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Last post 08-20-2011, 11:45 AM by Metis. 4 replies.
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  •  08-20-2011, 10:52 AM 936275
    Kasselite Kasselite is not online. Last active: 08-27-2011, 5:55 PM
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    Subject: Online - Age of Empires III has stopped working

    Hey guys,

    I've been having this problem for a couple of months now and I've tried everything to fix it so decided to seek your infinite wisdom. I hope this is the right place to post, the forum layout kind of confused me for a moment!

    Basically when playing online the game abruptly exits to the desktop and all I get is 'Age of Empires III has stopped working' with no option to send an error report and no additional information. I've determined that this is only a problem when playing online. It happens after a random length of time, sometimes five minutes into a game or as long as the end of a 40 minute treaty. Occasionally it happens when I'm just browsing games and then sometimes it doesn't happen at all.

    I'm running the game on Vista 32 bit and its the GFWL complete collection version. This issue didn't occur when I first bought it. If my specs are any help then I'm using:

    - Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz

    - Nvidia 9600GT graphics

    - 3325MB RAM

    - Asus Zonar DG sound

    After a suggestion elsewhere I tried adding the game as an exception in the DEP settings which appeared to fix it for a couple of days but now the problem has returned and I have totally run out of ideas! I've read numerous threads with similar problems but so far not managed to fix mine. If anyone can suggest any causes or solutions I would be so grateful. I just want to be able to play online again : (.

    Thanks in advance.

     

  •  08-20-2011, 11:45 AM 936279 in reply to 936275
    Metis Metis is not online. Last active: Thu, Dec 26 2013, 1:38 AM
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    Member Since: 01-17-2007
    Subject: Re: Online - Age of Empires III has stopped working

    Firstly, are you overclocking anything? I ran a system overclocked for two years with no problems until I tried to run AOE III on it. AOE III doesn't like to run on overclocked systems. 

    Does the game crash in single-player mode? If not, then it may well be a connection issue. Over the years I've had crashes and freeze-ups that occurred when my ISP's bandwidth suddenly lowered or when too many were on the network

    Random crashes to desktop are very hard to track down. If the crashes didn't occur when you first installed the game then a re-install and re-patch might be in order. 

    Before you do this there is some basic system maintenance you might perform: Run dxdiag and see if there are any errors reported. Also, a check for DirectX, Windows and video/audio/mouse/keyboard, etc. driver update. A disk cleanup, temp file purge, defragmentation and complete virus scan wouldn't hurt anything either. 

    Some in-game option setting you might try:

    • Set camera zoom to Near.
    • Set Anti-alias Off (especially with an NVIDIA card).

    Some versions of NVIDIA chipset drivers known to crash the game; you might try a chipset driver update if you have a NVIDIA chipset.

    Also, over time some Windows files may become corrupted. If you right-click the Command Prompt icon in Accessories and run it as an administrator you can enter the command sfc /scannow to check the integrity of your OS. 

    Check to see if there are any BIOS updates for your system too but be very careful to read closely to see if you actually need the update and be very sure that you follow instructions exactly -- failed BIOS updates can render your motherboard useless.

    Here is an uninstall/reinstall procedure that has worked for Vista/Win 7 users. Of course, you won't have the disks but if the GFWL file has been saved to disk you can reinstall it, otherwise re-download the file. If re-downloading from GFWL it's best to open the Marketplace as an Administrator.

     

  •  08-20-2011, 11:46 AM 936280 in reply to 936275
    Metis Metis is not online. Last active: Thu, Dec 26 2013, 1:38 AM
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    Total Posts: 7,783
    Last Post: 12-26-2013
    Member Since: 01-17-2007
    Subject: Re: Online - Age of Empires III has stopped working

    Firstly, are you overclocking anything? I ran a system overclocked for two years with no problems until I tried to run AOE III on it. AOE III doesn't like to run on overclocked systems.

    Does the game crash in single-player mode? If not, then it may well be a connection issue. Over the years I've had crashes and freeze-ups that occurred when my ISP's bandwidth suddenly lowered or when too many were on the network. Make sure that the game is allowed full access and server rights through your firewall. 

    Random crashes to desktop are very hard to track down. If the crashes didn't occur when you first installed the game then a re-install and re-patch might be in order.

    Before you do this there is some basic system maintenance you might perform: Run dxdiag and see if there are any errors reported. Also, a check for DirectX, Windows and video/audio/mouse/keyboard, etc. driver updates. A disk cleanup, temp file purge, defragmentation and complete virus scan wouldn't hurt anything either.

    Some in-game option setting you might try:

    • Set camera zoom to Near.
    • Set Anti-alias Off (especially with an NVIDIA card).

    Some versions of NVIDIA chipset drivers known to crash the game; you might try a chipset driver update if you have a NVIDIA chipset.

    Also, over time some Windows files may become corrupted. If you right-click the Command Prompt icon in Accessories and run it as an administrator you can run the command sfc /scannow to check the integrity of your OS.

    Check to see if there are any BIOS updates for your system too but be very careful to read closely to see if you actually need the update and be very sure that you follow instructions exactly -- failed BIOS updates can render your motherboard useless.

    Here is an uninstall/reinstall procedure that has worked for Vista/Win 7 users. Of course, you won't have the disks but if the GFWL file has been saved to disk you can reinstall it from there, otherwise re-download the file. If re-downloading from GFWL it's best to open the Marketplace as an Administrator.

    A last note: Over time, power supplies (especially the cheap low-wattage units installed in brand-name systems) can begin to fail and cause many seemingly unrelated errors.

     

  •  08-20-2011, 6:37 PM 936298 in reply to 936280
    Kasselite Kasselite is not online. Last active: 08-27-2011, 5:55 PM
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    Subject: Re: Online - Age of Empires III has stopped working

    Thanks for your reply Metis! I've tried out most of your suggestions.

    I'm not using an overclocked CPU and I'm fairly certain that the problem only occurs in multiplayer. I also defragment, use disk cleanup and run a virus scan on a regular basis.

    I ran the system check as you suggested and it didn't report any problems.

    I ran dxdiag and for my sound device I receive the note 'The file cmudaxp.sys is not digitally signed.' The sound card is actually a recent addition to my system and it didn't occur to me that the problem might have started after I installed it. I haven't had issues with any other software so far but could this potentially be the cause?

  •  08-20-2011, 7:01 PM 936303 in reply to 936298
    Metis Metis is not online. Last active: Thu, Dec 26 2013, 1:38 AM
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    Total Posts: 7,783
    Last Post: 12-26-2013
    Member Since: 01-17-2007
    Subject: Re: Online - Age of Empires III has stopped working

    Not digitally signed just means that the driver has not been tested by Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs (this is what WHQL stands for). You get this a lot with drivers, even MS ones, and it's not that big of a deal. However, new hardware is always something to check when errors occur and you might see if your video and audio cards have any updates available. You can either go to their sites or use Windows Updates and select Optional Updates.

    If the problem occurs only in multiplayer it could also be network lag or a memory leak. I used to experience a few crashes in hours-long multiplayer games before I added more memory (up 4 GB from 2 GB) and set the Windows Page file accordingly (I just use the recommended value). Occasionally, however, the game just seems to crash for unknown reasons. A few months ago I got some memory-related errors that had never occurred before and haven't occurred since.

    I know it's a hassle but a reinstall might be in order. There is a file checker for the game but it has not been updated in years and is essentially useless as it reports patched files as errors.

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