Why is my game constantly crashing silently to desktop with no error message?

  • I have been searching for an answer to the crash-to-desktop (CTD) issue for days since I first began playing. All I come across are 10-page-long discussions that appear to consist only of new members joining the forum just so they can chime in with, "This is happening to me, too!" The only thing anyone ever has to offer is a link to the same site I've seen a dozen times with a list of "common things that may help", but none ever do.

    The CTD is random. I hardly ever know when it's going to happen, although, sometimes, I get into a spot in the game where the crash is consistent at around the same spot.

    Among some of the things I've tried:

    • turned off AA
    • using low setting presets
    • playing windowed
    • turning off v-sync (even though this is just spitting in the face of my 480GTX)
    • 44.1 khz sound tweak

    Many of these tweaks I tried only for peace of mind and would never play with them. For example, turning off AA or v-sync? No thanks, I'll take my smooth edges and jitter-free frame rates to another game.

    There has to be something other than these compiled checklists of random tweaks that no one ever reports as 100% effective. Isn't there an official patch for this? Hasn't Bethesda addressed this? Hundreds upon hundreds of people are having this problem.

    My specs -

    Windows 7 32-bit 4 GB RAM Nvidia 480 GTX Intel i5 3.33 Ghz

    Do you have logmein or teamviewer installed?

    Any mods installed for Skyrim?

    no mods are installed. just the game itself and the 1.5 patch

    It happens to me also, in various situations, with a frequency of about 1 times per hour of play. IMHO there is not one bug only but various combination of bugs, memory occupation / leakage, etc. That's unfortunately how most Bethesda sandbox games works. Quick-save often, that's the only thing I can suggest.

    Welcome to the would of Bethesda.

    I believe most those crashes are due to something that goes wrong with the graphic card - you have anything else running in the same time that might cause a conflict?

    The most I'll have open is Yahoo! Messenger, but I've even tried closing that down. My internet research has shown me that Bethesda is notorious writing buggy games, but their fanboi Bethesda-can-do-no-wrong mantra apparently keeps them going strong in spite of their buggy programming. I guess I am just not going to be able to play this game. Money out the window.

    Cool. I responded.

    Are you still having this issue? If yes, I found a new mod that might help in avoiding CTDs in Skyrim: SSME - Skyrim Startup Memory Editor. You might want to try it.

  • ChrisGS

    ChrisGS Correct answer

    8 years ago

    Maybe your computer or graphics card is getting too hot. Check how long you can run Skyrim until it crashes.

    Also, check this out -> FIX for CTDs and Missing Textures I heard it does a very good job of preventing CTDs.

    And save often!

    I downloaded the file from your link, but the instructions do not explicitaly say where the files need to be extracted to. I found the `SkyrimPrefs.ini` file on my drive, so it seems obvious that I overwrite that file with the one in the archive. However, I don't have a Skyrim.ini. Where does this go?

    Your Skyrim .ini should be here -> C:\Users\-name-\Documents\My Games\Skyrim\Skyrim.ini I suggest just reading through the description/front page of the mod and following the instructions. Downloading the .ini is optional I believe

    This worked! Unbelievable. I have spent the past few weeks looking for a solution and this one did it for me. I was going to mark your answer sooner, but I couldn't stop playing Skyrim. Thanks, mate. Also, for anyone else who's wondering, I didn't do anything with `Skyrim.ini`. I just copied `SkyrimPrefs.ini` to the folder it already existed in, ran the DOS prompt command, and rebooted. Not a single crash.

    Good solution but did you found some fix for 64x?

    I am on x86, so I didn't attempt diagnosing any problems that may occur on x64 systems.

    Sorry I can't find a solution for x64 systems :/

    I am here to report that it's 7/24/2012 I've been playing this game since this answer was posted on 5/13/2012 and the game has probably crashed 5 times, 4 of which occurred while I was alt-tabbing.

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