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Thread: Windows 7 + MediaLab v2008.1.33c = freeze?

  1. #1

    Windows 7 + MediaLab v2008.1.33c = freeze?

    Hi,
    I'm having some problems with MediaLab 2008, and I'm really stumped. I just
    ordered and installed 4 site licenses. I can get Media Lab to work beautifully on my own computer -- ironically, a MacBook Pro running Bootcamp. It's running Windows 7 Ultimate, 64bit, and I'm having no trouble with it at all.

    My lab laptops are another matter. We have brand new Lenovo laptops, running Windows 7 Home Premium. We have installed media lab on the machines, gotten the keys from you, and entered them successfully. We can
    open up a .exp file and see the all the items in the experiment (i.e., it looks totally normal) the same is true for the .que files (they look totally normal) . But we can't run .exps or .que's (as a single questionnaire). If we try to do so, media lab tries to launch the experiment but all we see is a gray screen and the computer just hangs. We can only break out of it by using the task manager. It sounds like other folks have had problems along those lines and we tried what was suggested and nothing's worked.

    I'm completely stumped -- I've used MediaLab for 7 years and have been the primary person for managing software in my lab, and I never had anything like this happen before. I'm guessing it's a Windows 7 issue -- I'm used to
    running Media Lab on machines with XP and never had problems like this before.

    Things we've done/tried/noticed:
    1) We ran the media lab installation as the administrator (we were both logged into an administrator account and selected the "run as administrator" option when we opened the install .exe)
    2) We made sure media lab would be available to all users
    3) We uninstalled and reinstalled
    4) We restarted the computer
    5) We verified that the medialab.exe file properties are set to give all of the user accounts on the machine full control of over the program (so all users can read and write and then some)
    6) We tried running medialab in compatibility mode for XP (service pack 3)
    7) We also noticed that when we open medialab we get asked whether we want to allow the program to make changes to the computer (this doesn't happen on my machine where media lab is working fine & i've no clue whether or not it's relevant to the problem).

    I'd really appreciate your help -- I just don't know what else to try and/or what the problem might be.

    Many thanks!
    Kristen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    3

    Same Problem

    Hi, we are having the same problem as well. Our lab just got new LENOVO desktop 64-bit Professional computers with Windows 7 on them and we installed Media Lab 2008 1.33c and Direct RT version 2008 that works with Windows 7 compatability this fall. We have been experiencing a crashing/screen goes blank problem that is similar to others had before the 1.33c fix that I was reading about on another thread. The difference, however, is that it does not happen after 150 responses, it seems to happen at random times during the session. We are running two different experiments in our lab and both experiments are having the same problem in all conditions and on all 4 computers that our lab has. Sometimes the problem happens 4-5 minutes into the experiment, and other times it happens in the middle, or with only 5-6 questions before the end. When the screen goes blank we need to use the task manager to break out of Media Lab as well.

    We toggled the windows xp compatability mode in the properties for medialab, but there has been no change in frequency of crashing in the last 3 days. We tried to use windows XP mode to run the media lab out of, but the application within xp mode prompted us to license those versions as well, as if they were running on a different computer.

    We were wondering if there was a fix that we could install for the crashing problem in Windows 7. Alternatively, we were wondering if we can't get this issue fixed, if there was a way to import our license on media lab over to the xp mode version on the computers, or receive codes from the sales department that would work in that fashion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    3,318
    First off Kristenlindgren--five stars (or 200 points, you can pick) for your initiative in trouble shooting this--you've clearly got a grip on how we get started on issues like this!! Can I ask that you try one last thing before we go deeper--does this happen with the samples that come with MediaLab (e.g., like the simple self-esteem questionnaire)? Also, the "making changes" question I think is inconsequential--we've been seeing it with many programs now running on Windows 7.

    Elair2007, if you take the simple sample that comes with ML and run it over and over again, can you get the same error?

    In both cases, we're trying to see here if it is something about MediaLab on these systems, or an interaction of the systems and the experimental content.

    Blair

  4. #4
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    Nov 2005
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    Bonus question for all here--anybody happen to be including videos in their designs here? I ask because the 2008.1.33c install package (vs. the 2008.1.33 install package) involved changes exclusively regarding video usage. In the older version, playback was eating memory in Vista and Windows7 and causing crashes so we re-wrote the code that plays videos (via a file called eVideo.ocx). Other than that there were virtually no changes in the packages. Just another potential piece of the puzzle.

  5. #5
    Hi Blair,
    The samples do not work -- weirdly enough, they worked initially on one machine -- i.e., when we first installed Media Lab. And then they stopped working (i.e., within 20 minutes of installation and trying to test experiments I've used in my old lab). On one of the other machines, the samples didn't work at all. We're not using any video in the experiments.
    Thanks for your help.
    Best,
    Kristn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    3

    Sample Crashed

    Hi Blair,

    The sample experiment file crashed after only a few run thrus and we had to use task manager to quit out but did not have to restart windows (we used sample 3 in our test). In regard to your other question about experiment content, we are currently running two different experiments, one has videos and one does not, but both have experienced this crashing problem. The videos have worked well for the most part, since we have toggled the enhanced video setting. We have had one problem with only audio playing and no video, but that was only once and may have been a fluke.

    Best,

    Elicia

  7. #7
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    Nov 2005
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    Supremely useful to know that the samples are showing the same problem--nice to rule out any experiment specific causes. Thank you both. This clearly seems for what both of you have reported that this is a different issue than the old 150 item limit issue supposedly fixed with the 2008.1.33c release. So..

    Elair2007, with regard to moving your licenses to XP machines, that is no problem at all. Just send John an email to service@ and let him know what you need (no cost of course for this). This goes for you too Kristen if that would offer a short term fix for you.

    Elair2007 and Kristen, do either of you happen to have a NON-Lenovo machine (other than your MacBook Pro, Kristen) with Windows 7? We can get you license codes if you want to try it out on them. It would be very useful to know that there is some v2008 x Lenovo, 2-way interaction happening here. If that's the case, it would be helpful to see the dxdiag.txt files from one of each of your Lenovo machines that are crashing. Lenovo makes good machines--I'm quite curious and eager to see this resolved for you.

    Please let us know if there is ANY thing else we can do to help in the short term such as getting you codes to use on other machines immediately so that you don't get held up in running your subjects.

    Blair
    Last edited by jarvis24; 10-20-2010 at 02:32 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    3,318
    One other question--Elair, how has your experience been with using the Windows7 compatible version of DirectRT?

  9. #9
    Hi Blair,

    We finally had to have our dept IT person re-image the machines. there was something really wonky about them (they are Lenovo laptops). at the moment, things are going okay with MediaLab since the machines are re-imaged. The real test will be later this week when we pull together the experimetns for a draft, etc.

    I did have one additional question in the interim. Is there a way to lock the screen temporarily at the end of the experiment? Specifically, we're going to be calling up a single item questionnaire at the very end of the experiment -- it consists only of an instruction item and presents a code (based on a calculated variable from a responses.xls file) that our experimenter needs to see. I'd like to "freeze" that last page (really, figure out a way to disable the continue button termporarily) to insure that the participant can exit out of media lab... Is there any way to do that? I don't care what the format of the item is -- just that it stays on the screen!

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    A newer version may resolve these freezing issues in Windows 7. We were able to replicate the freeze on one of our own Windows 7 machines and this fix (revised version Nov 3, 2010) was able to get things back to normal and running smoothly--and also fixed some video issues that were popping up (e.g., videos not appearing or not continuing to the next item upon completion).

    The link to the update is www.empirisoft.com/download_old.aspx

    Please let me know if it helps!
    Blair

    PS., Kristen, take a look at the "x" parameter in the users guide. It allows you to turn an ordinary instruction item into a secure password screen. For an instruction item, e.g., adding the parameter (xcat) will require the password "cat" to continue. You can also set a global password for all experiments in the MediaLab Preferences section for versions 2008 and later. You can also search on "password" in these forums and I expect you can find more discussion of this vs custom html passwords and passwords via Advanced Features. The x parameter is WAAAY easiest.
    Last edited by jarvis24; 03-08-2011 at 08:17 PM.

  11. #11
    FANTASTIC!! Thanks, Blair!
    kpl

  12. #12
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    Nov 2005
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    Update: Windows 7 users maybe have better luck with the installation package ml2008.1.33e, see the more recent posts on this thread:

    http://www.empirisoft.com/support/sh...ad.php?p=15662

    If that doesn't solve any remaining Windows 7 issues you have, v2010 seems to be running well on XP, Vista and Windows 7. Note that XP users are encouraged to use v2010 or the older "non-lettered" ml2008.1.33 installation packages (also discussed in the above link).
    Last edited by jarvis24; 03-08-2011 at 08:21 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1

    Windows 7 + Media Lab 2008.133e crash/freeze

    Hi,

    I was reading this thread and we are having a similar problem with the updated version of MediaLab 2008 that we just loaded on 2 dell laptops with Windows 7. We are having problems running the experiment without freezing. If the experiment is shorter, it will go through without crashing. But, if it is a longer questionnaire it will freeze every time towards the end of the experiment on a blue screen and not continue onto the next question. The voice file will play for the question but no words will appear on the screen. The experiment will freeze in different spots depending on how many questions are answered and we will have to use Task Manager to exit.

    We have multiple other computers in our lab that are running MediaLab 2008 with Windows XP and they work perfectly every time. We have also loaded this experiment onto 2 laptops that have Windows XP and MediaLab 2008 and it runs without crashing.

    1) We made sure media lab is available to all users
    2) We uninstalled and reinstalled Media lab
    3) We restarted the computer
    4) We uninstalled MediaLab and downloaded the updated version MediaLab v2008.133e (compatible with Vista and Windows 7)
    5) We ran MediaLab in compatibility mode with Windows XP (service pack 3)

    However, none of these things have fixed the problem. Is there anything else we can do? Would switching our operating system to XP fix this problems? Also, our IT service department would like to know if Medialab need folder excluded within McAfee?

    Thanks so much,
    Sarah
    Last edited by jarvis24; 07-15-2011 at 01:54 PM.

  14. #14
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    Nov 2005
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    This was fixed in the 2010 release. With some changes in the Windows OS, v2008 (and some early releases of v2010) would not be able to get past a certain number of items (e.g., ~150). With the current release of v2010, I don't believe we have seen another instance of this issue occur. I do think you can roll back to XP as a solution for v2008.33 (i.e., as opposed to slicing up your experiment into two chunks).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    75
    UPDATE - APRIL 3, 2013 (see parent case 1159)

    If you are seeing a blank screen when you first start ANY MediaLab experiment or questionnaire--including any of the samples--this may be the fix..

    We just finished a remote session with a user having this problem using MediaLab v2012 on Windows 7. Turns out the problem was that the Windows Media Player was deactivated in the set of Windows Features. When we turned it back on, all worked great. Here's how you do it:

    1. Open Control Panel -> Programs and Features.
    2. Click "Turn Windows features on or off" in the left pane.
    3. Expand "Media Features", check "Windows Media Player". Click "Yes" to continue, and click OK to quit. Then Restart.
    4. Launch Windows Media Player to ensure it's installed and running ok

    Or, to try unloading and reloading the Windows Media Player:

    1. Open Control Panel -> Programs and Features.
    2. Click "Turn Windows features on or off" in the left pane.
    3. Expand "Media Features", uncheck "Windows Media Player". Click "Yes" to continue, and click OK to quit. Then Restart.
    4. Open "Turn Windows features on or off" again. Turn on the features "Windows Media Player" and "Windows Media Center". Restart.
    5. Launch Windows Media Player to insure it's running ok.
    Last edited by jarvis; 04-12-2013 at 06:21 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    10

    Same problem but with Direct RT (case 13006)

    We are just getting our lab computers upgraded to Windows 7.
    We are having the identical problems as listed here for MediaLab, but with Direct-RT. About half the time the experiment will run all the way through. Half the time it randomly freezes and requires us to escape the program.
    Was there ever a fix for this?
    Thanks, Lori in Florida
    Last edited by jason_reed; 02-21-2014 at 06:08 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,088
    Lori,

    Are you able to successfully run any of the input files in the Samples folder on your computer with Windows 7?
    Jason Reed
    Empirisoft Software Support Specialist

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