systems, I still use the old FAT16 system and will partition a drive into 2 Gig partitions (or 1 Gig partitions if it's a smaller drive as it cuts the sector size in half.) FAT32 is incompatible with some older programs, it doesn't get along well with Dos (in fact, Dos will only recognize up to 2 Gigs on a partition regardless of how large it is), it degrades hard drive performance and it takes all freakin day to scan and defrag the disk. That's a pretty high price to pay considering you're only gaining a little disk space and the convenience of having fewer partitions. With the low price of hard drives these days, it really doesn't make much sense. I don't know if that answers any questions but it may have something to do with the problem.

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    I don't think it's FAT32. FAT32 is basically FAT16 with smaller clusters. If it had corruption problems, then so would FAT16. The only programs that don't like it are those that access the file system directly, which seems like a small price to pay for gaining as much as 40% more free space. Win98 in DOS mode (the only DOS that can actually use FAT32) *does* recognize partitions larger than 2 gigs. It just reports them as 2 gigs to avoid problems with most DOS programs; you can still fill up the entire partition under DOS. Unless your largest partition is only 511 MB or you use mostly large files, you should really consider switching to FAT32.

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    Guest Rethcir

    Posted

    I've never had an HD crash - maybe you guys just shouldn't run around near the computer? My mom always said that if you banged around near a computer that its hard drive would crash.. kinda like bread in an oven i guess! ph33r the unleavened Maxtor!

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    I've had one HD crash a while ago, but I think the problem was really Windows itself. I mean, really, Windows (aka fancy DOS shell) does cause a shit load of problems for everybody. The time I ever had a problem with a Doom program is with WADED, when it give a error when I tried to access the Doom2 folder. (still wish William Aryes would fix it up.) Sgt Crispy

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    Guest Levendis

    Posted

    If it turns out that all the recent project-ending HD crashes have been because of faulty programs and not jerkwad project leaders, I'll really have to eat my words.

    On the other hand, I've been using DEU since forever, which is too primitive to have any problems. So I still get to bitch :P
    --Levendis

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    It can't be anything software related (most of the time), you notice from most of the project cancellations that the person usually mentions not being able to have or use a computer for a long time, only physical defects in a drive would make it useless for a period of more then 5 minutes, something in the order of 'my hard drive caught fire', or 'I cut it open to pawn the gold from the heads' would explain a long period of downtime, while something like having the boot sector overwritten does not cause permanent(sp?) damage, it doesn't cause data loss, and its not even hard to fix. Also, context clues from most project cancellations question the document's validity; The words certainly make you draw your own conclusion, wouldn't you say?

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    Well, everybody knows nearly half of the bugs in Win come from drivers... So software damaging hardware could be real. I'm not a specialist tho, but it's possible. That's all I wanted to say.

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    Guest The Archon

    Posted

    Well, FAT32 vs. FAT16 isn't something I thought of including for Windows 9x users.... I might add that question to the followup e-mails I'll be sending. I'm glad to see the response that I've been getting, though there's still too small a number to peg it down to anything other than chance. Oh, and to other people talking about other possibilites: Yeah, there's always the chance it's some other thing and I'm barking up the wrong tree. But I'd like to think that what I'm doing here will at least put my worries to rest, no matter what the outcome.

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    Didn't Fanatic have an OS problem with Doomcad awhile back? Stick to DCK people. And make fun of Len because he hunts rabbits.

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    Guest ThE NoraD

    Posted

    would explain why i've had six crashes since i started editing doom four years ago. Oh, Doomcad sucks so don't bother to download it, same thing with wad author. And windows sucks ass too, fuck you gates!!!!

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    Guest The Archon

    Posted

    I'm not hunting wabbits.:) Just chasing a goose who may turn out to be wild.:) - Len

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    DCK once crashed and reset my bios. No lie.

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    Guest DarKrow

    Posted

    I don't know about you ppl but I use DoomEd 4.2 (I know...). and every so often it totally screws up my level and I have to start from scratch! I can't stand DEU, DCK, or DeepSea. Such is life.

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    Now i'm not sure how much experience most of you have had with programming in here, but please know its not just a *bug* to change BIOS settings or partition tables. Most likley your problems are a mere coincidence, and should be overlooked. I don't think programmers would try to start problems on people's computers using a DOOM editing program(LOTS of people would get that) instead they'd probably pick on AOLER's but thats a different story.............

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    Guest Anonymous User

    Posted

    The problem obviously lies within the community somewhere. We've all used different programs. DEU, Waded, DoomED, Wadauthor etc.. But We all seem to be having the same problem of Hard drive or Bios errors. The problem might actually lie within all these programs themselves. It is a high possibility that all these programs use the same code to search through those Large DooM IWAD files and that all these programs are causing this via the way they were coded. This is our believe because, think of it your making your level in an editor, from start to scratch your editor is searching through that large 12-18mb WAD file depending on game episode and is showing previews of enemys, textures, thats alot of HD activity. This problem occured acouple of years back when we were making our Add-on to Ultimate doom, we had 3 of our computers get aload of HD Bad sectors, 3 out of 9. Well it was surely not a Trojan, Virus etc... Thats a big file to search through, maybe Id software had similar problems, This Problem should definately be looked into. BGC Software!

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