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Parchment Background Image for RCT3 FAQ: Errors, Quirks, and Oddities: RCT3 Freezes on

Sometimes while playing RCT3 the game will stop working and appear to freeze. The display may or may not show solid black at such times.

More often than not this is caused by a standard Windows message hidden behind the game's display. To get to the message use ALT+TAB, during which it is possible to use TAB (while holding down ALT) so that you may cursor to display the actual error message. If the message won't display after you've attempted this you'll need to use ALT+TAB to get to your Desktop and bring the message up from the Windows Taskbar.

Failing that, you could try ALT+CTRL+DEL and use the Applications tab in Task Manager to bring the message to the front (further details on this provided later in this article).

There are known and unknown errors that can cause RCT3 to stop working. Here are a few that we know of:

A bug that’s caused by really large pieces of CS being placed in a park with the shadows option turned on. This occasionally results in the RCT3 has stopped working … message which usually appears in full view on top of the RCT3 display without our having to look for it. If one wants CS of this magnitude in their park the only way to avoid this error is to turn off the option for shadows before accessing that park in the future.

If you’re used to having day and night in your park, after your park has grown a great deal you may suddenly find that the game will freeze when it enters the night cycle. This ordinarily results in the RCT3 has stopped working … message which usually appears in full view on top of the RCT3 display without our having to look for it. This is a sure sign you your park is in the early stages of becoming too much for your graphics card. Regrettably the solution is to start running your park only in day mode when accessing that park in the future.

Rarely, the No :SVD for :SID error has been known to appear behind the RCT3 display. This message almost always appears in full view on top of the RCT3 display without our having to look for it.

Rarely, the Failed to allocate memory for structured resource … error has been known to appear behind the RCT3 display. This message usually appears in full view on top of the RCT3 display without our having to look for it.

Sometimes when attempting to find the hidden message there turns out to be no message to be found. Should you find yourself in this situation you will need to end the RCT3.exe process through Processes tab in Task Manager. However, before blithely heading for Task Manager there are a few points we need to consider.

Shutting Your Game Down Safely

Let’s briefly explore what’s involved in the launching of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. To start, just to arrive at the Play Menu the game spends a minute or two linking itself to our RCT3 files and collating resources behind that light blue screen while we impatiently tap our finger waiting to get there, but as we all know that’s just the beginning.

Once we’ve arrived at the Play Menu, if we were to open a sandbox park in which we’ve made some sort of progress there would be additional processes the game needs to go through in order to get us into our saved park. If we were to read them off in the order that they appear they’d be:

Clear Data,

Build Class Lookup,

Load Resources,


Activate Objects,

Post-Activate, and finally

Initializing Park.

At each stage the game engine has engaged with and is processing the data it finds in our various files and is doing this to get our park open for us. The more CS we have installed, the larger our park, and the more we have in it, the longer the steps in this list will take. If the truth be known there is an enormous amount of processing that takes place behind the scenes in order to get our saved park up and running at the same state of progress it was in when we made our last save. Once our park is opened the game engine then manages all this data in a way that enables us to view the reality suggested in our parks, enables the content of the park to interact, enables us to make progress in our parks, and enables us to save that progress.

When we shut down RCT3 it needs to properly disengage from all those resources that it loaded and activated during launch & that it was using during gameplay, a process during which the game engine will need to leave our files as it found them prior to launching. When our game has stopped and we’re anxious to get back into our park it’s tempting to simply end the process in Task Manager, but we need to take a little more care and responsibility for our RCT3 installation which means the last thing we want to is to stop RCT3 cold in Task Manager. So what do we do when our game’s frozen and there’s no message that allows us to shut RCT3 down gracefully? Fortunately there are a few final choices we can make before considering a cold shut down of RCT3.

Open Task Manager, go to Processes, and highlight RCT3plus.exe. You can do that by left clicking on it once. Keep in mind that the column we’re interested in is Memory (Private Working Set). Go to Applications in Task Manager and ensure there’s no other RCT3 related window displaying. If you find more than one RCT3 window in Applications then one of those windows is your game and the other is the RCT3 message that is not displaying in front as it should be. To display the message, right click one of the RCT3 icons in the task manager list and select Bring To Front. If you try this with both RCT3 entries in the list, one of your choices should display an RCT3 message.

That message will most often be: Roller coaster tycoon 3 has stopped working....a problem caused the program to stop working correctly. ….. at which time you can safely shut down your game from that message window.

If there’s no RCT3 message on the your Task Bar or on your Desktop indicating RCT3 has stopped, and if you’ve looked at RCT3plus.exe and have observed that the amount of memory [Memory (Private Working Set)] being used by the game has remained completely unchanged for a few minutes, then it’s safe to assume the game has well and truly plunged into a freeze.

At this point go to your Task Bar and right click on RCT3. In Windows 7 an option will display enabling you to close the RCT3 window. You should keep an eye on the Memory (Private Working Set) number that is on display in Task Manager for RCTPlus.exe; when you have closed the RCT3 window, this number should diminish slowly at first, then more rapidly before RCT3plus.exe disappears from Task Manager. If RCT3 takes several seconds to shut down then there's probably nothing to be concerned about. If RCT3plus.exe immediately disappears from the list then the process ended cold and you may have problems with your game after that.

As a very last resort, if none of the above work you’ll need to right click on RCT3plus.exe in Task Manager/Processes, and select End Process. Sometimes RCT3 will take several seconds to shut down in this way, but again, this could result in a cold, instant shut down of RCT3, something that could cause problems with your game.

We’d suggest that instead of simply ending the RCT3plus.exe process it would probably be safer at this point to log off your user account in the hope that Windows will take over the shutting down RCT3 more gracefully than by simply ending the process in Task Manager.

If after a cold shut down of RCT3 you have problems with your game there are only two options open to us:

Delete your RCT3 Program Files folder and replace with your backup copy.

Reinstall RCT3.

As a matter of interest, the Failed to allocate memory for structured resource … error is the only error from which it is possible to exit the error message, save your park, and choose ourselves shut down RCT3. This message represents the only time RCT3 will warn us that we’re skating on thin ice.

We’ll get this message as a warning that our graphics card doesn’t have enough left in it to draw the scenery piece that we’ve just chosen to place in our park.

If you really want to save your park’s progress then select OK to continue. You will need to select OK each time this message appears until no further messages appear. You may get only one message but on the other hand there could be dozens you need to OK through. After you’ve OK’d through all the messages and no more appear then you can save your park, after which it is highly recommended that you yourself shut down RCT3 in the usual way. If you do not shut down your game after getting past all the OK’s, your game will crash soon thereafter.

If you choose not to save your park and select Cancel you’ll exit the game and it will shut down safely.

RCT3 Failed To Allocate Memory Error Message - Image 01