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Civ IV - Alt-Tab switching causes game freeze

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Technical Support' started by fuerza, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. fuerza

    fuerza Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    47
    Okay, after trying Civ V and hating it, I decided to get back into Civ IV after a hiatus of several years.

    When Alt-Tab switching, the game freezes (sometimes freezes, then crashes to desktop) and the only thing I can now do when it freezes is to do a Ctrl-Alt-Delete to access the Task Manager and force quit Civ IV.

    Any suggestions on how to fix this? (BTW, don't suggest windowed-mode. The font becomes distorted and scrolling does not work properly)

    For those that feel the need for specs: Civ IV Complete - all patches installed. This is a brand-new PC (not a laptop) far exceeding the minimum specs of this older game.

    Until this is solved, I guess I'll shelve this game once again. I'll go back to playing Stronghold 3 - which doesn't alt-tab freeze or crash ;-)

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Konrad Klar

    Konrad Klar Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2005
    Messages:
    59
    It never happened to me (I'm on Vista x64, Radeon HD 4850).
    Try to change graphic drivers.
    If it is not possible, use workaround - press WINDOWS key in order to move to desktop.
     
  3. fuerza

    fuerza Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
    47
    Sensible suggestions, unfortunately...

    Graphics drivers - I got off of the constantly-tinkering-with-graphics-drivers bandwagon years ago. Besides, the drivers I have now are very stable and with good frame rates for the 9 other games I have installed on this PC.

    Keyboard - I got a much sought-after gift for Christmas, a mint-condition legacy IBM keyboard - the kind that is built like a tank with the steel plate and sturdy clicky keys. No 'Windows' button on this puppy.

    Any other suggestions?


    PS: I have no issues using the alt-tab switching with those 9 other games, so I am leaning toward it being a Civ IV issue as opposed to anything else.
     
  4. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,535
    Location:
    Auckland, NZ (GMT+12)
    I have this problem too! and my PC has plenty of grunt ... Its especially apparent when the game gets very full, on huge maps and lots of units. So before I alt-tab, I save now.
     
  5. Furiey

    Furiey No Longer Just Lurking

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
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    Location:
    Bedfordshire UK
    It can be very temperamental with Alt-tabbing. People have found playing in windowed mode helps if they want to do it a lot.
     
  6. fuerza

    fuerza Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
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    47
    Dismally, windowed-mode play brings its own set of bugs and problems, which is equally undesirable.

    My son ran across another gaming site where the "Ctrl-Shift-Esc, working via the Task Manager to switch apps" might be a workaround. He said that he would play around with it this weekend to see if it works.

    It's very unfortunate that Firaxis left Civ IV with so many bugs so they could rush off to create the disaster known as Civ V. I suppose companies with good programming ethics and good business ethics are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
     
  7. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

    Joined:
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    Well to be fair of Firaxis. Civ IV is now nearly 7 years old (2005 release I believe) and its latest expansion for it supports a full 4 GB of RAM of a Win 64 OS, is not bad. Colonisation, Civ:Rev were later developments, which if you look at them you can see where Civ 5 really came from.
     
  8. fuerza

    fuerza Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
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    Well, it's been over a year now since I touched Civ IV and it STILL freezes after doing an Alt-Tab switch to the desktop.

    Has anyone come up with a solution to solving this problem in a year's time? (You might want to read the above posts to see what was said previously)


    Now, back to playing to Anno 2070, Deep Ocean - which is a much newer game and it DOESN'T freeze with Alt-Tab. As I've said before, more and more, this is looking like a bug in Civ IV coding that Firaxis just never wanted to address.
     
  9. Crispy007

    Crispy007 Chieftain

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    May 19, 2009
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    35
    Location:
    dry dusty alberta
    My multiplayer partner has the same problem, so after checking it out this might be a workaround(no way for me to test it as I don't have the problem and my friend is away). When you alt+tab back, try alt+enter to window mode then alt+enter again to go back to full screen. Let us know if it works out.
     
  10. fuerza

    fuerza Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    Messages:
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    Unfortunately, Alt+Enter does not toggle the window mode. For me, Alt+Enter brings up a small, translucent window in the bottom left of the game play map that shows me information about religions in my cities.
     
  11. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
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    1,060
    I have this problem now after doing a fresh install.
    Whenever I alt-tab (or windowsbutton myself out) to windows, I cannot re-enter the game.
    I hear the music, and the mousepointer changes but I only see windows.

    ABIT annoying.
     
  12. Ramkhamhaeng

    Ramkhamhaeng Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Messages:
    137
    Set FullScreen = 0 in CivilizationIV.ini . An user above wrote this causes other issues, but I don't think so…
     
    krikav likes this.
  13. krikav

    krikav Theorycrafter

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    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,060
    Yes, running in window mode does work. But it looks very ugly.
    I have FullScreen = ask, so that I can enter window mode when doing writeups etc.

    The freezing problem was resolved, I changed resolution a few times and also started to run the game as administrator. Not sure what really solved the problem but since it's gone I'm just content.
     

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