Beating the Black Screen Of Death; Creating Console Reports; TestMode -1 reply

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mldaalder

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22nd October 2002

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#1 13 years ago

First of all, this is a "repost" of a topic I made at BCU (I'm MLeo there).

This thread differs to the one stickied here, because this thread aims to provide clear instructions and steps to solve your BSOD. It is therefor not a "remove all your mods, which means you practically reinstall" kind of "fix".

Without futher lingering, let's get on with the guide.

This thread is created to solve, or atleast assist in fixing BSOD (Black Screen Of Death aka Black Screen With Yellow/Federation Cursor), script related problems (as in buttons not/strangly/not good showing up or parts of the GUI (don't) show up (when they aren't supposed to).

If BC were to just freeze, do the following: Press Enter, if this didn't exit BC, press Alt + Tab and hold Alt. If you see a BC Icon, use the Tab key to get to that icon and release both Tab and Alt. You mostlikly just got the Dos Prompt. And follow the instructions at: "Checking to see if there is a script error".

Getting a Console Report

How to get a Console Report (aka Console/Screen Dump (any more?))?

  1. First start in Test Mode (aka TestMode aka -TestMode). If you don't know how, look under the heading: "How to start into Test Mode".
  2. Get to the point where you encounter your problem (could be at the start of your game).
  3. Press ` (at the same key as ~), it's usually at the left of the 1 and above the Tab and beneath the Esc key.
  4. Press Enter. Now, it could take a little while (depending on the amount of messages, so don't worry except if you can't do anything anymore and it takes longer than a hour).
  5. Now you will see the problem, if script related. You can indentify one if it says TraceBack somwhere on the screen (but it isn't needed!).
  6. If you can fix it, then you don't need the following steps. If not (like you don't know heads or tails of scripting) look futher.
  7. You can go 2 ways with this. You can press Print Screen (as a normal screenshot) and Paste it in Paint or similar. Or type in the following: App.g_kSystemWrapper.TakeScreenshot()This produces a new (and normal) screenshot in your Screen Shots dir. To exit the game (without Ctrl Alt Delete) look futher at Exiting the game at Black Screen.
  8. Now, you have your screenshot, if you were running at 1024x768 or above, try resizing it to 800x600 (if the text becomes unreadable, zip it up at the original size). And try converting it to jpeg (if you can't, zip up the BMP). And post it in this thread or at the Technical Support forum (preferably the latter, so that we don't get 100 diffrent problems running through each other).

How to start into Test Mode

There are multiple ways on how to start the game into Test Mode. The most common way is to (create and) modify a shortcut to BC's exe file, or you can use a batch file, or (if you want to have Test Mode always on) you can edit a __init__.py(c) file.

I'll explain all 3 ways.

The Shortcut way

Please note, I believe QBR includes a shortcut that does this (could someone verify this?).

[COLOR=black]fff[/COLOR]0.[COLOR=black]fff[/COLOR]Create a shortcut to STBC.exe (skip this if you are going to use the shortcut on your desktop or another existing shortcut pointing to STBC.exe).

  1. Right click (or select and press that button left of the right Windows Key) and select Properties. You mostlikly see 2 tabs (General and Shortcut (and possible Compatibilty, if you use XP)). Were interrested in the Shortcut tab.
  2. You will now see some text (names and stuff), a couple of text boxes and some other stuff. We are interrested in the 1st textbox. At which it says: "Target:" infront of it. It's possible that it is blue with white text. If it is, press the right key to go to the end of the text (or click on it with your left mouse and press End).
  3. Add " -TestMode" (not the "" signs).
  4. Press Ok.

To start BC in test mode this way, execute the modified shortcut.

The Batch file way

There are 2 ways of doing this. Both are the same, just do what you prefer.

Download a prepared batch file from here. Or (like when Nightsoft is down) create a (text) file (notepad will do fine) and add the following to it: stbc.exe -TestMode And save it to any name you like, aslong as it is in the same directory as STBC.exe (BC root dir) and aslong as it has the .bat extension.

To start BC in test mode this way, execute the .bat file (if you downloaded mine, it's called TestMode.bat).

The always on way

This way is modifying a stock file. So I suggest you backup the file if you don't want this way later on.

The file I suggest you edit is BC Root\scripts\Tactical\__init__.pyc So rename the extension of that file to whatever you want to, as long as it isn't py or pyc (I suggest org, or bak).

Create a file called __init__.py and place it in BC Root\scripts\Tactical\ and put the following in it: import App App.UtopiaApp_GetApp().SetTestMenuState(2) Or download the one I prepared earlier from here and put it in the above location (you can chose to put it somewhere else if you like, but at your own risk!).

Exiting the game at Black Screen

Type this in at the console: import sys sys.exit()Thanks to JWattsjr for showing me this trick.:)

Checking to see if there is a script error

Even though you might not get a BSOD. A script error could occur. When you suspect this (like you try out a (Beta) script, it's on, but nothing happens, just an example). To spot these, run in Test Mode (if you don't know how, I refer to this thread :)). Goto Configure -> Graphics and you will see an option named: "Size: Fullscreen". When you click on this, you will see that it goes to Windowed mode (the Option is now called: "Size: Windowed"). If a script error occurs while you are in Windowed mode a (MS) Dos box/Prompt (aka Debug Window) will show up in the same fashion as the console, just no nice background. :P Now, it is the same as getting a console report. With a few changes.

First, you can only use method 1 of getting a screenshot. And I suggest you use Alt + Printscreen, instead of Printscreen.

Exiting however is easier. Just press Ctrl + c (if you need to copy the selection of text from a Dos Promt, press the right mouse button!). Or you can type in "abort" (no "").

Something else that could be usefull, is continuing the game after you get this dos box. You can do this by typing "resume" (no ""). But if you have a missing projectile script (especially for pulse weapons), then it migt be a better way to quit and fix it, rather than going through all pulse weapons...

Also thanks to JWattsjr for showing me that a Dos Prompt can become visible when encountering a script problem! And thanks for Defiant for remembering me that one can resume and abort in the debug console!

Run Time Errors, Incompatabilities and some over solutions to problems

A True Universe - Forum • View topic - Black Screen of Death With Out a Cursor and Runtime errors




JimmyB76 Filer

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19th March 2003

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#2 13 years ago

thanks for posting this here, mleo! :) *stickied* and on a sidenote, always make backups... and try one install at a time to be sure it works rather than installing a bunch of things and then being stuck...




Raddicalrabbit

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11th September 2007

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#3 11 years ago

I don't really understand, if you get the black screen of death and want to play the game what do you do? I should just say I'm running Vista and it all worked until i got foundation to make mods work and then the black screen of death started.




Raddicalrabbit

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#4 11 years ago

I can't get any of this to work, and also I can't find a way to uninstall foundation because it is when I installed that and then everythin started to go wrong, so help I just want to play the game and how can I do that if none of the above tips seem to work for me or vista




Raddicalrabbit

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#5 11 years ago

OK, i've manged to get a console report up and it says about 6 scripts are not working with the TraceBack thingy above them, but i can't get screenshots to work and i don't know anything about scripting so all i need to know is what to do. Will uninstalling it entirely work? or is there anything any1 can help me with without the use of screenshots?




Guest

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#6 11 years ago

Ok... I know that the CD works, I know that the patch for the program works. I am running a laptop with Vista. I downloaded several mods and installed them and all worked fine with the exception of a few crashes after Nano FX beta was installed which was just a minor annoyance. I downloaded the mod for the "Galaxy Charts" which is where my games really started to screw up. So I figured I would delete the mod and go back to the game without the galaxy charts and all. The game still screwed up. So I deleted everything, uninstalled the program, ran a registry cleaner to purge all traces and do a fresh install. Again, I know the CD works and works well on this system. I did a fresh install and got the black screen of death immediately at launch (no loading screens or anything, just a black screen with the yellow cursor that slightly resembles an old school federation comm badge) I installed the offical patch and still the same thing. I deleted everything again, cleaned the registry and started over and still the same problem. I've read other posts but found nothing helpful. I even tried pushing the "`" button to get the console but the console doesn't even launch. How in the hell can i delete all traces of the game like it never existed (including all mods) so i can reinstall a fresh program and start over. I've used the uninstall feature, I went and deleted the activision folder from the program files folder, i uninstalled BCMP and BCMI programs and modding foundations and done just about everything i can think of. The only thing else i can think of is that there is some little bastard registry entry of some previous mod that is screwing up the install. I'm seriously on the verge of wiping the hard drive all together and reinstalling the OS. What the hell am i missing to fix this game?? Someone, anyone, please help!!!




cyranodeventura

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#7 10 years ago

2006166646185703166_th.jpg I'm already having a devil of a time understanding how to put new ships in, as all the instructions tell me to place the Data folders and SFX folders into the root BC menu and when i do that it wants to overwrite the existing Data folder (which I believe would be a bad thing). Now I just unistalled and reisntalled the game and this is what I get, to be honest though before I unistalled I tried and got the same message pretty much. What do I do?




limey98

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22nd May 2007

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#8 10 years ago

When you copy and paste the folders over, the simplest thing to do it just click "Replace" for anything. Unless of course there are some features of the original install that you want to keep.




cyranodeventura

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#9 10 years ago

See that's what I was worried about, the original install. For instance, if i had a folder with a Constitution class in it and I copy and paste the Data and SFX folders into the root directory it will ask me whether I want to replace the existing folders with these, which I believe means deleting the original and replacing with a Data and SFX folder with nothing in it except the constitution pieces.




limey98

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#10 10 years ago

No, it merges the existing folder with the current, so it will add a Constution folder.