Lost parameters due to windows screensaver

O no,

I was gonna do some testing with high resolution prints with one of my favorite fractals, but i found out that i lost the parameters for it. It seems i lost a few parameters from the “Splamcirs” set and the favorite is am missing especially and which i was planning to use for the test prints was:

I still have the image rendered in 2048×1536 though, which is good enough to get decent large prints, but which wasn’t enough for my testing purposes. All in all i think i am missing 4 parameters (Splamcirs zoom 1-4) Now i’ll just have to find the location again, which is gonna be hard but not impossible, because i don’t recall zooming in too deep for these images.

Update 2009-10-31: I have been able to find the location again and successfully have saved the location parameters and also (re)rendered the image in 40 Megapixel resolution for prints up to very large poster format (78″ x 52″ or 198.1 x 132.1 cm).

Ultra Fractal Crashes

The reason that the parameters are missing from my backup is probably that the parameters were never saved in the first place. It’s not the first parameters i’ve lost or even entire images. Not too long ago i was experiencing crashes in Ultra Fractal, it took me a while to find out the cause, but i did. Ultra Fractal was crashing when my standard blankscreen screensaver became active on Vista x64 SP2. I did on at least one occasion manage to recover an Ultra Fractal session from unresponsiveness after the screensaver became active which allowed me to save things, close it and reboot. But mostly i was not able to recover the sessions. The problem might also have been due to some irregularities with my Nvidia display driver for my Geforce 8600GT (silent) videocard. Not using any screensaver but only power saving functions stopped Ultra Fractal from crashing.

Fixing my Nvidia display driver issues

I fixed the irregularities with my Nvidia display drivers by uninstalling the old drivers and deleting all old Nvidia display drivers and references manually. To clean my windows from Nvidia display drivers i first tried to use special cleaning software called “Driver Cleaner Professional” (i tried Driver Cleaner.Net v3.4.1.0 to be exact) because it was recommended by many (ignorant, as i discovered) people also on the Guru3D website. The software completely crashed on every uninstall operation i tried on my Vista x64 SP2 system and noticed that the software could at best only uninstall certain drivers from a predefined list. Well the software did not work at all so i resorting to fixing it myself. Advanced users can use the same method for completely removing drivers from windows to resolve any reoccurring issues.

First uninstall the drivers from the Control Panel or from the uninstall shortcut in your Start Menu if it exists. If there are no uninstall options to be found for you specific hardware, Start the Device Manager (right-click My Computer>Manage>Device Manager) select the device you want to uninstall and click “uninstall from the top menu or right-click menu. Now open two Windows Explorer windows (one for search and one to show files) in “c:\windows\inf” (hidden folder) by typing in the location manually. Now click on Search in that folder, this is where things become a bit difficult if you have Windows Search installed, because you cannot use it to search inside documents in non-indexed locations, but it is always set as the default search method. So you must first use the windows search and find nothing and then click on “Use Search Companion” or “Search in File Contents” (depending on your windows), in this case i searched for “Nvidia”.

So what you should do is search for “Nvidia” or “Nvidia Display” (or search for the specific hardware you want to remove) in the “c:\windows\inf” folder (you can also limit the files to contain ” the word oem”). You should then find some files that contain info about the old drivers called something like “oem10.inf”. When the windows search is complete open the found inf files to verify that the found files are indeed the drivers references you wish to remove and close them. Now in the other Explorer Windows delete the found “”oem10.inf” files and their companion “oem10.pnf” files. Make sure you only delete the files containing “oem” in the filename to ensure you are not deleting windows standard drivers.

Nvidia usually also unpacks downloaded drivers to “C:\Nvidia” so be sure to remove the correct drivers from there aswell. Repeat the search and delete for all files with the word “physx” aswell, since these are separate drivers from the Nvidia display drivers. Beware if you have an Nvidia chipset on your mainboard that you only delete the display drivers and not your chipset drivers if you only want to fix display driver issues. Now you can reboot or shutdown and do a clean driver install.

To sum up the manual driver removal process:
1) Uninstall drivers from control panel, start menu or device manager
2) Search for the driver “oem” files (.inf and .pnf) in “c:\windows\inf” and delete them
3) Delete driver files from other locations (like “c:\Nvidia”)
4) Reboot or shutdown (shutdown is even better)
5) Install drivers for a clean install

You should have no more inherited driver issues after this.

That’s all for now,

– Saquedon.

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