Sorry to hear about your problem. It sounds a particularly nasty one.
Here are some thoughts:
For what its worth, no-one else has reported anything like this to me so
far; nor has it cropped up on the Mailing List.
Even if the problem only happens when you run Family Historian, that does
not necessarily mean that F.H. is at fault, and actually I doubt if it is.
Windows 2000 is based on the Windows NT stream of code, as you may know. It
is designed to be a proper multi-tasking system. Each application runs in
its own 'virtual machine' which means that theoretically, however badly
behaved F.H. might be, and whatever it did, it should never be able to cause
your machine, or your mouse, to freeze; or make the Task Manager
inaccessible. Even if F.H. itself froze (which could happen if it was badly
behaved), that should never affect any other application, or the operating
system (e.g the Task bar), the Task manager or the mouse.
The fact that you have a dual processor sounds possibly significant, but its
not at all obvious why anything F.H. does should be affected by that. F.H.
rarely uses more than one 'thread' of execution (dual processors can run
different threads on different processors), so it is not likely to behave
differently on a dual processor machine. Certainly, when you resize the
diagram window, only one thread will be running at that time.
When a PC freezes (esp. an NT-based version of Windows like Windows 2000),
the most likely culprit (I would guess) is the graphics driver. Graphics
drivers, if they fail, always have the power to cause your machine to
freeze - there's no way round that however sophisticated the operating
system is. Even if the problem always happens at the same time in the same
way, its still likely to be the graphics driver (assuming, that is, that its
not a hardware fault - which is also possible). I had a problem with the
graphics driver on my laptop (running XP) which would consistently cause the
laptop to hang in repeatable circumstances with certain applications (not
including Family Historian incidentally), doing mundane things like
scrolling in a particular way (press and hold on the down arrow). When I
rebooted, XP always reported that the fault was caused by the graphics
driver. I updated the graphics drivers (when new ones became available) and
(touch wood) the problem appears to be fixed.
You say that you have the latest drivers for your graphics card. How new is
the card? It could be that even though you have the latest drivers, the
latest ones are still early versions, and some wrinkles have not yet been
Since writing all of the above, a further thought has struck me. The only
thing of any significance that F.H. does when you resize a Diagram Window is
to redraw the diagram in the Window. It will do this repeatedly while you
move the window. Diagrams tend to be complex and involve a very large
number of drawing instructions being sent to the operating system (and hence
to the graphics driver). My guess is that either the processor, or the
graphics driver, or the two in combination, are somehow overwhelmed by the
no. of draw instructions coming in. If that's right, there is a fault of
some kind either relating to the processors, or to the graphics driver, or
both (applications are not supposed to have pace their draw instructions,
and in any case, the speed of these are mainly determined by the operating
system in these cases). If I were you, I would talk to the manufacturer's
of the graphics card, and the manufacturer's of the main board (with the
dual processors). The problem has got to lie somewhere between the two of
them, I'd say. Its possible that the graphics driver is OK in most
circumstances, but flakey when run on a dual-processor machine. I don't
----- Original Message -----
From: Bob Margolis <bob.margolis(a)ntlworld.com>
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2003 9:04 AM
Subject: [FHU] Freezing (FH 2.0.7)
Thank you to all who responded to my original question. At Jane
suggestion, the following is a description of the symptom and system, for
Situation: Any standard diagram displayed (not maximised). Diagram child
window resized by dragging bottom-right corner.
Symptom: Program freezes (and mouse cursor retains dragging shape when
moved) followed 3--5 seconds later by total
freeze. (No blue screen, just a freeze.) Task manager inaccessible by
either of the usual methods in Win2k.
System: Win 2000 pro, SP3 and all fixes up to day of writing; 2 x PIII/800
(genuine Intel); 768MB ram, plenty of disk space. ATI
board with latest drivers. No modem.
Other Software: No other applications running. Sophos AV (latest) is
*always* running. No firewall (on separate
machine). No MS-Office toolbar (a notorious interferer with things!)
The only "different" feature is that dual processor machines are rare.
To join Ancestry.com
and access our 1.2 billion online genealogy records,