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A request for help - CTDs persist even after extensive attempts at fixing.

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Hello and I hope you are here to help!
I'll start with an apology for yet another "CTD, plz halp" thread, but I have exhausted my knowledge and can't seem to find the solution on my own, so I'm really hoping someone here can.
I have been "playing" and modding Skyrim (originally LE, now SE) for 5 years and have literally never finished the main quest, not once. Every time I try to tailor the game I get CTDs which I never seem to be able to fix. I then end up CTD'ing more than I play and ultimately give up. A year or so passes and I build up the courage to give it another go... rinse and repeat the cycle.


Issue description:


  • I CTD at random points, but the most common occurrences are:
  • Randomly in combat - it has occurred when I am moving, casting, attacking. but nothing consistent, not every combat, not even the same spell / action / weapon or anything reliably causes a crash.
  • Sometimes on area transition i.e. walking into / out of a cave / city / building - but again, not always.
  • Sometimes when I load after a death - yet again, not always.
  • I have not been able to reliably replicate when, how or why any of these occur. Sometimes one fight I will CTD, reload and do the fight almost exactly the same with no issue. Sometimes I transition areas and CTD, reload and then transition with no issues.
  • I have successfully debugged and fixed other CTD issues I was having by going through and disabling mods 1 by 1 until I found a culprit. Unfortunately that doesn't work anymore due to the sporadic nature of these crashes and the inability to replicate circumstances / environments to "test" against.

Needed information to help diagnose / fix:

Please see my Modwatch page for plugins, load orders and ini's: https://modwat.ch/u/OJLMethos/plugins
It is STEP 0.2.0b at its core, then overlaying my own selection of mods beyond that.


A note on the STEP guide:

  • I followed the STEP guide thoroughly over the course of a week and do not believe I messed it up (but anything is possible!).
  • I also use the STEP conflict resolution (CR) patch and Lighting and Weathers (LW) patches per the guide. Accordingly, "missing" compatibility patches highlighted in LOOT are actually dealt with by the STEP patches (where highlighted)
  • I installed mods around 10 at a time and fixed any issues that came up in about a 30 minute test. One such mod was "thinner torches" which caused a CTD immediately on game load. Removing it solved that issue.
  • I do not use the thinner torches mod or the mod that unequips quivers when you unequip bows. These are not included in the STEP patch so I do not believe excluding them can cause harm.
  • I believe I have downloaded all other patches for mods beyond the STEP guide (but again, happy to be wrong if you spot a gap). 


LOOT / xEdit / FNIS Info:


  • My Skyrim SE is up to date
  • My SKSE 64 is up to date
  • All Masters have been cleaned using xEdit per the guide
  • Dawnguard.esm has been manually cleaned per the guide
  • All ITM and "Deleted" records have been cleaned on all mods per LOOT flags
  • All mods descriptions were read and followed to the best of my understanding, including the appropriate install order (overwrite / overwritten) and load order (plugins order) plus patches.
  • I sort plugins using LOOT, including manually added metadata I add from mod description pages.
  • FNIS is run every time I changed any animation file / skeleton mod.
  • DynDOLOD is run every time I changed anything to do with external models / textures.
  • I do not run a bashed patch because I dont believe I need one.


Papyrus logs:

  • I know Papyrus logs are a controversial subject as to whether they are useful, but without anything else I go by I have been reviewing my logs and tried to learn what I can.
  • My interpretation of the logs has been based from this guide [Papyrus guide link
  • I have been using PowerGREP for windows to scrape script files to understand which mods / scripts are causing what errors.

From all the above I have observed the following (which frankly, may or may not be helpful - maybe you can decide):

  1. Initial errors / lines are compatibility checks from Frostfall / campfire / wet and cold / immersive citizens / DYNDOLOD  and can be ignored 
  2. CACO and CCO have lots of "form ID" errors relating to properties on scripts attached to references (e.g. 4f000d8a) not initialising because the script no longer contains that property. The guide says "this is an error generated because a script was recompiled, a property was removed, but an ESP that accompanies it was not properly updated to remove the property. It will cause no damage, but it's annoying."
  3. po3_XXX "error: Failed to setup moving reference because it has no parent cell or no 3D" appear often during combat and I think are from Frozen Electrocuted Combustion. The Papy guide linked above suggests these are often false errors "when references are no longer loaded in memory, but when checked, have the correct properties" and so are harmless.
  4. aaaUCEnemyScript Call RegisterForModEvent and Assigning 'None' to temp non-object variables are also some of the more prevalent errors during combat. Again the guide says this are benign. 
  5. There are some XPMSE errors which I dont understand, and am surprised to see.

Full Papyrus logs of a few recent crashes are attached for direct reference if someone knows a lot about them. I am still a novice when it comes to properly understanding them.


Log 0: crashed soon after exiting Bleak Falls Barrow, coincided with casting a spell from a mod I have installed (Spellsiphon). Note this spell is cast many times in many other areas / circumstances and does not cause a crash. Reloading the game I can cast it without issue, so it may or may not be the cause.

Log 1: Crashed in external cell while running upto Whiterun. Whole load of stack dumps in the log which has never happened before. Odd to see a script referencing Spriggan (which I didn't knowingly encounter)

Log 2: crashed in an external cell just after a quicksave and then on trying to enter into a building.

Log 3: crashed in an internal cell during combat, nothing notable to report.




Extra Information

System Hardware:

  • Intel Core i7 8700k (@3.7Ghz)
  • 32 GB DDR4 RAM
  • NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB
  • Samsung 850 EVO SSD (500 GB)
  • Gigabyte z370 AORUS Motherboard



  • I do not run an ENB.



I have put a lot of time and effort into trying to properly mod my game but have no more knowledge to try and fix it, so I really really hope that someone out there can help :)


It took me two days to compile this post, but if I have missed something you think would be help, please let me know and I will happily include it!


Thanks to all who bothered to read :D

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Random CTDs can be hard to figure out. I would start by making sure "RNAD_RWT_Patch.esp" is updated to the latest version of RWT. Also, I didn't notice any custom patching of new mods, so if you haven't checked those mods you've added on top of the Guide in xEdit, then I would do that as well.

The only other advice I can give is to try to be mindful of your surroundings when it happens. If it's a mesh issue, then what objects are around, what trees, rocks, clutter, etc. If you start noticing it's always near a set of objects, then you can start narrowing it down. However, if it's not a mesh issue and it's not conflicts in your load order, then I have no idea.

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Papyrus Logs.zip


Hey TechAngel


Thanks for your reply.


For sure random CTDs suck. I have spent many many hours trying to work out why my game crashes despite best efforts to make it stable as I go... I checked out RNAD_RWT_patch per your suggestion, RND has updated within the last few days so I updated it also, though I am still crashing.


You talk about custom patching of the new mods and I was curious about that. I have downloaded every compatibility patch that I am aware of required for the mods I use (beyond STEP) - but these obviously aren't custom.


I have used xEdit in a limited fashion (and in LE many years ago used TES5Edit) to clean files but I am not familiar with it beyond that. Could you elaborate further on what you meant by custom files and where the best place is to learn more about how to create them / whether they are relevant?



My biggest challenge right now is that I just don't know how to debug my game further. Part of my brain is screaming surely surely surely there is some way, some tool or crash logger that can say X broke because of Y.


If there isn't then there must be a tool that can say X messes with the same scripts / stuff / things / locations as Y and will likely break.


For simple and literal file overwrites, MO calls out the conflicts - but there's so much more going on behind the scenes (especially with scripts)...


No one seems to be able to direct me to a learning resource or tool that highlights the issues, explains what they are and how to resolve it.. I'm not looking to be spoon fed a fix (and indeed know that is impossible), I just need to know where the heck to look!

Edited by Methos

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Methos, have you tried "NetScriptFramework SkyrimSE v12" by meh321? 




This mod writes a Crash log which may help you find a solution.  Also I recall reading (from mod author's posts?) that the mod author meh321 plans, or is perhaps actively working on an update to this framework that may provide more specific information in the Crash log. 


Also there are many CTD related discussions within the Posts section of this mod on Nexus.  I respectfully suggest acknowledging the mod author and the other community members helping on this mod thread as this is the most recent active work I know of that might help with troublesome CTD problems.


If anyone knows of any other coding work helping players to more efficiently track down CTD causes please reply with info - thanks!


Good luck everyone!

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Methos, you write you have used xEdit to clean mods before in LE. So just to be sure... have you ever used xEdit to search for conflicts?


When adding a non STEP guide mod i install only one mod at time and use xEdit to search for conflict. If all is well i install another mod and check with xEdit again. And so on...

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Hi Mercury71


Short answer to have I used xEdit to search for conflicts is: no.


I have looked into it a little, but it appeared to me that there were lots and lots and LOTS of conflicts all over the place, including in the master files themselves and various online "tutorials" I watched said "to ignore them"... whichj isn't very helpful because the next question is "why, and which others do I ignore". I felt that deleting conflicts without understanding which were an issue and which were OK was not a good approach... and I have yet to delve further than that


Do you have any learning resources to recommend on the xEdit front, that guide users through conflict identification and resolution?




edit: a similar post i made on the Nexus forums got a very similar response and a chap linked me to the tomb for xEdit as found here https://tes5edit.github.io/docs/5-conflict-detection-and-resolution.html


thought I would share - am working through it now to try and resolve whatever conflicts i may have :D

Edited by Methos

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Good morning.


I use quick search argument functions in xEdit as stated here on STEP (this link to STEP xEdit Guide).


I use this right after installing a mod that i think might conflict with another mod. Also i can check what mod is "the winner" and therefor will load last.

If xEdit do not show any "critical conflict" my experience is that the loadorder will "work". But still maby not as you like it so you still want to check all "conflict".


Sometimes it is enough to change the load order... but not always... since changing load order mmight cause new problems or unwanted ingame results.

Those cases have to be solved with a patch made in xEdit or might be fixed with the "Bashed" or "Smashed Patch".

Problem with "Bashed/Smashed Patches" is in my humble opinion that they often make unwanted changes since they basically guess what to forward and it might not be what you want (this is the case very often when having multiple mods changing the same records). You have mod A, B, C and D that alters same thing and Wrye Bash or Mator Smash maby makes record from mod C to the winner but in this case maby you want D to be the winner for this specific record.


I have set up xEdit so i normaly start it with the -quickshowconflicts argument:



        After confirming plugins to be loaded, this parameter automatically loads all valid mod groups and applies "Apply Filter to show conflicts".

-veryquickshowconflicts Same as -quickshowconflicts above, but automatically loads the plugins as specified in plugins.txt, without showing the plugin selection dialog. Holding down [CTRL] when starting will allow the plugin selection dialog to be displayed.        

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Hi Citizen


Indeed I took my first proper delve into xEdit conflict resolution and spent the entire of yesterday reading the xEdit tome and working through the conflicts in my Load Order... updates for those who are interested:


1. I think literally every mod had a red conflict somewhere in it and so I started having a look at random ones to just get a feel for what they are, what were conflicts etc etc. Interestingly i found it was very similar to MO conflict flag system, the vast majority of red errors were where patches / fixes had overwritten something as intended and looked completely benign.

2. As there were literally over 62,000 records in the list, I decided that going through each one would be a bit long winded - so I started to look at an automated merged patch (which is no longer supported in xEdit, and directed me to Wyre Bash). So I made a Bashed patch and then had a look at that in xEdit because I was aware that automated processes aren't as good as manual ones. For the most part it did a good job but had some "errors" where unpatched data was overwriting a patch I wanted to keep. I fixed this and made some further enhancements where I thought necessary.

3. Through this process I didn't uncover anything that I believed would cause any kind of CTD. The majority of the conflicts were very superficial such as RND and COCO competing over what attributes to give when eating / drinking. Though this was just looking at conflicts made by the Bashed Patch and so maybe its scope doesn't cover the important juicy stuff.

4. Next I looked at any "critical conflicts" highlighted by xEdit and to my surprise, all of them were benign false-positives. Things such as Frostfall and Cloaks of Skyrim having different hexidecimal colours in fields that were (according to the mod authors) literally not used. I changed them anyway to get rid of the pink flag.


I think the next step is to start going through the records 1 by 1 and I dont believe I saw anything that would cause the game to crash in the above and while I may have my RnD food giving me the correct, merged properties now - I literally didn't even know it wasn't to begin with - so I feel I havn't fixed much.

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That's a pretty good look through for conflicts. You're unlikely to find anything else beyond what you've completed. Kudos on that! Have you tested since doing such to see if the issue remained?

If you haven't already, you should really test on a vanilla run to make sure it's not present without mods installed. Else, if you've followed the Guide, you should be able to verify your local files in Steam without harming any of your modded setup. Couldn't hurt to try...

Unfortunately, if it's a mod issue you are most likely looking at an asset or a script issue. Both of which are the terrible tasks to hunt down. If it's not mod related, then it could be system related. There are a lot of possibilities left to explore since it's still, seemingly, a random CTD.

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Thanks for the compliment... I did play for a few hours and didn't crash but TBH that's not unusual. Sometimes I crash once every 3 hours, sometimes I crash repeatedly in a very short period of time...


Interestingly I think there maybe some conflict going on with certain internal cells.. I crashed LOADS (like, every 5 - 10 minutes) in a certain cave (think it was called "leg snapper" or "leg breaker" cave) fighting some bandits. But though I was crashing frequently, it wasn't at the same point (i.e. on 'seeing' or loading a certain mesh or texture) and ultimately I was able to clear the cave without crashing.


I am starting to think it is certainly a script related issue... three issues I see persistently are:

1. Crashing when using Spellsiphon spells (a scripted spell mod)... again not always but there's obviously some circumstances where the game falls over and that coincides with me casting a spell. I love this mod and it makes casting "worth it" in my opinion so will continue to hunt for the fix.


2. HDT SMP physics on Cloaks of Skyrim - I think this is the crash most often occurring when I load a game. Frequently when I CTD on a load (after say, a death) I see the HDTSMP.dll plugin in the probable crash stack as seen in the .net script framework. I really like physics so not sure what I am going to do about this one.


3. Something to do with kill moves - sometimes when it goes 3rd person camera for a killmove, the game has a specific crash where it locks up, is "not responding" but doesn't crash to desktop.. I have to kill the process. Unfortunately I dont get a crash log in this instance so harder to pin down...


Next step for me is to review further conflicts in xEdit (I appreciate it may not yield great results, but I like to be thorough) and also specifically look at script CR in  xEdit...

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I just wanted to link to a parallel thread that I am having on the Nexus forums where there have been some really helpful replies on conflict resolution and xEdit management. I thought that it would prove helpful for anyone else who comes along and reads these forums with similar issues. (hope you dont mind me linking to another forum)



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Not an expert by any means, but I would suggest the following if you haven't done it already:


1. Check your mods to see how many are scripted. You may be overwhelming how many scripts skyrim can handle (as I understand it, Papyrus has a hard limit as to what it can deal with). Based on your comments, it is possible you have a high number of scripts running in the background, and once you enter combat and the combat scripts run, your system gets overwhelmed.

2. Have you considered using ENB? As I understand it, it has a memory patch/boost option that helps stabilize modded skyrim.

3. I looked through your list and most of your mods seem to be graphical in nature. Are all these meshes SE compatible? Do any of these delete the NAvmeshes? (LOOT should tell you if this is an issue)

4. Have you updated your INI files to reflect your available memory?


PS. I've been setting my game up with help from this link, the first section is dedicated to stability, it may help you.


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