Behold, it's time for one of my biannual posts with actually useful information in it!
I've complained in the past that my game has been crashing non-stop since patch 1.4. It's a widely known issue, but more than three months later there still hasn't been any kind of update from Bioware on how to actually get it fixed.
How do you know whether you're affected by this particular problem and not something else?
1. It started with patch 1.4.
2. You're probably running a 32-bit operation system.
3. Your game will crash to desktop very frequently, very smoothly, and without giving any kind of error message. Most commonly this happens at points when it's very obviously trying to load more information, such as when you're on a loading screen, using quick travel, initiating a conversation or something similar; however, the game will crash after a while regardless of what you do, even if you're just idling in a random spot. The common consensus seems to be that this is due to a memory leak in the game.
Today I was having a quick look at the official forum thread on the subject to see whether there were any updates, when I stumbled upon a post on page 55 where another player actually offered a simple workaround for the issue. Holy crap! User Aortaex had the following to say:
After I tried this I didn't have single crash for over month now, before
that it was either 1.5 hour idle game crash time or crashing to desktop
after every 5th or 6th loading screen usually after switching from one
char to another, hope it will work for you guys as well.
To enable the 3GB switch on Windows Vista™ or Windows 7:
1 . Right-click Command Prompt in the Accessories program group of the Start menu. Click Run as Administrator.
2. At the command prompt, enter "bcdedit /set increaseuserva 3072"
3. Restart the computer.
Since several people replied to his post to say that this method had worked for them as well and seeing how it was a really simple thing to do (basically it just allows the game to use more memory), I tried it myself today (after having previously verified that today's patch still hadn't done anything to fix the issue), and for the first time in several months I was actually able to play all evening without experiencing a single crash. Logging on to all my alts, doing multiple warzones, traversing whole planets - none of it a problem. It was amazing.
In part I just wanted to share my joy about this on here (really, you don't know what a pain it is when your favourite game constantly crashes on you unless you've experienced it yourself), but I also thought that it was generally worth spreading the love around since this information is currently very well hidden in the middle of that one thread on the official forums. I consider myself quite lucky for having come across it at all. I don't know if this fix will work for everyone (I saw at least one comment about it supposedly only working in windowed mode for example, which is how I always play anyway), but if you've been as frustrated with this problem as I have been over the past few months, it's definitely worth a try.