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Crash To Desktop (CTD): Causes and Treatment - A NatVac FAQ

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  12:07:00  20 September 2007
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Senior Resident

On forum: 04/23/2007
Messages: 549
Thanks NatVak for your restless state, Thank you.
  02:06:33  20 September 2007
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Senior Resident

On forum: 06/15/2007
Messages: 4302
Some additional qualifications about the log file (step 2):

The file might not have the extension ".log" because it is already associated with Notepad or other editor, and you have "hide extensions for known file types" checked on Windows Explorer's Folder Options dialog, View tab, in the "Advanced Settings" box.

In that case, you can just double-click the file in Explorer to open it.
  00:18:51  13 September 2007
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Senior Resident

On forum: 06/15/2007

Message edited by:
09/13/2007 2:53:57
Messages: 4302
Crash To Desktop (CTD): Causes and Treatment - A NatVac FAQ

You have a problem. Maybe we can help. You can help yourself by helping us help you.

1. Give us a clue that you have a clue. Before you post anything, do your homework.

Search the forums and the Internet for the possibility that others are also experiencing your problem, and they may already have been helped, with exactly the answer you seek. If you are using the forum's search facility, consider extending the search range by changing the default of "10 days" to "All the time".

You can also use Google to search this forum by adding the following to the search terms, after a space:


Read the stickies in the "Single Player Bugs" section, especially Decane's "A Guide To Help Eliminate Stutter!" A major solution to many CTD problems is simply to increase one's pagefile size (step #10).

Got Vista? Got growing pains. About five percent of computer users are using Vista, but they make half of the bug reports. Microsoft and the video card manufacturers are still refining their software, and have recently provided updates for improved gaming. Search for Mad Murdock's or jmb's posts, starting with this thread:

"Vista Quicksave (and maybe some others) Crash - Fix"

2. Find your log file.

STALKER uses two places on your hard drive to store information. The game and associated resources are in the STALKER installation directory, which by default is on the C: drive in the \Program Files\THQ\S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl\ directory.

The saved games and logs are on the C: drive by default in the STALKER-SHOC subdirectory. In Vista this subdirectory is under \Users\Public\Documents\ while in XP this is found in \Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\. You can also access this directory by entering %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Documents\STALKER-SHOC in the Windows Explorer address bar.

The latest error log, called xray_<your_user_login>.log* is under STALKER-SHOC in the logs\ subdirectory, while the saved games are stored in savedgames\.

*<your_user_login> is usually your name, the one you see at the top of the menu when you click on the start button on the taskbar in XP. If your user name is Robert, for example, then you would find a file named xray_Robert.log.

At the end of that file is usually a section that starts with "FATAL ERROR" and has lines beginning with "[error]". Include those lines in your post to give us an idea of what is wrong. Sometimes there is only a single error line, but it might be enough.

3. Determine the category of your problem.

Think about the possible type of problem it might be, with the information you see below.

a) Hard lockups are usually due to a hardware problem. Use MEMTEST86 or the "plus" version to test your memory; see the [link][/link] website. Update drivers for all components; sometimes older drivers are better.

b) CTD errors involving xrCore.dll are usually due to a driver and/or hardware problem. Other causes are attempts to re-initialize hardware resources, caused by bad mods or duplicated lines in fsgame.ltx. Updating drivers for video cards and sounds cards (especially if you have a Creative sound cards) have fixed some crashes.

c) CTDs when mods are involved.

d) Any other kind of CTD.

4. Post in the right place.

Are you running any mods? Problems while running a mod or mods are most likely due to the mod or mods. You should post in the correct forum for that mod. If that mod was downloaded from FileFront, for example, you should first look there for support. If the mod is listed in the Mod Downloads section here, post in the Mod Discussion forum section, in the corresponding thread for the mod.

Read the forum section's rules before you post. Misplaced posts will lower your reputation and make us think you are semi-literate, having an ability to write without a corresponding ability to read.

Do not post in another's thread unless you are having the same problem. Create a separate thread for your problem, and please, please, PLEASE give the post a meaningful title, like "Unusual CTD in Army Warehouses", and NOT "Problem" or "Question".

Especially don't post your problem in this thread!

5. Post with the right info.

In your post, please include the following information:

    PC particulars: processor, amount of RAM, video card, sound card (even if "on-board" )
    Operating system with version (e.g., XP Professional - SP2, Vista Home Premium)
    STALKER locale and version info (e.g., world-wide patch 1.0004, US 1.0)
    What mods, if any.
    The level where the problem occurred.
    The log file "FATAL ERROR" section, and [b]ONLY that section[/b], unless requested.
    A [i]brief[/i] description of what you were doing when the crash occurred.
    Anything that you think might be useful for us to know.

Please don't post the DXDIAG info unless requested. That request is outdated.

6. Be courteous. And give us some time to respond.

We are almost all volunteers here. Please don't double-post unless you have received no response in a couple of days, and understand that some might not reply if they don't have an answer.

No, it's not against the rules to be a jerk. But it's not against the rules to not answer jerks.

7. Feedback is very, very useful to us -- and others!

Please tell us what worked if a suggestion solved your problem, or if it didn't. You will be helping others when you do this, and we won't be left wondering what happened.

If you have anything constructive to add to this thread (e.g., to correct errors), please feel free to do so, but remember the topic's purpose in your post. Thanks for reading!

Edited: Forum makes non-links into links, which breaks subsequent valid links. Bad forum, bad!

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