View Full Version : Startopia problems

9th Aug 2003, 03:14
Startopia freezes (sometimes crashes, rebooting the machine) within several minutes of playing time. I have the 1.01 and 1.01b patches, as well as the cardid replacement file.

P4 2.53GHz, 512 MB ram, 70GB free disk space, Audigy sound card, Radeon 9700 Pro video, Win XP SP1, DirectX 9.0b.

I have latest drivers/updates for everything. I have launched under XP as well as 98 compatibility mode.

I also have problems with other games. I have found that several of my games have intermittent freezing/crashing problems (e.g. Thief 2, Indiana Jones/Emporer's Tomb, Port Royale, Freelancer) and I am getting quite frustrated.

I discovered that, in attempting to understand the Deux Ex problem, launching Deus in 'safe' mode (including no sound support) resulted in no freezes, so I have a support request in with the Soundblaster folk. But if anyone has any ideas to solve Startopia, I would be most appreciative. Thanks.

Update (Aug 9): Creative tech support recommended that I change the settings of the PCI Latency Timer and Delay Transaction; Toggle Memory hole; set AGP aperture to 64 or 128; and update drivers. My bios menu didn't allow for the first two; changing the Toggle Memory would not allow my machine to reboot; and I changed the aperture size to 128. Still crashes with Deus Ex and Startopia.

9th Aug 2003, 15:21
This may not be the best method but it always works for me:

Back up, Format C:, Reinstall...

10th Aug 2003, 00:38
Can you get out of the game once it freezes (with Ctrl+Alt+Del)?

If it's regular random freezing, one common problem is loose hardware. If any device looses connection with the rest of the computer for a moment, your computer is likely to freeze. If you feel intimidated by playing with the insides of your machine, find someone who isn't. Then open the machine and press all of the cards and plugs firmly into their sockets. It may be necessary to remove and re-insert them.

10th Aug 2003, 01:31
Nope, it is hard crashed and requires a physical reset. I will take your advice and reseat the cards, and update if it works. Thanks.

10th Aug 2003, 13:26
A hard freeze is your mobo not liking something about your graphics or sound cards.

What motherboard exactly and which Audigy card? List everything but the serial numbers. Many mobos have known problems with Creative cards, "Audigy freeze" is an especially large subject. Your best bet to find someone with the exact same mobo who has already found a solution.

10th Aug 2003, 13:36
I have a Shuttle AS45GT/R mainboard with SiS 648 chipset. OEM Soundblaster Audigy card.

10th Aug 2003, 14:39
I thought overheating can also be a problem.

Mucky Foot
10th Aug 2003, 18:48
Have a wander over to the tech FAQ - there's a part in there with detailed instructions on moving the "hardware acceleration" slider on the sound card down. If turning sound off helps, then this should also help - except you still get sound - hooray!

TomF - Muckyfoot coder.

11th Aug 2003, 01:29
Thanks for the help, but removing the sound hardware acceleration didn't work (I couldn't find the tech faq, but I've been beating my head on this for a few weeks now and knew how to do this). I was in the biodeck training mission for about five minutes, when the monitor suddenly went blank and the green status light turned yellow, with the background music playing. Couldn't recover the monitor without turning comp off. What causes the monitor to think the computer is off yet the computer is humming merrily along??

Maybe the apparent Deus Ex 'safe' mode success was just coincidental, and would have crashed if I just played longer. Earlier, I've even used msconfig and booted in a 'selective start up' mode (to eliminate other processes, etc.) but with no success.

Also earlier, I was concerned that maybe driver updating created some problems, so I uninstalled both sound and video cards and reinstalled and updated drivers. I have not yet tried doing a system restore to a point a few months back, but other than games my computer is functional and supports bill paying, email, etc. and would hate to lose even that functionality.

Very frustrating. Thanks again.

11th Aug 2003, 02:58
I wonder if DirectX 9.0b has something to do with this? Do any of the other crashing games require DirectX 9 or do they all use DirectX 8 or earlier?

If the video card stops transmitting data to the screen, the screen has nothing to display and turns to low-power mode. Perhaps see if you can find a diagnostic program for your video card – you may have a hardware failure. I'm sorry I can't point you at one. Hardware's not my forté.

11th Aug 2003, 17:28
The Radeon, being such a powerful card, can have incompatibility with other hardware. A good test is to remove all cards from your PC except the radeon and test for crashes. If it no longer crashes, check updates for any card you removed... i.e. modem etc.
I had a similar problem. I had an older modem and so decided to get a new modem; which solved it.

You could spend hours looking at configuration and find no answer, so try the test I prescribe above first. ;)

11th Aug 2003, 18:04
It may be overheating - you sound British so you know its hot over here at the moment.

Try leaving the side of your case while you play..

Mucky Foot
11th Aug 2003, 19:55
Try leaving the side of your case while you play
Er... depending on your case design, that can make the airflow problem worse, not better.

I was in the biodeck training mission for about five minutes
/me strokes chin.
Could it have been exactly five minutes? Try disabling your screensaver and monitor power-off settings. I have heard of older games having trouble under XP where XP doesn't realise you're still moving the mouse and hitting the keys, and turns your monitor off in a "helpful" fashion. Never know - it might be that simple :-)

The tech FAQ is here (http://www.muckyfoot.com/startopia/faqtech1.html). Definately worth a read.

TomF - Muckyfoot coder.

11th Aug 2003, 20:39
XP is amazing.

12th Aug 2003, 23:36
I want to thank everyone that offered help, including Mucky Foot. Per Creative tech support recommendation, I moved my Audigy sound card to another slot, and the game problems disappeared! I don't know why this worked, or what caused it to be necessary, or if/how it will be required again, but it appeared to have worked!

Thanks again, and good luck to others with similar problems.

13th Aug 2003, 08:34
Moving to another slot can cause WinXP to assign the card to another IRQ line, or reshuffle resources for a shared IRQ.

Its a nice! feature rich board.... with an on board Realtek audio chip. Make triple sure this is disabled in BIOS - "SIS AC97 AUDIO DISABLED" Check that no audio drivers are being loaded for it. It should not appear anywhere in WinXP device manager. Check that the Realtek audio drivers are not cached, else WinXP will stubbornly reincarnate them over and over.

Should you add hardware/cards in the future you'll need to map out existing IRQ assignments and find free room. Likely you'll be facing another IRQ conflict.