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OpenSesame Freezing and Minimizing Unexpectedly

edited February 2018 in OpenSesame


I am documenting an error and fix that I frequently encounter when using OpenSesame. For context, I am using a Dell Optiplex 9020 computer running the Windows 7 operating system. I programmed my experiments using the OpenSesame software version 3.1.9 with the xpyriment backend.

The issue:
While running the experiment, OpenSesame would unexpectedly minimize. Trying to open the program again from the taskbar simply resulted in a black rectangle in the upper-right.

Finding a solution:
There was no apparent rhyme or reason for the crash. Task manager indicated that Python and OpenSesame were responding. It would happen on different computers (with the same specs as above), and sometimes not at all. It also would happen to different experiments, suggesting the issue was not localized to one particular misbehaving script. This made replicating the error difficult, because it did not always happen so I would have to go through the experiment until it finally did crash. After getting the program to crash, I then proceeded to button-mash until I stumbled upon a solution.

The solution:
I found that pressing "Control" + "Alt" + "Escape" would bring the experiment back. Sometimes I could press spacebar to continue, but if that did not work, I would have to input "Control" + "/" and then spacebar to resume. The program would then continue to completion, and would not minimize again.

I write this post in hopes of helping others who may experience a similar issue and perhaps to find the cause of the problem.

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