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Random crashes playing Left 4 Dead 2


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#1 dirty shoes

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:34 AM

Whenever the game crashes, the sound always loops. Though I can always kill the game via Task Manager, it rarely crashes to desktop on its own.

I've poured over the Steam forums and other related sites in search of solutions for 'random' crashes with Left 4 Dead 2, but none worked for me. Most of the crash fixes are about at least 1 year old. I noticed this problem started happening after I installed Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Express, which leads me to believe there is something wrong with Windows perhaps. I've deleted and reinstalled the game, updated my graphics card driver to the latest one, and verified the audio driver and bios are the most recent.

In my search for a fix, I came across a tool called Process Monitor. Looking over the Process Monitor log after the game crashes, before the Left 4 Dead 2 Thread Exit operation occurs I see that there are many RegOpenKey events resulting in NAME NOT FOUND. Some of the keys are related to audio.

I own the legit/non-pirated version of Left 4 Dead 2.
I have 3 hard drives. Windows and Steam (the launcher for L4D2) are installed on the C:drive, 120GB SSD. Using an application called Steam Tool, a third-party software not created by Valve, I moved the game to my portable F: drive (a 1TB 5400rpm HDD connected via USB) to free up space on my SSD (which now has almost 27 GB of free space).


My laptop is a Sager NP9280, purchased almost 3 years ago.
OS: Windows 7 64-bit Home
Memory: 6GB ram
CPU: Intel I7 930
Graphics card: GTX 285m
Nothing is overclocked.

I recently found a trojan using Malwarebytes Anti-Makware full scan and had it removed. I currently have Microsoft Security Essentials running whenever I'm playing L4D2.

I apologize if this is the wrong place to ask this question. I'm just afraid Valve might refuse to help me considering I'm using Steam Tool something that they probably don't support. If I may ask, does anybody have any ideas about things I can check to make sure Windows dlls and my registry are set up properly? I had been using CCleaner for a while and I fear it may have deleted some registry keys that L4D2 uses.

Edited by dirty shoes, 23 January 2013 - 10:35 AM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

To check your files for corrupted or incorrect versions you can run sfc /scannow.

The sfc /scannow command scans all protected system files and replaces corrupted and incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions.

Go to Start, click on All Programs, click on Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, click on Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.

A page similar to the one below will open.

Posted Image

Type sfc /scannow and then press ENTER:

This scan consists of five parts and will take a while to run. You will need to be patient and allow it to complete. Stopping it while it is still running can damage your operating system.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#3 dirty shoes

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:33 PM

Thanks a ton for the reply, dc3.
I ran it and it didn't find anything. I didn't notice that it ran in 5 parts, though. It finishes after the first, verification phase. (Here's a ss of the output. Attached File  Untitled.jpg   45.49KB   3 downloads )

A couple other things I should probably add:
My battery is fully charged, as I always have it plugged in, but it displays the warning "Consider replacing your battery". A new one's on its way.

Also, Steam was installed using the admin account shortly after I got the computer. I had been using that account from the beginning, a few months short of 3 years. I recently read it's not a good idea to always use the admin account, so I created a new user (just recently when the crashes started happening) and am trying to play the game using that account.

Using Steam's diagnostic tools I ran the Verify Game Cache Integrity numerous times and it subsequently found some files, downloaded them, but didn't resolve the crashes. Disabled multicore rendering, have it launching in XP compat. mode, rebuilt the soundcache for the game, among a few other things. Today I'll run memtest overnight to see if any of my ram is faulty.

Regardless, thanks a lot for your time dc3. Sorry for the verbose emails.

#4 AngryRaisin

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

I think you would be better off installing steam to that drive so it downloads and installs games to that drive - steamtool uses junction points which can get real messy real fast.

What kind of external drive do you have, specifically is a seagate with the detachable bottom parts? Because you would be much better off with an esata drive - your usb drive will max out at 30mb per sec which can be bad for game loads.

Edited by AngryRaisin, 23 January 2013 - 09:35 PM.


#5 dirty shoes

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:00 AM

Thanks a lot for the reply, AngryRaisen. I think I'm going to do just as you say and nuke everything, specifically Steam, and then put it all back on the external drive. The external drive is a pos, to put it frankly, a BUFFALO External HDD USB that I bought just a couple months ago. I kinda don't have money for a faster drive at the moment, but I'll definitely keep the ESATA you suggested in mind. I'm living in Japan where most common computer parts are overpriced and the selection is small, at least compared to the states.

I'll report back after I redownload everything - which might take a day or so.

Thanks again for the help. It's much appreciated.

Edited by dirty shoes, 24 January 2013 - 02:01 AM.


#6 dc3

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:01 AM

your usb drive will max out at 30mb per sec .


The transfer rate for USB 2.0 is 4Mbit/s, the 3.0 is 5Gbit/s.

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#7 dirty shoes

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

I'm actually not too disappointed with my current speed. Don't get me wrong, it could definitely be better, but game levels seem to load quickly enough.

Well, I deleted all the games (that I initially had moved using Steam tool), Steam itself and the steam tool. Reinstalled Steam on the 'slow' F drive with all the extra space, and then redownloaded L4D2 and did a cache verify afterwards just for good (extraneous?) measure. I'm still getting the hangs though.

Actually just now I updated my realtek drivers, deleting the old, installing the new and rebooting, but it still crashes. Do you think I should send a support ticket to Valve, considering now that I'm not using Steam Tool? Regardless, I'm gonna let memtest soak overnight.

Thanks again.

Edited by dirty shoes, 24 January 2013 - 10:34 AM.


#8 dirty shoes

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:40 PM

I ran memtest 86+ V4.20 overnight for approximately 11 hours (Walltime: 11:16:**) and no errors were reported.
My idle temp on my GTX 285m is normally a stable 46C. Just ran Furmark 1.10.4 and the temp rose fast until it reached 74C or so and then made a very slow gradual rise from then on, which seems normal. Maybe it's OK to take my GPU and RAM out of the equation, maybe...

Hardware-wise that leaves the CPU, mobo, hard drive, or SSD as a potential culprit. I haven't noticed any problems outside of running Left 4 Dead 2, though. With that said, I'm going to file a support ticket with Valve and report back. I'll check this site a couple times everyday until then, in the event anyone has some other things I could try.

Again, thanks for all the replies. I learned some stuff.

#9 AngryRaisin

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 07:03 AM

when your sound loops that is just the game crashing - not always the sound drivers - how long since you updated display drivers?

The transfer rate for USB 2.0 is 4Mbit/s, the 3.0 is 5Gbit/s.


Yes you are quite correct in the technical specification maximum of usb transfer rate. I should have been more specific of that generally the transfer rate of a typical usb drive in real world exercises will max out at 30 MegaBytes per second... whereas ESATA and USB 3.0 will max out out around 70 - 110 MegaBytes per second for rotational drives/spinning harddrives ... more for ssds but I haven't used enough to quote real world numbers.

Edited by AngryRaisin, 25 January 2013 - 07:13 AM.


#10 dirty shoes

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

Up until getting these crashes I updated my drivers every few months to half a year, using steps such as the ones displayed on this site http://social.bioware.com/2003484/blog/13857/. When I noticed the game crashing I followed a more up-to-date guide, i.e. http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=1174372&mpage=1, on how to uninstall/install drivers in a clean manner.

I have the latest Windows 7 64bit version 310.90 driver installed for my geforce GTX 285m.

I even tried rolling back to the previous driver the game was initially crashing with (310.70) using the exact steps indicated in the aforementioned guide by evga. I saw no change so I went back to the latest 310.90 driver, again using evga's guide, after reading the entire readme/release notes included with the driver. In the release notes there was no mention of any new problems, nor improvements, with L4D2. (Btw, I bought this laptop from XoticPC when I was in the states. I'm wondering if maybe I should have them supply me with a newer driver.) Evga's guide seemed pretty generic, as there were no references to evga products within it.

I filed a ticket at Valve approx. 22 hours ago from the date of the last edit on this reply.

Edited by dirty shoes, 26 January 2013 - 04:54 AM.





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