February 05, 2012

1.4 Patch doesn't fix Resetting/Black Screen/Rebooting

Tested today and found that the resetting/black screen/rebooting still occurs with the 1.4 patch.  Next test item - completely removing the Creative SB X-Fi audio card.  Here's the sequence of events:

  1. Encounter Reset/Reboot bug.
  2. Restart PC
  3. Do exact same thing (i.e. load the saved game), observe same result
  4. Restart PC
  5. Do exact same thing, observe same result
  6. Change one variable (in this case, removing the audio card)
  7. Do exact same thing.
    1. If result is the same, return the change variable to previous value
    2. If result has changed, note the change and continue testing until bug is encountered.
  8. If the change lasts a week of playing (i.e. over 10 hours), then it's considered to be a success.

As of tonight, the current setup:
  • Speedstep enabled
  • Core Parking disabled
  • Memory set to 1333MHz
  • Turbo mode enabled
  • Hyperthreading enabled
  • Defaults in MB settings and GPU settings
  • Creative audio card removed
  • Using MB audio card
So far so good, it's at least running.  Testing continues on step 7-2...


  1. I don't get much time to play games these days, so spending my time dealing with continual Skyrim crashes has been a real drag. I decided to give up for a while and start a new charter in Oblivion (for the first time on this particular system) and was surprised and disappointed to find the exact same black screen/sound loop problem.

    I Googled a bit and found a number of years old threads about Oblivion having the same issue that many of us are having with Skyrim.

    I tried a few of the proposed solutions with varying results. I simply don't have the hours to produce the rigorous data you have been able to produce here, but I have a lead you might want to look into. The common thread seems to be Windows 7.

    So following a lead from a forum, and for both Oblivion and Skyrim I set the launcher and the game file to compatibility mode for Windows XP Service Pack 2. The two hours I was able to play isn't a record or that statistically significant, but it was the first time in a month I was able to play either game for more than 15 minutes. And the first time in a month I was able to quit both games normally.

    I hope this lead holds for me and helps your investigation.

  2. False alarm. I just had a crash in compatibility mode. What was an immersive, amazing game is now just an exercise in hopelessly tweaking Windows.

  3. That sucks. I'm assuming it was a full reboot/reset crash and not a crash to desktop?

    On my end, I've had approximately 6-8 hours of stability after removing the Creative SB X-Fi card. One of the odd things I've noted since I got my system is that the GTX 570 card was reporting that it was running at PCI-E 8x (instead of 16x). After removing the sound card, it's now reporting at 16x. I'm crossing my fingers that this will prove to be significant in stability in Skyrim (again, ONLY in Skyrim do I have issues).

    I'm planning on giving this another week before I start to get really optimistic.

    Another gamer I know did not have a sound card (only on-board like I do now), but experienced crashes as well. After he disabled Core Parking, the crashes (so far) have gone away. *IF* the removal of the X-FI sound card proves to be the thing that finally makes Skyrim playable, I would have to chalk it up to two issues:

    1. Core Parking - I still think Skyrim hates this.
    2. CL SB X-FI Card incompatibility with GTX 570.

    I do miss the SB X-FI since the sound was better and there was never an audio skip (except when the system crashed). But I will take an occasional hiccup over system crashes any day.

    How does this apply to you and your MBP? I'm not sure. I'll have to check the specs of the particular MBP you have. If at all possible, can you install an older OS like XP and see if Skyrim still crashes with it?

    1. I have noticed greater stability since disabling core parking and enabling compatibility mode. I had originally planned on installing XP for games, but OSX Lion's bootcamp 4 only supports Windows 7.

      And the sound card is built in, so I can't yank that out, but maybe I'll try lowering the sound quality some more to see if there is a difference.

      I'll also try tweaking more things in the NVidia control panel towards performance over power savings. I'll let you know. Glad you're having more luck.


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