View Full Version : Stability

Ralph Edington
2005-01-11, 14:55
My SBox is wired ethernet to the server via a Linksys BESFR41 switch. SBox
goes to receiver via Toslink digital.

There's lots of processes on the server. It's a WinXp Pro box, firewall
turned OFF, SP2. I rebuilt this box about a month ago from scratch, so it's
a clean as a Windows box can be. I could list all the programs I have
installed, but I'm not sure why any of them would cause the SBox to need a
hard power-off reset in order to function.

I'm currently running slimserver 5.4.1 nightly from 1/6/2004.

I have made a special point to reschedule or disable scheduled tasks such as
backup and antivirus updates during the night; there should be nothing
happening during the night other than the Slim process running, which is why
the overnight test is the fairest I can think of. I'm not running any
heinous screensavers or anything. I'm not really concerned about crashes
during the day, as I bang on my server/workstation a fair amount during the
day, and am not surprised if it crashes while I'm doing some kind of
high-CPU or high-disk activity.

Server has 512 MB ram. I have seen the slim process ranging from roughly
40-80 MB ram. it does seem to climb, although I haven't charted it exactly.
After a fresh restart just now, slim.exe is at 44 MB. Just before the
restart, slim.exe was up to 61 MB.

My library has 2414 songs in it right now. However, last night it crashed
and hung while playing a Shoutcast radio station.

I can see no events in the event log except System messages about the
service restarting and stopping normally. EXCEPT -- there are a total of two
7034 messages about Slimserver service terminating unexpectedly. However,
neither of these correlate with last night's BSOD and this morning's need to
hard-reset the SBox. As far as I can tell, this morning, the slimserver
service was already working fine -- the SBox just needed a hard reset in
order to communicate with the server.

As I say, software hangs are one thing -- but I sure would like to eliminate
the need for power-off hard resets on the SBox itself. That's a little

How sensitive is the SBox to power fluctuations? What is Slim Devices
recommending for spike/surge protection? What is the community using? I
have the SBox plugged into some kind of surge strip, along with my Tivo and
other entertainment equipment, but perhaps the SBox is just more sensitive
than all my other equipment. Power fluctuations are the only thing I can
think of that could whack the SBox and require a hard reset. Has anyone in
the community solved a stability problem by installing a better surge/spike
protection system?

Any help is appreciated!

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com]On Behalf Of Jason
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 12:19 PM
To: 'Slim Devices Discussion'
Subject: [slim] Stability

How is the box connected, wireless or hard wired (what is the complete
network topology from the server to the Squeezebox)? What other processes
are running on the server? How much RAM does the server have and does the
amount of available memory decrease the longer the Slim software is running?

Are there any messages in the windows event viewer about the server

From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Ralph Edington
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 1:11 PM
To: Slim Devices Discussion
Subject: [slim] Stability

Since I got my first Squeezebox about a week ago, I've been trying to
"stress test" its stability and reliability. I've been doing things like
leaving a radio station or playlist playing all night. So far, the results
are not good. I don't think it's made it through a single night.

Night before last, the Squeezebox went to the dreaded "black screen of
death". Upon checking my server (Windows, slim 5.4.1, hardwired to SBox),
the slimserver process was running away with the CPU, and I had to manually
"kill" the slim.exe process -- it wouldn't shut down normally.

This morning, after awaking to the BSOD again, the server looked fine,
but I restarted it anyway. No good, SBox won't communicate with the server.
Manually shut down slim.exe, restarted it -- SBox still can't talk to the
server. The only thing that worked was unplugging power from the SBox and
running through the setup again, which finally brought it back to life.
That particular problem has happened at least twice in one week, possibly
more, I can't remember.

So, I'm confused as to whether this might be a software, hardware or
firmware problem.

If this is a software problem, then I don't really care. I'm sure we'll
all be going through so many versions and builds that somewhere along the
line y'all will knock this problem out.

However, I'm concerned about the lockups that require a "hard reset" of
the SBox. That would seem to be a shortcoming in hardware or firmware, and
a more serious problem.

I'm open to suggestions. I'm trying to not just complain here. Any
debug things I should turn on and check out/send in? Should I keep a log of
failures and symptoms? Is this kind of thing happening to everyone? I'm
willing to do any troubleshooting or debugging that I can, in order to help
resolve these stability issues.

Any ideas?



2005-01-11, 15:20
Quoting Ralph Edington <ralph (AT) edington (DOT) com>:

> My library has 2414 songs in it right now. However, last night it crashed
> and hung while playing a Shoutcast radio station.

Shoutcast stations do seem to come and go. I wonder if teh station went offline
while you were playing. The squeezebox does, in some cases, seem to have an
problem when an internet link is inaccessible. I know that on startup, if you
cant reach the update server, it can take a long time to give up trying.
Trying to access the shoutcast website has sometimes locked me up for a 'long
time' (read: more than my patience would take so I restarted the server).