Fallout 3 and Win 7 64 Bit

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Gigantic Memory Leak Issues - Bethesda "Fallout 3 is not supported under Windows 7"



XXXXXX, we didn't realize you were playing through Steam. Yes, that would mean that you would have had to tweak running in compatibility mode a bit. Please let us know what happens.

As per your link from Microsoft, we definitely appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We were not entirely aware that Microsoft stated that our game is compatible with Windows 7 64 or 32 bit OS. Unfortunately, since Windows 7 was released after Fallout 3 was tested and released, it was never tested on the Windows 7 Platform. For that reason, we do not support the game. Please note that this does not mean it "won't work" on Windows 7. You may be able to find another 3rd party source that has done testing with the software. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Your customer number is 400346327

Please refer to case #:: 401504811 if you have any further questions.

If you need further assistance, you can also reach us online at http://support.bethsoft.com or our technical support staff at (410)-568-3685. Please include all previous replies when/if responding to this message.

Best Regards,

XXX X. at Bethesda Softworks Technical Support

Well if you haven't been living under a rock for the last year, you might have noticed that Microsoft updated from Windows Vista to Windows 7 with a rather interesting amount of alacrity that probably derived from Vista's mixed reviews and bad track record with users.

So regardless in a massive campaign to rebuild their consumer confidence not only was Win 7 released but it was also added as a free upgrade to people who'd held out on upgrading to Vista prior to the news of Win 7, so if you bought Vista you'd get Win 7 free when it released. As you can imagine a lot of people bought Vista at that point and while Vista SP2 wasn't all that bad I think most would agree Win 7 is much better.

Then we come to gaming and we seem to hit a bit of a brick wall in regards to Fallout 3. Just recently on October 19th, 2010, Bethesda Games and Obsidian Entertainment released Fallout: New Vegas, once again bringing back the Wasteland to the public in a new and fun story set in the old familiar west coast areas of the Fallout genre apocalypse. And this was largely good, other than the need for several quick patches to make the game work correctly once they got to patch the game worked largely on all systems that met its system specifications and we went on with our lives.

Then there's those of us that fondly remembered that we really liked Fallout 3 as well so we reinstalled it because maybe we wanted to play it again or go try out the DLC's we sort of ignored because we were busy doing other things.

Well, sorry to dash your hopes but if you're on Win 7 64 Bit there's no amount of ini tweaking/compatibility mode running in the world that's going to save you from this.

This is a link to a Youtube video, the video for the game play is highly degraded because I'm screen capturing my entire screen to show the pervasive and astounding amounts of memory FO3 is chewing up as I attempt to make my way from Megaton to the Arlington National Library.


As you can see it goes from 750mb of memory on load to a whopping 1.5GB of memory on crash, all in 12 minutes and 40 seconds of play.

Now I'm running a fairly modest amount of mods. BoG and Breeze for body replacers. Tailor Maid cause who doesn't love that stuff. And then Book of Earache for a weapon replacer. The mod footprint isn't really that large, here is my current load order.

[X] Fallout3.esm
[X] Anchorage.esm
[X] ThePitt.esm
[X] BrokenSteel.esm
[X] PointLookout.esm
[X] Zeta.esm
[X] Lings.esm
[X] LingsDLC.esm
[X] CRAFT.esm
[X] CALIBR.esm
[X] xCALIBR.esm
[X] xCALIBRuniverse.esm
[ ] Mothership Crew.esm(This is awesome I just don't have it checked and won't til I do the Zeta DLC at the end)
[ ] TSC Air Support.esm
[X] LingsFinerThings.esm
[X] LingsPrettyThings.esp
[ ] TSC Air Support.esp
[X] DarNifiedUIF3.esp
[X] dD - Enhanced Blood Main.esp
[X] dD-No Screen Blood.esp
[X] Alternate Start - Roleplayers.esp
[X] Overhead3PCamera.esp
[X] Echo_UseBothGloves.esp
[X] BlackWolf Backpack.esp
[X] BlackWolf Backpack - Vendor Script Replenish.esp
[X] BlackWolf Backpack - Vanilla Big Guns Fix.esp
[X] BlackWolf Backpack - Anchorage Gauss Rifle Fix.esp
[X] BlackWolf Backpack - Zeta Drone Cannon Fix.esp
[X] BlackWolf Backpack - Blank's Container Patch.esp
[X] FPS Grenade Hotkey.esp
[X] FPS Grenade Hotkey - Zeta addon.esp
[X] MiniHideout.esp
[X] Tailor Maid.esp
[X] Tailor Maid Anchorage.esp
[X] Tailor Maid PITT.esp
[X] Tailor Maid Brokensteel.esp
[X] Tailor Maid ZETA.esp
[X] Tailor Maid Black Retex.esp
[X] Night Vision Sunglasses.esp
[X] Lookout Outfits.esp
[X] LingsFinerThings.esp
[X] LingsPrettyThings-BrokenSteel.esp
[X] xCALIBRuniverse_LingsBrokenSteel.esp
[X] xCALIBRuniverse_LingsPrettyThings.esp
[X] URWL.esp
[X] xCALIBRuniverse.esp
[X] FO3ModMerger.esp

As you can see I'm even running a merged patch to attempt to reduce conflicts and problems and it is all for nothing because the game with mods, or without mods refuses to do anything but chew through memory on Win 7 64 Bit til the game crashes. I've reproduced this memory leak on a fresh install running nothing but stock Fallout esm's and bsa's for the DLC.

Now the reason the game crashes is fairly simple if you're running a fairly competent system you've probably got something around what I have.

I am running the following hardware:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Quad 2.4ghz
  • 4GB Corsair DDR2 RAM
  • Geforce 470 GTX

Not top of the line but grossly in excess of the requirements for running Fallout 3, and in fact, Fallout 3 ran just great on my P4HT 3.2ghz Windows XP SP3 computer with 2GB of RAM and a Geforce 8600 GT card, so whats the majority difference here? The hardware that is currently in use all exceeds the recommended spec's. But the game eats memory like candy.

I've been going through the support process for this with Bethesda's tech support to find no real answers there other than the definitive statement that the game is not supported under Windows 7 because the game was released before Windows 7 was released.

I'm sure glad I bought that Fallout 3 preorder CE way back in the day, I'm sure glad I bought all that DLC and a Steam DDE edition of FO3 too because the disc for my CE had gotten lost. Only to find that a couple years later the title is now effectively "Abandonware" in Bethesda's eyes if god forbid someone upgraded their OS in the time intervening between 2008 and 2010.

Now I'm not unreasonable I don't expect Bethesda or Obsidian to make the original Fallout compatible with Windows 7 64 Bit by default(but sadly enough I do have the original Fallout installed and it works just FINE on Windows 7 64 Bit as long as I use Windows 95 Compatibility mode when running it) I mean lets face it that was ages ago....but Fallout 3 is all of around two years old, and they refuse to support it because Windows 7 was released after FO3 was?

This is ridiculous and if you just happen to Google "Fallout 3 freezes" you'll see there are hundreds of thousands of results of people asking literally everywhere how to fix this problem. There are a billion offers of potential "tweaks and fixes" the user can do themselves to make the game work but the simple facts are that any game that rampantly consumes enough memory to cause the OS to shut it down because the OS has memory priority and sets aside 1.3GB for itself, if an application hits 1.5GB or more, if you've got 4GB of memory, you're suddenly OUT OF MEMORY.

So whats the solution? Everyone upgrades to 16GB of memory to delay this memory monster from crashing their games on a game released in 2008 that needed at most 2GB to run....or....Bethesda gets enough negative feedback from its fan base to actually patch Fallout 3 up to FO:NV's compatibility standards?

Personally I believe the patch is the responsibility of Zenimax Media and Bethesda Software, to ensure the products they sold continue to work for a reasonable about of time, and I don't think a 2 year life span for Fallout 3 is a realistic time span seeing as I can load up Mass Effect, the original 2002 edition, right now, and play it, with absolutely no problems on the exact same machine and I don't even have to go through all the malarkey of tweaking ini files and running the executable in compatibility mode.

This isn't a fact that FO3 doesn't work under a Win 7 64 Bit environment...it does work, it runs smooth as a babys ass in that environment, other than the memory monster which is chewing through so much physical memory its blatantly obvious the program itself has a gigantic memory leak in the Win 7 64 Bit Environment and that is the cause of the crashes and freezes. Nothing more, nothing less. The CPU and OS take memory priority and FO3 shuts down because its using way too much.

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty hacked off about this and I think anyone else affected by it should be too.

I feel especially sorry for all the people that went back and bought the FO3 GOTY after getting FO:NV only to get screwed by this major flaw in running FO3 under Windows 7 64 Bit.

Like 64 Bit operating systems are all that "fringe" any more.

Step up Bethesda and support your products. You can't leave FO3 and all its DLCs in the dust and expect people to just accept this memory leak as an acceptable excuse for "non-support" of Windows 7 64 Bit. Windows 7 isn't the problem its the FO3 executable chewing through memory like candy. Especially when FO:NV on the exact same engine with some slight adjustments has allowed it to run just fine under the exact same environment.

Its the same engine for Christs sake. How hard is it to draw a straight line from B back to A and do what you did to B to A to ensure A is a viable game in the same environment?