Guide: What does "Rhino crashing" even mean?

The most common support question is “why is Rhino randomly crashing on my lousy laptop?” and the most common answer is to update your video drivers. Windows and video drivers need to be kept up-to-date. But it seems like there needs to be some clarification about what “Rhino crashing” means.

An normal Rhino “crash” due to some sort of bug in Rhino or a video driver will produce a message like this:

If you don’t see this, then Rhino hasn’t actually “crashed.” It may just be busy working(which may be the result of some bug if it never stops.)

If you see this window, Rhino hasn’t actually “crashed.”

It means that one of your open Rhino instances is so tied-up it’s blocking you from doing anything else Rhino-related at the moment, for let’s just call it “Windows reasons.” Every Rhino instance is separate, yet there are some tenuous connections. You generally just have to wait a while and retry, nothing is necessarily “wrong.” Unless there is no explanation for why Rhino should be too busy to respond, it doesn’t mean anything.

If Rhino suddenly closes with no error message, then that’s almost certainly the video driver.

Now, if your computer reboots

I cannot stress enough that ordinary bugs in ordinary programs like Rhino do not cause reboots. That is not a “Rhino crash,” that is potentially a serious problem with your computer. It may be an extra-bad bug in a video driver, or with Windows itself, or an actual hardware failure. Do not write off such occurrences as simply a “Rhino bug,” that’s almost impossible. It doesn’t matter if Rhino or only some version of Rhino is the only application where it happens, or it hasn’t happened before. Make sure your backups are in order and start troubleshooting. A reboot is a warning.

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