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Fallout 3 GOTY freezing/locking up (Win7 64bit)

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August 17, 2011 6:09:31 PM

Hey all,
I know there are a lot of threads on this. Believe me, I've looked in every last one of them (that I could find, at least)... But none of them seem to have helped. I've been trying to run Fallout 3 on a 13" MacBook Pro running Windows 7 64 bit through bootcamp. I know the specs are high enough to run it, because I've been playing New Vegas a ton at decent settings and native resolution... And neither New Vegas nor Oblivion crashes on me like FO3 does (Oblivion is older than FO3 and works on Win7, NV is newer and more demanding and I can run it fine, and they all use the same engine, don't they?)...
My problem is that whenever I try to start a new game, it locks up on me and only will exit through Task Manager forcing it to quit. Sometimes I can get to the point where I create how my player will look, and after I finish it freezes, sometimes I can't even decide my gender before it locks up. But it ALWAYS locks up, with no video playing and the audio stuttering. Oddly enough, if it freezes after the dad says "We've got a beautiful baby boy/girl", I can still hear the mother's response while the screen is frozen, but the background noises keep stuttering.
Let me list the fixes I've tried so far:
-d3d9.dll fix to get it to run on my IGP (don't forget, the same IGP runs New Vegas pretty well at 1280x800)
-bUseThreadedAI=1 fix, also iNumHWThreads=2. This is to rule out the quad-core issue. I know that my CPU is a dual-core (I've got the i7 dual core model), but it's Intel, so hyperthreading might make it seem to the system like it's quad.
-downloaded the Win7 codec pack from windows7codecs.com
-tried running in both XP sp1 and Vista SP1 compatibility mode, and everything in between.
-tried running as an administrator

None of this (except d3d9.dll, which allowed it to even start up*) worked at all. It still locks up. Does anyone out there know any other fixes? I'm about halfway through the main quest of NV and I enjoy it a LOT, I'm dying to compare it to FO3 (also, I already spent the $30 to buy the game and don't want to have wasted that money).

*d3d9.dll also WAY improved performance in FO:NV by forcing DX9... I don't care about DX version as long as it looks pretty enough and runs well, and at 1280x800, Intel's Sandy Bridge IGP does the job.

P.S. I'm using the Steam version of the game, if that's important at all.
August 17, 2011 7:44:08 PM

Unfortunately, FO3 is not officially supported by Windows 7 64-bit. I've read people were able to running it in Win 7 32-bit without any real issues.

I am currently replaying FO3 again on my new laptop. It starts up okay with the nVidia GeForce GT 550M, but like you, it will immediately crash if I were to use the Intel HD 3000 graphics core. The issue is with Intel's video drivers for their Sandy Bridge CPUs. Unfortunately this means you need to wait for new drivers from Intel to find out if that fixes the issue.

Once you can load FO3 using the Intel HD 3000 graphics core and proper Intel drivers, then you run into issues with FO3 and Win 7. FO3 was a bit buggy with Win XP; either the game freezes or crashes to desktop. But in Win 7 those issues becomes excessively annoying. The game never crashed to desktop, but it freezes too many time especially when you are indoors.

For example, I was counting how many time in a single hour the game would crash when I was Rivet City. Within 60 minutes the game crashed 25 times; a few times as soon as the saved game was loaded.

There is also a memory leak issue in Win 7 64-bit. If I remember correctly, FO3 sorta starts off using around 600MB - 700MB of RAM that can eventual grow to over 1.5GB of RAM. Therefore, the more RAM you have, the longer you can play before running out of resources. Unless your game crashes before then which is also a high probability.

I'm simply going to uninstall it on my laptop and reinstall it on my PC which is still running Win XP.

Also, FO3 and FO:NV only uses DX9. There's no support for DX10 or DX11.
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August 19, 2011 5:36:48 PM

Actually, FO3 I believe supports DX10 and FONV DX11.
Anyway, I ACTUALLY GOT A FIX THAT WORKS!!!
What I did wrong was, I modified the wrong configuration file.
Before, I tried modifying the fallout.ini file in the {C://program files (x86)/steam/steamapps/common/fallout 3 goty} directory. That was wrong, it didn't actually do anything.
What I did was, I uninstalled and reinstalled the game, (installed the d3d9.dll to get it working on my IGP), and modified the fallout.ini config file in C://[myname]/documents/my games/fallout 3/
but IT WORKS NOW!!!!! xD Turns out it was the Intel multi-core (>2-thread) bug.
I'll keep this thread updated on whether or not I have any problems going forward...
Also, just random opinion from whoever responds: Should I play New Vegas more and finish the main quest there, THEN go to FO3, or play through FO3 then go back to NV?
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August 26, 2011 5:58:39 PM

Can you add a few more specifics. I'm having the exact same problem. I would like to know what changes you made to the fallout.ini file and what exactly you did to fix the intel multi-core bug. Any additional help would be appreciated since I'm not too savy with windows 7.
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August 26, 2011 6:46:06 PM

Add the following lines at the end of the General section in the Fallout.ini file.

bUseThreadedAI=1
iNumHWThreads=2

Just do an Edit/Find and type in the following and click Find Next:

[Display]

The Display section comes right after the General section, so paste those two line above [Display].
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August 26, 2011 8:48:06 PM

Thanks! I've got the fallout.ini edited as specified, but I'm still having problems with it crashing after starting a new game. What did psno1994 do with the d3d9.dll. I've tried installing directx9, but it always says that a newer version is installed.
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August 26, 2011 9:00:09 PM

What are the specs of your laptop or PC?
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August 27, 2011 12:21:05 AM

Here are some of the specs I pull of of dxdiag

Computer
Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601)
System Manufacturer: Apple Inc.
System Model: MacBookPro8,1
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2415M CPU @ 2.30GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.3GHz
Memory: 4096MB RAM
Page File: 1238MB used, 6774MB available

Display
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
Card name: Intel(R) HD Graphics Family HD3000
Display Memory: 1696 MB
Dedicated Memory: 64 MB
Shared Memory: 1632 MB
Current Mode: 1280 x 800 (32 bit) (58Hz)
Driver File Version: 8.15.0010.2361 (English)

Let me know what you think. I know the integrated graphics is iffy, but I've run more graphics intensive games such as left for dead 2 without a problem on fairly high settings. Hopefully this can be figured out.
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August 27, 2011 2:47:07 AM

I've got it working now. I found a post by ryanshedy on techgage.com which gave pretty good directions on how to download a d3d9.dll file an place it in the fallout folder in which the game launching application resides. He has a link on his post for several places from which to download this file. This file was made to trick fallout 3 into thinking that a computer with an integrated graphics card actually has a designated/compatable card. I found that I didn't need to turn my settings down as suggested on this post. Ultimately it was placing this file in the appropriate location and the fix for the quad core processor which did the trick. Thanks for all the help.
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August 27, 2011 3:14:24 AM

I downloaded the d3d9.dll from fallout3nexus (just google d3d9.dll) and put it in the /program files/steam/steamapps/common/fallout 3 GOTY folder.
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