very strange problem with my game [Read post #50]

I can’t believe this is unique; someone must have experienced it and maybe this is the place to get a solution. I have gone through all the usual troubleshooting steps, spending hours on the phone with support people and even buying a new game. My console is fine, because it plays other games (including FM3) with no problem. Here’s the issue, as illustrated with my attempt to race this morning. I did a little painting and tuning, bought and gifted cars, restarted some auctions, and then (fingers crossed) created an online race. After one race, the console froze up completely. Sometimes this will occur as soon as I load the game. Sometimes it takes three or more tries to get a chance to do anything at all. Tuning & painting don’t cause the lockup; if I get the game to work at all, I could paint & tune for hours with no problem.

In the course of troubleshooting with Xbox Live support, I have deleted anything we could think of which might cause the problem. As a result, I’ve started over (Level 0, no cars or credits) twice. We got to the point where they thought it might be my game disc, so I actually bought a new game, deleted all files associated with Forza 4 and installed the game from the (brand new) discs. Since reinstalling didn’t solve the problem, Xbox live support says they’ve gone as far as they can and said only the developers could help. Email messages sent to T10 got the usual response, i.e. none whatsoever.

This strange freezing (when it happens, the 360 is totally unresponsive and the only way to get out of it is to shut off the power and restart) may happen on a black screen, on the loading screen at the start of a race, or pretty much anytime. It doesn’t have to be an online race; this has happened when in season play or event list, and quite frequently when the initial loading of the game has begun. I can’t remember the last time I was able to do two races in a row.

At one point my profile was not recognizing my DLC (I originally bought ALL DLCs, including Benchmark). After installing the game this last time, most (not all) of my DLC is back.

I do my racing in Forza 3 these days, but I have a ton of designs, tuning setups and vinyls in Forza 4, plus some good friends who don’t have FM3. It’s maddening that I can’t race them, and it’s frustrating to start from scratch when I was beyond level 256 once upon a time.

The problem first appeared a couple of months ago when there were a lot of updates going on.

Any suggestions?

Where there any problems during the installation of the game? The installation should take about 20-30 minutes (I am not 100% sure, but 1 hour is too long).
And have you installed a game after the last installation of FM4? Are there any problems with that game?

No problems with installation; it took about 30 min to the best of my recollection; have installed “Shift 2” since then (didn’t like the game much, but it plays without a hitch)

Have you tried using your gamertag and game save on another xbox? if it works on another console then perhaps the laser may not be reading correctly. Search for POT tweak or Pot calibration for more details. I did mine to cure the open tray problem. It means buying a multimeter, which are cheap and watching a few videos on youtube showing you how to take your xbox apart and do the fix… I’d try another console first and don’t try the fix unless your confident, it all seems very daunting to start with, but follow the videos and you should be ok… ish

It isnt unique. I know that a lot of people had this problem back in my xbox 360 days. Just a simple google search gives a lot of results but no answer (at least not when i was looking for this about 2 years ago). My game/xbox froze after 4 or 5 online races or so. And i think the main problem is the dlc. After i deleted all dlc, cleared my system cache every day and didnt store any replays it didnt happen that often anymore (once every 1 to 1½ hour).

Thanks to all who replied so far. Still looking for answers, but I appreciate the fact that three people replied with good intentions.

So your disc drive seems to just work fine.

This isn’t an overheating issue, right? There’s much air around your console and don’t forget about the PSU either.

Of all the possibilities that have occurred to me, this one seems to be logical. My 360 has always seemed to pump out an unhealthy amount of heat. I have the console sitting on a perforated metal support which allows air to flow around the bottom as well as the other five sides. The vent opening is unobstructed, and the power brick is well away from the console.

I’ve done as much as I can, short of having an external fan aimed at the hot-blooded little monster. I may try that next.

Excellent question, though.

But it is not logical that your 360 is only overheating when playing FM4 and not when you’re playing any other game.

It would also be interesting to know which version of the console you have. Take a look at that. Basically the newer your console is, the less heat it should produce.

I agree. This is why I call it “a strange problem” rather than “a feature.” At the end of the second call to Xbox support, they had me convinced it was a magic scratch on my game disc which was invisible to the eye even with magnification. I bought a new game because of this. This installation was the second time I started from zero, losing all experience levels, cars and credits in the process. The first happened during the first troubleshooting session, when they had me delete and recreate my profile. Unfortunately for me, there was some “feature” having to do with the console interpreting this as a new profile (though with the same gamertag), or something to do with the cloud, or something to do with astrology, I’m not sure. I do back up all my tuning setups, vinyls and designs on a flash drive, but at the present rate it will take me an estimated 400 years to once more unlock all the events on the bucket list.

I have a 360 S. I now point a fan at the console, which keeps the case nice and cool, but I doubt it’s helping the internals much. I don’t notice any difference in temperature when running FM3 compared to FM4.

Don’t know if this suggests anything, but the last time the console locked up, I needed to touch the console’s big silver button six times before it powered down.

I have mine sitting on top of a laptop cooler which I believe helps tremendously.

All in all there are like 1200 races in career mode (including the Porsche DLC). But at least getting some credits shouldn’t be the problem as there always are some people who like to help others out.

My father also has a 360 S and the only thing I’m pretty sure about is that your console produces a lot more heat than it should. And actually your console should warn you if it overheated, like stated in this article.

Don’t you have to touch and hold the button until the console powers off?

Finally, I have a few questions regarding Xbox support:
Did you tell them that you have this problem only with one game?
Have they ever mentioned the topic “overheating”?
Did they offer you to send the console to Microsoft to let it repair?

No such warning or light.
The button I’m referring to is the one with the segmented ring of lights, on the console itself. It is a sort of proximity switch. No, you don’t hold it; it requires the slightest touch just like the one to eject the DVD tray. In normal operation a single touch shuts it off.

Support is just as puzzled as everyone else that only one game is affected. I told them it runs hot and they have mentioned returning it to Microsoft, although none of the three people I had on the phone thinks the console is the problem. The last one wouldn’t say this has anything to do with one of the updates, but that’s the impression I got. He wanted me to contact T10, which I have tried.

Although my machine does indeed run extra-hot, and I will continue to turn this fan on whenever the Xbox is on (couldn’t hurt!), my gut feeling is that there’s some conflict with a cloud saved…something…causing this. The reason? Well, I may not have made it clear in previous posts, but it isn’t that it’s one game, it’s that it’s one part of one game. Other functions such as painting, tuning, buying, gifting and receiving gifts are stable as can be. I can spend hours developing a tuning setup or a paint job without any worries. When I start driving, the freeze occurs. One race (or rarely two) will be fine, then it’s curtains, Muggsy, see?

I have never used the cloud storage on my 360, because everything has been working fine and I don’t want to change anything. So I don’t know how exactly the cloud works, but here’s my suggestion: In my 360 there’s a memory unit and a harddisk. Everytime I start a game the 360 asks me which device should be used for saving and loading. When I start FM4 and choose the harddisk all of the progress I’ve made is available, but if I choose the memory unit a new game will start (because I have never saved any progress to the memory unit).
The question is: Can you pick your harddisk (or any other device) as save game location and avoid everything being updated to the cloud?

Does the console freeze only at the end of the race immediately after crossing the finish line or also in the middle of a race?

The freeze happens @ the following points:
(1) rarely, as soon as the top-level menu has loaded. menu looks normal, pictures are there, but controller totally unresponsive. I have more than one controller BTW.

(2) more often than that, when I have selected a race and the next menu would be details about the track. freezes while loading

(3) still more common than the first two, a race has successfully concluded and I try to do anything else, like go to a different race on the event list or change the race setup if it’s an online lobby.

(4) a couple of days ago, I actually drove two races and it froze when trying for a third. This was the first time in many weeks that I had two races back-to-back.

It has never locked up in mid-race.

I found out that while playing a game everything is saved to a local cache on your hard drive. The upload to the cloud doesn’t happen until you have exited any game.

Have you tried to pick any other storage device when playing FM4?
You could also take a look at the files in the cloud. There should be a status for every file. Maybe you find something there.

Don’t know how to do either of those things, but the support people claimed they had looked at my files in the cloud after an attempt to fix my (allegedly corrupted) profile. We were trying to find out why some of my DLC was recognized, while others looked like I had never bought them. Until my Forza 4 is fully functional, I’m not going to worry about a few unavailable cars and the fact that I can no longer access Benchmark tracks. Since we deleted my profile and re-created it, there was a brief period where the cloud seemed to think there was a “new” T0rqueFact0ry who didn’t own the stuff purchased by the “old” T0rqueFact0ry. This situation cleared up after I bought & installed a new copy of the game, but it makes me wonder if a conflict like this could be at the root of my problems. A support person also told me that one of the updates addressed a situation which used to allow someone to keep creating new profiles and still be credited with all the marketplace data from any previous profiles. They were apparently concerned about losing some revenue there, Heaven forbid.

At this point I want to make it clear that I have no beef with support. Although there was a certain amount of fumbling, I am grateful that they patiently went through every troubleshooting step available to them. If I had to do everything myself, reading FAQs and online troubleshooting procedures, nothing would ever get fixed. I’m definitely not a ■■■■ guy.

Do not use the Cloud for your Forza saves on the 360 - it doesn’t work properly with the security measures on the saves and people regularly lose their saves as a result when they use the cloud. Use the HDD or and extrenal drive/thumb drive.

can you hear the dvd drive spool up and read the disc?

Yes. Or rather, I used to be able to. Right now, the fan which bathes the console in cooling airflow (as of two days ago) creates so much white noise I can’t hear anything from inside the case. The following describes what it’s like for me to race in FM4 these days.

All this took place today, only a few hours after I had enjoyed a nice long session in FM3, totally trouble-free.
I put in my Forza 4 disc so I could send a gift car to an online friend. A bit of painting and tuning went smoothly, and I decided to try a race. Online; three laps of Alps Festival vs. a bunch of AI drivers in my S class 2010 GrandSport. Everything was normal, and I even leveled up (woo-hoo! Level 10!). Decided not to immediately press my luck by going for a second race.

I collected my reward car and applied a design and a tuning setup. Sent the gift as planned, fooled around with logos for awhile, then thought “I’ll chance it. It will be fun to go on one of the tracks I don’t have in FM3.” As soon as I started to set up a lobby, the console froze on the command “Select Car.” Never changed to the expected line of icons for factory cars, personal garage, etc. It took four touches on the Big Silver Button to get the silly machine to shut off. I went through the “clearing the buffer” routine before plugging it back in and starting up again. This time it froze on the main menu (the one with the six pictures in a row, for “career” and “community”…etc.)

Stubbornly, I shut it off then back on (I must have really wanted to take the Vette on Infineon raceway). This time I only had to touch the swith twice before the 360 realized I wanted power off. Progress, of a sort. It cooperated long enough to set up a lobby and got as far as the screen saying ‘Circuit Race’ before freezing. The picture in the middle of the screen was at half-brightness, like it had stopped in the middle of fading in.