Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2013 HELP: Problems with the newest SL viewer? Here's a fix

Problems with the newest SL viewer? 
Here's a fix
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Sometimes the newest SL viewer does not work well for some people.  Here are some solutions.  
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This article  was originally written because the May 20 viewer release, 3.5.2, was causing problems for many people.  Linden Lab has since reverted to the earlier release, 3.5.1.  But I am publishing the article anyway, so it will be available for the next time. 
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Besides, at the end,  there are some suggestions about how to reduce or avoid such problems.  You can do those things now.
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First be sure your graphics driver is current
  • Check at the site of the manufacturer of you graphics card
  • Never let Microsoft "update" (screw up)  your driver
Next check for an install problem

  • You can't login with the new viewer, OR
  • No one else is reporting this problem

If yes to either of these, try a reinstall first: 
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If the problem remains, Revert to a good viewer
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1. Find the Setup file for the good viewer
You may still have the one you used to install the previous good viewer.  

If not go to the SL Downloads  page.  Look just below the main download button for a list of links that includes "Release notes."  Click that link.  

On the release notes page, find the latest release (the one that is giving you trouble).   Just before that will be the most recent previous viewers.   The next most recent viewer will probably be the one you want to revert to.  If not, look at the versions before that and pay attention to the the dates.   Click on the version that looks good to you

On the release notes page for the release you want, find the download button for your operating system and use that to download the setup file you need.  Do not install yet.  Just  put the setup file where you can find it easily.  
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Before you install, you have 3 more steps:  
  • Set your preferences to manual install.
  • Remove the installed viewer.
  • Restart your computer.
2. Set your preferences to manual install 
Load your current viewer.  When it is waiting for you to login, click Me (upper left) .  Open Me- Preferences-Setup.  Be sure the setting for "Software Updates" is "Download and install updates manually"  If it says "Install automatically " click the drop down arrow and pick the option for manual.  Click OK to save this setting.
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If your viewer is set to install automatically, it will re-install the version you don't want.
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3.  Remove the installed viewer
On Windows (up through Windows 7) you do this through the control panel (available from the Windows Key).   For Windows 8, I cannot offer any suggestions, only sympathy.   You might try the windows key, if there is one.  WIndows 8.1 (to be released in summer 2013) may work as easily as Windows 7.  
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4.  Restart your computer and install
To install, click on the setup file that you downloaded previously.  When you start the newly installed viewer and before you login, check the preferences for manual install again as in step 2.
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5.  To make this process simpler in the future
  • Be sure your setup controls are set for manual install
  • Always restart your computer before you install
  • Keep the setup file for a good version until you are sure you have a newer good version
  • Check the for graphics driver update every quarter at the manufacturer's site
  • Never let Microsoft "update" your driver
Alternative viewers
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Third Party Viewer Directory 
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  • Annotated screen shots made with Jing
  • Creative Commons License, attribution only.
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