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  CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message" 
 
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Anthony Coons Mar 15, 2004, 09:38pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
Dmn!! It works if you save every five minuets you can play the game forever But that dosent make any sense does it? What the HE|| is wrong with EA.

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Anthony Coons Mar 20, 2004, 09:29am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
I have a theory C&C Generals is such a large game your computer has a hard time with it. When you first start the game it is great. It runs smooth for a while ,but when your base is built up and there are a lot of units it starts to lag. I think that the reason you can play for a longer amount of time when you stop and save is becouse you pause the game and give the computer time to catch up. I also think that EA lied about the recommended system requirements I have a friend that has the following comp

Intel P4 processer 2.5 Gigs
1 Gig DDr Ram (2 x 512)
Radion 9800 Graphics Card 128Mb
120 Gig hard drive
Sound Blaster 64 bit sound Card

Now on his computer you can play all day long it never has an error message ,but if you play with 8 player his starts to lag when everyone has a lot of units. What do you all think.

Andy Cr Mar 20, 2004, 09:46am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
This has already been covered many times in this thread. It has nothing to do with system spec. Ive already covered my system spec but I'll mention again as Ive upgraded elements of one system since then. Both machines p**s on the recommended spec from a great height.
1st System is an Athlon Barton 3000+ (2.17Ghz) 333FSB with 1GB Corsair PC2700 DDR RAM, 9600Pro Radeon 128MB (soon to be a 9800XT), RAID0 West Gig Drives, Audigy Platinum
2nd System is P42.8GhzHT, 800FSB, 1GB Corsair PC3200 RAM, Matrox Parhelia 128MB, RAID0 Seagate Drives, Audigy2 Platinum.

I get same sort of errors on both machines regardless of detail levels etc. Its in the code and is unrelated to machine spec, of that Im sure. Sure the overall game speed will slow down a little as more and more units are built etc, thats to be expected, but the errors referred to in this thread have nothing to do with that. The game is buggy as hell and don't let anyone at EA or elsewhere tell you otherwise.

Nicholas Lizarraga Mar 26, 2004, 01:49am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
Very interesting reading. I had been playing the game without a hitch for 4 months. It lagged a bit here and there, but it was working good enough. About 2 months ago, the heat sink on my video card became unglued, so I glued it back. Then 2 weeks ago the infamous "serious error message" starting popping up when I played skirmish 1 vs 1 against the computer and we were both nuke generals. It would happen 5 to 10 minutes into the game. I decided that day to get another video card thinking that was the problem. I got a Radeon 9600xt, and now I can't even start the game without getting this message. It seems not to be my system since I tested various other games and then I come across this site. I think it's time to reinstall one more time and after that scrap this game if it doesn't work. If anyone plans to start a serious petition to get a refund from EA, count me in, grimm2000@yahoo.com. I am sorry to see so many people having difficulties with this game which I really like when it works.

Andy Cr Mar 26, 2004, 03:15am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
I think thats whats so upsetting....... Most games would just get shelved if they caused this many problems. It's a credit to the developers at just how hard people persevere to get Generals/Zero Hour to work...like you say it's a cracking game and has no serious competition. However, EA appear to have turned their back on the loyal masses and continue to market it based on its strengths and make no effort to address it's problems.

It's like a badly overclocked PC....it might look good as it sails through benchmarks but what use is a PC that crashes all the time when you least expect it. Better to have a stable, albeit marginally slower PC that you can rely on.


Joe PE Mar 26, 2004, 02:50pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
I have had many off the problems that you all have had. I think (like many of you have said) that the AI is the problem. Ive read some tips from sites dealing with map making etc.. The AI will build units as long as it has money. It will not stop building units especially on hard difficulty. I noticed an instance or this prob. when a bunch of AI units got caught at a "choke point". They could not move and the game eventually crashed. I realize this software is buggy and I read that a lot of problems started with the 1.02 patch. I'm not sure if this is common knowledge but included in the 1.02 patch was a safedisc update which many people believe is the cause of the problems. I used to use virtual drive to play but after the update it would play very very poorly. Whenever I get a crash I just do a fresh install and it seems to take care of it. I too contacted EA and they told me there was a problem with the patch itself regarding a corrupt registry key. They suggested an uninstall and to be sure to delete any left over registry keys for ZH. Do an install and then patch. Seems to work the majority of the time. For a while anyway...... J

Jorge Lezcano Mar 28, 2004, 02:10am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
It must be the video routines are bad it does a terrible job of CPU and memory handling, it fails to recognize properly direct x routines,,,,,,

d J Apr 01, 2004, 03:38pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
here's my CNC horror story...

got meself a nice new HP pavillion a450n. 3ghz, 1G 3200/400 DDRAM, 160GB, GeForce 5200 video, cd, dvd, etc. loaded up generals and zero hour... NO MAJOR PROBLEMS. overall, the game runs nicely, and very occasionally has either a serious error or a reboot. to give a feeling of what i mean by very occasionally, consider that i finished all the challengs, all the skirmishes, and, well, basically everything, playing several hundred games, and can't think of a crash after the first day.

SO, i go out and get a new pooter so we can play online at home, and get myself a Sony vaio PCV530G. 3.2ghz, 1.5G 3200/400 DDRAM, 160GB, Radeon 9200 video, cd, dvd, etc. loaded up generals and zero hour. DEVASTATING PROBLEMS! i have the same problem as most, 5-10 minutes into game it reboots, drops out to OS, or "Serious Error" crappola. i've tried most of the fixes, most of the tweaks, and am down to either: serious coding problems (most likely) or heat. the shear number of people that have problems kind of limits bad memory chips. what else is there? i really don't think it's the IDE subsystem, unless CNC is using bad code to read/write the HD, and then that goes back to serious coding problems. by the way, Generals is much better than Zero Hour on stability. can usually get through a network game with Generals. (which means yes, i'm patched!)

now, whether the problem is CNC or bad Radeon drivers is up for grabs. looking at this thread, i see only a few folks with GeForce or other cards having the same issues. there are a few, but like i mentioned above, i had some early problems with the HP & GeForce that i got through.

i have 3 days to decide what to do. i have to return the vaio and trade it for another HP a450n before the return period runs out. only get 7 days on pooters.

this sucks ass.

Brian Piscitelli Apr 01, 2004, 03:54pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
i used to have the error message i have not seen much of that lately!!! since i have gotten my vantec spectrum fan card to cool my 9800 pro down. if this message is from cooling issues. then there must be some VERY bad coding!!! in generals, because before i used to get it and it was only a lil bit hot. maybe like 110 F not much warmer then bath water. Which means that this game is REALLY DELICATE to temperature!! which is a coding problem! This game should not rely on something that small!!! I would suggest to everyone getting the message to open there case door and test it out. try putting a fan there and see if you still get the error message!! The only thing i seem to get now. is just other programming error such as the LAGGY MAP twlight flame!!! i cannot play this map AT ALL!!!

d J Apr 01, 2004, 08:12pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
update, and a resolution (so far!)

ok, so i scrubbed the machine basically reloading it from factory using the Sony restore CD. i then loaded Generals, and it crashed. realizing that the system was pristine, the only thing it could be now was memory. i have 1.5GB, arranged as 2 512MB 3200 400mhz DDRAM and 2 256MB 3200 400 mhz DDRAM. i removed the 2 512's, moved the 256's to the first slot in each dimm bank, and tried again. generals now worked.

i then loaded zero hour, and i upgraded (wanted to try a network game with the HP), and it worked as well.

i'm somewhat convinced at this point that the game is sensitive to memory differences, or at least something in the hardware or MOBO drivers is sensitive, causing the game to fail.

more as i continue to play games.


d J Apr 02, 2004, 08:54am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
More update now...

ok, so i got brave last night since everything was working with 2 256MB DDR's. gameplay was pretty smooth, a few herky-jerkys now and then, but even playing a big game returned decent performance.

so here are the results: keep in mind that Test 1 represents the now working machine as described above (2 256MB DDR's):

Test 1: 2 256MB DDR's
Everything works, network, big games, challenges, decent performance.

Test 2: 2 512MB DDR's (removed the working 2 256MB dimms)
Crashes within 5 minutes of any game

Test 3: 1 512MB DDR (single sided dimm -- see description)
Here's where it starts to get interesting. I bought the 512MB chips separately, several days apart and at different stores based on price. Both are exactly the same spec: 512MB PC3200 400Mhz CL3. One dimm has 8 chips on one side. The other dimm has 16 chips total, 8 on each side. I remember in the old days these differences were important.

This dimm worked fine. Overall, the performance was slightly more latent on occasion, as opposed to the 2 256MB dimms. But it played all games, and network games.

Test 3: 1 512MB DDR (double-sided dimm -- see above)
Game crashed within 10 seconds of startup!

ok, so obviously this chip has a problem with the game, but runs everything else perfectly.


Test 4: 1 512MB DDR (single sided dimm) + 2 256MB DDR
Game plays decently! Some latency, but not severe.


My summation: it would appear that the TYPE of memory dimms you use can cause problems, but really this gets down to a Motherboard/MOBO Driver issue probably, unless you have a bad chip. I doubt we have so many bad chips (see earlier post on this, statistically it's just not reasonable). So it would appear that you need to ensure the memory you are using is fully compatible with your MOBO (check for bios updates), and consider replacing any dual-sided dimm's with single sided.

Disclaimer: Your results will probably vary. None of the other tweaks mentioned in the thread worked, and I have spent perhaps 40-50 hours troubleshooting the problem with a "root cause" type of approach. If you buy different memory dimms and it doesn't work, you have my condolences. My advice is open the memory carefully, and SAVE your Receipts so you can take something back if you need to.

I'll keep an update going if I start to encounter problems.

Joe PE Apr 02, 2004, 02:24pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
I had a thought the other day... Maybe more of a proactive solution would be to start listing system specs that people are having good luck with. I wondered who beta tested this software. I for one had never heard of a beta test for this software. If it was tested "in house" I would think that many of the pcs were of the same spec. The memory test was very enlightening I hadnt really tried that many different configs. DJ did you do a dual channel setup as well? I have read that many of the people having good luck with zero hour are running nvidia video cards.. the 5700 ultra to be exact. I upgraded in january and have definately seen a positive change. My big question is has anyone tested 2 pcs with the exact same spec? If one has problems and not the other that would definately leave it too the software. I thibk we'll come up with an answer eventually. EA is probably working on the sequel as we speak. I have had pretty good luck with my pc though.

My rig.

Biostar M7VIT ( 4 in 1 via current ver.)
AMD XP-2500
BFG FX 5700 Ultra ( nvidia current ver.)
Ultra 512 Mb pc-2700 (dual sided single dimm)
Win 2000 Pro SP-4
Maxtor 80 gb 8mb cache 7200 rpm
Antec 400 Watt ps
And I overkilled it with 4 case fans.
( no overclocking )

Orlando Ferrante Apr 02, 2004, 02:32pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
This is not an NVIDIA or ATI issue. I have the Serious Error message on two totally different computers with different motherboards, memory, hard drives. One has a GForce4 MX440 video card, and the other an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. This is a game code issue because it only happens on certain Skirmish maps with medium or Hard AI opponents. The reason more people haven't seen this problem is because the majority of people don't play this game the way I or others do. Set up a Skirmish in Twighlight Flame against 3 or 4 Hard AI opponents. I can almost garauntee the Serious Error message after 10 or 15 minutes, or a lag and stutter so bad you wont want to play. Give it a shot.

Rich Giannone Apr 02, 2004, 08:37pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
Interesting, my problems also started after adding a new 512MB PC2700 DIMM (dual sided) to complement my 256MB PC2700 DIMM (single sided).

Will try just the 512MB alone and see if the instability is due to incompatibility or just the dual sided DIMM.


Brian Stewart Apr 03, 2004, 01:15am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
I never experienced that, but I never (knowingly) tried those settings.
It may just be an issue with the map, and maybe the AI on that map.
(Perhaps it tries to do something out of bounds on the map or something)

Generals doesn't have a lot of memory leaks, it's just a really intensive game.
It takes a beefy system to run it at full speed and quality.

I'm sure you've tried uninstalling and reinstalling, but, if you haven't already,
uninstall, then reinstall and make sure no anti virus (or anything else) is running (check the PROCESSES list in task manager)

Other than that, Generals rules! (Though I don't have it installed at the moment, and, just to brag, I was able to beat CHallenge mode on hard, without cheating. That one General at the end is PURE evil.)

MSI K8N Neo 2 Platinum
1 GB DDR 400
Athlon 64 4600+
6800 GT
d J Apr 03, 2004, 02:23am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
Joe PE:

my initial configuration was dual-channel. slot 0=256mb, slot 1=0, slot 2=256mb, slot 3=0. that worked fine.

when i went to slot 0=512, slot 1=256, slot 2=512, slot 3=256, i started getting the crashes. that's when i started to work on the memory angle.

it turns out that one of the 512's is causing the problem. the current configuration is:
slot 0=512, slot 1=256, slot 2=0, slot 3=256. the system initializes as single channel, or "virtual" single channel. works like a charm!

i even got brave enough to uninstall generals and ZH, and reinstall to a second partition on the HD since i was running low on the main. still works!

this was a mobo/memory issue for me. in my mind, that sort of lets EA off the hook for now. it really is the job of the mobo manufacturers to make sure the memory works correctly with the architecture. that's why i think you have to look for drivers, or buy different memory (my solution). of course, i'm afraid to patch anything with the OS or the drivers. i am patched with the games.


d J Apr 03, 2004, 12:35pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
Joe PE, re-read your post this morning and noticed you are using the double-sided dimm. that is the kind of chip i had a specific problem with in my setup. here's my question (i'm not as knowledgable on this stuff like i used to be...) is the double-sided dimm what makes a system "dual channel," or is it how the dimm banks are configured on the machine plus how the memory subsystem works that makes it dual channel?

in essence, does the chip make it dual channel, or the mobo?

if it's the mobo, then the way this one works is bank 0 and 2 are paired, and 1 and 3 are paired. that's why i believe the 256x256 works when in the 1 and 3 -- they are the same type and paired. the 512x0 just works for some reason. the specs on that chip are: Centon Electronics, Inc. 512MBPC3200 169610 M2U51264DS8HB3G-5T 512MB DDR-400MHz-CL3 / PC3200U-30330 0406.EME042040DA.9302097.XX.TW (elixir)



Brian Stewart Apr 03, 2004, 01:14pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
the mobo does.

MSI K8N Neo 2 Platinum
1 GB DDR 400
Athlon 64 4600+
6800 GT
Brian Piscitelli Apr 03, 2004, 02:13pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
i have an asus p4c800-e deluxe board i dont think it is the mobo, bc i used to have the problem really bad and now i dont seem to be having any problems. very rarely now! and my mobo works just fine with all other games!! i also noticed the biggest differnce when put the fan card in.

suggestion: just play with the bios a bit. (generals is REALLY sensitive!)
make sure the agp apatuture size matchs the memery size of your video card
make sure your latency is set right
make sure u have addiquite cooling (i have a vantec sprectrum fan card under my video card) try opening
your case
lastly re-install the game if u install ANY new hardware and maybe after you change your bios settings
(game may have problems with changes recently made!)

There is DEFIENTLY IS STILL PROGRAMING ERRORS but these should help minimize the occurance of them.

d J Apr 03, 2004, 02:51pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: CNC Generals Zero Hour Crashes to desktop with "serious error message"
Brian P - that's where it comes down to particulars. I am not tweaking or upgrading any of the drivers or anything and having the problem. i isolated a ram chip, pulled it, and the system works fine now. i agree that other considerations: heat, background apps, etc. can all have an impact, but i went down that path and got nowhere.

so if you do all the things you said and the problem still exists, then i definitely suggest looking at your ram chips/mobo combo and doing some tests there, that's all. if you read the thread, a lot of people have tweaked to death like you mentioned and still have no luck.

keep in mind: it's not the mobo, and it's not the chip. it's the combination of the two that are poisonous.


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