Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

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Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by stray999 on Tue 11 Dec 2012, 11:00

Hi! First I'd like to thank you for providing Sims 3 downloads that are actually easy to install and patch, seriously I have never accomplished that before.

However, despite the installation being easy I've been running into a strange problem. Sims 3 keeps shutting down my computer completely. At first it did that while it's loading a neighborhood but now it does it during the initial loading screen. When I reboot I get a Fatal System Error c000021a, sometimes it goes straight to the log-in screen without any kind of BSoD but usually I do get it. After another reboot it starts up like normal, but if I dare try to run the game it just shuts down again. When it first happened I uninstalled the game, including every EP and SP I had, and did a clean install according to the instructions on Mod The Sims. I also followed your instructions to a T, after installing the base game I applied the manual patch to successfully install World Adventures, then I installed the rest in order. Finally I applied the crack from the Ultimate Fix for the base game. This is also what I had done the first time I installed the game. When I started up the game it got past the loading screen to the neighborhood selector, and as it was loading a neighborhood it crashed right when it was almost done. It always happens at that particular point, too.

Thinking that the issue might be caused by overheating I ran Core Temp, and since I noticed that the FPS was flying well over 300 at times I got FPS Limiter as well; my GPU is nothing special but it was worth a try. When I set the FPS to 30 it actually managed to load the neighborhood (Bridgeport) but the computer shut down again when I was in CAS. At the time my CPU temperature was around 35-40°C which is normal for it.

I used to have another version of Sims 3, Reloaded I think, and I never had any trouble running it but I only had the base game because I failed to patch it. I had it for several months until I uninstalled it and got the Black Box compilation. After that I got distracted by other things so I never really tried to play it but I eventually uninstalled it when I failed to patch that one as well and therefore couldn't install Supernatural and Seasons. That's when I ended up here.

The first time I installed a version of Sims 3 that I'd gotten from here it otherwise ran fine but it kept crashing to desktop after I'd spent approximately 30 minutes in CAS. At the time I had all the store content and a bunch of custom content so I tried removing them and clearing the cache to see if they were the cause. They were not, the game crashed to desktop even without them. I even uninstalled uTorrent and Daemon Tools because I read somewhere that Sims 3 can have some incompatibility issues with them even if they aren't running on the background (FYI, I never have even a browser window open when I try to play Sims 3). Funny enough that made the load times a little faster but other than that I saw no improvement. It kept going like that for a while until it started to shut down the computer completely.

I'm at a loss. Since the base game used to work alone it looks like my problem could lie in one/some of the EPs even if my system passes the minimum requirements. Any suggestions? Could I have messed up during the installation?

Right now I have every EP and SP installed with the exception of Katy Perry's Sweet Treats. I don't have any store or custom content. I didn't install the Download Manager but when prompted by the launcher I downloaded the store content patch.

I also followed steps 2 and 4 in this post: http://games4theworld.bestgoo.com/t857-the-sims-3-crashes-freezes-to-desktop-fix-updated-on-29-09-2012 but neither of them worked. Actually, it was after these that my computer started shutting down already on the initial loading screen.

------------------
System Information
------------------
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Home Premium (6.0, Build 6002) Service Pack 2 (6002.vistasp2_gdr.120824-0336)
Language: Finnish (Regional Setting: Finnish)
System Manufacturer: Acer
System Model: Aspire M5201
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) 8450 Triple-Core Processor (3 CPUs), ~2.1GHz
Memory: 3070MB RAM
Page File: 2405MB used, 3971MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: None
DxDiag Version: 7.00.6002.18107 32bit Unicode

---------------
Display Devices
---------------
Card name: ATI Radeon HD 3600 Series
Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Chip type: ATI display adapter (0x9598)
DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_9598&SUBSYS_E410174B&REV_00
Display Memory: 1786 MB
Dedicated Memory: 507 MB
Shared Memory: 1279 MB
Current Mode: 1680 x 1050 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: Yleinen PnP-näyttölaite
Driver Name: aticfx32.dll,aticfx32.dll,atiumdag.dll,atidxx32.dll,atiumdva.cap
Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1129 (English)
DDI Version: 10.1
BGRA Supported: Yes
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
Driver Date/Size: 7/4/2012 08:27:08, 918528 bytes

-------------
Sound Devices
-------------
Description: Kaiuttimet (Realtek High Definition Audio)
Default Sound Playback: Yes
Default Voice Playback: Yes
Hardware ID: HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0888&SUBSYS_1025014E&REV_1001
Manufacturer ID: 1
Product ID: 100
Type: WDM
Driver Name: RTKVHDA.sys
Driver Version: 6.00.0001.6662 (English)
Driver Attributes: Final Retail
WHQL Logo'd: Yes
Date and Size: 6/19/2012 16:54:20, 3240400 bytes
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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by ☠ ~ Aɳɳ ~ ☠ on Tue 11 Dec 2012, 11:18

Hello,

That sounds serious and my first thought actually went to overheating but you ruled that out and yes, those temperatures are perfectly reasonable. Your system looks like it should handle TS3 with everything included.
You may want to make sure Windows is 100% up to date, as well as all your hardware drivers.
See if you can open your pc case to check that all the hardware is in it's proper place (though make sure you turn the pc off first).

If none of that works, see if you can run the game without Seasons and up to Supernatural's patch level. Seasons unfortunately came with many bugs and unexplained crashes is one of them.
You could also try some of the solutions offered here.

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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by stray999 on Tue 11 Dec 2012, 11:38

What's especially mystifying is that no other game has ever done this before on my computer. They have been running without a hitch all this time I've had trouble with Sims 3.

Alright, I'll look into Windows updates first! I only just noticed that there are a few in line... and I'm definitely going to laugh if they end up helping.

My drivers are up to date, I checked only yesterday. Unfortunately my line of GPU only gets driver updates very seldom these days:

AMD has moved to the AMD Radeon™ HD 4000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series new driver support model. These updates will focus on resolving application specific issues and critical updates. The reason for the shift in support policy is largely due to the fact that the AMD Radeon HD 4000, AMD Radeon HD 3000, and AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series have been optimized to their maximum potential from a performance and feature perspective.

My sound device hasn't had any updates more recent than that, either. Of course I can always double check.

I'll report back ASAP.
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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by ☠ ~ Aɳɳ ~ ☠ on Tue 11 Dec 2012, 11:48

Hello,

Good luck!

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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by stray999 on Wed 12 Dec 2012, 02:59

I found out that Windows had trouble installing a couple of .NET Framework 4 updates so I fixed the issue and then installed every available update. After a reboot I tried to launch the game and this time it managed to go past the loading screen to the neighborhood selector. I decided to wait a moment before doing anything and sure enough, the computer shut down.

Like I said in the original post I already tried step 2 on the crash fix list, I made every .exe file I could find a DEP exception from base game to Seasons but it didn't work. A few of the Sims3Launcher.exe files in some of the /Bin folders can't be added to the list but unless I've misunderstood something it looks like it doesn't matter.

As for the other steps, 1 doesn't apply to me since I don't have mods at the moment and it looks like 3 and 7 are now obsolete (besides, isn't step 3 intended for a 64-bit OS anyway?). I tried step 4 at the same time with step 2, it didn't work either. As for step 6, recently I've had Sims 3 in a 1200x800 window and I haven't raised any of the graphics settings from their default positions, but I guess I could try lowering them just in case.

Why is step 5 crossed out? I did notice that the links don't lead to the original pages anymore.

Right now I think I'll uninstall the whole thing and do another clean install (now I'm really glad I didn't delete the install files to save space like I did last time) up to Supernatural to see if Seasons really is the only thing to blame here.
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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by invalidusername on Wed 12 Dec 2012, 08:12

Good luck on the uninstall, and don't forget to restart your computer before installing again!
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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by hexorcist on Wed 12 Dec 2012, 09:51

My first piece of advice to you would be to get rid of Windows Vista - there's a reason Microsoft offered FREE updates to Win7 years ago [hint: MS hardly ever gives anything away for free - consumers thought they were getting a good deal, the tech-minded knew it was MS saying "this is bad"]. I wouldn't be surprised to see that your issue is because of something wrong with Vista. Your system would do fine with Win7 or Win8, though I'd recommend Win7 because Win8 has a new design that suffers quite a bit on desktops unless you install 3rd party software to give you the start menu back.

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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by stray999 on Wed 12 Dec 2012, 11:27

Hah, getting rid of Vista is possibly the most sound advice I've gotten yet! I've been postponing the update to Win7 way too long, mostly due to my wanting to get a new computer entirely. Looks like it won't happen anytime soon so I guess I should just go for the OS update first.

I haven't reinstalled the game yet because I wanted to play some Dishonored (no crashing or BSoD there) but while cleaning the registry I noticed something interesting. In the location HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Electronic Arts there was a folder called EAL which contained two REG_SZ files. The first one is just called (default) and it has no set value, the second is CachePath and it's located in C:\ProgramData\Electronic Arts\EADM\cache. When I went to that location I found an empty EADM folder dating to November 30 (around the time I first installed Sims 3 provided by g4tw) and then a GameData.enc file dating to June 26 2011 (probably from when I installed Sims 3 Reloaded). This looks like a not-so-complete uninstall, no? And surely I can just go ahead and delete these? There are also other folders in ProgramData that belong to programs I've already uninstalled.
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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by hexorcist on Wed 12 Dec 2012, 13:30

EADM is related to Origin. It -could- be causing issues, but I doubt it.

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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by t2sink on Wed 12 Dec 2012, 16:27

Try CCleaner, run it's registry cleanup, see if it helps.
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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by stray999 on Thu 13 Dec 2012, 00:54

I deleted the EADM folder from ProgramData just in case. I have other EA games so I decided it would probably be best not to delete the GameData.enc as it might actually belong to one of those instead of Sims 3, but I removed the EA folder it was in out of ProgramData for the time being.

I use CCleaner regularly and run the registry cleaner every time I uninstall something. The EADM related stuff was the only thing this computer had left of Sims 3.

I'm going to reinstall up to Supernatural now.

//EDIT

No good, the computer shuts down even without Seasons. Every .exe file (that I could add to the list) is a DEP exception, I even disabled my antivirus and disconnected from the internet but it didn't work. V-Sync is off, too.

This is how I performed the installation:

1. Installed Sims 3.
2. Installed the manual patch I had downloaded from here.
3. Installed World Adventures. I changed the SKU value to 2 on the Register Editor.
4. Installed the other EPs and SPs up to Supernatural with the exception of Katy Perry's Sweet Treats. Before I installed Outdoor Living Stuff I changed the SKU value to 7 on the Register Editor.
5. Applied the Ultimate Fix to Electronic Arts\The Sims3\Game\Bin only from the # Crack folder.

If anyone can notice a mistake then please say so. I don't know if editing the registry twice is redundant but I did it anyway. I'm not sure if it even matters, though. (Also the original value was 7.) I don't find the installation directions difficult to understand but it's always possible that I messed it up anyway due to carelessness or an error in reading comprehension.

Personally I think that failing hardware looks like the most obvious suspect, maybe the GPU. Still, like I already said this has not happened with any other games.
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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by ☠ ~ Aɳɳ ~ ☠ on Thu 13 Dec 2012, 11:01

Hello,

It's not just Seasons that causes issues, it's patch 1.42 as well. What if you start with Supernatural, then your other EP/SP's, skip the patch and use the crack that comes with Supernatural.

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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by stray999 on Thu 13 Dec 2012, 11:20

Ahh yes of course! You even mentioned Supernatural's PATCH level earlier and I forgot all about it until now. Thanks, I'll try doing this soon.

EDIT: Almost forgot, earlier I tried to run the game with FPS Limiter and with the "app can handle more than 2GB of memory" option enabled and it got past the loading screen. I quickly reduced every graphics setting to minimum and selected the lowest res in window mode, then quit and restarted the game. That's when I could successfully load a neighborhood and go into CAS. Everything worked fine with no shut-downs so I tried to raise the settings little by little until I got to the default settings. I also raised the res to 1200x800. That's when it started shutting down again. I'm not sure how much of this is thanks to the in-game settings alone and how much is thanks to those other things, but nevertheless it's an improvement. I don't really want to play with absolute minimum graphics quality, though.
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Re: Computer shutting down and (sometimes) giving me a Fatal System Error c000021a

Post by ☠ ~ Aɳɳ ~ ☠ on Thu 13 Dec 2012, 11:44

Hello,

You may not have to. A tweak here, a tweak there, and you may be able to compromise. There are medium settings Wink

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