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Game crashes to desktop at times

Started by DanJaaL44, January 26, 2023, 12:03:47 PM

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Hi everybody. Reaching out for council once more after previously being confused with the latest NAM.

I recently got back into Simcity 4 (greatest city builder ever) and I downloaded the mods listed in the commentary on this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8vNoU21HeE

The settings are set to the "hard" rendering yet it has happened on a few occasions now that the game crashes to desktop - the pattern I notice is that it happens when I have zoomed out to a greater view of the city while constructing.

Anybody aware of what my issue might be?

processor : AMD Ryzen 5 3550H with Radeon Vega Mobile Gfx     2.10 GHz

installed ram : 8.00 GB (5.88 GB usable)  -- I wish to upgrade my ram of course to at least 16. It is a basic HP pavilion gaming laptop purchased roughly 3 years ago. 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor.

May it be my settings or my hardware that are faulty or is it the game itself that just tends to crash?

Appreciative of any response.

Thank you in advance.


SC4's attempt at multi-threading was never fully debugged, so you need to launch with CPUcount:1
Modding PC games since 1993 (back when we needed hex-editors)


I downloaded his modpack to check if I could see anything wrong at first glance... But yeah this is a big unorganized mess....
I'm not a super talented modder so I can't tell if there are conflicts or corrupt files in there but considering it's a big mess of dat packed files, I wouldn't be surprised if there was. I'll leave the examining to someone much more capable than I am, like mgb204..

This is why downloading a modpack is generally not a good idea and has always been frowned upon, even though it's very tempting to just have a big download and all your plugins ready to use... You don't know if the original user didn't face the same problems and didn't address them.

I don't believe there is anything wrong with your computer. My game tend to crash when I zoom out of a built up city as well. I don't believe I have corrupt plugins or conflicts so I'd say this is just due to the game not being able to handle the amount of content we throw at it.

What you can do in the meantime, set your CPUCount to 1 like Jeffryfisher said, this helps prevent most CTD to happen. (which version of the game are you using? Steam, GOG?) (https://www.wiki.sc4devotion.com/index.php?title=Shortcut_Parameters)
Download Simmaster07's SC4Fix, this will help https://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/30883-sc4fix-third-party-patches-for-sc4/?page=2

I'll take a quiet life... A handshake of carbon monoxide.

Props & Texture Catalog


Following @art128 I also downloaded the pack out of curiosity and I am actually amazed. It's a mess in way and I can not tell if there is any obvious conflict, but it is possible, but unlike the previous attempts which I've run into, I see the effort with this upload. They wrote a proper readme, with instructions and warnings. Ok, this pack as is can not really be expanded nor taken out anything, but they actually warn people about it in the readme. This is a good start. Far from perfect, far from what I could support (definitely not in its bit of unorganized messy form), but I see the effort and the good will.
I am amazed!
You may find updates about my ongoing projects into my development thread here at SimCity 4 Devotion: Tyberius Lotting Experiments
or over there on Simtropolis into the Tyberius (Heretic Projects) Lotting and Modding Experiments.
I'm also member of the STEX Custodian and working on different restoration projects on behalf of non-anymore-active custom content creators.
Current projects: WMP Restoration and SimCity Polska Restoration.
Member of the NAM Team and RTMT Team.


Thank you both for taking your time responding to me and also for going out of your way to investigate this modpack and get back to me with your sincere feedback. I truly appreciate it.

If I was to install a proper modpack - are there any recommendations of yours?


Modpack aside for one moment, SC4 is known to be unstable if you fail to limit the application to a single core when running it. That usually happens when you are zooming and/or scrolling, so it does sound like that's most likely your problem.

In addition to SC4Fix mentioned above, I'd also recommend all users to patch their SimCity 4.exe with the 4GB Patch. If you install a lot of mods, or simply the NAM with the Full RHW controller, this process is mandatory. It allows a 32-bit App (SC4) to access more of your RAM, provided you are running a 64-bit OS.

As for your RAM, whilst it's obviously your choice, do ask yourself why you want to upgrade it? A RAM upgrade is a great way to increase performance, but only if you really need more RAM than you currently have. To best see if you would actually benefit from a RAM upgrade, you need to monitor the RAM usage during certain tasks. If you are using a high percentage of RAM doing a given task, then likely the upgrade would be worth it. But for example, more than 16GB is only necessary if you are running very specific software like demanding games.


Thank you for your feedback and insight.

The RAM upgrade might happen at some point in order to improve general performance for certain other games that I run occasionally as well such as AOE2 DE, medieval 2 total war Stainless Steel, AOE 3 DE and so on.

Not a big gamer but the red thread in it all is STRATEGY and building games.

Concerning setting the game to a single core - I did follow as per the instructions found in the read me contained within the modpack that I downloaded. Furthermore I did run the 4GB patch.

I believe the game has crashed on a total of 5 occasions but lately it seems to be more stable in running and just crashes after a longer duration of play.


There's another phenomenon, not a crash, that transfers focus to the desktop. It might be some system message that thinks itself so important that it interrupts even full-screen apps like our ancient SC4 game. The important take-away for us is that it's not a crash, just an interruption (loss of focus).

So... Next time your SC4 game suddenly dumps you onto your desktop, go to your task bar and see if the SC4 icon is still running there. If so, then try a click -- You may find yourself right back in the game with nothing lost.
Modding PC games since 1993 (back when we needed hex-editors)