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PowerPoint SlideShows Freeze Randomly on 2 PCs

Posted on 2004-10-25
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Last Modified: 2008-02-26
We are currently running a 6MB PowerPoint Presentation (.ppt) in Slide Show Mode continuously.   Every few hours to up to a few days the slide show will freeze.  It does not freeze on the same slide nor on the same transition effect.  We have had this problem over the past 6 months on an older Windows 98SE machine, then with Windows 2000 installed on the same machine (failed less frequently then) and now a new XP Pro (SP1), 512MB memory with an 8X AGP nvidia graphics card.  All appropriate Office 2000 upgrades have been applied to the XP Pro machine but this did not help.  Over this past weekend, the slideshow froze up 6 times.  

Toward isolating the problem, note that only thing which has not changed is the Office 2000 installation across these various PC Platforms (hardware, operating systems, PowerPoint files themselves have all changed yet exhibit similiar problems).  I am running the current presentation on 4 different Windows 2K and XP PCs at the moment to see if I can duplicate the freeze up and how long it will take.  Meanwhile...

Someone has surely seen this happen with continuously running slideshows (loading the file then hitting F5 key)?

Help!?
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Question by:chuck53
    11 Comments
     
    LVL 49

    Expert Comment

    by:sunray_2003
    Make sure that you have got Sp3 which i suppose is the latest SP for office 2000.

    Forgetting about this 6 mb powerpoint , what happens if you create  a fresh powerpoint having very few slides and testing it. Does it show the same freezing behavior ?

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    by:sunray_2003
    Sometimes powerpoint consumes lot of RAM
    Try using a RAM cleaner like this http://www.sofotex.com/Casper-RAM-Cleaner-download_L9608.html
    and check if that would help
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    Author Comment

    by:chuck53
    sunray:
    I will call the PC playing the SlideShow continuously, which hangs,  PC1.
    SP3 was applied to PC1 before the weekend to the Office Suite containing PowerPoint as well as all other Office 2000 updates in hopes of rectifying this problem.  This did not help.  In the past 2 hours, the slideshow hung up again (at a different point in the slideshow-this time when starting the change to the next slide) on PC1.   Task Manager shows; PowerPoint Slide Show-Not Responding and Microsoft PowerPoint-Not Responding.  Ending the Task asks to send an error report to usoft.  In doing so, no information was returned from uSoft as sometimes occurs when a problem is logged and resolved in the knowledge base.

    The slideshow has not hung up over the past 2.5 hours on 3 other machines (PC2, PC3 & PC4).  All three have the same file taken from PC1. The current machine has 512MB RAM and a 2.8GHZ Proc. as well as a strong (128MB) video card.    

    Additionally I confirmed that all Power Savings features had been turned off (they were all set to "Never").

    File corruption has some good merit but one would think the other machines would freeze as well or the freeze would happen at the same point in the presentation.
     
    I would like to pursue some *other ideas* before recreating the SlideShow since it will take a good day or two labor to recreate it.  I cannot easily try a sample presentation as sunray suggested on PC1 because PC1 directly sends video out ending up over a cable broadcast channel.   (Note: we have had much larger PowerPoint presentations in the hundreds of mbytes run for more than a week on a lesser PC before freezing)  However I may try this if I can hook up a substitute machine.

    **Does anyone out there have a PowerPoint presentation that runs 24x7 or has done this either with or without problems?**
    thx,
    chuck53
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    Author Comment

    by:chuck53
    Since posting the above questions??? I have tried to move forward on this issue by doing the following:
    1.  Updated the video drivers to the latest version.  This allowed the PP Presentation to run longer but still froze after about 6-8 hours.
    2.  Thinking there may be an inherent problem with XP Pro running PowerPoint 2K, I uninstalled Office 2000, installed Office 2003 to get PowerPoint 2003 and the entire suite of programs.  Also added updates including SP1.
    3.  Deleted the current .ppt file and used the original saved .ppt file running on the other test machines.  Did this because at the last PP freeze, a recovery file was saved having a different file length than the original.  The original file also, for some reason, is a different file length than when it was originally saved on the desktop and launched (Running the slide show appears to have caused changes to the file size-  IS THIS A CLUE???)  Note: test machines are running the .ppt file saved on the their desktops from the "burned" CD.  However PC1 also failed (this time at the same spot) when a fresh copy of the original file was saved from the same CD.

    After running the Slide Show for about 6 hours, it froze again at the same place this time (instead of randomly in the slide show).  I then deleted this "freeze" spot picture transition, saved the updated file and relaunched the slide show.  It is now running to see if it freezes again.  

    In parallel, I have been running the original PP Slideshow on a Win2K test machine (PP2K) continuously for over 48 hours without problem.  Also running a 2nd Win2K laptop test machine (PP2K) for over 24 hours without problem and a third XP Pro laptop (PP2K) on and off for 8 hrs at a time without problem.  These all have the identical PP file which ultimately fails on the problem PC1 (XP Pro +PP2.3K) machine.
    Inputs? Suggestions? Discussion? More information needed?
    Chuck
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    Expert Comment

    by:byundt
    Question moved from Outlook to Office TA, which seemed like a much better fit for a question on PowerPoint.
    byundt--Office TA Page Editor
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    Expert Comment

    by:tajsimmons
    chuck53,

    It's a known problem with powerpoint hanging if you run a presentation 24/7.

    From my little knowledge, I'd guess it's some kind of memory leak.

    A common workaround is the use the windows scheduler to stop and re-start the presentation. but if it's locking up after 6 hours, that's not gonna be workable for you.

    More reading on this here
    PowerPoint locks up when running a presentation non-stop
    http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00221.htm


    Cheers
    TAJ Simmons
    microsoft powerpoint mvp
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    Author Comment

    by:chuck53
    Hi TAJ Simmons-
    I have been jammed up and was not able to investigate your several suggestions until now.  Glad to see the page you posted the link to.  This, however, generated more questions.  If I could add more points to this topic for answers to the questions, I would.  

    Update-
    my test machines each ran, one for 10 days straight, the other for a week (started it later than the first one).  The third, PC1, had run successfully for a few days since removing one of the animations on the screen.  Then over the past weekend all three froze up, due to, I suspect, a power event in the building (all on UPS and 1 on a different circuit).  PC1 has frozen twice since so I am ready to try something else and reviewed the last post directly above.  (I wonder if part of the problem is PP being especially susceptible to dirty power and if line conditioning may be needed on PC1?- my UPSes are simply the conventional bypass type, not interactive- However, I can pull the plug from the wall and PP slideshow continues to run fine; but does not mean a spike was not passed through)

    Need Powerpoint to pretty much run 24x7x7 except for update times or when other programming is playing.
    Questions- bare with me please- you can copy & paste question along with your answer below.

    1.  I converted the .ppt files to html and launched them by double clicking on the file.  They do not autoplay nor can I get the slides to full screen (even by pressing F11).  I need a full screen display, just like PP allows. Can I do this through a browser?  If I can then will this approach play continuously without feeze up?

    2.  Not clear if this program is necessary to resolve the problem (RnR PPTools' PPT2HTML Converter).  After conversion will it run full screen continuously?  

    3.  From other experiences, I think you have something valid with memory drain.  The Memory cleaners require a keystroke as far as I can tell so intervention is required.  Not a good solution especially over a weekend.  Can this be automated?? or are there automatic memory cleaners?

    4.  Scheduler, although good information, is not ideal since this process going on would be broadcast over the airwaves as well... and it might miss the "freeze up" window if not set often enough.

    5.  Would a PC with just a PowerPoint viewer play reliability, full screen & continuously?

    6.  If I just buy and implement RnR PPTools' PPT2HTML Converter will this resolve my issues and meet my needs the best based on the requirements?

    thx,
    Chuck


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    Expert Comment

    by:tajsimmons
    Chuck,

    1.  I converted the .ppt files to html and launched them by double clicking on the file.  They do not autoplay nor can I get the slides to full screen (even by pressing F11).  I need a full screen display, just like PP allows. Can I do this through a browser?  If I can then will this approach play continuously without feeze up?

    Get powerpoint (2002) html to open full screen...see
    http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00428.htm
    for powerpoint 2000 see
    http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00148.htm
    and
    http://www.oldfco.ca/tutorial/pptohtml.html

    >They do not autoplay
    Do you mean 'advance from slide to slide automatically' ?

    2.  Not clear if this program is necessary to resolve the problem (RnR PPTools' PPT2HTML Converter).  After conversion will it run full screen continuously?  


    http://www.rdpslides.com/pptools/ppt2html/index.html
    I don't know of hand... please ask the other (fellow powerpoint mvp - steve rindsberg)
    My initial reading...looks like it will do what you want....but download the demo and give it a whirl.


    3.  From other experiences, I think you have something valid with memory drain.  The Memory cleaners require a keystroke as far as I can tell so intervention is required.  Not a good solution especially over a weekend.  Can this be automated?? or are there automatic memory cleaners?

    I have come across memory optimizers that do auto optimize without human intervention.... but I doub't they can recover the memory leak...as that part of memory is perhaps marked as "in-use"... (starting to sound like I know what I'm talking about :)  )

    4.  Scheduler, although good information, is not ideal since this process going on would be broadcast over the airwaves as well... and it might miss the "freeze up" window if not set often enough.

    Discard the scheduling route then.

    5.  Would a PC with just a PowerPoint viewer play reliability, full screen & continuously?

    I've often thought so. The less you give a computer (and/or powerpoint) to do the better. The resources used, have got to be less with just the viewer running, than the whole of powerpoint.

    6.  If I just buy and implement RnR PPTools' PPT2HTML Converter will this resolve my issues and meet my needs the best based on the requirements?

    See (2) :)

    Cheers
    TAJ

    thx,
    Chuck
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    Author Comment

    by:chuck53
    TAJ:
    Added the HTML code from the link you mentioned above:  http://www.rdpslides.com/pptfaq/FAQ00148.htm and it will run full screen.  

    1.  However, unlike PowerPoint, it halts at the last slide (38) and will not automatically restart.  Stops at the last slide with a black screen saying "end of slide show" at the top.
    From a Web search we found Powerpoint 2002 has a security patch which prevents the loop but not sure about PowerPoint 2000 which the html, here, was created from.  Any suggestions???

    2.  Tried Firefox 1.0 and it would not play the HTML code (non std. uSoft html I take it) so that is not an option.

    3.  I take it PPTools' PPT2HTML Converter might have the same loop problem after the conversion or is this a question for Steve Rindsberg?  If so, how do I email or get in touch with Steve?

    Chuck
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    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    by:
    Chuck,

    (1) That's the end of my knowledge of the subject. In theory you can put a  "refresh" meta tag in html that tells it to go to a particular webpage (or in your case your powerpoint html pres).

    <meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="0; URL=http://www.mywebdomain/powerpoint/myfirstpage.htm">



    (2) Firefox...it's getting there

    (3) To contact Steve about pptools see
    http://www.rdpslides.com/pptools/FAQ00074.htm

    Cheers
    TAJ
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    Author Comment

    by:chuck53
    TAJ,
    You provided the solution.  Steve R. had to make a few tweeks to his Powerpoint to HTML to make it work with IE6 (full screen) but Firefox did work.  I hate to mention this for bad luck's sake (so I am knocking on the keyboard) but the same program after conversion using his program is running successfully for weeks now.  Steve has been great to work with on this.  Thanks for leading me to the solution.

    Note for readers:  PowerPoint will *not* run a Slideshow 24x7 without hanging up randomly, i.e. not necessarily failing at the same place as mentioned above.  I have been told there is no explaination for this, Microsoft is aware of this problem and likely won't fix it.  Being a "sparky" it sounds like a combo of memory management, Windows and Powerpoint code...   so have to wonder about a different O/S and Powerpoint viewer not resolving this.

    Earlier, I was finally able to try the memory manager program mentioned  above and it seemed to worsen the time between freezeups so it did not help.

    thanks forthe suggestions,

    chuck53
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