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Possible solution for X-Fi and OpenAL related crashes

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  • 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. View Post
    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.

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    • #3
      i will try this

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      • #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.

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        • #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          Copy both OpenAL32.dll and wrap_oal.dll from Windows\system32\ to UT3\Binaries\ replacing Epic's outdated files...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 voilà! 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.)

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          • #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?

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            • #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)

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

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

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                  • #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.

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                    • #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

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                      • #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...

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                        • #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?)

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                          • #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.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by flikflak View Post
                              -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...

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