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 Post subject: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:17 am 
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Layman
Layman

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:15 am
Posts: 5
ES Games: Morrowind, Oblivion
Platform: PC, PS3
I'm on my third character and probably 100+ hours into playing Oblivion for PS3 (original release, not GotY) and I've just been stricken with a bizarre and frustrating problem.

Attempting to load any save locks up the game, forcing me to manually switch off my PS3. The loading bar fills to about 5% beforehand. There are no error messages displayed.

I've tried loading saves from all three of my characters and tried deleting the game data and reinstalling it (with and without Shivering Isles). No luck.

Can anybody help, or is this game just permanently lost to me? If so, I'll be sad to sell it off...

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:19 am 
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Guardian
Guardian
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:25 pm
Posts: 682
Location: Coventry, England.
ES Games: Arena, Daggerfall, PC Gamer Morrowind GOTY, Oblivion GOTY, Skyrim
Platform: PC, Xbox 360
Status: Mr S.
Hmm. I remember having this problem before. I was advised to delete and restart games but you don't want to do that. Try clearing the cache on your PS3?


Shadow. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:24 am 
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Layman
Layman

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:15 am
Posts: 5
ES Games: Morrowind, Oblivion
Platform: PC, PS3
Clearing the cache? How would I go about doing that?


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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:27 am 
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Guardian
Guardian
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:25 pm
Posts: 682
Location: Coventry, England.
ES Games: Arena, Daggerfall, PC Gamer Morrowind GOTY, Oblivion GOTY, Skyrim
Platform: PC, Xbox 360
Status: Mr S.
Megatapirus wrote:
Clearing the cache? How would I go about doing that?

I'm not sure as I play on Xbox not PS3 but is there an option for it anywhere in your system settings?

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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:44 am 
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Layman
Layman

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:15 am
Posts: 5
ES Games: Morrowind, Oblivion
Platform: PC, PS3
There was. I just found it and tried it. No dice.

I might have to just shelve Oblivion until Skyrim comes out. Then after I'm familiar with Skyrim, I'll be able to reassess whether I'm likely to every want to start a new Oblivion character again. If not, I'll sell it.

Too damn bad. I really liked my latest no-magic orc tank character. R.I.P.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:51 am 
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Grand Master
Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:35 pm
Posts: 2694
ES Games: Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, (PC), Oblivion, Skyrim (360)
Platform: Xbox 360, PC
Status: Pulling UltraRares
Other Profiles: GT: The Frosty Mage, Steam: Frost Mage, Skype: frostmage79x
Megatapirus wrote:
There was. I just found it and tried it. No dice.

I might have to just shelve Oblivion until Skyrim comes out. Then after I'm familiar with Skyrim, I'll be able to reassess whether I'm likely to every want to start a new Oblivion character again. If not, I'll sell it.

Too damn bad. I really liked my latest no-magic orc tank character. R.I.P.


Try going to the saved game file via system settings (or whatever it is on PS3). Go to Oblivion and if it says that the files are corrupted, then that's your problem. I HIGHLY doubt that as I've never heard a case where three files go corrupt at the same time. I try to think up any more solutions. Don't worry. I got this 8) (I hope).

EDIT: Try deleting all of the DLC you have. See if that works. If not, hold X just as the game is starting up. This should clear the Oblivion cache, but it probably won't matter seeing as you've already cleared your system cache. Best of luck to you!

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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:47 pm 
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Grand Master
Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:51 pm
Posts: 1978
ES Games: Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim
Platform: Xbox, 360
Status: I have a pulse; it's a good day.
Are other games running fine on your console?

This is going to sound stupid, but I suppose there's no harm in looking at and cleaning the game disc itself. I know you're not getting the trouble while you're booting up the game initially, only when you're loading a Saved Game. However, if the game load from the disc is hinky, it might be messing up the Save load.

Discs are funny things. I've seen game discs that looked like Panzers drove over them on the way to Warsaw which played just fine, while others, with nothing more than a near-microscopic smudge or dust flecklet, caused no end of aggravation.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Layman
Layman

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:15 am
Posts: 5
ES Games: Morrowind, Oblivion
Platform: PC, PS3
I've tried deleting DLC, yeah. Then reinstalling it. No changes after either.

Other games run fine.

About the disc itself: It looks fine and it hadn't left my console in days when the problem started, so new damage seems unlikely.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:05 am 
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Grand Master
Grand Master
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:46 pm
Posts: 2061
Location: North Tyneside (Geordieland), UK
ES Games: Morrowind GOTY, Oblivion, Skyrim
Platform: PC
Status: Mega-burping at Dragons (with Dragonrend)
Try starting a new game, working through the Tutorial then travelling to where you remember being in the savegames that won't load. If the game suddenly locks up while you're in those areas, then Oblivion.esm (the game's master assets database file) is likely corrupted due to a scratch on the disc.

As evil-i has rightly said, optical discs are odd beasts at times. The main thing is, when cleaning, ALWAYS wipe from centre to edge or edge to centre in STRAIGHT lines, and wipe GENTLY. If dust/dirt particles are dragged heavily over the surface by the cloth, they'll leave scratches at 90 degrees to the tracks (short gaps, minor single-bit errors easily corrected by ECC = Error Correction Control). Wiping in a circular motion drags particles ALONG the circular arcs of up to several tracks (LONG gaps, major multi-bit errors that ECC can't correct, resulting in permanent "bad sectors").

If there's a bad enough scratch on the disc that's caused a permanent "bad sector", the game will freeze completely on trying to read that sector. It's actually STILL running, just stuck in an "infinite loop" trying to forcibly read a bad sector and NEVER succeeding.

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H8Ball (ex PC Engineer)
    Oblivion Horse Rump Sticker: "No sharp objects. This horse is fitted with inflatable rubber safety adventurer"
    Skyrim Arrowhead Sticker: "I used to be an arrow, but then I took an adventurer in the knee"


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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:50 am 
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Layman
Layman

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:15 am
Posts: 5
ES Games: Morrowind, Oblivion
Platform: PC, PS3
Quote:
Try starting a new game, working through the Tutorial then travelling to where you remember being in the savegames that won't load.


I've tried a dozen saves now, divided among three different characters, all in different locations.


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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Grand Master
Grand Master
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:51 pm
Posts: 1978
ES Games: Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim
Platform: Xbox, 360
Status: I have a pulse; it's a good day.
I will never be mistaken for an expert in digital technology, but this sounds like a problem with the game disc itself. (I have a hard time believing that a dozen different Saves on your console's hard drive would all be FUBAR in the same way.)

Try borrowing an Oblivion game disc from a friend to see if your Save files will load properly. If that isn't possible, use a rental copy.

You mentioned you had kept the game disc in the console for an extended length of time. Personally, I don't think that's a good idea. Much better and safer to eject the disc when your game session is over and store the disc in its game case. I don't know about the PS3, but I've seen plenty of HexBox discs that have been scratched by the laser head. When the console is powered up, the laser head goes through a little exercise routine, part of which involves the head travelling up and down to achieve its proper read distance. If there's a disc in the tray during these wake-up calisthenics, it's entirely possible for the head to kiss the disc's surface as the disc is spun up to speed.

Besides, the disc drawer is not a sealed environment. The console's cooling fan sucks unfiltered air into the console case and blows it everywhere, including the disc tray mechanism. The inside of a console is a mini hurricane of dust, lint, cigarette ash & smoke, and whatever else is found in the immediate environment. I've never understood why console and PC manufacturers don't equip their cases with removable and cleanable air filters.

The best product I've found for cleaning discs is a lense-cleaning cloth specially made for cleaning camera lenses. (Mine is from Minolta, there are other brands out there.) It's a small square of silk-like synthetic cloth, soft and kind to the disc, yet curiously "grippy", and grabs onto anything on the disc surface and removes it. It's washable, and should last a lifetime.

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 Post subject: Re: Need help bad! No saves will load.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:36 pm 
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Grand Master
Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:46 pm
Posts: 2061
Location: North Tyneside (Geordieland), UK
ES Games: Morrowind GOTY, Oblivion, Skyrim
Platform: PC
Status: Mega-burping at Dragons (with Dragonrend)
Disc Care

- NEVER touch the active disc surface. No matter how clean you are, your skin secretes natural oil (Sebum) which leaves fingerprints that dust/fluff will stick to.
- Only EVER handle disc with finger in centre hole and thumb on edge, to avoid fingerprints.
- Don't leave disc in drive when not in use. Every time the drive spins up or down, the disc starts at REST or comes to REST on the tray. If it's still spinning, even slowly, friction with the tray can scratch the disc. This is the source of most minor scratches and swirls.
- Always store disc in its CD/DVD case when not in use. The case is designed to keep out dust and hold the disc surface clear of the case.
- Before inserting disc into drive, always check it's clean and blow any dust/fluff off it.
- Don't push or twist the disc around on the tray (there's a bit of free play), as the friction will cause scratches.
- Clean a disc by blowing dust/fluff off BEFORE resorting to using a cloth (dust particles dragged by cloth leave scratches).
- Use a cloth as a LAST resort for cleaning off fingerprints. If they're persistent, lens cleaning fluid can be used as a FINAL resort.
- If OBVIOUS scratches are causing persistent read errors, a scratch removal kit can be used as an ABSOLUTE FINAL RESORT. If that fails after a couple of attempts, the only option is to buy a new disc.

Drive Care

- Keep the tray closed when not in use, as it keeps out dust/fluff.
- Wipe the tray with a cloth regularly, to remove any dust/fluff that settles on it.
- ONLY use a lens cleaner disc if you suspect there's persistent dust/fluff on the lens.
- If a lens cleaner disc fails to solve the problem after 2 or 3 attempts, have the drive disassembled/cleaned professionally, or do it yourself if you're technically up to it. To be honest, it's actually cheaper to BUY a new drive.

Tip: Rather than buying expensive cans of compressed air (e.g. Aero-Duster), an ideal manual air puffer can be improvised from a pipette, plant mister, or even an empty spray cleaner bottle or squeezy sauce bottle. Just make SURE it's washed out and allowed to dry thoroughly before use. Personally, I use an old plant mister.

Notes...

Don't over-use a lens cleaner disc. The brushes on it can actually scratch the lens and can even eventually knock the lens balance mechanism out of alignment, so use SPARINGLY.

Minor dust/fluff contamination inside the drive usually isn't a problem. The drive will retry a sector read multiple times, assuming any read error is temporary, commonly caused by a bit of dust/fluff flying through the laser beam or briefly resting on the lens.

Minor swirls and scratches aren't usually a problem either. Optical drives use Error Correction Control (ECC) to automatically correct single-bit errors.

ECC is the reason why, when cleaning a disc with a cloth, you're advised to wipe from centre to edge in a STRAIGHT line, i.e. following the radius line of the circle, NOT in a circular motion, i.e. following the circumference. If wiping drags a dust particle causing a scratch deep enough to result in a permanent read error, it's at 90 degrees to the track and is a SHORT gap, so results in a single-bit error which ECC can correct and the sector is still readable. If you wipe in a circular motion, the scratch is MORE likely to follow the track arc, a LONG gap that causes multiple bit errors which ECC can't correct, resulting in a permanent "bad sector".

Correct care ensures that drives remain as free of dust/fluff as possible, and discs should NEVER get fingerprints on them in the first place. I have optical discs (CD's and DVD's) over 10 years old and they still look like I just brought 'em home from the shop! I've also NEVER used a lens cleaner disc in either my DVD-ROM or DVD-Rewriter drives which are now 7 and 4 years old respectively and still work without errors. Only snag is my DVD-ROM has recently started failing to recognise there's a disc in the drive until I eject and re-insert the disc at least once, but that's a minor intermittent drive electronics fault. Annoying, but not serious. I'll be upgrading to a new PC soon anyway.

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H8Ball (ex PC Engineer)
    Oblivion Horse Rump Sticker: "No sharp objects. This horse is fitted with inflatable rubber safety adventurer"
    Skyrim Arrowhead Sticker: "I used to be an arrow, but then I took an adventurer in the knee"


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