Steam Skyrim patch break your LAA fun? Try this.

#1 Edited by Zelyre (983 posts) -

So, as many PC gamers are probably aware by now, or will be when they get home, there's a patch for Skyrim.

It encrypts TESV.EXE so you can no longer enable the LAA flag. What does that mean? Done any texture modding? Crash to desktop and purple no textures galore! What's it supposed to do? Curb piracy. Thanks!

I found this on the official boards. http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1284506-how-to-use-falloutnv-4gb-launcher-with-skyrim/page__pid__19387100#entry19387100

What you're essentially doing is making a symbolic link; the New Vegas 4 gig enabler will launch what it thinks is New Vegas, but is actually Skyrim. 72850 is the number Steam associates with Skyrim.

As a side note, I haven't tried this myself. I'm stuck here at work on my Macbook, my Windows install is via Parallels, and my SSD is pretty much full. That, and I've seen videos of Skyrim working well on 13" macbooks. I don't need that temptation...

#2 Posted by Alo81 (79 posts) -

So all the patch adds is anti-piracy? But the games already leaked as a non DRM'd up one, so isn't this kind of pointless until an actual content patch comes out?

#3 Posted by Zelyre (983 posts) -

@Alo81: From what I've heard, there are no patch notes. The only thing the update seems to have done is break LAA for people using the retail version, meanwhile people with pirated copies? Unaffected.

Yes, quite pointless without any actual content behind it.

I'll have to back up my current exe, log in to Steam, let it update, and see if the fix works.

Or maybe its just a temporary thing; Steam enforced Thanksgiving time.

#4 Posted by Vitor (2789 posts) -

@Zelyre said:

@Alo81: From what I've heard, there are no patch notes. The only thing the update seems to have done is break LAA for people using the retail version, meanwhile people with pirated copies? Unaffected.

Yes, quite pointless without any actual content behind it.

I'll have to back up my current exe, log in to Steam, let it update, and see if the fix works.

Or maybe its just a temporary thing; Steam enforced Thanksgiving time.

LAA? What does that stand for? I downloaded a program to force Skyrim to use more than 2GB of RAM and am hoping that won't screw things up....

#5 Posted by Beforet (2884 posts) -

Can you please explain what exactly the LAA flag is? Does this mean we can't use any custom textures until the creation kit is out? Kinda related, does anyone know when that will come out?

#6 Posted by AlisterCat (5398 posts) -

@Vitor: @Beforet: LAA is Large Address Aware, allowing Skyrim to use more than 2GB of RAM theoretically. If you have a load of custom textures, and try to run it without the flag your game will probably just crash to desktop. Mine did it 100% of the time.

The way I solved it is to restore the old EXE with the flag and to stop steam updating it. When the patch comes out I will make a decision about whether to switch over.

#7 Posted by DillonWerner (1521 posts) -

@AlisterCat: How did you do that?

#8 Posted by Stahlbrand (835 posts) -

ITT: People upset about something they weren't using and don't understand.

LAA is Large Address Aware, and it is a flag that allows a program to address more than two gigs of RAM at once. Its use with Skyrim is of debatable benefit, but potentially in the future when the CK comes out, enabling the LAA flag might be important for some users with dozens of high-impact mods running concurrently.

Its US-Thanksgiving, patch notes are sure to come tomorrow.

#9 Edited by truckington (54 posts) -

@Stahlbrand said:

ITT: People upset about something they weren't using and don't understand.

LAA is Large Address Aware, and it is a flag that allows a program to address more than two gigs of RAM at once. Its use with Skyrim is of debatable benefit, but potentially in the future when the CK comes out, enabling the LAA flag might be important for some users with dozens of high-impact mods running concurrently.

Its US-Thanksgiving, patch notes are sure to come tomorrow.

It's not debatable at all for me. Before applying the LAA patch I was crashing to desktop at least 10 times a day while playing Skyrim. After I LAA patched Skyrim I did not crash to desktop a single time. Until the patch today, when I crashed to desktop again 20 minutes after the new exe applied.

#10 Posted by Father_Vice (68 posts) -

if bethesda knew what they were doing then why wouldn't they make the game aware of more available RAM? how are we not past the days of having to personally modify game files so we can play the game optimally?

#11 Posted by mosdl (3223 posts) -

@Alo81 said:

So all the patch adds is anti-piracy? But the games already leaked as a non DRM'd up one, so isn't this kind of pointless until an actual content patch comes out?

Perhaps this is to make patching the pirated version harder, who knows.

#12 Edited by Zelyre (983 posts) -

@Stahlbrand said:

ITT: People upset about something they weren't using and don't understand.

LAA is Large Address Aware, and it is a flag that allows a program to address more than two gigs of RAM at once. Its use with Skyrim is of debatable benefit, but potentially in the future when the CK comes out, enabling the LAA flag might be important for some users with dozens of high-impact mods running concurrently.

Its US-Thanksgiving, patch notes are sure to come tomorrow.

Something like that. Its actually a swap file thing. 32 bit executables are limited to a four gig swap file as well. Two gigs of that memory are available to the application while the other two are reserved for the operating system. It does nothing for the actual executable in a 64 bit environment, it's still constrained by the 4 gig 32 bit limit.

By flagging an executable LAA, you're essentially giving it permission to use the other two gigs of the swap file normally reserved by Windows. Its been used in Oblivion, Fallout 3, and New Vegas and I'm not really sure if you can call the benefits debatable. There are issues with Skyrim where textures and areas of cells flat out do not load without making TESV.EXE LAA.

But yes, if you used a program to force Skyrim's executable to use more than two gigs of memory, it will screw it up. I'm currently backing up my Skyrim directory and will update it. I'll post an update if this fix works or not, as I have New Vegas installed as well as the 4 gig enabler for it.

If it doesn't work, I'll keep Skyrim installed, but I'm going to copy the unpatched installation to another drive and back it up onto my NAS. Right now, if I mount my Skyrim installation on the network, I can play it on any computer without Steam running. That's not right. However, they went a bit overboard disabling the LAA fix. :\ Many a duder here alone that's playing on the PC version has used it to fix their constant crash to desktop issues. They can't make the stock TESV LAA because people still using WinXP would run into issues as well.

This isn't -the- Skyrim patch. This is a Skyrim patch for the PC version. Its the same size as TESV.EXE, ~18 megs. It's just a replacement executable.

#13 Posted by DillonWerner (1521 posts) -
#14 Posted by Cataphract1014 (1313 posts) -

@Stahlbrand said:

ITT: People upset about something they weren't using and don't understand.

LAA is Large Address Aware, and it is a flag that allows a program to address more than two gigs of RAM at once. Its use with Skyrim is of debatable benefit, but potentially in the future when the CK comes out, enabling the LAA flag might be important for some users with dozens of high-impact mods running concurrently.

Its US-Thanksgiving, patch notes are sure to come tomorrow.

This is not the patch they talked about that is coming after thanksgivings.

#15 Edited by truckington (54 posts) -

Since people seem to misunderstanding LAA here and on other forums:

Setting a 32bit program to Large Address Aware when using 64 bit Windows raises the limit of virtual ram address space from 2gb to 4gb. Virtual address space for ram includes your video cards ram. Just because you open task manager and see skyrim using less than a gig of ram doesn't mean LAA is useless. Which brings me to the next point, the problem is worse the higher the res of the textures you're using is. Playing on ultra settings means you're far more likely to run into problems as larger textures means more memory used. And finally, the problem gets worse as you play more, as the game is trying to cache textures for fast loading.

Started up Skyrim, loaded a save in the middle of the mages college and checked both ram and vram usage. 900mb Ram usage, 820mb vram usage. So that's 1,720mb of addressable ram usage before even moving anywhere, in an area that is not very populated with npcs or items. (Should note I'm playing on ultra with the detailed face and bodies mods which use a bit bigger textures).

#16 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2480 posts) -

Based on threads I've read on Skyrimnexus, the LAA patch was the one thing keeping people from crashing constantly, so it seems like something Bethesda could include in the executable without much work and not screw people who bought the game and just want to play it.

Or, you know, just give us a 64-bit executable already in a Bethesda game so it ceases to be an issue.

#17 Posted by Zelyre (983 posts) -

@truckington said:

Since people seem to misunderstanding LAA here and on other forums:

Virtual address space for ram includes your video cards ram.

I was pretty sure that VAS is not the same as physical memory addressing. As a new VAS is created for every executable that calls for one until you consume the amount of memory you've set your page file to. My understanding it that VAS operates like a middle man between the OS and your physical memory, moving what's currently running to physical memory while keeping things idle in the swap. If I'm wrong, I won't mind being set straight.

The actual addressing of physical memory, though? Yes, video card ram is part of that limit. Its why I have no clue why people continue to use 32 bit OSes, especially with video cards having one to two gigs of ram nowadays.

#18 Posted by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -

I can just backup the non-patched .exe and just restore it after it patches right?

#19 Posted by TatsurouXIII (647 posts) -

Thanks for the intel, I thought there's something wrong with my pc.

#20 Posted by Zelyre (983 posts) -

@rjayb89: You could for now.

On the bright side, the 4gb New Vegas enabler works, it would seem. I just instant traveled to every major city, walked into each city's inns, and did a bit of wandering. Entering Whitefall alone, before the LAA flag would start to make things stop loading, as Whitefall is where the majority of the new texturework is located.

And another bit of good news is the New Vegas enabler is open source. It's already been ported hastily for Skyrim and works for many, including me. I'm sure we'll be seeing it on the Nexus shortly.

#21 Posted by Father_Vice (68 posts) -

so for those of us who are not privvy to fucking around with our steam games and don't have backups of saves or un-patched .exe's can i get a suggestion? because for now the launcher starts, and play game simply asks if we want to allow changes and than crashes (which i'm sure is the case)

are my save files good?

#22 Posted by truckington (54 posts) -

@Zelyre:

I'm simplifying it a bit yeah. What I mean is that by default, a 32bit application running on windows 7 64bit is limited to 2gb of virtual address space. Windows Display Driver Manager (WDDM) is responsible for handling vram and with start assigning virtual address space to vram as it is being used/needed. It will also swap idle textures from vram to normal ram if needed, and sometimes keep textures in both vram and ram. So when you start putting large amounts of large textures into vram, more and more of the virtual address space gets used by the vram.

#23 Posted by Zelyre (983 posts) -

@Father_Vice: Your saves are fine, they're saved in Documents/My Games/Skyrim in Win7, if you want to back them up.

Do a verify files on Skyrim and see if that clears the issue.

#24 Posted by Father_Vice (68 posts) -

@Zelyre:

thank you. and what about those of us who never modded or used this LAA? the game worked for me fine until today

#25 Posted by Zelyre (983 posts) -

@Father_Vice: Should be fine. Its the modding that pushed many of us to the limit causing us to crash to desktop every few minutes. My stock Skyrim experience was pretty stable.

#26 Edited by triple07 (1193 posts) -

So here's the thing. We ave too many acronyms. I know this has nothing to do with the topic but I had to look up 2 different acronyms in this thread. I feel like we're back to the days on intant messaging whit all these shortcuts for stuff. Just type it out, its not that hard. Of course I'm not saying all acronyms are bad but I think we should probably be more selective with their usage; I mean LAA seems like a pretty specific thing that most people wouldn't know.

Anyways on topic, I had no idea Skyrim only used 2 gigs of RAM, now I feel kinda gypped. Good thing I'm not using any custom textures yet.

#27 Edited by RIDEBIRD (1229 posts) -

Motherfucking idiots.

And I can't get the fucking launcher to work. No more Skyrim for me then. Fucking piece of shit Bethesda.

#28 Posted by tourgen (4233 posts) -

my favorite part of the deal was loading Skyrim to play it today and it won't go past the splash window. I didn't mod anything. Thanks bastards, for taking my money and then breaking my game after the fact for no good reason.

#29 Posted by Liber (647 posts) -

LAA .... Lame Anti-Air ?

Sounds like some Battlefield 3 shit or something.

#30 Posted by Zelyre (983 posts) -

@Ertard: @tourgen: Right click on Skyrim in steam. Bring up properties. Under Local Files, do Verity Integrity of Game Cache. This resolved Skyrim not launching for a few friends of mine, hopefully it fixes your issues as well.

#31 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1783 posts) -

Kind of a bummer workaround, but at least it works for the time being. I really hope they fix it, because how fucking stupid is it that I have to find a third party program to run my game, that worked perfectly fine earlier today, perfectly fine again?

#32 Posted by ShinjiEx (624 posts) -

I understood about 25% of that OP *__*

#33 Posted by Doctorchimp (4063 posts) -

@truckington said:

@Stahlbrand said:

ITT: People upset about something they weren't using and don't understand.

LAA is Large Address Aware, and it is a flag that allows a program to address more than two gigs of RAM at once. Its use with Skyrim is of debatable benefit, but potentially in the future when the CK comes out, enabling the LAA flag might be important for some users with dozens of high-impact mods running concurrently.

Its US-Thanksgiving, patch notes are sure to come tomorrow.

It's not debatable at all for me. Before applying the LAA patch I was crashing to desktop at least 10 times a day while playing Skyrim. After I LAA patched Skyrim I did not crash to desktop a single time. Until the patch today, when I crashed to desktop again 20 minutes after the new exe applied.

Yeah, same here.

I don't have any mods going on, I was using it so it didn't crash and it was working flawlessly. Now I'm crashing after about an hour or so.

#34 Posted by rjayb89 (7713 posts) -
#35 Edited by GetEveryone (4454 posts) -

I've fucked about quite heavily with the .ini files. Does this mean my game will be scoobied if I log into Steam tonight?

and this:

@rjayb89 said:

I can just backup the non-patched .exe and just restore it after it patches right?

#36 Edited by Marz (5608 posts) -

You think after fallout 3, NV, and Skyrim (it's still gamebryo at it's core) they would have seen that this memory addressing is the culprit for most people crashing to desktop..  anyways i did the backup the original (patched) exe from my restore point solution and i'm not crashing anymore.

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