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Thread: [Dual processor] Crashing during or after battle? Solution Found!

  1. #1
    Member Member potatodude's Avatar
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    Default [Dual processor] Crashing during or after battle? Solution Found!

    A top of the day from your friendly resident lurker Potato here with tidings of hope (hopefully) to those of us who are plagued with the curse of aggravating lockups and crashes mid and after huge sized battles.

    It is a known fact that RTW itself is not terribly efficient when it comes to handling memory and many of us happen to suffer from a crash or two every now and then. That in itself is quite tolerable if it happens once in a blue moon but ever since I upgraded my modest Pentium 4 2600 to my dual core machine 2 years ago I had found the crashes to happen much MUCH more frequently to the point where battles were unplayable.

    The crashes would happen very frequently when the cutscenes trigger for gate or wall breaches, death of general after battles when loading to the campaign screen or whenever I selected to occupy, enslave or raze.

    It also crashed whenever it felt like it.

    I had tried to defragment, upgrade my nVidia drivers, roll back my nVidia drivers, changed my page file, waiting until the music ends before going back to the campaign map and even prayed to the computer god to not to strike me down with his wrath.

    Nothing helped.

    It was then that I decided to change the affinity of the .exe file to CPU 0 only on a stroke of inspiration to see if it helped... and it did.

    It is my hypothesis that RTW is unable to handle multi processors properly like many older games and so far it has proven to be accurate. I stlll get the occasional crash every now and then but I have managed to play for 60-100 years without a single crash while following the other crash prevention steps.

    Steps to follow:

    1. Load your EB until the "Single player, Continue campaign, Multiplayer... etc" screen comes up.
    2. Alt+Tab your EB so you return to windows (If you play it in windows mode like I do then you can skip this step).
    3. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up task manager.
    4. In Task Manager there will be several tabs. What you want will be the "Applications tab". Look for your "Rome: Total War".
    5. Right click on your "Rome: Total War" and then in drop down box listed options select "Go To Process"
    6. You should now be in the "Process" tab with your .exe highlighted. (I play with the Alexander .exe file so for me "rometw-alx.exe" is selected.)
    7. Right click on the highlighted .exe and in the drop down box select "Set Affinity..."
    8. The "Processor Affinity" box should now be up with a list of CPUs from 0 - 31. There will be many greyed out boxes but for those of you with multi core processors, you will see several with ticks. (I have a dual core processor so my "CPU 0" and my "CPU 1" are ticked)
    9. You will then need to untick all the boxes EXCEPT for one to set affinity to that core only.
    10. Click "Okay" and quit Windows Task Manager.
    11. Enjoy your (hopefully) stable EB session!

    Hope it helps!

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Dude, you're the best potato ever! Thanks, I'll try this as soon as I get home!

    I wonder if there's a way to set advanced preferences for the whateveritis.exe file to make it always select single-processor usage?

  3. #3
    Member Member potatodude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Can't help you there with that one. I am merely an Aussie scientist Potato, you will need to find one of those computer wizard potatoes around the place. It would be quite handy though.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Quote Originally Posted by Titus Marcellus Scato View Post
    Dude, you're the best potato ever! Thanks, I'll try this as soon as I get home!

    I wonder if there's a way to set advanced preferences for the whateveritis.exe file to make it always select single-processor usage?
    How about this? http://www.robpol86.com/index.php/ImageCFG

    Looks like it might work....

  5. #5
    Member Member potatodude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    It works rather splendidly. Still, those playing in windowed mode should not have any problems with Alt + Tab crashing. Just be aware though that RTW will perform only to the limits of that core so if you have a 4 core beast of a machine yet each core only runs at 2400Mhz then you would only be able to expect the performance of pretty much 2400Mhz. Still, my siege battle of Tylis ran quite nicely and it was a 6500 man night affair of flaming arrows and sling stones between my perverted minion of an extravagant, cowardly and paralytic faction heir vs The Makedonian faction leader + his new spartan puppet. All settings were on max and huge.

    Speaking of that battle, I've found breached large stone walls to be extremely useful. All I had to do was block the breaches with my ChalkySpiders + Pontic Thor-a-kittys then arrange archers and slingers on the walls with a few mercenary thracian peltists trapping the opponents on the flanks as they try to push their whole army through the breaches. Dear gods those walking tanks of Spartan bodyguards take forever to die.

  6. #6
    That's "Chopper" to you, bub. Member DaciaJC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    I will try this out as soon as I have time for a large-scale battle.

    And if it works, I will laud you as a god.
    + =

    3x for this, this, and this

  7. #7
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Thanks for this advice, potatodude.

    I'll move this to the technical subforum.
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  8. #8
    Member Member potatodude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Ah thanks for that. I should have started the thread there in the first place.

  9. #9
    Druhtŕnoz Theudˇnˇm Alßiz˘m Member Jaertecken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Unexpected levels of stability granted, appriciated!


    ─ven du skall skňda illavarslande jńrtecken..

  10. #10
    Vir Militaris Member
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    I'll be giving this a go when I get my new quad core machine in the summer. My current dual core one seems to be alright.
    It began on seven hills - an EB 1.1 Romani AAR with historical house-rules (now ceased)
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  11. #11
    Member Member potatodude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    I'd be interested to know if more Europa Barbarorophiles have tried this little trick and whether or not it worked for them.

  12. #12
    Bibliophilic Member Atilius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    We ran across a nasty post-battle crash in testing. This fixed it - Thanks.
    The truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it. - Mark Twain



  13. #13
    Member Member potatodude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Always glad to be help in some way.

  14. #14
    EBII Mod Leader Member Foot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Quote Originally Posted by potatodude View Post
    Always glad to be help in some way.
    Yeah, fantastic little trick there, and a nice find. It certainly helped with some testing.

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  15. #15
    Member Member potatodude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    You'll find this trick works well with many of the older games that are very unstable on multicore systems. Actually, this even helps with newer games that are based on older graphics engines such as L4D.

  16. #16
    EB annoying hornet Member bovi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    This is going into the frequent issues and solutions, thanks a lot!

    1.2 fixes - Updated regularly. Latest news from 2009-02-01.
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    JEBMMP Creator & AtB Maker Member jirisys's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    I tried it, it reduces it almost to a 90%, but (maybe it's my useless computer) it keeps crashing, though rarely, it really helps.

    I recommend you set afinnity to your secondary or unused core; I tried setting it on the Core 0, then leaking ensued... (my house can't handle rain very well), and RTW-Alex crashed.

    ~Jirisys ()
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  18. #18
    Member Member potatodude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Hi there! Your friendly resident Potato here again with a small update to this tip.

    For those of us who suffer from memory leaks (i.e. nearly ALL of us) the symptoms of which are more and more evident the longer one plays without a restart; longer and longer waits between end turns, more and more choppiness when you scroll from one side of the map to the other on the campaign map, increasing choppiness during battles.

    The following thought may have crossed your mind "But brother Potato, isn't this happening because the computer is working much harder to calculate the increasing levels of change throughout the playthrough?"

    The answer is a suprising "No. It is just working stupidly"

    R:TW itself on all .exes with the latest patches still suffer from memory leaks. What is supposed to happen is that after intense CPU and memory usage (i.e. battles) the game is supposed to ease back onto the campaign map and 'release' the memory, ready for the next big battle. However, as it stands, the implemented way that R:TW does this is inefficient and not all of the memory used during the battles is 'released'.

    The way to delay the onset of a slowdown is actually very counter-intuitive.

    You will need to do the following:

    1. Follow my steps from my original guide from 1 - 6
    2. Instead of choosing "Set Affinity" from the drop down box, choose "Set Priority"

    The next step is the counter-intuitive part

    3. Set the priority as "Low".

    "Err.. What?"

    What this effectively does is slows the rate of RAM usage of R:TW. Thereby slowing the rate of which memory is 'leaked'.

    Even on quite powerful machines, EB will eventually slow down due to the memory leak. It may be more noticable for some than others and it may happen quicker for some than others depending on variations in hardware, the amount and speed of the RAM, the speed of the hard drive, other processes going on... etc. (Although if you possess a truly powerful machine then you may not notice anything at all during your play session, if that is the case then this tip does not apply to you).

    This tip is a balancing act really, it is like driving a car at top speed and having the tank last half the distance vs driving a car at a more moderate speed and having your fuel last twice as long.

  19. #19
    Member Member Kleitos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    read your report over your discovery ┤bout 3 weeks ago and since then following your solution noticed every battle and every CTD.

    just great! - thank you very much for this.

    since then i had 60 battles and in not one of em i had a CTD after ending the battle. ..well i made no notes before - but CTD┤s by ending the battle happened from time to time - frequent enough.

    (only some CTD┤s since then by loading a save or ending the turn - but that doesent bother anyway)

    compared to before - that┤s just great!

    wonder that this game goes so well with only one CPU - actually i bought a new computer (core 2quad 2,5GHz and 3,25RAM) last year because of this game - discovered this great RTW Modification ┤bout one year ago and it wasnt actually playable with my old computer. ..now with only one CPU with this one it runs perfectly.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Crashing in the middle of battle or at the return to battle map? Solution? Found!

    Thank you potatodude, no CTD for my NapoleonTW any more

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