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Author Topic: bon voyage installs, runs, freezes (after installing patch)  (Read 1581 times)
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leighkuhn
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« on: November 02, 2007, 12:19:22 pm »

i am not positive as to whether this would be considered a gameplay or a technical issue......

i first removed all hacks and installed the expansion pack. the game installed with no problem, loaded, but froze almost immediately after entering a lot and playing a sim.

as it is entirely possible i have made odd changes in places i'd forgotten about, and as i am not opposed to starting completely over, i saved all my downloads, etc., uninstalled all expansion packs and the base game and re-installed everything. this has worked beautifully in the past.

between installations i did some reading and discovered that there was a patch for EP6, so that was installed immediately after re-installing the base game and all EP's, including bon voyage.

the problem remains the same. the game loads and all is well until i enter a lot and attempt to play a sim. not only does the game freeze, it locks up my entire computer. i'm having to cut the power to get out of the game at all. i have tried waiting up to 20 minutes in case the problem was ungodly lag, but it seems it isn't. either that or it's *really* ungodly. *sigh*

my computer specs are here:

System

OS: microsoft Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600)
System Model: Dell DXP051
BIOS: Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1,10 A04
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 2.80GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 1022MB RAM
Page file: 629MB used, 1828MB available
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)


Display

NVIDIA GeForce 6800
Total Memory: 256.0 MB

Drivers

Main Driver: nv4_disp.dll
Version: 6.14.0011.6218 (English)
Date: 6/29/07 02:43:00
WHQL logo'd: Yes
Mini VDD: nv4_mini.sys
VDD: n/a
DDI Version: 9 (or higher)

i am using the nvidia beta driver, which has improved the blue screen crash issue considerably, but not eliminated it. i don't know whether my card would be an issue here or not.

in any case, i apologize for the length of this post. i am trying to give you information that is as complete as possible in the hopes that somebody can help with this. odds are, i'm not the only one having this problem.

thanks for any insight you can provide.
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BeosBoxBoy
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2007, 01:19:06 pm »

Leigh - it may be a conflict with some mod you have installed.  Possibly the mod from MATY that corrects the over-spawning problem.  I can't say with certainty.  I know several people have mentioned to me that the update caused problems with mods or would only work without mods
it is also possible that the changes from the update may have caused a new conflict with the beta driver that was not present previously

I don't hear very good things about this update patch, so I wonder if you would not be better served to un-install BV and then re-install it without the patch =/
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leighkuhn
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2007, 01:23:55 pm »

the first time i tried to install i removed all hacks.  the second time i unistalled the base game and all EPs.  Surely that would have taken care of any conflicting mod issues?
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BeosBoxBoy
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 01:25:43 pm »

yeps, that would have done the trick -- so we are left with a video driver incompatability issue or some other esoteric bug

let me also take a moment to thank you for being thorough in your first post -- you gave all the infor I needed to understand the situation; and more, you did everything the _right_ way.

So it really is down to a new bug
« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 01:30:46 pm by ~Marvine~ » Logged

"There is a certain elegance in wasting time. Any fool can waste money, but when you waste time you waste what is priceless."
-- Maugham, W. Somerset. Ashenden: Or the British Agent.
leighkuhn
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 01:30:05 pm »

oh great.  i just *love* esoteric.
 
so the next step would be to try the new nvidia drivers?  after carefully taking note of which one i've got now, in case the new one makes things worse?  although i'm not sure how it could.....*sigh*  in any case, i'm really appreciating the help.
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BeosBoxBoy
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 01:32:03 pm »

yes - try new first - then work backwards a bit - not "known bad" versions, but if an older driver is available that was "ok" but not perfect, EA may have designed the patch around that driver
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"There is a certain elegance in wasting time. Any fool can waste money, but when you waste time you waste what is priceless."
-- Maugham, W. Somerset. Ashenden: Or the British Agent.
leighkuhn
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« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2007, 11:43:29 pm »

ok, the much touted beta patch that really improved things pre bon voyage failed miserabley. i tried the latest driver with no improvement. i plan to try the latest beta driver, on the off chance.....*sigh* after that i'm working backwards looking for one that works? that lovely trial and error thing? *gak* also, if you know which drivers are "known bad" (or know where i can find that info) that would help a lot. i have no clue there.
 
i hate to keep beating you into the dirt with this, but i can't imagine i'm the only one with this problem..........hopefully, if we can get my game running, it will help some others as well.
 
i take it you've looked over my system specs and that, in and of itself, shouldn't be the problem?
 
i really don't mind trashing my neighborhoods and starting completely over. but when that doesn't help, it becomes frustrating very quickly. if working back through the drivers doesn't help, any input on the esoteric would be welcome. my computer is like my car. i drive well, can jump start it, do an oil change and know that when i turn the key and all it does is click it's likely my starter solenoid. but don't ask me to work on the engine.
 
thanks for hanging in with this. it's driving me absolutely bat-shit.
 
um, as an aside, if a different graphics card would make the difference, i'm not opposed.  i can always pass mine on to my favorite spouse.  my current one is way better than his, and he doesn't do games.  Smiley
« Last Edit: November 02, 2007, 11:48:17 pm by leighkuhn » Logged

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leighkuhn
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2007, 12:39:56 am »

ok, both the latest driver and the latest beta driver have proven to be a bust. i tried them both with and without the patch.  if you know where i can find a list of "known bad" drivers, it would be a godsend.
 
when mts2 comes back on line and i can get the instructions, i plan to try disabling the shaders.
 
meanwhile, i found this in the BV read me file:
 
PROBLEM: Game crashes soon after starting.
Some recent NVIDIA drivers have problems when running when Hyper threading is enabled on your processor. Try updating your driver first. If this doesn't help, turning off Hyperthreading in your BIOS will work around this issue. If you have no idea what Hyperthreading or BIOS is, it's probably not worth messing around with this stuff. Contact your video card manufacturer for assistance.

you guessed it, i only have a vague idea about bios and no idea about hyperthreading.  i can however follow instructions, if this sounds to you like it might actually help.  i'm not trusting maxis.  their list of known issues seemed extremely long for a product being released as finished........
 
i've also opened up my nvidia control panel and made sure the 3D settings were where the read me file specified.  there seemed to be several other settings that might be relevant, but again, i'm into territory i'm not very familiar with.
 
i'm hoping to hear back from you about the "known bad" drivers before i start that awful process.
 
if i'm really taxing your patience here or you've done all that you can, please say so.  if there is a solution for this obviously i'd like to find it.  on the other hand there *is* that whole beating a dead horse thing.
 
after that, when i show up on the doorsteps of EA and Nvidia wielding a bad attitude and a blunt instrument, will you and bren please arrange bail?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 08:30:20 am by leighkuhn » Logged

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BeosBoxBoy
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2007, 10:25:00 am »

Disabling hyperthreading is sometimes not even an option in BIOS; you will have to consult your computer's user manual (or as a last resort their tech support) to discover how to get to your BIOS.  Each system and motherboard manufacturer seems to find it inconvenient to make it the same as everyone else.  If it is hyperthreading, then disabling it (if an option in BIOS) will easily rectify the matter.

But we need to keep in mind all video cards using a particular GPU are not identical.  Some use memory with different specifications, different lot numbers, and different OEM vendors.  So there can be "personality" differences even between two ostensibly "identical" card by the same vendor.

Then we have to consider your motherboard's on-board resources like the front-side bus and basic controller chip-set.  Even these have different lot numbers.  Sometimes updating the chip-set driver will resolve a problem, not frequently, but sometimes.  You'll have to look at your System Properties in Device Manager to locate the make/model of the motherboard chip-set.

Sometimes you have to change something you wouldn't expect to have to change, like disable or enable DMA on the CR-ROM/DVD-ROM.

Other times is may be some other piece of hardware trying to use system resources in the same range as the video card, rare, but it happens.

First update your chip-set driver.  Then try change the video card settings to be controlled by the application, if you have not already. Then look at the other things you may not even be considering, disable you screen-saver of you are using one. USB devices may be another rare but potential problem.

The hardest part of understanding the problem is stepping over the idea that it has to make sense.  BIOS is itself sometimes not well crafted, and if the foundation is iffy, the rest of the structure has issues.  So check your system or motherboard manufacturer's website for a BIOS update, there are usually a number of these released over the market life of any system or motherboard.

But I want to stress, if the only thing having a problem is The Sims 2, then we are not even looking at a system issue, but a game issue.  Just because you understand that your problem is X, don't expect that others will have a similar understanding.  I have discovered that for most people, a computer is a magic box that fulfils wishes, and with that firm grasp of the realities of their computer they are not what I would call especially qualified to explain what is wrong with their system, so don't expect to see much on the BBS that describes your situation.  Simply look at posts that say driver updates and the patch did not resolve the issue.  There are more of those appearing even today.

EA has a dirty habit of moving these sorts of posts, so don't be surprised if you see rather less than there should be there.  Again, let me stress, we all know that EA lies to us and provides us with poorly crafted wares, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that the first patch doesn't fix a damned thing.  In fact, it is quite in keeping with their track-record for these matters.

Leigh, I want you to think about this carefully: If The Sims 2 Bon Voyage is the only thing demonstrating a problem with the current operating environment, then where is the problem? in your computer or in the software?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 10:34:02 am by ~Marvine~ » Logged

"There is a certain elegance in wasting time. Any fool can waste money, but when you waste time you waste what is priceless."
-- Maugham, W. Somerset. Ashenden: Or the British Agent.
leighkuhn
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2007, 10:49:14 am »

thanks for getting back so quickly. and thanks also for the thanks regarding the first post. i was a bit concerned i might be going overboard.
 
point taken. obviously the software sucks. i did however find a problem with my system that may be relevant.
 
i checked every driver i've got (after seasons, i ended up having to re-install my entire operating system, so it seemed like a good idea.) i did use the 'update hardware wizard' for this as it has a rollback option. i downloaded new drivers for the sound card and the modem.
 
the SM Bus Controller has no driver at all. the wizard says it can't install a new driver because it can't find the software. it seems highly likely this is something dell tech support and i missed during the re-installation. obviously it isn't your job to fix things i've probably screwed up myself. i can always get on line with dell and find out which driver i need.
 
i do apologize for not noticing this sooner. i've been concentrating on the nvidia card as it's been the source of so many problems before. and again, point taken. if getting this last driver installed doesn't do it my only decision will be whether to wait for a patch that works or to use the discs to play fetch with my dogs.
 
meantime, thanks for your help and patience, and for answers that were clear, detailed and tailored to my limited level of computer knowledge without being dumbed down to the lowest common denominator. i appreciated that most of all.
 
final note: got the driver installed. no change. i'm going to play freecell and wait for a decent patch! thanks again.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 09:55:51 am by leighkuhn » Logged

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