156 hours of rendering…gone!

156 hours of rendering…gone!

My latest image was busy rendering – estimated to take a whopping 156 hours to render (after the initial radiosity pass) that is 6 ½ days! I was using Vue 9 (64-bit) as a render engine. Bryce 7 wouldn’t handle the file (over 2.5Gb big) and it is limited to 32-bit address space so it can’t use all my 8Gb of memory! The render started last Tuesday and when I checked last night at 11pm there was only 4 hours left and a thin strip remained to complete, so I went to be happy in anticipation for the results for the next morning.

So this morning (it is now a full week later) I got up all excited and instead of being greeted by a completed render, I was greeted by the Windows 7 welcome screen! My PC had rebooted in the night, and 156-hours solid of rendering was gone! Even Vue’s famous “Resume Render” function didn’t work becuase the machine had simply shut down!

Needless to say I was more than slightly irritated…I was furious! What caused this reboot? It certainly wasn’t a powercut. I have a nice little UPS that will keep my system going for a couple of hours should the power go down.

Then a little notification popped up that revealed the guilty party. Windows ***ing Updater! By default it seems Windows 7 updates regularly and reboots the system once the update is complete!

After much cursing andsmashing my forehead into the keyboard, I discovered how to prevent this potentially disasterous occurance from happening every time Microsoft patches its operating system! This will work with any version of Windows 7 – Professional and above. It might even work with XP.

  1. Click the Windows 7 orb
  2. Type “gpedit.msc” in the Search field to find and start the Group Policy Editor
  3. Go to Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update
  4. Double-click on “No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Update installation”
  5. Enable it!
  6. Reboot the computer

In Vue I also set the Rendering to render to a file rather than the screen and to backup the render file very hour. I will report back next week – at the same time – with the results of my looonnnggg render!

[After this posting I recieved a note from David Brinnen informed me that Bryce can be made to see more than the default 2Gb limit for memory. Techpowerup has a link to a little utility “LargeAddressAware” that can allow Bryce to have a 3Gb limit – Thanks David]