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T## Oddities
« on: April 28, 2020, 08:54:29 AM »
OK I have a weird one.

I keep a complete system image of my computer in case anything gets screwed up with Mach 4. This week we had a power outage right after I finished a program and had Mach 4 open. When I rebooted, Mach 4 was scrambled, had defaulted all the settings, and was running the wx4 screenset.

So I got out my trusty restore image and in 20 minutes everything was right back to where it was before the power outage. This is a BIOS level image so it gets Windows and everything. Big file, but it isn't quite a finicky as a Windows backup.

Mach 4 is running great with one exception (and it is possible this is entirely unrelated to doing that restore). When I execute an M06 Txx G43 Hxx from the MDI, the first thing it says is "Current tool in the spindle - nothing to do". If I run it again, then it works correctly, prompting me to change the tool and hit cycle start.

I found in the settings that the radio button is marked for "T# on line is next tool to use" or something like that. I think that it is designed for pre-load tool changers. I can choose the other option, but the APPLY button never becomes available. If I hit OK and reopen the control settings, the radio button is back to where it was before. It seems like I can change all the other settings in Mach except for this one.

Any idea what I can do to fix this?

Also, if NFS reads through here... Why is Mach 4 so unstable when it comes to shutting down incorrectly. I can't think of any other piece of software that I use that has such an adverse reaction. Heck, even if Mach 4 is closed and the computer is unplugged, it was mess stuff up. Can't this be protected against using save states in the software or some other method to automatically load a known good configuration?
Re: T## Oddities
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2020, 01:01:03 PM »
Try replacing the parameters.ini file in your profile with a backup
Re: T## Oddities
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2020, 01:28:56 PM »
I can certainly give that a try. Can you elaborate on what is in the parameters INI file? I have a copy of my Mach 4 directory from a few months back. If it is only the control settings then I shouldn't have any changes.
Re: T## Oddities
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2020, 08:23:00 AM »
SwiftyJ, I was able to replace the file with an older one that I had from Feb 2020 and that seems to have done the trick! Thank you very much!

I'm still interested in learning more about what the INI file does for Mach. I'm guessing it holds the settings from the menu?

I'm also very interested why it got messed up after the backup restore. Unlike a windows backup, the one I did was a bit for bit image completed at the BIOS level. It should be an exact replica of the computer when the backup was made.

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Re: T## Oddities
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2020, 12:47:38 AM »
Also, if NFS reads through here... Why is Mach 4 so unstable when it comes to shutting down incorrectly. I can't think of any other piece of software that I use that has such an adverse reaction. Heck, even if Mach 4 is closed and the computer is unplugged, it was mess stuff up. Can't this be protected against using save states in the software or some other method to automatically load a known good configuration?

Most of Mach's settings are in memory and flushed to the disk files upon shutdown (until recent builds).  So if the shutdown process is interrupted by turning off the PC, well...  BOO!  We don't know what or when a plugin may be writing to a settings file, so if Some plugin is writing to the Machine.ini file when the power is cut... BOO again!  That is one way to get corrupted. 

And ANY program that is writing to the disk when the PC is switched off or not shutdown properly can corrupt the disk file system.  So it may not be Mach that is having the issue with the shutdown.  It could be any other program that is running and IT corrupts the Mach config files.  Another way to get corrupted. 

Basically, we keep our settings in regular text files (not even XML files in Mach 4) to make them human readable/understandable.  There can be a lot of settings.  Parameters, system variables, Machine.ini, etc...  Unfortunately, this makes it more corruptible from an improper shutdown (whether Mach or some other program was writing to the disk) than say some program that saves it's settings in the OS PROTECTED registry hive file. 

Also, this seems to be PC dependent.  Disk driver type or something?  I have NEVER had disk corruption on my Mach 4 milling machine.  And I have messed up and pulled power before the PC was shut down probably 100s of times.  But I may not be using any of the same plugins you are using.  Plugins are definitely a wildcard here... 

All that being said, we have tried to put in a settings corruption detection mechanism in the most recent dev builds that will prompt you to restore previously saved settings files.  But that ONLY works if the backup setting files are not corrupted too!  Also, we don't try to flush all of the settings when Mach is shut down now.  However, again, we can't tell what the plugins may be doing.

So the best way to prevent corruption is to shut the PC down properly.  After all, it is proper Windows etiquette.

Steve
Re: T## Oddities
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2020, 01:06:22 PM »
Thanks Steve!

Knew there was a good reason, just didn't know what it was. Making a backup is super easy.

-Mike
Re: T## Oddities
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2020, 03:46:23 AM »
Small note, under the Help menu you can package your profile. Doing that will also back up all your settings. It will allow you to get running even if you have to swap pc’s. It is much faster than doing a restore point.
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: T## Oddities
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 08:29:47 AM »
How do you "unpackage" the profile when you want to restore it?
Re: T## Oddities
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 08:37:49 AM »
To unpackage you use the loader and select Import Profile. This is the tool the tech support guys use.
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com
Re: T## Oddities
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2020, 08:09:25 AM »
Awesome! Thanks!