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Thread: Encountered unexplained game crashes? Something to try

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Encountered unexplained game crashes? Something to try

    After abandoning it shortly after release (not because I wasn't enjoying it BTW) I recently went back to playing Dishonored 2 and found it to be crashing very frequently, making it effectively unplayable. Apart from one time where it totally locked up, it was mostly just crashing to desktop with no error messages and nothing in Reliability Monitor. After some searching online it seemed like a common problem (though confirmation bias could be a factor here obviously) - people complaining about it with no apparent fixes, and for some people it seemed to spontaneously get better after some probably unrelated change (or it was a different issue).

    Then I came across this post on Reddit, credit to this guy for pointing it out! https://www.reddit.com/r/dishonored/...ng_to/dbf0ftx/

    After reading this I went and checked Event Viewer and sure enough, complaints about Virtual Memory, starting with
    Code:
    Windows successfully diagnosed a low virtual memory condition.
    When I'd finished face-palming for not checking Event Viewer earlier, I went to play with the pagefile. Now, this system was using a small-ish SSD so I'd put the initial size at just 1GB* with the max at something like 15GB, but Windows hadn't even attempted to increase it from 1GB weirdly. I set the minimum to, IIRC 5GB and tried again. Crash. Same error! I set it to a massive 20GB and it played fine, not one single crash until I'd completed it. This is in a system with 16GB RAM and happened with no other applications open, plenty of free RAM.

    Now, it's possibly something uniquely weird about this game's massive pagefile usage (and I don't recall it happening the first time I played it on the same system so perhaps an update broke something) but it's something worth checking if you're getting unexplained game crashes.

    *Justification for setting it at just 1GB - back when I had two mechanical HDDs, I'd put the PF on a separate drive both to avoid fragmentation and to in theory avoid resource competition. That drive would more often than not stay spun down as next to nothing would ever touch the PF. I know some programs still freak out if there's no PF, and it's good to have just in case, hence having a small one with room to expand if needed. Also, setting it at the required size would rob >10% of my SSD for nothing. Also worth mentioning is I checked NAND writes before and after playing the game, and for the system drive with the PF on, it hadn't even budged, not even 1GB!! So it freaks out if you have less than say 10GB but doesn't even use it? Having said that, I wouldn't be impressed if a recent game was uselessly writing several dozen GB to a drive every launch, either...

    Something else worth throwing in here (the short version, don't worry!) is I believe having DEP enabled globally was causing another game to constantly crash. One of the Trine series IIRC.

    TL:DR Check event viewer>system for virtual memory complaints. Try increasing page file size. Some games can be weird.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Encountered unexplained game crashes? Something to try

    Oddly, I'd just recently come to a similar conclusion myself - though I was getting CTDs with Forza Horizon 3 and Destiny 2. As you say, it doesn't appear to be used (very often), so it's almost akin to overprovisioning, which given I've set my SSD with a 10% non-volume area for that purpose anyway, seems easy enough to give up a 16gbish chunk.

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    Re: Encountered unexplained game crashes? Something to try

    Another oddity I read about recently concerning an unusual 'fix' for a (recent, don't recall the name) game crash that was caused by lack of 'Available' (that's RAM that's not used but pre- allocated by Windows to *something* that might, or might not, use it later) memory; using RAMMap occasionally to Empty the Standby List prevented the crash (exit RAMMap after clearing the list to free up the memory it uses).

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    Re: Encountered unexplained game crashes? Something to try

    Read the thread title and immediately thought of the word cup semi-final....
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

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    Re: Encountered unexplained game crashes? Something to try

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Oddly, I'd just recently come to a similar conclusion myself - though I was getting CTDs with Forza Horizon 3 and Destiny 2. As you say, it doesn't appear to be used (very often), so it's almost akin to overprovisioning, which given I've set my SSD with a 10% non-volume area for that purpose anyway, seems easy enough to give up a 16gbish chunk.
    The only thing is the PF won't be marked as 'empty' as far as the SSD controller is concerned, unlike unformatted or empty, formatted space (on a modern OS with TRIM anyway). So it's not as useful in preventing write amplification etc as the controller will still be preserving and moving around this useless data for wear levelling. Not a terribly big deal I know, just worth noting.

    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    Another oddity I read about recently concerning an unusual 'fix' for a (recent, don't recall the name) game crash that was caused by lack of 'Available' (that's RAM that's not used but pre- allocated by Windows to *something* that might, or might not, use it later) memory; using RAMMap occasionally to Empty the Standby List prevented the crash (exit RAMMap after clearing the list to free up the memory it uses).
    Also weird, but doesn't surprise me at all. People will criticise the code quality of other applications and are often free to switch as there are alternatives - something which isn't really true of games. We don't have the luxury of picking a better-made version of the same game!

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