SMS

How to Troubleshoot Graphics Card Issues and Display Issues

Out of all the potential issues that can come up, display issues can be some of the most annoying. Display issues can come from individualized hardware configurations, display settings, operating system and software versions which makes solving these issues not as simple as a one-size-fits-all approach. This post will review general best practices for troubleshooting these kinds of issues with your graphics card or display.

Some of the most common display issues that can arise with XMS are problems with one or more of the following:

  • Transparency
  • Functional surface
  • Texture mapping
  • Film loops
  • Contours

The causes behind display issues can be divided into the following categories:

  1. Issue related to remote desktop or virtual machine
  2. Integrated graphics used instead of discrete graphics
  3. Bug in graphics drivers
  4. Limitation of integrated graphics
  5. Bug in XMS affecting all hardware configurations
  6. Bug in XMS affecting specific hardware configurations

Since hardware configurations vary and operating systems change over time, the information here is a general workflow used for troubleshooting.

  1. Remote and Virtual Machine issues: Check if XMS is being run locally or if a virtual machine/remote desktop is being used to rule out Category A.
  2. Versioning: Go to Help | About to note the XMS version, build date, and graphics library used.
  3. Try to rule out Categories E and F: Run XMS in Software Graphics Mode. If the issue is resolved in Software Graphics Mode, then the issue is related to Categories B - D.
  4. Try to rule out Category B: Go to the Device Manager for the Display Adapter. If the driver information/version for the discrete graphics matches what is shown in Help | About, then XMS is using discrete graphics. If not, go to Step 6 to ensure XMS is using discrete graphics.
  5. Device manager
  6. Update graphics drivers: Whether or not the system has discrete graphics, updating the graphics driver will solve some display problems. If the machine already has nVidia or AMD software installed, drivers can be updated through those programs. Otherwise, click the “Update Driver” button (shown in the dialog in Step 4) or Google “GraphicsCard Driver Download” using the graphics card model you have in place of GraphicsCard. Exercise caution with the links you click on. Be sure to click on official AMD, nVidia, or computer manufacturer websites. Avoid 3rd party utilities that offer to optimize your system or install adware/spyware.
  7. Set system to use discrete graphics: Change settings to ensure XMS always utilizes discrete graphics. Many systems, especially laptops, default to power saving modes where programs utilize integrated graphics even if the machine has discrete graphics. The way to change these settings varies by machine.
  8. Reporting Bugs: If Categories A - D have been ruled out, determine if the issue is machine-specific. If reproducible, report to tech support.

If you continue to experience display issues, contact Aquaveo's technical support team.

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How to Rebuild a Corrupted Project in SMS

Try as we might, we can’t always make everything go according to plan, and sometimes that can include files failing on us. Occasionally, files used in SMS become corrupted and can no longer function properly.

This can happen for a few reasons. A file may have been blocked from saving correctly by the computer’s system security. The save process may have terminated early. The project files may have been copied incorrectly. The project files may have been stored incorrectly. Or some other unknown error may have occurred.

Project load error

While the corrupted project file itself cannot be restored, the component pieces of the project can be reassembled in SMS and saved out as part of a new project file. Below is a list of the file types you will need to reassemble:

  • [project name].map: These are the Map Module coverages saved to the project. The model-specific boundary conditions will likely need to be entered again.
  • [project name]_meshes.h5: These are the meshes that were in the project for models that use a mesh. Load this before loading any of the datasets saved in the [project name]_datasets folder.
  • [project name]_grds.h5: These are the grids that were in the project for models that use a grid. Load this before loading any of the datasets saved in the [project name]_datasets folder.
  • [project name].h5: This contains scatter sets that were in the project.
  • Any GIS layers, such as rasters or shapefiles, will also need to be loaded again.

For ADCIRC models, use the following files to import the ADCIRC simulations:

  • Use the fort.14 or fort.15 files to import the mesh and create the simulation.
  • Also import solution files such as fort.63, fort.64, maxele.63, and maxvel.63 files.

For CMS-Flow, use the following files to import the CMS-Flow simulations:

  • Use the [project name].cmcards file to import the UGrid and create the CMS-Flow simulation.
  • To load solutions for the CMS-Flow simulation, import the [project name].h5 files.

For SRH-2D models, use the following files to import the SRH-2D simulations:

  • Reload SRH-2D simulations (including the coverages linked to them) by loading the SRHHYDRO file, found under the [project name]\SRH-2D\[simulation name] folder.
  • To load solutions for SRH-2D simulations that were already run, import the XMDF.h5 file from the same directory as the SRHHYDRO file.

For STWAVE models, use the following files to import the SRH-2D simulations:

  • Reload STWAVE simulations (including the coverages linked to them) by loading the [simulation name].sim file, found under the simulation folder.

It is strongly recommended that a thorough review of the project should be completed before you continue working with the rebuilt project.

When your files become corrupted, please contact Aquaveo Technical Support (support@aquaveo.com) to report the issue.

If you have issues with corrupted projects in SMS, try following some of these steps to fix them in SMS 13.1 today!

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Importing SHR-2D Native Files

Did someone send you files for an SRH-2D project but they are not part of an SMS project? You can import native SRH-2D files directly into SMS even when there is no associated SMS project file. This blog post will go into more detail as to how this is done.

First, make certain you have all of the SRH-2D files in the same directory. To review, the native SRH-2D input files include the following:

  • SRHGEOM: contains the mesh geometry
  • SRHHYDRO: contains the SHR-2D model control parameters
  • SRHMAT: contains the mesh material data
  • SRHSEDMAT: contains the sediment material properties
  • SRHMPOINT: contains monitor point data
  • XYS: contains any XY series data used in the project

After you have all of the needed files, you can import the SRH-2D project by opening the SRHHYDRO file. When opening the SRHHYDRO file, a warning message will appear letting you know that some data reorganization may occur.

Import SRH-2D native files warning

When importing the SRHHYDRO file, SMS will search the directory for other files related to the SRH-2D project. As long as the files are in the same directory and use the same naming convention, the SHR-2D project will be imported into SMS.

Solution files and other output files will need to be imported separately into SMS. This includes the XMFD.h5 file.

After importing the native project files, it is strongly recommended to review how the simulations have been set up in SMS. Check the boundary conditions and materials to make certain they imported correctly. Also, you may need to import certain input files, such as a restart file, separately to complete the simulation setup.

You may also need to clean up the project to make using it easier in SMS--this may include renaming items in the Project Explorer or adjusting the display. Also, it should be noted that SMS allows you to import multiple SRH-2D projects into the same SMS project.

Try out importing SRH-2D native files into SMS 13.1 today!

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Reintroducing HEC-RAS 1D in SMS

Earlier versions of SMS allowed modeling HEC-RAS 1D models. HEC-RAS 1D is used for performing water quality analysis. Though once part of SMS, it was removed because it was supported by Aquaveo's Watershed Modeling Software (WMS). However, with the inclusion of HEC-RAS 2D, the interface for HEC-RAS 1D has been restored into SMS 13.1.

Using HEC-RAS 1D in SMS primarily makes use of the 1D hydraulic centerline coverage and the 1D hydraulic cross section coverages. It also makes use of the material coverages, with the added bonus of now being able to use SRH-2D material coverages. Once you have defined the materials, centerline and cross sections in your project, you can switch to the 1D Module. The 1D Module has also been reintroduced in SMS 13.1.

Example of HEC-RAS 1D in SMS

Once in the 1D Module, you can access the HEC-RAS 1D menu where you can find the HEC-RAS 1D materials and model control. SMS allows you to select the material coverage to use for HEC-RAS 1D, and then assign that material coverage to the HEC-RAS 1D model. After you have set up your HEC-RAS 1D model in SMS, you can export a project file to use in HEC-RAS.

With HEC-RAS 1D in SMS, you can take advantage of all the tools offered in SMS to build your HEC-RAS 1D project. This includes tools to extract cross sections and centerlines from imported data or existing projects. SMS's editing tools can also be used to adjust the centerline or cross section before importing the project into HEC-RAS. Furthermore, SMS allows you to use profile plots and the various viewing options to review your cross sectional data. It is recommended that you review your HEC-RAS 1D project in SMS before exporting the project file.

HEC-RAS and SMS together increase your water modeling options. Try out using the reintroduced HEC-RAS 1D in SMS 13.1 today!

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