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Half Life freezes

For some reason I can't figure out Half Life is freezing my machine about 80% of the time I try and run it. It seems  to be rather random in the way it happens. Its seems to freeze while it is trying to initialize the graphics. And when it does work it will continue to work until I have to reboot for one reason or an other.

Here's my machine stats:
p2 350MHz running at 400MHz (it does the same thing even when the      machine isn't OC'd)
Dimond Viper v770 ultra running the latest drivers from nVidia
64 meg of ram
Win98 with the service pack installed
The latest HL update has been installed

I have tried reinstalling Half Life and even windows.
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bishma
Asked:
bishma
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1 Solution
 
SergCommented:
Ok you said it freezes while trying to load graphics, it could be somekind of glitch having to do with drivers of the video card or even the brand of the card. For example when Q2 came out it didnt run too hot on anything but voodoo.  Go to Half-Life troubleshooting page and to your card's manufacturer's page and see if there is anything about that.  These two could just not be very compatible.  
Maybe this will help.
Serg
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
Neither nVidia, Dimond, nor Sierra have any know problems with my video card and Half Life.
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Somebody_elseCommented:
when the game freezes press the esc key, does this do anything? usually when halflife freezes it will tell you why it won't finish loading the graphics.

btw how did you get your p2 350 overclocked to 400? I have the same processor and it has a mulitiplier lock so it won't clock faster than 3.5
(3.5 x100 FSB = 350mhz)
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
The machine freezes completely. The only way out is the reset button.

3.5 x 115 FSB =~400, but half life locks it locks up even at 350 x 100 FSB.

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Somebody_elseCommented:
actually it would be like 402 or 403 mhz. I was hoping you had figured out a workaround to the multilplier lock.

1.windows 98 has a utility called
dr. watson

try running this utility first and see if it records any abnormalities when your game freezes.

if so post results.

2. try running halflife in software mode and see if it locks up either overclocked or not.(this should help to determine if it is software or hardware related)

3. how long do you wait when halflife loads? It takes my machine about 30secs to a minute.

4. how many other programs are loaded into your memory when you first boot up(press ctrl+alt+del once and see what names are in the dialog box)
post answer.

5. how much free disk space do you have on your primary drive?



post answers and I'll recheck my email at 7:00 pst.
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MichaelMarchCommented:
Have you tried lowering you resolution so that you can see if the gl drivers that you are useing?  Try 640X480, see if that freezes you up still.  

Just a thing to try, and post the results.
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gandalf_the_whiteCommented:
just listening
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
Sorry about the delay, the last 3 reboots have found no freezing prob. I've also had midterms so I haven't had experamentation time. I'll reboot till I get a crash tomarrow (with DrWatson running) and post the results after classes.

Here's some answers to your questions:

I always run HL in software mode. On my system the quality is better.

HL take about 20 sec to load on my machine, when it does load anyway.

The number of programs running in the background doesn't seem to have any effect. I've had all my general progs runnin and had it lock up, and I've had only explorer running and had it lock up.

I've got over 3 gig free on my primary partition, and my swap is fixed at 2.2 x my physical ram.

I always run at 640x480 to keep my framerates up in multiplayer.
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Asta CuCommented:
Using 233Mhz Win98, 192MB RAM, ATI Expert@Play video card w 4MB Vram ... had trouble initially loading/playing this game.  Had to install updated openGL.  My resolution settings are at 800x600x24 but the game setup is 640X480 in single player mode.  Haven't tried multiplayer online stuff.  Do, however, in my setup ensure that only systray and explorer run prior to loading HL, it eliminates any stutter etc. on the video.  Recall reading that recommendations for this game was either 233Mhz and 8MB Video Ram or 266Mhz with 4MB video ram; thus I'm under the recommendation.  Nonetheless works fine.

When you get this running and find yourself in the Block Pit and come upon the water by the .357, I'd be most curious if you can ever get anything done in the water.  We're blind in there, can see nothing, thus navigation is irrelevant.  Perhaps a result of my HW limitations; though I doubt it... all other graphics are great.

Asta
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Asta CuCommented:
I did have ONE LOCKUP at first installation effort and that was, I believe, because there were multiple RNAAPPs running at the time when checking ALT+CTRL+DEL.
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
I don't connect to the internet using a modem, so rnapp doesn't run on my system
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Somebody_elseCommented:
This is not a video hardware problem since you don't use opengl or direct3d. it could be a conflict with another device like you A3D card, try changing the sound option to NOT use the A3D enable option. I have had lockups running halflfie with the A3D optimization enabled.
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
A3D is not, not has it ever been enabled.

I have been havine some problems with my CD-ROM, so I have disabled CD sound and will see if that helps
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
It still freezes even with CD and high quakity sound disabled.

Dr Watson did not catch the crash nor did it keep a log of the crash.
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Somebody_elseCommented:
doh, does this happen with any other game or program or just halflife?

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Asta CuCommented:
Have you tried this?

Normal shutdown, leave of a couple of minutes to unload all.

Reboot (F8 until you see menu then choose SAFE MODE).  

Then right click the MyComputer icon, choose properties and then device manager.  

REMOVE ALL OCCURRENCES that you find of duplicates/errors for devices, ports, etc.  If you find problems here, and delete items, reboot and refind.  Let us know, please.

Have you checked WindowsUpdated and applied fixes that may help you for your OS?  Here's just one link that comes to mind:  http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q229/8/00.asp#CRITICAL

-----

Have you checked your Motherboard/BIOS manufacturer's web sites for any Pflash Updates to the Bios perhaps?

Asta
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
This only occures with Half Life. And I run other software that is a lot more cpu, graphics, and sound intensive.

There are no duplicate, unknown, or not working devices on my system.
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
I also run windows update regularly.
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Asta CuCommented:
On one system, running with 128MB RAM and Half Life, a little stutter.  On another system, running 196MB RAM, fine.  You're running with 64MB RAM on overclocked CPU.  Personally, think the system is being overtaxed.

Asta
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Asta CuCommented:
Have you tried DirectX diagnostics? Don't bother responding, if you feel inapplicable to you.  I've recently upgraded to Directx 7.0a, ran diagnostics and surprised to read the details on what I thought to be an updated multimedia setup. Found it helpful to test/know the results of each of my components and drivers (including those not certified for Windows 98 which is my OS).
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
I have trouble believeing that HL can over tax my system when Driver, Q3a, and Unreal Turnament run without so much as a screen flicker at much higher resolutions. I get 85 - 90 FPS in quake 3.
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EvanLCommented:
Possibly the video card overheating?  My Voodoo2 SLI config used to overheat til I got rid of it.  

Have you looked for conflicts between the soundcard and other parts of your machine?  Those are the only things I can think of.
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
I don't think it could be an over heat. My machine at about 22 degrees F over ambient room temp, and other more gaphics intense programs (like driver) don't have any problems.

The sound cards resources are all unshared.
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gandalf_the_whiteCommented:
is it freezing before you see the main menu with the halflife logo
or after you choose new game and the console window
moves up to show the world?

i didn't play halflife for very long so i am not shure if the console is
visible during loading in normal single player halflife
but i know that you see what the computer is doing
in the console if you are playing multiplayer

have you tried halflife mods like teamfortress classic or counterstrike?
btw team fortress classic is already installed on your computer
if you have a patch > 1010
1013 or 1015 (opposing force) should be the patch installed on your machine
you can activate them in the main menu
with custom game or something like that

take a look at the console
maybe it helps you further
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Asta CuCommented:
Interested in if you've ever tried the DirectX Diagnostics process and what version of DirectX you have on your system.  Most want version 6.0 or later; not to mention again, current video and audio drivers as well as updated directplay.  Graphics acceleration may make a difference if on full, trying lower settings.

As I thought I had mentioned earlier, DirectX 7 is available for download among many other potentially related items from WinUp.  Here's a link about it and other Windows 95 Updates.

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q229/8/00.asp#CRITICAL

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bishmaAuthor Commented:
My machine freezes before the game even starts. All I see is my desktop and the cursor (which is frozen)

I primarally play Cstrike or Opposing forces. all incantations of HL freeze the same way

i am using directx 7.0a

dxdiag reports no problems other that my video and sound drivers are uncertified. All test were performed successfully.

Windows update reports no critical or recomended upgrades.
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Somebody_elseCommented:
try this, open internet explorer and choose "View" from the menus on top, then choose internet options. when the dialog box appears choose the conection tab. Make sure that under connection there is a dot next to the "Connect to the internet using a local area network"
and not the "use a dialup connection"

then run halflife and see if it freezes.
let me know in a post please.
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
This is how my internet is set up. I'm on a cable modem behind a IP Masq box.
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SidgeCommented:
Chances are your computer is to slow. I know this becaeuse it does this to me on 'Tiberian Sun'. There are two possible solutions (I know you won't like any of them!)

1. Get rid of Half Life and get another game.

2. Get a new computer which is faster than the one you have now!

I promise you these only two solutions you can get to this problem.
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EvanLCommented:
Sidge:  Great answer!  

Are you KIDDING?  Bishma has a killer system, that sould handle Half Life easily.  The minimum system requirements are a P2 200Mhz!  And that minimum comes from the game's developer!  Please don't answer a question unless you have a SOLUTION!
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
1.) My system is way above the min requirements

2.) my machine runs more complex and taxing games

3.) every 3rd or 4th reboot it runs Half Life flawlessly.
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Somebody_elseCommented:
well i'm stumped, good luck to ya, I hope you get it working, btw have you tried reinstalling the game?
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
Adjusted points to 150
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
As mentioned in the initial question I have reinstalled Half Life and even Windows
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Somebody_elseCommented:
hehe, sorry. you gotta admit that this thread is getting pretty long though. my fault for at least not checking the original post.
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EvanLCommented:
bishma:

It seems that the problem lies with your computer, and not the game.  You've tried every logical thing possible and none of it helps.  You are probably looking at something that you won't ever be able to find, like bad RAM, an invisible conflict, a partially fried video card, etc...

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gandalf_the_whiteCommented:
yeah
evanL is right
if hl is the only game ever that freezes your computer than its in
the halflife code in combination with your hardware
(and i think it is so otherwise you would have told us)

you could try the same thing you would do if it was
a "normal" hardware problem
remove all expansion cards except for the graphics card
if it freezes its none of the removed cards

the next effort to solve this problem is
one that most people are not able to do
temporarly change the graphics card, then the rams then the cpu
at last change the mainboard

btw does hl freeze if you have played another 3D game just before it?
(maybe its only an "unstable" init value)
doees it freeze if you start and close it 5 or more times in a row?

maybe you have to except that it will not run without problems
without a hardwarechange

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EvanLCommented:
When HL came out, I actually had a P2 400Mhz, with 64MB RAM, Soundblaster 64AWE, and a Voodoo2 SLI.  HL froze for me too.  I could never get it fixed, even when I bought a ATi Rage Fury.  So it was something else in my computer causing the trouble.  I eventually bought a new system (not just to play HL) and the problem didn't occur in the new machine.  I also got freezing in Heretic 2.  Could never figure it out.
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Asta CuCommented:
After rereading this thread, this caught my eye:  After rebooting 3-4Xs, it runs flawlessly.

I must say we've had this with Half Life only and the problems arise if, after being on line and anything other than systray and explorer are running and I load Half-Life.  If, though run then, is flawless.  On the other hand, if ever I shut down Half-Life and try to do network activity, problems result.  If I reboot after Half-Life and before loading DUN activities, all is perfect.  I've done everything to troubleshoot these issues; but that the reality here and we're:

PII w/Intel MMX - 233 Mhz - 192MB RAM and Ati Expert@Play 4MB VRAM graphics card, settings at 800x600x24 in Win98, and 640x480 (I believe) in the game.

The fact that multiple reboots are needed says there are renegade apps/interfaces just unwilling to let go of resources.  This has been true of many TSRs, and stuff like Fastfind, Rnaapp related stuff, etc.


Asta
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chief007Commented:
Wild guess as you've tried everything else....

Do you have an AGP apperture setting in the BIOS?

If so try adjusting it to be 2X the graphic cards RAM.

Do you get the same problem running in Open GL or D3D?

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bishmaAuthor Commented:
It freezes in all video modes.

I've disabled everythin in windows and still had probs. Has anyone out their heard of a problem with the DOS end of norton antivirus causing lockups. I'm gonna try to disable it and the sb16 emulation the my sound card does, and see if clears up (since those are the only DOS TSR's I have running).

My card and BIOS are set to 2x and the AGP/CLK is at 2/3
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
I also have HIMEM and EMM386 run. Anyone know if there have been any problems with these memory managers?
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Asta CuCommented:
We disable ALL TSRs first; NOTHING running in the background.
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
This eventually led me to the answer so I'm accepting it. Something about the way my network/gateway is set up is causing it to crash. If I load Half Life without any networking enabled it will run anytime. This won't help me with multiplayer, but I at least know the answer.
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Asta CuCommented:
I'm sorry to learn that you're still not resolved in using the multiplayer/network options of this game; and although I appreciate your giving me the points and "C" grade, however, feel that perhaps if you had left it open you may have received the total answer.  I've since searched various game-related sites about others having the multiplayer problem and no new information has been found.  Most folks point back to their settings.  One other comment I recall reading on a Half-Life Mutliplayer game problems and that was that all current video and sound drivers were installed; and that one situation required their downgrading their video options to a prior version.  They, had, though gotten help from their video card technical support folks.

Asta  
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bishmaAuthor Commented:
I have found that once I start up with no networking enabled and run the game I can quit and start up again normally. This at least lets me play whenever I want. Hopefully this problem will be solved when I switch over to win2000 (which will occur as soon as I can get proper videocard drivers)
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Asta CuCommented:
We did an experiment last evening on our system, which is really on the low-end from video/graphics perspective (only 4MB Vram).  Additionally, was using direct3D.  We had problems seeing any of the graphics when underwater in Half-Life (also with current updates).  Our Windows video settings were at 800x600x24bit and within the H-L game had settings at 640x480 using direct3D.  Changed the game settings to 800X600 and the graphics were vastly improved but extremely slow; followed by a lock up.   Had to reboot, scandisk ran (same old scenarios of many).  Then we changed the setup to 800x600 but changed from direct3D to current and updated OpenGl.  The game was flawless, graphics improved vastly.

Really interesting stuff.  Looking to upgrade our OS as well when more drivers are certified; as well as a better graphics card with at least 32MB Vram.

Bottom line, with our resources as they are, and to get this level of performance from an overtaxed setup here always requires that only systray and explorer are running (even end task on task scheduler which one doesn't see running via alt+ctrl+del).

Closing, but wanted to add this; in case something that may add insight to your issue as well.  
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