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Cannot save after reload of save after looting dragon

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Need help. This is a bit complicated, and took days to work through backwards.

Level 42, I killed my second dragon (an Elder dragon) near Windhelm. I don't know why, as random dragons aren't supposed to happen during Blade in the Dark. It must be protecting a Word Wall somewhere nearby.

I've got a good save, just after looting the dragon. I can run from that save, and make more saves.

If I quit to desktop, and later load any one of those additional saves, it loads, but when I try to save again, the game makes a zero length file and crashes to desktop.

I've re-tested from the save just after absorbing the soul, but before looting the dragon. That save doesn't seem to have the problem.

It may have something to do with looting the dragon?

Any ideas?


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  • 2 months later...

Had given up on Skyrim for a few months. But here again, hoping that somebody has an idea.

Are there crash debugging tools to figure out where in the save routine it is crashing?

After all, folks were doing reverse engineering for SKSE and Engine Fixes, so there must be some useful tools somewhere?

Or is it usual for Skyrim to simply become unstable and die?


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On 12/20/2020 at 11:23 PM, DayDreamer said:

It may have something to do with looting the dragon?

It could be and if it does then it's likely that this has been triggered.

There is also three dragon lair fairly close to Windhelm.

Bonestrewn Crest, Mount Anthor, Shearpoint

During the Blades in the dark quest you could encounter the dragon from the Bonestrewn Crest.

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What Sclero said in that thread is interesting as well. Was there more than one dragon script running when the game was saved? Perhaps one script has the number of items in the dragon's inventory different to another script. Or something wrong with the item flags. An option is to shoot the moon with console commands on the dragon's inventory Adding stuff, removing stuff, see if the game does something weird, or worse. :)

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I'm not sure about the number of dragon scripts running. But there are a lot of scripts running. So it could be something else entirely, running in the background, that just happens to do something that makes the game un-savable at that point in time.

8 hours ago, lmstearn said:

Adding stuff, removing stuff, see if the game does something weird, or worse.

I've tried only taking a few specific objects from the dragon, one at a time. Tedious testing. Doesn't help.

But again, not on the save after taking anything. Only after quitting to desktop and then loading that save. So there's an apparently good load, that won't save, even though I've done absolutely nothing!

Also, this ony happens on a load after quit to desktop. It doesn't happen on a continue/load from Main Menu. Although eventually I'll quit the game, and then will experience the crash on my next save another day. (That's what actually happened, it took me days to work backward to the crashing point.)

Moreover, I'd never load from System Menu, because I'd read long ago that was bad. Skyrim doesn't clean itself up entirely. Now we know it doesn't clean itself entirely at the Main Menu either.

Oh how I wish we had better debugging tools. And that Skyrim itself didn't crash without leaving a messagebox explanation.

What we need is a law that says "If the vendor doesn't fix bugs, they have to release the source so that users can debug and fix them."

We've been talking about that for years in security circles, because of so many worms infecting non-updating consumer devices. But it should also apply to other software.

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On 3/19/2021 at 11:22 AM, juf0816 said:

Are you aware that .NET Script Framework from meh321 generates crash logs.

Thanks again! It had only been mentioned once here, on a thread that I'd never read before.

Using it was somewhat enlightening, although the stack trace is for the save routine as I'd expected. In the bowels of "BGSSaveLoadManager::unk_586DE0+190", specifically "(SkyrimSE.exe+FE434D)  unk_FE42D0+7D".

I'd previously contacted Support, and hopefully this will spur them to a technical solution.

I've loaded it via the "DLL Plugin Loader". But the description prompted me to try "SSE Engine Fixes (skse64 plugin)". Something there fixes this bug, although its log doesn't mention anything specific. So it's a known bug....

Maybe we need to update Fixes Recommended in Addition to the USSEP. That would have saved me weeks of grief over a 500+ hour save.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bethesda Support wasn't any help. They went round after round asking about how much file space remaining, and anti-virus, and having me reinstall, and asking for more copies of the DxDiag, msinfo32, etc. Eventually, they agreed it was something that needed to be forwarded to the developers, as I'd originally stated. Since then, nothing.

So I've started over, this time with SSE Engine Fixes. Hopefully this will prevent this specific crash, and any build-up of bad saved data.

Now that Zenimax is owned by M$, we need to lobby for a 10th aniversary edition with bug fixes. Or just open source the whole kit and caboodle.

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