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michaeldcannaday

Saving my cities issue

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It seems like here lately whenever I'm playing my city, and I want to save it (without exiting the game or city to view the region), my computer freezes up on that one screen.  Is that a game issue or anything that I can do to solve it?

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Had similar problem on fully developed large tiles, but forgot what was cause, anyway HDD defragmentation and clean plugin folder(clean = no .txt, .jpg files or similar non-SC4 files, no double files or plugins thta aren't compatible with each other, datpacking optional) should do the trick.

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Files you will find that are unnecessary and can cause a slight slowdown in loading times are :  .sav, .html, thumbs, .jpeg, .png and .text.  Search for all of those once you are in your plugins folder proper using the search box in the upper right hand corner of your "computer" window.  Do that one extension at a time and delete them, doing the search will find every single one fo them and list them at the top and make it easy to eradicate them.

 

Other search terms you might try are "readme" "documents" "chrome"  This will pick up any other stragglers left behind.

 

Also when you go to delete the thumbs you will get a warning "this is a system file are you sure you wish to delete these?" or something to that effect, do not worry it is no big deal, just delete them.

 

Thumbs and .sav are files left behind carelessly by custom content creators(no offense intended, just the reality).

 

Also, In your travels you may have changed your settings either in your "properties window" or in your launcher to use hardware mode or set your CPU count to something other than 1.  I strongly suggest you double check these parameters and make sure you are rendering in software mode and that your CPU count is being set to 1.  I did this once leading to about a month of crashes and hangs, befoe I realized what I had done and corrected it, that one month of crashing was infuriating.

 

One more thing you can try to reduce some effects that can be caused by extraordinary loading and saving times is you can get the datpacker.  This thing reduces the amount of files your PC will have to load by creating a .dat file for each file folder in your plugins folder, basically, instead of having file folders with tons of files in them you have just single .dat files.  If you choose to do this make sure you exclude any z__ folders or any raw files you have in the plugins folder, such as the "essentials" or anything not contained in a folder.  If a files in not contained within a folder within your plugins folder the datpacker will throw away and disregard whatever it is.  Also exclude things you might want to change, like terrain controllers, airport and seaport controllers, tree controllers and anything you might add to in the near future, like perhaps the Paeng folder, he is still making new content, so if you wish to add anything to your plugins folder by him you will have to repack your plugins folder everytime he makes something new.

 

For .dat packing purposes I have created 4 new backup plugins folders in my custom content archive.  "Plugins Hold for Update"  This file folder contains my plugins folder pre-packing with an additional folder inside of it titled "Update Folder"  This folder is where all my newly downloaded and installed plugins are kept.  I keep them there until the end of the month when I spend about 2 hours updating my game.  I like to think of it as regular maintenance as if I was a game developer and I was updating my game for better use by the public.(sounds like work right?)

 

The second folder I have created is called "Plugins Raw" This folder is purely a backup and nothing else, this is my plugins folder with no update folder or anything.  This is my plugins folder after it has been updated and is tested and proven to work.  Should I make a mistake somewhere, this folder will save my plugins.

 

The third folder is "Plugins ready for packing"  This folder contains a new folder called "z_files-DO NOT PACK"  anything I do not want to datpack is removed from the plugins folder proper and moved into this folder, when I activate the datpacker this folder is absent from my plugins folder.  After I have datpacked my plugins folder with my updates installed in their proper places I will then put the contents but not the folder itself  of  "z_files- DO NOT PACK" into the plugins folder that now only contains "plugins compressed"  So now I have like 10 file folders and about 10 rw files in my plugins folder.

 

The last backup folder is the plugins folder packed and ready to play.

 

After all that, I delete any old folders and replace them with the new ones, I recreate inside my "plugins hold for update" folder a new "update folder" and create a new folder of the same name in my normal plugins folder, this where I will put my new plugins until I update the game as I want to play with them but they are not really part of the family yet, think of it as a testing phase if you will.

 

It is complicated it is work, but it is also proper and ensures that my plugins folder runs like a well oiled machine.

 

I see a lot of people talking about crashes, I even watch haljackey's videos, my game does not crash like that.  The ONLY crashes I get are from passing over transit enabled lots with transit puzzle pieces.  I run a 4 gigabyte plugins folder too, jam packed with goodies.  Sometimes I just wish I could give my plugins folder to people because I do remember the day when I had a ton of trouble with crashes and I do truly sympathize.  I cannot do that though, something about rules or whatever, I just couldn't do that, I have too much respect for the good custom content creators out there to be acting like that..

 

Datpacking saved my plugins folder and coincidentally my game.  As a result of datpacking I was able to implement a new clean way of installing plugins, if a plugin has an installer I use it and use it's default destinations.  The only exception to this rule are the tree controllers, beach controllers, terrain controllers, and rock controllers.  I put all these files inside of a special folder called "z___terrain mods" I still have not come to an equilibrium where my terrain is concerned so I make it so that I can swap thing sin and out as easily as possible.  Other than that, any plugins that needs to be installed manually gets placed into a folder named directly after the name of the content creator.  I have over 109 different people's contents installed in my game.  I also copied and pasted their names directly from the sites I downloaded their content from, this way I can just copy and past them into search boxes as some times the underscores or other characters can be lost, so if I need to find something I know exactly what to do and where to go.

 

My archive folder is the exact same way, except instead of installed plugins they are all the zip files, I have an archive over 13 gig big(210 creators to be exact).  I find that if you(I) are to be able to maintain control over this many plugins using the names of the creators is the end all to be all of organization.

 

When re-creating my plugins folder(I had to do this recently actually, a month or so ago, due to nobody's fault but my own), I install the files by creator name one creator at a time and test the game after each creator is installed.

 

So in the end I have zero crashes, zero boxes, zero missing textures and I can add and delete from my plugins folder at will with no fear.

 

I apologize for the extremely long response here.  As I stated earlier I am very sympathetic and I put as much detail in as is possible, for you.

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You should never run in Cheetah speed except for a quick push for specific development.  With a modern processor this will hit all the bugs in the program very quickly and probably cause a CTD.  CTDs while saving are often caused by taking focus away from the game during the save.  Play in full screen, and stop trying to do something else while the game is running.  You'll have fewer problems.

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Nonny,

 

I think it's time to have this discussion. See, when a boy and a girl... <_<

 

<Cough>

 

I run the game almost universally in Cheetah speed and I simply do not experience crashes. I have not experienced crashes in years, on multiple pieces of hardware with varying operating systems. The issue is with Linux (Very unlikely), drivers (More likely due to imperfections in WINE), or "dirty" plugins (Unlikely due to how small your plugins suite is). With compatibility tweaks and a "clean" plugins suite, the game is extremely unlikely to crash. I have done everything possible to invoke a zoom or Cheetah speed crash, and after 10 minutes of zooming, randomly clicking, and forcing the game to deal with hundreds/thousands of actions, the most I managed was a short freeze as the game caught up.

 

"Dirty" plugins are those that have useless files in them that the game simply doesn't use, and thus are just another thing clogging up whatever file structure it creates at start up (LD files, for instance). They could also have replicated exemplars, adding yet more cruft, or worse, confusing the game (Prop pox comes to mind). They could also be malformed or have buildings which are statistically imbalanced/broken.

 

You could also create a dirty plugins suite by having many files that replicate data. Even worse, you could cause significant problems by having different versions of the same thing spread across multiple plugins. The BSC essentials file is victim to this often due to how many different essentials packs eventually merged with it...and the fact the original essential files are still available in many cases.

 

Unfortunately, if you want a rock solid, stable SC4 experience, you'll have to spend a long time figuring out what's overriding what and what's useless/malformed in your plugins suite. Datanode is the most important tool for the task since its explicitly points out overrides and malformed files.

 

In summary: The current state of SC4 stability is not due to flaws in the game, most of the time, but many, many dirty plugins that have been developed over the last decade. Realistically, there's nothing to be done about it unless people are willing, and able to, modify what's been uploaded to fix problems.

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I agree that most crashes are caused by "dirty" plugins suites, but there are still a few in the game.  Everyone runs at their own pace and if you get away with running on cheetah mode, more power to you.

 

My plugin suite is pretty skinny compared to some, and I have pruned out all the garbage.  If I could get datanode to run, I would most certainly use it, but there is some problem between it and Linux/wine at the moment, and since I am not having any trouble, I am not trying to find out what.  I am probably missing a library items or two it needs.

 

I, personally, don't find any point in cheetah mode.  I am building refined rural layouts with multiple towns per tile, and I am not in a rush.  I only beat my CPU to death when needed which isn't often.

 

The O/S you are running is only important if you think you have a problem with it.  IMHO all Windows users who are not computer people probably have unseen problems that they have no idea how to bypass or fix.  I am currently running Ubuntu 13.04 (GNU/Linux 3.8.0-25-generic x86_64) with the windows executive (wine) version wine-1.6.

 

When picking up plugins, I am pretty conservative and stick to my list of favourite authors, more or less.  I also test each add as carefully as I can (which believe me is pretty careful).  I've done a lot of computer program quality assurance in my time, and I don't much care for custom content that isn't very well tested by the author.

 

BTW, I played for over five hours the other day with no hiccups.  Just a few quick saves here and there.  Built a rather nice tile.  Played for around an hour today (it is very hot here), and built a new tile's CDK3 Port with supporting structures and some Sims then quit because it was too hot.  The population in this one currently needs to double to support all the commerce and industrial jobs.
 

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  • Original Poster
  • thanks so much guys!  You know you gave me alot of advice. I did delete just a few moments ago a ton of 'readme' files that I didn't need and also pic files that aren't needed... I also updated the core to -CPUcount:1, which I used to have it that way a while back until I had to recently reinstall windows on my pc so that most likely took that core off. Let's see how my game runs now! :)    Thanks so much !!!!

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    What OS are you running? Also does the game result in corrupted files after it freezes?

     

    After the game crashes it creates two(it might be one but for some reason two is strong in my mind) files for each crash inside the documents>simcity 4>exception reports  folder.  These can be deleted.  Some suggest that it is good to keep this folder clean, I do not know if it really has any impact.  Essentially though, it is just a temp type of folder so anything that gets saved there is just junk or clutter.  It might be useful if EA still supported this game as they would likely request these files upon you reporting an error.

     

    As for corruption... I couldn't say, my guess is no, I only say that because I have in the past had tons of crashes and none of them ever resulted in a corrupt file anywhere(not to my knowledge anyway).  Once upon a time I had an issue with my plugins folder and did a complete reinstall of the whole game, later to figure out on my own that there is actually never any reason to install your game completely, if ever you have any troubles with your game just remove your plugins folder and viola, you have a vanilla copy again. There is an exception to that however, that is if you install something into your core install of the game, which I strongly suggest against unless it is for background pictures, the iLive's reader or altering the original simcity dat files to include the IH-T fix and/or the CAM, but in those instances all tutorials on the matters and readmes specifically tell you to make backups of the originals which again would keep you from doing a complete re-install. To further that, I really don't see how a crash can cause corruption.  Think of your RAM like a brief case, you load all the documents you take home into your brief case to take them to work, this makes it so that you do not have to go home for every piece of paper you find you need throughout the day at the office, now it would be extremely inefficient to leave work to go home to get your papers every time you needed them.  In the case of  PC, your RAM is your brief case.

     

    There is a special note here however, through my travels on the many SimCity 4 fansites I have found a problem that plagues a few players, but it is inconsistent at best, only a handful of people have actually encountered it, and that is the Prop Pox.  This problem, from what I have been able to glean from the many posts I read, stems from having duplicate and/or altered prop IDs of Maxis props(the altered Maxis props share the same IDs as the originals and conflict with each other), for some reason this causes a major issue with your save game files, from what I understand once this occurs it is irreversible.  For more information on this You can Google "Prop Pox", it is hard for me to explain as I have not experienced it.  To combat it, I just keep the most organized and clean plugins folder possible.  I have yet to have any issues with it.  I believe I even have the items that are suspected to cause prop pox installed in my plugins folder too.  I can testify that I have only one set of duplicates in my plugins folder and that is the North Country Dude's Railyard and spurs mega packs.  I have all three of them installed, at least one of them is out of date and is supposed to be included in one of the more recent ones however something is missing from the updated versions making it so that you have to have even the old original one installed even though it is stated you should not.  But this is never mentioned as the cause to prop pox, nor am I saying it is, what I am trying to say here is that it is good to know your plugins folder in and out(the previous was just an example of knowing your plugins folder) just in case something happens like this.

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    What OS are you running? Also does the game result in corrupted files after it freezes?

     

    After the game crashes it creates two(it might be one but for some reason two is strong in my mind) files for each crash inside the documents>simcity 4>exception reports  folder.  These can be deleted.  Some suggest that it is good to keep this folder clean, I do not know if it really has any impact.  Essentially though, it is just a temp type of folder so anything that gets saved there is just junk or clutter.  It might be useful if EA still supported this game as they would likely request these files upon you reporting an error.

     

    As for corruption... I couldn't say, my guess is no, I only say that because I have in the past had tons of crashes and none of them ever resulted in a corrupt file anywhere(not to my knowledge anyway).  Once upon a time I had an issue with my plugins folder and did a complete reinstall of the whole game, later to figure out on my own that there is actually never any reason to install your game completely, if ever you have any troubles with your game just remove your plugins folder and viola, you have a vanilla copy again. There is an exception to that however, that is if you install something into your core install of the game, which I strongly suggest against unless it is for background pictures, the iLive's reader or altering the original simcity dat files to include the IH-T fix and/or the CAM, but in those instances all tutorials on the matters and readmes specifically tell you to make backups of the originals which again would keep you from doing a complete re-install. To further that, I really don't see how a crash can cause corruption.  Think of your RAM like a brief case, you load all the documents you take home into your brief case to take them to work, this makes it so that you do not have to go home for every piece of paper you find you need throughout the day at the office, now it would be extremely inefficient to leave work to go home to get your papers every time you needed them.  In the case of  PC, your RAM is your brief case.

     

    There is a special note here however, through my travels on the many SimCity 4 fansites I have found a problem that plagues a few players, but it is inconsistent at best, only a handful of people have actually encountered it, and that is the Prop Pox.  This problem, from what I have been able to glean from the many posts I read, stems from having duplicate and/or altered prop IDs of Maxis props(the altered Maxis props share the same IDs as the originals and conflict with each other), for some reason this causes a major issue with your save game files, from what I understand once this occurs it is irreversible.  For more information on this You can Google "Prop Pox", it is hard for me to explain as I have not experienced it.  To combat it, I just keep the most organized and clean plugins folder possible.  I have yet to have any issues with it.  I believe I even have the items that are suspected to cause prop pox installed in my plugins folder too.  I can testify that I have only one set of duplicates in my plugins folder and that is the North Country Dude's Railyard and spurs mega packs.  I have all three of them installed, at least one of them is out of date and is supposed to be included in one of the more recent ones however something is missing from the updated versions making it so that you have to have even the old original one installed even though it is stated you should not.  But this is never mentioned as the cause to prop pox, nor am I saying it is, what I am trying to say here is that it is good to know your plugins folder in and out(the previous was just an example of knowing your plugins folder) just in case something happens like this.

     

     

    The reason I asked is I was having an issue with crashing when exiting or saving on Windows 8 and I would assume this applies to Windows 7 as well.  The windows indexer service or Windows Search was indexing my SC4 Regions folder where games are saved and the temp directory where Simcity 4 was writing to while saving.  This was extremely unstable and took a long time to figure out what was the cause.  The solution was to go into the index options in Windows and make sure there are exceptions for your Simcity 4 Regions folder and your system temp folder, usually C:\TEMP.  Good luck

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    You are the second person that has mentioned CTD problems caused by the Windows Indexer.  It is a useless piece of garbage, so turn it off in the Admin console.

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    You are the second person that has mentioned CTD problems caused by the Windows Indexer.  It is a useless piece of garbage, so turn it off in the Admin console.

     

    Actually I am the same person ;)  I for one love the indexer service... i could not live without it but to each their own.  I do alot of development and IT work on my home PC and not having to wait for more then 1-2 seconds for a search to be completed is important. 

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    Actually I am the same person ;)  I for one love the indexer service... i could not live without it but to each their own.  I do alot of development and IT work on my home PC and not having to wait for more then 1-2 seconds for a search to be completed is important.

     

    FYI: An excellent alternative to the Windows search is Everything. It's a free app which runs as a background service (minimal resource usage) and indexes all your local files in real time. I personally use it, and would highly recommend it as a time-saver. When you type a search, the results are listed instantly in the window. It also supports wildcards and other commands (e.g. *.txt for text files), which can locate files of a specific type.

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    Actually I am the same person ;)  I for one love the indexer service... i could not live without it but to each their own.  I do alot of development and IT work on my home PC and not having to wait for more then 1-2 seconds for a search to be completed is important.

     

    FYI: An excellent alternative to the Windows search is Everything. It's a free app which runs as a background service (minimal resource usage) and indexes all your local files in real time. I personally use it, and would highly recommend it as a time-saver. When you type a search, the results are listed instantly in the window. It also supports wildcards and other commands (e.g. *.txt for text files), which can locate files of a specific type.

     

     

    Cool thanks for the tip!  BTW the windows search will also filter by wildcards just fine.

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