Alan_S

UI problems

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This occurs in 2018.11.0.9073   Debug logs sent via PM.   Didn't occur with the previous stable build.

When clicking something on the UI, the response is often really slow (perhaps minutes) or not at all. Sometimes it can respond with 'persuasion'. For example 'Settings' on the overview: The result can sometimes be coaxed forth by moving the UI window on the desktop, if this is possible (sometimes the UI gets locked and then a Windows restart is the only way out).  Viewing log entries is particularly problematic.

The following is a crude log of a session today, 2018-12-07, observed on my HP EliteBook 8440p, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit

09:40 Started Windows
09:42 Launched UI (clicked the icon in the notification area)
09:42 Clicked 'About' Nothing happened.
09:43 Moved the UI window on the desktop: Result of 'About' displays
09:44 Clicked 'Logs' Nothing happened. Moved the UI and the log list displays.
But: the UI window is locked. Couldn't mark a log entry to view it
Couldn't move the UI window on the desktop
09:47 Couldn't move the mouse cursor to the taskbar. Nor launch any of the desktop shortcuts.
Since everything is dead, want to invoke BSOD via Right Ctrl / ScrLk / ScrLk on the USB keyboard
Can't do: it's not plugged in.
In desperation, plugged it in – immediately everything freed up!
The result of 'About' is displayed.
Launched Event Viewer. Nothing pertinent reported.

 

09:55 Restarted Windows
00:56 Ready
09:57 Launched UI (clicked icon in the notification area)
Clicked 'About'  Nothing happened.
09:59 Clicked 'About' again. Still nothing happened.
Closed UI
10:00 Launched UI (clicked icon in the notification area)
Clicked 'Logs' . It launched OK. with top entry highlighted
Clicked 'View details'
Sub-window launches, showing results of 'About', not of the top entry
10:02 Closed the sub-window
10:03 Highlighted another entry in the log list and clicked view details. Worked fine
10:05 Returned to the UI overview
Clicked 'Update now'
10:06 Update done.
10:07 Clicked 'Logs'
In the list, selected the update just done
Clicked View Details. Nothing happened
The UI window is locked. Can't move it on the desktop. Can't do anything.
10:10 Launched a program via its desktop shortcut
The UI 'thaws', launching a sub-window showing not the results of the update, but of 10:07
10:13 Closed the UI

Debug logs supplied cover the above.

One more thing: When a sub-window has been 'persuaded' to pop up by clicking another window or launching a program, only a bit of it is displayed sometimes. This appears to be an area that is the outline of the other window or that of the program launched.

Now, all this might just be something to do with my computers rather than a fault in EAM.  If so, I'd be grateful for any tips.

 

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I did a very simple and brief test, clicking Settings and then Advanced. a2guard is in action very little: now and then a brief flash of 1 - 4% but that's all. a2start uses CPU continually when in Settings: about 1 – 3%, most of the time exactly 1.92%. This is what I did:

Start Win
Launch UI but do nothing                                       a2start 1.5 – 3% continually, mainly 1.92%     a2guard zero
13:43 Click Settings                                                a2start 1.5 – 3% continually, mainly 1.92%     a2guard briefly 4%
13:45 Click Advanced – no response                  a2start 1.5 – 3% continually, mainly 1.92%     a2guard zero
13:48 Click PX then EAM still no response         a2start 1.5 – 3% continually, mainly 1.92%     a2guard zero
13:49 Get reply                                                         a2start 1.5 – 3% continually, mainly 1.92%     a2guard zero
Close UI

Then, a look at logs.

Start Win
Launch UI and do a Quick scan
14:15 Click Logs
Hightlight the scan and click View Details
No response                                                      a2start zero           a2guard zero
14:18 Click the Process Explorer window then the UI window and the reply pop-up appears!
           The 'other' window doesn't have to be PX:   Notepad, Windows Explorer - anything will do the trick.   

But look at the attached pop-up screenshot.   Note that the reply pop-up is not complete: only what overlays the window behind it (Process Explorer here). The rest can be coaxed out of hiding by moving the window behind, to increase the 'shadow', in this case moving Process Explorer right. Well, it's a workaround but it can be tricky with a cluttered desktop. If the whole pop-up can't be retrieved there's another problem: it has to be closed before anything else can be done and how to do that when neither the Close button nor the 'X' in the top right hand corner are accessable?

Two other observations:

  • When waiting for a reply from 'View details' the UI window is dead to the user. Can't move it on the desktop and can't close it.
  • It appears that the problems only occur when a new log entry is in the list, even if the 'View details' concerns an older entry. Once past the hurdle it seems to work normally, at least until next time Logs is invoked, even if there are no new entries. 

Sorry, I see that this is all a bit incoherent. But it's not easy to invoke and observe on one computer and at the same time document on another computer!  But perhaps it's of use.

The bottom line is that a2guard uses very little CPU and only briefly.   a2start uses CPU continually when in Settings - almost all the time 1.92% but almost nothing when trying to look at logs, even when waiting for a reply that should be instantaneous.

 

 

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On my W8.1 system, albeit on a fairly powerful laptop,  a2start typically shows 0.03% cpu.  Opening the logs and waiting while the display finds and displays stuff raises cpu to 0.25% for a second or two then it goes back to 0.03%.

Debug logging is permanently on, and like you I'm using version 2018.11.0.9073.

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@Alan_S my CPU usage for a2start.exe is higher (max around 9% and bounces between 0.1% and 4% while viewing settings). I don't think that this CPU usage is related to the problems, however I'll ask QA about it.

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Just taken a look at it and it's a bit different.  With Settings  selected, but not doing anything to change etc. a2start is taking a bit more -  changing continually between less than 1 up to 7%.  But there's still lots of CPU left!

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On 12/7/2018 at 10:00 AM, Alan_S said:

09:47 Couldn't move the mouse cursor to the taskbar. Nor launch any of the desktop shortcuts.
Since everything is dead, want to invoke BSOD via Right Ctrl / ScrLk / ScrLk on the USB keyboard
Can't do: it's not plugged in.
In desperation, plugged it in – immediately everything freed up!

Sorry, I missed this earlier.

This sort of weird behavior makes me think the system needs a BIOS update. If it's an ASUS motherboard, check and see if it has EZ Flash, as this will allow you to flash the BIOS directly from the BIOS, and removes most of the risk associated with the procedure.

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Regarding my post above "Just taken a look at it and it's a bit different."  Of course it's different!  I was looking at it on my other computer (the Dell).  The HP is still as in my previous experiment.  It's a little bit faster than the Dell.  Sorry, I wasn't paying attention but it's getting a bit late this side of the pond!

As to the motherboards.  Neither are Asus.  Speccy says the manufacturers are Dell and HP respecively.  Both machines are ancient.  The Dell is from November 2007 and there is no newer BIOS.  The HP is from 2010.  Perhaps the installed BIOS is not the best, but the problem surfaced with build 9073.  The UI worked fine previously.  There appears to be a couple of slightly newer versions but I don't understand (on the HP site) which would be correct.  To be honest I'm loathe to attempt an update it as once it's changed, it seems there's no going back.     

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EAM does make use of DirectX, however I've been told it uses DirectX 11. DirectX 10 and newer are bundled with Windows and only updated via Windows Update (there's no downloadable installer for them like there was with DirectX 9 and older), so as long as the latest Windows Updates are installed you should have the latest version of DirectX that your version of Windows supports. Microsoft has a list of what versions of DirectX come with each version of Windows and how to update them at the following link:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/179113/how-to-install-the-latest-version-of-directx

That being said, any program that opens hooks to applications using DirectX, OpenGL, and Vulkan API's could potentially cause problems. Screen recording software and software that draws a framerate counter in games are examples of software that might do this.

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Apologies for the belated response - been a bit busy.  In Windows 7, the basic DirectX support is version 11.0. Apparently, the full version of 11.1 is supported by Win 8.1 but https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/chuckw/2012/11/13/directx-11-1-and-windows-7/ says that “Portions of the 'DirectX 11.1 Runtime' are being made available on Windows 7 Service Pack 1 via the Platform Update for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (KB 2670838)”   https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2670838/platform-update-for-windows-7-sp1-and-windows-server-2008-r2-sp1 describes what KB2670838 does.

KB2670838 was installed January 25th 2016.  And that seems to be as good as it gets unless I upgrade to Win 8.1 or Win 10. 

But the UI worked perfectly until  2018.11.0.9073.

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Some upcoming changes may fix this, however we won't know for certain until there's a beta that you can try.

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Some good news and some sad news.

The good news is that the UI response failure I reported right at the beginning has been fixed by version 2019.2.0.9269

The sad news is that it hasn't fixed the 'overlay' problem - see above post of December 9, 2018.

I've looked into this further and narrowed it down:

The issue seems to concern the 'Logs' section, when selecting 'View Details' for an entry that will cause the daughter pane to have a scrollbar. In practice this only appears to be the case for an 'Updates' entry.

The following will demonstrate the problem:

  • Launch the UI by clicking the EAM icon in the notification area, a.k.a. system tray.
     
  • Click the blue 'Logs' box (not the sidebar icon).
     
  • Mark an 'Update' entry in the list presented and click 'View Details'. The daughter pane is not launched and the UI is unresponsive, presumably waiting until the (invisible) daughter pane is closed.
     
  • There's probably a window behind the UI. Click this and then click the UI window. The part of the daughter pane that overlays the window behind the UI now appears - see post of December 9, 2018.  I mention this simply as something that might aid fault finding. In practice it's superfluous.

 

  • To display the whole daughter pane, click any window on the desktop (start something if the UI was all that was on the desktop) and swipe it over the UI. Magic! .

And a couple of observations:

  • The issue only occurs one time per UI launch. Having once got it working, other entries launch the daughter pane correctly.
  • It only seems to occur when launching 'Logs' by clicking the blue box and appears to work properly if launched from the sidebar.

Now, I realise that this problem is a bit esoteric and that indeed, the vast majority never look at the logs. And, you may ask, “What's he whinging about? He's found two ways to bypass the problem”. True, but others might not be so tenacious in delving into it and most would simply give up. Also, although I can't find any case other than the above, who knows? And what might lie in wait in the future?

Look at it as a suggestion to improve the product. Surely it ought to be relatively simple to fix?

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I tend to just double-click on the Update entry when I want to see it Alan.

I tend to do that with all the entries in the Forensic logs.

Does it work for you?

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Thanks for the tip!   But unless you mean other logs than those I was talking about above, no - it's the same.  Still, now I've discovered that launching from the sidebar doesn't give the problem I'll use that until a fix surfaces.   

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17 hours ago, Alan_S said:

The issue seems to concern the 'Logs' section, when selecting 'View Details' for an entry that will cause the daughter pane to have a scrollbar. In practice this only appears to be the case for an 'Updates' entry.

I tried following your steps, and I wasn't able to reproduce this. That being said, I also have a different version of EAM installed (it's a testing build based on 2019.1).

I'll ask QA about the issue. Maybe one of them can reproduce it. While we wait for them, would it be possible to get debug logs for the issue? Or did you already send them?

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I've sent you some logs by PM.

Perhaps the reason you couldn't reproduce it was Windows.  I doubt you are using Win 7 32 bit...  Having said that, I've found that sometimes, very rarely, It does work OK for me so perhaps you were in luck!

Oh yes, as I've mentioned in 'notes' in the material I sent, I've since discovered that the issue can also occur on log list entries that will try to launch a daughter window that doesn't have a sidebar. 

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Sorry, a

14 hours ago, Alan_S said:

Oh yes, as I've mentioned in 'notes' in the material I sent, I've since discovered that the issue can also occur on log list entries that will try to launch a daughter window that doesn't have a sidebar. 

Sorry, the above should read  "... try to launch a daughter window that doesn't have a scrollbar. "

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