Performance and Troubleshooting - Crashes

Articles based on common support questions.
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varghesesa
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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:52 pm

Performance and Troubleshooting - Crashes

Post by varghesesa » Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:35 pm

Introduction

Software crashes can be very frustrating. It's even more challenging with Blue Iris because there are so many external dependencies that could cause the software crash. Blue Iris has many external dependencies:
  • Hardware drivers from Intel or NVidia for decoding live streams
  • Camera vendors to provide reliable streams with supported encoding.
  • Gmail or other email servers for email alerts
  • Apple / Google platform for mobile app push notifications
  • Custom integrations via http request and mqtt interfaces
All these 3rd party dependencies can lead to instability.

The first half of this article describes how to isolate an issue by systematically disabling cameras, features, until there is stability. The second half is real-time updates when we discover an issue, the work around and the fix.

Isolate Issue
The biggest question to ask yourself when observing instability is what has changed?
  • Was there a Windows update?
  • Was there an update to your Antivirus or Firewall software?
Common causes for crashes are a Windows update caused driver instability for the hardware acceleration or some security software update (Windows firewall/defender, McAfee etc. See Security Software Exemptions in help file) is interfering with BI files or not allowing network access. A Registry setting may be causing issues as well.

If you are convinced the latest BI update is causing the instability, submit a ticket (see below for needed info). The Rolling back BI version article will provide guidance on how to go back to your previous version. After rolling back, confirm stability is restored.

Software will not start

If the software does not start, the only remedy is to adjust the registry until the software does start. The Software Startup Issues article will walk you through necessary steps.

Immediate crashes
Immediate crashes are those that occur within ~5 minutes of starting the software and frequently crashes. This symptom is almost always indicative of hardware incompatibility or issues with a new camera.

ToDos:
  • Turn off hardware acceleration for all cameras. Global Settings -> Cameras tab -> Hardware accelerated decode = No.
    Does stability return? If so, was there a Windows update recently? If a Windows update is the issue, then you may need to leave hardware acceleration (HA) off until there is a Windows resolution. Or you may have to revert back to the previous Windows version.
  • Did you add a new camera? Maybe the conflict is with the hardware and that one particular camera. Simply disable the camera and turn HA back on. Does stability return?
  • Any clues in the status log?
    Go to Status -> log tab and click on open file button (bottom). Find out what BI was doing before the server restart. Copy / paste 10-15 lines before the crash in the ticket. Not necessary to send the entire file.
If you turned off HA for all cameras, now you can narrow down the problem to the Windows driver or an issue with a particular camera.
  • Turn off HA for all the cameras at the camera level by selecting NO in Camera settings -> Video tab -> Hardware decode. Make sure "Limit decoding unless required" and "Also BVR" are unselected.
  • Turn HA back on for all the cameras at the global level. Global Settings -> Cameras tab -> Hardware accelerated decode. Choose appropriate setting. HA is still off since it is turned off at the camera level from previous step.
  • Start turning HA back on for each camera (Hardware decode = Default) and see if the instability is due to a certain camera(s).


Intermittent crashes
Intermittent crashes are ones that occur over time, perhaps 2-3 days.

Does CPU/RAM utilization grow over time? Security software (Windows firewall/defender, McAfee etc) having BI file/s open for scanning is a common cause. Please double-check the BI folders and BI executable are exempted from your security software (Windows firewall/defender, McAfee etc). The Performance and Troubleshooting webinar is a great resource in addition to the Security Software Exemption section in the help file. Check out our webinars in our YouTube Support Channel when you have free time. https://youtube.com/c/BlueIrisSupport.

Continue observing status -> log for errors. You could create Status alerts any time an error or warning appears in the log. (Status -> Log tab -> Status alerts button). If you tend to be near the BI server, this allows you to examine the machine near the time of errors in order to gather clues to instability prior to a possible crash.

Final thoughts
Attempt to isolate the issue by systematically disabling cameras, features, until there is stability. What does that mean?
  • If you disable all cameras via the registry, does stability return? See Software Startup Issues article for details. If not, the issue has to do with your global settings, probably your database and file storage.
  • If you turn off hardware acceleration for all the cameras, does stability return?
  • If you turn off cameras from a particular vendor, does stability return?
  • Set the shield to red, i.e. let the cameras stream but no trigger, record or alert etc settings are active. Does stability return?
Identifying the root cause for crashes can be a mystery. We have known users that uninstalled/reinstalled BI, deleted and recreated cameras, reinstalled windows then BI, reinstalled phone apps, unplugged/replugged their hard drives and things miraculously started working again.

Use cases
Review Status Log - Problems and Resolutions for known problems and resolutions.

Submitting ticket
  • Include support info in body of email. Global settings -> About tab -> Email support button. Copy/paste information in body of email.
  • Include the event viewer crash info. Copy / paste information into body of email. Any other errors seen in Event viewer? For example the 1001 error as seen below. If so, copy/paste information into body of email as well.
    event log.PNG
    event log.PNG (24.35 KiB) Viewed 662 times
  • If you are running BI as a service, confirm the Windows account running the service has admin privileges.
  • If you are using a NAS device for storage, please confirm the Windows username/password used to run the service has identical credentials on the NAS device otherwise writing to the NAS device **will not work**.
  • Confirm you have the proper exclusions for your firewall and antivirus software. See Security Software Exceptions in help for details.
    Exclusions.PNG
    Exclusions.PNG (164.84 KiB) Viewed 662 times
  • Any clues in the status log?
    Go to Status -> log tab and click on open file button (bottom). Find out what BI was doing before the server restart. Copy / paste 10-15 lines before the crash in the ticket. Not necessary to send the entire file.
  • Any other clues or information that you may consider helpful. Do the crashes occur at the same time daily? Can you reproduce the crash? Anything change with the machine, Windows or your BI settings?
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