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TOPIC: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions

Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78495

  • vapspwi
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We have a LimeSurvey installation (Version 1.92+ Build 120319) that currently has 4 surveys running and collecting data with no problems. It's running on a Windows VM (not sure which version of Windows, but something relatively recent), with MySQL as the back end.

We are finishing up a new survey, and it was working fine during testing this morning. We were making a few final tweaks (minor things like adding some line breaks to the instructions, changing the capitalization on a few answer labels, etc.) when the survey stopped working.

What we're seeing now is that we can't view any of the questions for the survey. We can view and manipulate all of the "front matter" - we can create and delete tokens, edit the title and description, activate and deactivate the survey, etc. But whenever we try to do anything that actually involves accessing the questions (selecting a Question Group, selecting Test This Survey, activating the survey and trying to complete it, exporting the survey, viewing the logic file, etc.), we get the following error:

Error writing file 'C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\[somestring].tmp' (Errcode: 28):select distinct a.qid, a.attribute, a.value from `lime_question_attributes` as a, `lime_questions` as b where a.qid=b.qid and b.sid=49672 order by a.qid, a.attribute

It's possible that while a coworker was making the label tweaks, I was simultaneously messing around with the same survey to modify e-mail templates. I was creating the token table so I could access the e-mail templates, while she was deleting the token table so she could test her edits. Everything looked normal on my end, but my coworker reported some odd behavior (details unknown). That's the only thing I can think of where we might have done something we shouldn't have been doing.

I'm waiting on a response from our comp admin folks to help me check out what's happening on the back side of the server (permissions/contents of the temp directory), but the fact that all our other surveys continue to work makes me think that it's not REALLY a problem with writing the temp file, but rather something that's gotten screwed up in this particular survey. But I don't know enough about the inner workings of LimeSurvey to even venture a guess as to what that might be.

Any advice on how to start debugging this situation would be appreciated. I'm kind of at a loss as to how to proceed, but I'd really like to avoid having to delete the survey and start over.

Thanks!

Jerry
Last Edit: 2 years 7 months ago by c_schmitz.
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Re: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78509

  • DenisChenu
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Hello,

It's a mysql system file error:
dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/operatin...tem-error-codes.html
28 	ENOSPC 	No space left on device
forums.mysql.com/read.php?21,113364,220361#msg-220361

Then : "check you disk space" like Nanda kishore Toomula say ;)

Denis
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Re: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78598

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Well, sure enough, cleaning out some temp files actually did solve the problem.

Unfortunately, my comp admin guy just ran a "Windows disk cleanup tool" that did a variety of different things automatically, so I don't know what the temp directory actually looked like, and can't speculate on what action actually fixed the problem. I don't know if it was an actual space problem on the drive, or orphaned temp files, or what. I've asked him for a log from the tool, so maybe we can reconstruct the problem and figure out what happened so we can avoid having it happen again.

Thanks for the help!

Jerry
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Re: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78618

  • Mazi
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I have never heard of any problems when two users were working on the same survey.

As pointed out this seems to be a "missing disk space" problem. To prevent such problems in the future you might want to free some more disk space.

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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Re: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78786

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Mazi wrote:
As pointed out this seems to be a "missing disk space" problem. To prevent such problems in the future you might want to free some more disk space.

Yeah, I'll definitely get my comp admin folks to look into the disk space situation. (Unfortunately, the survey is hosted on a VM that I don't have access to.)

Does it seem odd, though, that the other surveys hosted on the same instance of LimeSurvey continued to work and that only the one survey was having problems? Would they not all be trying to write temp files to the same location?

Jerry
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Re: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78787

  • Mazi
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It might be related to certain survey settings or question type, e.g. the file upload question needs disk space as well.

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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Re: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78797

  • DenisChenu
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vapspwi wrote:
Does it seem odd, though, that the other surveys hosted on the same instance of LimeSurvey continued to work and that only the one survey was having problems? Would they not all be trying to write temp files to the same location?
If your survey is big, then your SQL data after a select is bigger than the other survey.

When you'r D server make a select, he put whole data on a file. With LS, your select data contain whole survey settings, with langage too.

Denis
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Re: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78888

  • vapspwi
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My coworker who created the survey did say that the survey that had problems is the largest survey of the four that we're currently running. (No file uploads, though.) So it may just be that the server had enough space for the smaller surveys and not enough for the larger one, although it's odd that the VM would be that close to the line in terms of space.

I'll yell at my comp admin folks and see if I can get some actual useful information out of them about what they're seeing on the server. Thanks for all the help and info.

Jerry
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Re: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78894

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OK, I was able to talk to my comp admin guy and nose around the VM hosting LimeSurvey. We're looking into allocating more space to the VM, but what I found in the C:\Windows\Temp directory brought up some more questions.

In that directory, we found about 3500 files named sess_[someRandomChars], dating back to when we first started using LimeSurvey in 2010. Most of the files were 0 or 1 kb, but some were multiple megs. The total on disk for those files was about 316 MB. They are plain text files, and are definitely LimeSurvey related. The 1 kb files generally have 1 line, and show administrator logins. The larger files contain actual survey contents.

We watched the directory while somebody else did a few things as an administrator (previewing surveys and so forth). We were able to seem some temp files get created, and also get deleted when she logged out and closed her browser window.

So, the questions:

- Why are some of these temp files not getting automatically cleaned up?

- Is there any harm in writing a script to clean them out periodically (like, in the middle of the night when nobody is using the survey)? Is there any chance of losing data (for example, for incomplete surveys) if we manually delete those temp files?

Unless we can figure out why the temp files are persisting, then throwing more hard drive space at the problem is going to be a stopgap, because the orphaned temp files will eventually fill the space up again (although possibly not for a very long time).

Jerry
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Re: Error writing temp file - prevents access to survey questions 2 years 7 months ago #78942

  • Mazi
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1. Usually this should be cleaned up automatically. I have never heard of such Limesurvey related problems, so this might be server setting related. Check how the server is set to handle old session data.

2. Data of incomplete surveys is always stored at the database. I recommend to delete data of the last month only though. You never know if there are any side effects.

Best regards/Beste Grüße,
Dr. Marcel Minke
(Limesurvey Head of Support)
Need Help? We offer professional Limesurvey support
Contact: marcel.minke(at)limesurvey.org'"
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