# Thread: Possible solution for X-Fi and OpenAL related crashes

1. ## Possible solution for X-Fi and OpenAL related crashes

If UT3 crashes with your X-Fi (and maybe audigy) when OpenAL is enabled und runs fine when OpenAL is disabled, then this might be the solution for 5.1 Sound:

Replace the OpenAl32.dll (version 6.14.357.22) from UT3 with the same file (version 2.1.2.0) from Blacksite Area 51. It works for me, couldn't play one minute before, now everything seems fine. Though I haven't checked whether the soundquality is the same, it is 5.1 and sounds ok.

I could post the dll if nobody else will, just tell me how, I've never posted on the internet, silly me.

2. Originally Posted by LordB.
Replace the OpenAl32.dll (version 6.14.357.22) from UT3 with the same file (version 2.1.2.0) from Blacksite Area 51.
From the file version it would appear to be the openal wrapper. 2.1.8.1 is the newest if you want to try that one. If you had the newest openal installed it's in your system32 folder under the filename wrap_oal.dll. Just rename it to openal32.dll and put it in your UT3 binaries folder.

3. i will try this

4. Hello Forum,

I have a newer one from my NVIDIA ForceWar 169.09 Beta Driver (6.14.431.0) or the older one from Frontlines: Fuel of War Beta 0.22 (6.14.357.21). I will try both and report it in around 24 hours.

5. I run an unpatched UT3 under WinXP with a X-Fi Elite Pro and just fixed this annoying OpenAL problem! (Edit: how on Earth could I have been so self-assured??)

Here's what to do:

Copy both OpenAL32.dll and wrap_oal.dll from Windows\system32\ to UT3\Binaries\ replacing Epic's outdated files... And voilÃ*! Switch OpenAL back on in UT3 and restart the game.

2 rounds WF and 2 DM maps later in OpenAL bliss, not a single crash/freeze!
Shame on Epic for the old buggy files, but I'm glad it was that simple actually! (Edit: well it was not, UT3 files are not old/"buggy", and I suck, thank you.)

6. @Eyemaster: That seems to work, too. Whats the difference between those dlls in general?

@flikflak: Doesn't work for me, crashing starts again, because the dlls in the win32 folder have the same versionnumbers as those in the ut3 folder, though their filesize is different. I cannot see that epics files are outdated, what versionnumbers do your dlls from the system 32 folder have?

7. Sorry, I should've started with version numbers.
A guy on the Creative forums also says his version numbers are the same. (My XP install is pretty fresh, so I thought I wouldn't be the guy with the most updated files on Earth...)

My wrap_oal.dll version (from my system32 folder) is 2.1.2.0, but I don't know where it came from (3DMark06?)
My OpenAL32.dll version is 6.14.357.11 (older than UT3's actually... Guess only wrap_oal.dll is important)

So, refined advice would be to only update wrap_oal.dll to 2.1.2.0... (Edit: well actually, to learn something more accurate and useful, you'd better read ahead and find Jakey v2's explanations)

8. Hmm, I just put the original UT3 files back and... everything works ok. I'm completely lost now...

9. a quik explanation from epic would be wicked cool I think :]

10. Maybe it really isn't Epics fault and it really is a compatibility issue with the newest openal32.dll. I searched some forums and found that there were already problems with former versions, like version 6.14.357.19. I haven't seen the newest version 6.14.357.22 in other games than UT3 and Gears of War yet, and there wasn't even 5.1 sound in GoW because of an error, otherwise it might crash too. So maybe we will see other games crashing in future that will use that version.

Perhaps we can find out, which version is actually the last working one and spare us some troubles with future games. I'd like to try the mentioned version 6.14.357.11, if someone can post it. The renamed wrapper is a good workaround, but the sound quality is slightly worse than the original, it's not the real deal yet.

11. Didn't notice a quality drop on my T40 speakers... Could you be a little more specific?

Here's a link to a zip with my dlls for you to try:
http://www.4shared.com/file/31165652...enal_dlls.html

12. ## It works!

After spending much of the afternoon trying various combinations of differing versions of OpenAL32.dll and wrap_oal.dll to no avail, I have found (thanks to this thread) that just renaming the wrap_oal.dll within the UT3\bin directory gains a similar result - 5.1 surround sound without crashes.

Digging further, it seems that wrap_oal.dll can work standalone when renamed to openal32.dll, but this will cause the game to enumerate available sound devices slightly differently. Basically, the custom features of the X-Fi are no longer exposed.

To show this, I went to take a look at the Launch.log within \My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Logs. Here's a snippet from the log showing the sound initialisation:

Originally Posted by After Fix (wrap_oal.dll - version 2.1.8.1 - renamed to openal32.dll in \UT3\bin)

Init: ALAudio device requested :
Init: ALAudio device opened : Generic Hardware
Init: AL_VENDOR : Creative Labs Inc.
Init: AL_RENDERER : Software
Init: AL_VERSION : 1.1
Init: AL_EXTENSIONS : EAX EAX2.0 EAX3.0 EAX4.0 EAX5.0 EAX3.0EMULATED EAX4.0EMULATED AL_EXT_OFFSET AL_EXT_LINEAR_DISTANCE AL_EXT_EXPONENT_DISTANCE
Init: Device supports: EAX4.0
Init: Device supports: ALC_EXT_EFX
Init: Found EFX extension with 4 effect slots and 4 potential sends
Init: ...'reverb' supported
Init: ...'equalizer' supported
Init: ...'low pass filter' supported
Init: ALAudioDevice initialized.
Notice that the device opened is "Generic Hardware". Before renaming wrap_oal.dll, the device would be "SB X-Fi Audio [9000]". In fact, here's the same section of Launch.log with the original OpenAL32.dll and wrap_oal.dll restored (as it was when UT3 was first installed):

Originally Posted by Before Fix (original openal32.dll v6.14.357.22 and wrap_oal.dll v2.1.8.1 in UT3\bin\)

Init: ALAudio device requested :
Init: ALAudio device opened : SB X-Fi Audio [9000]
Init: AL_VENDOR : Creative Labs Inc.
Init: AL_RENDERER : SB X-Fi Audio [9000]
Init: AL_VERSION : OpenAL version 1.1
Init: AL_EXTENSIONS : EAX, EAX1.0, EAX2.0, EAX3.0, EAX4.0, EAX5.0
Init: Device supports: EAX4.0
Init: Device supports: EAX-RAM
Init: Device supports: ALC_EXT_EFX
Init: Found EFX extension with 4 effect slots and 4 potential sends
Init: ...'reverb' supported
Init: ...'equalizer' supported
Init: ...'low pass filter' supported
Init: ALAudioDevice initialized.
This time it mentions the infamous X-RAM (listed here as EAX-RAM). Could this have been the source of the problems?

Anyway, there is does seem to be a minor loss of sound quality with the workaround - it doesn't sound quite as "rich". I suspect it's down to the AL_RENDERER being Software based - but at least there's 5.1 sound, and a stable game. A step in the right direction, and acceptable until the issue is hopefully resolved by either Creative or Epic...

13. Heheh, nice to see you (yes, I'm drop_deaf from the Creative forums, and it looks like we're both "stereo-posting" here and there)

We have two issues in one here:
-HW OpenAL causes crashes/freezes
-no 5.1 sound output
And it looks like toying with files can only help with one of them... :/

So the big problem is how to get HW OpenAL *and* 5.1 sound to work flawlessly in UT3? (...using X-Fi cards, but I guess it's the same for any HW OpenAL/5.1 potent card models/brands?)

14. Neither Creative nor Epic seem to give a rat's butt about this anyway. No driver update in the near future (except for Vista maybe, we'll see what outcome can be taken from the "beta drivers for UEngine games"), not a word on these issues in the still-beta patch notes.

-We know there's a problem using OpenAL in UT3 (game freezing/crashing within minutes with HW OpenAL On, no problem when Off).
-We know there's a problem with 5.1 sound in UT3 with X-Fi boards (people replace their X-Fi with their older Audigy, 5.1 sound works fine: otherwise, it does not).
-From Jakey's theory: toying with files may give some hardware support for OpenAL through a DS3D trick; not the real deal and not under Vista anyway.

Since other recent OpenAL games don't have these problems, while Gears of War (UEngine-based game) doesn't allow 5.1 sound output, whose fault is it other than Epic's? And then again, how could OpenAL work flawlessly in some games and not in others? Just my confused, candid thoughts here.

15. Originally Posted by flikflak
-From Jakey's theory: toying with files may give some hardware support for OpenAL through a DS3D trick; not the real deal and not under Vista anyway.
Ah, yes. Haven't posted the details of my findings here yet. Basically, renaming wrap_oal.dll will provide sound through the Generic Hardware device, which just happens to use DirectSound3D. Which won't work on Vista.

If you want to know the details follow this link. Much technobabble ensues...

16. Originally Posted by flikflak
Neither Creative nor Epic seem to give a rat's butt about this anyway. No driver update in the near future (except for Vista maybe, we'll see what outcome can be taken from the "beta drivers for UEngine games"), not a word on these issues in the still-beta patch notes.
Yeah, this does leave us with a tricky predicament: where to lay the blame?

On one hand, we know that other OpenAL games, both recent and not-so-recent, aren't suffering this problem. This may suggest it's an Epic issue. Then, however, we note that other cards, including Creative's Audigy, aren't experiencing the same issue, and they're all using Hardware OpenAL just fine. This could just as easily point the finger at an X-Fi specific driver bug, that UT3 just happens to expose.

Interestingly, many here have noticed that it only seems to be the X-Fi cards with X-RAM installed that suffer this issue. X-Fi cards lacking the X-RAM, such as the non-Fatality XtremeGamer and XtremeMusic, don't experience crashes (at least, not for the same reason!). Seeing as other games have handled the X-RAM perfectly well enough in the past, my guess is that Epic have introduced a bug within the code that deals with the X-RAM.

Of course, this is as far as we can go - there's no easy way for us to prove this.

Time for me to beg a little: Please, nice Epic people, could you spend a little time to take a look and see if there's a replicatable bug in the OpenAL code for UT3? And if it's not your code's fault, would you be able to push for a driver update from Creative? We'd really appreciate it, and look forward to enjoying Unreal Tourney 3 with full 5.1 sound, without the need to mangle DLL filenames...

17. It just kills me, Epic's answer is turn of OpenAL, creative's answer is not our issue. I didn't spend 200 bucks on a card for the thing not to work. I spent \$200 on a card to get surround sound.

Frustrating... uggg

Hopefully someone will figure something out

18. The answer seems to be a) use the latest OpenAL drivers you can find or b) don't use OpenAL if you still experience the problem.

Maybe we can find out what the absolute newest openal32.dll and wrap_oal.dll files are, we can have someone host them and then post a link to them for others to try to put in the UT3 Binaries folder.

19. Originally Posted by Ultron
Maybe we can find out what the absolute newest openal32.dll and wrap_oal.dll files are, we can have someone host them and then post a link to them for others to try to put in the UT3 Binaries folder.
Thanks - the newest ones are at Creative's OpenAL site. Unfortunately, they're the same versions that UT3 ships with.

Regarding option B: Not using hardware OpenAL, and reverting to software-based stereo sound with a game that has "Sounds best on X-Fi" logos on both the box and the game's promotional site seems a little off, doncha think?

At the moment, X-Fi Fatality owners running XP can rename wrap_oal.dll in the UT3 binaries folder to openal32.dll to get both a stable game with reasonable 5.1 (or any speaker setup) sound. X-Fi Fatality owners with Vista aren't so lucky...

20. I hear what you are saying but the best of my limited knowledge both Creative and Epic are aware of this, and I know Epic is troubleshooting and I bet Creative is somewhere onboard on this issue. I've seen a Creative person on these forums already.

If the ones that come with UT3 are the latest, I wonder why flikflak seems to imply the wrap_oal.dll he has is newer than the one in the UT3 Binaries folder. I'm just throwing the question out there.

"My wrap_oal.dll version (from my system32 folder) is 2.1.2.0, but I don't know where it came from (3DMark06?)"

21. Originally Posted by Ultron
If the ones that come with UT3 are the latest, I wonder why flikflak seems to imply the wrap_oal.dll he has is newer than the one in the UT3 Binaries folder. I'm just throwing the question out there.

"My wrap_oal.dll version (from my system32 folder) is 2.1.2.0, but I don't know where it came from (3DMark06?)"
The wrap_oal.dll supplied with UT3 is 2.1.8.1 - going by the version number alone that suggests it is newer than the one FlikFlak found (2.1.2.0 - which I found bundled with the Oct '06 XP driver for the X-Fi from Creative's site). Also, bear in mind that wrap_oal.dll isn't used if ct_oal.dll is found in \windows\system32\. Wrap_oal is only used to provide the Generic Hardware and Generic Software AL implementations.

I appreciate your help, Ultron, and I do hope that this issue is on both Epic's and Creative's respective radars. There's a lot of X-Fi owners out there that won't think to visit these or Creative's forums. It's up to us to ensure that this issue is kept in sight until it's resolved (without being obnoxious, of course) - just a little scared that if we go quiet, it'll get ignored...

22. Yeah Ultron, my bad - my lazy eye caught the "18" in 2.1.8.1 and the "20" in 2.1.2.0, if you get my point That's why I first thought UT3 files were "outdated", which they really aren't. So sorry I've added confusion to this already annoying mystery. Original message edited right away.

23. Originally Posted by Jakey2.0
just a little scared that if we go quiet, it'll get ignored...
Hi Jake. As long as it's in tracked issues thread it won't be ignored. Posting the equivalents of "bump" however clutter the thread and make it more difficult to track down what's going on.

24. Hello, WarTourist.

Thanks, and sorry that I missed the tracked issues thread (I am new here, after all). Now that it's officially a tracked issue, we can relax a bit

By the way, I promise that I wasn't implying in any way that I would post "bump" equivalents - that's specifically the reason I made reference to not being obnoxious about it.

Also, as you can see in this thread, I (along with my peers) have spent a fair amount of time researching this issue, in the hope that the findings are in some way useful in ascertaining the root cause.

Anyway, thanks again for letting us know that it's a tracked issue.

25. Originally Posted by Jakey2.0
Thanks - the newest ones are at Creative's OpenAL site. Unfortunately, they're the same versions that UT3 ships with.

Regarding option B: Not using hardware OpenAL, and reverting to software-based stereo sound with a game that has "Sounds best on X-Fi" logos on both the box and the game's promotional site seems a little off, doncha think?

At the moment, X-Fi Fatality owners running XP can rename wrap_oal.dll in the UT3 binaries folder to openal32.dll to get both a stable game with reasonable 5.1 (or any speaker setup) sound. X-Fi Fatality owners with Vista aren't so lucky...
Thank you!!! I think this did it for me!

26. This is my .log file, I thought this might help... Not really sure if it does. I think that we have already narrowed it down to OpenAL, but heck, why not?

Init: AL_VENDOR : Creative Labs Inc.
Init: AL_RENDERER : Software
Init: AL_VERSION : 1.1
Init: AL_EXTENSIONS : EAX EAX2.0 EAX3.0 EAX4.0 EAX5.0 EAX3.0EMULATED EAX4.0EMULATED AL_EXT_OFFSET AL_EXT_LINEAR_DISTANCE AL_EXT_EXPONENT_DISTANCE
Init: Device supports: ALC_EXT_EFX
Init: Found EFX extension with 1 effect slots and 1 potential sends
Init: ...'reverb' supported
Init: ...'low pass filter' supported
Init: ALAudioDevice initialized.
Log: === Critical error: ===
General protection fault!

Exit: Executing UObject::StaticShutdownAfterError
Exit: Executing UWindowsClient::ShutdownAfterError
Exit: Executing UWindowsClient::ShutdownAfterError
Exit: UALAudioDevice::ShutdownAfterError
Log: Shutting down FaceFX...
Log: FaceFX shutdown.
Exit: Exiting.
Exit: Name subsystem shutting down
Uninitialized: Log file closed, 03/13/08 12:16:23

Also, why are they using something that was last updated October, 2006?

27. Man, i really hope they fix this problem...i can't stand playing in 2.0 when i have my XFi ExtremeGamer Fatal1ty + 5.1 surround system

28. We're patched to 1.2 now.
UT3 sales suck and so do Epic's last year financial results.
Meanwhile, Creative is seemingly working on an X-Fi 2 range of soundcards with better Vista support.

I fear this stupid bug will simply never get fixed...

29. OpenAL v2.0.4.0
http://biphome.spray.se/simri/OpenAL/OpenAL_2.0.4.0.zip

OALInst.exe v2.0.4.0
OpenAL32.dll v6.14.357.23
wrap_oal.dll v2.2.0.0

Copy OpenAL32.dll and wrap_oal.dll from DLL folder to \Unreal Tournament 3\Binaries\ and C:\WINDOWS\system32\

Run OALInst

30. I just tried Simri's files from the link above and they seem to work. Better and more up to date I think than the Blacksite:Area 51 files. Here's my log file from UT3 so you can varify it did accurately detect my X-Fi card:

Log: Object size..............: 60
Log: Actor size...............: 436
Log: ActorComponent size......: 88
Log: PrimitiveComponent size..: 448
Init: ALAudio device requested :
Init: ALAudio device opened : SB X-Fi Audio [EC00]
Init: AL_VENDOR : Creative Labs Inc.
Init: AL_RENDERER : SB X-Fi Audio [EC00]
Init: AL_VERSION : OpenAL version 1.1
Init: AL_EXTENSIONS : EAX
EAX1.0
EAX2.0
EAX3.0
EAX4.0
EAX5.0

Init: Device supports: EAX4.0
Init: Device supports: EAX-RAM
Init: Device supports: ALC_EXT_EFX
Init: Found EFX extension with 4 effect slots and 4 potential sends
Init: ...'reverb' supported
Init: ...'equalizer' supported
Init: ...'low pass filter' supported
Init: ALAudioDevice initialized.
Init: Client initialized
Log: GConfig::Find has loaded file: ..\Engine\Localization\int\Launch.int
Log: Performing DNS lookup for stunserver.org
Log: GConfig::Find has loaded file: ..\UTGame\Config\AgeiaTutor.ini
Log: GConfig::Find has loaded file: ..\UTGame\Config\PhysXDefaultEngine.ini
Log: GConfig::Find has loaded file: ..\UTGame\Config\PhysXTutorEngine.ini
Log: GConfig::Find has loaded file: ..\UTGame\Config\UT2D.ini

Some people stated that using the Area51 files would force software mode through DirectX causing the audio to degrade, but I haven't noticed it using these. Could someone else try them out (and use the method stated by Simri) and give some feedback. Perticularly the people using 5.1 surround with Open AL as they would probably notice the sound differential more than I would with my 2.1 system.

Thanks for the files Simri!

Edit: forgot to mention, but this was on an X-Fi Fatal1ty

and just to add some info from the open al website:

"Note that an OpenAL 1.1 programmer needs to be aware of enumeration issues when writing Windows applications. If a product uses the system-wide implemenation of OpenAL under Windows, the default device assigned may be either a 1.1 or a 1.0-compliant device. If the product uses 1.1 calls on the 1.0 device, then the results will be unpredictable at best. Sample code handling enumeration and device filtering issues (which can be copied into your projects) is provided in the OpenAL 1.1 SDK for Windows."

Hope this helps. =)

Update: Well, it didn't crash last night, but it did today so unfortunately they didn't work. oh well, it did bring me some hope though.

31. Quick bump : I've migrated from XP to Vista64, reinstalled my trusty old Elite Pro and UT3 1.3, and I have yet to experience any crash. I'm playing with OpenAL On and didn't touch any file. Is it thanks to the OS, the patch or just sheer luck, I don't know - but everything's working fine on my 2.0 sound system so far...

32. Originally Posted by DscytheX
Update: Well, it didn't crash last night, but it did today so unfortunately they didn't work. oh well, it did bring me some hope though.
Regarding UE3-games with OpenAl problems, I have a REAL solution

Beta drivers, which are available through this thread:

You have to disable X-RAM, with the new registry setting and this is unsupported beta, BUT it really works. I don't believe anyone can see (or even bench) the difference with X-RAM disabled (compared to if it would be on).

I suppose, if your card doesn't have X-RAM, then you don't have this problem.

Anyway, enough of my chatter, if you need it, get it. I did.

33. Do I have to deactive X-RAM globally or is it possible to deactivate it only for UT3?

Would be nice if it really works
I had bad experiences with the last beta drivers, but I could try this...

Thanks for this information.

Edit
Is this the driver?
Release date : 17 Oct 08

Greets

34. Originally Posted by Nightmare85
Do I have to deactive X-RAM globally or is it possible to deactivate it only for UT3?

Would be nice if it really works
I had bad experiences with the last beta drivers, but I could try this...

Thanks for this information.

Edit
Is this the driver?
Release date : 17 Oct 08

Greets
This deactivates X-RAM globally and it isn't possible to do it just for UT3. They kinda promised (well, at least gave a strong nod to that direction), that when the final driver comes, you would not need to disable X-RAM...

No, not that. Follow the link I gave at earlier post to Creative's forum and ask for a link to driver there. It isn't "Public Beta"...

35. Okay.

Yes, I already did it some minutes ago.
I guess I'll receive the PM soon

Greets

36. Originally Posted by Nightmare85
Okay.

Yes, I already did it some minutes ago.
I guess I'll receive the PM soon

Greets

37. Me, too^^
I'll restart Windows after some minutes to try it.

Greets

38. They still dont have a driver for X-Fi Titanium..this sucks

They still dont have a driver for X-Fi Titanium..this sucks
For the PCIe-series? No, sadly not yet...

40. Get the newest official drivers.
They include the UT3 fix as well.
However, you still have to deactivate the X-RAM...

X-RAM_on.reg
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Creative Tech\Driver\PCI&VEN_1102&DEV_0005]
"DisableXRAM"="0"
X-RAM_off.reg
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Creative Tech\Driver\PCI&VEN_1102&DEV_0005]
"DisableXRAM"="1"
Edit
Maybe you shouldn't use my reg files because they are for my X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty Pro.
But the reg files should be near as my files.

Greets

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