View Single Post
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
This is a walk through for sending Cryptic Studios crash reports for these situations:
• Game lock ups, where Windows can still be navigated, but the game may have crashed or closed with the Task Manager
• System or driver crashes such as the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) or when your system resets without warning and no BSOD
• Hard-locks where the system must be restarted by holding the power button.

Game preferences file
The steps below are instructions on how to retrieve your game preferences file for diagnosis.
1. Open My Computer and navigate to the drive your install of Champions Online is installed to (this is C: by default).
2. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Cryptic Studios\Champions Online\Live\localdata
a. Windows Vista and Win 7 Users will see this. C:\Program Files (x86)\Cryptic Studios\Champions Online\Live\localdata

3. In this folder you will see a file gameprefs.pref make a copy of this file to send with your dxdiag and crash dump.
Creating a DXDIAG text file

How to create a dxdiag report

1. Windows Vista/7 users open the start menu and in the search field type “DXDIAG”.
a. Windows XP users open the start menu and select run then type “DXDIAG” and click ok
2. If this is your first time running dxdiag, click *Yes* to launch the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
3. Click *Save All Information* to create a dxdiag report.
4. Choose a name, file type (.txt please), location for the dump file (recommend desktop) and click *Save*.
Forcing Crash Reports for Locked Game Application to appear
If the OS is still responsive, but the game is locked, please use Cryptic Error to trigger a crash report/dump. It may be several hundred megabytes in size, and it may take a long time to produce or send in to us.

Follow these steps:

1. If the game is running full-screen, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete simultaneously.
a. On Windows XP Home, this will open Task Manager
b. On Vista and XP Professional, this will bring up the login/lock workstation screen.
c. Hit escape to exit the login screen or Task Manager.
d. Windows should return you to the desktop or an application.
2. Double-click the Cryptic Error icon in the System Tray.
a. If the Cryptic Error application doesn’t show up in your system tray, navigate to the folder where Champions is installed and run CrypticError.exe
i. In the Processes window find and select Champions Online.exe and click the Send button. This will gather the appropriate data and submit the crash dump to us. Please copy down the Error Ticket ID number and reply back with that ID number.

3. Enter a description of what you were doing at the time of the crash or instructions for reproducing the lock up, if it appears to happen in a consistent way.
4. Click the Send Button.

Reporting System Crashes
If you are experiencing system crashes, use the following steps to send us a Windows kernel crash dump:
1. Enable full kernel crash dumps, and configure your system to restart automatically after writing the crash dump as follows:
a. Open the Control Panel.
b. In Vista/Windows 7 only, click classic view on the left hand side of the window.
c. Double click on System.
d. Click the Advanced tab (Vista/Windows 7 click on “Advanced system settings” on the left side of the window).
e. Click the Settings button in "Startup and Recovery" towards the bottom of the window.
f. In the section, "Write debugging information" choose "Kernel memory dump" in the drop down menu.
g. Note the location where the crash dumps are written. The default is %SYSTEMROOT%\MEMORY.DMP, which will probably be located at C:\WINDOWS\MEMORY.DMP.
h. Close the open windows.

2. Make sure your system has enough page file memory to store the crash dump. If it's not large enough, Windows cannot write the crash dump. If you have multiple hard drives, the page file on the volume containing C:\WINDOWS needs to have a very large page file.
a. The available storage must be greater than the potential size of the crash dump. This may be anywhere from 300MB to 1GB depending on the version of Windows you are running, and how much memory is installed on the computer.
b. To view or change the page file size:
c. Open the Control Panel.
d. In Vista/Windows 7 only, click classic view on the left hand side of the window.
e. Double click on System.
f. Click the Advanced tab (Vista/Windows 7 click on Advanced System settings on the left side of the window).
g. Click the Settings button in "Performance" section.
h. Click the Advanced tab.
i. In the section, "Virtual memory" click the Change button.
j. If the page file size is lower than 500MB check the information for, Paging file, on this Microsoft site: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969028 for instructions in changing the page file size.

3. Launch the game and play until the computer to crash BSOD (Microsoft Blue Screen of Death).
4. If you can see the Blue Screen message, make a note of what item Windows thinks caused the problem.
5. Wait for Windows to write the crash dump to your hard drive. This may take a long time.
6. When the crash dump is complete, if the system does not automatically restart, manually restart it.
7. Log in to Windows.
8. Windows will display a system error recovery dialog. We recommend you allow your system send the crash information to Microsoft.
9. If the computer appears locked up and the blue screen does not appear, please see instructions in the section, Manually Triggering Crash Dump.
10. Locate the crash dump file noted in step 1-f.
11. Compress the Dump file, your dxdiag, and the gameprefs.pref file, and set the ZIP file name to your account name.
12. Upload the crash dump to Cryptic using an FTP client

Compressing files for uploading to the FTP

These steps below will instruct you how to use a compression tool to take multiple files and turn them into one single file.
1. First you need a compression client, and there are many out there but here are the two most commonly used. The first one is Winzip which is the most user friendly but not the most advanced compression tool. The second one is 7-zip and this one is much more complicated. 7-Zip provides many options for advance users, but I wouldn’t recommend this one unless you have a good understanding of file compression tools.
http://www.winzip.com/index.htm
http://www.7-zip.org/
2. Once you have a compression tool select the files you plan to send to Cryptic (gameprefs, dxdiag, crash dump). Compress these files and use your account name to label the zip file so we can sort through them easier.

How to FTP the collected information to Cryptic

If you do not have an FTP client please download one, FileZilla is a good free FTP program. http://filezilla-project.org
1. Open your FTP client, Start a new connection
2. In the Host dialog enter the ftp server address: ftpcorp.crypticstudios.com
3. For the Username dialog use: dumps
4. For the Password dialog use: cryptic
5. For the Port dialog use: 21
Connect to the server with these setting and upload the compressed file containing your crash dump file, your dxdiag and the game prefs file. The transfer may take up two hours depending on your internet connection speed.

Manually Triggering Crash Dump

WARNING! Please use caution when following these instructions from Microsoft. We are not including our own summarized version of these instructions due to their complexity. We do not recommend these procedures for non-technical users.

If your system hard-locks, such that Ctrl+Alt+Delete does not do anything, and the mouse cursor does not move, but does not display a BSOD, these instructions may allow you to generate a crash dump report to send us.

The following two support topics explain how to configure your system to generate a kernel crash dump using a keyboard shortcut.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/244139

See the section; How to generate a manual memory dump file using the keyboard, on the following page:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969028
Microsoft References on Kernel Dumps
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316450
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/130536
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307973
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/254649
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282421