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Runaway Macro - Scary Stuff!


paperguy
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For some reason the combination of my WinXP Pro + Adobe Flash + MEX3 occasionally causes the macro to go South. All of a sudden its opening files all over my desktop and doing all kinds of scary things as I chase the "running man" trying to abort the macro and doing keypresses to the same end.

 

Is there a good method to set a trap for the macro (aborting it) if it leaves the "stage" of the applications specified that it should be dealing with?

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For some reason the combination of my WinXP Pro + Adobe Flash + MEX3 occasionally causes the macro to go South. All of a sudden its opening files all over my desktop and doing all kinds of scary things as I chase the "running man" trying to abort the macro and doing keypresses to the same end.

 

Is there a good method to set a trap for the macro (aborting it) if it leaves the "stage" of the applications specified that it should be dealing with?

 

Didn't the abort key specified in

Options > Preferences > Playback > Abort Macro HotKey:

stop it?

 

In ME Pro I use Scroll Lock + Pause but I've reported cases where worryingly it didn't halt the macro, and I had to use Terminate. But as far as I can remember that emergency stop always worked reliably in ME 3.

 

--

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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Didn't the abort key specified in

Options > Preferences > Playback > Abort Macro HotKey:

stop it?

 

Unfortunately not. Thats why I am forced to go running around trying to click on the little guy while all hell breaks loose on my Desktop. I happen to use the "Smart Move" option in XP, which while very convenient exacerbates this situation.

Although it happens infrequently it is very DISCONCERTING. Too bad that MEx3 doesn't have a application "bounds" checker that you could setup for a macro. Bounds would be set by the user and any deviation would give warning that MEx3 would then terminate the macro.

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I've had similar scary experiences, like the other day when a macro ran away and highlighted all the dozens of icons on my desktop and kept moving the mouse so I couldn't get to the running man and I was trying to remember whether that macro had a <DELETE> coded in it ....

 

I am wondering if I could set my programmable keyboard to do Start | Run | taskkill macexp.exe. Then I could label the key with a big red sticker like the panic button on machinery.

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I recently had a similar discussion in the new ProMacro forum. There is a ME option to check the WINDOW that is open with an IF condition. If you stray outside, the macro could be terminated. From where that discussion lead, you would need a series of tests to continually check if you were still within that window. I had the same thing happen - totally out of control macro and since ME generally does its thing, I could not even remember which key(s) to hit to end the chaos I was watching.

 

A brief quote from that thread:

 

"When I run macros where text typing or other interactive events occur I always toss in an "If Not Window on Top" > "Activate Window" command to avoid the problems you mention. Even if it isn't user interaction sometimes processes on the machine will silently steal focus so for any big time macros I always include this."

 

Again, a long macro sequence would require continual checks.

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I am wondering if I could set my programmable keyboard to do Start | Run | taskkill macexp.exe. Then I could label the key with a big red sticker like the panic button on machinery.

 

Most extraordinarily awesome! I tried this on one of the macros I run frequently and it seems to stop Mex3 dead in its tracks.

 

kill_me3.vbs

Const HIDDEN_WINDOW = 12

strComputer = "."
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
& "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set objStartup = objWMIService.Get("Win32_ProcessStartup")

Set objConfig = objStartup.SpawnInstance_
objConfig.ShowWindow = HIDDEN_WINDOW
Set objProcess = GetObject("winmgmts:root\cimv2:Win32_Process")
errReturn = objProcess.Create("cmd.exe /c taskkill /IM MacExp.exe /t /f", null, objConfig, intProcessID)

 

I programmed one of my keyboard keys to run the script. It FORCES a kill of MacExp.exe and any of its children. It also inadvertently closes the MacroEdit window, but thats easy enough to restart.

 

Thanks rberg for the idea!

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Most extraordinarily awesome! I tried this on one of the macros I run frequently and it seems to stop Mex3 dead in its tracks.

 

kill_me3.vbs

Const HIDDEN_WINDOW = 12

strComputer = "."
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
& "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set objStartup = objWMIService.Get("Win32_ProcessStartup")

Set objConfig = objStartup.SpawnInstance_
objConfig.ShowWindow = HIDDEN_WINDOW
Set objProcess = GetObject("winmgmts:root\cimv2:Win32_Process")
errReturn = objProcess.Create("cmd.exe /c taskkill /IM MacExp.exe /t /f", null, objConfig, intProcessID)

 

I programmed one of my keyboard keys to run the script. It FORCES a kill of MacExp.exe and any of its children. It also inadvertently closes the MacroEdit window, but thats easy enough to restart.

 

Thanks rberg for the idea!

 

As a non-programmer I'm not into VBS stuff or scripting in general. But I'd like to try an amended version of that in ME Pro if I can get a bit of advice here on how to amend it please. I see from XP Task Mgr that with ME Pro I have these three processes running:

MacExp.exe

MacEdit.exe

MacScript.exe

 

I did try the script as it stands (while running a simple looping macro), but it didn't work. To be more accurate, the macro closed after about 4 seconds, which I think was a natural finish.

 

--

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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As a non-programmer I'm not into VBS stuff or scripting in general.

 

Neither am I, just reasonably good at Googling ;)

 

I did try the script as it stands (while running a simple looping macro), but it didn't work. To be more accurate, the macro closed after about 4 seconds, which I think was a natural finish.

 

I tried it on a loop also and it would kill the "running man" process - MacExp.exe but somehow MEx3 would restart it. When I tried it on a more "normal" macro that I run it worked fine.

 

Since the idea of this is for emergencies only, why not try something like this:

 

Const HIDDEN_WINDOW = 12

strComputer = "."
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:" _
& "{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set objStartup = objWMIService.Get("Win32_ProcessStartup")

Set objConfig = objStartup.SpawnInstance_
objConfig.ShowWindow = HIDDEN_WINDOW
Set objProcess = GetObject("winmgmts:root\cimv2:Win32_Process")
errReturn = objProcess.Create("cmd.exe /c taskkill /IM MacExp.exe /t /f", null, objConfig, intProcessID)
errReturn = objProcess.Create("cmd.exe /c taskkill /IM MacEdit.exe /t /f", null, objConfig, intProcessID)
errReturn = objProcess.Create("cmd.exe /c taskkill /IM MacScript.exe /t /f", null, objConfig, intProcessID)

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