The 9th Second Bug! (Replays freezing) (Fix!)

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So I have encountered a lot of people who have this bug. If you don't know what it is, I have a video that displays the bug in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb9wnb92t7U

This is a result of your hard drive not being able to keep up. Somehow, long long ago after an update to the game more than 2 years ago, hard drives of specific types stopped being able to read replays nicely. Some people are unaffected, others are. This is 100% hard drive related, not related to your graphics card. Please post your hard drive if you have this same issue and I will add it to the known HDD bugged list.

For the love of god if you want to share your DxDiag file, please put it in code tags or just upload it somewhere like dropbox ( http://db.tt/pXCtuoT ) and link that! Half of your DxDiag file will not even fit in the post. To put it in code tags, just add [ and ] around the word "code" then on the ending tag [/ and ] around the word "code". Thank you.

If you have an SSD and are having this issue. THIS MAY WORK FOR YOU (scroll down to see why you have this issue) :
1. Right click Computer > Properties > Advanced System Settings
2. Add/Edit TMP and TEMP to be something like D:\temp

If you only have an SSD and no HDD, you will need to create a RAM Disk. You can use a ram utility like RAMDisk Configuration Utility to make a 256 MB RAM disk.
3. Have the TEMP and TMP variables point to somewhere else on the RAM disc (i.e., E:\temp)


Interestingly, this seems to not effect certain hard drives of lower qualities. Such as Akira's drive which is 5400 RPM with an 8MB Cache which is a Samsung drive. This leads me to believe that Blizzard's code is acting badly towards specific hard drives and may need to be changed to be compatible with all devices.

Here are some questions I have tried to ask in the support ticket, but are left unanswered:
  • Why does a 7200 RPM HDD have an issue with SC2's replays while a 5400 RPM drive doesn't?
  • Why do SSDs have issues with SC2 replays as well? (Answered somewhere near the bottom)
  • Why doesn't Blizzard just have replays load into memory instead of reading from disk drives which can never be as fast-access as memory can be?
  • Why isn't this in a known-issue topic on Battle.net's forums?
  • ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Something I have found out just now. The game writes 3 files to your drive every 10th second. The game freezes 1 milisecond before the timer switches over to 0:10 so it looks like the 9th second is what's frozen. While watching one of my replays, after having tried one of the fixes mentioned (moving the TEMP variable to another drive), I saw Starcraft 2 writing a massive amount of data every 10th in game second.
    The game writes 3 files. ##########Async, ##########Minimap, ##########Sync. The # indicates a number that changes in value each new write. Async is about 3MB, Minimap is exactly 136KB each, Sync is about 7.5MB and increasing slightly each time.
    If you rewind your replay, it re-writes over each of these files, ignoring them as if they weren't there. This makes me wonder, are these files totally utterly useless? What's their meaning other than to increase disk usage tremendously high and ruin SSD cards?

    So just a recap of what your issue TRULY is. Starcraft 2 writes data every 10th in game second, real time passing does not matter. This data consts of an Async, minimap, and Sync file. A new file is created every 10th second with 10 digits before each file name. This 5 kilobyte replay file creates 225 megs of temp data and each of the 3 files MUST BE WRITTEN before the game is allowed to proceed with the replay and THUS, this is where your issue is.

    Known bugged HDD / SDD list:

    (HDD) Western Digital Scorpio Black WD5000BPKT 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive
    (HDD) Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT 500GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive
    (SDD) Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ Solid State Hybrid Drive
    (HDD) Seagate Momentus 5400.6 ST9500325AS 500GB 5400 RPM RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive
    (SSD) Corsair P128 CMFSSD-128GBG2D 2.5" 128GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive
    (HDD) Toshiba MK7559GSXP 750GB 5200RPM HDD


    Drives found to WORK with the game:

    (HDD) Samsung HN-M101MBB 1TB 5400rpm SATA 2.5 inch Internal Hard Drive
    (HDD) Hitachi Travelstar 7K100 HTS721010G9AT00 100 gig 7200 RPM Notebook Hard Drive
    (HDD) Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3750330AS 750 gig 7200 RPM Hard Drive
    (HDD) Western Digital WD VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600 gig 10000 RPM Hard Drive
    (SSD) Crucial M4 128GB SSD
    Lets see what others have said related to the issue. (Was running out of space on main post)
    Phobos said: http://eu.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/283412582?page=2#25

    Im not talking about a cache on the disk, im talking about the NCQ support. You must have it on the bios and the OS to works properly but with some disk like the OCZ SSD happens things like this:

    AHCI
    AHCI is not official supported on OCZ SSDs and may under some circumstances affect performance,specifically during windows installation. Enabling AHCI can result in higher performance in synthetic benchmarks for SSDs and HDDs alike, but can cause hang-ups and intermittent freezes in SSDs since it allows multiple access requests to compete for a drive that is not made to address re-ordering of commands in the queue. We recommend AHCI is set to disabled in both Windows and in the BIOS. Native Command Queuing greatly increases the performance of standard rotational drives but it has no bearing on SSDs.


    And this is a response of a proffesional of the sector about this statement of OCZ:
    So it doesn't do NCQ; it cannot process more than one I/O at a time; that makes it a quite bad SSD. The last statement of NCQ having no performance effect on SSD is also hilarious. Although NCQ certainly was made for another purpose, modern SSDs use the feature gracefully to allow much higher random I/O performance and fully saturate multiple flash channels. Without it, the SSD simply cannot receive I/O instructions fast enough and random I/O performance can be up to 10 times lower.

    And this is exactly the problem that seems we have, a saturate of the channels with multiples random I/O.


    Dspike said: http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/932783779#5
    The actual SSD issue I believe has to do with TRIM support. SSDs without TRIM support are known for bad latency with sequential reads, and since we're sequentially reading the replay file (we're reading it in chronological order, i.e. sequential, right!) this is essentially what we're dealing with. There is something called NCQ support, which may or may not be related to the replay lag, but I believe this is less of an issue. Unfortunately, my SSD has no firmware update for TRIM support, so as of right now I'm very frustrated.


    Kaluro said: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewpost.php?post_id=18761120
    If I were you, I wouldn't be as blunt as to say it's the harddisk's fault, just because it occurs when writing data.
    It might as well be the RAM or the SATA/RAID Controller on your chipset, both are used to write data.
    It could also be a processing error by CPU's.

    It's very easy to say 'oh it's writing data, must be the harddisk!', while in fact, it can have much deeper lying issues and causes.

    Well the fact is, no one is helping me diagnose this issue, including Blizzard who made the game that's having this odd issue. So I am going by what it looks like to me and it looks like to me that the hard drives are overwhelmed with this large quantity of useless data being written to the temp folder every 9th game second. Something that doesn't happen while playing games rather than watching them.
    This is just a 3rd post to inform anyone else who has this issue that Battle.net support will not be able to assist you in this bug. We have exhausted all possible fixes for this and there is no fix currently. Some people have a fix that works, others don't. If you have the bug, I need you to post your HDD model, and check to see a few other things before hand.

    Some people have reported that their bug was fixed when they did these things:

    Update sound drivers.
    To test if the problem is your sound driver, please open Device manager and disable your sound device.
    Step by step, Windows Vista through Windows 7 (possibly Win8 if you have a start menu)
    1. Click start, type "Device Manager".
    2. Scroll down the list until it says 'Sound, video and game controllers'. Expand that list if not already expanded.
    3. Find your audio device. Mine is "Realtek". Right click it, click disable. This may prompt for a reboot. Clicking no will disable the device the next time your PC reboots. You can cancel this by right clicking, and clicking enable again.
    If it is in fact your sound device, you'll need to update the driver. There are a few ways. One simple way is to right click the device in your drivers list again, following steps 1 and 2 from the previous instructions again and then click "Update driver software". This is not always going to work however, and you may need to google for your driver update manually. Try to get it straight from the manufacturer's website. Any other place may not be up-to-date. I can compile a list of known manufacturers though for your convenience later.

    Is your Chipset up to date?
    What is your chipset? Intel? AMD? Find out, and search for the driver to that chipset. AKA if it's Intel, search for "Intel Chipset Drivers".
    I can try to find a way for you to find out if your drivers are up to date, and can try to find some main chipset driver sites for you to check your version against later.
    For Intel users: http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect

    Just because, is your Graphics driver up to date? Is your graphics card capable of playing SC2?
    To check if you can run it: http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri (This may not be absolutely true, some people can push their cards to do slightly more than others and others can do slightly less than the site shows. This is just to get a guesstimate on if you can run the game.)
    What is your graphics card? nVidia? ATI? etc? Go to the manufacturer's site to look for a driver update. I'll try to get a list of the main cards and post their sites here too.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    One sure way to verify your issue is the same as mine, is to check your disk usage during these freezes! Lets go through the steps to do this shall we?
    Step 1. Open start menu, type "Resource Manager"
    Step 2. Go to your Disk tab, it should look something like this.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/30270697/images/diskusage.png
    Step 3. Run your game, start a replay. Alt tab back to your disk usage.
    This is something you might see if your disk is unable to keep up with the replay.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/30270697/images/diskusage2.png
    One more image, after I have the replay paused for a bit, and I will highlight SC2's usage in orange by checkboxing SC2.exe. When paused, our disk should go back to idle zones again.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/30270697/images/diskusage3.png
    Intriguing isn't it? How your disk usage skyrockets while SC2 is barely using any of it while you're running a replay. Well, there's your examples on how to see if your disk is unable to keep up.

    As I said before, please post your hard drive model number and all, and if it works or doesn't work and I will add it to the appropriate list.
    If you had this issue before and fixed it in a way that's not listed here, please tell!
    Same problem verbatim ssd, intel i5, 8 gigs of ram, replays sucks badly
    I don't think Blizzard intends to fix this issue ever. I mean it's been an issue for 3 years and they won't even acknowledge that it is a known bug. I've somewhat lost my faith in Blizzard. They seem to only care about the money. Would be nice, if they'd actually work on fixing every bug in their game before making the next expansion, but nah, lets leave the bug there for all eternity because it only effects one small part of the game that everyone loves to use!
    (HDD) Western Digital Scorpio Black WD5000BPKT 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive
    (HDD) Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT 500GB 5400 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive
    (SDD) Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ Solid State Hybrid Drive
    (HDD) Seagate Momentus 5400.6 ST9500325AS 500GB 5400 RPM RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive
    (SSD) Corsair P128 CMFSSD-128GBG2D 2.5" 128GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive

    VasVadum, you've done a diligent and conscientious job of finding some hard drives associated with this behavior. I haven't been able to locate any bugs mentioning these hard drives.

    So just a recap of what your issue TRULY is. Starcraft 2 writes data every 10th in game second, real time passing does not matter. This data consts of an Async, minimap, and Sync file. A new file is created every 10th second with 10 digits before each file name. This 5 kilobyte replay file creates 225 megs of temp data and each of the 3 files MUST BE WRITTEN before the game is allowed to proceed with the replay and THUS, this is where your issue is.

    Nor have I located any bugs mentioning these files.

    Some people have reported that their bug was fixed when they did these things:

    Update sound drivers.
    Is your Chipset up to date?
    Just because, is your Graphics driver up to date? Is your graphics card capable of playing SC2?

    These are some sound suggestions, and we recommend the same thing. However, these are very general suggestions, and do not point to any specific bugs with particular drivers. Have you verified these suspected bugs with any other players? Did you get feedback on the Bug Report forum?
    VasVadum, you've done a diligent and conscientious job of finding some hard drives associated with this behavior. I haven't been able to locate any bugs mentioning these hard drives.

    *snip*

    Nor have I located any bugs mentioning these files.

    *snip*

    These are some sound suggestions, and we recommend the same thing. However, these are very general suggestions, and do not point to any specific bugs with particular drivers. Have you verified these suspected bugs with any other players? Did you get feedback on the Bug Report forum?


    I have verified that none of the suggested fixes have worked and I have verified on another site that the issue is not fixed by these methods you mentioned for others as well.

    I still believe that the reason for this is that the game freezes while writing 3 files to the hard drive, and is not allowed to continue until those 3 files are writen. I calculate that it would be easier recording the game as a video file and uploading it to youtube for replays, because not only will it not freeze, but it will also be smaller file size than watching a replay, if a 5 minute relay creates 225 megs of files in your temp folder and re-creates those same files over and over again if you rewind.

    It's funny. 5 kilobyte 5 minute replay creates 225 MB of useless unnecessary data in your temp folder. When I can fraps for 5 minutes, have a 1 gig file created, converted down to close to the same thing, and it work world wide for anyone's computer no matter their hardware specs.

    Why doesn't the game re-use these files when you rewind to smooth things out?
    Why does the game not write important data like this to RAM instead for faster read/write access?
    Why does the game create such a large amount of data every 10th game second? You do realize that some replays are hours long right? If 5 minutes creates 225MB, and increases in size each 10th second. The end result will be more than 10.8 GB minimum for one of my 4 hour replays.

    I don't play normal standard games 90% of the time due to rush artists making it no fun, I don't want to spend 5 minutes in a loading screen and 2 minutes being killed in a match. I like long lasting games. Just my preference. So I can't have a replay file that freezes every 10th game second, can't rewind to reuse the same files to smooth things out, and writes 10 to 20 gigs of data to my temp folder for no apparent reason at all.

    I've been working as hard as I can to find the source of the problem to help Blizzard fix it because replays are a huge part of why I love this game. Just like when I played Starcraft 1 when the game first came out on PC. I even played Starcraft 64 a fair bit with friends way back then too. It was my first digital game I've ever played and I try my best to stick with it and I just want to see it run smoothly. It's frustrating that it's getting harder these days to love good games because they all started getting sloppier, buggier, and abandon. EG, this 4 year old bug that many people have posted in the bug forums here, and the fact that this game is so heavily DRMed that you can't play by yourself if you lose connection because the server kicks you from your solo game against AI unless you can figure out how to get the map to load in single player mode which I've never found now that the Arcade system took over and removed my ability to do that. I about gave up hope that anyone here was listening to me when I kept pressing the matter about this bug and looking for why it is having this issue. Even stopped playing. I wish there was something more I could do to help diagnose this bug.

    Also, forgot to answer I believe. Yes I have verified the bugs with other players. That's how I filled the bad hard drive list, as I only tried with 2 different computers of my own and the rest of the hard drives are from other people saying they have the same issue. There are other posts around this forum too that show others have the same issue except they were ignored, most likely for not giving extreme detail like this and persisting like hell to get answers.
    09/23/2013 01:56 AMPosted by VasVadum
    unless you can figure out how to get the map to load in single player mode which I've never found now that the Arcade system took over and removed my ability to do that

    Custom Match, right-click on the desired map and select "Create Offline Match".
    (I'm also having this problem, but I haven't tried any fixes yet.)
    I have been experiencing micro stuttering while watching replays in starcraft 2. If I view the video at 2x or higher it freezes every 10th second. I.E. it will go through the first nine seconds fine the freezes on 10 then it goes from 11-19 and freezes on 20 seconds etc.

    I have since installed a fresh copy of windows 8. Its impossible that it was caused by my video card since I replaced my old video card EVGA gtx 680ti SC, not the ram since I replaced my 16GB of Corsair Vengence, not the PSU its new, not the motherboard since that was replaced along with the processor.

    All of my drivers are up to date, my firmware is up to date on the SDD and all other components are up to date including chipset, latest UEFI BIOS.

    I am using Samsung Magician version 4.3
    AHCI Mode is turned On
    Sata is connected to 6GB port with a brand new cable
    SSD is Optimized for performance
    Trim is On
    SMART everything is aok

    I currently have installed in my pc:
    Intel 4770k Haswell average temp is 38C under heavy load 48C
    Asus Maximus Extreme VI
    EVGA 780 ti SC ACX model average temp is 42C under heavy load 51C
    Samsung 840 Pro 500GB
    Western Digital Black 2 TB
    Corsair Dominator 1600ghz 16GB
    Corsair AX860 PSU
    All My fans are Corsair SP and AF model
    XSPC 360 Rad
    Dual Pump system with a LIQUID RESERVOIR EK-MULTIOPTION RES X2-400
    Windows 8 Professional
    AZZA 9000 Genesis Case

    I read somewhere else that the issue happened because of certain Nvidia cards and that they would be patched. I doubt that the issue is anything but certain SSD's and HDD's.
    I don't think they'll ever have a fix for this. It's likely that someone would literally have to mail them a machine that is experiencing the issue just to get the issue resolved. I intend to upgrade my hard drive sometime soon, so if I'm still experiencing this issue, I'll update the topic again.

    Can you tell me the exact model numbers of the hard drives and SSDs you have experienced this 9th second replay bug? If it's the same bug, the game will appear to freeze every 9th second (every 10 seconds) in game time, no matter what speed you play the replay at.
    I have had the same issue with my computer and it is a WD 50 00 azlx. Not sure if it will do anything
    I have freeze on replays too. I use samsung laptop with HITACHI HD.

    Actually, my games freezed every game.
    When I've checked the task manager (finally after 1 min of freeze), I was surprised to notice my Hard Disk was 100% busy.
    When starcraft 2's task is closed. HD is busy only at 5%. I was just playing 1v1 !!

    I wonder if I must avoid the option : save replay. I guess it write on the HD in the same time I played.

    Does someone have any idea ?
    I confirm it is a problem of writing on hard disk. Once it stops writing (5 min after SC2 was blocked), Starcraft 2's task is responding.
    But even if i unchecked save replay option, the replay is always saving during the game. :-(
    Guy with unsayable name that seems to want to mimic other people doing the crappy |||||||| name crap;

    Your issue is unrelated to this. You have something else going on and I'm not exactly sure what it is. SC2 shouldn't be writing to your disk like that during a gameplay match like that. Have you checked to see that there's no other processes doing it? You can use Performance Monitor (if on Windows 7, not sure if 8 and 10 have it) to see what's going on behind the scenes.
    Marked As Solution
    This bug has been resolved by patch 3.0, along with making it no longer possible to play old Replays. So.

    Thanks for fixing it finally, Blizzard. This is a non-sarcastic thanks.

    And now my sarcastic thanks for destroying old replays I was saving for when this was fixed.....

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