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Crysis FREAKIN OUT in XP but fine in Vista?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
November 17, 2007 2:05:52 AM


I have an 8800 GT running on an AMD 6000+ @3.225 Ghz. I have my GT OC'd to 700 | 1750 | 1000 which is the standard SSC OC. I'm runnin the 169.04 driver.

Ok, Crysis works like a dream in Vista 64, but when I try to run it in XP Professional, I can play for about 5 minutes then I get what I call the "butterflies of death". It's not a typical BSOD, but instead I just get all these multi-colored butterfly-looking things across the screen and it is a fatal lockup.

Up until this happens I'm averaging around 40 FPS and running cool at 55 C.

So, I'm lost on this one. It's runnin fast, cool and quiet then just instant death. Lol, I thought Vista was supposed to be the bugfest. What am I doing wrong?
November 17, 2007 2:31:13 AM

could you take a picture of the screen with a digital camera then show it here? it would be helpful to see what your trying to diagnose..

sounds like a driver problem to me though if it works OK in Vista
November 17, 2007 2:56:28 AM

You haven't heard yet have you? There are a lot of bad 8800GT cards out there because they rush them out, why do you think theres so many not in stock when you try and buy one. These cards are very picky about running cool as their core get upto 90C sometimes.
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November 17, 2007 3:03:07 AM

There is an beta driver for Crysis on Nvidia's website. Did you use that?
November 17, 2007 3:44:39 AM

What you explain sounds like artifacting which is definetly video card related. I had the same problem with my HD2900XT in the Demo. I tracked my problem down to my overclock. When I exceded 808 mhz on the clock speed I would get instant artifacts, strange points of light streaking across the sky and coming off of objects regardless of VGA temperature.

Try to back your clock down to stock speeds and give it a go again. If no artifacts, then you know your problem. Could be a defective VGA, or could be a problem with Crysis and something in your system. I know I was able to play Crysis at stock speeds to mildly OC'd speeds without a hitch, but when I went a little to agressive, it would artifact and then I would get a Red Screen of Death in Vista 32.
November 17, 2007 10:59:55 AM

Hey guys,

Thanks for all the answers.

I found this article about the problem, but when I tried to apply the fix, I couldn't find the Registry Entries the article referred to:

Anyway, here is some further info:

1. Running 160.09 Driver (Had same problem with 160.04 and 169.02).
2. Card is maxing out at about 58C under stress, so that isn't it.
3. I have noticed that in tends to happen when there are repetitive BRIGHT WHITE FLASHES on the screen, like my machine-gun muzzle flash when it's dark. But it also happens at other times.

Whats weird i game is running gorgeous with everything maxed at around 35 FPS average - no hiccups, no slowdowns, no artifacts, then suddenly I am looking at a Peter Max painting and have to reboot.

Could be my OC but I usually OC this card at 740 | 1750 | 1025 in Vista and it works fine. Don't know why 700 | 1750 | 1000 would freak it out in XP.

I will downclock it and see if I can get good FPS without the Peter Max bit.
November 17, 2007 11:09:46 AM

I could OC my HD2900XT to 833/888 in all other games as well with no hiccup, yet Crysis would artifact the minute I went above 808 core clock. Beats me. Thankfully I was never really into the game in the first place because if I really was, I would be a little peeved to say the least.

Ohh and, if your PC is hard locking up with a static display on the screen, I'm almost positive thats a VGA driver crash, usually caused by an agressive OC. Hope underclocking the card a bit helps you out, although you really shouldnt have too.
November 17, 2007 11:21:16 AM

Ok, I found this which was interesting. It's in the middle of the forum page, so I'll just post the whole thread. Don't know if this will help at all:

First set the power management for your PC to Performance mode. If anyone doesn't know how to do this it is in your screensaver menu.

Right click on the Desktop.

Select Personalize.

Select Screensaver.

Select Change Power Settings.

Click the High Performance radio button.

Close everything back to your desktop.

Next thing(s) to do:

Hold Winkey (windows logo) and Press R to open a Run box.

Type REGEDIT in the box and hit OK.

Hit Continue.

then CurrentControlSet
then Control
and finally GraphicsDrivers

(HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers for you pros)

Do you have a Dword value in the right window pane that says TdrLevel?

If not....add it.

Highlight GraphicsDrivers and then RIGHT CLICK and select New then select DWORD.

Type the following exactly for the name....


Double click the new DWORD that you created. Set TdrLevel to 3 by typing a 3 in the Value Data box.

Click OK and then close the Registry Editor.

Reboot your PC.

I set the value to 0 and enabled DreamScene. Locked the computer down. Had to do a hard reset.

After reboot I set the value to 3. I am running DreamScene, Media Player, IE and everything else I can throw at it and I can't get it to crash with sliding windows in previous post. I haven't crashed period!


Let me know if this works for anyone else. Been an hour and a half and NO CRASHES whatsoever for me!

November 17, 2007 11:24:46 AM

This may also be helpful in solving this puzzle:

Timeout Detection and Recovery
Windows Vista attempts to detect these problematic hang situations and recover a responsive desktop dynamically. In this process, the Microsoft Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver is reinitialized and the GPU is reset. No reboot is necessary, which greatly enhances the user experience. The only visible artifact from the hang detection to the recovery is a screen flicker, which results from resetting some portions of the graphics stack, causing a screen redraw. Some older Microsoft DirectX applications may render to a black screen at the end of this recovery. The end user would have to restart these applications.

The following is a brief overview of the TDR process:

Timeout detection: The Video Scheduler component of the Windows Vista graphics stack detects that the GPU is taking more than the permitted quantum time to execute the particular task and tries to preempt this particular task. The preempt operation has a "wait" timeout—the actual "TDR timeout." This step is thus the "timeout detection" phase of the process. The default timeout period in Windows Vista is 2 seconds. If the GPU cannot complete or preempt the current task within the TDR timeout, then the GPU is diagnosed as hung.

Preparation for recovery: The operating system informs the WDDM driver that a timeout has been detected and it must reset the GPU. The driver is told to stop accessing memory and should not access hardware after this time. The operating system and the WDDM driver collect hardware and other state information that could be useful for post-mortem diagnosis.

Desktop recovery: The operating system resets the appropriate state of the graphics stack. The Video Memory Manager component of the graphics stack purges all allocations from video memory. The WDDM driver resets the GPU hardware state. The graphics stack takes the final actions and restores the desktop to the responsive state. As mentioned earlier, some older DirectX applications may now render just black, and the user may be required to restart these applications. Well-written DirectX 9Ex and DirectX 10 applications that handle "Device Remove" continue to work correctly. The application must release and then recreate its Microsoft Direct3D device and all of its objects. DirectX application programmers can find more information in the Windows SDK.

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Error Messaging
Throughout the process of GPU hang detection and recovery, the desktop is unresponsive and thus unavailable to the user. In the final stages of recovery, a brief screen flash occurs that is similar to the one when the screen resolution is changed. After the desktop has been successfully recovered, the following informational message appears to the user.

The message is also logged in the Windows Vista Event Viewer. Diagnosis information is collected in the form of a debug report that is returned to Microsoft through the Online Crash Analysis (OCA) mechanism if the user opts in to provide feedback.

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Registry Keys
The following registry keys are documented for testing purposes only. These registry keys should not be manipulated by any applications outside targeted testing or debugging.

The TDR-related registry keys are located under HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers.

• TdrLevel: REG_DWORD. The initial level of recovery. The possible values are:

• TdrLevelOff (0). – Detection disabled.

• TdrLevelBugcheck (1) – Bug check on detected timeout, for example, no recovery.

• TdrLevelRecoverVGA (2) – Recover to VGA (not implemented).

• TdrLevelRecover(3) – Recover on timeout. This is the default value.

• TdrDelay: REG_DWORD. The number of seconds that the GPU is allowed to delay the preempt request from the scheduler. This is effectively the timeout threshold. The default value is 2.

• TdrDdiDelay: REG_DWORD. The number of seconds that the operating system allows threads to leave the driver. After a specified time, the operating system bug checks the system with the code VIDEO_TDR_FAILURE (0x116). The default value is 5.

• TdrTestMode: REG_DWORD: Internal test usage.

• TdrDebugMode: REG_DWORD: The debugging-related behavior of the TDR process.

• TDR_DEBUG_MODE_OFF (0) breaks to kernel debugger before the recovery to allow investigation of the timeout.

• TDR_DEBUG_MODE_IGNORE_TIMEOUT (1) ignores any timeout.

• TDR_DEBUG_MODE_RECOVER_NO_PROMPT (2) recovers without break into the debugger. This is the default value.

• TDR_DEBUG_MODE_RECOVER_UNCONDITIONAL (3) recovers even if some recovery conditions are not met (for example, recovers on consecutive timeouts).

a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2007 12:21:28 PM

does it happen when the card is not overclocked? It does sound like artifacting and that is a heat symptom, maybe, but maybe it is a driver issue, but it would help to know if the problem is occurring at stock speeds
November 17, 2007 7:24:14 PM

Well, it does look like Crysis doesn't like quite as high an OC in XP than it does in Vista 64.

Here's what I did and now XP Crysis runs smooth and pretty:

1. Cleaned out all the old drivers and installed latest version of the 169.09 Beta.
2. Deleted and re-installed both Rivatuner and NTune.
3. Added the Timeout Detection & Recovery (TdrLevel) DWORD to my Registry (set it to 3).
4. OC'd my 8800 GT to 720 | 1800 | 1000.
5. Used the DX10 Hack for DX9.
5. Set everything to High and Anti-aliasing to 2x.

Game runs in XP at around 35 FPS average and even when it slows down into upper 20's I really don't notice because I'm ususlaly trying not to get my head blown off at that moment.

To me, visually it looks amazing.