MainLobby takes "forever" to start

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MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby RZajcew » Fri May 31, 2013 7:08 pm

MainLobby has started taking a *very* long time to start up on my main computer. The time varies, but it can take up to 3 minutes before I see the splash screen.

This is Windows 7 with a fast processor and 8GB of memory. During the startup process, CPU usage stays minimal, and MainLobby does not show up under either "Applications" or "Processes" in Windows Task Manager.

This has been happening periodically, but rebooting the system would make it go away. Now it is constant.

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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby DaveB » Fri May 31, 2013 7:57 pm

Make sure that your version of flash on the computer is current. That may be the issue.
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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby RZajcew » Fri May 31, 2013 8:31 pm

I should have mentioned that I did uninstall and then reinstall flash. The issue persists. [I had seen that flash was an issue on another thread]

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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby CinemarDave » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:35 am

Mario can chime in here as he knows the inner workings of MainLobby better than I do. Before you get to see the splash screen MainLobby is parsing the mainlobby.ini file and loading the libraries and supporting swf files from disc. Are these files local to the PC or coming across the network? For some reason this is a very slow process on this PC. Also are you running a virus scanner? If so, temporarily disable it to see if it is getting in the way. Virus scanners hook the internal file open mechanisms and block access to the file until it was scanned. This slows down the process. This is probably a disc I/O or network bottleneck more than a lack of CPU horsepower.

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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby RZajcew » Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:17 pm

The computer exhibiting the problem is my MLServer PC. I doubt MainLobby would/could be doing network access during MainLobby startup. Disk activity seem almost non-existant during the startup interval (which seems to be between 8 minutes and 13 minutes).

Turning off Norton AntiVirus had no effect on the startup time.

Possibly of interest... Using Windows Task Manager, MainLobby.exe show up under "Processes" from the get-go (I can see it use 1% or 2% CPU time periodically during startup), but MainLobby does not show up under "Applications" until the splash screen appears. Perhaps this is normal.

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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby DaveB » Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:44 pm

I think that there is something wrong with your .ini file. Post your .ini file as text for review. Are you sure that your .ini file and startup directory are in a path that is accessible?
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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby RZajcew » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:24 pm

Mainlobby.ini file:

&MLContentFolder=C:\Program Files (x86)\Cinemar\Content\0028\DrKZWorld.1024x768\&MLoffStates=&MLexitShortcut=ESC&MLlockOutUsers=no&clientID=Rio&MLWindowSettings=1&
MLHideMouse=1&MLsnapToGrid=false&MLgridSize=20&MLOneInstance=false&DisplaySize=1&
screensaverdelay=20&screensaver=&menubarstatus=2&MLDisplayX=1024&MLDisplayY=768&
MLDisplaySide=0&MLDisplayUpDown=0&MLDisplayXscale=100&MLDisplayYscale=100&
MLDisplayXmove=0&MLDisplayYmove=0&MLDisplayXDesigner=1600&MLDisplayYDesigner=1100&
MLDisplaySideDesigner=0&MLDisplayUpDownDesigner=0&MLDisplayXscaleDesigner=100&
MLDisplayYscaleDesigner=100&MLDisplayXmoveDesigner=0&MLDisplayYmoveDesigner=0&
MLarrowkeystatus=1&MLtaskbar=2&MLstartupScene=Home.mls&MLinactivityMLServeCmd=&
MLhighlight=1&MLreloadStartup=&mlstatepreset1=&mlstatepreset2=&mlstatepreset3=&
mlstatepreset4=&mlstatepreset5=&mlstatepreset6=&mlstatepreset7=&mlstatepreset8=&
mlstatepreset9=&mlstatepreset10=&

Speaking anecdotally (non-conclusively), it seems that each successive MainLobby restart after a platform reboot takes longer. For example, I rebooted earlier today, and it took MainLobby about 3 seconds to start up. 10 or so MainLobby starts later, it's more than a minute every time.

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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby mcascio » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:54 am

Which version of MainLobby are you running? Make sure it is the latest.

Next, try installing the default MainLobby to a test folder and see how long that takes.

Flash made a major change a couple years ago that significantly slowed things down at startup that significantly slowed down the loading of external libraries. I've seen a variety of lag times on machines. I've seen slower atom machines start up faster than quad-core machines. So there may be a few things at work. But the biggest item would be the size of your Libraries in your Library folder. The more libraries you have, the slower the startup.
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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby RZajcew » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:55 pm

I am running the latest versions of all software.

I installed a test version of MainLobby in a new directory. The test version has only the base libraries in it. The test version takes just as long to start as the "real" version (more than 5 minutes).

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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby DaveB » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:38 pm

Re- install flash on that machine and also test flash with a known good flash based site
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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby mcascio » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:27 am

RZajcew wrote:I am running the latest versions of all software.

I installed a test version of MainLobby in a new directory. The test version has only the base libraries in it. The test version takes just as long to start as the "real" version (more than 5 minutes).

- Roman



Hmmm...not sure why your system would take five minutes then.

Maybe try uninstalling Flash altogether using the flash uninstaller in the Cinemar\Documentation folder. Then try running MainLobby and see if there is any difference.

Make sure there are no known instances of mainlobby.exe running in the processes of task manager.
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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby RZajcew » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:05 pm

Other than MainLobby startup, the PC shows no ill signs whatsover (including running flash).

I am quite careful about checking for multiple copies of MainLobby (using Task Manager).

I used the flash uninstaller on the Cinemar site, and this didn't improve things. MainLobby took 6 1/2 minutes to start. [MainLobby startup gets slower and slower, day by day. If I reboot the system, MainLobby startup will be very quick (one or two seconds), and then start getting slower. And, as I mentioned earlier, MainLobby does not appear under "Processes" in Task Manager for the full 6 1/2 minutes.]

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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby RZajcew » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:29 pm

I have spent some more time looking at this. And the problem appears to be a gradually increasing number of "dllhost.exe *32" processes as time goes by. These processes appear to take no CPU time, and each occupies around 8MB of memory. When the system starts, Task Manager has none of these processes running. After a little while (an hour?) one of these processes appears. And another process gets added each hour or so (I haven't precisely counted them). And for each copy of "dllhost.exe *32" that is present, MainLobby starts more slowly. For example, with no copies of "dllhost.exe *32" present, it take MainLobby one or two seconds to start. If there are as few as 4 copies of "dllhost.exe *32" present then it takes MainLobby more than a minute to start up. Once this gets up to 40 copies of "dllhost.exe *32" present, it takes many minutes for MainLobby to start up. I have not been able to associate the creation of a "dllhost.exe *32" instance with any particular event on the platform.

Using Task Manager, I have (on two occasions) killed off all the "dllhost.exe *32" processes, and MainLobby again takes one or two seconds to start up. There seem to be no harmful effects from killing off these processes.

As a data point, none of my MainLobby client PC's have any "dllhost.exe *32" processes lying around. Even my one MainLobby client machine that is running 64-bit Windows 7.

The machine with the problem is the MLServer PC and is running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. It is up-to-date with respect to Windows Update and with respect to Flash and with respect to the Cinemar Installation Assistant.

Those are the "facts". Speculation... These "dllhost.exe *32" processes appear to be some sort of ".COM" surrogate processes used when running 32-bit apps on a 64-bit platform. From what I can tell, these processes are left behind when some 32-bit .COM application "misbehaves".

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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby CinemarDave » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:30 pm

DLLHost is a com helper agent like you say. However those processes do not "hang around" on my PCs. When I launch MainLobby I do see the dllhost.exe process appear in task manager but as soon as I see the MainLobby splash screen the dllhost.exe process goes away. So you are on to something but the task is to figure out what dllhost.exe doesn't think the 32 bit app has launched. Are you seeing any events in the Windows Application or System event logs that can be tied to this?

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Re: MainLobby takes "forever" to start

Postby RZajcew » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:28 pm

I cleared out the dllhost.exe processes again and waited until a couple of new processes showed up. There were no events (other than a couple of informational events) that took place. And even the informational events didn't tie into the dllhost.exe processes showing up.

- Roman


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