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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
01-15-2010, 04:39 PM
What's this auto-repair, and why is your system becoming unbootable due to one system crash? These are more serious OS-level issues that you need to address before you start complaining here.

Now, granted, it's bad that STO caused your whole system to lock up. It's done that to me, too. The fault is really on the graphics card drivers, to be honest -- both ATI and Nvidia have major major major issues in their device drivers, because their implementation of DirectX and OpenGL are wildly unconformant to the specification. And there are hundreds of thousands of bugs where a certain ordering of API calls can cause a GPU lockup. Microsoft did a survey of the reasons for BSODs in Vista over the period of a year or so, and concluded that 80% of them were Nvidia or ATI driver related. So yeah -- hardware-accelerated graphics takes the cake from floppy disks for the most unreliable device in personal computing.

The launcher has an option called "Safe Mode". What I'd suggest is that you take the following steps:

1. Enable "Safe Mode" in the launcher options.
2. Start STO.
3. Log out before you select a character, and go to STO's main menu's options, under the Video tab.
4. For the screen resolution type, select "Windowed Maximized".
5. Play the game for a while (at least an hour) on both space and ground missions. If it is stable and doesn't crash for you, then go back to the options menu and enable one "eye candy" feature -- be it higher detail textures or increasing the field of view or whatever.
6. Avoid these three options: anisotropic filtering, antialiasing, and bloom. Save them for last. If all the other options, when enabled, still allow you to play the game stably, you should be happy. You don't really need these three things, and they are the most likely to crash your computer.
7. Make sure you enable auto-framerate stabilization in the Troubleshooting section. This will help a little in preventing lag and crashes, but is not a fool-proof solution for either.

If you notice that enabling a particular option caused a lot of framerate lag, or caused you to crash, then you have isolated the problem down to that one option, and you can then disable it and proceed along with enabling other options, as long as they don't make you crash too.

But this process of trial and error may lead to additional full-system crashes, so you need to be prepared to crash. Most Windows Vista and 7 systems should be resilient enough to a crash that the system will still be bootable even if it does crash -- the fact that yours wasn't means that you probably had some underlying issues to begin with, like errors in the NTFS filesystem. Make sure you run chkdsk regularly to keep your filesystem free of errors -- they accumulate slowly over time whenever you forcefully reboot or turn off your computer, such as system crashes and power failures. Eventually you might end up with so many unresolved errors that the system is rendered unbootable.