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Screen goes black and Windows locks up

by FlamingoKicker
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Screen goes black and Windows locks up

★ Apprentice

Since the last update my game routinely runs about four or five minutes and then the screen goes black and I have to restart Windows.   This happens whether I have my Mods folder in or out of the game,  whether I disable audio or not,  I have checked my video card and I have the most up-to-date drivers installed.   

Not sure how much information is needed here so here goes nothing.

 

 

Message 1 of 34 (286 Views)

Accepted Solution

Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

★ Apprentice

Wow!  I can't believe all it took was replacing my graphics card and all my system problems went away.  My game is playing flawlessly.  I suspect my old Radeon card just died (or was on the way).  When we took it out it was covered in a layer of dust, cat hair, ash and general grime from a decade of not being cleaned and the fan on it hadn't worked in years.  That can't be good.  Anyway,   played the game for three years with no problems whatsoever.  I wish I knew how to recover my saved files and families from my backup drive.  I'm happy I can still create brand new families anyway so I guess I can live without my old families (most of whom I hadn't played in years anyway).  Get to see all those default families young again.  Well,  thanks again for all your help and suggestions.

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Message 32 of 34 (108 Views)

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Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

@FlamingoKicker  The driver for your graphics card is quite old, and that might be the issue here, but unfortunately there's only one slightly newer driver available, a beta version from 2016.  So it's better to start elsewhere.

 

Please run a couple of basic checks of your Windows system files:

  • Hit Windows key-X
  • Choose either “PowerShell (Administrator)” or “Command prompt (Administrator),” whichever option is offered
  • Inside the window that appears, copy and paste “DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth” without quotes into the window, and enter
  • The system will start validating soon. If it throws an error, please list it here
  • After it reaches 100%, hit Windows key-X again
  • Again, choose “PowerShell (Administrator)” or “Command prompt (Administrator)”
  • Inside the window, copy and paste “sfc /scannow” without quotes into the window, and enter
  • Post the message you receive here
  • Restart your computer before trying to play

Disable Game Mod and Game Bar; the settings for each are under Windows Settings > Gaming.

 

Move your entire Sims 4 folder out of Documents\Electronic Arts and onto your desktop.  When you launch the game, a clean folder will spawn with no content.  Don't add anything to it yet; just see how a new save runs.

 

If you still get a black screen, please try playing in a clean boot:

 

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-clean-boot-windows-10

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I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 2 of 34 (274 Views)

Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

[ Edited ]
★ Apprentice

Yes, I am quite aware that my graphics card is quite old.  In computer age it's a dinosaur so if I don't want to throw away all the money I've invested in the franchise maybe buying a newer card would be the easiest path.  I have tried the other suggestions you've given already but I'll run thru them again.  Sometimes you just have to keep up with the times even when the hardware you have seems to be working just fine.  Got to keep those kids in China working.

Message 3 of 34 (247 Views)

Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

[ Edited ]
★ Apprentice

Oh,  btw,  when I do try typing in that command prompt  my system spits back an error saying that DISM.exe/Online/Cleanup-image/Restorehealth doesn't exist as a legit command function or something like that.

 

DISM.exe/Online/Cleanup-image/Restorehealth is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program. Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again. 

 

 

I am certain I've typed it correctly.

 

Message 4 of 34 (243 Views)

Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

@FlamingoKicker  It looks like you left out the spaces in the command.  It should read like this:

 

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /RestoreHealth

 

There are certainly other steps you can try before resorting to buying a new graphics card; I just wanted to mention that the driver might be the underlying issue because I didn't want to ignore the elephant in the room, so to speak.

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I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 5 of 34 (232 Views)

Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

[ Edited ]
★ Apprentice

Oh ok.  Well,  I tried that command line with spaces and that ran successfully (didn't find any errors).  I even launched Windows with a clean boot.   The Sims ran about 10 minutes without crashing to a black screen that way.

 

What other suggestions do you have before I go buy a new graphics card?  Even if the card doesn't solve my problems it probably won't hurt having something from this decade and that would be one more thing eliminated as a possible cause.

Message 6 of 34 (214 Views)

Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

@FlamingoKicker  Did you also try a clean user folder and disable Game Mode and Game Bar?  They're both easy enough steps, and your dxdiag listed some errors with the XBox gaming overlay.

 

There are also a number of errors from Malwarebytes.  While merely having it installed and running the occasional scan should have nothing to do with this issue, if you have realtime protection enabled, it's worth turning it off while you play.  As long as you don't open anything aside from Origin and Sims 4, your computer should be safe.

 

If that doesn't help, please try playing while your computer is completely offline.  You can sign into Origin and put it in offline mode, then disable wifi and/or disconnect the ethernet cable before launching the game.  While it doesn't look like your particular issue would be related, it's an easy enough test.

 

From your description, it doesn't sound like the game is crashing exactly, but if you want to try setting Windows to generate a crash log, it's easy enough to check.  And the log should give more information about the freeze/crash itself.

 

  • Hit the Windows key, type "command prompt" in the box, right-click on Command Prompt in the search results, and select Run as Administrator
  • In the window, paste "reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\LocalDumps\devenv.exe" /v DumpType /d 2 /t REG_DWORD" without the outside quotes into the box, and enter
  • Launch Sims 4 and play until it crashes
  • After it crashes, wait for any crash dialogs to finish
  • Then hit Windows key-R and paste "%LOCALAPPDATA%\CrashDumps" without quotes into the box, and enter
  • Upload the last .dmp file to a free filesharing site and link it here
  • When you want to undo the auto crash log dumps, open Command Prompt as before, paste "reg delete "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\LocalDumps" /f" without the outside quotes, and enter

Don't worry if you don't find a crash dump though; it just means that the game isn't crashing so much as locking up your system.  That's useful information as well.

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I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 7 of 34 (202 Views)

Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

★ Apprentice

So my computer has to be up and running to save the *.dmp data to a file?  Is this correct?   My problem is when the machine locks up or "crashes" I can't save anything.  I have to hard reboot my machine by turning it off and then on so how can I save the data?  Otherwise, I tried all the other suggestions (turning off my antivirus,  completely disconnecting from wifi, and turning off my Game Mode and Game Bar,  moving my game files off to my desktop, and spawning a "clean"  game folder.

 

None of those things changed anything.  It still causes my screen to lock up and go black after about 10 minutes of game play.  I currently have a new graphics card on order and should receive it in a week or so.  Maybe that will fix my problem.

Message 8 of 34 (178 Views)

Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

@FlamingoKicker  There are different kinds of lockups, some which only prevent you from interacting with the computer while it's still running (to some extent) in the background.  So it's possible for the crash dump to be written even if you can't see anything happening.  It's also possible that the system is totally frozen and no file is created; that's why I said don't worry if you don't get a crash dump.

 

If you'd like to wait until you have the new graphics card to keep testing, that's understandable; let me know if you'd like any more help now or once it's installed.

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I don't work for EA. I'm just trying to help fellow players with their games.
Message 9 of 34 (172 Views)

Re: Screen goes black and Windows locks up

[ Edited ]
★ Apprentice

The vendor called me today and they will be shipping it today so hopefully it won't take too long.  I looked and no .dmp files were created.  Thanks for your help.

Message 10 of 34 (157 Views)
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