Save Crashing. - Printable Version

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Save Crashing. - Harrison - 03-19-2016 05:18 PM

Hello. First off, after days of messing around with my graphics drivers I finally was able to get PPSSPP working without my laptop BSODing on me every five minutes, and it's fantastic except for one thing:

At seemingly random intervals, when I try to hard save my game, and it doesn't seem to matter what game it is, PPSSPP crashes. I've tried at least a dozen different builds from the git as well as a few official versions and none of them have resolved the issue. I can go hours without it crashing, or I can get spam crashed and have to use save states to save my progress in virtually any game due to hard saving being so unreliable.

I'm using Windows XP SP3. If anyone has any idea on what's causing it or how I could go about fixing it, because after four days of trying things I'm out of ideas, I'd greatly appreciate it.

RE: Save Crashing. - [Unknown] - 03-20-2016 05:57 AM

Assuming you have sufficient free disk space, this seems odd. It could be interaction with some real-time file monitoring - such as antivirus or backup software. You could try temporarily adding the save directory to your software's whitelist to see if it helps.

You could also try playing PPSSPP with the PPSSPPWindows.exe and memstick/ directories on a USB stick. It's possible that this could avoid crashing if it has something to do with your disk or software monitoring writes to it.

If you save and it works, can you save over and over and it'll still work for a little while? That is, are the random intervals that cause saving to fail random "windows of time", or is it that saving has some random % chance of crashing?

In games that auto-save, does it still crash? Is the crashing limited to games where you initiate the save and pick a save slot? Does it crash before you pick the slot, or only ever after you've selected a slot?

If you attempt to save over an existing save, and it crashes, what happens? Is it still the old (last working) save? Or did it manage to save before crashing? Or is it now a broken save that can't be used?

Does it ever crash when loading a save, randomly? I'm assuming it's only when creating a save, but I realize you may not load often since saving doesn't work for you.


RE: Save Crashing. - Harrison - 03-20-2016 10:55 AM

It has a random percentage chance of crashing. I've yet to see any sort of rhyme or reason for it. It never crashes when loading a save interestingly, only when I go to save, and not while it's writing a save either as far as I can tell. If I can actually select save, it writes the save perfectly fine and always loads back without any issue.

To be more precise, it'll randomly crash with the save window open. It can be the instant that I select save in a game and the window opens or after a few seconds of it being open without any further input from me. It's not a space issue since I'm playing from/saving to/storing my isos on a removable drive that has close to 800GB of storage space left on it. Although, it could be worth trying to load PPSSPP from and write saves to my main drive which also has plenty of space. I'll have to give that a go. I've been using a portable drive for well...portability and convenience's sake.

Games that have an auto save don't crash from what I can tell although I've only played one so far, or so I think anyway. I'll list a few examples to try and give more information.

Dissidia 012 - Has never crashed. Has an auto save feature.
Tactics Ogre - Can crash after a battle when I go to save.
Star Ocean: First Departure - Can crash anytime that I go to save but it's had seemingly long stretches where it didn't crash.

It's not a huge deal since my save states seem to work perfectly fine and never crash. In the scheme of things, since I can at least do that it's not a major problem and if I actually need a hard save for whatever reason, I can save state before trying. More than anything I'm just curious as to what's causing it. Beyond this one quirk, I absolutely adore this emulator. I've never seen one with such polish or quality before.

RE: Save Crashing. - [Unknown] - 03-21-2016 02:43 AM

Interesting. The code that draws the list of saves to select from is the same for loading or saving. But it's really interesting that it can crash even before you select a slot - that really eliminates a lot of possible issues.

I forgot to ask, what video card do you have? Is it Intel?

I'm actually having trouble coming up with anything that would be different in the "load" list than in the "save" list. When you select a slot, different things start to happen, but until that point... the biggest difference might be the default selection. And if you only have one save, that won't be different either...

Sometimes games do funny things behind the save dialog, though... not sure if it could be some sort of graphics crash. If you have Crisis Core, it'd be interesting to know if it crashes the same way - I'm relatively familiar with what drawing it does during a save dialog. I'll check Tactics Ogre and Star Ocean 1 later (luckily I own both...) I've definitely saved in both of those before and never seen issues.

A few settings you could try:

1. Disable vertex cache. In general, this makes things faster but also glitchier (normally it shouldn't crash, though.) I wish we could turn it off by default, but it is a lot faster in some cases, so for many users it's the better experience to have it on.

2. Disable "fast memory" in the settings tab. This shouldn't be the cause, but when fast memory is on, bugs in the emulator are much more likely to cause crashes. It'll be slowe, but maybe it'll avoid the crash.

3. Disable "simulate block transfer". This is used by games for a bunch of graphical effects, and one of them is creating save icons. Without it, save icons will sometimes just be black. It's possible creating the icon is what's crashing.


RE: Save Crashing. - Harrison - 03-21-2016 06:45 PM

On this dated laptop there's a Radeon ATI Mobility X300 graphics card. PPSSPP works extremely well on my Windows 7 desktop but I was struggling with it on this...antique?

In any case, I believe I figured it out. Nothing crashes when I use OpenGL on this laptop, but the performance is meh at best so I've been trying to use D3D instead and while it performs significantly better, I had this crashing issue. Apparently, this laptop wants Catalyst AI to be on, and additionally both games needed I/O timing to be set to fast instead of host for them to work properly and not randomly crash when trying to save. I previously tried fast timing and was still crashing but it wasn't until I turned Catalyst AI back and kept the timing method on fast that the crashing finally stopped, or at least it seems so.

I tried saving on Star Ocean at least 25 times and it didn't crash a single time. Tactics Ogre needs a bit more testing but it's crashing was much more sporadic in the first place. I'd prefer to use host timing since it works better on my laptop, but if those games don't like it, oh well. Tongue

If nothing else, if someone else has an issue with either of those two games, hopefully this thread will help them get sorted out. Thank you for helping me. Now I can play and not have to spam save states, which to me personally is a way more comfortable experience. :3

As a last piece of information: Crisis Core worked perfectly for me and never gave me any issues. Tongue

RE: Save Crashing. - [Unknown] - 03-21-2016 11:46 PM

Ah, nice find. I should've thought of Catalyst AI since you mentioned it was an older device... surprised that turning it *on* rather than off helped.

Fast should be the default setting, I think. It's interesting that host made it crash - that definitely could be a bug, and it might be random just due to disk timing (fast has "deterministic" timing - it's always the same. "Host" depends on how fast your disk is on your computer.)

Generally, "host" is better, because instead of lag, you'll get a loading screen while it's waiting. But there are still bugs in IO timing, and "fast" is the most tested one.