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There are currently 155 users playing Freelancer on 36 servers.
March. 23, 2019

Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users



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Thread stuck in device driver
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I'm not particularly expecting a solution to this problem;

It's only Freelancer that causes this issue so it narrows most of the detail down, I'm not much of a programmer so threads don't mean much to me, I lack insight into that type of computer language.

As far as my mind can stretch, the multiple core processors are the bit of hardware with threads, a second thought to that is that Graphic cards probably have support for these threads? Lastly, I know programs have in the past several years been built to support multiple threads, so at least it's possible I guess.

In a nutshell, it all seems rather elusive to me. All I can conclude from what I know is that Freelancer is too old to support multiple CPU's, in which I assume no multi-thread support as the CPUs from our old Intel Pentium II's weren't multi-threaded. Please correct me where I'm wrong.

All in all, in an ideal world, what would Freelancer.exe require to it to allow multi-thread support, whether it'd even be a logical thing to consider or if there is any other way of preventing programs from getting stuck in what I'm guessing is the CPU architecture?

Edit: I forgot to specify what happens:
Three scenario's:
- Playing FL for a long duration (estimate at 2 hrs)
- Loading too many spawns and objects while flying (The only scenario I can fix)
- Battles in nebula/asteroid fields
Any of those scenarios *MAY* but not always; cause system crash of Windows bringing forth the trusty fatal error restart screen (BoD)

Posted on: 2017/11/21 0:39
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Re: Thread stuck in device driver
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Just sounds like what it says on the tin: one of your drivers is misbehaving. Freelancer has no fundamental issue running on modern machines.

Try updating your OS, graphics driver, sound driver, etc. Also, you'll have to post your computer specs and current OS if you want us to help more.

Posted on: 2017/11/21 3:55
"Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try."
-Peggy Noonan
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Re: Thread stuck in device driver
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Thank you. That's better news than the horizons of thinking I was coming up with over this error.

[SOLVED]

Dropping into device manager I see no exclamation signs on any of my drivers, but for certainty I scanned for any required device updates and they are all coming back as already updated, which I should expect so but..

[EDIT] the trouble turned out to be the CPU fan and BIOS. I'll give detail to what and why so any future lookers with this problem may use these methods to try and troubleshoot the issue if it is beyond anything that system picks up on.

My original CPU fan had failed about a year ago so I simply chucked another in, tested whether it'd be adequate enough, which it was, so in turn I thought nothing about it ever again.

Little did I know that this mboard uses something called Q(uiet)-Fan control, accessed in BIOS, as it says on the tin, attempts to regulate the RPM to keep the fan quiet, probably was what killed my original fan.

As opposed to using a fan that doesn't take advantage of the RPM being controlled by the input to the motor, this seems to become a problem in only Freelancer, but as FriendlyFire importantly pointed out, not *because* of Freelancer.
At speculation the Q-fan mode attempts to cut the amount of voltage but can't, the fan keeps going quicker basing from CPU temp, windows freaks out over it all and decides to save itself and the hardware from doing something dangerous, when after now disabling Q-fan and letting my fan work at it's full potential, Freelancer is playable, Windows hasn't displayed a BSOD in the places where I could previously cause a BSOD in the certain area's of Freelancer and my CPU temp is nominal. (Thumps up)

Definitely wouldn't of gotten to the bottom of this without the reply that's for sure!

Posted on: 2017/11/21 15:05
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Re: Thread stuck in device driver
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This sounds more like your fan did not spin quick enough and the CPU overheated, which can cause hardware failures (usually the CPU throttles before that). Haven't you used thermal compound or did you use too much (just a very thin layer is needed)? Windows does not check the speed of the fans (like it sounds from your post, but I am not sure whether I understood it correctly).

Posted on: 2017/11/22 10:20
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Re: Thread stuck in device driver
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In any usual circumstance I'd agree though when I monitor the CPU temps either through BIOS or hardware monitoring tools with this Q-Fan feature enabled the CPU will attempt to work as normal and indeed does, I've played games that are more graphically demanding than FL with no hardware problems, no BSOD's just a reduced framerate when things get hefty.
Examples of games would be a city builder or Supreme Ruler, big strategy games essentially (love 'em) so with this fan, this cpu and Q-Fan it's fine.

Add Freelancer into the equation and for some reason the CPU *fan* wants to work hard I will hear it speed up from sitting next to it, I will even gauge how long it's going to take before a BSOD happens by hearing the CPU fan going quicker and quicker over time. Which what is happening by monitoring this is:
CPU and mboard temp goes up at a normal (slow) rate, the fan rpm goes up, cpu fan voltage is stable.

The fan gets so fast once a certain temperature threshold is reached in CPU of course so then the Q-Fan control feature decides to do what it's supposed to do, the only way something can quiet a fan is either, the fan has a multi-speed motor or by interfering with the electrical input to the fan itself.. I don't see how else a PCB could attempt to slow a fan down but maybe there are other ways.

Whatever happens, in essence the problem, it is with Q-fan control enabled in BIOS coupled with playing Freelancer *only*. Disable this and the problem has gone and my CPU fan is LOUDER, I mean I feel like buying a quieter and more up to date fan, but it definitely works, a layer of thermal paste is there that's a rule of thumb not too dry yet, but the CPU temp with q-fan disabled doesn't really look too different, my fan RPM is about 1000RPM higher, used to sit at around 5500RPM in bios, where as now it's about 6300 - 6500RPM, that's fine for me, for the fan and the CPU is still cool enough to function even when I put a Freelancer zone density to 90 and watch battleship encounters spawning mad against the nomads, in which I couldn't before.

Beats me but the other piece of strange evidence I have with q-fan being an issue is having the stock CPU fan motor just suddenly fail while the PC was on, PC didn't detect the failure but all you could hear was the fan loudly grinding, sounded like it became a blender so I turned off, took it out and inspected it to see no visible fault, all the blades of the fan were intact, the unit was in one piece and I could only guess that it must of been the motor inside the fan that broke some way.
-I've spent a long time messing about with hardware in pc's and never had a fan fail on me like that did, also with no noticed errors or reasons to what caused the fault I just thought maybe the fan was just a defect, but looking into it all again with the involvement of q-fan, it seems a little coincidental that the very BIOS feature designed to mess about with the CPU fan is also present in the equation of my two only problems with this machine, that again, disable the feature and problems are all solved.

If the CPU was overheating then the pc would still get a BSOD with the same error code based from the current context of problem, disabling q-fan on-top of that would mean unrestricted operation of either the CPU or the CPU fan, which it obviously can't be the CPU or it'd get even hotter now and BSOD more;
- so based on the other games I've played more modern and demanding than FL with no BSOD and a enabled BIOS fan setting, it can only really lead to it being the fan only affected as opposed to the CPU being affected. (?)

Posted on: 2017/11/22 14:05
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Re: Thread stuck in device driver
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Freelancer has no control over the fan or anything, so the problem is just specific to the kind of load the game puts over your computer, which points to it being a CPU issue. Since the game is not framerate locked by default and is extremely undemanding on a modern machine, it is very possible that the game was attempting to render 200-300 FPS and causing your CPU to overload from the stress. Note that this can take many forms: it could be progressively overheating, it could be a spike in heat generation causing a shutdown, it could even be a problem with the motherboard's VRM being unable to supply stable voltage quickly enough when the game ramps up.

Modern games will tax the GPU more and are almost invariably GPU-bound, but Freelancer, at least in its vanilla form, will absolutely be CPU-bound. I suspect that that's the issue, and your motherboard's smart fan mode is either too slow to ramp up or your CPU is too sensitive for it.

Posted on: 2017/11/23 5:12
"Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try."
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Re: Thread stuck in device driver
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Indeed FriendlyFire, my prior post to this post establishes that Freelancer doesn't control the fan, that'd be quite an absurd concept to consider. What I'm saying is this problem only happens when playing Freelancer, that doesn't mean Freelancer is causing the issue, it means Freelancer is giving the hardware in my P.C a context to work itself into a error. The root cause of the error turns out to be Q-Fan being enabled in BIOS. See for me I prefer working with pc hardware instead of messing with pc software.

The facts;
1: Disable Q-fan and CPU fan isn't fighting it's RPM speed as the CPU
heats up, this is something I can even hear happening.
2: My fan RPM is now at a higher average rate when the CPU is under load.
3: Windows no longer gives a BSOD while playing Freelancer.
4: My CPU temperature has been fine with Q-fan enabled.
5: My CPU temperature Still is fine with Q-fan disabled
6: I have no more problems, Windows, the hardware and everything else is happy to run Freelancer, that's all thank you.

Any way we may all (including me) theorize and suspect from those facts many different reasons about what has the fault, be it the mboard, cpu, wires or motor in the fan, dodgy circuitry, bad soldering, bad software, what ever. In the end BIOS held the problem and the solution, FriendlyFire you pointed the right direction for as if you hadn't of said what you originally said I wouldn't of went to BIOS after finding no issues with my drivers via windows, so I conclude, that the feedback is very much appreciated, so now I'm off, back to enjoy Freelancer, thanks.

Posted on: 2017/11/23 5:46
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Re: Thread stuck in device driver
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You could try running e.g. Prime95 stress test on only one core so that the turbo kicks in like it would with FL. Maybe this way you can reproduce your error without Freelancer. Your problem is quite odd as it implies that e.g. the voltage regulation for the fan causes unstable voltage supply for the CPU. This could mean you have a failing capacitor and your mainboard might be dying. Or there is a bug in your BIOS version, which also would be quite an odd one. You only can hope that the problem is not getting worse.

Btw. over 5000 RPM for a fan is quite high. I wonder how you are able to stand the noise.

Posted on: 2017/11/23 10:05
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Re: Thread stuck in device driver
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Information on Q-Fan:

Quote:
Well, this will be a lame thread i know. But my mobo manual didint quite explain the q-fan function properly. Internet failed me, so i tried tweaking and now have enough knowledge of this subject and thought i should share.



This Q-fan function is found on most new mobos from ASUS.
This basically controls the speed of the CPU fan at different temps. more like how it should behave.


the first option is to enable or disable it.
enabling this uncovers 3 more options,

the start voltage,
start temp and the temp at which fan speed should be max.


The Start Voltage.
this is the voltage which will be applied to the PWM wire of the fan till the required "start temp" is achieved by the CPU.
If you want quiet running(the main reason for enabling this function). you should set this at 4V, the lowest available.

The Start Speed Temp
This the temp from which there will be a linear increase in the CPU fan's RPM till the max RPM temp is hit. For quiet running, set this to the highest possible. i like to keep it at 40C though.


The Max Speed temp.
This is the temp where the fan will hit max RPM, and hopefully not, if the CPU temp still increases, the fan will maintain constant high speed.



For max cooling i encourage you to disable this function as the default mode seemed to do a better job for me(tested on my current setup, see specs)


The only difference is my version of q-Fan is older and lacks the input of the extra 3 options accessed once enabled. This mboard simply has a on/off variant. Looking on the net q-fan seems to not be the most reliable of features.

5000RPM is high but it's hardly loud, when it's hitting 6000RPM yes then it is indeed pretty loud, - (Quote) "and my CPU fan is LOUDER, I mean I feel like buying a quieter and more up to date fan,"

But I love playing music through speakers, I mean I probably spend more time hearing songs than I do my own internal dialogues mindfully; so fortunately as a side effect, I don't notice loud fans too much, but also with tinnitus in one ear, haha you simply get used to annoying sounds and learn to forget they are there.

I'll have to check that prime95 tool out though, seems quite a valuable resource to remember about for the future, thanks Scmackbolzen.

Posted on: 2017/11/23 14:38
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Re: Thread stuck in device driver
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This might be an old thread, but makes a good point.

Some "Fan Hushing" software "Cool and Quiet" was notorious, didn't have the right specs for some 6 core processors. Caused overheats, etc. I won't dare suggest software of this nature either! I remember a rule of thumb that was going around was CPU specs vs bios readings vs fan specs vs fan software specs and motherboard specs = Be safe, live with the noise.


Posted on: 2018/1/17 17:52
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