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MathGroup Archive 2013

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Suggestions Bar Hanging

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg131520] Suggestions Bar Hanging
  • From: Helen Read <readhpr at gmail.com>
  • Date: Sat, 17 Aug 2013 02:06:23 -0400 (EDT)
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A colleague and I are responsible for the computers in two mathematics 
classrooms, 30 student computers (32-bit Windows 7, running Mathematics 
9.0.1) plus one for the instructor in each room. We re-image the 
machines a few times per year, before the start of each each semester 
and before the summer session and occasionally at other times. I taught 
a class in one of these rooms during the second half of the summer. The 
first day that I introduced the students to Mathematica, we round that 
the Suggestions Bar was hanging. After evaluating something (anything at 
all), the Suggestions Bar would not come up, and nothing else could be 
evaluated without first doing an Abort Evaluation. The fix that my 
colleague and I found at the time involved copying the Mathematica 
folder in AppData/Roaming from a machine that did not have this issue 
(the instructor's computer) into the corresponding location in the 
Default User profile on the "broken" machines (all 30 of the student 
computers in the room), and deleting the existing user profiles so that 
all of the students would get a fresh profile the next time they logged 
on. We were able to do all of this remotely without having to go around 
machine by machine, and without having to make a new image.

This was the very first time we have seen this issue, and from our end 
of things we didn't do anything different in the way we image the 
computers. The last time we imaged the room was in May, and there were 
no reports of the problem before my class began in early July. (The 
other classroom, BTW, was offline for the summer due to renovation of 
the building, so it is unknown if it had the same problem.)

We are now preparing both rooms for the fall semester. We started with 
the room that was open over the summer, and did our usual profile 
cleanup, updated software and licenses, etc. I ran Mathematica 
specifically to check for the hanging Suggestions Bar, and all was well. 
We made the image and cloned it to all 30 of the student computers, and 
every one of them now has the hanging Suggestions Bar. We tried the same 
fix as before -- send them all the Mathematica folder from the 
AppData/Roaming from a "good" machine, but unfortunately this no longer 
fixes the problem, not even if you delete the folder first. We tried 
many other things, and so far the only thing that works is to completely 
delete the AppData/Roaming/Mathematica folder from the default user 
profile, and let Mathematica build a new one for each user who logs in. 
This is not ideal, as there are a few things we normally set (for 
example, we like to turn off the Welcome screen, and turn on the EditBar).

We are going to try fixing one of the computers and start over with a 
new image, but based on what has been happening, I am not hopeful that 
it will solve the problem.

Questions

1. Has anyone else had this issue with the Suggestions Bar hanging (and 
causing the Kernel to hang along with it)?

2. Any way to fix?

I will also send this to Wolfram support, but I thought I would post 
here in case anyone else has had this issue.

Helen Read
University of Vermont




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