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Corrupted Minor Planet Database During Monthly Update
#1
Hi Greg,

I started ST4i V4.0e this morning & it began to update the 3 'Current' databases. The program displayed the splash screen for >30 min while updating the Minor Planet Database just like it did during the updates for November. Again I got tired of waiting with the splash screen sitting in the middle of my display obscuring any other programs that I wanted to run. I used Task Manager to end the ST4i task. When I restarted ST4i later, the program started fine, but again the minor planet data got wiped. The attached screenshot appears to indicate that the data is there somewhere, but ST4i doesn't recognize it.

The Interactive Atlas opens fine this time, but reports that there are no minor planets at the current epoch. I guess that I need to do another download from ASTORB.

I wouldn't mind the time needed to update the minor planets every month if the splash screen didn't sit in the middle of my display & prevent use of other programs while ST4i updated the minor planets. Is there a way to disable the splash screen during startup? I searched the Help for 'splash screen', but got no hits.

As the screen shot shows, I have over 500k minor planets in the database & they require some time for processing (even more since Win update blessed me with the more inefficient Win10 v1909).

TIA,

Phil S.


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#2
Hi Phil,

It should not normally take that long to update, even with all of the minor planets downloaded. It's just adding some new orbits (as necessary) for some bright minor planets. So I don't really understand what is going wrong, unless perhaps this is a very slow machine.

To solve the problem with your database:

1. Delete any target lists with minor planets in it that aren't currently in use (especially any in the auto created folder).
2. Use the Cleanup/Delete button on the Minor Planets Database dialog to delete as many minor planets as possible (recall the bold ones are in use and can't be deleted)
3. Download minor planets as needed

I suggest opening Manage Subscriptions (Setup menu) and disabling the minor planet update. That will stop it from automatically updating the Bright and Interesting Minor Planets target list when you start up.

You can always temporarily enable it later and then press Update Now to download it, then disable it again. Or don't bother if you don't use that list anyhow.

Since you appear to be a heavy minor planet observer, it is a good idea to download the minor planets from MPCORB or ASTORB before you do any Minor Planet observing to freshen up your database.
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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#3
Hi Greg,

The machine has an AMD FX-8350 processor. While it's almost 6 yrs old, it has 8 logical processors & used to run the minor planet updates in a few seconds when it ran Win 10 V1803. About 6 weeks ago my Windows 10 got updated to V1903 & things slowed noticeably. The Task Manager shows >220 processes running where under V1803 it only ran ~150 processes. A couple weeks ago I was blessed with Win10 V1909, but there was no speed improvement over V1903.

The machine was also running an anti-malware scan when I started ST4i today & that uses the SSD quite a bit. Still, according to the 'Resource Monitor' in Win10, the SSD was only using ~2% of capacity while ST4i used it normal 12% of CPU time during heavy computations (the equivalent of one of the eight logical processors).

When the same thing happened in November, I deleted Nov 2019 epoch minor planets & downloaded the Numbered list from ASTORB. The machine took ~15 - 20 minutes to process all 550k minor planets. I don't know if that's considered fast or not.

Since I don't have any minor planets in the database anymore (per the attached screen shot above), I'll download the data from ASTORB tomorrow & see what happens.

Thanks for your help,

Phil S.
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#4
Make sure you follow my instructions about deleting the ones you can first...
Clear skies,
Greg

SkyTools Developer
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