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Old 11-22-2011, 12:54 PM   #1
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1. My game has crashed, it shows an "application has malfunctioned" message. What should I do?
Please locate these two files: Sam3.log and Sam3.rpt. They should be in the folder "<steam installation>/SteamApps/common/serious sam 3/Log/". Then create a post in this forum and paste the contents of those two files. (They are just text files and you can open them with Notepad.)
2. How can I change the FOV in game? Will that influence my leaderboard score or achievements?
Type this in the console:
(or whatever FOV you like)
Changing the FOV is not considered a cheat and will not influence the leaderboards or achievements.
(Note this feature has since been added to the Options>Graphics Options menu.)
3. The game won't even start, or crashes on startup, or exits while starting with error messages about missing files. Why is that? What can I do?
This could be caused by a myriad of reasons, but here are the solutions that help most often:
  1. Always try Verify Game Cache first. This will solve the problem in 99% of such cases.
  2. Make sure the exe file has a correct verifiable signature from Valve Corporation. To do this, select the Sam3.exe file in Explorer, then: Right click, Properties, Digital Signatures tab. You should see a signature in the name of "Valve Corporation". Selecting that and clicking Details, should show a fialog with this message (among other things): "The digital signature is OK.".
    If it shows "The certificate in the signature cannot be verified." (Note the exact wording - it didn't say it is wrong, it said it could not be verified!) it means that your OS is missing an common root certificate. Probably due to disabled Windows updates or similar. You can fix it by finding out which certificate is missing and installing it.
  3. Check that the problem is not caused by some firewall or antivirus software. More information on that is listed under a separate FAQ about firewall and antivirus problems below.
4. Game crashes on startup for no apparent reason, or behaves weirdly during the game (controls misbehaving, random erratic movements, etc.)
Issues like these with various games have often been reported to be caused by some intrusive antivirus and personal firewall programs. Sometimes just disabling the program in question or excluding Serious Sam 3 from checking may help.

However, with some of those programs, the only remedy is to completely uninstall the program. This is because, even when "disabled", the program is still installed as a low-level system driver and interferes into the process space of the game.

Some such programs that were known to cause problems like this in the past are:
  • some versions of ZoneAlarm (If you have Zone Alarm, see this thread about how to resolve this problem.)
  • F-Secure with DeepGuard feature (when DeepGuard is disabled, the problem goes away)
  • some versions of Avira (it is not certain whether it requires complete uninstall of Avira)
  • some versions of NOD32 (sometimes requires complete uninstall of NOD32)
5. What do I need to run the dedicated server for Serious Sam 3?
You can either go to the Library>Tools section of the Steam client and find the item named "Serious Sam 3 Dedicated Server" and install it. Then just start the tool, if you want to run on default settings. For information on customization, please see Help/DedicatedServer_Readme.txt .

The server can also be installed using the SteamCmd tool, using appid 41080.

Note that this server does not require ownership of the game, so you can just create a new dummy account to run server updates.
6. Where are the save games stored?

Steam\userdata\<your steam id>\41070\local\SeriousSam3\SavedGames
7. The game is causing a BSOD (blue screen), resetting the computer or locking it up. How to fix that?

First off, let's get one thing straight: All modern OSes employ user mode vs kernel mode process separation, so a user-mode application (e.g. the game) cannot crash or lock up the entire OS, neither by causing BSOD, nor resetting it nor locking it up. All such issues are caused by either a system bug (very rare), driver bug (often) or hardware malfunction (often). The game itself can at worse be doing something specific that triggers a rare bug in some driver that you don't normally see, or be stressing the hardware so much that it overheats and malfunctions, or similar.

Now, we understand that just saying "it's not our fault" doesn't help you much, so here is a list of things that you can try to do to fix or avoid the problem:
  1. If it's a BSOD, note the filename in the last line. It is usually criptic, but can hint as to which driver might be the culprit. Usually googling for that filename will reveal which driver it is, so you can try to update/change that driver and see if it helps.
  2. Especially if it is a reset or total lockup (but sometimes even if it is a BSOD), it can be caused by hardware malfunction. Usual causes of hardware problems are the following:
    • Overclocking - simply revert to factory frequency settings and see if it helps.
    • Overheating - it is easy to verify by opening the computer's case and point a conventional desk fan into the case. Try running the game with that setup on your desk to see if it helps. (Don't need to run it that way always - it is just an experiment to verify if overheating is the problem.)
    • Dust in the case causing problems by blocking heat flow or by interacting with electrical contacts. - Easy to fix by vacuuming the inside of the computer (while it is turned off!).
    • Underpowering - sometimes the power supply cannot provide enough power, usually for the GPU or CPU. The only way to verify is to swap the computer's power supply for a stronger one. Note that rated power is not always actual power, depending on manufacturer and model, so YMMV.
    • Loose connectors - make sure all cables and cards inside the case firmly snap into their connectors/sockets.
    • Cold soldering or other physical faults on the hardware - nothing much you can do but try to exchange parts.

Last edited by alenl: 10-16-2012 at 01:49 PM.
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