General: Troubleshooting Steps

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Kromaatikse
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General: Troubleshooting Steps

Post by Kromaatikse »

First of all, Don't Panic! Don't run around deleting and reinstalling stuff. You're likely to get yourself into a worse mess, or at least spend more time and effort than you need to.

Here are some basic troubleshooting steps which will fix most "corrupted files" problems.

1) Clear Railworks' Blueprint Cache

Railworks keeps some internal bookkeeping files to speed things up, and if these get out of sync with the files actually present, crashes and misbehaviour can result. If this happens, deleting the cache is a safe and effective remedy:
  • Run the Railworks launcher, but do not press the "Start Railworks" button.
  • Switch to the "Tools & Docs" tab at the top of the launcher.
  • Press the "Clear Blueprint Cache" button. (If it's already greyed out, close the launcher and reopen it.)
  • Now start Railworks and see if your problem has gone away.




2) Verify Steam's Game Cache

If clearing the blueprint cache didn't work, then possibly some files really are corrupted. Fortunately the Steam folks thought ahead and provided a way to fix such a problem:
  • Close the Railworks launcher.
  • In the Steam Client, in the Game Library, right-click on Railworks and choose Properties.
  • Switch to the "Local Files" tab in the resulting window.
  • Press "Verify Integrity of Game Cache". Confirm.
  • Go and make some coffee. Better yet, go and make dinner. This is going to take a while.
  • When finished, Steam will automatically begin downloading any files that don't precisely match what was originally provided. This includes any DLC provided through Steam.
  • When the download has finished, run the launcher and clear the blueprint cache again (see above).
  • After checking that your problem has gone, you will need to reinstall some types of addon modifications, such as Armstrong Powerhouse's sound packs. Keep the installers for these to hand.




3) Update System Software, PhysX and Graphics Drivers

If the problem still persists, there is one more set of basic fettling you can try before turning to more in-depth troubleshooting.

First, close the Railworks launcher and make sure that Windows Update has been run recently. Being a few days out of date doesn't matter much, but if you've never run it, no wonder you're in trouble. If available, include any Optional Hardware Updates, as this will bring various device drivers roughly up to date.

The next steps depend on which type of graphics card you have - Nvidia, AMD/ATI, or something else:

Nvidia:
  • Go to http://nvidia.com/ and download the latest stable graphics drivers for your card.
  • Install them. This will also automatically update PhysX.
AMD or ATI:
  • In the Steam Client, choose "Check For Video Driver Updates" from the Steam menu. Install any update it recommends. This will automatically reboot the computer.
  • Go to http://nvidia.com/ and download the latest stable version of PhysX. Install it.


Anything else (eg. Intel Graphics)
  • Note that some basic graphics chipsets are not capable enough to run Railworks, and this may be the ultimate source of your trouble.
  • Go to your graphics chipset's manufacturer's website (if in doubt, try Intel) and download and install the latest stable graphics drivers.
  • Go to http://nvidia.com/ and download the latest stable version of PhysX. Install it.
4) Check Graphics Settings

Some old graphics cards are completely unable to run the new TSX graphics engine. This usually manifests as vague grey shapes in-game instead of a full-colour image. To fix this, simply disable TSX in the Launcher.

For more details, see the dedicated FAQ about graphics settings here: http://forums.uktrainsim.com/viewtopic. ... &sk=t&sd=a

5) Defragmentation

Some people find that defragmenting their hard drive makes a difference to the performance of RailWorks and is worth a try.

Finally, if you are running Alchemy (a sound enhancement tool associated with Creative soundcards), turn it off. It is known to interfere with Railworks' internal data structures. Similarly, if you are running a Xonar soundcard, turn on HiFi mode and turn off GX mode for better reliability.

If all of the above steps fail to solve your problem, it may lie with some freeware you have installed recently, or there may be a corrupted file which is within neither the Blueprint Cache or the Steam Cache. This will require more in-depth troubleshooting.

UPDATE: added screenshots.
UPDATE: note on defragmentation added
Last edited by Kromaatikse on Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: New, more general title, also made sticky so that more people see it.
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