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Thief Troubleshooting Guide: Fix Crashing, Lagging, Crash, CTD, Poor FPS, Audio issues and Game Errors

Developed by Eidos Studios – Montreal and released by Square Enix, Thief is one of the best games now a days to play, whether on PC or on Consoles. I have played all its earlier episodes, hope you know that this is the 4th installment of well known Thief Game series where play the lead character of Master Thief Garrett. Recently I completed the game on my PC. And obviously came across many problems from installation to Gameplay. But, as I love to troubleshoot computer problems, did several workarounds and fixed all issues that came across. Now assuming you all might as well face those problems, I thought to share all those fixes which will surely help you to save your time.

These troubleshooting includes solutions for many lagging, crashing or CTD, Audio problems or poor FPS and also few error messages. I’m sure you will find it useful. But all these steps come after the system requirements. If your PC doesn’t meets the provided official system requirements, I doubt if these steps will work for you. So, first of all lets have a look at the minimum as well as recommended system requirements. You must atleast having the minimum rig to play Thief comfortably on your computer. Here they are:

Minimum System Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows Vista 64bit
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 2.66GHz OR AMD Athlon II X2 240
  • Memory: 4 GB
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 OR AMD Radeon HD 7670
  • DirectX: DirectX 10
  • HDD Space: 20 GB

Recommended System Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows 7 64bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-920 Quad 2.67GHz OR AMD FX-8100
  • Memory: 6 GB
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 1.5GB (OEM) OR AMD Radeon R9 270
  • DirectX: DirectX 11
  • HDD Space: 20 GB

Thief Installation Error and Solutions:

Lets first start with the error messages you may face during installing the game on your PC. There are could be several errors and of course several solution. Here are few of them which I came across during my copy of the game. Have a look:

1. Error: “Cannot Install Thief PC”

This error is not particularly for the game but it is related to Windows and appears also with software installation. So you don’t need to panic, however Windows doesn’t give us any useful info about this error’s occurrence. When I got this error on my PC I simply removed the CD, deleted the folder created by the game and restarted the computer and updated all drivers and updated DirectX version. Rebooted the system again and started installation. Guess what, this time installation went fine, without any problem.

2. Error: “The Application failed to initialize properly”

Many times we also get an error message while installing game which states ‘Application failed to initialize properly’. In such case you just need to download and install “Microsoft Visual Runtime Libraries”. It is just about 5Mb in size. You can download it from this link. Once installed, reboot and run the game installation. Hopefully you should not get the error anymore.

3. Error: “Thief PC Install Fails, Cannot Install”

If you got this error, you will need to uninstall Microsoft C++ from you computer. Yes, the said error appears because of a bug with older version of C++. You can uninstall it by opening control panel > Uninstall Programs > Add and Remove Programs > and uninstall C++. Also remember that there might be multiple entries of Microsoft C++, you will have to delete all of them. You can download the latest version from of Microsoft C++ from here and install. After installation, reboot the computer and start the installing the game. It should go smoothly this time.

I faced these errors while installing Thief. If you any error apart from these three and looking for solution, feel free to post here. I’ll try my best to offer you working solution at the earliest.

Unable to Install Thief:

Apart from those error messages, there are many more reasons that may not allow you to install the game, but they don’t throw an error messages. I have collected most important of them here with solutions. Here are few things you can try out to get rid of installation problems:

  • Very first thing you need to do is disable all security suites. There are many security suites or Antivirus blocking the game’s installation. Simply disable your Antivirus and try installing the game again.
  • If you are having Norton Security installed on your computer, you might need to directly uninstall it from your computer if you really want to play Thief on your PC. It is very well know for these problems.
  • Make sure your Game DVD is good, not faulty or having scratches. There are possibilities and example of getting damaged of scratched DVDs right out of the box. If you got any such disc then try cleaning it with soft cotton and start the installation.
  • The same thing may also occur with download ISO or Image file of the game. In this case, unlike the DVD, you will need to download it again and install the game. But before doing the same, as the download size is huge, you should try running on the ISO on some another gaming PC or laptop to make sure if the file is corrupt.

If you tried all above steps and still not able to install the game , then ensure that you first delete all installation files and folders and all left over files of the game, before restarting the installation after following above process. You will need to delete those files from various places such as My Documents, Program Files, etc where Game use to save their files.

Thief wont Start or Crashes on launch:

After successful installation, the next problem we could come across is Crash while launching the game. Or the game wont just start no matter how many times we click the Game’s shortcut icon. If you come across such problem, here are few things you need to do to fix the crashing issue:

1. Most important thing that wont allow the game launch or crash it, are the Drivers. As I always recommend we should always update our system drivers before installing every new game. So, if you are using nVidia graphic cards, then click here to download the latest Drivers. And if it is AMT / ATI graphic card, then download the same from here.

2. Next important thing that result in crashing the game is outdated DirectX. So you should also update the DX to the most recent version. You can download the latest DirectX from here . Instead of updating the DX, it is much better to do a fresh install. I mean, first uninstall the install DX from your system completely, reboot the computer and then install the latest one.

3. If still you are not able to load the game or it crashes while launching then it would be Windows built-in “User Account Control (UAC)”. Hence you should disable it while playing the game, there is no harm of it and can be done in few seconds. You just need to go to Start and type UAC followed by Enter.Now you will see a slider in the new opened window, simply slide it down to the bottom and click OK. To effect the changes, just reboot your computer and now launch the game. Hopefully it should work fine.

4. In many cases I have seen the game wont launch when we try running it by double clicking the shortcut icon which is created by default after the installation. This might be possibility in your case as well. So, instead of launching from the desktop, go to the game’s installation folder and click thief.exe. This should surely launch the game, without any problem. Alternatively you can right click the respective .exe and select properties. Go to ‘Compatibility Mode’ tab and check mark the box for ‘Disable Desktop Composition.’ Now restart the game again.

Thief Crashes To Desktop (CTD) while playing:

After successfully fixing the launch problem, another issue we can face is while gameplay. There use to be some causes that result in Crashing the game to desktop. In other words, Crash to Desktop (CTD). If your Thief is crashing while playing, here are few fixes.

  • First of all free up as much resources as you can for playing the game. You can do this by killing all unwanted processes. To do this go to Task Manager > Processes Tab > right click and kill process.
  • If that doesn’t fixes the CTD, you may need to disable startup programs and restart the game. To do this type ‘MSCONFIG’ in Run Box (Win+R keys) and press Enter. Now click Startup Tab and either select one by one if you have knowledge about which apps are not required or simply click Disable All button and Apply. Now reboot the PC and restart the game.
  • If still facing the problem, then it would be your security suite / Antivirus. Disable it.
  • Another thing you can do to fix up CTD is go to your Graphic Card’s Control Panel and disable one GPU. Running the game on only 1 GPU. It works good in most of the cases.
  • If you are using nVidia Card then click Manage 3d settings and enable ‘Threaded Optimization’ from the nVidia Control Panel.
  • If you are having ATI or AMD Card then you will need to uninstall Catalyst Control Center (CCC) and start the game again.

Thief Freezing, Lags and Low FPS issues:

If you are not having the recommended System requirement for Thief, you may face freezing, lagging or FPS issues. Here are some workarounds that will help you to run the game without any of these issues even on minimum system requirements. Have a look:

  • As it is obvious that if the game is not running on recommended Rig, you will need to free up the resources for the game. You can do this by killing all unwanted process running in background. Open task Manager and kill all process except those required by the game, graphic card and Windows.
  • Go to your Graphic Card Control Panel and lower the settings by disabling Vsync and Antialiasing.
  • If still facing any of those problems, from your graphic card’s control panel run the game on triple buffering and V-sync using the D3DOverrider software. Note, do this only if you have done it successfully earlier.
  • If the problem exists yet, launch the game, minimize it by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Tab , select Task Manager, click Processes Tab, find and right click respective process for Thief game, click Select Priority and set it to High or RealTime. Now go to your game and see if it is running good now.

Black Screen while playing Thief:

This is yet another common problem that appears with many high end games. Here are few fixes you can try out:

  • First of all make sure you are running the most recent Graphics Driver and Motherboard drivers.
  • You may need to disable VSync, anti-aliasing and filtering as well as multi-sampling from game’s settings. This will surely low down your graphics that’s the only fix because your system rig might not be up to the mark required by the game
  • Disable all Security Suites temporarily. Disable Antivirus and any third party Firewalls.
  • Go to Task manager > Process Tab and kill all unwanted process running in the background
  • If still you facing the Black Screen then unfortunately you may require to perform Clean Re-install of the game. Don’t worry, if you have already played few levels/Missions, you can backup your Save Game. Note, by saying ‘Clean Install’ I mean you need to delete all left over files and folders after uninstalling the game including its installation folder and Save Game Folder. Once done, restart the PC, install the game, restore your save files and play the game comfortably.

Thief No Sound or Sound Stuttering:

  • First of all make sure you are running the latest sound/audio drivers. Visit the manufacturer’s site and download the most recent driver.
  • Update your Dirext X to the latest version.
  • If still facing sound problems then decrease Sound Acceleration. You can do this by running ‘dxdiag’ command in Run Box (Win+R). In the opened dialog box go to Sound Tab and Reduce Sound Acceleration.
  • Furthermore you can also go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sounds > Sound > Communications Tab. Here click ‘Do Nothing’ and Apply > Ok. That’s it, you are done. There wont be the sound problem anymore.
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