Games for Windows Live – troubleshooting crashes and instability

Having problems with a Games for Windows Live game? Explore this article for answers to some common questions about why games crash.

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My computer crashes when I sign in to my Games for Windows Live account

If your computer crashes when you try to sign in to your Games for Windows Live account, it may be because your computer doesn’t meet the basic system requirements to play Games for Windows Live games. Before you play any Games for Windows Live games, confirm that your computer meets the system requirements for Games for Windows Live and for the Games for Windows Live game that you’re trying to play.

My computer crashes when I play a Games for Windows Live game

If your computer crashes when you play a Games for Windows Live game, it may be because your computer doesn’t meet the minimum system requirements for the game that you’re playing or because your computer doesn’t have up-to-date software. Before you resume game play, try the following:

  • Close the applications that you’re not using. Doing this will free up important disk space on your computer, which in turn will enable your game to play and load with less difficulty.
  • Confirm that your computer meets the system requirements for the Games for Windows Live game that you’re playing. To confirm this, do the following:
    1. In the lower left corner of your computer, click the Windows icon.
    2. In the Search programs and files field, type “dxdiag”. The dxdiag.exe file will appear, as “dxdiag,” under Programs (1).
    3. Click “dxdiag” to start the dxdiag.exe program.
    4. A pop-up message will appear and ask the following question:

      Do you want to check if your drivers are digitally signed?
      To check our drivers, Windows might connect to the Internet but doesn’t send personal information about your computer.

      Click Yes.

    5. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool dialog box will appear. Compare the information on the following tabs to the minimum system requirements for the Games for Windows Live game you’re trying to play:
      • System –
        In the System Information section:
        • Memory: The amount of memory displayed should meet or exceed the game’s requirements.
        • Processor: The type and speed should meet or exceed the game’s requirements.
        • Page file: The amount of megabytes (MB) available should exceed the game’s requirements.
        • DirectX version: The DirectX version displayed should be as new or newer than what is required by the game. If in doubt, download and install DirectX End-User Runtime, the latest version of DirectX.
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      • Display –
        In the Device section (disregard the other sections):
        • Name: Confirm that the display is a make and model that meets the game’s requirements.
        • Chip Type: Confirm that the display device’s chip is of a type that meets the game’s requirements.
        • Approx. Total Memory: The amount of memory displayed should meet or exceed the game’s requirements.
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      • Sound 1 –
        In the Device section (disregard the other sections):
        • Ensure that a valid sound device is present and is not displaying errors.
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      • Sound 2 –
        • Disregard this tab, if present.
      • Input –
        • Disregard this tab.
    1. When you’re through looking at the dialog box, click Exit.
      If your computer does not meet ALL of the requirements noted above, you’ll need to update the computer before you can continue playing your Games for Windows Live game.
  • Confirm that your computer’s system software is up to date. To do this, you’ll need to complete the following steps:
    • Run Windows Update and install any important updates for your computer.
    • Download and install any available updates for the Games for Windows Live game that you’re playing.
      Download and install any available updates for the sound drivers and video drivers for your computer. To do this, you’ll need to visit the website of the manufacturer of your computer’s sound driver or video driver.

I’m having trouble playing a third-party Games for Windows Live game

If you’re having trouble playing a Games for Windows Live game that was not published by Microsoft, contact the publisher of that game. Third-party game publishers have the most up-to-date support details for their games and are responsible for providing support for their games. See Third-party game publishers  for a list of publishers and their websites.

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