Quick Tip: Fix for unexplainable common crashes of Lotus Notes 8.x with Eclipse

Lotus Notes Version 8.x introduced the Eclipse-based extension with many new features and functions possible.  But along with that came a world of new opportunities for software failures. The introduction of the Fault Reports database made it easier to gather crash information, but still doesn’t provide any tools for fixing the issues or identifying the cause of many errors in the Eclipse configuration information that is stored in the \Workspace directory located in the Notes data directory.  It could present a variety of errors from the client closing as soon as it is launched to crashing whenever the user tries to send an email with an attachment.  The first step is to identify if the problem is related to Eclipse.  An easy test for this is to launch the Notes client in basic mode.  This can be done two ways:
1. Add this line to the notes.ini: UseBasicNotes=1
I prefer not to use this method since this is only being used temporarily.
2. The preferred method for this use is to edit the properties of the icon used to launch Notes and append  ” -sa” (without the quotes) to the end of the command line that has notes.exe so it looks like this:

Basic Mode

If you cannot reproduce the error while running in basic mode, the problem is probably due to an Eclipse configuration issue.
In such cases, the brute-force method of solving the problem would be to delete the \Workspace folder and cache.ndk and maybe even the bookmarks.nsf.  This may work, but it also deletes many settings that have been customized for that client.  A less drastic, but not publicly documented method is to launch the Notes client with parameters that will clear the Eclipse cache or reset the configuration.

1. Click the Windows Start button, type cmd and press enter.  This will launch a command prompt.
2. Change the current  path to the Notes Program directory.
3. Launch Notes using the following command:
> Notes -RPARAMS -clean
or to reset the configuration, Launch Notes using the following command:
> Notes -RPARAMS -resetconfig

Each of these commands has a specific impact on the Eclipse files.  The full impact is not publicly documented, so you may want to make a backup of the \Workspace folder first and if you have access to IBM technical support, it is best to open a ticket with them before using these commands.  But this is another tool to add to your Notes client repair kit.

For a related article describing an example of using the Fault Reports data to troubleshoot client crashes, check out my post titled:  The Single biggest cause of Lotus Notes client crashes and how to avoid them


Posted on February 12, 2014, in Quick Tip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Remember when, for years and years, end-users could at least if nothing else count on Notes being solid as a rock? Sigh. The crashing sounds more like hammering these days — of coffin-nails, sadly. The developers of Notes made the fatal mistake of listening to developers rather than end users.

  2. Actually, I don’t remember a time when Notes was rock-solid. Maybe V2.1, maybe R3?

    In any event, this guy’s nailed the single biggest cause of Notes crashes, and it’s also the second-biggest. Notes 5 & 7 were vulnerable to this unloading problem when they were launched from a network drive. It used to drive me crazy. There was even a version of this situation on-server, because the Notes service did not respond nicely to a “net stop” command, and so the service summarily halted it.

    Nowadays my biggest annoyance crash is trying to make backups on Notes 8.5 installations, because Notes 8.5x would crash if I didn’t wait for a few minutes after launching to choose “File .. Database .. New Copy”

    • Notes 4 was solid …. 6.5 was just about the most solid piece of software ever released on the planet… well it ranked up there with them, anyway!

      • I think the biggest factor was adding Eclipse. More memory, more power, more complexity, more features. The reason the Admin client is still so stable is because they never updated it with Eclipse. It even still has the old status bar, complete with the ability to edit the location doc without trapping it in a modal dialog box.

      • Agreed David — Eclipse brought so many new features — except the ones that end users (who are now the ones leading the BYOD charge and forming collective IT decisions by their actions) actually wanted such as better printing, export to Excel, mail merging somehow etc eh? lol..

        Anyway yes am so glad they left the Admin client alone. The poor old faithful designer client was turned into a real dog there for a few years after the introduction of Eclipse.

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