Many people are having issues with the SL Viewer crashing. Problems started showing up in the 2.8 versions. For many the crash was at viewer launch or just after login. There are various causes depending on the viewer version and the video driver make and version in use. Newer video cards and drivers are more likely to have a problem. So, it is hard to know the cause of anyone person’s problems. However, the Lindens are fixing problems and things are improving.
For some instances of the problem the fix is to upgrade to the SL Development Viewer version 3.0.3. You can download the viewer on the Snowstorm Project page. (Current versions as I write: 3-0-3-239497.) This version has some fixes that have yet to make it into the main viewer.
You can get more help in the SL Forum and Answers. Be sure to SEARCH before you post. A search can save you time waiting for an answer to a question already answered.
I find the 3.0.0 version of the viewer is faster than 3.0.3. I suspect all development versions have more debugging code than the main stable release.
Firestorm has a crash on start that is due to a setting in Preferences. Contact Firestorm/Phoenix support for instructions on how to correct the problem. There is a Firestorm Wiki with help pages. Firestorm also has a Firestorm Troubleshooting section in the wiki. In-world search Groups for Firestorm to find their support group.
If you use multiple viewers, you may run into additional problems. Also, the help and troubleshooting pages of SL and third party viewers (TPV) tend to be just for a specific viewer. I wrote an article on how to handle problems with multiple viewers. It is a bit old and some of the issues have been resolved by TPV developers. But the information provides knowledge I hope will help people troubleshoot their problems. See these pages:
Second Life Clean Install – This covers how to avoid re-installing all viewers and if as a last resort one must re-install all viewers how to do it for the best results.
I Can’t Login to Second Life – This is a self-fix for those with Ghosting problems that block their login.
Lost Inventory and Missing Inventory Fix – Second Life Help – This article covers how to recover lost inventory items. SL has its problems and items can disappear from inventory. Most often items are not lost. They just are not showing up in your inventory. This article explains the problems and provide solutions.
Graphics Tweaking for Second Life – This is an article to help people understand all the graphics settings in Preferences and hopefully improve viewer performance.