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Watchpoint inexplicably opens 3 instances of itself?

Thomas Leong

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Display PC specs: Asus X99-Deluxe, i7-5830, Windows 7 Pro on Samsung 850 Pro, Watchout on Samsung SM951 PCIe M.2 onboard, 16GB RAM, W7000 gfx card, Datapath VisionAV-SDI. Tweaked to Dataton's recommendations. Watchpoint set to autoload on PC Startup with 10-sec delay, and NoLogo.


Production PC: Same hardware specs as Display PC except that there is no Datapath VisionAV-SDI installed.


Network is connected to Unmanaged Ethernet Switcher.


Watchout version 6.1.6 via Update procedure from Production, not uninstall followed by install procedure.


Recent Problem: Using Live Update feature during show production for about 4-5 hours, 'Display Connection Lost' surfaced, and eventually traced to Watchpoint having started 3 instances of itself. Definitely not manually started/restarted by clicking on shortcut icon or via Remote from Production. Manually closing all instances and re-starting from shortcut icon solved the 'Connection Lost' problem.


But the question remains: How or Why did Watchpoint load an additional 2 instances of itself during production/live update work?


Any hints or insights into what's happening to prevent future occurrence would be appreciated.


Thomas Leong


Addendum: Could be related...I tried with my own Production laptop, and managed to open 4 instances of Watchmaker 6.1.6 and load and run 4 different shows...all offline. Question then is how and why does Watchout allow more than one instance of itself to be loaded? This is dangerous. Adobe After Effects defaults to making the opened instance the active window instead of allowing another instance to start. I think Watchout should do the same. 

Edited by Thomas Leong
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I have seen a second instance loaded. But only after an error that results in a lockup..

Correct the error, the issue disappears.


It is almost as if watchdog is not successful clearing a crashed instance

but is successfully loading a new instance.

A cycle of crashes may increase the count.

I do not know for certain if that is occurring, it is only a hypothesis.

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Hi Thomas, with much the same configuration as your computers running 6.1.6, I have had this issue happen to one of my computers twice on two different shows.  One big variable is the upgrade to 6.1.6.  I never had this occur before.


The first time WO crashed it was sitting on a still for about an hour then WO crashed (I don't know if it had launched other instances) then quickly recovered.  Then it never occurred again during that show.  


The second time was last week, WO crashed on the same computer running a looping video (3840x720) then recovered on its own.  The first time it happened I checked the tweaks on all computers and there were a few items not tweaked on one computer, so I thought I had fixed it.  The second time it crashed I couldn't hunt down any issue with computers or tweaks.   Although it could easily be a computer related problem. 


Most of the time I work in live update until I am getting close to being in the show then I switch live update off.  So it most likely is happening when live view is on.


I'm not sure how to troubleshoot this since there are so many variables.  All I can do is keep an eye on it pay attention to the circumstances and see if it happens again.


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I have run across this problem through various iterations of Watchout (both version 5 and version 6).  The most common is on startup, Watchout will load 2 instances of the display if I try to start it using the startup folder.  If I manually start, this problem doesn't occur.


I have also had the problem with Live Update if the display crashes (crashing seems to be a feature of Live Update, I always try to remember to exit Live Update at show time).



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Thanks gentlemen for the insights and input. Since my initial post, I proceeded to discover how I could 'crash' Watchpoint to see if I could replicate the problem my client faced recently with WO 6.1.6.


What I have discovered is that Watchpoint opening multiple instances of itself is normal. The Display PC opens a number of Watchpoint instances directly related to the number of physically connected Displays. Example, 4 instances if there are 4 physically connected Displays, 2 instances if there are 2 connected Displays, etc.

Additionally, there is an extra instance/application (of 'Watchout', not Watchpoint) which is the Watchout Logo screen or black if the -NoLogo command is enabled. One can stop this (logo) application and still continue to run a loaded show.


To test for yourself, have a keyboard and mouse attached to your Display PC, and the necessary Displays connected. Load Watchpoint. No network connection to Production is necessary, therefore no shows are loaded. When the logo and ip address comes up, Ctrl+Alt+Del to Start Task Manager, and you will see the number of Watchpoint instances reflecting the number of Displays connected + 1 Watchout (logo) application running. Close any of the Watchpoint instances and the rest will also close, and one has to start Watchpoint again (thereby solving any initial problem).


Though I was able to crash Watchpoint by forcing it to try play 16 layers of H264 and/or ProRes422 videos - more than my old 4th gen i7 + hardware can handle - I could not get Watchpoint to autoload additional instances. On 'crashing', it merely defaulted to the logo screen and sat there, until a Ctrl+L offline followed by online keypress from Production PC brought back any running show, but no additional instances of Watchpoint.


The problem with any crash therefore lies somewhere else.


Thomas Leong

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I've experienced similar issues across 5 and 6 with a hang on boot, but fine after watchpoint restart. Every time it was related to quicktime. I'm pretty religious about not having quicktime installed on my display machines. Try uninstalling and see if it persists.

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