Call of Duty: Black Ops Crashes, Freezes, Errors, and Fixes

By   /   Nov 9, 2010


Call of Duty: Black Ops has just been released to masses and already there are many who are facing problems in either starting the game or running it smoothly.

If you are among these unlucky folks trying to run the game and are facing random, crashes, freezes, and other performance issues. You can refer to the troubleshooting guide below to fix these issues in Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Troubleshooting Guide

Where to Find Your Config File
Call of Duty: Black Ops config file is location here.

C:\program files\Steam\steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\players

Its “config_mp”, you can apply the tweaks in there.

1# Steam Connection Lost, Fix
If you are experiencing the constant connection issues to Steam, you need to be patient as the good guys at Steam are on the problem to fix it.

We are aware of the connection issues occurring on Steam and are working to correct them. Thank you for your patience. – DerrickG

2# Call of Duty: Black Ops Lag Fix – 100% System Resources Usage
If you are experiencing lag because your system usage goes up to 100% when you start Call of Duty: Black Ops, you can try the following workaround.

  • Run Steam in Offline mode.
  • Start Black Ops.
  • End the steam.exe process.

3# Game Unavailable – Steam
Gazilion people are trying to download the game from Steam, servers are too busy to handle your request, give it few hours. Or logout of Steam, restart Steam, and try again.

4# Black Ops Crashes After Changing Resolution
If you would change the resolution, it may crash the game. Same happens if you ALT-TAB during the game. No workaround but, there was an update done automatically via Steam, I believe it fixed this but you can correct me if I am wrong and I will search for workaround then.

5# Call of Duty: Black Ops Can’t Join Multiplayer Games – Stuck at Loading
Seems like servers are overloaded and as I quoted the Steam employ above, they are fixing this.

6# Steam Goes Offline – While Joining Multiplayer Games
Steam goes offline when you start Multiplayer ? and it kills your friends list ?. I don’t have any possible explanation to this but I am looking into it. Will update when I have something.

7# How to Change FOV
You can change it from the menu, and console /cg_fov 80.

8# Call of Duty Black Ops Sound Fix, No Sound Fix
You started the game, game runs fine but there is no sound. Now the thing is the game is reducing the sound by a considerable percentage that you can’t hear it. The game may also be muting the sound on start, similar sort of problem was with Call of Duty World at War. Anyway, you can fix this issue by the following workarounds.

Solution #1
1. Start Game.
2. [ALT] + [TAB]
3. Go to your system try by your clock and locate the icon that looks like a speaker.
4. Now, either right click on speaker and and chose “open volume mixer” or left click on it and click “mixer” underneath the volume slider.
5. You should now see Call of Duty: Black Ops volume control, drag it up to the top.

Solution #2
Go to Control Panel> Hardware and Sound> Sound > Click on Communications Tab and select “Do Nothing” radio button and it will fix this issue, its a permanent fix.

Solution #3
If on the launch game mutes your sound, you can un-check the mute and the sound will come back.

Solution #4
You can also force the game to run in compatibility mode to fix this issue. Find the exe in the steam folder, and run it in compatibility mode for XP. This will force direct X 9 and the sound will work.

Solution #5
If the game is recognizing your audio device wrong, like you have headphone connected and it is showing speakers. Also you are unable to change the settings, then try this.
Go into the installation folder, then the redist folder then the Directx folder and run DXsetup again. After that go in game and see if you can change audio device, you should be able to. Tip by Rouss3l

Solution #6
Right click on the speaker, select playback devices, highlight sound device you use, click Properties, and then Advanced Tab and select 16bit, 48000hz(DVD quality).

Note. Update your sound card drivers and DirectX, it will help the cause.

9# Game Doesn’t Start
First if you have downloaded the game from Steam, try to run the game from the installation directory. If you get the dll missing error, download that dll file into you Black Ops installation directory and run the game. You can download any or every DLL File from here.

Do an integrity check to see if you have missed any files, Steam will automatically download these files. Start the Singleplayer mode, and then you can go into Multiplayer. This may fix this issue for some.

10# Call of Duty: Black Ops Freezes
If you experience a freeze while playing online, it is also possible that you may be having a network problem. If you are experiencing freezes while playing the game on console, try running the game from the disk and make sure your disk is scratch free or don’t have any physical damage.

If you are experiencing freezes on PC, make sure you have updated video card drivers. Disable any antivirus or firewall you have installed and see if that resolves the game freezing. If game doesn’t stop freezing randomy, you can try running the game windowed.
1. Go to Black Ops installation directory
2. Open the Players directory
3. Open the Config.cfg file in Notepad
4. Search for the line seta r_fullscreen “1”
5. Change the 1 to 0
6. Re-run the game.

11# Call of Duty: Black Ops Crashes

12# Call of Duty: Black Ops Crashes to Desktop
Re-install DirectX located here.

steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\Redist\DirectX\DXSETUP.exe

13# Call of Duty: Black Ops Black Screen Fix
Run the game in your native desktop resolution and see if that fixes the issue.

14# Call of Duty: Black Ops Multiplayer Port Forwarding
You need to all inbound and outbound traffic on these ports (means you need forward these ports).
Nintendo Wii – TCP [443, 3074] UDP [3074, 3075]
PC – TCP [3074] UDP [3074]
PlayStation 3 – TCP [80, 81, 443, 3074, 5223] UDP [3074, 3075, 3478]
Xbox 360 – TCP [80] UDP [88, 3074, 22728, 33233]

15# Call of Duty: Black Ops Stuttering Fix
If you are experiencing stuttering while playing Call of Duty: Black Ops, try the following workaround.

  • Open task manager.
  • Right click on Call of Duty: Black Ops Process.
  • Set Affinity and select one CPU, only one.

16# Call of Duty: Black Ops 100% Resource Usage Fix
1. Log into steam, bring up the game, bring up the server list (but don’t join a server yet) Since the server list is lagging for many people, you may want to quickly click to the “recent” tab as soon as the server browser pops up so as to avoid the lag.
2. CTRL + ALT + DEL and bring up task manager, then, click the “Processes” tab.
3. Right click on your steam process and go to affinity, set this to Core 0
4. Do the same for the game process, but set it to the rest of the cores ONLY (all but core 0 )
5. Next, right click on the game process again and set the priority to max.
6. Bring the game back up and join the server of your choice, it should run smoothly. Tip by crimsonlung

17# Call of Duty: Black Ops Direct X Error
If you have come across “DirectX encountered an unrecoverable error. Check the readme for possible solutions.” Update your DirectX, if you have updated DirectX, then install the DirectX that comes with the game and this will fix the issue. Restart your computer after installing the DirectX that comes with the game, and re-launch the game. It will hopefully run fine now.

18# Servers too Busy – Install Disk Fix – Steam Server Currently To Busy To Handle Request
If you are unable to download the game due to busy servers, try setting the servers to US, and see if that helps. Or just change your geographical location, try different regions. How to do it, follow the instructions below.

  • Open Steam.
  • Click the Steam tab in upper left corner.
  • Open Settings.
  • Click the download/cloud tab.
  • Select som random country in the download region bar.
  • Reboot steam.
  • Close steam, then install from cd.

19# Game Crashes at Menu
You start the game and it instantly crashes when it gets to where it asks you to press any button. Windows 7 loading ring replaces my cursor and the original cursor freezes. What to do now ?
Delete my config.cfg and replacing it with the config_mp.cfg. Just copy and paste the config_mp.cfg and rename it to config.cfg. You’ll find the files under

steam\steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\players

20# “BlackOpsMP.exe has stopped working” Fix
First run the Singleplayer and see if it downloads the missing file. Just run it, after that run the multiplayer and now it will work fine.

21# Call of Duty: Black Ops Lag Fixes
You can try the following hot fixes to resolve the lag issues in Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Solution #1

  • Open Console (`)
  • Type cl_maxpackets 100
  • Close Game.

Solution #2

  • Right click on Black Ops Multi in Steam games
  • Go Properties -> Updates -> Untick Enable steam cloud sync.

Solution #3
If it still doesn’t help you can try the following.
Go to Steam > Settings > In Game > uncheck “Enable Steam Community In-Game”. Load game and see if it works.

Solution #4
Turn off the in-Game Game Shadows.

Solution #5
1. Start Black Ops Multiplayer,
2. Оpen your Ctrl+Alt+Delete and get in Task Manager! (Ctrl+Shift+Esc as shortcut).
3. Go to processes tab, then select Steam.exe
4. Go down to Set priority and set to Low.
5. You can do the same to BlackOpsMP.exe but rather set it to High – that bit is up to you.
6. Switch back to Game. Tip by rubeybad

Or do the following tweaks.

r_blur_allowed 0
r_distortion 0
r_dof_enable 0
r_glow_allowed 0
cg_brass 0
r_cachemodellighting 1
r_cacheSmodellighting 1
If you do not have a multi-GPU - r_multiGpu 0

22# Call of Duty: Black Ops FPS Increase
1. Download the file here and unrar it to your desktop.
2. Find your Steam folder ( C:\Program Files\Steam).
3. Then Steam Apps folder > Common > Call of Duty Black Ops > Main Folder ( C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common\call of duty black ops\main ).
4. Open your config file in notepad, copy only vars with r_ at beginning, and paste them in your config file. (Its tricky, if you replace the whole config file with your config file, you will run into problems)
5. Start Black Ops.

You may only find FFA matches if you replace the config file with Stevy’s config file. You have been warned.

23# Stuck at Fetching Stats
Servers are busy, patience.

24# Call of Duty Black Ops EXE_CANNOT_FIND_ZONE
Verify the integrity of the game cache and make sure you have set the correct zone for yourself. Select UK only if you are in UK etc. Or start Singleplayer once and see if that helps the cause.
If you attempted to decrypt your pre-load, it means the decryption failed. Delete Black Ops, and delete any associated NCF files in

/steam/steamapps

Also Black Ops folder in

steam/steamapps/common

and try again.

25# Call of Duty Black Ops Crashes on Start Up
Re-install DirectX located here.

steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\Redist\DirectX\DXSETUP.exe

26# Game Launch Fix
If you are trying to run the Multiplayer before you run the Singleplayer and it isn’t running or launching the game. You click exe and nothing happens, try running the singleplayer first.

27# Steam Crashes When Running the Game

28# Connection Interrupted Fix
If you are facing connection issues now, make you have disabled the downloading in game. If you haven’t Go to Settings – Multiplayer – Allow Downloading – OFF.

29# Call of Duty Black Ops Crashes, Freezes, Errors, and Fixes (General Fixes) via Activision Support

1. Make sure that you meet the minimum system requirements.
2. Make sure that you have the latest video and sound drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
3. Set your desktop to a resolution of 1024×768, 32 bit True Color.

For Windows XP

  • Right-click on your desktop and select Properties.
  • Click the Settings tab.
  • Set your screen area to 1024×768.
  • Set the colors to Highest (32 bit).
  • Click Apply and OK.

For Windows Vista\Windows 7

  • Right-click on your desktop and select Personalize.
  • Click on Display Settings
  • Set the resolution slider to 1024X768
  • Set the colors to Highest (32 bit).
  • Click Apply and OK.

4. All background applications should be shut down prior to running the game.
Go to the Start bar and select Run. (If you are on Vista or Windows 7, hit the Windows key and the R key at the same time)

  • In the Run window, type in msconfig and hit enter.
  • Once the utility comes up, go to the Startup tab and hit the Disable All button.
  • Next go to the Services tab and check the “Hide All Microsoft Services” checkbox and then hit the Disable All button.
  • Hit the OK button and close the utility, and restart your computer when prompted to.

Windows XP Sound Acceleration Fix

  • Click the Start button > Settings > Control Panel.
  • Double-click the Sounds and Audio Devices icon.
  • Click the Volume tab.
  • Under Speaker settings, click the Advanced button.
  • Click the Performance tab.
  • Reduce the Hardware acceleration to Basic, the 2nd notch from the left.
  • Click Apply and then OK 2 times. Run the game now. Don’t forget to turn the acceleration back up to restore the high-end features for your sound card when using other applications.

5. Uninstall Call of Duty: Black Ops and Force a Disc install.

  • Launch STEAM and click the ‘My Game’ Tab.
  • Right click on Call of Duty: Black Ops and click ‘Delete local content’. The non-installed information will appear next to the game.
  • Insert Disk 1 into your DVD drive and close Steam (File, Exit).
  • From the Windows Desktop, click on the Start Button, (XP) click Run (Vista) type Run into the Start Search box and choose Run from the list.

In the window Run box enter the following:

c:\program files\steam\steam.exe -install E:

If your CD/DVD drive is not E: please change it accordingly. If Steam is not installed within c:\program files\steam, change the path accordingly.

  • Press OK, Steam should now start the installation from the Disk 1 and will ask for Disk 2 a bit later on.
  • At the end of the installation process, Steam will connect on Internet to download a small update which should take no more than few minutes.

6. Delete all files in the Windows/Temp directory

Windows XP

  • Click the Start button > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.
  • Select the drive you want to cleanup such as the C: drive.
  • Click the Clean up button.

Windows Vista\Windows 7

  • Click the Start button > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.
  • Select the drive you want to cleanup such as the C: drive.
  • Click the Clean up button.

7. If you have multiple drives capable of reading the disc then try installing from your other drive(s).

30# Call of Duty: Black Ops Error – “Steam Must be Running to Play the Game”
Make sure you have Steam running before you start the game, if steam is causing the 100% resource usage, you can kill the Steam process after you have launched the game.

31# Call of Duty: Black Ops Stuttering Fix
You can try this tweak and see if it helps the cause.

seta r_multiGpu “0”
seta r_multithreaded_device “1”

Or

  • Disable Steam Cloud and In-Game Community; Make steam.exe use 1 core and set priority to low.
  • Tweak config and set multigpu = 0, multicore = 1, vsync = 0, maxpackets = 100.
  • Run the game on high settings.
  • Go into nvidia Control Panel and use advanced settings to force high end settings, 16xAA, 16x Anisotropic, Quality if your graphic card is powerful that is.

32# Call of Duty: Black Ops ATI Graphics and Performance Issues Fix
If you are on an ATI video card, you may want to apply this ATI Catalyst Hotfix to resolve any graphic errors or low performance issues you come across.

33# Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombie Mode – Session is no longer available

34# Corrupt file mp_duga.ff
Verify the integrity of the game cache in Steam. Right click on Black Ops shortcut in Steam Library, go to Properties, then Local Files, then click Verify the Integrity of Game Cache.

35# Call of Duty: Black Ops Black Screen of Death Fix
Make sure your system meets the minimum requirements of the game.

36# Can only see FFA no other Game Modes Online
If you have applied the FPS increase config and are left with only finding FFA game modes online. Try the alternate fix or reset your config files by deleting the config file located here, which will reset everything.

steam/steamapps/common/blackops/players

37# Call of Duty: Black Ops Sever List Empty Fix
Reset the Server Filters, and it will show the servers now.

38# Call of Duty: Black Ops Lag Fix
1. Find the Black Ops configuration file located here.

C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\call of duty black ops\players

2. Open config.cfg in Notepad and find “multiGpu”, “multithreaded_device”.

  • If you are on SLI or Crossfire, set multiGpu to “1” otherwise, “0”.
  • If you have a multiple core CPU set multithreaded_device to “1”.

39# Poor Framerates and Performance Issues Fix

  • In windows go to “Run” and type “msconfig”.
  • In msconfig go to “Startup TAB” and press ‘Disable All’ button.
  • Now go to “Services TAB”. Check ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ and press the ‘Disable all’ button.
  • Apply the changes and press OK.

via Activision Support

40# Call of Duty: Black Ops Press Any Key Fix
The issues that were causing it.

Thu Nov 11 03:59:33 2010 UTC – 38: MSCTF.dll
Thu Nov 11 03:59:33 2010 UTC – 39: GameOverlayRenderer.dll
Thu Nov 11 03:59:33 2010 UTC – —————————-
Thu Nov 11 03:59:33 2010 UTC – Found GetModuleHandleEx
Thu Nov 11 03:59:35 2010 UTC – hookDirect3DCreate9 called
Thu Nov 11 03:59:35 2010 UTC – hookDirect3DCreate9 called
Thu Nov 11 03:59:36 2010 UTC – IWrapIDirect3D9::CreateDevice hook called (type: 1, behavior flags: 40!)
Thu Nov 11 03:59:37 2010 UTC – Game is using ddraw.dll (dx7 or lower)… hooking.
Thu Nov 11 03:59:38 2010 UTC – hookDirectDrawCreateEx was called
Thu Nov 11 03:59:38 2010 UTC – Creating IWrapIDirectDraw7 wrapper
Thu Nov 11 03:59:44 2010 UTC – Trying to setup input hook…
Thu Nov 11 03:59:44 2010 UTC – Set input hook…
Thu Nov 11 03:59:44 2010 UTC – hookDirectDrawCreateEx was called
Thu Nov 11 03:59:44 2010 UTC – Creating IWrapIDirectDraw7 wrapper
Thu Nov 11 03:59:54 2010 UTC – Disabling overlay for 2 seconds (10 seconds since last frame was seen)
Thu Nov 11 03:59:56 2010 UTC – Disabling overlay for 2 seconds (12 seconds since last frame was seen)

The time will continue to count up as the log progresses, while the screen is frozen. This is a DIRECT X issue.

The Possible Fix by DeadCrayon
In my device manager under sound, I had 4 devices that were NVIDIA HD AUDIO DEVICE and then the sound used off the board, I disabled all but the onboard sound – rebooted and fired the game, to my suprise, I never saw a spinning circle.

Went to the menu screen and I am able to view the menu and enter training. However – upon entering the training I get a hard lock and any other menu clicks I get hard locks.

So I am at least getting past the frozen screen at first.

Here is exactly everything I did:

1. New NVIDIA driver released on 10/25.
2. Microsoft Direct X SDK (9.0c and 11 – the JUNE 2010 files).
3. Edit the resolution in the config file to 1680×1050.
4. Deleted all the temp files on my machine (procmon found them)
5. Disabled STEAM cloud services.
6. Installed Windows7 SDK
7. Changed scheme to Windows Basic.
8. Made run as administrator
9. Unplugged my USB headset

I am not sure which one, or a combination of all.

via DeadCrayon at Steam Forums.

If you face any other issues, write in comments, and I will try to help you out.

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