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Binro_the_Heretic
13th Sep 2002, 03:36
I was plagued with constant crashes after upgrading to Windows XP Proffessional. They seemed to occur totally at random. One second, everything would be fine, the next, I was staring at my desktop.

None of the patches fixed the problem. I made double-certain I had all the latest and greatest drivers. I read all the tech FAQ's. Noting seemed to help.

I may have accidentally hit upon the solution.

I noticed the game didn't seem to crash when I ran from the autostart menu after popping in the disc, only when I started from my start menu. I changed my start menu shortcut to run the autorun menu so I wouldn't have to open and close the drive if the CD was already in there.

Not getting the crashes anymore.

Any Muckyfoots care to theorize on what might be going on there?

Mucky Foot
14th Sep 2002, 22:04
Consider my mind boggled. Good find.

There's a number of obvious ways in which StarTopia could fall foul of XP's slightly tighter security and slightly different ways of doing things, but these would all fall over in nice predictable (but unfortunate) ways, e.g. fail on saving games, fail on starting a game, etc. I can't see why you'd get random crashes for basic WinXP-does-things-differently reasons.

One teeny tiny possibility is that the way we stream music and speech from the drive (either CD or hard disk) isn't 100% compatible with WinXP - reducing both those sound volumes to completely zero zero should turn them off. But again, I'd expect them to just Not Work Ever, rather than bomb out after a random period of time. A shame to lose both, as they're real highlights, but any game is better than no game. Normal sound effects aren't done the same way (we just load them at start of day, rather than streaming them), so you can leave them on.

Another thing you could try is running StarTopia in one of the many many compatibility modes. It was extensively tested and developed on both Win2k and Win9x, so in theory either of those two should do the trick. I wonder if running it from the autorun menu silently engages a compatibility mode, while running it raw doesn't?

But well done for finding that. Might add that to the FAQ if others agree it helps things.

TomF - Muckyfoot coder.

Binro_the_Heretic
17th Sep 2002, 12:29
Never mind. It crashed on me again last night. D'OH!

However, one crash in a period of almost two weeks is amazing considering it had been crashing every time I played.

I think my machine is just messed up. My buddy is running Windows XP and "Startopia" doesn't crash on him. (granted, he doesn't play it on a daily basis, but still...)

A few other games have been giving me random trouble as well. "Dungeon Keeper 2," "Black & White," "Sacrifice" and "Giants: Citizen Kabuto." Most everything else seems to work fine.

Oh well, time to pick my poor little machine to bits and try to isolate the problem. (I love playing computer games, but I HATE computer maintenance)

Binro_the_Heretic
18th Sep 2002, 14:17
Double-D'OH!

I tried running "Startopia" in Win98 compatibility mode and it now seems to be working just fine. Thanks Tom F. The same trick seems to be working with the other games that were giving me grief as well.

I didn't know anything about those compatibility modes until you told me. Serves me right for not reading the instructions.

The good news is I won't have to pick the computer to pieces now to locate the problem.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get to work on this elephant with my microscope.

Hand-E-Food
23rd Sep 2002, 04:05
I've never had a problem with StarTopia on XP. I've had a lot of trouble trying to use those compatability modes though. I tried Windows '98 mode on Carmageddon 2 and it said that "This application does not support Windows NT." I realise XP is based on NT, but you'd think that compatability mode would hide that. As well as that, I've never seen it do antything positive -- or negative for that matter.