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Hello friends,

So I recently attempted to give Arcanum another giving up on it many, many years ago and letting it float around in video game purgatory. I installed the game, the latest unoffical patch (UAP091225), and the Arcanum high-resolution patch (1.1), cranked the game up to a beautiful 1920x1080, and created a wonderful little gun-toting bandit. I sit through the entire zeppelin intro cinematic to soak up the immersion, talk to Virgil at the crash site... and then all hell breaks loose.

Basically, within 60 - 120 seconds of playing the game, my entire system locks up, and the screen is covered in these strange... blotchy... graphical artifacts. Here are some pictures I've uploaded so you can see what I'm talking about:

http://imgur.com/svz1T
http://imgur.com/Nb8LW

Note that I had to take these pictures the old fashioned way with a physical camera because my ENTIRE SYSTEM LOCKED UP. I can still hear the music playing, but no amount of alt-tabbing, ctrl-alt-deleting, or what have you can unfreeze my PC.
(PS: The game is not running at 1920x1080 in the pictures above because I tried uninstalling the high-res patch to see if it would help fix the problem... it didn't)

My system specs are:
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
- Intel Core i5-2500
- 8 Gigs of ram
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 (running on 296.10 drivers)

I'm at a loss here... if anyone has any ideas or suggestions I would be very grateful, I'd really love to finish this story.
No posts in this topic were marked as the solution yet. If you can help, add your reply
Try suggestions from these threads:
One
Two
Three
Four
Five

Install the game as administrator to a non-system drive (or at least somewhere other than program files if you only have one drive).
Install the patches as administrator.
Run the game as administrator trying a combination of setting as described in the threads.
Finally, check that your card isn't dying/overheating. I had something very similar with a card where the fan got stuck and slightly melted so that it wouldn't spin. There were very similar graphic glitches and the lockup, only I had a horrible screeching noise instead of music once it happened.
Post edited April 16, 2012 by Starmaker
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Starmaker: Try suggestions from these threads:
One
Two
Three
Four
Five

Install the game as administrator to a non-system drive (or at least somewhere other than program files if you only have one drive).
Install the patches as administrator.
Run the game as administrator trying a combination of setting as described in the threads.
Finally, check that your card isn't dying/overheating. I had something very similar with a card where the fan got stuck and slightly melted so that it wouldn't spin. There were very similar graphic glitches and the lockup, only I had a horrible screeching noise instead of music once it happened.
Ah yes, the overheating banshee scream of death. My last graphic card died on me not 6 months ago so I replaced it with this fancy GTX560 so I highly doubt its that. I'll try some of the suggestions you posted out and report back.
Alright guys. I've been busy with finals so haven't had a chance to try some of these fixes until now. The game has been running thus far for a record-breaking 15 minutes without locking down my system. Here's what I changed this time around:

1) Reinstalled Arcanum into C:\Games\Gog.com\Arcanum instead of Program Files
2) added -doublebuffer to the shortcut run-time thingamajig
3) Under shortcut properties I set it to run in compatibility mode for Windows XP (S.P. 3) AND to run as administrator
4) I installed an old October 2005 runtime of DirectX 9.0c
5) Finally, I disabled dynamic shadows in the Arcanum options menu
(NOTE: I was going to delete/rename ddraw.dll in the Arcanum folder but it was nowhere to be found... I'm assuming one of the mods I installed automatically deletes it)

So there you have it. The game has been running smoothly thus far and I'm having a grand time with my gun-slinging bandit. I don't know which one of these changes fixed my problem specifically, as finding that out would require putting my system through another hard reboot which I don't want to do.

Also, thank you Starmaker for the helpful links.
*sigh*... alright so I'm back. The changes definitely helped allow me to play for longer periods of times, but I'm still getting the system freeze. My theory is that something about Arcanum is just not sitting well with my graphics card, and causing it to completely spaz out, which is odd since I've been playing games like The Witcher 2 maxed out with barely a hiccup.

So it seems like I'm back to square one :(
I'm going to do a little more fiddling but I'm worried that I've been putting my poor computer through too many hard reboots trying to get this game to run.
Have you tried running it without the hi-res mod, or with the resolution set to original default? Might let you know if your computer is having issue with the game itself, or the mod.
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Zraven7: Have you tried running it without the hi-res mod, or with the resolution set to original default? Might let you know if your computer is having issue with the game itself, or the mod.
Yes and yes, and to no avail :(
I'm having the same problem on a GTX 560ti. Is there some sort of emulator to make the game believe it's running on older graphics software? I remember having similar issues with Planescape.

Edit: Possibly a DirectDraw emulator?
Post edited July 05, 2012 by Laythe
Resurrecting an old topic since I still haven't been able to solve this issue. I just kind of abandoned the game after my tech difficulties continued. Now that it's winter break, and it's dangerous and cold outside, thus giving me a solid few weeks to play some games I was hoping to solve this problem once and for all and finally finish Arcanum.
You mentioned you tried an old October 2005 runtime of DirectX 9.0c. Were you running the June 2010 version before that? Because the June 2010 is the "final" release of DirectX 9.0c and the one I recommend to everyone who's trying to run older games. If you haven't tried using that one, you should. You can get it here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8109

Otherwise, I worry that you might have a hardware problem, not a software problem. A complete system lockup is pretty serious. Do you have any issues with any other games? How new is all your hardware? Also make sure your system has enough power. You said you replaced your graphics card with a GTX560 recently; what card did you have before? Newer cards can often require a lot more power, so you might consider upgrading your PSU. How many Watts is your current PSU? There's a handy wattage calculator that will tell you how much you should have over at Newegg:

http://images10.newegg.com/BizIntell/tool/psucalc/index.html

Of course, power problems would likely affect every game you play, not just Arcanum.
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Waltorious: You mentioned you tried an old October 2005 runtime of DirectX 9.0c. Were you running the June 2010 version before that? Because the June 2010 is the "final" release of DirectX 9.0c and the one I recommend to everyone who's trying to run older games. If you haven't tried using that one, you should. You can get it here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8109

Otherwise, I worry that you might have a hardware problem, not a software problem. A complete system lockup is pretty serious. Do you have any issues with any other games? How new is all your hardware? Also make sure your system has enough power. You said you replaced your graphics card with a GTX560 recently; what card did you have before? Newer cards can often require a lot more power, so you might consider upgrading your PSU. How many Watts is your current PSU? There's a handy wattage calculator that will tell you how much you should have over at Newegg:

http://images10.newegg.com/BizIntell/tool/psucalc/index.html

Of course, power problems would likely affect every game you play, not just Arcanum.
Regarding Direct X: I'm fairly certain I was running on the latest DirectX 9.0c runtime the first time around since it's constantly getting updated by a number of games I've installed on Steam.

As for whether it might be a hardware problem, it's possible, but I have experienced absolutely 0 problems with any other game on my system, including other oldies likes Baldurs Gate, Fallout, etc. Arcanum is literally the only game I have been unable to play on my PC. Damn you Arcanum!!!
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UnicornOnTheCob: Regarding Direct X: I'm fairly certain I was running on the latest DirectX 9.0c runtime the first time around since it's constantly getting updated by a number of games I've installed on Steam.

As for whether it might be a hardware problem, it's possible, but I have experienced absolutely 0 problems with any other game on my system, including other oldies likes Baldurs Gate, Fallout, etc. Arcanum is literally the only game I have been unable to play on my PC. Damn you Arcanum!!!
OK, good to know that it's just Arcanum. And if you're running other older games like Fallout and Baldur's Gate then you're probably OK with DirectX. Unfortunately, that means I'm stumped. Anyone else know what might be happening?
Some ideas:

1. You said ddraw isn't in the folder. It should be. You can always do a clean install to a separate folder and just take the ddraw from that fresh install and put it into your main Arcanum folder.

2. After running arcanum and getting to the menu, ctrl+alt+del go to task manager and find arcanum.exe under the processes tab. Right click on it and do Set Affinity. Uncheck all the cpu cores except cpu 0.

3. Never hurts to try a fresh install.