From TF2 Wiki
A number of people are having a issues with Team Fortress 2 Locking Up during game play. This is also known as the looping or stuttering sound lock up. Provided here is a list of possible fixes and things to try for those experiencing this problem.
- Run the game in Window mode. If it locks up, you should at least be able to close TF2 without needing to reboot your computer.
- Update your drivers, especially video drivers
- Run the game in a previous version of Direct X. Do this by opening Steam and right-click on TF2. Go to Properties and Set Launch Options. Enter -dxlevel 81 (for DX 8.1) and click ok.
- Put -safe and/or -safemode as Launch Options.
- Turn off HDR/AA, and try lowering your graphical settings.
- Enable the "developer" mode by adding -dev
- Defragment cache files
One of the best ways to help fix problems with lockups and stuttering is to use an FPS config, such as one of Chris' FPS configs.
After downloading you will have to put it into your steam folder - "Steam\steamapps\"username"\team fortress 2\tf\cfg" - "username" - it will be your account's name.
After the 1st of April 08 patches, a lot of people started suffering from in game short looping lock up (every minutes, variable, a 10 sec lock up). The following console command can help:
- mat_queue_mode 2
Note: This command should only be used for multi-core CPUs. Also, this command itself may cause freezes and lockups. This command does not get saved if entered in the console, so it should be used in a config for purposes other than testing. It may also work on only intel cpus.
Escaping from a Hang/Lock-Up
Sometimes, your PC will hang and you cannot ALT-TAB, WIN-D, or any other key combination out of TF2. Using the following steps, it will enable a CTRL-ALT-DEL Menu, which will forcibly minimize all applications running. This will not fix the crash, but simply help you escape it.
- Control Panel->User Accounts->"Change the way users log on and off"->Uncheck "Use Welcome Screen"
- Now, whenever you CTRL-ALT-DEL, you will get a little menu box (check it out now). It should let you escape from the hung/locked-up TF2. On the flip-side, logging into XP now will be slightly more annoying (if you have several accounts, that is).
- When you want to end the process, just hit the "Task Manager" button.
- If this does not help you, or you wish to go back to the old log-on system, just go back to User Accounts and check "Use Welcome Screen" again.
- if you use the windows key and spacebar you can switch users, do this and go to a different users. Do CTRL-ALT-DEL and go to users. Select the user that has the locked up/hung game and tell it to log off.
AVG Anti-virus Users
With the latest developments from Valve, AVG has been somewhat tied into the whole lock-up/hang problem. It uses a lot of the Page Pool Memory when running, which is shared with D3D (Direct 3D) resources. Unfortunately, simply quitting AVG is not sufficient.
If you use AVG Anti-virus, try uninstalling it and running on DX8.1 on relatively low graphical settings. If you are stable for an hour or so, try using -dxlevel 90 (on the command line). If that works, then you are probably free to bump up your graphical settings to recommended settings.
In short, uninstalling AVG should hopefully alleviate your problems.
Zone Alarm users
If you have Zone Alarm and get locked up/hung at the main menu then try right clicking on the Zone Alarm tray icon and activating game mode and click on "answer all alerts with "allow"" this may reduce the security of your system but its worth it.
"OS Paged Pool Memory Low" Error
"Paged pool is an area of system memory that stores objects that can be transferred to the paging files on disk when they are not being used. This frees up physical memory for objects that are recently or frequently accessed."
Open the registry editor. That's done by going to Run, then type in "regedit."
In the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
Double click on "PagedPoolSize". Hexadecimal is listed first. Change the "Value Data" to one of these below: Note: You only need to enter EITHER Hexadecimal or Decimal. They both are the same.
You do not need anything bigger than 400Mb... in most cases 300Mb is too much as well. The bigger the number, the more memory you devote to the Paged Pool.
Once you are done, make sure you reboot your computer.
This problem can also be fixed by a patch in the found in the patches directory in the Team Fortress 2 folder.
Also that failure occured on my computers when booted Windows with the /3GB switch. (Two different ATI graphic cards, one computer with 2 GB the other one with 3 GB RAM installed)
For more information on Paged Pool memory, have a look at Understanding Pool Resources on Microsoft Technet. Although it relates to Windows 2000 and 2003, it can still be of use to XP users and the tools the article links to are useful.
If you have other fixes or suggestions, please add to the list.