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No warning. I am playing the game and suddenly it disappears instantly and I'm back on my desktop. No traces, as if I never opened the game. Very frustrating to lose work.

Any ideas on what's going on here?
I have the exact same problem,

I tried different compatibility operating systems,
Tried admin priv
Tried setting it to just use one core
Tried on another Pc

Tried uninstall and reinstall, Tried different settings inside the game etc.

The one core part could be it but i don't think i did it correctly,
Simcity 4 needs to run in one core as well so if some one could let me know what to type in the properties of the shortcut I'll be thankful.
I might have fixed the problem (no crashes since). Right click on the application and click the compatibility tab. Under settings, uncheck reduced color mode (mine was checked before). So far its working out for me. That's the only thing I did (not running compatibility mode or 1 core, just how it came).
I assume you are using windows 8 or 10?

I personally went into compatibility and changed "settings for all users" and un-ticked "disable desktop composition"
And so far I'm able to play but I'm not holding my hopes up too soon because the crash is so random.

Btw I'm using windows 7 Pro.
My other pc i tested it on was using windows 7 HP.
Post edited September 15, 2016 by MagicRobertson
Just crashed on me, Looks like I'm the only one with the problem.
I am running Windows 10 Pro. I don't see this "disable desktop composition". I feel like Windows 10 has less issues than 7 with the "Aero" theme (graphics for windows), since they removed the transparent bar on top. Maybe try switching to an older windows theme.

Game still running fine for me. No crashes since.
Post edited September 16, 2016 by quicktiger
I just started having this problem after installing a new anti-virus program. Was finally after 20 crashes able to find out what was going on. When the game loads the initial video (not the menu after) tap the Windows button on your keyboard and immediately go down to the task bar. The anti-virus program came up with an alert saying the following:

"sc3U.exe is attempting to access PALBASIC.BMP . Do you want to allow it to access this file?"

I resolved this by checking the check box next to "Remember my choice" then clicking "Allow" in the popup alert.

This may be different for other anti-virus programs but this is what solved it after all the other fixes mentioned failed.
I think unfortunately this is normal for the game, seems like it has a memory leak which eventually exhausts the 32 bit address space. This kept happening to me with the original CD release back in the day, on several computers on different versions of Windows, then with the original CD running in Wine on Linux, and also with the GOG release.

On an old Katmai P3 (533MHz), the effect was rather dramatic as back then we hadn't got gigabytes of RAM. When this crash happened, the system would be about frozen for a couple of minutes busy rattling the hard-drive as it recuperated from having more than 2 gigabytes RAM already allocated (and swapped) when finally there was no more.

Save the city often. Wish there was an autosave feature at least.