[AA, EL, EM] Crash causes and solutions...

For help with SW3DG game related technical problems or configuring/optimizing your computer for the games.

[AA, EL, EM] Crash causes and solutions...

Postby Vice » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:08 am

Crash Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions:

____________________Symptom #1___________________

- Runtime Error 506 - Could not load image at line X
- or -
- Runtime Error 7018 - Could not load object at line X
- or -
- CTD (crash to desktop) with no error message, may be more common when on/near planets:
- or -
- [Game Name] has stopped responding

When the game displays an error message about not being able to load an image or object (runtime error 506 or 7018), it indicates that your system blocked the game from being able to load that media file into memory. This can mean your system either lacks sufficient memory or something else running on your computer has blocked the game from loading the file into memory. When something blocks memory or disk space the game attempts to access, the game can usually detect the interference and simply display an error message, such as runtime error 506 or runtime error 7018. The game may also just close, returning you to the desktop. The point at which the system blocks the game from accessing memory/disk space it needs may be consistent or it may vary depending on the cause of the interference.

These errors (506 and 7018, or CTD) can occur if your system lacks sufficient available physical memory for the game. To check the available physical memory on your system, click on Start > Run/Search > type in MSINFO32 and press enter. On the system summary screen, note the value next to 'Available physical memory'. If that value is near around 1.2 GB or less, your system may not have enough memory resources to run the game reliably with full details. If it is close to that value, you can often get the game to work by reducing detail settings in the Options menu, which can significantly lower the memory required. If changing detail settings doesn't work, you may need to stop any non-essential background tasks to free up more memory for the game.

Since a game generally requires a lot of your computer's resources, it often takes a game to bring a restriction problem on your system to the surface. You may not know your system's resources and/or performance is being restricted until you encounter a problem with a game that needs those resources and performance. Small programs and small games that require few system resources can often run fine, but games that require a lot of memory, CPU, GPU, and/or hard drive resources can run into problems on systems with restricted resources caused by background/residual programs running on the computer at the same time.

Some programs, particularly security related, can block/restrict certain portions of your system's memory and/or hard drive space from being available to other programs and games. This can result in a limitation caused by a running security program that may prevent a game or application from using even just a small portion of that memory or disk space, even though the system may have plenty of installed memory and/or disk space. So it isn't necessarily just how much memory/disk space is used up or available, but whether enough consecutive memory/disk space is available.

If a security program blocks or otherwise interferes with a game trying to access and load a media file, the result can be a crash or error message. A security program may also decide to begin a scanning or updating process in the middle of when you are playing the game, so the problem can occur intermittently and at different points in the game. Solutions for various resource related causes are available below.

If you have ruled out insufficient/unavailable/blocked memory as being the cause, then the error is likely caused by another program running on your system at the same time that is interfering with a game's ability to load critical media files it needs into memory and/or perform certain video or audio operations. Games can have unique requirements and dependencies that may conflict with other software. Solutions for interference related issues are also available below.

> Solution(s):

Review available system memory
- Review your system's available physical memory, not just installed memory which may be used up or blocked. Launch MSINFO32 and on the System Summary page, review the available physical memory listed there. It should be 2GB or higher. If that checks out, analyze other software you are running in the background via the task manager and stop any non-essential tasks that may be using up or blocking memory the game needs (see below for more information).

Reinstall the Game to Repair Possible File Damage
- If the game runs fine, then later encounters a media error, it may be caused by interference resulting in file/data corruption. If something on your system interrupts the game when it attempts to load media (such as scanning a file the game is trying to access), it may damage the file and prevent the game from loading what it needs. Uninstall the game, then reinstall it. As an additional troubleshooting step, you can also optionally rename the game's save data folder (default location is c:\sw3dg\GameName) to something like 'GameName-bak' or temporarily move it to another location before launching the game for the first time after reinstalling it. Once the reinstall is finished, relaunch the game to test for changes. You can then copy over your pilot profiles, flight logs, map logs, etc., from the backed up save data folder as desired.

Adjust or Change Running Security Programs
- If your antivirus/antispyware software has a 'gaming mode', try that first. If the software has an exception list, add the game's install folder and save data folder (if different, default is c:\sw3dg\GameName) to the list. If the problem persists, you can try temporarily disabling one or more of its residual services. Some programs may still have interference issues left behind even when disabled, in which case, you may want to try uninstalling the program entirely (using something else in the meantime for protection as desired), then test the game. Not every antivirus/antispyware program is the same, some have far fewer interference problems with games than others. There are several free options available that have few or no reported issues with the games available here. Avast has generally been considered a good alternative (even while leaving its full protection mode on). Some gamers also use Microsoft Security Essentials.

Stop Unnecessary Background Programs and Services
- Click on Start > Run/Search > type in MSCONFIG and press enter > click on the Startup tab (or the Startup tab in the task manager if you are using Windows 10). You can uncheck/disable any programs you want to test disabled to try and locate which one might be causing interference. After making changes, restart your computer. You can recheck them later to enable them as desired. If you discover a specific program that was causing the interference, please send an e-mail to the address at starwraith.com > contact with the file/service names so they can be kept on record for future reference.

Check for AMD Gaming Evolved (aka Raptr)
- The offending module in an error report is generally 'ltc_game32-90652.dll', which has nothing to do with any developer's software that it causes crashes in. The gaming evolved program appears to be trying to hook into games with its own code to perform its operations via that module. And it would appear by doing so, it interferes with games in ways that cause them to crash. It's something that could be reported to AMD here: http://www.amd.com/report or here: http://support.amd.com/en-us/contact/email-form

AMD apparently knows their software has crash issues with games (refer to their changelog notes in a recent driver update for example: http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-article ... 6.3.1.aspx ) and generally just suggest disabling it when playing as a solution. So as AMD themselves recommend, to solve issues with their software, simply uninstall and/or disable it to remedy any crash issues it causes with games. If you google 'amd gaming evolved game crash', you can read around the net about various crash issues in a variety of games and perhaps other solutions for other games.

Check for Asus Xonar (Sound Card) Software
- The failing module in an error report can be 'HsSrv.dll', which is a module that is not associated with any game the software causes crashes in. The root cause of why this intercepting/interfering software causes crashes in games is unknown as of this writing. The first step to try is disabling the 'GX Mode' in the software's configuration options. If that fails, uninstalling/removing the software should solve any remaining problems. If you google 'hssrv.dll crash', you can read around the net about various crash issues in a variety of games.

Check for ByteFence Software
- This program (task name rtop_bg.exe and may be located in c:\program files\bytefence\rtop\bin\) appears to come bundled with other, unrelated software (possibly freeware downloads) and has been reported as an interference problem for a variety of games and programs. From recent reports, it tends to block the initial loading from hard drive operations the game needs to access its own files. So error reports tend to display 'File Error: *.png/*.x/*.ogg' or other media filename(s). The only solution so far appears to be removing the program.

Try Launching the Game as Administrator
- Right click on the game's desktop icon, then left click on the 'Run as administrator' option and test for changes.

Remove Mods/Custom Media Files and Test With the Default Game
- The game is designed to work within certain memory conditions using its default built-in media. Applying mods/custom media files can change the amount of memory the game uses, potentially exceeding what may be available on your system. Removing the mods/custom media files allows the game to load its built-in media and may resolve such memory related issues. If this step corrects the problem, you can either re-apply the mods/custom media files you are using one at a time until you find the limit, or adjust them to use less memory consuming media.

Check for Possible Windows System File Damage
- This or similar problems may occur on systems that have residual damage from virus/malware infections or other system corruption/damage. You can perform a system file scan to check for missing or damaged system files. Click on Start > Run/Search > type in SFC /SCANNOW and press enter. The scan will generally take several minutes. If the screen just flashes a bit and returns to the desktop, then the program didn't run and you'll either need to run it with an admin account or in safe mode.

If You Are Using an HP System, Check for the Cyberlink Media Service Program
- One apparent culprit of causing interference with a number of games is a program called Cyberlink Media Library Service (background task filename is CLMLSvc.exe). This program is apparently pre-installed on some HP computers and has been confirmed as being a cause for some error code related problems. Stopping this process has solved the problem as reported by several users so far.

Check for Defective Hardware
- Although somewhat rare, bad memory and/or a bad hard drive can cause such problems. It can be consistent or intermittent. Microsoft offers a memory diagnosis tool here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/maga ... px?pr=blog If you suspect defective memory might be a factor, follow the instructions carefully to run the test, then replace any defective memory as needed. If the hard drive is the problem, be sure to back up the save data you want to keep for the game (located by default in the c:\sw3dg\GameName folder) before replacing the hard drive.

____________________Symptom #2___________________

- Failed to open zip
- or -
- Runtime Error - File block is invalid

These errors are generally caused by direct interference with the game's media file(s). It can be caused by security settings or antivirus/security software blocking the game from accessing the files. An antivirus/security program running in the background may decide to start scanning the game files while the game is running, effectively blocking the file from being accessible by the game.

> Solution(s):

Simply check for any security software that can interfere with games and if you are running such a program, use a 'gaming mode' if available or include the game in an exception list to prevent that kind of interference. Using alternate security software that doesn't interfere with games may also be an option.

If you installed the game to a protected folder, you may also need to elevate the privilege level for the game so it is allowed to access its own files. Simply launch the game with the 'Run as administrator' option.


One or more of these steps will generally solve any crash or error problems. But if you try all of these steps and the problem continues, you can follow the steps listed here: http://www.starwraith.com/evochronlegacy/faq.htm#208 And I can review your system configuration for possible causes.


Steam Users
Steam offers an article on their site that includes a list of security programs that are known to cause interference problems with Steam as well as games themselves. While some on the list may work fine with SW3DG games on their own, when used in conjunction with Steam, you may encounter interference problems as your system's resources are blocked and/or used up by security programs running in the background. The list may help you determine which program(s) may be causing interference issues with games as well as Steam itself. Click this link to view the article and list of programs: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_art ... -SFLZ-9289
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