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Author Topic: flashing lots/graphic errors in neighborhood view  (Read 2596 times)
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Xylune
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« on: March 22, 2007, 11:41:29 pm »

I'm having some problems since installing Seasons, and I didn't find another topic like this so I assume it isn't common.  When in neighborhood view, sometimes some of my lots will flash red.  When they start doing that, I end up getting white boxes all over the screen and can't see what I'm doing to take any action.

Things that I have done:
Updated graphics drivers
Updated InSIM (object version)
Removed all hacks not tested or updated for Seasons
Deleted the groups.cache file

I haven't checked for an updated version of Numenor's CEP yet.
I haven't tried reinstalling the game yet (that would be a last resort).
At first, I thought the flashing might only be occurring on lots with custom terrain, but one of my maxis lots did it too when I investigated more closely.

Everything is fine once I actually get into a lot, barring a couple of custom items having their colors damaged.  This only seems to happen in neighborhood view, and it seems to occur when I click on the family or house bin to either place a family or house.

Any advise?
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Xylune
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 11:46:37 pm »

I forgot to mention, I'm using a Sapphire Radeon x300SE on Windows XP home edition.
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Xylune
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2007, 02:09:39 am »

Now I'm crashing as well.  I was going through the neighborhood view, packaging lots I want to be sure and keep if I have to reinstall, when the computer restarted.

I never had any major issues like this until the g*damned seasons expansion came out, and I'm beginning to get very frustrated at the lack of feedback from Maxis on all of the errors people are having.
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2007, 02:40:50 am »

Xylune - the x300 and x200 are notorious for misbehaviour.  both are 2D chipsets with delusions of being a 3D chipset.  They have only the most rudimentary support for 3D and cause havoc when playing all manner of 3D games.  Seasons itself is part of the issue with it's high demands on video cards, but the majority of blame lays squarely on the crapware x200 and x300 chipsets.  No amount of driver updating will make the chipsets have more features than they were built with.

Your options are : upgrade your video card (not an option on laptops and some desktop systems) or uninstall Seasons.

Other potential helps are delete all custom content trees and plants, all custom neighbourhood items, etc.  Reduce you graphics settings to the very bottom, and you may see some improvement, but I wouldn't hope for much.

The x200 and x300 were designed at a time prior to most 3D games, slapped into laptops, and called pretty.  No self-respecting manufacturer would ever use an x200 or x300 in a system they marketed as "game-friendly".  IBM certainly wouldn't.  the x200 and x300 are the rough parallels of the Intel 810 series, good enough for movies and multimedia, but suck at games.  count yourself lucky that your system didn't come with a Intel 810 chipset, which won't even run BodyShop reliably after the base game, and may not even run University.  Or maybe even worse are any of the VIA/S3 chipsets, which are complete junk.

the x200 and x300 will work fairly well up to OFB; but after that they fail to meet the base-line needs of the game.
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Xylune
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2007, 02:55:48 am »

I was afraid of that. Sad  Fortunately I have two hundred-fifty to spend, so I'v e ordered Hightech ATI Radeon X1650.  I was hoping to spend the money on more shelving units (moved into a new place), but shelves aren't that expensive and  I know my graphics card is getting into the age of the dinosaur.

Thanks for confirming what I was beginning to suspect.  At least I know I'm not doing a knee-jerk reaction by upgrading the card. Smiley  I guess I'm lucky that it took this long to run into any serious issues with it!
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2007, 02:23:01 am »

Thats happening to me too Sad Unfortunately, I don't have enough $ to buy a whole new graphics card so I guess I'll just have to live with it...
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2007, 09:35:04 pm »

Same here as of a few months ago.  I have ATI Mobility Radeon X1300, and as of now it's officially old.  I guess my video card is about to die, also... :icon9:

I know for me, most of the red flashing, blue screens, and glitchy graphics was due to lack of memory and space at one point, but it happens more frequently than I'd like it to.
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Xylune
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2007, 01:04:41 am »

Update:  I bought the card, tried it out and found that no matter what game I try to play, the monitor shuts down without notice.  I just got a new powersource put in, which is 450w.  I sent the card back and they sent me another of the same type, and I still had the shutdown issue...so I had to put my old card in and accept spending $250 on a card that won't run in my machine.

Now, I have looked over and looked over the specs and my system, shared the info with friends and updated every bloody thing I could think of, including the chipset and sound drivers.  I made sure to remove all lingering ati drivers before installing the new card and matching drivers.  I tried downloading and installing older drivers, thinking that perhaps the newest one was buggy.  My system was not overheating, the card was not overheating.

I have a theory and I want to ask the tech savvy people here if it could be possible.  While browsing a World of Warcraft forum, I found a thread discussing crashes and errors.  Someone in there said that sometimes if there's a lack of power, the computer will "black screen" (which is what mine was doing with the new card).  They said that even if you have a 450w power supply, the strength of the "12 volt rail" might not be sufficient to deliver that power where needed.  

Because of this nugget of information, I'm wondering if my 450w power supply is to blame because of a weakling 12 volt rail.  We bought the most affordable 450w we could find because I needed a new power supply fast.  Is it possible that by purchasing a more expensive high-end brand of power supply, I'll solve my "black screen" issues with the new card?

I've been trying to play on my old card but the game is so unstable that I've resorted to playing on my laptop.  Half of the time when playing on my desktop, if I try to save the game, it bluescreens or crashes and brings up an error report.  The laptop handles the game fine except that it doesn't like some clothing and hair meshes and puts weird spikes and lines in them, and some of the bigger houses lag more on the laptop than they would on my desktop computer.
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ancienthighway
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2007, 01:25:23 am »

You might try stepping backwards on the drivers for that new card.  Many problems with video cards and TS2 are resolved by using older drivers.  While this is an issue mostly with NVidia cards and drivers, it could be an issue with the latest ATI cards and drivers also.

If that doesn't work it could be related to the power supply or delivery, although 450 w should be ample to drive your system.
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caffeinated.joy
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2007, 01:55:21 am »

A 12 volt rail is more than sufficient. It's what I've got and I've never had a problem. Before I did my upgrade, I was running my system on a 450 w power supply with a 12 volt rail with no worries.
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Xylune
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2007, 02:11:25 am »

What I'm asking is whether it's possible that my power supply's 12v rail is bad, as it was the cheapest 450w supply we could find.  I know that a 450w power supply with a 12v rail should be sufficient, I just want to know if it's possible that the rail in mine is bad and thus not distribuing the power correctly.  It's the only explanation I have left for why my new vid card causes the monitor to go black whenever I try to run video games.  I don't want to look into possibly throwing more money away on another new graphics card if all I have to do is purchase a higher end power supply to fix the problem, if that makes any sense.
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ancienthighway
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2007, 08:56:44 am »

Did you try the video card drivers?
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caffeinated.joy
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2007, 10:25:42 am »

OK, I see what you're saying now. My apologies. Sometimes my brain fails me.

I would do as ancient suggested first and see if rolling back your drivers to an earlier version corrects the problem. If it doesn't, then yes, it could be that you have a faulty power supply.
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2007, 05:24:12 pm »

Yes, as I said in the updated post, one of the first things I tried was downloading and installing older drivers to see if the problem was in the newest one.  Thank you for the advice, though.
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2007, 05:34:30 pm »

*reads back* Duh...sometimes I'm not too quick on the uptake. Sorry about that.
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