I'm a professional game developer from Wakefield, England, working as a senior programmer for Rebellion North.
I'm a married father of five and I a also sometimes do Retroburn stuff.
Martin 'Bytrix' Caine
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Wednesday, July 6th 2011 / Gaming

Fixing Battlefield Bad Company 2 Crash on iMac

I recently decided to get hold of Battlefield Bad Company 2 and have been playing it with the guys from work. A few of us regularly jump into a game on an evening and we've been playing Supreme Commander 2, Left 4 Dead, GRID, and now Bad Company 2.

The first time I played the game I played for a little over an hour and then my iMac bluescreened (I have the mid 2010 27" Intel i5 iMac, running Windows 7 64bit in Bootcamp). After a reboot I did a quick google search and found a post suggesting the iMac was overheating. I thought this could be possible as the iMac does get VERY hot while playing a game, but I've not had a problem before when playing games which are just as intensive as Bad Company 2.

I played the game a few days later and this time only made it to about 20 minutes before a full system crash. I then tried again and barely even had time to spawn before I crashed.

I then spent another little while reading forums but this time instead of specifically looking for iMac/Bootcamp errors I was looking for any general crashes. It turns out this same crash is affecting a lot of Bad Company 2 players who use onboard sound. The crash is usually accompanied by a short repeating loop of sound, and has been accredited to a bug in the way Bad Company 2's sound system interacts with certain sound drivers. The solution suggested by all these forums was to disable the onboard sound and use a PCI, PCI-E, or USB sound card.

Note that most of the people that have this error are using Realtek onboard sound. The iMac (or atleast mine) uses a Cirrus Logic sound board, but I do appear to be suffering from the same problem.

Luckily, I do use a USB headset for voice comms which I use to talk to my friends while playing. Now, when I want to play Bad Company 2, I disable my default sound device (right click the volume icon in the tray, select Playback devices, right click on Cirrus Logic device and click disable. Note you might also want to disable the mic, I have mine disabled by default.) I can then play for hours on end without a crash (though game sound will come through my headset).

So, it might not sound like much of a solution, but as far as I can tell there is no real way to fix this with a patch or driver update. If you have an iMac and you're having trouble running Bad Company 2 I suggest you look into buying a USB headset, or a USB soundcard, into which you can plug some speakers. This advice also goes for those who're having trouble running the game on a standard PC, but you'd probably be better off looking into a PCI or PCI-E sound card in that case.

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