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Thread: Need help getting Alpha Centauri to run

  1. #1
    arcadian
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    Need help getting Alpha Centauri to run

    Hello everyone,

    I've got a problem running the game. It crashes at random moments within minutes after planetfall. No message, no indication of any instability. Just a simple, anoying ctd.

    I tried every patch I could find (I'm on XP, I have the patch) and it's not the CPU error (I edited the .ini file to solve that problem). It's something else, I have no clue.

    I hope you guys can help me with this problem, because I concider SMAC to be one of the best games I've ever played and I'd hate to shelve it because of a bug.

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,

    Tim

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    livid imp
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    Re: Need help getting Alpha Centauri to run

    Originally posted by arcadian
    Need help getting Alpha Centauri to run
    We'll you can start by giving it legs! **rimshot** Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, and try the veal folks.

    Ok, seriously. It sounds like you have been playing before, right? If so, has anything changed on your system? Any new or updated drivers get installed? What is your system?
    "They’re lazy troublemakers, and they all carry weapons." - SMAC Manual, Page 59 Regarding Drones
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
    "If fascism came to America it would be on a program of Americanism." -- Huey Long
    "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country." -- Hermann Goering

  3. #3
    arcadian
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    I was on a Win98 system when I played it. Ever since I'm on XP (totaly new computer) I've been having this problem.

    Specs are good enough for it to run I think:

    WinXP home
    2.66Ghz
    512 MB ram
    ATI Radeon 9000 Pro 128MB
    DirectX 9.0b (but it didn't work with older versions either)

    All my drivers are up to date.

  4. #4
    #endgame
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    Good enough to run SMAC indeed!

    I suggest you obtain the WinXP compatability patch for SMAC:
    http://www.firaxis.com/downloads_detail.cfm?file_id=60

    And if it still fails try adding or changing the line
    ForceOldVoxelAlgorithm=1
    under the
    [PREFERENCES]
    section.

    Check the SMA(C/X) FAQ, there's a lot of stuff there for getting it to go.
    #play s.-cd#g+c-ga#+dgfg#+cf----q.c
    #endgame

    Quantum P. is a champion: http://geocities.com/zztexpert/docs/upoprgv4.html

  5. #5
    livid imp
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    This may sound weird, but try different points of entry. What I mean by that is go into the SMAC directory and directly execute "terranx.exe". Try any other file/shortcut that will start up the game besides the link you have been using all this time. I know that sounds odd, but it has worked for me before.
    "They’re lazy troublemakers, and they all carry weapons." - SMAC Manual, Page 59 Regarding Drones
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
    "If fascism came to America it would be on a program of Americanism." -- Huey Long
    "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country." -- Hermann Goering

  6. #6
    arcadian
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    I tried running the game from the terran.exe directly, but that didn't work either.

    I was able to found two more bases on some occasions today, but on other occasions the game just crashed after the first few moves. There's realy no telling in what causes the crash.

    Could it be the terran.exe that causes the crash? Because that's what Windows tells me when the game crashes.
    Could anyone mail me his terran.exe? That's one thing I haven't tried yet.

  7. #7
    livid imp
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    Bah!! You are getting an error message and you didn't mention this? Bad....*swats arcadian on the nose with a rolled up news paper*....no biscuit!

    It may not tell us jacksh!t, but you might as well post the error.

    terran.exe is not nessacarily corrupted, but it is just likely to be at the point that the error occures.

    Also, list all the SMAC/X patches you have installed.
    "They’re lazy troublemakers, and they all carry weapons." - SMAC Manual, Page 59 Regarding Drones
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
    "If fascism came to America it would be on a program of Americanism." -- Huey Long
    "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country." -- Hermann Goering

  8. #8
    Natalinasmpf
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    Generally, after Windows gets corrupted by spyware and viruses, the unique style of processing SMAC uses would generally cause crashes...
    Arise ye starvelings from your slumbers; arise ye prisoners of want
    The reason for revolt now thunders; and at last ends the age of "can't"
    Away with all your superstitions -servile masses, arise, arise!
    We'll change forthwith the old conditions And spurn the dust to win the prize

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    fender
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    You may want to try adding this line to the .ini

    ds3d=0

  10. #10
    arcadian
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    ...

    Sorry about the error message. Didn't realise how important that would be.

    Okay, patches. Simply, just the WinXP patch. And I've edited the .ini. Something like voxalgoritm=1 thingy. I did that too.

    Error report

    I'll try the ds3d=0 thing. What does it do? Didn't work btw...
    Last edited by arcadian; August 6, 2004 at 12:51.

  11. #11
    TheProvost
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    Have you tried running terran.exe under compatibility mode (win 98)? Also, have you tried using the NO-CD crack, it might alleviate your problem. Also also, you may wish to consider upgrading to the Planetary Pack version of the game (I am under the impression that you are using an original, vanilla SMAC CD; is this correct?)

  12. #12
    arcadian
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    Originally posted by TheProvost
    Have you tried running terran.exe under compatibility mode (win 98)? Also, have you tried using the NO-CD crack, it might alleviate your problem. Also also, you may wish to consider upgrading to the Planetary Pack version of the game (I am under the impression that you are using an original, vanilla SMAC CD; is this correct?)
    Yeah, I tried every different compatibility mode there is.
    I haven't been able to locate a no-cd crack yet.

    Could you tell me where to get that planetary pack, or what it is? I've never heard of it.

    And yes. I play smac straight out of the box.

  13. #13
    livid imp
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    I read that error report.... What the hell is that? It looks more like a error log for Microsoft.

    Anyway, it doesn't tell us anything. When i said post the error, I meant the little error message that pops up right when the error occures. You might not get one, but if you do, it could tell us where to start looking.

    Also I believe there are more patches than just the XP patch....I'll look for em.
    "They’re lazy troublemakers, and they all carry weapons." - SMAC Manual, Page 59 Regarding Drones
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
    "If fascism came to America it would be on a program of Americanism." -- Huey Long
    "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country." -- Hermann Goering

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    arcadian
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    Well the only error message I get is Windows XP telling me that there has been an error with terran.exe or something and it has to close the program. Then it offers me to send an error report to Microsoft. You know, the nice little window that will also pop up if you use ctrl+alt+del to terminate a program when it's not responding.
    So yeah, that's a MS error log. It was a long shot but I thought it was worth a try. I'm getting a bit desperate you know

    Nah, not realy, but it's kinda anoying not to be able to play the game when so many others have no problems with it.
    I'm actually concidering buying another copy if I run into it and see if that one works.

  15. #15
    Kaboth
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    arcadian I'll relate my experiences with SMAX on Windows XP perhaps that will help you to find a solution.

    Could you tell me where to get that planetary pack, or what it is? I've never heard of it.
    The planetary pack was released after alien crossfire; basically its just Alpha Centauri and Alien Crossfire on the 1 cd with the latest patches.

    I own planetary pack so I'll be talking about that, I don't know anyone with Alien crossfire original.

    When I install I do a complete install (can you pick an install option from the original cds?), I edit the ini file to forceoldvoxelalgorithm=1 (pretty sure thats correct, check the faq thread here at apolyton). I crack the SMAC and Alien Crossfire exes (terran.exe and terranx.exe), you should be able to download these cracks from mega games or possibly game copy world (difficult to navigate site though). The cracks aren't necessary but it may help.

    Note I do not use the XP compatability patch, I've never needed it and I do not patch anything as planetary pack is patched fully already.

    One suggestion I might have is be careful with your patches read the readme files carefully. There is a patch for Alpha Centauri, 1 for alien crossfire and 1 XP compatability patch. I believe the Alien crossfire has the alien crossfire and alpha centauri changes. The XP compatability patch may or may not have all the changes you'll have to check.

    Incidentally I also have an original SMAC cd and that will instally and run without me having to touch anything.

    If you cannot come to a solution maybe you should buy an old windows 98 comp for $50 somewhere or do as I did and buy planetary pack of ebay or laptop pack (if it still exists from Amazon). I payed $50 AUS dollars for my cds on EBAY (I couldn't buy from Amazon for some reason) which was $30 US at the time.

    I think there will be demand for buying old computers in the future for people who want to play their old games.

    Also as Natalinasmpf suggested try doing some online virus scans such as Panda active scan, Mcafee, Windows security trojan scanner and trend micro scanner. Use Ad-aware to bust any spyware. I doubt this will solve your problem but it can't hurt.

  16. #16
    TheProvost
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    To clarify: the Planetary Pack was a special bundle released by Firaxis (I assume) that includes both vanilla AC and Alien Crossfire. I mention it because, as it uses a slightly different version of both games, and thus different patches, it is possible it will work where others have failed. Unfortunately, it is somewhat hard to find.

    And I'm not sure about this board's policy regarding the NO-CD crack, but I would encourage you to give it a shot, as a lot of these problems can be resolved by eliminating any unneccesary peripherals (e.g. a cd-rom drive). Also, have you tried a full install? Or a full reinstall?

    Also also: sound cards can cause problems such as the one you mentioned. Are you using a somewhat less than perfect board (such as a native Creative card)?

  17. #17
    #endgame
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    also, I had to turn eax sound off on a friends comp to get his SMAX to work.

    eax=0 in the AlphaCentauri.ini
    #play s.-cd#g+c-ga#+dgfg#+cf----q.c
    #endgame

    Quantum P. is a champion: http://geocities.com/zztexpert/docs/upoprgv4.html

  18. #18
    Googlie
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    arcadian:

    I've sent you a Private Message with the urls for both the smac and smax no-cd fixes. Also, I've sent my .ini file contents (I've been running on XP with no problem for coming up on 2 years now)

    G.

  19. #19
    arcadian
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    Googlie, tnx for the pm. I used your ini file and it looked prommising.
    I can't say for sure because I only tried once and I lost. Got my ass kicked by Santiago within 20 turns or so.

    Anyway, I think this does the trick. I did a complete install and then applied the XP patch. As I said I used your .ini settings, although I think it's kinda silent. So I turned on teh sound and guess what? The game crashed again. Leads me to believe that it's a sound issue.
    I'll go and update the soundcard drivers.
    It's a SigmaTel C-major Audio card. I don't know if that means anything special, but then again... I don't know that much about soundcards.

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    Kaboth
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    Perhaps you can disable your sound card and try running integrated sound though I'm not sure if this is possible.

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