Well, I just spent the better part of 2 days working on getting this game stable and running.
I thought I would detail my experience for others that may be treading in my footsteps.
Description of my problem:
The initial install of my program went well, no problems, and I was able to play the game just fine right out of the box for about 3 or 4 hours, at which point the entire thing froze to a black screen. Total system lock up, no way out except to reboot.
After that, everything imploded.
Upon loading the game, the computer would load into a black screen. By messing with settings, occasionally I could get the game menu to load, but trying to load a saved game resulted in a total system lock up black screen or semi-frozen brown screen where the music would continue but all screwed up and the system was totally frozen
My basic system details:
Running windows 7 64x
quad core intel q9650
Nvidia GTX 275 graphics card
Realtek HD Audio on a Gigabyte board
Resolution of problem:
Updated everything – and I mean everything.
I ensured I had the latest Nvidia drivers, 195.62_desktop_win7_winvista_64bit_english_whql
I updated the Realtek audio drivers, R239
I updated directx from microsoft directx web update utility
ensured motherboard and chipset was up-to-date
loaded optimized defaults on my mobo
I did a full uninstall of the game, removed everything. Ensure you remove the bioware\dragon age user directory in your documents folder. I also recommend deleting everything you can in the “C:\Users\’your username’\AppData\Local\Temp” folder after you get done uninstalling the game. Also delete any log files that may be in your “documents” folder related to the game.
I downloaded the 1.02a patch
reboot after uninstalling the game so now you are at a clean uninstalled computer.
1. reinstall the full game, express settings
2. run the patch updater to install the patch, DragonAge1.02a.exe
3. run game first time and setup config
4. on initial configuration ensure these settings are set:
Set Graphics Detail – High
Anti-Aliasing – Off
Texture Detail – High
The anti-aliasing setting turned out to be the key culprit in all this disaster and wasted time. Setting the anti-aliasing to anything other than off in the game config utility results in a total unhinged bomb of ultimate destruction causing a cataclysmic rift in space time which is able to send my blood pressure high enough to rupture main line arteries.
If you are experiencing black screen or partial freeze ups, update everything and then start playing with the settings config. I recommend starting off with “medium – off – medium” and then incrementally turning it up until it self-destructs.
Interestingly enough, the game runs fine when I over-ride anti-aliasing through the Nvidia control panel for the game. Right now I have my Nvidia control panel performing an AA override to 4x anti-aliasing, but the game setting in the game configuration manager still reads as being off.
Also, before you go deleting and uninstalling, you might want to give playing with the settings config a shot and see if turning off anti-aliasing does the trick for you with out all the monkey business. If not, do what I did. Its hard to remember if I turned off anti-aliasing or not when I first started to troubleshoot, as I typically like to have it turned on. So it might be something as simple as just turning it off in the settings manager, but I seem to think it took me jumping through all these hoops to make it work, so I recommend doing all the steps described just to be on the safe side.
Also, I attempted to save my bioware/dragon age user directory and then copy the saved directory back in after I reinstalled the game. This caused me a great deal of problems. I recommend not attempting this.
I must have rebooted my computer 20.6 billion times during this process. I am pissed off Bioware! You hear me!? Fix your crap!