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Old Aug 20, 2011, 07:44 PM   #1
Misterboy
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Thumbs up Leader Screen Crash Possible Fix

Hi all,

Like many people I've had a consistent crash upon entering Leader Screens since the game's release (as far as I can remember) in which the game's graphics crash to a black screen, while the game runs in the background (sometimes the whole game crashes).

I've worked with 2K support many times over the months and let's just say they are completely incompetent . So, on my own, I've slowly but surely been trying to diagnose the problem.

I have a Gtx 460 (which seems to be a common card with this problem) and I'm running the DX11 client. The crash is intermittent, so it's taken time to diagnose it, and I've been doing it casually. Here are the interesting findings I've discovered:

1. The problem is definitely related to DX11 rendering in the Leader Screen.

After much trial and error, I think I've narrowed the problem down specifically to the DX11 code path. Once this crash crops up, I can reload a savegame and reproduce it 100% of the time. Furthermore, I can fix the problem by editing the GraphicsSettingsDX11.ini file found in Windows 7 at:

Code:
C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 5
Of course, your drive letter and overall path will be different depending on OS.

Within GraphicsSettingsDX11.ini there is a heading called [LeaderheadSettings] right at the top. A few options down are the items:

Code:
; Allows use of SM4.1 codepath (if supported)
AllowSM41 = 1

; Allows use of SM5.0 codepath (if supported)
AllowSM50 = 1
The SM4.1 codepath tells the game if it can use DX10 if available, while SM5.0 is DX11.

If I set AllowSM50 to 0, I am disabling DX11 within the Leader Screen. This fixes the problem. I can reopen a savegame, click on a Leader and the game will not crash.

Interestingly, if I then go back and re-enable AllowSM50, I seem to be able to reopen my save and the game won't crash. In any case, it appears as though the DX11 codepath within the Leader Screen is what is causing my crash.

2. Disabling Desktop Composition seems to help the drawing of Leader Screens

Another issue, which is much less important, was that when entering Leader Screens, I'd often get a several second delay before the screen would draw in. I thought the two issues were related, as seeing a long black screen delay would often lead to the crash. I have, however, discovered that these issues aren't totally related.

Locate the Civ 5 executable located at:

Code:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\sid meier's civilization v
Again, your path may be different. This is Windows 7 64bit. 32bit Windows would just be "Program Files" for example.

Right click CivilizationV_DX11.exe and select Properties. Click the Compatibility tab, and put a checkmark next to Disable desktop composition.

What this does is disable Aero (or whatever it's called) from the Windows 7 desktop whenever you run the game. This is what seems to cause the delay in drawing the leader screen. Now my leader screens pop right up.

---------------------------------------------------

I hope this information is useful to some of you out there. Obviously, people running the DX9 version of the game don't appear to get this problem. Furthermore, the situation can be fixed by lowering the quality of the Leader Screen in the Civ 5 options. This appears to be because the Min/Low and maybe the Medium setting disabled the DX11 code path.

Also, if anyone has any way to make Firaxis aware of this problem, I'd greatly appreciate it. The only reason I spent any time dealing with 2K was in the hopes they could let Firaxis know about the problem. But I think I always got stuck at Mr. "Make sure the O N selector is not set to the O...F...F postion", and his/her manager. Sigh
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 08:09 PM   #2
The_J
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Thanks, that seems to be awesome forensic work .
I've added it directly to the FAQ, because leader crashes are a relatively often occuring problem.
I hope someone can confirm that this works.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 09:20 PM   #3
Misterboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_J View Post
Thanks, that seems to be awesome forensic work .
I've added it directly to the FAQ, because leader crashes are a relatively often occuring problem.
I hope someone can confirm that this works.
Today was a breakthrough, so I posted my results, however, I have not fully tested this across many games, as I don't have a lot of time to play lately. If I find any problems with this (such as it doesn't work, even once) I'll post an update here.

Also, for clarification I play on Windows 7 64bit. 1920x1200, all graphics settings set on and set to High. I use 8xMSAA. First gen i5, 8gigs of RAM. GTX 460. My system is not overclocked and I have run all relevant system stability benchmarks. Latest DirectX updates, and most recent "official" nVidia drivers.

One more point: I had thought I'd reset my INI to default HIGH, but I noticed after posting that my setting for number of Leader Screens in memory was set to a test setting of 6, rather that the default of -1. I've since reset that and will continue to monitor the situation and see if that is inconsequential or not.

And finally, I'm not normally this anal. But I was so frustrated with 2K support that I figured I'm the only one who'll properly diagnose this after seeing no relevant patch notes since launch.
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Old Aug 22, 2011, 10:12 PM   #4
supcaj
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I, too, have been suffering leader crashes since release. Thanks for the detective work - I'll post back here with results after a few games!
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Old Oct 22, 2011, 11:39 PM   #5
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Trying this after losing patience with my umpteenth crash...
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Old Nov 05, 2011, 01:43 AM   #6
Rokey
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I got a 560 (non TI) and was having this crash with the black screen. The directions in the original post fixed it. Google is returning "civ 5 black screen" with three unhelpful links above this, however this certainly fixed the issue of it soft crashing to a black screen when leader scenes happen.
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Old Nov 13, 2011, 08:35 PM   #7
AZRainman
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After several days of looking, this is the fix that actually works without turning down the leader scene quality to a still shot.

Great work!
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Old Dec 28, 2011, 09:14 PM   #8
mpipkin
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Great - This solution really work. My game has been crashing on the leader screen for over a year and finally ther is a solution.
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Old Mar 25, 2012, 07:28 AM   #9
ImAPaladin
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I get leader screen crash even though I use DX9. On my second game on huge map, it kept crashing when I pressed end button at around turn 30. After looking around a bit, I thought leader screen might be it, so I tried turning down the the leader screen setting to minimum from medium and what do you know, a leader screen popped up right right after I ended the turn instead of crashing. After that, I tried increasing the quality to low, and it still didn't crash, so it only happens on medium(which is the highest setting I can choose). BTW, it's one of the same leaders I had in my previous game.

Both of these solutions don't apply to me since I use DX9 on XP. I tried a solution in another thread that suggested editing LeaderTextureBackgroundLoad to a higher number in GraphicsSettingsDX9 to no avail.

I know this thread is pretty old...should I open a new one? I already have an open thread, and I'm not sure where to find the forum rules to see if I'm allowed to have multiple open threads.

Last edited by ImAPaladin; Apr 01, 2012 at 11:06 PM.
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 08:42 AM   #10
SirWozzel
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I have the same problem as paladin, I do run on a windows 7 but I am only using DX9 and I still get the crash...
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 12:22 PM   #11
timtofly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImAPaladin View Post
I get leader screen crash even though I use DX9. On my second game on huge map, it kept crashing when I pressed end button at around turn 30. After looking around a bit, I thought leader screen might be it, so I tried turning down the setting to minimum from medium and what do you know, a leader screen popped up right right after I ended the turn instead of crashing. After that, I tried increasing the quality to minimum, and it still didn't crash, so it only happens on medium(which is the highest setting I can choose). BTW, it's one of the same leaders I had in my previous game.

Both of these solutions don't apply to me since I use DX9 on XP. I tried a solution in another thread that suggested editing LeaderTextureBackgroundLoad to a higher number in GraphicsSettingsDX9 to no avail.

I know this thread is pretty old...should I open a new one? I already have an open thread, and I'm not sure where to find the forum rules to see if I'm allowed to have multiple open threads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirWozzel View Post
I have the same problem as paladin, I do run on a windows 7 but I am only using DX9 and I still get the crash...
I am curious also. I had accepted the still shot and never looked back. My curiosity comes from do you still get the DX OPTION SCREEN when you start the game?

After a while my game just booted without asking me, and I have never had any problems. I do not have the answer, but maybe there is a similiar .ini file or line in the same file that needs "tweaked" for DX9 to avoid the DX version incorrect usage as above.
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Old Jun 24, 2012, 08:14 AM   #12
Firstcohort
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I know it's an old thread but thanks Misterboy for making the game playable for us nvidia users. I'm hoping when my G&K copy arrives I won't need to use this fix.
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 06:03 PM   #13
Misterboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firstcohort View Post
I know it's an old thread but thanks Misterboy for making the game playable for us nvidia users. I'm hoping when my G&K copy arrives I won't need to use this fix.
Any report on these graphics problems being fixed with Gods & Kings? I'm mildly optimistic that they've improved?
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Old Jun 26, 2012, 06:55 PM   #14
timtofly
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To fix it would take getting all the Directx10 cards off the street. Or have three separate modes for each of the versions. Right now 10 is being lumped with 11 in hopes that 10 will perform like 11. If it does not, one can revert to 9.
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