COF Corruption

Seems there is a big GOTCHA coming. COF is Current Outfit Folder. It is used by the SSA – Server side Appearance, a service that bakes your avatar appearance. This should end bake fail, blurry avatars.

Too Cute

Too Cute

The COF has been around for a while (early 2012). Long enough for us to know it is often at the heart of inventory problems. What some have not realized is that the folder is also at the heart of login problems. If the COF gets corrupted you often cannot login. You’ll have little clue as to why.

The only clues that it is COF corruption that is crashing you is:

  • Only one account is affected
  • They will crash or timeout disconnect at login, usually around “Downloading clothing…”
  • They will likely crash/disconnect on any V3 based viewer or a viewer that uses COF
  • Clean install, cache clear, replacing outfit on a non-COF viewer will not fix them

The crash logs will contain errors:

  • INFO: newview/llappearancemgr.cpp(1998) : LLAppearanceMgr::updateAppearanceFromCOF: starting.
  • WARNING: newview/llappearancemgr.cpp(2891) : WearablesOrderComparator::operator(): Warning # 0: either item1 or item2 is NULL

Work-Around

Presently there is a work-around to fix the problem. Actually there are a couple of fixes.

If you are a premium account holder the Lab will clean up the corruption. They have inventory clean up scripts that I think Andrew Linden made for them. But, if you are not a Premium member then… we don’t know if they will help. It will certainly take longer to get help from them. Also, there is some question as to whether the scripts will work after the SSA rollout. A JIRA thread shows that some accounts could not be fixed by the repair scripts. Scary.

I think the scripts referred to are not the ones Andrew made. But, I can’t be sure.

The current user fix is:

  • Get and old viewer that does not use a COF – Like Imprudence.
  • Login using the old viewer on the problem account.
  • Replace your outfit. You must change every item the avatar wears. If you have even a single item on that is in the COF, this is not going to work. Standard Avatars are OK. May be try a robot avatar or car.
  • Logout of SL.
  • Get a viewer that uses VerifyInitialWearables, which can be found in the Debug Settings.  Firestorm and Catznip have the feature.
  • Start the viewer but do not login.
  • Enable the Advanced (Ctrl-Alt-D) and Developer (Ctrl-Alt-A) menus, and go to Debug Settings.
  • Set VerifyInitialWearables to TRUE.
  • Login with the viewer.

The concern is that the VerifyInitialWearables communicated by the viewer to the server will change with the rollout of SSA. The SSA server in beta test ignores the call. So, a screwed account stays screwed until the Lab helps out.

To see the history of this see SVC-7653“LL inventory repair tools broken; avatars can be permanently disabled by previously fixable inventory folder glitches.” CHOP -839 *AngusGraham Ceawlin. I can’t tell if this is an open are close part of the JIRA system.

An alternate pathway is to purchase a Premium account and request a fix.

Another Gotcha

There are reports of the use of special characters in folder names and in item names breaking inventory. These are extended characters like; ö, ♀, and Y.

Summary

These are things that are disturbing. We have various rumors of things that can go wrong with the coming SSA rollout. We can test some of the things in ADITI/Preview Grid. But, no one wants to corrupt their inventory to do a test. So, we don’t know how much is or isn’t going to work.

But as a preventative, make sure you have a viewer that does not use COF. That will give you a way into SL while you try to get things fixed, should your COF get corrupted.

Fortunately this is a rare problem. But, while rare it is happening too frequently.

References
http://jira.phoenixviewer.com/browse/FIRE-7209
http://jira.phoenixviewer.com/browse/FIRE-8450
SVC-7653

7 thoughts on “COF Corruption

  1. There is a much simpler fix: use the Cool VL Viewer: it doesn’t use the COF to restore your outfit on login but instead an outfit.xml file stored together with the per-account settings (so whatever the state of the COF, you will manage to log in, even in SSB regions): of course, after login, if the assets server fails to create links in the COF, you will fail to bake in SSB regions (that’s the flaw I clearly described to LL when they first introduced SSB but they ignored my argument and the solution I gave to them: I guess I will soon be able to say “I told you” to LL…).

    • I’ll remember to point to your comment here when we hit these problems.

      While one can login with Cool, does this fix the corrupted COF? Or does LL still have to fix it on the server side?

      • The viewer will automatically resync the COF links with the actually worn items.

        Should there be an existing corrupted link to a worn item (i.e. a link that the viewer will not try to recreate since it exists already), you may either change your outfit completely (the viewer will then wipe out the old links to create new ones, to the newly worn items) or manually delete the corrupted link from the COF (you will need to set the HideCurrentOutfitFolder debug setting to FALSE first, because the Cool VL Viewer hides the COF by default in your inventory).

        Should the manual deletion fail as well (meaning the corruption is way more serious and at LL’s end, in their inventory database), you will need to file a support ticket, but I never saw this happening (and in the mean time, you can still use your avatar and rez it properly, at least as long as SSB is not enforced: you may even disable SSB support in the Cool VL VIewer, in the Advanced -> Character menu in SSB sims: this will work as long as LL doesn’t shut down the old baked textures uploading service from their servers…).

  2. Yes, I could get into 7653. Although it looks like there are no recent comments on it?

    Frightening there is a bug out there like this that nobody, even LL, seems to be able to fix! While bake fail is annoying causing unfixable problems (this and the z-offset issue) is not the solution.

    This is typical of LL. They cause bugs doing things nobody requested (AFAIK) then are only concerned with rolling it out, not actually addressing the new problems. If someone provides a fix patch they will not implement it until it goes WAY beyond fixing the problem it was designed to fix … no version 2.0 of the code.

    • I can’t think of anything the Lab is working on that has not been requested. The whole SSA/Bake Fail thing is a fix users have pleaded to get for years. The JIRA is full of requests for features and problem fixes.

      There are people that know how to fix the problem. When we had inventory problems in ADITI the Lindens on the development side fixed the problems. They developed new tools to give the maintenance and support sides. The problem is getting the right person at the Lab to help you.

      But, this fix does seem to create a worse problem than bake fail. But, I expect this problem to also be fixed.

  3. thank you, this is very arcane, but useful and would be very hard to discover in a search of a knowledge database

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.