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Simcity 4 minimize issue

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So over the past two weeks or so, i've noticed a problem with my game. Before this issue, I used to be able to minimize in and out of the game freely without problems. Now, when I minimize and try to go back into the game, it flickers and freezes. It even screws up my Chrome browser in the background. I did ONCE get an error message relating to my nvidia and something about kernel; I couldn't quite see the error properly. I have updated my graphics driver and I run a Windows 7 64-bit machine. I haven't had any problems with running SC4 on Seven previously until these past two weeks.

I haven't installed any huge mods or plugins to cause this in that time period.

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So over the past two weeks or so, i've noticed a problem with my game. Before this issue, I used to be able to minimize in and out of the game freely without problems. Now, when I minimize and try to go back into the game, it flickers and freezes. It even screws up my Chrome browser in the background. I did ONCE get an error message relating to my nvidia and something about kernel; I couldn't quite see the error properly. I have updated my graphics driver and I run a Windows 7 64-bit machine. I haven't had any problems with running SC4 on Seven previously until these past two weeks.

I haven't installed any huge mods or plugins to cause this in that time period.

Not enough information. To get a handle on this properly we need to know a little more about your box of tricks. Is it a desktop or a laptop? What processor(s) do you have, how much RAM, what size is your swap file?

From the original post I gather you are running in windowed mode. If you take focus away from the game during a save process you have every good chance of corrupting your file, so you should avoid switching away when a save is in progress.

In your nvidia card's control panel make sure all 3D features of the card are set to "program selected" or equivalent wording. SC4 cannot handle features that came out since it was written. Remember that this is a legacy game that hasn't been touched in over 10 years. It requires TLC.

Because I run Linux, I have the luxury of switching out of the game to a new desktop at pretty much any time, but I have found that sometimes the game will hang when I return. Switching desktops is not the same as minimizing, and the game does not lose focus.

I suggest that you might also tell us what parameters you have on your command line (Shortcut target line). We may be able to help tune your game.

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  • Original Poster
  • So over the past two weeks or so, i've noticed a problem with my game. Before this issue, I used to be able to minimize in and out of the game freely without problems. Now, when I minimize and try to go back into the game, it flickers and freezes. It even screws up my Chrome browser in the background. I did ONCE get an error message relating to my nvidia and something about kernel; I couldn't quite see the error properly. I have updated my graphics driver and I run a Windows 7 64-bit machine. I haven't had any problems with running SC4 on Seven previously until these past two weeks.

    I haven't installed any huge mods or plugins to cause this in that time period.

    Not enough information. To get a handle on this properly we need to know a little more about your box of tricks. Is it a desktop or a laptop? What processor(s) do you have, how much RAM, what size is your swap file?

    From the original post I gather you are running in windowed mode. If you take focus away from the game during a save process you have every good chance of corrupting your file, so you should avoid switching away when a save is in progress.

    In your nvidia card's control panel make sure all 3D features of the card are set to "program selected" or equivalent wording. SC4 cannot handle features that came out since it was written. Remember that this is a legacy game that hasn't been touched in over 10 years. It requires TLC.

    Because I run Linux, I have the luxury of switching out of the game to a new desktop at pretty much any time, but I have found that sometimes the game will hang when I return. Switching desktops is not the same as minimizing, and the game does not lose focus.

    I suggest that you might also tell us what parameters you have on your command line (Shortcut target line). We may be able to help tune your game.

    Here is my DX Diag information:

    Time of this report: 11/13/2012, 23:42:52

    Machine name: BPNN

    Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.120830-0333)

    Language: English (Regional Setting: English)

    System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.

    System Model: Z68XP-UD3

    BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG

    Processor: Intel® Core i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.6GHz

    Memory: 16384MB RAM

    Available OS Memory: 16302MB RAM

    Page File: 4240MB used, 28360MB available

    Windows Dir: C:\Windows

    DirectX Version: DirectX 11

    DX Setup Parameters: Not found

    User DPI Setting: Using System DPI

    System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)

    DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled

    DxDiag Version: 6.01.7601.17514 32bit Unicode

    This is my shortcut target line: "D:\Program Files (x86)\Origin\SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -CustomResolution:enabled -r1440x900x32

    Compatibility mode: Windows XP (Service Pack 2)

    Running in Administrator mode

    Shortcut Run: Normal window.

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    Thanks, that helps a lot. SC4 runs best with DirectX 9.0c. You can add this to your system and it will run in parallel with 11, no sweat. The graphics programs will sort things out when they start.

    I'd like to suggest you quit browsing the Internet in parallel to running the game. Both of them are memory hogs and if there is any kind of memory leak you could get strange things happening including a BSOD. I am of the opinion that SC4 is full of memory associated problems that mostly lead to CTDs.

    I run run in full screen mode, and I suggest you might want to give it a try. You can still switch away with ALT+TAB. You should probably only run this game when you have the time to give it your full attention. To get it to run on a modern machine is a matter of tender loving care in most cases.

    For your information, here is my operating script that shows the options I use to run this program. The syntax is different from windows a little.

    #!/bin/bash

    date

    env WINEPREFIX="/home/john/.wine" \

    wine "C:/Program Files/Maxis/SimCity 4 Deluxe/Apps/SimCity 4.exe" \

    -intro:off -CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1080x32 -d:software\

    -f -CPUcount:1 -audio:off &>~/SC4.log

    date

    The real difference is the use of the solidus (/) as the file system level separator. The reverse solidus (\) is simply a signal that the newline character is to be ignored, so the lines are joined as one line. More manageable in a script environment. Certain deficiencies in the wine (Windows Interface Executive) mean that I must run in software rendering and with the audio blocked.

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