Skyrim shuts itself down

Post » Mon May 28, 2012 8:36 am

PROBLEM: “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” shuts iself down with no message box appearing. It doesn’t happen with any other game I play on pc, only with this one. I don’t think there’s anything to do with viruses or install issues.

OBSERVATIONS: It did happen when I was just standing or walking, as well as when I was fighting, so, no matter what I do in-game, after a few minutes or on loading screen it will simply close itself.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E7500, 2.93GHz
CPU Speed: 2.9GHz Performance Rated at: 5.22GHz
Ram: 2.1GB
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition Service Pack 1 (build 7601), 32-bit
Video Card: GeForce 9400 GT (v285.72). Pixel Shader: v4.0

My video card is up to date and (as far as I know) there are from none to few viruses in my computer. I really don’t have a clue of why I can't play it properly. Please, help me guys.
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Danny Blight
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 11:46 am

Aside from the fact that the video graphics card is only slightly stronger than a two day old kitten, and would be a challenge to use, the symptoms and information offered so far sound for all the world as though the power supply is on its last legs.

Basic Hardware Specification Chart (Empty so far)

Processor Manufacturer: AMD / Intel
Processor Name / Type: Athlon X2 / Pentium D / C2D / dual core / quad, etc.
Processor Speed: ?.? Ghz
Operating System / Service Pack: WindowsXP with SP #?, Win7, Vista ?
System RAM: ? ? GBs (MBs, if less than 1024 ? )
Video (GPU) Manufacturer: ATI / Nvidia (only those two are supported, PERIOD, so please answer which of them you have)
Video Card Model: (examples) Radeon HD 6670 / Geforce GTS 450
Video Card Driver Version: Catalyst ?.? / Nforce ??.??
. . (please use the numbers, and dates, *not* the word "latest")
Video display's default screen resolution
Video Card onboard RAM: ? ? ? MBs
Sound Card Manufacturer:
Sound Card Driver IDs:
Sound Card Model:

(And this is only for the raw hardware & driver variations. Potential software conflicts are far more likely to be game play problems, and developers cannot test for all possible program loads.)
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Alexis Acevedo
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 12:25 pm

Um.. could you suggest a good graphic card then, mate? :)
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Iain Lamb
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 7:53 am

You can get good use out of what you have, by making allowances for its weakness, and it's not the source of the shut-downs, from what you've told us so far (data still lacking). The card started life as the 8500 GT, which was a budget option to the 8600 GT, for which nVIDIA couldn't match the kind of price that ATI was asking for their HD 2600 XT, so they sought a niche that there was no Radeon occupying, between Low End and Medium. Eventually The GT 220 took that spot next, and now the GT 440 / 540 (same thing) are in it.

AMD still has the lock on the Middle of the Medium class with the HD 6670, at a very good price for what you get (see Toms Hardware's Bank for the Buck articles).,3085-2.html

There will be a January article following the one I had that link for. During most of December, I found the after rebate costs on 6670s was better than the HD 5670s that Toms concentrated on, but as I recall, they don't take rebates into account.

But you need this sort of thing first:

That's a 500 watt OCZ power supply, at $45 after rebate, a great price for a quality unit.

If through the use of "mate", you've tipped us off to your being an Ozzie, that will just give you an example, unless you're stateside or in Canada at present.
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Kayla Bee
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 10:56 am

2 gb of RAM...after your OS and anything else running (hopefully very little), how much do you think is left for Skyrim?
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DAVId MArtInez
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 5:57 pm

People are calling that a CTD (Crash-to-desktop). It's not uncommon, especially for some people. Look at some of the CTD-labeled threads in the support forum.

It could also be power or video-card related, you may want to run on minimum settings and test another power supply if possible. Off-brand power supplies can be pretty fragile. Unfortunately, no one can really agree on what "off-brand" is.

Oddly one of the best indicators of PS quality is *weight*. Cheap materials tend to be light, and quality heavy, especially heatsinks.
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Lauren Dale
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 10:31 am

If power was an issue these crashes wouldn't be to desktop but rather full system hangs or hard reboots, CTDs are classicly the game engine rejecting either itself or the settings vs your video hardware its been told to use. Regardless the 9400 isn't exactly notorious for its cred as a gaming card and because of that if you were to consider swapping it out for something stronger then you'll want to look at the power supply to make sure there's enough ability for handling a bigger video card. You'll often find when a very basic desktop video card like the 9400 is put into a system it lets whoever build it go with a similarly very basic power supply that couldn't handle a genuine gaming capable video card.

So, on the chance it'll save you 50$, (Edit: Turn off...then...) pop open that computer at some point and take a look at the metal box that all the cabling comes out of and see if you can spot its rating in watts. If its 500 or more you're already good to go, otherwise yah you'll wanna replace that while you're replacing the video card too.
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Cat Haines
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 4:29 pm

Don't be too quick to blame the system, Skyrim CTDs are very common after all.

EDIT: As mentioned above, check the forum for similar topics, although to be fair, there aren't many (if any) fixes.
Personally I'm svcking it up and waiting for the CK to make its rounds, hopefully making the game playable again.
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Katie Samuel
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 7:11 pm

Hey guys, and hello BumpInTheNight. The minimum requirements for Skyrim on pc are as I stated below:

Dual-core CPU, 2.0 GHz or faster (I have: Intel Core Duo CPU E7500, 2.93GHz)
2GB RAM (Yep, I have that)
DirectX 9.0 video card with 512MB RAM (I have: DirectX 11 and GeForce 9400 GT, 1.2GB Ram)
6GB HD space (I have: 80HD free space)
Windows XP/Vista/7 32 or 64-bit (I have: Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 32-bit)
Internet access for Steam activation (Okay, that too)

Then, if my pc matches the minimum requirements, why can't I play the game, not even in the lowest quality? But anyway, to play Skyrim "quite nice" then I should change my graphic card and power supply to some hardcoe stuff. Just that?
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 7:07 am

After over 25 years of pc gaming, I've yet to really enjoy a problem-free gaming experience by meeting the bare minimum system requirements...I'm sure a game developer/tester can get game X to work at minimum specs, but that is under optimal conditions in a pc build free of fat, good cooling, reliable power source etc etc. You just have to have a little bit of caveat emptor with min specs.

"Quite nice" = more than 2gb RAM...and I'd be wary of that cpu for quite nice, but I'll let someone else chime in on that one to be sure
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Alyce Argabright
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 7:39 am

Your GPU has 512 MB, not 1.2 GB. That is talking about your GPU requirement. The 9400 can barely play the game and I suspect that is the issue.
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 10:28 pm

Aye, there's a few factors that those min requirements don't really talk about (but admitedly this isn't something you can just kind of 'one line' describe) and one of the biggest ones is how the amount of memory on your video card is only one of several key factors. Its like saying that a whole computer's performance abilities are based purely on how much ram its got, its just not a valid thing to say and I really dislike that gaming companies continue to use this one aspect of video cards as the benchmark. Think of ram like the 'work space' that a particular device can use, the more work space the better but if the component itself is slower or just not able to do various tricks it won't matter how big the work space is, it'll do poorly at the task at hand. So yah Skyrim needs a minimum of 500MB to run, but its also in need of some pretty good hardware to run it 'well' if at all.

You're right your CPU ain't bad, a quadcore would be better but you'll be okay with that dualcore, two GB of system ram is also okay but if I can help ID some reasons why it might not cut it: Skyrim in a basic state will use somwhere around .5-1GB of the stuff on modest settings, that's over half right there but hey that's not so bad right? Know the firefox webbrowser? It can eat 500MB itself easy, now what else might be running and how much everything together wants to use vs that 2GB, more is better but in the interrim you'll probably want to make efforts to ensure minimal amounts of stuff are running while playing Skyrim.

The video card, that 9400, that's your biggest performance problem. That range of cards wasn't really designed in mind for heavy 3d gaming engines like Skyrim's, it was meant to do a basic desktop exprience, maybe run the occasional flash app and be very light on resources and cost. This would be your single best focus for performance and over all stability, since we also mentioned that a strong(er) PSU goes hand in hand with letting one of those run you'll likely need to upgrade both at the same time if you do. If you're open to that be warned that to really improve on things you'd want a genuinely gaming capable card and a decent quality power supply to match it, we're talking about a minimum of about 200$ invested (but sky's the limit on upper costs). So if you're into that we can make some suggestions based on your budget and you can see how it goes. Oh and if you go this route you may as well throw a little on for an increase to 4GB of memory, your OS will still only see 3ish of it (32bit limit) but it will give a lot more breathing room regardless.

But yah bottom line is even if we trouble shot and tinkered with your settings enough to get Skyrim running on that 9400 it would be...unpleasant, very unpleasant.
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Gracie Dugdale
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Post » Mon May 28, 2012 4:29 pm

Hey, BumpInTheNight. I suppose you're the only member here who actually wants to help, thanks! I think as well I don't have any more questions, you said it all. I'll follow your advice, and thanks again!
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bonita mathews
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