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BerthNerd

#autoLOC and freeze in loading screen

Question

After running a modded KSP install for a while, I decided to reinstall everything. I completely deleted the installation folder and also uninstalled it from steam to do a clean fresh install to start modding again.

However, I can't even get the base game running anymore. I'm trying to run v1.3.1, but other versions don't work either.

What I am getting is, that in the loading screen, I don't get the loading screen hints, but instead a #autoLOC with some number behind it. The game is then stuck in loading screen and doesn't get to the menu.

Revalidating the files through steam just lead to 400 files being redownloaded, but the same issue persists.

output_log: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nosx86mvzxkhxd4/output_log.txt?dl=0

I don't really have any experience in reading those, so any help would be appreciated.

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Huh, again this issue?

Well, something is messing around with your KSP install and deletes essential files (for example the localization folder, that's why you don't see the usual loading screen texts).

The first time I've seen this issue here in the forum, the reason was the crappy twitch/curse launcher. If you use it as well, uninstall it and try again.
The second time, we didn't found out which program caused this issue but my other guess would be a antivirus software, so you probably want to deactivated it temporary for testing purposes.

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Well, add a new case to that list :/

I am not using any twitch/curse launcher, just a normal steam installation.

deactivating my antivirus program didn't help, I even tried the windows defender, but no result.

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28 minutes ago, BerthNerd said:

Well, add a new case to that list :/

Unfortunately, yes :/

Well, something I haven't thought about the last time, is to use some kind of file monitoring tool which may allow you to find out which program messes around in your KSP install.

Actually, microsoft provides such a tool: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/procmon

Run it, click on 'Tools' -> File Summary -> By folder and brwose to your KSP install directory and double click it. A new window should pop up, showing you every process which access the directory. Keep it open, switch to steam and verify your game files again so steam should load t he missing files and also, whatever causes this issue, will delete them again. Switch back to the monitor tool and check which process access your KSP install directory, hopefully it will not just show the explorer.exe but another program.

Not quiet sure if that's how this tool works, haven't tried it before. You can also look for some other thirdparty tool if you want.

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There are four things listed that affected the folder, steam.exe, after redownloading the files, explorer.exe from time to time, ksp_x64.exe after I tried to start the game, and scattered between all that is MSMpEng.exe which seems to be a part of windows defender, which I thought I deactivated earlier for testing, but apparently not the right parts.

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6 minutes ago, BerthNerd said:

There are four things listed that affected the folder, steam.exe, after redownloading the files, explorer.exe from time to time, ksp_x64.exe after I tried to start the game, and scattered between all that is MSMpEng.exe which seems to be a part of windows defender, which I thought I deactivated earlier for testing, but apparently not the right parts.

Well, first of all: Cool that it worked :D

Since steam, explorer and ksp itself are fine, the issue seems to be caused by windows defender. I'm curious why it decides in rare cases to see any thread in KSP files...

You can try to put the KSP install folder in the 'Exception' list for windows defender (I'm actually not quiet sure if it is possible at all to deactivte it for testing purposes). I hope this will solve your issue.

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Apparently it's a newer version of Windows defender, that came with an update my computer installed last night. I'll try to find which part of it I got to temporarily disable.

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Adding /steamapps/common/ as folder, as well as steam.exe as process to the Windows Defender exceptions list, but it did not work.

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5 minutes ago, BerthNerd said:

Adding /steamapps/common/ as folder, as well as steam.exe as process to the Windows Defender exceptions list, but it did not work.

Did you reboot your system after putting the folder on the exception list? Not sure if it is necessary but who knows...
Does the file monitor still show the windows defender accessing the ksp install directory?

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I did reboot the system, the defender process is no longer shown, only steam.exe on validating local files and ksp.exe om starting the game.

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2 minutes ago, BerthNerd said:

I did reboot the system, the defender process is no longer shown, only steam.exe on validating local files and ksp.exe om starting the game.

Uhm...ok, I'm running out of ideas here :(

So, the best I can do now is:

Pinging @Gargamel, he knows the other cases of this issue as well and always got good ideas, maybe he got some additional ideas.
Also pinging @bewing because he got this insane issue solving skill (and a cute avatar :) )

I'll come back to you if I got some new ideas.

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45 minutes ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

he knows the other cases of this issue as well and always got good ideas, maybe he got some additional ideas.

Probably not, as we've both been in all the same threads like this. 

I'd do a search on  "#autoLOC" and see if there's any other tidbit of info that might help.

 

And it sounds like somebody has a crush on  @bewing

Edited by Gargamel

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Well, what's happened in the past with this sort of thing is that we have to file a special request with MS for the file to be hand tested, and then they pass it, and then the next day they come out with an updated threat list for defender that doesn't include KSP. 

 

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3 hours ago, Gargamel said:

I'd do a search on  "#autoLOC" and see if there's any other tidbit of info that might help.

Any message showing an '#autoLOC_<number>' string is an indication that KSP is unable to find/load a localization string. When the rest of the game is running, it could indicate a missed string by Squad, which they would need to correct.

 

If it goes with a complete failure of the game, as seems to happen in this case, it is more indicative of one or more of the following files missing:

  • <KSPbasedir>/GameData/Squad/Localization/dictionary.cfg
  • <KSPbasedir>/buildID.txt
  • <KSPbasedir>/buildID64.txt

Along with the above ones, you will very likely find a good number of other files missing as well.

Any of those files not downloading when clearing the KSP basedir and redownloading through Steam may be a reappearance of a problem that has happened a few times before, where Steam would refuse to offer the complete/correct repository of files for a certain game version.

A similar issue has plagued the 1.0.5 repository for a long time now and was never resolved - which makes it impossible for regular Steam players to download a viable copy of 1.0.5 anymore. I really hope this is not now also the case for the 1.3.1 repository.

 

1 hour ago, bewing said:

Well, what's happened in the past with this sort of thing is that we have to file a special request with MS for the file to be hand tested, and then they pass it, and then the next day they come out with an updated threat list for defender that doesn't include KSP.

I doubt this is in play here: if memory serves, there's a forced message/notification when Defender blocks/removes a file. Also, OP is referring to version 1.3.1, which is still very popular, and lots of people on Windows run Defender... I would expect a LOT more reports about this if it had suddenly decided to cripple 1.3.1 enough to prevent it from loading.

Even so, it would be easily checked by looking into Defender's event log, either in Defender's main window (under History?) or through Windows' own Event Viewer (Applications, Microsoft, Windows, Windows Defender, Operation).

 

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7 hours ago, swjr-swis said:

If it goes with a complete failure of the game, as seems to happen in this case, it is more indicative of one or more of the following files missing:

  • <KSPbasedir>/GameData/Squad/Localization/dictionary.cfg
  • <KSPbasedir>/buildID.txt
  • <KSPbasedir>/buildID64.txt

Along with the above ones, you will very likely find a good number of other files missing as well.

I checked the install folder. The localization folder is completely empty, buildID.txt and buildID64.txt are however there. On verifying the local game files through steam, it comes up with 400 files that need to be reacquired.

 

Also the problem seams to be version unrelated. At least the newest version is getting the same problem.

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By now I also tried reinstalling steam, and uninstalling the Windows updates from the last days, but am still getting the same results. It appears to be a problem on the side of steam, as when I check which processes are accessing the folder when I try tro validate the files and download them again, steam.exe is the only process showing.

However, it does also show lots of files that steam.exe tried to create, but throws an error message "name not found"

those are mostly for parts and other things in the GameData/squad folder, but also some scripts in the basedir. I mainly seems to not like .cfg files. If it helps, I uploaded a logfile from the Windows process monitor.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/y80lnk1ljxmw9ni/Logfile.PML?dl=0 it can be opened with the process monitor that was linked by 4x4cheesecake: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/procmon

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2 hours ago, BerthNerd said:

However, it does also show lots of files that steam.exe tried to create, but throws an error message "name not found"

Downloading a game through Steam is a two-step process: it downloads the files in a temporary location initially, then moves them (either a direct copy or though an install script) to the game's install directory. If cleaning up the game's install dir has not helped so far, you may want to check the temporary download location for stray files that mess up the process.

It may indeed be that Steam is messing up, either because the repository is badly configured somehow (this is within Squad's control, they could fix this), or the specific download server you are connecting to is having a bad day (Squad can't directly do anything about this, they'd have to contact Steam). From the Steam client menu, look in Settings/Downloads which 'Download Region' you have - they will need this info. While in that screen, try the 'Clear Download Cache' button - it should clean up the temporary download location so there's no stray files left to mess up anything.

Apparently no longer valid information, Steam does something slightly different now: Default location for this temporary download on Windows would be "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\content". This folder should normally be empty, unless you are in the middle of downloading a game (or updating one). When downloading or updating KSP, a folder is created in here called "app_220200\depot_220201", which will fill up with the entire contents of the KSP base dir (when downloading fresh) or just the files it needs to update. As soon as the download ends, it moves the whole bunch to the KSP base dir location and wipes it from here. So if you see any folders or files in that 'content' folder when you're not downloading or updating, it's an error - delete all of it, restart Steam, and try again.

Edit: I just tried redownloading 1.3.1 fresh. It does something I have not seen happen before: it downloads something that is too small to be the full game (only 740MB), then immediately downloads an update (879.8MB), then another (981.6MB). Also, it downloads this into "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\downloading\220200" instead of the location I mentioned above. At the end of the download process, the KSP base dir is 2161 files, 335 folders, 3.30GB in size. It starts up fine and works as expected. My 'Download Region' is Netherlands, so if yours keeps giving you trouble, see if changing it to the same helps. That would indicate that your download region server is the root cause of the problem.

Edited by swjr-swis
Apparently, Steam works differently now

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Changing the download region didn't help either. I did receive a 1.3.1 install folder from a friend, and that works as long as I'm not launching the game via steam. Is a bit annoying, but for now it works.

I also experienced some other weird stem behavior: After installing the game, it has downloaded said 2161 files as it should, but when I try to launch the game it pulls an update where the download is stuck at 0% for a minute, before it starts the game in its corrupted state. However, after uninstalling the game from steam, then deleting the rest of the install folder, then putting the correct folder I got from my friend, and then installing it again in steam, it recognizes that the game is installed, doesn't download any new files and works.

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Breaking News if you run the game from steam it will delete the cfg files. But if you verify integrity and run from the install directory your files wont be deleted.

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On 9/20/2018 at 9:57 PM, Joey_theduck said:

Breaking News if you run the game from steam it will delete the cfg files. But if you verify integrity and run from the install directory your files wont be deleted.

Interesting...it cannot be a regular steam issue otherwise the whole forum would be full of people complaining about this issue but at least it sounds like a good workaround, good job :)

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Posted (edited)
On 9/22/2018 at 3:11 PM, 4x4cheesecake said:

Interesting...it cannot be a regular steam issue otherwise the whole forum would be full of people complaining about this issue but at least it sounds like a good workaround, good job :)

I am not many, but I am. Thankfully, starting directly from directory works and I can have some KSP in the meantime - its still pretty grating, though. Accidently starting from steam and I might break my game permanently. :/

Are there any news as to where this comes from and what I could do to fix the issue? I ve been googling since yesterday, but nothing yet. I reinstalled several times and deleted anything I found in APPDATA I could find about KSP before reinstalling, too.

Edit: I just started KSP from its local .exe and got "autoLOC" again. I didnt start KSP since last time i successfully launched it from its .exe yesterday or so - yet I just had to reaquire 395 Files.

So these files are being deleted without starting the game through steam. Maybe that helps something.

Edited by Audiopulse

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@Audiopulse Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any solution to this problem but I got an idea how we can track down the issue, at least if you're on a windows PC. There is a tool called "Process Monitor" which allows you to monitor file activity:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/procmon

It doesn't even require an installation, you can run it directly.

Use the "Filter" option to add some filters (Filter -> Filter...) like:

  • Path begins with <your KSP install folder path> then include
  • Path ends with log then exclude

This will show you all operations performed on files and folders in the game directory. You can also add a filter to monitor just the localization file since this one seem to be affected all the time. Similar to the first filter, this would be:

  • Path is <your KSP install directory>/GameData/Squad/Localization/dictionary.cfg then include

The tool is going to show you, which process performed any kind of operation on the file so if there is something which corruptes/deletes your game files, it should be listed there. Obviously, the tool need to run while this happens.

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Thanks, Cheesecake - ive got Procmon downloaded and will try my luck with it asap!

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Here is what I got:

2lk5sax.jpg

Everything else was Steam or KSP itself - nothing else.

I dont know what I am looking at, but maybe you do?

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51 minutes ago, Audiopulse said:

Here is what I got:

2lk5sax.jpg

Everything else was Steam or KSP itself - nothing else.

I dont know what I am looking at, but maybe you do?

MsMpEng.exe is part of the Windows Defender (Microsoft Malware Protection Engine).

Should be easy to find out if it's actually the windows defender which messes up your install by excluding the localization dictionary or even the whole install folder from scanning.

(I don't run an english version of microsoft and have to translate the steps through the menu so it's probably a bit different ;))
To do so, open your windows settings -> security and updates -> virus- and malware protection -> settings for virus and malware protection -> exclusions. You can add folders or files to the list, so if you add the whole KSP install folder and the issue gone, then you got your answer. Well, if the issue persists...I'm honestly out of ideas.

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