(CTD/freeze/BSOD/crashes) Poss Solutions UPDATED 19/04/05

Ask here if you experience technical problems with X³: Reunion, X²: The Threat, X-Tension or X-Beyond The Frontier

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(CTD/freeze/BSOD/crashes) Poss Solutions UPDATED 19/04/05

Post by veelad » Fri, 13. Feb 04, 17:16

Before you continue, Have you read the Technical FAQ

Please NOTE: Patch 1.4 is available, so please make sure you are correctly patched to the right version. (A Number of CTD/Crash and Freeze issues have been fixed in 1.4)

To determine if 1.4 has installed correctly you should see the patch number on the start up menu


patch 1.3 is superceded and is no longer required in any version. However, if you are already patched to 1.3, you can patch to 1.4

US Versions - patch from 1.0 to 1.2 then to 1.4 using "X2update14US.exe"
(It has also been noted that there may be second run CDs already patched to 1.2, please check your game)

UK/EU Versions - The game was sold at patch version 1.2, and only needs patching to 1.4 using "X2update14EU.exe" (NON German)

AU Versions - patch from 1.0 to 1.2 then to 1.4 using "X2update14AU.exe"
(It has also been noted that there may be second run CDs already patched to 1.2, please check your game)

If you are still getting CTDs then please try some of the following, thank you.

Crashing to Desktop (CTD) seems to be a major issue for some people, yet for others, just a minor inconvenience, with very few CTDs happening now and then.

I have read most of the CTD thread I started, as well as browse as much of the CTD threads on the whole English speaking forum and found quite a few tips and possible fixes that may help you in resolving this issue.

1. The first port of call is to go here and read the performance thread


2. And the second port of call is to note that CTDs are being investigated, here


I am going to list these possible fixes in easiest / cheapest order (but the sequence of your checking is up to you), there is no point in running out buying extra hardware/software if you really don’t need to.

3. Run ad-aware or similar to detect if any spyware is present on you hard drive and remove them, you can get this program free from http://www.lavasoftusa.com/

4. Run your anti-virus to detect no virus are present on your machine, you can get this program free from http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_index.php

5. Run scandisk for any bad sectors on your hard drive, and repair (XP see below)

1. Click on the Start menu
2. Select My Computer
3. Use the right mouse button to select the C drive. This will make a new menu appear.
4. Select Properties
5. Then select the tools tab.
6. Under the error checking select check now.
7. A new screen will show up, one is to automatically fix file system errors and the other is to scan for and detect problems with the hard drive. It is recommended that you select them both.
8. Click Start
9. You may be prompted to have Scandisk run when the computer is restarted, click YES when prompted,
10. You may need to reboot your computer
Note: Scandisk takes a very long time to run, so be patient. You may want to defrag before doing this procedure

6. Run defrag on your hard drive and defrag

7. Background Applications. Ensure as many non critical background programs are not running, such as AVG which you may have just downloaded, spyware, printer spoolers and firewalls etc, right click in the bottom right hand corner on the icons, and if possible exit the application, you can also press [alt][control][delete] and end some running tasks that are not required, ( do this only if you are comfortable with it, you can end a critical app and you will have to reboot )

8. Overclocking If your getting CTDs, then don’t overclock until the root cause is found

9. Ensure you are X2 patched to version 1.4 (UK and EU version are already at 1.2 level).NOTE for US vers, make sure 1.2 is installed BEFORE 1.4. DO NOT jump from 1.1 to 1.4

10.Autosave. This feature may cause you to crash when saving, TURN IT OFF if this is the case, it does not guarantee you will not experience CTDs again, but manually saving often and in different save slots can sometimes be not as problematic, and you wont have far to go back to a previous save game. NOTE: As a rule of thumb, once the game has crashed, you wont be able to load it, or it will crash again at the same place if you do load it, it is corrupted.

11.EAX. Some have found by turning this feature off, it can stop CTDs (not guaranteed)

12.Music. others have found by turning the music off helps

13.Check that the mp3s haven't been corrupted.

If you see the music changes in different sectors, and especially if you're near something flagged as an enemy. and it's trying to play a faulty mp3, it “may” cause a CTD

This poster had a similar problem at one point with one of the files having been copied improperly so he got a crash at exactly the same point every time, but an uninstall/reinstall and the problem was fixed.

14.Disable jump gate sequence. again another tip from a poster who found this worked

15.Busy sectors. As far as anyone can tell, your best bet is to avoid the problem and simply NOT to save the game if there are any Khaak ships in-sector or its very busy, although this isn't guaranteed.

16.Virtual memory. Bernt says, Normally virtual memory settings are fine the way they are configured by default in a Windows installation. Either set it to unlimited or create a really large swap file once by setting minimum and maximum to the same amount.

But make sure it is at least two better four times your physical memory and of course make sure the hard disk hosting the swap file has this much space.

17.Update Drivers, check you have all the latest motherboard, sound and graphic drivers for you hardware, however some have found that by back stepping to an earlier driver (normally graphics) this can help with CTDs, it is a trial and error process when trying to find the optimum drivers for X2 and your machine.

Also, some drivers require you to uninstall the previous driver before loading the new one using the add&remove program found in the control panel, I found that this sometimes does not uninstall all the components, so after uninstalling I followed this procedure, or alternatively,you can go here and download driver cleaner http://www.driverheaven.net/cleaner/

STEP1 Goto control panel
STEP2 Select add/remove programs
STEP3 uninstall your graphics drivers
STEP4 reboot
STEP5 goto control panel
STEP6 select System icon
STEP7 select Hardware Tab
STEP8 Select Device Manager
STEP9 Select Display Adapters
STEP10 Right click your drivers and delete
STEP11 Reboot
STEP12 Re- Install your New driver
STEP13 Reboot

18.Autoquality. some of CTDs have lessened by some people turning off Auto-quality on graphic set up, variations of bump mapping and resolution may also help, a lot of users turn AA off.

19.Codecs, Some have found that removing and replacing codecs can cure the problem, use the codecs that came with the game as some 3rd party codecs can cause issues.

Removing/disabling or prioritising the Fraunhofer Codec

a. Opened "Sounds and Audio Devices" in Control Panel.
b. Clicked the "Hardware" tab, selected "Audio Codecs", and clicked on the "Properties" button.
c. Clicked the "Properties" tab, selected "Fraunhofer IIS MPEG Layer-3 Codec", and clicked the "Remove" button.
d. I didn't restart when prompted.
e. Executed WMFdist.exe
f. Opened Windows Explorer, and browsed to the folder C:\Program Files\Enlight\X2 - The Threat\Util
g. Double-clicked on "wmfdist.exe" in this folder

To Disable or prioritise a codec follow the instructions below

1. Open Control Panel
2. Open Sounds and Audio Devices
3. Click the [Hardware] Tab
4. Select Audio Codec (eg fraunhofer) from the list
5. Click the Properties button
6. Now select the [Properties] Tab
7. Click the properties button near the bottom
8. Either disable the codec, OR change its priority
9. Click OK
10. See if the game works or try again

20.Clean Format and re-install of operating system and all drivers, has been mentioned more than once as a solution, also before you do this, ensure you have all the current windows updates for your operating system

21.BIOS.A.Turning off fast-write (disable) in your bios setting may lessen CTDs, it has been noted by some on the forum.

B.crashing to desktop stopped after I increased my memory, cpu and VCore voltages in my Motherboard Bios. They were set at default but obviously this wasn't enough. (NOTE: This person knew what he doing, DO NOT attempt things like this unless you are competent)

22.DX9.0 vs DX9a/DX9b Some threads have stated that Dx9a and Dx9b have sometimes proven them selves unstable in some other games.

Their fix was to reinstall dx9 and occasionally turn off the sound cards hardware acceleration (one or the other or both) which has proven to be 100% effective in fixing their crashes.

UPDATE: Some people have found when installing or re-installing DirectX has, for some reason, disabled DirectDraw/Direct 3D. To solve this, simply re-enable DirectDraw and then Direct3D.

23.Memory. (James wrote), Do you have a dual memory system? Be sure your hardware is working right?

Check your memory.... http://www.memtest86.com don't worry its free and I am not selling anything. When I bought my new computer I had lots of unexplainable problems. Eventually it was down to the memory just not being good enough for DDR400 Dual Channel work, If I can the same memory in single channel mode i would have no problems. Also clocking it back to DDR333 speed fixed them.

To explain (briefly).... Not all memory is the same... the DDR speed is just the start of it, there is a little chip on your dimm which also tells the computer some other settings, such as the CAS setting. It seems (and this is what happened to me) some manufactures to sell thier products for more money at the DDR400 speed, have maxed out the other settings to slow the chip down again.... Because really the chips on the DIMM were intended for DDR333 mode, and acceptable other settings....

Memtest86 does not work under windows it must boot from floppy/cd or lilo ;-) Make sure you select the extended tests, test 10 was the trouble one for me.

This prime number search program also has a hardware test mode on it. http://www.mersenne.org/prime.htm It also has a very aggressive mode as well and it works under windows. It fixed all my crashes to desktop.

24.Power supply (Grendle says) It may be that the power supply wattage could be inadequate. If its 250-300w everything in your comp burns power (obviously). Your processor is probably eating about 30-40 watts, drives maybe 20-30 each, and the biggie: your graphics card might be burning 70 or more watts. There's other stuff eats power as well (Fans,CD/DVD etc). For a gaming rig, it is probably wise to have at LEAST 350w, preferably 400 or 450. You'd be amazed what having a bigger PS does for stability. No power sags when your drives have a swapping going on.

25.Hardware. NEW: Suggestion
(Asgar wrote) may also get problems with hardware conflicts. Most AGP/PCI cards do not like IRQ's being shared. Sound cards and Display Adapters should never share IRQ's. Moving cards to different slots should sort this out. Never use the FIRST PCI slot after the AGP because usually the IRQ is shared.I tend to use the 2nd 4th and 5th PCI slots. You can usually check IRQ assignment when you first boot. Hit the pause key to find out whats been assigned.

26.Hardware Maintenance. NEW: Suggestion
(Autopilot wrote) You may also get problems with hardware overheat, ensure your heatsinks and fans are in good order, if there is a fur, or dust on the heatsink, then your cooling is not at optimum performance, cheap solution is to vacuum any dust and fur from your system as part of your regular maintenance routine, ensure fans are working correctly, make sure cables such as hard drive, CD,DVD,FLoppy etc are not deflecting or restricting airflow from your processor,ram and graphics cards and that fans are not noisy, (could indicate worn bearings, thus nor working at full efficiency).

27.Ship&Station names FIXED in Patch 1.3
(Creston found) you may also get problems with renaming your ships with long names such as "HMS my ship based at kindoms end - energy cells" and although this may or may not relate to CTDs, its worth making sure you keep your ship names small e.g (HMS KE CF EC). If your game has been working reletively well, and for no explicable reason you start to get game problems like CTDs, crashes, freezes, lockups or simply cannot load a previously saved game, then do check the above and keep the names short untill the next fix (Now fixed in 1.3)

28.Clean Boot NEW: Suggestion
(Uglyduck found) That doing a clean boot to play the game helped in resolving some software conflicts, please follow link for procedure on Clean booting http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=331796

29.Joysticks NEW: Suggestion
(White Tiger found) by adjusting his JS sensitivity? which is now set to 55% sensitivity and 5% dead zone. In the past, if he tried to set the sensitivity for the JS above 60%, the game would CTD. Now it seldom CDTs. he had a Saitek Cyborg Graphite JS.

30.Logo change NEW: Suggestion
(Mr sage)changed the custom logo he used to one of the pre loaded egosoft ones and this time it loaded up. He ended up copying the custom JPEG into the egosoft directory (He had previously just linked it from another folder) and that worked.

31.Clean Registry NEW: Suggestion
Some people have re-installed the game and now experience CTDs or other problems.

(MadAxman wrote) Some people have reported problems if they uninstall and do not remove the registry keys. In order to find the one that you need to delete do the following.

1... Click the 'Start' button.
2... Clickon 'Run...'
3... In the box title 'Open:' type "regedit", then press the 'OK' button.

When the registry editor opens, you will see a pane on the left that shows 'My Computer' with 5 'folders' under it with names starting with 'HKEY_'.

4... In that pane on the left, click on the little plus sign next to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE'.
5... Find 'SOFTWARE', then click on the little plus next to it in order to expand that.
6... This should produce a larger list. Go down it until you see 'EgoSoftware'.
7... Expand this and find X2. Highlight it.

If you look at the status bar at the bottom of Registry Editor, you should see that it says "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\EgoSoftware\X2"

8... With X2 highlighted, press the delete key and confirm the delete when prompted.

And that's it.

Alternatively, you could open registry editor, highlight 'My Computer', select 'Find...' from the 'Edit' menu and perform a search for "egosoft". This should find the path I gave you above. From here follow from step 7 above.

32.Saved game 100% working Unmodified NEW: Suggestion
Giskard has kindly put a saved game up on his site for those who are experiencing problems in 1.4. This saved game is known to be totally unmodifed, no cheats where used during the game and it is known to work without crashing X2 out EVER on his system!

Please test it without saving your game again, then test again after resaving the game and loading the new save back in.


The above link is to his thread

33. 3rd Party Scripts/unsigned NEW: Suggestion
Although there are many new and well writen scripts, it has been noticed that some scripts may be causing CTDs in 1.4 and once removed, the CTDs have reduced or ceased. I am trying to find the name(s) of the culprit script(s) and will post here in due course. Always try your game without 3rd party scripts if you suddenly get CTDs in 1.4 especially if it always occurs in a particular sector, you could always ask the author or others whom use a script if they have had similar experiences.

34. PS2 Controller pad NEW: Suggestion
Do you have a PS2 pad installed? If you are experiencing game freeze, then try uninstalling the pad.

35. BSOD-computer reboots NEW: Suggestion
If you are experiencing computer reboots, then follow this procedure to get as much information as possible and post your info in your own thread in the tech section to get the best possible help.

1. Right click My Computer and select Properties
2. Click the Advanced tab
3. Select Startup and Recovery Settings button
4. In the System Failure frame, do the following:

- Ensure "Automatically restart" is not checked
- Set Write Debugging Information to Complete Memory Dump
- Set the Dump File to %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP
- Ensure "overwrite any existing file" is checked

Then try to duplicate the problem. When you get a BSOD, record as much information as you can from the screen and post it in your tech thread, including all numbers and any driver or file names that are given. Make sure you wait for the system to finish the memory dump before rebooting.

36. Sticky Keys NEW: Suggestion
If you are experiencing computer CTDs or Freezes when pressing a key [Shift] on your keyboard, then you may have "sticky keys" enabled, follow this procedure to turn of "sticky keys" option.

1. Select Control Panel
2. Select Accessibility Options
3. Deselect sticky keys option
4. Click OK

37. Crashes/Freeze/BSOD with 1GB Ram + NEW: Suggestion
If you are experiencing "blue screen" crashes, hard freezes, or complete system shutdown/reboot, and you have 1GB of RAM or more, please go to this thread Possible Fix

38. Screensaver NEW: Suggestion One user found his screensaver to be the culprit and causing the game to crash to desktop, you could increase the time before it activates,or disable it. Likely hood of the screensaver affecting the game is low, but worth trying.

I hope some of the above helps in resolving some of your CTD issues, I will update if I find anymore possible solutions for you to try.

If you are still experiencing CTDs please don’t post here, use the CDT poll thread already being used, and it helps me to collate any info, which I can put in here. The thread is here http://www.egosoft.com/x2/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21223



Credits: Darkness2, Oolon, Tinblue, murph99, Duriel, Shadez, Markthx, Phased, Oxycil, Bernd, Steel, Pjknibbs, Asgar, Autopilot, Creston,Uglyduck,White tiger, crevie ,Mr sage,MadAxman, Giskard, Apoch, Rebelstar, CBJ, waveriderX2
Last edited by veelad on Wed, 20. Apr 05, 21:28, edited 31 times in total.

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Post by CBJ » Fri, 13. Feb 04, 17:27

Superb piece of work bringing this together veelad, thanks. :thumb_up:

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Post by pixel » Fri, 13. Feb 04, 17:30

in spite of your semi-flaming me elsewhere.....

good stuff :) :thumb_up:
"I find your lack of belief in the Three Dimensionality disturbing." Mercenary

"So getting this chick back is more than just getting a chick back. It's the concrete manifestation of an abstract policy goal. And we like concrete - right, Vic?"

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Post by Argonaught. » Fri, 13. Feb 04, 17:32

Fab piece of collecting Veeled have a few :thumb_up: :thumb_up: :thumb_up: :thumb_up: :thumb_up:
[MOD]X3TC No Fog / [MOD]X3AP No Fog / [MD]X3TC Menagerie Shipyard / [MD]X3AP Menagerie Shipyard


I lurk alot for the most part now

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Post by Henkie » Fri, 13. Feb 04, 19:44

Great work, it will surely help alot of players.

Keep it up :)

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Post by oolon » Fri, 13. Feb 04, 20:12

Perhaps someone would be good enough to sticky it.


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Post by CBJ » Fri, 13. Feb 04, 20:17

Oh all right then, but just for bit. ;)

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Post by Deleted User » Sat, 14. Feb 04, 14:22

Great post Veelad, i have been lucky and found my problem was h/ware related (CPU fan was at melt point and running at less than half rpm) not to mention the heatsink had aqquired a fur coat which was promptly removed 8)
Apologies to EGO :) My CTD's have gone away 8)

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Post by oolon » Sat, 14. Feb 04, 23:46

Autopilot wrote:Great post Veelad, i have been lucky and found my problem was h/ware related (CPU fan was at melt point and running at less than half rpm) not to mention the heatsink had aqquired a fur coat which was promptly removed 8)
Apologies to EGO :) My CTD's have gone away 8)
I think we have all got so use to crashes from windows that we now feel all crashes are because of windows or a program so we don't think their could be a problem with the hardware. My CTDs were all hardware related.


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Post by GrendelMk1 » Mon, 16. Feb 04, 12:03

Good to have this up, cheers for collecting 'em.

And my name's Grendel, dammit :P

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Post by LawLessOne » Wed, 18. Feb 04, 21:32

I have managed to stop the CTD's on my system by saving off X2 every hour or so, quiting the game, and restarting the computer. It is kind of a painful way to play but this works for me.

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I'm going to play devils advocate for a bit.

Post by SnowGhost » Sat, 21. Feb 04, 12:45

Note 1 : I will only comment on the points I have an issue with.
Note 2 : All my comments relate ONLY to XP (and I guess win2k). If your using WinME ... sucks to be you. If your still using win98, well your better off than ME users.

If you DO make changes, make ONE at a time. Don't make 2, or 3 or all of them. if you do, and it fixes the CTD, how do you know which one fixed it? You can't.

3,4,7,8,9,17 : All of these are 'Well, DuH, and should be being done anyway, If you haven't done these recently, go do them ALL now.
Special note for #4. KEEP IT UPDATED. An nonupdated antivirus is worse than nothing. Weekly updates. You have to do them.

6. Won't make any difference. Thats why you have a file system, to abstract away the problems of writing to disk. If your not using NTFS, then convert it. There is only a couple of really bad reasons to use FAT(32). NTFS is far superiour, in all aspects, to FAT. The only reason against using NTFS, is it can't be read by DOS or 95/98/ME, for most people this is not a problem.

It might make a slight performance difference, but this will be less noticable in NTFS.

It won't HURT anything, but it should not affect CTD's in any way.

11. I don't know, this was just a random thought, but Creative created EAX, so it should at least work on their cards. It would be crappy if EAX gives problems on Creative cards (but then again, look how long it took creative to have drivers that didn't crap out with SMP .... ten years, and they only fixed it because Intel introduced HT CPU's (death to creative!).

13. How? Just load them up in Winamp and ensure they play?

16. Virtual memory (Thanks Microsoft for consistently misnaming it. No wonder so many people are confused about it). There is no good reason to set a maximum limit to the pagefile. Hell, even system managed is fine. Bernt has suggested that there is an uncommon bug in X² if you have more than 1GB RAM (Wish I could be stuffed going to look for that post) and the work around is to limit the pagefile size. Note, this is a work arond, not a solution. the correct solution (and it's been suggested that 1.3 will fix it) is to fix the code.

By setting minimum and maximum pagefile size to the same, you are cutting off one of Microsofts safety nets.

24. A DECENT quality (and that is important) 300w PSU will be sufficient to power any reasonable home PC. Decent does not (generally) include the POS PSU's that come with generic cases. OR HP/Compaq/Dell PC's. In fact, if your didn't think about the PSU when you bought your PC, then you will almost certainly of gotten a POS. To the vast majority of people a PSU is a boring box in the back of the case. But it's important. You need quality.

If you've gone silly (like me) and have a dual setup (or water cooling), then you will need a bit more. I killed a 431w PSU, but my system makes extremely high demands on the 5v line, and clearly that PSU couldn't cut it. Most motherboards won't do this. (I have a Dual AMD s2460, and it is well known to have problems with 5v power lines).

25. It may be a problem, but it is the fault of the card (or motherboard) manufacturers. The correct slution is take it back and get a different card that meets PCI (and AGP) specs, by sharing IRQ's. If they don't, they don't meet the PCI specifications. I don't know why this can be such a problem still, PCI has been around since 1996. But it is.

27. (It's not listed, but it may well be in the threads listed in points 1 & 2) Go visit windowsupdate and get all the critical updates. Check out the resommended ones as well (You do not need .NET stuff for X2, so you don't need that, at least).

One last thing. Apolagies to all, because this makes me look like a smart arsed, stuck up, snobby, egotistical prick. I know it does. But I am really just trying to help (honest, I am), and ensure that people who want to learn get the right information (especially about page files, swap files (WinXP doesn't have one) and virtual memory (You can't turn it off in XP)) so that we can all advance ourselves.

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Big thanxx to Veelad and everyone who contributed.

Post by dgoss » Thu, 26. Feb 04, 12:53

I have just read Veelad's posting. Very useful - thanxx to all people who contributed, very helpful :!: :)
Points 19+21 very interesting.
Point 22 - I did wonder if DX9 was a bit unstable. Perhaps the related additional bits during installation should be optional rather than forced.

Thanx again Veelad, Bernt, James, Grendle, Asgar, Autopilot etc.
:thumb_up: :thumb_up: :thumb_up: :thumb_up: :thumb_up:

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nice one

Post by veelad » Sat, 28. Feb 04, 08:15

Thanx for all the great feedback folks, very appreciated :thumb_up:
There will be no Boom and Bust under my watch in the economy of my universe ROFLOL

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Post by Deleted User » Sun, 29. Feb 04, 11:54

I appreciate you making all this for us, but the thing that really pisses me off is that they made this game and it will take all that effort for it to work on my PC! I mean Windows has less frggin' bugs than that in it!


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