Lots of people (including myself) have been getting crashes when playing Diablo 3 in the form of blue screens, black screens, and other crashes. I have done a lot of research on the subject and have came up with some steps you can follow if you are getting blue screens.
Enable Minidumps and Disable Automatic Restart
This is the first step you want to do. A Minidump is something Windows stores when there is a blue so that you can debug it. Automatic restart needs to be disabled so you have time to take a look at the blue screen and the messages on it, otherwise it will quickly restart on you. Here is how to do this on Windows 7:
First, right click on My Computer and click properties. From here, go to the Advanced tab and click on Settings under Startup and Recovery. Make sure "Automatic Restart" is unticked and "Write debugging information" is set to "Small memory dump".
Update all Drivers
This sounds like an obvious step but most people thing that they can just update their graphic card drivers and thats it. Many other drivers such as sound card, motherboard, and network card drivers can cause blue screens. Make sure you have the latest drivers available from the manufacturer site.
Remove Daemon tools and Alchahol 120%
Both these tools install a driver called sptd.sys that is known to cause a BSOD. Since these tools are very commonly found on computers, I thought I should include steps here on how to uninstall it. First, remove Daemon tools or Alchahol 120% using the normal uninstaller, but note that this DOES NOT remove sptd.sys. To remove sptd.sys, you must go to the DuplexSecure site and download their uninstaller.
You can download it here.
While this is not likely to happen with Diablo3 since it isn't a very taxing game, it is still possible nonetheless. Check to see if your CPU or GPU is overheating which is causing your computer to throw a blue screen to avoid damage. There are many tools that you can use for temperature monitoring such as Coretemp for CPU and GPU-Z for GPU.
Remove any overclocking
Overclocking can cause BSOD in some cases. Unless you are 100% sure your system is stable (by running stability tests) you should lower overclocking to check if this is what is causing the problem. People on this forum even found that under-clocking your card can help you avoid BSOD.
According to this official Blizzard support article Zonealarm is known to cause crashed during game startup.
We have seen a handful of blue screen crashes on game startup that disappeared when ZoneAlarm software was uninstalled. If you have ZoneAlarm software and would be willing to try uninstalling it, this may get you into the game.
Turn on VSYNC
Turning on vertical synchronization or otherwise limiting the FPS to 60 or lower has helped me avoid BSOD on my machine. Try it out and see if it helps you.
According to this forum post you can reduce the chance of a crash by altering the following in d3prefs.txt found in "MyDocuments/Diablo III":
- Set DisableTrilinearFiltering to 1 (from 0 to 1)
- Lower HardwareClass in increments and test if it helps. If it was set to 5, try it at 4 etc.
Analyze the Minidumps
If you tried all of the above and your game is still crashing you might want to try analyzing the Minidumps generated by the blue screen. You can use WhoCrashed or Blue Screen View for this. What you will normally see in these Minidumps is what caused the error in terms of a .sys or a .exe. From personal experience most of the time you will get some generic windows module that is shown as causing the error. This is a false representation of the error and you have to keep crashing the game until the culprit shows up. Once you have a clear view of what is causing the error, you should start out by doing a Google search using the driver or application name.
It might also be possible that something in your computer is physically damaged and is causing the BSOD, although if you only get them during Diablo 3 this is unlikely.
I recently found this Blizzard article that might help you. Here are the points mentioned in this article:
- Run the game in Administrator mode
- Set "Max Foreground FPS" to 40
- Disable Desktop Composition (Right click, Properties, Compatibility tab)
- Disable any overlay programs. A list of incompatible ones can be found here
- Allow the game through the Windows Firewall
- Add an exception for the game in y our antivirus
There are other things mentioned in the article, but I did not write them here because I had already spoke about them in previous points.
Underclock your Graphics Card
I had been reading this in many places but never taught to try it since only Diablo 3 was crashing. I did however try it, and it did stop my game from crashing. What program you use to underclock your card depends on which one you have, but a quick Google search will give you what you want. My recommendation for you is to create a profile just for Diablo 3, and set the underclock there. Each time you run Diablo 3, enable this profile. This will ensure the underclock will not cause performance issues in other games.
When all else fails, this is what I recommend you do. SevenForums has a special sub-section for BSOD and there are many knowledgeable people here that will help you. Simply go to http://www.sevenforums.com/crashes-debugging/, start a thread and wait for a reply. Make sure you attach your Minidump file in your thread so they can analyze it for you.