Debug settings to make graphics crashers obsolete

UPDATE: We have found a better solution: Here’s how to defeat graphics crashers

NOTE: The settings in this article will cause you to not be able to see some floors and walls in Second Life. I will leave the article here for historical purposes, but please do not use these settings. They will make you very unhappy in the end, and you will want to go back to your original setup.

These instructions came from Green Lantern Christy Rain. Thanks, Christy!

Crash B Gone Debug Settings for your SL Viewer

Contains information on how to adjust a few debug settings that will allow your viewer to  automatically derender rezzed or worn graphics crashers-

-SecondLife Viewer-

Open Debug settings and set the following values:

  • Me—> Preferences—> Check Show Advanced Menu—>Debug—> Debug Settings
  • RenderAutoHideSurfaceAreaLimit 114
  • RenderAutoMuteSurfaceAreaLimit 2100
  • RenderAttachedLights FALSE

-Firestorm Viewer-

Open Debug settings and set the following values:

  • Hold (Ctrl / Alt / Shift / S)
  • RenderSculptSAThreshold 114.000
  • RenderAutoHideSurfaceAreaLimit 114.000
  • RenderAutoMuteSurfaceAreaLimit 2100
  • RenderAttachedLights FALSE


-Singularity Viewer-

Open Debug settings and set the following values:

  • Advanced—-> Debug Settings
  • RenderAutoHideSurfaceAreaLimit 114
  • RenderAutoMuteSurfaceAreaLimit 2100
  • RenderAttachedLights FALSE


Once set, your viewer will automatically derender any worn or rezzed linksets that lag and crash your graphics driver.

About Hal Jordan
This entry was posted in Griefers, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Debug settings to make graphics crashers obsolete

  1. Brenda Karu says:

    it would be great to know how to adjust it in Phoenix Viewer, I guess that there are many whom use this viewer yet. Thank you.

    • Hal Jordan says:

      As I understand it, changes in Second Life will make Phoenix and many other older viewers unusable, so the folks who are using those will need to upgrade at some point. I will look at the standard Linden viewer and see if I can determine how to change the settings there, too.

      • Brendiux Karu says:

        Hal, I know they will be unusable soon but dang… I really don’t like any other viewers. I have tried many times to use Firestorm, Exodus, Catznip, etc but I just hate how they work. Anyway, thank you a lot for your reply. I will be following your blog.. See you…
        Brendiux Karu

  2. Shane (TheLWord) says:

    Ok thanks, i’ll make a try for this settings !
    But, one thing please, try to explain a bit what this settings does !
    For exemple:
    The setting RenderAttachedLights FALSE, make that any attachment like facelight don’t work anymore !
    But thank one more time to help us to be more crashless !!! 😉

  3. Hal Jordan says:

    I’m not a scripter, so I don’t know what these settings do. If I had to take a wild guess, I would say that the “SurfaceAreaLimit” number might refer to, say, a representation of a diamond with many facets, and each facet being a “SurfaceArea.” If the viewer had to show you which way each facet was pointing, then things could get very complicated if you built a diamond with a million facets and started it rotating. So maybe those numbers indicate the number of facets that the viewer will attempt to render, and after it reaches that number, the rest of the facets are just rendered as a curved surface. I don’t know exactly what a graphics crasher object was made of, but I do recall editing a few of them and seeing hundreds of individual objects inside, all linked together.

    And if this change means that we can’t see facelights any more, then I think it’s a great benefit to everyone! We’ve all seen places in a sim that are all lit up like an airport runway, and at the center of it is an avatar wearing bright facelights. If someone wants to make sure their face is brightly lighted at all times, even at midnight, they can do that. But I’m glad there’s a way for the rest of us to decide whether we have to look at it.

    I haven’t been kicked offline by a graphics crasher since making these changes, but I’m not sure I’ve really seen a graphics crasher since then, either. I guess griefing in Second Life is kind of like an arms race between countries in real life. The griefers come up with a new and devastating way to crash people, and then some bright scripter among the residents or at Linden Lab figures out a way to bypass the griefing. This change has fixed one of the biggest griefer problems in recent memory, but I suppose it won’t be too long before some smart griefer comes up with another way to annoy people.

    Thank you for the comment.

  4. xan says:

    So what are the Pheonix settings since Pheonix didnt stop working?

    • Hal Jordan says:

      The debug settings in the Phoenix viewer should be the same as in the other viewers. It may not have stopped working, but you won’t be able to use it much longer without seeing avatars as weird looking blobs.

    • Sayia Seljan says:

      When SSA is rolled out on the main grid, you won’t be able to see avatars rendered correctly from what I understand, you will just see grey people.

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  6. Wolf Baginski says:

    There is a setting in Firestorm to switch attached lights on and off: Develop menu, Rendering sub-menu. That’s probably similar in most Viewers. I’m not sure if there is something similar for Phoenix and it’s ilk. Facelights are killed. So would a flashlight.

    The SurfaceArea limits won’t be the number of facets, there’s a lot more than 114 on an Avatar. It might be the maximum area of a facet. If it is, you’d expect to see some effect on large prims. A 10m cube, the old limit, has a maximum facet-size of 50 sq m. The 64m limit that now applies would give a much larger facet area.

    If these things, sometimes called lag-bombs, don’t crash your viewer instantly, you have a chance to Block/Mute the object, but you have to act pretty fast. And while the end result is the same, I expect that includes the problem of the rapidly changing object flooding your connection with updates for the viewer to ignore. This gives you a chance to get away, at least.

    I’ll give this a try and see how it affects such things.

    • Hal Jordan says:

      Thank you for sharing your knowledge about this topic. I have a copy of Imprudence version 1.3.2 installed, and it also has an entry in the debug menu entitled RenderAttachedLights. I don’t see the other settings in the debug list, though.

      There were graphics crashers all over the place before I implemented these settings. Murphy’s Law came into play, and I haven’t seen one to test the settings since I made these changes. But last night I saw a couple of very large graphics crashers near Ahern, so I moved toward them. In the past I would have lagged down to zero and crashed, but I was able to walk right up to within touching distance and edit both crashers before derendering them. This makes Hal a happy camper!

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  8. Nibs says:

    Hi Hal,
    Thx v much for this useful info )
    I’m in FS 4.4.2 and RenderAutoMuteSurfaceAreaLimit is greyed out… any ideas?

  9. Vanity Vixen says:

    Sadly setting these changes do not effect the graphics crashes at bondage ranch, they still hit me hard within 10 mins (even faster if i cam about)

  10. ok i did this and now i can not see my avter can you please tell me how to reset to see my avter

    • Hal Jordan says:

      To see your avatar, try changing the RenderAutoHideSurfaceAreaLimit back to the default of 0.000 from 114. I discovered that was causing me to not see some things like floors and walls, but my avatar didn’t disappear. You may want to change it back if you are liable to be griefed with graphics crashers.

      Thanks for posting about this – it solved my problem too!

  11. Random Helpful Person says:

    I looked at these settings myself, basically they allow you to set maximum thresholds for each of the listed categories. These numbers as they are, are too low and will cause some floors, walls, and other parts of sims to disappear. This also includes avatars. (If you put these settings into your viewer and feel as though something is wrong with the world around you like invisible walls, etc,’ this is why.) You can tell what setting did it by reading the tool-tips provided in each of these debug settings. Adjust ONE at a time and see what happens around you. There’s always “Reset to Default”, or you know, you can ‘write down’ where it was set before you changed it and change it back if anything looks wrong to you. (Keep all the default numbers recorded in a NotePad you can re-open easily if you need to, i.e., no ‘Reset to Default’ available for some reason.) I can see these settings as helpful tools against griefers attempting to overload your GPU but these numbers are just too low. You’ll need to, one at a time, fool around with them so they are high enough you can view the world normally, but that the caps are low enough that if a griefer attempts to crash you, it won’t work. That’s all theory, since I haven’t begun this process yet .. not sure if it even works, but it’s something to think about if you choose to explore these options yourself. Not discrediting this suggestion at all, it’s potentially very helpful — but it appears to require some trial and error to find a comfortable setting for each.

  12. About 1/3 of Sl disappeared when I tried these settings.

  13. Hey all!

    I worked this out for the Catznip 8.1 Viewer for a friend:

    -Catznip R8.1 Viewer-

    Open Debug settings and set the following values:

    Advanced Menu—>Debug—> Debug Settings

    RenderAutoHideSurfaceAreaLimit 114
    RenderAutoMuteSurfaceAreaLimit 2100
    RenderAttachedLights FALSE

    Hope this helps!

    Shaine VanDornan

  14. Doug says:

    this debug mod worked for awhile but is now obsolete, multicrasher still crashed video on Firestorm. This mod needs modification.

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  18. Blacky says:

    Use,………………. CTL / ALT / SHFT / 9, …………….for temporary disabling of the Second Life graphic settings, …………..repeat CTL / ALT / SHFT / 9 … toggle back to you local graphics settings

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