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henriquerpc

Can't figure why I'm having CTDs after finishing the STEP:Core

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My system specs: https://wiki.step-project.com/User:Henriquerpc/SystemSpecs 

First things first, I searched a lot on the wiki, on the forums, as well as on Google before creating this post. I tried out a few different things but couldn't find a way to stop the problem I'm having. Straight up, I would like to say that I'm relatively new to modding so forgive me if I mention some irrelevant stuff. The issue is that since I've finished STEP:Core and tried to start a new game, eventually I experience a CTD.

So let's get down to the details to see if you can help me. I decided to follow the STEP:Core guide as closely as possible. But to be fair, there are only a few things I've not done exactly as recommended. So here is a list:

  1. After making a fresh install of the game and installing the essential utilities like SKSE, MO, LOOT and TES5Edit (following the first part of the guide), I played with my old character for a few weeks to wait for STEP:2.2.9.2. I installed, at best, a dozen mods, however nothing gamebreaking (ELFX, Claralux, SkyUI, MoreHUD, Imaginator and a few others). So when the guide was released I created a new profile in Mod Organizer to be as fresh as possible, and have only the mods and tweaks suggested by it.
  2. I haven't used the latest ENBoost version because I was planning to keep using the Cinemascope ENB, which is the only ENB I could manage to run on my computer. It uses the v1.0.8 (old I know, but as you'll see I've tested the newest ENBoost version as well later on). Here is the ENB Preset I was using https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/15425/?
  3. The other thing I haven't followed to the letter is that I didn't deselect the plugins you mentioned on the right pane to activate them in the "Archives Tab". Those parts seemed optional to me. I do have the option "Have MO manage archives" selected though. I just realised that the only bsa not ticked in the Archives pane is the STEP_Vanilla_Optimized_Textures_P.bsa (I don't remember changing this, but I tried to launch with it later on and had the same problems). All other options are selected and grayed out. 
  4. I haven't created spreadsheets of my benchmarks. Everytime the guide recommended it, I would just do a "visual benchmark": open Fraps, start a new game, play for a few minutes to see the FPS and test out the combat in the Helgen Keep, jump, look around etc. Just to see if the game was playable, or if there were some noticeable issue or FPS drop.
  5. The only mod I skipped was the Brawl Bugs Patch because I plan to use the Enhanced Blood Textures.
  6. I'm kinda dumb and didn't knew that the changes you make in the INI settings through the Tools menu in MO  were profile exclusive. Right before creating the bashed patch I doublechecked everything and found out that most INI tweaks were not like recommended by the guide. So I changed them and proceeded to finish STEP.
  7. Apart from the STEP:Core, I was using Enhanced Blood Textures, MoreHUD, The Dance of Death and Imaginator with Stakado's Cinemascope ENB.

 

Apart from those things, everything else was done just like the guide. Throughout the whole process, every benchmark I made went fine, with an average of 30-34 FPS, which is good to me, considering my specs. And I always ran LOOT before those visual benchmarks (checking for masterlist updates and sorting the plugins).

And then, right after the patches (https://wiki.step-project.com/STEP:2.2.9.2#2.N._Patches) came the moment to play the game for good. So I started a new game, carefully created a character to my liking and proceeded to the "execution" scene, and when Alduin landed on the tower and shouted, BAM! CTD. I relaunched the game, loaded the autosave that occurs right after character creation and the CTD happened again. I tried to pause and save, but a CTD happens everytime I try to save it. I tried a few more times and realized that I can quicksave and quickload. But if I open the menu and navigate for a while a CTD happens. And if I try to keep playing a CTD happen when Alduin shouts in the tower.

 

Then I tried a few things:

  • I tried to start a new game, no good, the same thing happens.
  • I rebuilt the Bashed Patch. No good, the same issue.
  • Since everything went fine until the last step, I decided to launch the game unticking some (or all) of the last mods (the bashed patch, the STEP Comp, DynDOLOD and the Better Shaped Weapons). No good. the same issue.
  • I decided to remove my ENB with ENB FXAA SweetFX Manager (https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/7804/?) and install the latest version of ENB according to the STEP:Guide (without any ENB preset). No good, the same issue.
  • I suspected that the INI Tweaks (which I only did by the end of the guide) might had something to do with it, so I reverted them to the original ones using MO (I copied from a backup). No good, the same issues.
  • I found this post - https://forum.step-project.com/topic/6726-common-ctds-freezes-ils-and-memory-issues/ - and followed it's suggestions, but my memory blocks Log was normal. So I haven't added the argument suggested at the end.
  • I deactivated the extra modes I mentioned above (Enhanced textures, imaginator etc.) and created a new bashed patch using exclusively the STEP:Core stuff. No good, the same issue. 
  • I lowered the ReservedMemorySizeMb from 512 to 256. No good, the same issue.
  • I activated "STEP_Vanilla_Optimized_Textures_P.bsa" in the archives tab on the right pane. No good. (don't know if I need to rebuild the bashed patch after that though). 

I also checked my Nvidia Inspector settings, all the INI tweaks suggested, my drivers, my windows task manager to see if something was weird... I really don't know what is going on. Maybe my PC can't run with all those mods, but I find this weird since every single visual benchmark went perfect. And as I said, I would always start a new game, pass through that Alduin scene, all the way to the Helgen Keep to really test core aspects of the gameplay before proceeding with the guide. This issue only started after finishing that last part of the guide.

 

Well, as I mentioned in some other post, I fell in love with the STEP project because it is the reason I decided to dive deep into learning every aspect I could about modding Skyrim. I really appreciate the effort this community puts out. 

Once again, sorry for the long text and forgive me if there is any misspelling, I'm not a native english speaker. Thanks in advance for the help.

Cheers

Edited by henriquerpc
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What exactly do you mean when you say Memory Blocks Log is normal? I just want to be sure that it's showing something like 512 256 in the first line (verifying SKSE's memory management is active) and that the lines up through the crash never reach 512 256. In other words, the number in the last line should be less than 512 and less than 256.

 

The game was working fine up through the end of 2.M. Gameplay and fell apart like a house of cards when you completed 2.N. Patches? If this is the case, uncheck all the mods from 2.N. Patches in the left pane to verify the game still works correctly. If this works, check STEP Compilation but uncheck the STEP plugins (the ESPs) included in the compilation in the right pane and run through the game again. If it still works, check the STEP plugins included in the compilation and try it again. Keep checking 2.N. Patches one-by-one in the left pane to narrow down which one is causing the issue.

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  1. After making a fresh install of the game and installing the essential utilities like SKSE, MO, LOOT and TES5Edit (following the first part of the guide), I played with my old character for a few weeks to wait for STEP:2.2.9.2. I installed, at best, a dozen mods, however nothing gamebreaking (ELFX, Claralux, SkyUI, MoreHUD, Imaginator and a few others). So when the guide was released I created a new profile in Mod Organizer to be as fresh as possible, and have only the mods and tweaks suggested by it.
  2. I haven't used the latest ENBoost version because I was planning to keep using the Cinemascope ENB, which is the only ENB I could manage to run on my computer. It uses the v1.0.8 (old I know, but as you'll see I've tested the newest ENBoost version as well later on). Here is the ENB Preset I was using https://www.nexusmods...im/mods/15425/?

I assume your problem lies buried here. A new profile doesn't prevent your ENB from running as it was placed manually into the Skyrim main directory. I could imagine you got a conflict between your SkyrimPrefs.ini settings (perhaps not set up for anything more than the ENBoost from the STEP guide) and your old but still running ENB preset. Or, while again following STEP, you've mistakenly replaced the d3d9.dll, enblocal.ini and enbhost.exe with the ones from the ENBoost package while not deleting the remains of your ENB. 

 

 

 

 

  1. The other thing I haven't followed to the letter is that I didn't deselect the plugins you mentioned on the right pane to activate them in the "Archives Tab". Those parts seemed optional to me. I do have the option "Have MO manage archives" selected though. I just realised that the only bsa not ticked in the Archives pane is the STEP_Vanilla_Optimized_Textures_P.bsa (I don't remember changing this, but I tried to launch with it later on and had the same problems). All other options are selected and grayed out. 

I guess you're talking about those high resolution esps. Should indeed be optional. However, you can safely deactivate those esps as they are only needed when not using Mod Organizer. They should have a little yellow broom icons basically saying that you can deactivate them. "Have MO manage archives" lets MO take over control about how to handle BSAs in general and MO basically replaces the function of the esps. That's at least how I understood it.

About STEP_Vanilla_Optimized_Textures, I got two of them and they're named S1 and S2 instead of P. Also, they're both activated in my setup. Maybe an old version?

 

About your CTD, unfortunately (?) I haven't experienced one in that stage of the game, for me it either worked or crashed directly after the loading screen. Dumb question:

Instead of days of investigation, why don't you just start over again? Completely reverting Skyrim back to Vanilla, keeping nothing than some BSA files, deleting the Documents\My Games folder and everything? I would assume that would be faster.

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What exactly do you mean when you say Memory Blocks Log is normal? I just want to be sure that it's showing something like 512 256 in the first line (verifying SKSE's memory management is active) and that the lines up through the crash never reach 512 256. In other words, the number in the last line should be less than 512 and less than 256.

 

The game was working fine up through the end of 2.M. Gameplay and fell apart like a house of cards when you completed 2.N. Patches? If this is the case, uncheck all the mods from 2.N. Patches in the left pane to verify the game still works correctly. If this works, check STEP Compilation but uncheck the STEP plugins (the ESPs) included in the compilation in the right pane and run through the game again. If it still works, check the STEP plugins included in the compilation and try it again. Keep checking 2.N. Patches one-by-one in the left pane to narrow down which one is causing the issue.

Hey, here is the first part of the Memory log (I just launched with it again to copy it):

logging of blocks enabled
logging max values only
Timer disabled
Block1 Block2
512MB 256MB
 
The numbers under 512 reached a maximum of 254, and the numbers under 256 reached a maximum of 109.

 

And yes, everything was fine all the way through section 2.M, and fell apart after 2.N Patches (but remember that as I mentioned at this part I also had to do all of the ini tweaks I should've done in 1.D). After the CTDs I've tested to launch the game yesterday without any of the mods of 2.N and with vanilla INIs. But, I'm new to this, so I might have retested improperly. So I'll doublecheck it and try this again, with different combinations to try to narrow down the problem, ss you suggested . I'll be back soon with the results. Thanks

Edited by henriquerpc

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I assume your problem lies buried here. A new profile doesn't prevent your ENB from running as it was placed manually into the Skyrim main directory. I could imagine you got a conflict between your SkyrimPrefs.ini settings (perhaps not set up for anything more than the ENBoost from the STEP guide) and your old but still running ENB preset. Or, while again following STEP, you've mistakenly replaced the d3d9.dll, enblocal.ini and enbhost.exe with the ones from the ENBoost package while not deleting the remains of your ENB. 

Hey, thanks for the answer. As I said, after the CTDs I tested to completely and carefully remove my ENB preset with this tool: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/7804/? I also made sure to check if there were any remains by looking at my original ENB archive to see if any of those files were still in my Skyrim directory. Then I proceeded to extract only the d3d9.dll, enbhost.exe, and enblocal.ini of the newest ENB version, and made the ini tweaks in it as suggested by the guide. However, I don't know if the fact that I did this out of order (since it should be one of the first steps of the guide) has any influence in the results.

 

 

 

About STEP_Vanilla_Optimized_Textures, I got two of them and they're named S1 and S2 instead of P. Also, they're both activated in my setup. Maybe an old version?

I don't know about that, but I tried to launch the game with it activated aswell and had the same issue.

 

 

Instead of days of investigation, why don't you just start over again? Completely reverting Skyrim back to Vanilla, keeping nothing than some BSA files, deleting the Documents\My Games folder and everything? I would assume that would be faster.

I will do that, but only if I fail to find the problem in here. I would much rather prefer to understand what went wrong because it will be a great learning process to me. And I still have my old character to fall back when I'm willing to play the game :P. 

 

I'll try Greg's suggestions now, brb.

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The game was working fine up through the end of 2.M. Gameplay and fell apart like a house of cards when you completed 2.N. Patches? If this is the case, uncheck all the mods from 2.N. Patches in the left pane to verify the game still works correctly. If this works, check STEP Compilation but uncheck the STEP plugins (the ESPs) included in the compilation in the right pane and run through the game again. If it still works, check the STEP plugins included in the compilation and try it again. Keep checking 2.N. Patches one-by-one in the left pane to narrow down which one is causing the issue.

And yes, everything was fine all the way through section 2.M, and fell apart after 2.N Patches (but remember that as I mentioned at this part I also had to do all of the ini tweaks I should've done in 1.D). After the CTDs I've tested to launch the game yesterday without any of the mods of 2.N and with vanilla INIs. But, I'm new to this, so I might have retested improperly. So I'll doublecheck it and try this again, with different combinations to try to narrow down the problem, ss you suggested . I'll be back soon with the results. Thanks

 

Well, here is the weird part. I've unchecked every mod from the 2.N Patches from my left pane, then ran Loot, used all the INIs suggested by the guide, launched Skyrim, created a new game, and guess what? The problem persists. Was this suppose to make the game run well, like it was during the first time I was installing STEP? Because if it should, now I'm really confused.

Edited by henriquerpc

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