I can’t play Skyrim. Please help me…


Thanks for all your suggestions people. In the end I got completely bored of the headache of trying to fix the game. I just want to play it, so I bought the Xbox 360 version instead. The graphics aren’t as tidy but it’s much more reliable, and I get to sit on a sofa, which is quite a bonus for a 300 hour game. Blessings be upon you.


After working myself into a frenzy of excitement, and having been completely failed by Amazon’s release date delivery promise, I ran to the shops yesterday and bought another copy of Skyrim, rushed home, installed that bitch, and have been pretty much unable to play it since. I NEED YOUR HELP OR I’LL DIE!


1. Laggy mouse movement

2. For an acceptable frame rate, having to play the game on far lower graphical settings than the auto-detect settings

3. Frame rate starts fine then gradually deterorates until the game crashes after about 5 minutes

4. Game repeatedly crashes to desktop. After the blackout, task manager shows a CPU spike. Often, I have to restart Steam or my entire PC before it will allow me to play again

5. Weirdly, after Skyrim has crashed, I can no longer use Firefox – the browser window appears black and all the icons within it are individually blacked out.

One of these symptoms first began when I installed the DLC for Fallout: New Vegas. My PC can play fallout with maxed out settings at 60fps. Howevers soon as I installed the expansion levels, Fallout would crash to desktop every 5 minutes or so without an error message.


XP (32 bit)

Intel Core 2 Quad 9650 @3.00Ghz

CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Golden Orb II

3.25 gb Ram

ATI Radeon HD 4770 512MB

Tascam US-122 audio device


1. Reducing my graphical settings so they’re less taxing (lower draw distance, less anti-aliasing, basic shadows etc). Doesn’t work.

2. I attempted the common fix suggested on sites by altering sound settings to 44.1 in the control panel, but the window containing that option doesn’t even exist so I can’t do that.

3. I have killed as many background processes as possible, and have plenty of free RAM headroom.

4. Updated graphics drivers to their current versions.


I bought a new widescreen monitor just to play this game. I’ve booked myself time off work. Fix this problem and I will do something special for you. I don’t know what it is yet but I will. X

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54 Responses

  1. BazzleBeefJunkie says:

    Hiya , Dan Reduce your resolution to the lowest possible, update your graphics drivers , use gamebooster 3 (its free). Thank you Your youtube subscriber .. BazzleBeefJunkie

  2. baron says:

    Have you checked that your actual graphics card is compatible? ive had a look at the specs here, and although your graphics card meets the minimum requirement, it doesnt meet the recommended one? http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/10/26/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-system-requirements-released-render-giant-spiders-on-2gb-ram/ You should just get it on xbox, apparently the PC version is a port anyway?

  3. notsodovakin says:

    >laggy mouse
    Im more that sure that its v-sync. Turn it off. It will solve the mouse problem. Can’t say about other things.

  4. Topperfalkon says:

    Doing a graphics card driver update is your first port of call, then try updating DirectX.

  5. Asthor says:

    Hi I am sorry to hear about your problem, you should try the following:
    1. disable V-sync.
    2. use recomended settings.
    3. update DX if no updates are avaliable reinstall it.
    4. it may be a sound problem are you sure you can’t find it here: In win7 go to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Sound Pick your sound device that is set as default, click Properties. Go to the Advanced tab and make sure the ‘Default Format’ it is set to 44.1khz 16bit.

    If none of the above work you are welcome to contact me on facebook/mail for further assistance.


    Daniel, Sweden

  6. Asthor says:

    ohh yeah update chipset drivers and all other drivers of your PC not only the graphics.



  7. Asthor says:

    How To Disable Vsync

    Go to your Steam Directory > steamapps > common > skyrim > Skyrim.
    Create a backup of the SkyrimPrefs.ini file
    Open the file, then scroll down to where it says [Display]
    Add to the bottom of the section iPresentInterval=0
    Save, exit, and play.

  8. Dan says:

    I have updated the drivers and it’s still starting at a high framerate then getting slower and slower. It just went down to almost unplayable framerate, so I tried fast travelling to see if this would clear everything it was currently processing, and the game then crashed to desktop

  9. Asthor says:

    about the audiosetting I can probably help you with that aswell add me on skype asthor1337

    now I am going back in game best of luck!

    btw your epic rap is awesome 🙂

  10. Asthor says:

    Dan there’s a bunch of things one could try to solve your problems but skype would be much prefered so you can share your desktop and I can see your setting.



  11. Kenny says:

    Hello Dan,
    YOu could try doing this:
    Windows start button + R and type in “regedit”
    Then browse trough to here
    HkeyLocalMachine>Software>Microsoft>Windows>CurrentVersion>MMDevices>Audio>Renderer and right clicking any of the keys in this stack and open up the permissions tab. Make sure there is 2 users in there called “Audioserv” and AudioEndpointBuilder if they arent there it can deny you access to change the sound settings.

    If they arent there,do this:
    Open up command promt (Windows button + R and type in cmd,or search for “run” or “cmd” or “Command Promt”Remember to run as administrator)

    Type in the black field:

    net localgroup Administrators /add networkservice
    net localgroup Administrators /add localservice

    Then restart your windows and now you can (Perhaps) Change the options.

  12. Hey there, try setting AntiAliasing to OFF on the launcher, and in advanced, check the box next to FXAA.

    See my thread here: http://forums.bethsoft.com/index.php?/topic/1257349-disabling-aa-enabling-fxaa-awesome/page__p__19159051__fromsearch__1#entry19159051

  13. Aviar says:

    Might or might not simply be a memory leak for 3 and 4. Don’t know about the rest.

  14. Topperfalkon says:

    Actually, the simplest option is to just do a system restore back to before you noticed the issue, I’ve fixed a similar issue this way and sysrestore doesn’t wipe and program data from the system, just rolls back config and registry values. So that might be a better, safer, and easier bet.

  15. Mazen says:

    Hi Dan, the problem is your graphics card. The minimum system requirements state that you need an ATI Radeon 4890 with 512 MB of ram or higher. You have the ATI Radeon 4770 with 512 MB of ram. So your computer barely reach’s the minimum requirements in terms of ram, but your graphics card doesn’t have the memory to handle the game. Whats happening is that the longer you play, the more of the game world is loaded, so the game will begin to run poorer and poorer until eventually your graphics card crashes from exhaustion. The only way to fix your problem is to get a new graphics card. I hope you can play the game soon.

  16. X41 says:

    dude, you need a better graphincs card.
    and upgrade to windows 7
    DX11 dosent oficcially support windows xp
    that should do it, because the game even runs on my pc (2.20GHZ, 2GB ram(but i have the HD5450 and windows 7))

  17. Toasty27 says:

    The problem is that you’re using Windows. Switch to linux and everything will run like a dream.

    Or get a mac and dual boot OS X and Ubuntu.

  18. Toasty27 says:

    The problem seems to mainly be a problem with your OS. I’m assuming you actually have 4GB installed, but XP is just limited to 3.25GB because it’s 32-bit.

    Your graphics card should be perfectly capable of running this game at moderate settings. The 4770 is faster than the 5450. The amount of RAM on your GPU is adequate.

    Installing a 64-Bit OS will allow you to use all of your 4GB’s of RAM (or more if you upgrade), but I’d suggest you go with Windows 7 64-Bit as 64-Bit XP is awful (almost no driver support), and Vista was a pile of poop in general.

    If you’re reluctant to get windows 7, try re-installing your copy of XP, as windows is known to amass an ungodly number of errors in it’s registry, and contrary to popular belief, no registry cleaners do not fix the problem. They can make it a bit better, but they also pose the chance of killing your installation of XP.

    So just re-install XP, and if that doesn’t work, upgrade to Windows 7. If you STILL have problems, it may in fact be your GPU. Personally, I’m fond of Nvidia and would suggest a GTX550Ti. EVGA and ASUS are both good brands.

  19. Topperfalkon says:

    @Toasty: Skyrim doesn’t work on Linux…

    @Mazen: GPU specs should always be taken with a pinch of salt, if he could run oblivion he should be able to run this.

    @X41: Skyrim is DX9 compatible, or it simply wouldn’t have opened at all

  20. Toasty27 says:

    But yeah, this is almost definitely a software issue and not a hardware one, so don’t go out and buy a GPU just yet, because it’ll probably be a waste of money.

    Also, you should check and make sure that you’ve got at least 10% of your hard disk space free. Windows is picky about that.

  21. Toasty27 says:

    Oh yeah, word to the wise: DON’T EVER DO A SYSTEM RESTORE. It almost never works, or is entirely ineffective. When you get weird problems with windows, as much of a hassle it may be to do a full, fresh re-install ( that is, backup all your data, wipe your hard drive, re-install the OS), it’s the only sure-fire way to fix your problems. You can try doing a system restore, or using any number of software programs to “clean up your computer” or fix registry errors, but in absolutely every case, when it comes to windows, you’re only putting a bandaid on the problem unless you wipe your machine and do a fresh install.

    @Topperfalkon: ‘Twas a joke. Though I bet in a few months, possibly a few weeks, you’ll be able to play Skyrim just fine via Wine.

  22. vellaaa says:

    Mazen above is correct, its your GFX mate, it all depends on whether you are willing to spend money on the best GPU that will suit your computer.
    Honestly, it is worth just updating your hardware.
    Get a new PC with win7 x86 so you can have more ram than 4gb.
    i7 and a GFX with at least 1gb would be necessary, if you know the places to look on the internet, you can pick up a PC with these specs for a surprisingly good price.

  23. Hawkfriend says:

    Sounds like either memory leak, a partially corrupted hard drive, or both.

  24. Andrew says:

    Sounds like your hardware is not the problem… i would suggest installing a 64bit version of windows 7 like Toasty27 said and if you cant afford a license, just torrent a version with a crack.
    There could also be a problem with your videocard driver, i had the same symptoms on gta4 and i just found a hotfix for the driver and it starting working like a dream… a good dream.
    Also i would maybe try uninstalling fallout if you havent already cuz it may be corrupting something and reads the temps wrong or something( i had this problem when i crossfired my 2 gfx cards and i just found another hotfix for my tempurature sensors)…
    Your other option is to wait for a patch to come out that might possibly fix the issue
    I wouldnt root it down to hardware, especially when my buddy is able to run it on a geforce 8600 gt 256mb…. which is a significantly lower grade of card.
    And i also had this problem with amazon and there delivery promise… except my gamestop was sold out of copies… at least i got CE… MONDAY BITCHES!!!!

  25. Cam says:

    Play it on a console.

    Your computer, particularly your video card, is pretty outdated and XP is a ten year old operating system that needs to disappear forever. I guarantee your troubles would go away if you fixed these two issues.

  26. NeilMac says:

    Hi Dan,
    Not sure if you still have issues but I have to throw me hat in with the ‘get win 7’ crowd. Your hardware stats are sufficient and if you can pump new vegas at 60fps, you should at least be able to get skyrim working well at medium settings.
    From the start I had troubles with Oblivion crashing to desktop and juddering frame rates. In 2007 I got a new GPU which brought the framerate up but still struggled in heavy load areas and still crashing regularly.
    Got Win7 64 bit last year and haven’t had one problem since. The optimisation of system resources is off the chart and my quad Q6600, 4gB ram, 8800GTX system was able to eat up even newer games like crysis 2 and dead island. Well, maybe not eat em up, but still well playable. Also, Oblivion now runs like a dream!
    Srsly guy, win7 is the shizz for system stability. Try your local PC parts chop shop and get an OEM copy (only AUS$150 here, not sure over there..) and load it up. PLEASE don’t listen to the monkeys telling you to get a cracked version or to muck about with regedit. Both are good ways to end up with a big beeping doorstop / paperweight.

  27. Hey there,

    I posted this already but it’s not showing up. From the launcher, disable anti-aliasing completely. Then, go into ‘Advanced’ and enable FXAA. That has helped a lot of people, maybe it will help you too!


  28. Abysmal says:


    XP (32 bit)”


    You are asking why an 2011 Game wont work on THAT OS.

    Get Windows 7 whatever version and everything would work. Its not because your rig,ITs because XP is OUTDATED.

  29. bobyum says:

    Well I have read all of the comments on here so far and read a hell of a lot of post’s from other people all of the internet!.

    The game is shit on PC simple as that. Bethesda as much as I love their game’s seem to have taken a big huge dump on the PC user. I.e. optimised for the console’s and ported onto PC.

    Kinda like meh more sales, lets worry about the bugs later….pretty shitty if you ask me.

    I have comp that had no issue’s running this game on ultra and then suddenly ran into alot of error’s. First it was trying to go into a particular part of the map, which would freeze the game.

    Next was the end of my skyrim gaming on the PC…. The random crashing with no errors or any information as to why. I have tried everything with this game, low>high settings , disabling V-sync, verifying files, defragging, sound tweaks…the lot and nothing works! They really couldn’t be arsed with all their money to at least play the game a few time’s to sort these damn issues. So I think I will follow the OP and get it on the xbox altho I feel like taking the game to bethesda HQ and throwing it through their fucking window.

  30. NeilMac says:

    @bobyum – Wow! Feel the entitled gamer rage! Dude, it takes hundreds of people hours just to implement code for one facet of the game – the whole thing took Bethesda 5+ years to complete with several full dev teams. Now you expect them to test the thing on every possible configuration of PC so it doesn’t conflict with the million or so possible combinations of hardware and drivers! Piss off. Besides, show me a game anywhere near as open world that hasn’t had teething problems on PC. The patches will come with time – just relax guy! Enjoy what IS possible with the game and just keep hitting that quicksave button. If it helps, I started playing oblivion with ten save files that I would update every few minutes because of the CTDs. I even stopped raging about it within a few weeks of the games release!

  31. airtonix says:


    actualy skyrim works fine on linux.

  32. Shard says:

    It seems like you need more Video ram, a video card with at least a 1 gig of video ram might make the difference. I run the game on Windows 7 and your specs look better then mine and I still run the game just fine. No crashes at all so this is a puzzler here.

  33. Hilford says:

    Have you tried it minus steam? Also, if you haven’t given up you can change the audio settings on xp. Plenty of people can play it on xp.

  34. Doug says:

    I don’t know if it applies to skyrim but I had an issue with both fallout 3 and new vegas crashing constantly. The problem was with my quad core, the games do not properly support them if you follow this linkhttp://www.sevenforums.com/gaming/20199-fallout-3-windows-7-w-quad-core.html it will tell you how to disable cores 3 and 4 from functioning during gameplay. I am going to try it on skyrim and will let u know how it goes.

  35. Doug says:

    sorry just tried the ini files are different and the is no processor controll that i have found yet. However if u have a quad core and fallout crashes the will cure it.

  36. Doug says:

    By the way also I am running an asus g73sw with gb ddr3 ram and a nvidia gtx460m with 1.5 gigs of ram and i am having similar issues. I don’t lose frame rate but often when loading destinations and after saving the game crashes.

  37. Pete says:

    What a torrent of truly awful advice here. Speaking of torrents, this is why I use them to try out games before I buy them, especially ones made by Bethesda that are likely to have no end of bugs and shit optimisation. In future take their release date and add a couple of months. Right now I’d consider it still in beta. From what I’ve heard the 360 version is a lot more stable so hope your having fun with it. I’d keep hold of the PC version if you haven’t already returned it because the game will be improved greatly by 3rd party modifications in time. Until then: Blessings of Talos etc

    Ps. Sick raps

  38. mathias says:

    try using “gamebooster” clears your ram and free up cpu…

    or try to set the (cpu) pirority of the program to high.

  39. BloodBlight says:

    Dude, sounds like your video card is overheating! Long store short, it MAY be damaged, it may have a bad fan, it may be a lot of things (and yes, other games may work fine in any of those cases).

    Try popping the side of your case off, and point a box fan at your computer. If it helps, you probably need to replace the card (or work on your cases cooling, memory/CPU degradation is an accumulative effect).

    It could also be a voltage issue… Your PSU may not be able to keep up, but that is a stretch.

    I know this sounds odd, but try it if you haven’t already found a fix, TRY IT!


  40. Xtremefreakout says:

    this may be late and you already returned the game but i use xp with 2 gigs of ram, an athlon 2 x3 450, and an ati hd 6800. xp gaming is still a hot thing and i’ve been playing skyrim nonstop since i got it. if you ever decide to go back to the pc version the only thing you need is a new gfx don’t listen to the other bullshit.


    an XP gamer

  41. adam pryor says:

    i had that proplem when i got it i was out putting onto a 22 inch lcd tv screen and it was really bad same symtoms aas you then i bought an aoc 19 inch computer screen and it works fine runs smoothly and it well really good hope this is useeful
    good luck

  42. joseph says:

    there is a mod that makes the game easier to run on PC. it wont effect the game just how it runs

  43. Liero says:

    Dont go 32-bit when you have Quad-core… Reinstall to win 7 64-bit…

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