[Solved] Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

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[Solved] Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby hogwaump » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:55 pm

I have been using 4.1.4 for a while now, with few problems. Just the other day it started crashing unexpectedly with files open, ones that have been working fine all along, losing recent edits/additions. I installed 4.1.5, trying to solve the problem, and found that a workaround appears to have been included; it often saves the changes and successfully reloads the file in question, but sometimes that fails. I have renamed my user folder and let 4.1.5 create a new one, all to no avail. Any suggestions would be very welcome.
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: tagged [Solved].
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:01 pm

Try starting Windows in Safe mode and running OO in that mode. If crashing is cured, you need to find which application that runs in Windows normal mode is causing the crashing.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby John_Ha » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:30 pm

hogwaump wrote:I installed 4.1.5 ... and found that a workaround appears to have been included

4.1.5 did not make any changes like that. Any change you saw would have been because you deleted you old, customised profile and created a new default profile.

Are you running Windows Defender as it could be causing problems.

Strange problems are sometimes fixed by resetting the profile - see Resetting the user profile but I see you have done that.

Is there any particular file which always crashes? a large one? One with lots of graphics? tables? references? footnotes? endnotes? recorded changes? A .doc? a .docx? a .rtf?

If you have a file which always crashes upload it for analysis.
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Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby hogwaump » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:44 pm

RoryOF wrote:Try starting Windows in Safe mode and running OO in that mode. If crashing is cured, you need to find which application that runs in Windows normal mode is causing the crashing.


Thank you, will try that. So this must not be a known common problem then. I did run all my tools to uncover/remove unwanted software, but could be something else.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:47 pm

Recently there have been reports (all on Win 10?) of a recent Windows upgrade installing or enabling Windows Defender. The fix is to tell Windows Defender to trust OO.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby hogwaump » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:18 pm

John_Ha wrote:
hogwaump wrote:Are you running Windows Defender . . . Is there any particular file which always crashes? a large one? One with lots of graphics? tables? references? footnotes? endnotes? recorded changes? A .doc? a .docx? a .rtf? If you have a file which always crashes upload it for analysis.


Windows Defender is turned off. I run Malwarebytes with RT protection, also SuperAntiSpyware, but with RT protection turned off.

I have made files with many images & wrapping text, but haven't edited any for a long while. They never caused any real problems.

Almost all of my OO files are ODT text, but sometimes I need a Calc file as well. My present project involves a fictional native tribe with a fictional language. I created a calc file to build a small translation dictionary. The pronunciations can't be rendered well in ordinary Latin characters, so there are many such as ä and è, etc, in that one, and sprinkled throughout the various ODTs. This is a recent change; I had been doing this with inserted punctuation and normal characters, but I recently decided to buy WordWeb pro to create a glossary so my definitions can be popped up at any time from within most software, including OO. Its import process could not handle the punctuation, and my original method was clumsy. So, WordWeb also could be the source of my problem, but what about OO?
I have a matching OO custom dictionary for this language. I know the autocorrect and and right-click spelling suggestions don't handle these words very well. Also, in all the craziness of trying to mate all these features of OO and WordWeb together, I have been directly editing the OO custom dictionary. At some point, OO writer lost track of the dictionary, no longer listed in Language Settings->Writing Aids. I've edited wordbook files before, many times, but never any with such strange words. I could see absolutely nothing wrong with the Wordbook file, but I couldn't get OO to link it in again. So I created a new dictionary of a similar name, killed the old one and let OO recreate it from scratch. Since then I've been adding words via right-click within a document. So far, this seems to be working. Perhaps not incidentally, my problems with OO coincided somewhat with this conversion effort. Any known problems with using odd characters in OO or editing wordbook files directly? Also, I have a custom dictionary for each genre of work, and a number more for jargon, technical terms, names & places, etc. The list of custom dictionaries is fairly long now; could that be an issue?

I will try disabling WordWeb Pro and see what happens. The free version had been working very well for quite a long time, but Pro may have a problem with extended-ASCII characters, or just an overrun bug or some such. Written in C++, easy to make those mistakes. Some few of my words are rather long. Kunämedätonähaè, for example, and Dishiräkumagäkahe. Also, the 'p' in NṖikanaòè, for example, cannot be directly entered via Microsoft's international English keyboard.

I will attach the old Tuntapi dictionary file from the OO wordbook folder, the one which I could not get OO to recognize. Maybe that will tell somebody something. If so, I surely would like to know. The original name was Tuntapi.dic; I renamed my various trial copies to ".dict" to keep OO from using them.

Starting Windows in safe mode is a very good suggestion but this machine has become erratic in other ways as well. I tried to do so, and it put me into the BIOS configuration tool, then later restarted in normal mode, despite my many F8s. Which makes me suspect that I may have acquired some kind of very clever malware that my scanners have not detected. At any rate, any observations and advice regarding the OO issues will be far more than welcome at this point.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:24 pm

If the machine is not stable in Safe Mode, that is the first problem to solve. A machine in Safe Mode should not crash or restart.

Check that your virus/malware definitions are the latest and run indepth scans (you can leave them run overnight if necessary)
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby hogwaump » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:26 pm

I don't see any evidence of an attachment to my above post. Trying again.

Tuntapi.txt
Wordbook folder of custom dictionary that OO did not recognize, renamed to Tuntapi.txt
(5.05 KiB) Downloaded 138 times
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby hogwaump » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:35 pm

RoryOF wrote:If the machine is not stable in Safe Mode, that is the first problem to solve. A machine in Safe Mode should not crash or restart.

Check that your virus/malware definitions are the latest and run indepth scans (you can leave them run overnight if necessary)


True, dat. This hardware has always been finicky about getting into safe mode without getting vectored off by the BIOS keystroke trap, leaving nothing for Windows to trigger on. Scans have been run but Malwarebytes no longer has an indepth mode. I do have scanning for rootkits turned on. I will start full-disk scans running tonight, with scanning archive files enabled.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:53 pm

I could not get OO to recognise your Tuntapi.dic. I then copied and pasted the content into a new blank dictionary fred.dic, which OO had recognised when blank. One again, it wouldn't recognise it. I then reduced fred.dic to about 40 entries, and it was now recognised. I made a brief check; with 490 lines and 245 lines (staying clear of 496 and 248 - magic numbers in computing) it was still not recognised. I suggest selecting a language for the dictionary which allows your diacritic characters; unless you are actually typing in that language you can adopt the fiction that you are working in that language, except with your dictionary substituted.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:21 pm

I created a new dictionary, called Harry, telling OO the language was Polish (as Polish has many funny characters - apologies to my Polish friends). I then pasted the content of Tuntapi.dic into Harry.dic and when I started OO, Harry.dic was there and editable.

Attached is a copy of Harry.txt - rename it to .dic and see if it works.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby hogwaump » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:27 pm

Thank you, RoryOF; I think we have a workable solution here.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:35 pm

It puzzles me: in English certain diacritical marks are allowed and used (less now than formerly) one can have dieresis, acute and grave marks and many others. I wonder if a special English dictionary composed of such words would have the same problem.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby hogwaump » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:15 pm

I tried using Polish and that seemed to work, but it turns out that a word set to Polish in the ODT text is not flagged as misspelled, regardless of content. Same for Slovenian, which was noted as compatible with 4.1.1. I've run into this problem with many other foreign language dictionaries. The only ones that I've found to work properly are Spanish (Spain), French (France) and Latin. The same thing happens if I set a bit of text to Spanish (Mexico). And then there's the problem of having to set each sprinkled word of Tuntapi in the text to a different language.

I'm trying something different, setting my newer working Tuntapi dictionary to English (USA) rather than the default All. So far so good.
What I'm more interested in now is the difference between my new Tuntapi dictionary versus the old one. There has to be a particular line somewhere in the old one that causes OO to reject it on startup. I'm going to try nitpicking through it, looking for anything that stands out. If I find it, I'll post it.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby RoryOF » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:22 pm

I built a dictionary of English words using diacritical marks, about the size of your Tuntapi.dic, and it was recognised.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby hogwaump » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:18 am

RoryOF wrote:I built a dictionary of English words using diacritical marks, about the size of your Tuntapi.dic, and it was recognised.


I hate ambiguities, ergo I like diacriticals. I can type 'reenable' and my modified standard dictionary doesn't really need to see it. I have a Never dictionary loaded with these words and many others such as 'menage', with the Replace By fields filled in. Right-click one of those and there's only one suggestion for reenable or menage, reënable or ménage. It contains many other special characters, all of which can be directly entered via the Microsoft international English keyboard driver. As I first use these words, I add them to the standard dictionary, which at present is at 2+K entries. My Never dictionary is at 264, my old Tuntapi at 536. I have split my new Tuntapi into 2 dictionaries, general words versus proper names.

Setting my new Tuntapi dictionaries to my OO default of English (USA) seems to be working fairly well. I will have to create a Never dictionary for those as well, so I can type the words more easily. That will be sufficient for my purpose.

I have pored through the old Tuntapi file and uncovered 3 suspects. A superfluous crlf at the end, one entry that reads "Hogigo(mo)", and "Nῥikanaòè" with its highly unusual 2nd char. I'm working on eliminating those suspects now. OO is still crashing with some regularity; of those issues, only the 3rd one is in the new Tuntapi dictionary, but there is a superfluous line feed char at the end that has not seemed to bother OO any.

On the topic of WordWeb Pro, killing it did not stop OO from crashing. I searched through my processes and ran tools for finding spurious files in the Windows system folders, etc, and removed a few things. I uninstalled a number of programs that were not terribly useful or had people online querying about viruses.
OO is still crashing. If or when I get to the bottom of this problem, I will post my solution. If anybody thinks of something else, more input is always good.

Addendum: I can't break my new Tuntapi dictionary with any of the above anomalies include.
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Re: Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windows 7

Postby hogwaump » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:52 am

Regarding the unlinking of a modified custom dictionary file, the solution was stupidly simple. Exit OO, rename the offending wordbook file to whatever.TXT, Then use OO to create a new one of the original name. Repair the text file or recreate it from another source, then copy-paste the entries into the new dictionary file, then run OO again. The new dictionary may not be active; go into settings and tick the box to enable said dictionary.

Apparently there must be a corrupted-file flag set somewhere when OO fails to parse a wordbook file. Recreating it resolves this issue.

My new Tuntapi dictionary is up and running but the crashing of OO continues, although with less frequency now. A project for another day . . .
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Re: [Solved] Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windo

Postby hogwaump » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:26 pm

My problem with OO Writer & Calc crashing or hanging turned out to be multifaceted. I cleared out some unwanted software and ran two in-depth virus scans, one of which reported an unwanted program, which I quarantined.

The most relevant fix: Apparently, something had corrupted my Java run-time. It seems Calc uses it, although my sheets are not fancy. After the initial fixup effort I was seeing several symptoms: Occasional bouts of an OO server-busy warning, usually related to either my Calc window or my master ODT document with sections linked to separate chapter ODT files. Sometimes clicking on the switch-to-affected-window button cleared the the problem, other times not. Occasionally, after a longish wait, OO cleared the problem and carried on, or saved the affected file and terminated. I also saw some instances of OO being terminated by the OS, with an inappropriate memory access or other unfixable error. I discovered that OO help could not do a keyword search without a fully functional Java run-time. The OO Database application could not connect to some server and could not create a new database file. Both of these seem good ways to test a Java run-time.

I have downloaded and installed the readily available versions of Java run-time packages, 1.8.0_161 and 1.8.0_162. The 162 build did not work well, which was why I installed the 161. It works better than either my absent corrupted version or the newer 162 build.

This topic has become complicated and addresses too many issues. I will post separately regarding my ongoing Java run-time issues.
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Re: [Solved] Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windo

Postby mike1930 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:35 pm

Win 7, apache 4.1.5, latest java, uninstalled firefox, still crashes with opened file within 30 seconds. Help please.
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Re: [Solved] Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windo

Postby RoryOF » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:40 pm

The first diagnostic is to start Windows in Safe Mode; if OpenOffice runs stable when Windows is in Safe Mode, the problem is cause by a driver or program that runs when Windows is in normal mode. Possible suspects are antivirus and firewall programs, continuous backup programs (the name Carbonite comes to mind) that touch open OpenOffice files; there are likely other candidates for suspicion.
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Re: [Solved] Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windo

Postby hogwaump » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:49 pm

RoryOF wrote: . . . Possible suspects are antivirus and firewall programs, continuous backup programs (the name Carbonite comes to mind) that touch open OpenOffice files . . .


I am still dealing with this problem, but have narrowed it down to an interaction with or effect of WordWeb Pro, a fabulously handy popup dictionary with user definable glossaries. Ordinary operation involves special-clicking on a word in an open window of just about anything (my set combo is crl-alt-right.click).

Calc has proved to be the trigger in the past, but the WW author fixed that for OO3.xx. I never had this much trouble until upgrading to OO 4.14 and also upgrading WW to the pro version in the same time frame. With 4.1.x, it seems that both Calc and Writer can act as a trigger.

WW doesn't touch any OO files, but it certainly is mucking around in various open files' window memory spaces. The WW author is very good about looking into these issues, but I haven't found a way to reliably reproduce the problem. Also, I've never had any trouble using WW with other apps or system windows, except when odd apps are displaying in tiny fonts, but this only results in the WW input word being garbled.

After uninstalling a bunch of disused or extraneous junk-software, the frequency of failure dropped dramatically, down to ca 1/per week or so. Ordinarily, I simply reboot, kill the WW background process, reinstall WW, then run OO install as a repair, and everything works again -- until it doesn't.

My most recent failure was apparently catastrophic for OO; after the above procedure, when I attempted to open an ODT file, Soffice.exe instead began installing OO complete. This has been my worst failure so far, still pretty easy to fix. I lost a lot of OO setup, what dictionaries to have open, display prefs, etc.

For now I shall carrying, while regularly backing up my work to outboard drives or data sticks. If or when I can pin down the issue, I will report it here (and hopefully along with a permanent fix).
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Re: [Solved] Writer Crashing Frequently, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, Windo

Postby RoryOF » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:56 pm

Possibly WordWeb uses or monitors the clipboard; it is known that applications that touch the clipboard, such as multiple level Paste utilities, can cause problems with OO. In the past, Skype was also reported as a culprit, because of its clipboard use.

May I suggest that you install and use the Timestamped backup for your backups.
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