Sometime crashes on Startup - can't see message tho


Apols for a new thread but I really don’t have much to search on other than “crashes sometimes”.

I’ve been trying GSB on my laptop which is a lowly spec. (Celeron Dual 1.2 with GMA950 gfx - 2GB RAM - XP32 SP3) but it’s played OK (bit jerky but playable) a few times before…

Mostly tho, when I launch it there’s an error ‘bonk’ and a blackscreen. Hitting enter brings up the usual ‘Windows Error in GSB.exe’ dialog so I’m assuming there’s a message behind the blackscreen but I can’t read it (a glimpse of it once suggested ‘3D’ was in the message but that’s the best I can do).

Weird thing is - restart the laptop and it works for a few runs before returning to this error - any ideas???

I’ve patched upto 1.4 (by copying the patch from my desktop version) and it’s still happening so…


Is there a word for the idea you get just as you press enter on a post!!?? :slight_smile:

I realised the problem may relate to resolutions so I’ve tinkered and…

1440900 32bit (external monitor) - works perfectly
800 32bit (internal screen) - crashes on startup
1280800 16bit (internal screen) - same
768 32bit (internal screen) - same
1024*768 32 bit (external monitor) - works perfectly!!!

Looks very much like a driver-related (screen hz?) issue then?? My actual onboard chip is the GMA945 - not 950 as I said above - and it has the latest (HP supplied - it’s an HP/Compaq NC2400) drivers installed.

There are, apparently, newer drivers direct from Intel (dated Feb this year over Sep last year) but I’m reluctant to try those just yet as the HP ones have worked well otherwise (and auto-update).

p.s. digging deeper, the newer drivers are ‘for developers only’ on Intel’s site - the ‘general public’ drivers are the same as mine…


Update: Patched upto 1.06 and bug remains.

I can get it working on the internal screen if I deselect ‘Full Screen’ - 1024*768 is ‘full screen+menu bar’ so it works OK - abeit slower than it did when fullscreen did work/in fullscreen on an external monitor.

Any ideas on how to get to see what the ‘Error’ behind the black screen is tho?


I dunno if it’s the same bug but about 25% of the time when I start up GSB (I think generally right after patching), it gives me an Error: Missing File or something, but with weird spacing, and crashes. But it always works fine the second time.


Strange. For anyone unsure what an error message said, they all get written (with a date and time stamp) to c:\program files\gratuitous space battles beta\debugdata\errors.txt
(unless you installed somewhere else).


…or unless you’re on vista or win7

in which case they will be in c:\users\frymaster\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files[ (x86)]\Gratuitous Space Battles Beta\debugdata\errors.txt

except “frymaster"will be whatever your username is
and you may or may not have the " (x86)” bit on the directory name - it depends if you’re running a 64-bit OS

Note that the “appdata” folder will be hidden… you can type it into the address bar though

which is another point… what happens if you run the game on XP as a standard (non-admin) user? does it crash and burn, or does it simply not write those debug files?


Sorry for the slow response on this one

The errors (when I found the file) were something lke this

10/9/2009 - 1::14 - D3DERR_INVALIDCALL
10/9/2009 - 1::14 - CreateDevice
10/9/2009 - 1::14 - D3DERR_INVALIDCALL
10/9/2009 - 1::14 - software vertex processing failed
10/9/2009 - 1::15 - Failed to initialise 3D Engine:…\src\Game.cpp 289
10/9/2009 - 1::15 - D3DERR_INVALIDCALL
10/9/2009 - 1::15 - CreateDevice
10/9/2009 - 1::16 - D3DERR_INVALIDCALL
10/9/2009 - 1::16 - CreateDevice
10/9/2009 - 1::16 - D3DERR_DEVICELOST
10/9/2009 - 1::16 - Flip
10/9/2009 - 1::16 - D3DERR_INVALIDCALL
10/9/2009 - 1::16 - CreateDevice

However - just managed to patch to 1.10 (my laptop version never autopatches so I’m copying the patches from my desktop atm) and I can start fullscreen games now so it seems to be fixed…