3dsmax Crash & External HDD

Troubleshooting 3dsmax

Ever since updating to Windows 10 Ive had a few issues here and there, especially with 3dsmax. The most recent one was lots of 'random' crashing, or what seem to be random at first. Before I go into the issue if you have stumbled on this frustrated at 3D Studio Max crashing on you then there is probably a few other places to look first:

  • Recent Scripts which may be bugging out.

  • Conflicting software such as well known anti-virus software which can cause lag or crashing (Windows Defender seems to do a damn good job in my opinion!).

  • Hardware issues. Check you have the latest drivers for your graphics card or that your CPU/GPU is not over heating - Crashing while rendering. Maybe your scene is too large for your current hardware, monitor your system resources to check where the fault is, typically it can be a lack of RAM.

  • Service packs. Check you have the latest version for your software.

  • Reset your settings - if all else fails you can delete this folder (which also deletes your preferences) and then restart 3dsmax. Good practice is to keep a safe copy of this folder when its in good working order so you can replace it later if you need - C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Local\Autodesk\3dsMax\yourmaxversion\ENU

  • A recent windows update may not be working correctly and you can always revert the last update to check if the problem persists.

  • External Hard Drives as your asset location - which is what we will discuss now.

Since I have been working on a laptop recently I keep my large assets, textures, models etc on an external hard drive which most of my 3D files are linked to. What I was not aware of is that your hard drive goes to sleep automatically after awhile - which you will notice a few seconds lag when diving down a few folders deep if you have not used your hard drive directly for 10-20 minutes. Fortunately I found a fix on a blog which I found recently which fixed my crashing issues completely and so far so good, ill update this otherwise.

Here is the fix:
Obtain the hardware ID of the USB storage device:

1. Make sure the device is plugged in.
2. Search for “device manager” in the Search charm, and open Device Manager.
3. In Device Manager, expand the Disk Drives and locate the device:
4. Select the View > Devices by connection from the menu:
5. Right-click the USB Mass Storage Device node under which the device appears, and select Properties.
6. On the Details tab, select Hardware Ids from the drop-down list.
7. Make a note of the 4 digits occurring after “VID_” and “PID_” and close Device Manager. In this example, VID is 0004 and PID is 0001.

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In my case mine looked a bit different and was listed under Property: Parent:

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Change the device setting in the registry.

1. Run Registry Editor (regedit.exe) as administrator by searching for “regedit” in the Search charm. Right-click the regedit icon, and select Run as administrator.

2. In Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\usbstor.

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3. Right-click usbstor and create a key. The name must be VID and PID strings obtained previously. Leading 0’s are significant. For the device in this example the new key name is “00040001”, or in my case it was 125FA75A

4. Right-click the new key and create a DWORD entry named DeviceHackFlags. Set the value to 400 hexadecimal.

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5. Disconnect and reconnect the device.

I hope this helps you resolve your issues, You can read more on the link below:

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/usbcoreblog/2013/10/31/help-after-installing-windows-8-1-my-usb-drive-disappears-or-file-transfers-stop-unexpectedly/