Oblivion Crashes on Startup? Here’s how to fix it.

Whenever you try to launch The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the game crashes on the startup and you can’t even get to the main screen. That can be frustrating. Not to worry. You can fix the problem with one of the methods below.

You can try the seven methods below one by one until you find the one that works for you.

Method 1: Run the game in compatibility mode
Method 2: Delete the Oblivion.ini file
Method 3: Remove the problem mods
Method 4: Update DirectX
Method 5: Disable background services
Method 6: If you have multiple monitors
Method 7: Update device drivers


Method 1: Run the game in compatibility mode

To fix the crashing on startup problem, you can try running Oblivion in Windows XP (Service Pack 3) or Windows XP (Service Pack 2). To do so:

1) Right-click on the game shortcut and select Properties from the context menu.

2) Click the Compatibility tab. In the Compatibility mode section, tick the checkbox next to Run this program in compatibility mode for, and select Windows XP (Service Pack 2) from the drop-down menu. If Windows XP (Service Pack 2) doesn’t work, try Windows XP (Service Pack 3).

3) Click Apply -> OK to save the changes.

4) Check to see if you can run the game without the crashing issue.

If Method 1 doesn’t work for you, continue to Method 2.


Method 2: Delete the Oblivion.ini file

Some Oblivion players have reported that they resolved the problem by deleting the Oblivion.ini file. So you can give it a try. Note deleting the Oblivion.ini file will delete any good changes you’ve made.

If you know what you’re doing, you can navigate to the following folder where the Oblivion.ini file is located, then delete the file.

Users\Your account’s name\Documents\MyGames\Oblivion

After you delete the file, relaunch the game and check to see if the problem persists.


Method 3: Remove the problem mods

If some of the mods you installed are missing the required master files, Oblivion can crash on startup. You can use the third-party mod manager Wrye Bash to find out which mods are having problems. Wrye Bash will highlight the problem mods red. You can easily find them out.

Once you verified the problem mods, remove them then relaunch the game to check to see if the problem persists.


Method 4: Update DirectX

Crashes right on startup can be due to DirectX missing newer d3dx9 revision files. To fix the problem, you can try updating the DirectX to the latest version.

Open this Microsoft link and download the latest DirectX to your computer. Once download is done, double-click on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install DirectX.


Method 5: Disable background services

The background services can take up system resources and cause Oblivion to crash on startup. You can disable the background services to free up the resources and see if the problem can be resolved.

Here’s how to do it:

1) On your keyboard, press Win+R (the Windows logo key and the R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type “msconfig” into the Run box and click OK. Then the System Configuration window will pop up.

3) Under the General tab, select Selective Startup and then uncheck Load startup items.

4) Under the Services tab, tick the checkbox next to Hide all Microsoft services and then click Disable all.

5) Under the Startup tab, click on Open Task Manager.

6) In the Task Manager, select one item whose “Status is Enabled” and click the Disable button. Keep repeating this step until you disable all startup items.

7) Go back to the System Configuration window.

8) Click Apply -> OK to save the changes.

9) Restart your computer and launch Oblivion to check to see if the crashing problem persists.
If the problem doesn’t appear, the problem is most likely related to one or more third-party programs. In that case, you can refer to the below steps to find out the programs causing the problem.

1) Open the System Configuration window again.

2) Click the Services tab.

3) Enable 5 services at a time (which were disabled in the above steps).

4) Reboot your computer and see if the problem is resolved.

5) Keep repeating the above steps until you find a group of 5 services, which are causing the problem. Then check one by one to find out the one that is causing the problem.

6) Perform the same steps for the Startup programs and find out what startup program is causing the problem.


Method 6: If you have multiple monitors

The crashing problem can occur on multiple monitors. If you have multiple monitors, it’s recommended you disable all monitors except your primary monitor.

For Nvidia graphics card users, you can follow these steps to disable monitors:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key.

2) Type “nvidia” and select Nvidia Control Panel from the result list.

3) Once the Nvidia Control Panel opens, expand the Display tab and select Set up multiple displays. On the right side, unselect all monitors except the primary one.

For AMD/ATI graphics card users, follow these steps:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key.

2) Type “amd” and select AMD Catalyst Control Center from the result list.

3) Once the AMD Catalyst Control Center opens, select Display Management.

4) Unselect all monitors except the primary one.

TIP: To verify what graphics card you have, you can follow the steps in this link.


Method 7: Update device drivers

To launch Oblivion without problems, ensure your device drivers, especially the sound drivers are up-to-date.

If you don’t have the time and computer skills to update the drivers manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

With Driver Easy, to download the correct drivers, you don’t need to verify your computer model and your Windows version. You can update drivers with a few clicks even if you don’t have too much computer skills.

1) Download and install Driver Easy Free on your computer.

2) Launch the application and click on Scan Now to detect any problem drivers on your computer, then you’ll see a list of drivers that can be updated.

3) Click the Update button next to a driver, then the driver will be downloaded automatically. Once download is done, you can install the driver with the step-by-step guide from Driver Easy.

If you use the Pro version, you can click the Update All button to update all drivers automatically. Besides, you’ll get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee.

After you’re done updating all drivers, restart your computer for the changes to take effect then relaunch Oblivion to check to see if the problem persists.

Hopefully you find the article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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