TechSpot

What exactly is a CTD aka crash to desktop?

By Loaded Glove
May 17, 2016
Post New Reply
  1. Trying to research this and posting at various forums looking for answers.

    I know what a crash to desktop is in the most basic sense, like what is seen by the user when this happens, but I'd like to know exactly what my hardware and software are doing when this happens because it seems like a singularly unique event. It is imho ironic that it's called a crash because unlike most crashes, it does not generate any type of error message and more often than not does not even freeze or stall the system. Simply exits instantly, very randomly and without warning or any subsequent error message or crash dump file afterwards. Been having this issue with the new DOOM game, but have had other games in the past do this and even some other random programs.

    It's truly puzzling and I rarely ever see true and thorough solutions so I figure this type of event must even be quite challenging for someone with tons of technical knowledge, like an engineer or developer.
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    It's usually a running program that will "crash" to the desktop, meaning simply that the program crashed and no error was generated. This is a program compatibility issue and not a Windows issue
     
  3. Loaded Glove

    Loaded Glove TS Rookie Topic Starter

    As I said in my post, "I know what a crash to desktop is in the most basic sense, like what is seen by the user when this happens, but I'd like to know exactly what my hardware and software are doing when this happens because it seems like a singularly unique event." I'm trying to find out why there is no error generated and why all the data seems to be released/flushed from system memory instantaneously. Is the program not equipped to generate errors with some kind of handler, is the handler not enabled by default, was there an error with the handler itself, did Windows for some reason not even see the event as an error/unexpected occurrence.
     
  4. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +309

    You have a good understanding.

    If it is an error which the handler is not programmed to report an error for - or the handler is turned off - or the handler is buggy - then Windows may just clean it away - WHOOOSH

    Someone who is deeply into development might give added insight, my experience is a bit of assembler, Fortran, Basic (3-4 varieties) and a bit of C. Spent a lot of time looking at a blinking cursor - wondering about 'what the h*ll just happened'.
     
  5. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +309

    Tmagic650 likes this.
  6. Loaded Glove

    Loaded Glove TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I'll level with everyone, I am indeed curious and interested to learn about the event itself, but have an ulterior motive as well. DOOM is doing this so that's why I began exploring the issue. lol

    I'm almost positive it's not an issue with my hardware, but because I always feel unlucky in life, I never count the possibility out even if I've previously tested my hardware.
     
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Did you try deleting Doom and reinstalling it? Or is there an update available for the game. This CTDs happened to me once with the old game Halo: Combat Evolved. I applied the last update and all is well, no more CTD's
     
  8. Loaded Glove

    Loaded Glove TS Rookie Topic Starter

    First let me say thanks for the replies guys, wasn't sure if anyone would care about this topic or reply!

    Yeah Tmagic650, it's up to date. Since it's on Steam, it updates automatically. This issue is quite widespread so I have tried all I'm willing to at this point. Almost positive the issue isn't on my end. The support personnel at Bethesda say they're looking into it, but I'm actually not terribly hopeful tbh. Been PC gaming alot of years now and I know that sometimes issues just go unresolved. An issue like this seems very complex and without error messages as a starting point to look for causes, I'd imagine it would be quite an arduous task to try and reproduce the issue. Heck, even if they can get an in-house test machine to exhibit the behavior, it may still be very difficult to determine the cause since it's entirely possible that it isn't merely 1 thing causing it. That is to say, the event itself of crash to desktop is simply another kind of crash that can be caused by numerous things just like any other. My theory is that when the 1st patch comes out, the release notes will not specifically mention anything about "crash to desktop" and instead something more generic like "improves stability". This way they have an out if the issue isn't solved for everyone.
     

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...