common causes of baking fail?

Hi first off, I have two issues.

  1. I spent 12hrs baking (particles), when I go to play it back using open gl, the particles explode everywhere. However I had tested a few frames using opengl before I hit bake, and these exploding particles did not exist. (corrupt bake?)

  2. Today I tried to rebake, but now it keeps freezing when I click bake.

the scene is basically particles being emittied from a sphere, the sphere is animated along a curve. I can’t provide the file as its pretty heavy.

I have it set to 10million particles, this amount hasn’t been a problem up until now. So I don’t think its the particle count.

In order to bake this amount I work at a lower amount of particles to get the overall movement, and then just up the particle count before baking (again hasn’t been an issue in the past)

so I wonder, could it be a hardware issue, i’m reallly confused. It baked before, but the bake was “wrong”

thanks in advance,