I've encountered this error while trying to render a scene:
// Error: *Fatal* (mental ray) : mental ray encountered a fatal error. _
The system may have become unstable. Please save the scene and exit Maya. //
I've restarted the computer and tried it again but the same happens.
I'm using Maya 8.5
When in doubt, delete history and freeze transformations.
My latest snake game
(Requires DirectX9 SDK and Framework)