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Author Topic: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death  (Read 637 times)

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Online evarburg

There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« on: December 09, 2018, 03:52:56 PM »
All of a sudden the game loading with my TEST plugins or WORK plugins folder (in which I do take stuff in and out) but also the GAME Plugins folder which I haven't touched in ages, began behaving weirdly : sometimes all the phases of the loading work OK, including the tile opening ; and sometimes, they don't  : sound with no logo, music with no animation, just black screen... but then the region opens, the tile opens and(sometimes after a quick flash of blue screen during the tile loading), this version of the Black Screen of Death shows up (note the tasteful grey square on black) :



OK, time for halfsies, I sighed. But after about six hours of doing it,changing tiles, rebooting everything, and, finally, considering that the game behaves the same way even with my GAME plugins, am I justified in thinking that my plugins folders are not to blame but that the SC4 software has somehow been corrupted and I should reinstall the game ? (I didn't do it yet because I am not sure I know how and I am kinda scared. OK, I'm a wuss.)

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There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« on: December 09, 2018, 03:52:56 PM »

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death

Offline Andreas

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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 05:35:57 PM »
There might be something that broke indeed, since your Windows isn't activated anymore, apparently. I cannot tell if a non-activated Windows results in malfunctioning programs, too, so you should check the Windows activation thingy first. Maybe it's the black screen that Windows puts over your desktop that hides the game content?!

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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 05:35:57 PM »

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death

Online evarburg

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 08:38:42 PM »
Nah, that has been there for a while, it has nothing to do with SC4 -- it does nothing to it except ruin screen captures :-/ ;  I played almost a year, before, with that damn message on the bottom right of my screen. If that was what fracks the game screen, it would do it every time, But it doesn't with the little pared-down Test Plugins I first tried, which still works fine.

I did try to add what constitutes my WORK folder to a copy of that one, piece by piece, and it worked fine until I began adding the props & textures packs ; that's when it became an intermittent problem. Sometimes adding CSX various deps, sometimes adding LBT deps The one folder I thought was the real culprit, the BSC deps, resulted, again, in an intermittent problem, so it's not possible to determine which (if any) folder is responsible as it's never the same half  (quarter, eighth...) that produces it !


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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 08:38:42 PM »

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death

Offline mgb204

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 08:58:13 PM »
Simple test:

Does removing your entire set of plugins, albeit temporarily, resolve the problem? If it does, that points to one of the files (or more) being the cause of your issues. One things for certain, if it works without those installed, re-installing SC4 isn't likely to help you any.

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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 08:58:13 PM »

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death

Online evarburg

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2018, 11:42:20 PM »
Since it does work with the pared-down plugins, I'm (argh) very nuch afraid (aargh) that you aaaaar(gh) right !

In short : Argh.

Rebuilding plugins from almost scratch it is, then. I'm not going to dillydally any longer with halfsies.

Thank you for your assumed moral support, y'all.   :-\ :P
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 10:14:37 AM by evarburg »

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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2018, 11:42:20 PM »

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death

Online evarburg

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2018, 11:04:13 PM »
Well, there was a rather pleasant RL interlude, baking, cooking, friends coming over. Then, today, I decided to have another go at the Plugins Folder From Hell. Almost made it again BUT. The background is still black. And not because I chose the night-sky-without-stars one.

I checked the SC4 De Luxe folder in Programs/Maxis, and there was a folder called "background-backup”, explaining that it should be put in Plugins to restore etc. I did, overjoyed. And jumped again for joy, when I got this :



But once I clicked on the tile, I ended up with the same Dark-Abyss-of-Frustration background as with ALL the other backgrounds I tried (and I have many, -- stars, blue sky, clouds, whatever. I tried them ALL. )

I found another old plugins folder (2015 !) that also works-sort of, like the others, i.e. the background should have been, in that case, the blue sky + clouds one, but the end result is still  the black background. 

I just DON'T understand what is going on. I have been told I miss background files, but I don't. 

Of course I can rebuild my plugins folders (Work and Test and Game) from that almost-working one, but I feel VERY insecure using it, considering that unexplainable glitch.

I haven't reinstalled simcity yet. I still think I should do it. (I found the how-to I had carefully hidden somewhere...) Any other suggestion ?

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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2018, 11:04:13 PM »

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death

Offline art128

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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2018, 01:04:52 AM »
backup your regions and plugins. Uninstall the game completely, including any files that may still be there after the uninstall. Do a clean install of the game. Run it with NO plugins or custom region, only the base stuff.

Does it still gives you dark screen ? (Or dark background, those are two different things...)

If no, it's plugin or region related.
If yes, there may be some hardware issues.

In the first case, try adding your stuff SLOWLY. Like I'm talking few dozen plugin at a time and launch the game between each added pack. Yes it's going to be long, it's is annoying. But this way you may find potential conflicts or broken stuff.

In the second case, List your computer hardware please. Do list your game options as well. (including launch options)

Does this happen only in sc4? Or are there other softwares/games affected by a similar problem?
I'll take a quiet life... A handshake of carbon monoxide.

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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2018, 01:04:52 AM »

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death

Offline mattb325

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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2018, 01:08:22 AM »
Absolutely give the advice that art128 has posted, because it's more often than not plugin related.

If that doesn't work, even though it's the most likely contender, with simcity (the root folders) often when the files appear to be there, but are not working, there is a file called 'thumbs.db' that is causing the frustration. I know this used to be the case with the old BAT nite windows.

It is normally hidden from view, but is made if you look at images in the thumbnail preview mode in the windows folder. If you change the folder settings to show hidden files and delete that file (if it exists) that may fix the problem, assuming all of the correct background files are there in the root folder in the first place. Different versions of windows have a different way of showing how to unhide hidden files and folders, but if you google it for your version, there will be heaps of step-by-step guides.

Hopefully that works

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Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2018, 01:08:22 AM »

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death

Online evarburg

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2018, 08:51:09 AM »
Thanks, both of you. I know all that and did go through the halfsies process at first as it was a blackscreen, indeed, not a black background. I have now a working (old...) plugins folder, but still with the black background, even with en empty folder. So I will reinstall, quaking in my boots because I haven't dne that in ages, if ever, on my virtual Windows partition and I am afraid I'm gonna frack up the whole thing eve more royally...

I didn't know about thumbs.db, that's good to know too (I usually delete them when I see them now and then in folders, but I will hunt them down mercilessly now.)

Sim City 4 Devotion Forums

Re: There we go again : The Black Screen of Death
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2018, 08:51:09 AM »

 


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