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Author Topic: The Neverending Pause  (Read 50099 times)
mildlydisguised
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The Neverending Pause
« on: 2010 June 23, 12:38:37 »
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Ok, so I've just about had enough of this. Since installing AMB, I am getting those freezes, everything pause except flowers and trees swaying in the breeze, about every 20 minutes of gameplay. I have had them in previous EPs but not with this frequency.

I've read the two threads from a while back about these but there doesn't seem to be an indicator of why this happens. There isn't anyway to recover, and I have to task manager out of there.

My specs aren't too bad, I'm running an X1950 Pro, 2x 2.66 GHz, running XP so just under 4GB RAM. If I remember rightly my power supply is 550W. While not amazing specs they are far above the minimum. I'm wondering if my power supply could do with an upgrade, or maybe my processor. I just get the feeling that it comes down to overheating.

Anyone else experiencing this too?

Edit - Forgot to mention I'm running only AM and the only CC I have is decrapified store crap.
« Last Edit: 2010 June 23, 13:05:02 by mildlydisguised » Logged
kazebird
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #1 on: 2010 June 23, 13:02:54 »
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I just had this too; about the fourth time since installing Ambitions (I haven't played a lot lately.)

It's quite hard to make machinima, when the game freezes every 10 minutes.
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mildlydisguised
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #2 on: 2010 June 23, 13:06:33 »
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And you have to close down and reload everytime, yes?

What specs are you running, Parrot?
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wizard_merlin
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #3 on: 2010 June 23, 13:11:35 »
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I get these from time to time, but not with the frequency you are reporting.  I am running an i7 965 CPU, that's a quad core at 3.2Ghz, 12 GB RAM, an Nvidia GTX295 (Dual Board) GPU, and a 1000 Watt power supply. and Windows 7 64-Bit.

I have yet to work out what is causing it, as everytime it appears to be triggered by something different.  Sometimes they occur once a week, maybe once a day for a couple of days then nothing for weeks, sometimes several times a day, then nothing for days or even weeks.

I run the FPS limiter to help with the GPU, so while overheating may be the problem, I don't suspect overheating due to the infrequent nature of the freeze, and the fact I can restart the game straight away and in many cases get several hours, even days without another freeze, without shutting down the system to cool it down, so if it was caused by overheating it should kick off again quickly, in my view.

If I remember, Pescado has indicated elsewhere that he doesn't see this issue, and it could be a memory thing.  Pescado keeps saying he loads and runs the game on a RAM disc, which makes me wonder if it may even be something with accessing the HDD.  The so-called green HDDs run even slower to consume less power, something like 5400rpm as opposed to the usual 7200rpm, so maybe the game while trying to access information at different times is unable to access it fast enough and throws a dummy spit causing everything else to lock up.  

I plan on upgrading my main HDD and my games HDD to the WD Velociraptor which spin at 10,000rpm, this update won't happen until after I get back from my holiday, so I won't be able to confirm whether the faster HDD makes a difference for a while.

I may be way off the mark with that theory, but it seems to be the only thing that fits, and also explains why Pescado doesn't see the freeze, and why some people seem to get them more than others.  Please, feel free to tell me I am way wrong and off the mark.  I am not a genius with all of this, so may well be wrong, just thought I would throw my theory out there for some consideration.
« Last Edit: 2010 June 23, 13:24:03 by wizard_merlin » Logged

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mildlydisguised
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #4 on: 2010 June 23, 13:52:30 »
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Perhaps my game is just going through a bad patch at the moment. It would be nice if I could go a couple of play sessions without the big freeze.

I am also able to restart straight away so perhaps I was a bit hasty on deciding that overheating is the problem. My pauses are likewise triggered by nothing in particular. I can play the game in exactly the same way a second time and not encounter the pause when it happened in the first game.

Memory seems like a more likely explanation from what you say. I will be interested to hear the results of your Velociraptor HD experiment. I'm pretty sure my HDDs are 7200rpm, but it was a couple of years since I put together my rig and my memory fails me.

I think your theory seems much more likely than mine, hopefully this thread can help get to the bottom of it, once and for all.
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The_Goddess
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #5 on: 2010 June 23, 15:25:12 »
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I have noticed the freezes last longer in the world I made than they do in Sunsetvalley and Twinbrook.  My husband gets them in all of the towns.  The only thing I can deduce from this is that computer specks play a large role in it.  I've never had to shut the computer down when it happens.  It always comes back after awhile.  Last night my husband had one that lasted 10 minutes.  Some of the things I do that seem to help are; clicking the pause, clicking page up or down, and zooming in or out.  They seem to help, but I can't be sure it is not just a coincidence that the game returns to normal after doing so.  My freezes don't last long enough or happen often enough to be a concern, but my husband was not pleased by his long pause.  It would be nice if we can find an answer to this and lay this issue to rest once and for all. 
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simbolic
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #6 on: 2010 June 23, 16:06:00 »
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I thought  I was alone on this issue. Mine occurs ramdom and rarely but it will sometimes freeze up for a minute or so. I've played around with screen resolutions and it seems to help having at lower levels.
 
Quote
Quote from: wizard_merlin on Today at 15:11:35

I plan on upgrading my main HDD and my games HDD to the WD Velociraptor which spin at 10,000rpm, this update won't happen until after I get back from my holiday, so I won't be able to confirm whether the faster HDD makes a difference for a while.

I get the feeling that that may be the issue.

Here is my window's "Experience" Index
 
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB 7.5
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series  7.3
Gaming graphics 2807 MB Total available graphics memory 7.3
Primary hard disk 497GB Free (587GB Total) 5.9 -Weakest link

Total amount of system memory 4.00 GB RAM
  System type 64-bit operating system-Windows 7 Pro
  Number of processor cores 4- i7 2.8GHZ

Display adapter type ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series
  Total available graphics memory 2807 MB
        Dedicated graphics memory 1024 MB
        Dedicated system memory 0 MB
        Shared system memory 1783 MB
  Display adapter driver version 8.723.0.0
  Primary monitor resolution 1680x1050
  DirectX version DirectX 10
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kazebird
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #7 on: 2010 June 23, 16:50:19 »
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And you have to close down and reload everytime, yes?

What specs are you running, Parrot?
I do in fact have to close down, and reload.

My specs aren't excellent, but they work fine... That is when the game doesn't freeze.

Windows XP sp2
2.16 GHz processor
Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB of RAM
ATI Radeon x1600
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Claeric
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #8 on: 2010 June 23, 16:51:04 »
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There are a few fixes for random freezes, be sure you've tried them all. There's no harm in trying.

One single piece of CC can be causing it (even if it is more prevalent in a certain neighborhood, keep in mind that the bad CC may be, too).

Then there's Fixall, which can fix some sim issues that could cause a pause.

And if that doesnt work, be sure you've tried Resetworld. One single busted sim can be causing it, which is another reason it would happen more in one world than another. This was a HUGE issue for me a while back, resetworld fixed whatever sim was having an issue and all temporary pauses stopped until the next time one screwed up.

Alternatively, you could use resetsim on every sim in town until it stops- I did this, as well, and found which sim was causing the problem. Then I reloaded, found them, and took note of what they were doing- they were trapped in a doorway, and any time they or another sim tried to path somewhere else/through that door, the game would freeze.

None of you have mentioned trying anything like this and seem to be thinking it's hardware, but there's a chance it's not, so be sure to try.
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The_Goddess
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #9 on: 2010 June 23, 16:58:49 »
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It couldn't hurt.  I'll try it at night so none of my Sims leave work early.



Edit:  It didn't help.  Fixall and Resetworld did not have any noticeable effect. 
« Last Edit: 2010 June 24, 03:20:27 by The_Goddess » Logged
mildlydisguised
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #10 on: 2010 June 23, 17:08:54 »
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I do wonder whether the neverending pauses and the shorter pauses are related though. The pauses I get, last forever. I have left the game on for up to 12 hours and it is still the same, and I've never had shorter pauses. I have tried pausing but nothing registers, also can't get the cheat box up so fixall and resetworld can't help either. Also, as I only run AM, and store crap, I don't think that mine can be related to bad CC.

Edited to add - I'm trying to free up a lot more space on my C drive to see if that makes a difference too.
« Last Edit: 2010 June 23, 17:19:33 by mildlydisguised » Logged
Claeric
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #11 on: 2010 June 23, 17:13:02 »
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If the trees/waves/plumbobs/etc are still moving, they're the same kind of pause. Clearly there's a difference since one is lasting forever, but both are caused by the game having some kind of loading/computing issue, which is why repeating animations from stagnant objects keep moving, but the sims and interface and world itself freeze. The game hasn't "frozen" so much as it's stuck trying to do something it can't figure out how to do.

Also, are any of you able to recreate it with one save? As in, if it happens at X time, and you reload, does it happen at X time again? That's another sign that it's a kind of loading issue, and would probably be fixed by resetworld.

OH, and I do mean to use the console command fixes BEFORE it happens, and to observe if it happens again- because, no, as you said, you can't open the cheat box during the freezes.
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tea_and_blues
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #12 on: 2010 June 23, 17:14:45 »
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In custom worlds pathing errors are possibly the most common cause. The tiniest things, if unspotted, can destroy a world's ability to function without pauses. Possible errors include:

- almost invisible dips in terrain. Most recently for me, a one-click ditch near the edge of a lot I didn't notice and that was surrounded by perfectly routable terrain anyway. In any game with decent pathing the Sims would just walk around it. But we know this isn't one of those games.
- the odd 'base is uneven' glitch that hits builders sometimes.
- routing paint overlapping or blocking any place sims might try to route to.

Needle in a haystack sort of stuff. But of course, it's hitting in non-custom worlds too. Don't rule out building errors as the cause though, more than likely EA's worlds have a few dodgy areas of their own.
« Last Edit: 2010 June 23, 17:25:02 by tea_and_blues » Logged

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mildlydisguised
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #13 on: 2010 June 23, 17:27:14 »
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As both myself and wizard pointed out earlier in the thread, we are unable to recreate the pause on a reload of the game. In fact I have deliberately played exactly the same way but no pause. Because it is impossible to recreate, the fixall and resetworld aren't really applicable. I tend to fixall every now and again during gameplay anyway but that doesn't seem to have much effect on the pauses.

Oh and I only play the EAxis hoods. I have been playing Twinbrook since the pauses increased in frequency, perhaps there are more pathing errors there than in Sunset or Riverview.
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tea_and_blues
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #14 on: 2010 June 23, 17:39:21 »
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As both myself and wizard pointed out earlier in the thread, we are unable to recreate the pause on a reload of the game.

Hmmm. This is definitely a signifier that it might be pathing as well. The pathing errors from my worlds that are easy to find are always the ones where Sims most often gather. There are always more obscure ones that only rarely trap Sims, and I imagine there are potentially ones altogether more obscure than the obscure ones I've picked up on and fixed personally. It can be as simple as a Sim approaching the trouble spot from a rare direction and getting stuck.

I guess my point is that most of the pathing errors in my custom worlds don't hit consistently, and don't hit on every play-through.
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #15 on: 2010 June 23, 17:52:34 »
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In that case, I will start a game in Sunset Valley, as that is more likely to have been tested more fully than Twinbrook. Unless anyone can suggest a custom world that has had extensive testing?
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #16 on: 2010 June 23, 18:00:17 »
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I've been getting the never-ending pause that requires an End Task exactly like you describe, but only on Saturday and Sunday (sim days) and at 1:59PM sim time.  I guess there is some event that occurs at 2PM that's causing it in my game.  It only happens with my simbot and is 100% predictable and reproducible.  It doesn't happen for other households.

Do you still get the same issue with other households as well?
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #17 on: 2010 June 23, 18:10:32 »
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I hadn't had this occur for quite a long time. The stability of my game improved immensely when I began using 3booter+FPSlimiter, but I wasn't sure that was the fix so I refrained from posting. I was still feeling pretty smug, though.

Of course Pride Goeth Before, so naturally I had to have one of these yesterday. I still have to say I rarely see this happen, and I play for pretty long sessions (6+ hours) with no incidents. I had noticed (back when this happened frequently for me) that one sound effect typically loops during the freeze. I can't count on a freeze or I'd do this myself, but have any of you that reliably have a freeze each session tried disabling sound and playing long enough that you should have gotten a freeze?

Other info, for the record: I only play in EA hoods. I've been playing in Twinbrook since getting Ambitions. I'm not certain, but I think it's only frozen on me during speed 3. I have 3GB of RAM (4GB installed but XP only sees 3) and the physical drive my pagefile is on has 108GB free. Since Pescado reminded me of the practice by mentioning it in another thread I've used a RAMdrive for my saves, but I don't run the whole game from RAMdrive. I can't say I've noticed a significant improvement in my save/load times since I began using the RAMdrive, so ymmv if you try it.
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #18 on: 2010 June 23, 18:11:06 »
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I can say with reasonable certainty that Twinbrook hasn't been tested thoroughly enough.

Unless it's the result of a mod I was using before I uninstalled Ambitions, all of the Twinbrook Sims begin the game with 'new friend' moodlets, which is a sign that the creators didn't have time to nuke the moodlets. It betrays how new all the characters are, and if they were doing a good job I'm sure they'd have removed them. That moodlet appears the moment you set up friendships (including in CAW), and is easily deleted using 'testingcheats'. On top of that, I would have expected the family trees to extend a little outside of households, which they don't. No ancestors at all, but lots of ancestoral Sims that are islands by themselves: Steward Curious, Lacey Darer, etc. Unless they did this deliberately, to make the world mysterious, but I'm reckoning it's more that it was a rush job and that was a convenient excuse. Edit: Pile on top of that the lack of grammar, sane syntax, and consequently grace in all the Sims' texts. There are lots of typos, and some of the sentences are just... ...wtf.

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Unless anyone can suggest a custom world that has had extensive testing?

Due to the sheer volume of players demanding worlds on the official forums, that's where the best tested worlds seem to come from. Nowhere else can creators rack up the necessary volume of testers, MTS's less accessible feedback forums ensure it. A player named ehaught-something-or-other has made an extensively tested (and somewhat nice) world called Fort Sim. It's not polished enough for my liking personally, but it probably runs well.
« Last Edit: 2010 June 23, 18:37:53 by tea_and_blues » Logged

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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #19 on: 2010 June 23, 21:09:17 »
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I've experienced this a few times running Twinbrook. The game renders the current scene ok including any looping animations so hasn't crashed, more likely it's stuck in an endless loop somewhere. If the pathing code/logic is the likely cause, is this not something that Pescado could look at fixing?
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #20 on: 2010 June 23, 21:56:57 »
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I've had this happen a couple of times, and it's usually a couple of hours into gameplay. The only thing the same in both situations was that I was doing a lot of actions quickly. X-ing out a queue, paging the house up and down, giving a command, changing speed all within 10 seconds. In my case, my computer probably couldn't handle all of that at once, so I usually pause now in order to give commands more slowly. I noticed that fixall and frequent saving seem to be helping me.

ETA: It just happened again, this time when 2 wants were fulfilled at the same time. I wasn't racing around clicking anything either. Again, it seems like my problem is memory processing or something nerdy I know nothing about.
« Last Edit: 2010 June 24, 01:19:30 by SJActress » Logged

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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #21 on: 2010 June 23, 22:06:04 »
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I had this issue prior to Ambitions in all saves (new and old) and all towns.  My game wasn't playable so I uninstalled.  After re-installing everything was running fine.  

My theory was the game wasn't able to handle 3x/4x speeds.  I thought this was the problem because my freezes would happen when I would change from 3x to 1x or pause.  Also, the official patches speak of improving game stability at high speeds.  When I play I switch between speeds a lot, so I figured that was the problem.  When I forced myself to play a 1x, using 2x rarely, there were no pauses.

I was also never able to replicate the pauses by loading a previous save.

However, as I said, after re-installing everything was running fine.

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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #22 on: 2010 June 24, 02:21:56 »
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I've experienced this a few times running Twinbrook. The game renders the current scene ok including any looping animations so hasn't crashed, more likely it's stuck in an endless loop somewhere. If the pathing code/logic is the likely cause, is this not something that Pescado could look at fixing?

Pescado probably could fix it, if he could see it.  The problem is the freezes we are talking about are not predictable and cannot be recreated, and Pescado doesn't get them in his game.  Sending him a save doesn't work, because it doesn't freeze when you restart.  All of this makes it impossible for Pescado to even try to fix, or properly identify the problem.  He needs to be able to reliably reproduce the freeze to track the cause.
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #23 on: 2010 June 24, 02:41:38 »
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Those of you on 64 bit systems could try the CFF explorer trick, to tell the exe to allow over 2GB of ram usage (Supposedly it's unecessary, but ticking the box still does something or other, I don't know the specifics of it. Just that it lets the game access more memory if it can't for whatever reason.)

Like before, it's always worth at least trying. CFF explorer fixed a few peoples memory issues with the base game.
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Re: The Neverending Pause
« Reply #24 on: 2010 June 24, 03:41:14 »
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(Supposedly it's unecessary, but ticking the box still does something or other, I don't know the specifics of it. Just that it lets the game access more memory if it can't for whatever reason.)

YUP, doing something you don't exactly know what it does sounds like an excellent idea. Because you try to give information - success rate on those tries is irrelevant.
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