Two days ago we reported about Fallout 3, the latest installment to the hugely popular Fallout series. I only had little time to play the game so far but it looks like Bethesda have worked their magic once more. Anyway quite a few people seem to be having trouble getting the game to run. Many have reported that Fallout 3 crashes to desktop right after the start screen. If you encounter similar problems, you can try the following method and hopefully it will help you get the game up and running.

Fallout 3 does seem to have a conflict with FFDShow codecs. You have to either uninstall them from your system or add fallout3.exe to FFDShow audio and video decoders exceptions list. Although you may not know it, FFDShow codecs may be present on your system if you have installed codec packs such as CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack).

How to add Fallout 3 to FFDShow decoder exceptions list

1. Launch the ffdshow video decoder configuration window. You may access this through the start menu. If you have installed any codec packs, check the start menu entries of those. If you can’t find it on the start menu, right click the ffdshow video decoder (red) icon that appears on the taskbar when a supported video file is playing, and select ‘ffdshow video decoder’ option from the menu. ffdshow_icon

2. Tick the ‘Dont use ffdshow in’ checkbox if not already checked

3. Press the edit button that is next to the text field. A new dialog box will pop up. Press the Add button. The ‘Add incompatible executable file’ dialog box will be displayed. Browse to the Fallout 3 installation directory and locate fallout3.exe file. Select it and press open. Close all dialog boxes currently open by pressing ok.
(OR you can simply type fallout3.exe at the end of the text field next to ‘Dont use ffdshow in’ checkbox)

4.  Repeat steps 2-3 in ffdshow audio decoder configuration (the blue icon in taskbar) window as well. It is important that you add fallout3.exe to both ffdshow audio and video decoder’s expections list.

Hopefully the above method solved the fallout 3 crash to desktop problem for you. If the problem persists, try updating your video drivers. I’ve heard that nVIDIA’s ForceWare v180.42 and v180.43 beta drives run well with this game. 


  1. Unknown // 11/06/2008 10:59:00 PM  

    I dont have fddshow installed, still CTD, but only sometimes... sometime i can play for 30 mins or an hour, other times it wont go past the start screen.

    When i first got the game installed i payed for 5 hours solid and it didnt crash, so why now?!?!?

  2. TEAM FILEnetworks // 11/07/2008 10:16:00 AM  

    Try updating to 180.43 beta drivers (not sure if it'll work though).

    If you are having stuttering / slow performance issues with fallout 3 try the solution mentioned here:

  3. The Everyone Chat // 11/10/2008 02:04:00 PM  

    Alright I’ve been grappling with the crashes for a week or so now, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

    Disabled audio and video decoders of ffdshow
    Uninstalled and reinstalled the game, and all my video and audio drivers
    Tried super-low video settings, disabling sound.
    Have currently installed 178.24 nvidia drivers on a 9600gt
    I’m using a usb audio device (portable speakers), but experienced same problems with my onboard audio.
    Didn’t crash once til I entered the wasteland, now crash evey 30 seconds or so. When the game boots up I hear some kind of beeps crossed with a sucking sound. These are my cause of crashing. I went to my pip-boy by pressing tab, went to data, and clicked the radio, my sounds stopped and radio turns on, shut off radio, sounds start again.

    -The solution for me:
    When you enter the game, turn on the radio. The game works just fine. It crashes after about 45 seconds if the radio isn’t turned on. Wierd huh? If the static drives you crazy, turn the radio down in settings… Hope this helps someone other than me!!!! GL you fallouts gamerz

  4. Lightning_Struck_Tower // 11/10/2008 05:10:00 PM  

    The Everyone Chat,
    Thanks for sharing your solution i think many will find it useful. The only time i got crashes (2-3 crashes so far with around 15 hours play time) is when i exited the game using menu. I've had the radio on and off at times but it never crashed during a game.

    Geforce 8600GT with 178.13 drivers.

  5. Lightning_Struck_Tower // 11/12/2008 08:49:00 PM  

    Those having problems try installing
    Fallout 3 Patch Patch should work even on cracked versions as what RELOADED modified is the game launcher not the game executable. You will get one error message while trying to pathh a cracked version of the game but all files expect the launcher will be updated to version just fine.

    Download fallout 3 patch from here:

    * Fixed occasional crashes when exiting the game or using Alt F4 to exit.
    * Fixed crashes when using Alt-Tab while binks or credits were playing.
    * The game now restarts properly after title updates finish installing.

  6. Unknown // 12/27/2008 10:51:00 AM  

    I was able to fix fallout 3 using this guide

    my errors were related to memory btw

  7. Anonymous // 3/01/2009 04:54:00 AM  

    If fallout 3 crashesx every time you try to load a game save or load a new game then try reinstalling your graphics card drivers. Then DO NOT RESTART YOUR COMPUTER click restart latter then open the game.

    Every time i want to play the game i have to do this on my comp (((I have a EN9500GT graphics card))))

  8. Mario Podrecca // 6/17/2009 07:24:00 AM  

    Well done dude. Worked like a treat when my game was crashing at the radio signal stage at the start