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Crash, exit or high CPU when viewing certain directories


#1

See also:

Summary:

This FAQ helps you if Directory Opus crashes, exits or uses high CPU when you view a certain folder or folders containing certain types of files. These problems are usually caused by bugs in 3rd party components and this FAQ contains steps for finding and disabling the faulty component.*

Known Issues:

  • See also: Shell extensions which are blocked by default

  • Windows 10 Fall Creators Update:

    A bug in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update can cause Windows to constantly refresh thumbnails and slowing down Opus (and other programs) a great deal. A fix which has worked for people affected by this comes from a Microsoft Community thread:

    • Open RegEdit.exe.
    • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Thumbnail Cache.
    • Change the Autoruns REG_DWORD value from 1 to 0.
    • Reboot your computer.

    Another issue with Windows 10 updates is they have a history of overwriting good, working hardware drivers with old, broken ones, or drivers for the wrong hardware. Checking that your drivers are correct and up-to-date, from the manufacturer's website, is recommended. (GPU, network, chipset/motherboard and storage drivers are the ones most likely to affect Opus.)

  • Old versions of Icaros (part of K-Lite codec pack):

    New versions of Icaros are a complete re-write and have been reported to work great now.

    Old versions of the Icaros shell extension had been reported to cause several issues within Opus. If you have Icaros or K-Lite installed, please make sure they are up to date.

  • Cloud Storage tools (Google Drive, OneDrive, Bitcasa, etc.):

    We've had a few reports of crashes due to shell extensions which are part of Bitcasa, Google Drive, and other cloud storage tools. If you're experiencing crashes and have those or similar tools installed, it might make sense to try disabling their shell extensions using ShellExView (see below) as a first step. They aren't always the cause of problems, but it seems they are often enough that you may save time by focusing on them first.

  • Acronis TrueImage:

    Some versions of TrueImage cause various problems in both Opus and Explorer. If you have TrueImage installed, try using ShellExView to disable all of its shell extensions and then reboot and try what you were having problems with before, to see if they were involved.

  • LibreOffice:

    If you add the PageCount column which is supplied by the LibreOffice shell extension, then go into a folder containing a PDF file, older versions of Opus may crash or exit.

    Directory Opus 10.1.0.2 and above automatically blacklist the LibreOffice shell extension to avoid this problem.

  • Alcohol:

    There have been reports from a couple of users that the Alcohol CD writing/mounting software can cause Opus to crash when viewing directories with ISO files in them. If you have Alcohol installed and the crash only seems to happen with directories containing .iso files, try disabling the related shell extensions to see if they were involved.

Notes:

  • Right-click Context Menus: If you are experiencing problems when opening right-click context menus, rather than when viewing directories, then you should read the separate FAQ entry about that issue.

  • Definition of "high CPU": When this page says "high CPU" it means that something running inside of Opus has become stuck in a loop using as much CPU as it can get on a single CPU thread and doesn't stop until you exit or terminate the program. You'll see approximately 100% CPU usage on a single-core system, 50% a dual-core, 25% on a quad-core, and so on.

Isolating the cause:

If you experience crashes, apparently spontaneous exits, or high CPU usage when you open a Directory Opus window and point it to certain folders or folders containing certain types of files then the problem is likely caused by an Explorer shell extension, a video codec or an Opus viewer plugin that is going wrong because of the contents of one of the files in the directory.

Note that, depending on the columns you have showing, shell extensions, video codecs and viewer plugins can be called in all view modes. Opus may call on them to extract information from the files even if you are not viewing them or generating thumbnails for them.

You can usually diagnose this problem in two ways:

  1. Work out which file is causing the crash:

    Shortcuts to items on unreachable network folders can often cause delays so check for them first.

    If there are only a few files in the problematic directory, or only a few different types of files, then you may find it quicker to isolate the different files/types into separate directories, then see if you still experience a crash when Opus views the directories individually.

    Once you narrow things down to a particular type of file it may point you towards the faulty plugin or extension.

  2. Work out which plugin or extension is causing the crash:

    Viewer plugins and shell extensions are usually involved with crashes (etc.) when viewing particular directories. These may come with Opus but most often come as part of other software.

    These days, shell extensions are more likely to cause problems than viewer plugins, but viewer plugins are much quicker and easier to test so it still makes sense to rule them out first.

    Viewer plugins:

    Go to Preferences / Viewer / Viewer Plugins and make a note of the plugins which are currently enabled (so you can restore them later).

    A good first bet is to try disabling the Movie plugin. If you find this cures your problem then the issue is likely due to a bad video codec installed on your system. (You should be very careful when installing video codecs, or codec packs, as they can clash with each other and some versions of video codecs are very buggy.)

    You may also find the separate Problems with AVI Files FAQ useful.

    If you're still having problems then try disabling all of the other plugins. If this fixes it then you should try re-enabling them until you've worked out which one is at fault.

    Shell extensions:

    Shell extensions are a type of plugin that work with both Explorer and Opus. When they go wrong they can crash either program, although they may only crash one or the other due to slight differences between the two (as well as the fact that while all shell extension authors test using Explorer, only some perform additional tests using Opus).

    You can use a tool called ShellExView to see which extension are on your computer and try disabling some of them. (Disabling extensions via ShellExView is supported by Opus 10 and above, but not earlier versions.)

    A good first step is to try disabling (or uninstalling, if they are unwanted) any non-Microsoft extensions. This is especially true for any extensions which may interact with the network or with video/audio files, e.g. ones which talk to source-control servers or "cloud" storage services. The extensions mentioned in the Known Issues list above are also worth disabling at the start of your search, in case they are causing you problems as they have many others.

    After disabling extensions, it is best to reboot (or at least exit Opus, but don't just close all the Opus windows -- it continues to run in the background by default -- you need to fully exit Opus) in case they had already been loaded before they were disabled.

    Some Microsoft shell extensions may also be worth disabling (and occasionally cause problems), especially ones which are part of products like Office rather than part of Windows itself. But even ones that are part of Windows have caused problems in the past, especially with Windows 10.

    If the problems go away with most of the extensions disabled, you can then try enabling some of them again to see if you can narrow down the problem to a particular extension. It's sometimes quicker to do this in batches, e.g. re-enable half the extensions and see if the problem comes back; if it does, you know the problem extension is in that half; if it doesn't, it's probably in the other half.

    If you do find a problematic component, see if there's an update or hotfix for the piece of software it's a part of. It's often (though obviously not always) the case that such problems have already been fixed by the software vendor and you just have to work out which thing needs updating.

If you track down your problem to a particular file, plugin or shell extension then please report it via these forums (and to the authors of any involved 3rd party component, if applicable) to help anyone else who is using it, and in case a fix or workaround can be developed.

Crash dump investigation:

If you cannot find the cause using the methods above, and the problem is a full crash, then there should be a crash dump corresponding to the time of each crash.

We'll only look at crash dumps from people with linked accounts. Please start a thread if you wish to send them to us, with details of what's going wrong and what you have tried already, and we can advise further.


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