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Author Topic: Fix that darn random Black Screen of Death while Playing Starcraft II!  (Read 56780 times)
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MooMoo
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« on: July 28, 2010, 02:14:56 pm »

So you're playing starcraft, everything's going fine, load up a 3v3 with your friends. You've built up quite a large army, and are ready to attack, all of a sudden, the screen goes black with some green artifacts, your sound loops buzzes, hiss'es.. etc, and you realize, Your PC has just froze!
AHHHHHHH!

This appears to come randomly, you can be building a psylon, or a Nexus, and then BAM!!


Well, this was what was happening to me randomly all during beta, and even in the retail now apparently. But there IS a Fix.

My Specs:

*i7 930 CPU
*ATI HD4870
*750W Corsair PSU
*Catalyst 10.6

(The other stuff doesn't really matter).


This applies to Windows Vista/7 Users with somewhat decent hardware specs..

*If you are running Windows XP, with ATI Catalyst Drivers, try disabling/uncheck the VPU Recover*

(Only for the ones who have to reset the PC after crash, or it auto-reboots. The ones who crash back to desktop have a different issue, and this won't resolve it. )
*Just note, I will not be responsible if you mess something up, but this requires Windows Registry Tweaks, so please make sure you are familiar before attempting.*

The reason/issue:
This is crashing is because Windows Vista/7 have the stupid "TDR" built into the OS set at 2 seconds, and it does it kinda poorly in my opinion.

In plain english:
Windows Vista/7 checks/polls your video card every so often, to make sure it hasn't "crashed", kind of like a "ping" to the card. Normally, the graphics driver/card responds right away.
Well what happens is, when you are running SCII and some other Graphics Intensive Games, your graphics card is busy processing the game commands and renders, so it may not respond to windows within 2 seconds. This is the part that crashes the game, as per Windows Default, when the 2 second Timeout Detect Period passed, Windows kicks in the Graphics/GPU/VPU recovery process. (Shuts off and restarts the Video card, and drivers.)
So at this point SCII just lost the device it was sending all the graphics rendering commands to. Hence the black screen with the lines/ looping sound, etc.


*NOTE*
Catalyst 10.7 seems to be buggy/slow and crashes SC II. Use Catalyst 10.6 Instead.



The Fix:
We will raise the TDR timeout period to 10 seconds. (this should be sufficient, don't go any higher as it may be bad for your video card IF an actual issue does arise.)
1. Open Registry Editior (regedit.exe)
2. Navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers"
3. Create a new 32_BIT DWORD Key, and name it "TdrDelay" (case-sensitive) and assign it a Decimal Value of "10". (If one already exists, just change the value from 2 to 10)

Or Copy the following into notepad, and save as a .reg file. (Easy Way)  Then Import the settings.

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
 
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers]
"TDR_DEBUG_MODE_IGNORE_TIMEOUT"=dword:00000001
"TdrDelay"=dword:00000010
 
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\DCI]
"Timeout"=dword:00000007
 
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\MemoryManager]
"Period.EnableEvictionThresholdForWrite"=dword:00000000
 
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\TdrTestMode]
"TDR_DEBUG_MODE_IGNORE_TIMEOUT"=dword:00000001
 
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\UseNewKey]

4. Reboot your system, and try again. Smiley

#####################

Apparently for some ATI Card's, disabling Catalyst AI, Installing HydraVision (create a display group), or Disable secondary/Third Monitor, is also needed in addition to the above steps.

#####################

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Blizzard is suggesting that people put the following lines into your variables.txt file. To prevent the B.Net menu from overheating your GPU.

It is usually located in %userprofile%\My Documents\Starcraft II\Variables.txt.   Make sure your game is off when you are adding the values.

Code:
frameratecapglue=30
frameratecap=60


You can also turn off transparentshadows.

In your variables.txt file, find the line that says "transparentshadows", and set the 1 to a 0.

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

This might help some people, who have graphics issues:

Code:
net stop uxsms  


and then when you are done playing,

Code:
net start uxsms

(That disables the desktop windows manager, the thing which draws the 3d aero stuff, turning your desktop into a Direct3D fullscreen "app")

If this still occur's then you need to upgrade to latest/reinstall graphics driver, and then perform steps above.


Let me know how this turns out! If this fixed your issue, Buy Me a Beer Smiley

« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 07:51:26 pm by MooMoo » Logged
pcszeng
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 07:54:02 pm »

Ah! You lucky ass. I have to wait because I didn't want to spend an extra 15 bucks for overnight shipping. Also, that never happened to me on SC2 but it does on other games.
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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 02:06:33 am »

o.O I have an NVidia card here, does that matter? The games I play sometimes get stuck all of a sudden, but I can still use other applications that are open (if I wasn't playing fullscreen) and my music does keep on running like it should (that's a radio streaming actually).., but anyway the game hangs (doesn't respond) and I have to do a hard reboot.
Would that be the same issue? I suppose not..

[EDIT] nvm.. I just saw that the delay is set to 60 already... -.-
« Last Edit: July 29, 2010, 02:09:09 am by lordstyx » Logged

MooMoo
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 10:12:02 am »

o.O I have an NVidia card here, does that matter? The games I play sometimes get stuck all of a sudden, but I can still use other applications that are open (if I wasn't playing fullscreen) and my music does keep on running like it should (that's a radio streaming actually).., but anyway the game hangs (doesn't respond) and I have to do a hard reboot.
Would that be the same issue? I suppose not..

[EDIT] nvm.. I just saw that the delay is set to 60 already... -.-

Different issue, but interesting that Delay is preset @ 60, I assume certain cards manufacturers tweak that value as well.
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Bui
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2010, 11:00:48 am »

Sneaky cow with a sneaky cow forum section.
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[15:48:08][13] (Bri) Done being an ass?
Caelestis
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 02:13:02 pm »

This is helpful.
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