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Fallout 3 freezing/crashing

Last response: in Video Games
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March 1, 2012 11:43:13 PM

I recently bought Fallout 3 on steam and I am experiencing some very odd issues. The first one was a frame rate issue where the frame rate would deteriorate over the course of a couple of minutes to the point where the game was unplayable. Even the main menu was very choppy to the point where it was hard to see where the mouse was going. The weird thing about that was the fact that the whole beginning part of the game, when your in the vault, was fine until the part where you have to escape. That problem, however, went away after I verified the game files through steam. I don't know if that's what fixed it but something happened so that now the game runs smoother. Even in the menu, I can navigate it smoothly because I can see where my mouse is. But now there is a new problem. Now I don't even have the chance to see if the frame rate will hold up anymore because every time I start playing, within a minute or so, the game freezes and I cant do anything and the only way to exit out of it is to open up task manager.

My guess is that, since the problem has been changing on me like this, its most likely an issue with the game. The more that I think about it the more I think I should just re install the game and see if it was just a bad download. What do you people think I should do.

I would also like to say that all of my drivers are updated and my pc is more than capable of running the game. I know this because I can run crysis on ultra. Also my computer doesn't heat up when I play the game which is one of the reasons I think its a software issue.

my specs:

motherboard- asus M4A785-M
CPU- AMD AnthlonII X3 455
video card- Nvidia GTX 560
RAM- 4Gb DDR2

Thanks in advance for any advice!
March 4, 2012 12:07:02 AM

This thread may have some useful info for you. The OP has a similar problem to the one you first described. There are also some other helpful tips in it for monitoring the GPU usage and other things, which may help you track down the problem.

This thread has some other tips you may find useful. In it, I mention a guide for Skyrim- there is a similar guide for Fallout 3. The guide's author mentions some modifications that can cause crashes, along with how to improve performance.

Are you using any mods? Have you updated the game fully? And reinstalling the game, while annoying, isn't very hard to do either.

Post back with any mods you are using, along with whether or not any of the advice in the other two threads helped.
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March 6, 2012 7:41:45 PM

MXan said:
This thread may have some useful info for you. The OP has a similar problem to the one you first described. There are also some other helpful tips in it for monitoring the GPU usage and other things, which may help you track down the problem.

This thread has some other tips you may find useful. In it, I mention a guide for Skyrim- there is a similar guide for Fallout 3. The guide's author mentions some modifications that can cause crashes, along with how to improve performance.

Are you using any mods? Have you updated the game fully? And reinstalling the game, while annoying, isn't very hard to do either.

Post back with any mods you are using, along with whether or not any of the advice in the other two threads helped.


I looked at the links you posted and I didn't really see anything that I thought really applied to me.

To answer you questions though, no I am not running any mods, and yes, I did update the game right after I read your reply. However there was no change. The game still keeps on freezing about a minute in. One thing that I did do differently the last time I ran it was I ran it in a window. When the game froze, I got a message saying that Fallout3.exe was not responding.

If you have any more advice please let me know.

Also, in the most likely case that I will have to re install the game, do the save files get deleted with it? If so what can I do to save the save files?
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March 7, 2012 2:00:42 PM

Go back and check again. The things I thought would be applicable to you from the other threads included information about graphic cards' drivers, CCleaner, the discussion on GPU usage and how to check that (with Afterburner or other programs), and the guide- which contains some helpful info on lag and crashes both.

Also, the location for Skyrim saves was mentioned. If I remember right, FO3 saves are in basically the same place, the only difference being the folder's name. I honestly can't remember if you get the option when uninstalling to keep saves or not- to be safe, you'll want to find them on your hard drive and then back them up somewhere.

When you do uninstall, you might use Revo uninstaller. If you've never heard of it, try uninstalling without Revo, and see if the problem persists. If it does, uninstall again with Revo and try again- Revo often does a better job of removing registry entries and other leftover bits than Windows does. Since we have no idea what is causing the freezes, its worth the effort to eliminate corrupted entries from the list.

If that isn't where FO3 saves are, let me know and I'll track it down. I think uninstalling and reinstalling should be your next step, annoying though it is.
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March 7, 2012 3:28:19 PM

I'm also curious if you have any similar problems with other games or not.
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March 7, 2012 7:33:36 PM

Oldmangamer_73 said:
Skyrim occasionally freezes for me but not nearly as bad as FO3 did. No real problems with other games for me. Mass Effect 2 never crashed and I had graphic settings at the highest.


I meant that I wondered if the OP had problems with other games, you silly old man. I like your siggy, by the way.
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March 10, 2012 4:57:15 PM

MXan said:
I meant that I wondered if the OP had problems with other games, you silly old man. I like your siggy, by the way.


I didn't get around to looking at those links you showed me, however I did update my graphics drivers, and the first time I started up fallout 3 after that, there was no freezing. However the second time a started up fallout 3 and every time after that, its been freezing again.
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March 10, 2012 4:59:40 PM

Oh yeah and I was having similar problems with oblivion. However around the time that Fallout 3 started to change so did oblivion. The problems I was having with that game was that the frame rate was very low to the point where it was almost unplayable. Now its been a lot smoother but there still is a lot of jerkiness.
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March 11, 2012 4:35:29 AM

i posted a fix for this a few days ago. simply create a fallout3 shortcut manually through your steam files, the exit steam and double click the shortcut. fixed the frame rate issues but im still getting crashes.
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March 11, 2012 8:14:32 PM

Make sure your hard drive is not 100% active, Windows Indexing messed me up for a bit.
I got crashes when I used a Cheat in Fallout3, now when ever I start a saved game that a cheat was used on but not running cheat; im ok until I shoot or go into a building, then it crashes.
deleted the saved games, no more crashes.
I can play Fallout3 on my laptop and I get good Fps, its not a very GPU stressing game.

Also check and make sure your Video card cooling is active, does the fan speed up?

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