Second Life Main Viewer Failing

There are a number of people reporting (11/11/2014) that the update to the now default/main viewer Second Life Viewer 3.7.20 (296071) Oct 29 2014 10:40:27 (Second Life Project Snowstorm) has created problems. The viewer will not run. In most cases it crashes at VFS (Virtual File System) initialization.

Blood Letters - Letter 10 - Not these. The hint says 'canvas'

Blood Letters – Letter 10 – Not these. The hint says ‘canvas’

I am running Second Life 3.7.20 (296355) Nov  3. It does not have the problem. It runs. But, we do not yet know if version 3.7.20 (296071) crashes on all computers or just some. Judging by the size of the response in the forum, a dozen or so, I would say just a few.

It is possible to run other versions of the viewer. The basic trick to being able to install a different version of the viewer is to enable automatic update and  ‘Willing to update to release candidate.’  If not enabled, the viewer will attempt to download and install the main viewer ASAP. The setting is in Preferences->Setup. The setting is also the default setting.

The active thread about this error is: Second_Life_3_7_20_296094_i686_Setup, is anyone else having an issue with this like me? The related JIRA is BUG-7776.

A Clean Install does not fix the problem. Dump version 3.7.20 (296071). Install a different version. You can find the Second Life RC (Release Candidate) Viewers and Project Viewers here. 

Just download and install over the top of the main viewer. If you use an RC Viewer, be sure you change your Preferences as described above before logging in.

Project Viewer are less reliable and more prone to crashes and problems. I consider them more of a beta version. The RC Viewers are thought by the Lindens to be ready for release. This is their final test before being promoted to ‘main stable release’.

Project Viewers will install into their own  install directory. They can be installed with other versions and all run at will. The RC Viewers install over the main viewer and each other, limiting you to having just one version installed. Basically Project Viewers install in their own unique name directory. RC Viewers and the main viewer install in the same directory. To install more than one version of an RC, you have to do a custom install.

Advanced Tech

There are Debug Settings that affect how the viewer handles updates. These can be found in the settings.xml file and edited, if you can’t get a viewer to run long enough to change your Preferences.

  • ForceMandatoryUpdate – For QA: On next startup, forces the auto-updater to run.
  • UpdaterServicePath – Path on the update server host. Default: update – Not persistent
  • UpdaterServiceSetting – Configure updater service. Default: 0=Manual, 3=Automatic*
  • UpdaterServiceURL – Default location for the updater service. Default:
  • UpdaterWillingToTest – Whether or not the updater should offer test candidate upgrades. Default: TRUE

*Values discovered by experiment.

The settings file is here:

  • Windows 7, 8, and Vista: C:\Users\[win_login_id]\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\
  • Mac OSX: Users/User_name]/Library/Application Support/SecondLife/Avatarname/


2 thoughts on “Second Life Main Viewer Failing

  1. There is a simple solution for Mac owners to solve this problem.
    MacOS from Maverick allow no third party to touch the library. Therefore, the \clear cache\ in the viewer has no effect.
    I have a couple of times, experienced that the viewer is only white and refuses to start. To solve this, I have physically thrown the entire cache folder (Library / Caches / SecondLife) in the trash, just empty it does not help – it seems as if the folder is corrupted. Thereafter, the viewer started as usual kind.
    Right now, I wrestle with the occasionally recurring photo-bug. Viewer crashes when saving images to disk. It was there last Thursday but not on Friday, and was back on Saturday

  2. Pingback: Second Life News 2014-46 | Nalates' Things & Stuff

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