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Game Crashes and Alt-Tabbing: Fix

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#1 dodgem

Posted 18 June 2021 - 07:40 AM

Hi all,


As we all know, since Windows Vista many of us have had issues with alt-tabbing between BF1942 and the desktop.  Despite all of the usual recommendations of setting the game to run in compatibility mode for XP and running it as an Administrator, the game still seems to crash regularly when jumping between desktop and the game.


CJHM recently discovered a potential fix (no issues so far) when he was helping me to run my game in Windowed mode (please read on as this is not simply a thread to tell you to do that).


From my very non-technical perspective, what causes the crashes is the switching from BF1942's full-screen mode to your desktop's windowed mode.  Therefore, what we would like to do is to be able to tell the game that it's running in a window whilst also telling that window to run without a border (i.e. full-screen).  So, that's exactly what we're going to do by 1. changing the BF1942 game files by the usual method to run BF1942 in a window, and 2. Run a program that tells the (now windowed) game to remove the border from the window and go full-screen.


So, if you're having issues with crashes when alt-tabbing, please try the following:


Step 1

Navigate to your game files in Windows Explorer to the following directory:

C:\Program Files (x86)\EA Games\Battlefield 1942\Mods\bf1942\Settings


Locate the VideoDefault.con file and copy and paste it to a safe place in case something goes wrong and you need to restore it.


Step 2

Open the VideoDefault.con file (the original not the copied one) using Notepad.  You may need to right-click the file, select 'Open With' and then find Notepad.  Then find the line which says "renderer.setFullscreen 1" and change the '1' to '0'.  Then Save the document and close Notepad.  

(I have previously run into an issue when editing the game files where it won't let me save the file after editing it.  If that happens for you, create another copy of VideoDefault.con on your desktop, edit the copy per above, make sure the name of the document is VideoDefault.con then drag and drop it back into its original directory to replace the old one).


Step 3

Download the BorderlessGaming.exe installer from my Google Drive.  GDrive should run a virus scan on it before it downloads: 



or directly from github:



Run the downloaded .exe file, accept the agreement and click 'Next'.  Click 'Next' again and allow the installer to create a desktop shortcut.  Once it's installed, delete the "admin setup" installer so as not to get confused between the installer and the software itself.


Step 4

Run BF1942 by double clicking your BF1942 shortcut.  It should now run in a window but it probably won't let you move the window to a more convenient place - you're stuck with wherever it's ended up on your monitor and it will therefore cut off some of the game's HUD.


Step 5

Alt-tab to a non-full screen window (i.e. any other window you have open) and then press Win-D on your keyboard to show your desktop.  Navigate to the BorderlessGaming.exe desktop shortcut that was created by the installer and run it.  The BorderlessGaming software will open and it shows all your running applications on the left and your "Favourites" on the right.  Find your BF1942 game in the applications list on the left and click the icon that has a box with the arrows pointing outwards.


Step 6

Then go back to your BF1942 window (by clicking on it in your taskbar or by alt-tabbing to it).  It should now be running in full-screen.



So, what we've done is told the game to run in a window and then we're running a separate piece of software to tell Windows to show the BF1942 window without its borders and in full-screen.  The Windows operating system therefore treats the game as a window rather than a full-screen application which, for me, has completed eradicated my alt-tabbing crashes.



You can add BF1942 to your BorderlessGaming "favourites" by using the right facing arrow in the BorderlessGaming software (to copy it from Applications on the left to Favourites on the right).  Doing so, I believe, will mean that BF1942 will always run "full-screen" so long as you're running BorderlessGaming in the background.

Following on from that, you can click Options at the top of your BorderlessGaming window and then "Run at Startup" to have the software run every time you turn on your computer.  This should mean you won't have to manually run BorderlessGaming every time you want to play.  If you do that, I'd also recommend ticking the "Close to Tray" option.  This is so that you can see in your tray when it's running and you can easily close it as needed.



Please let us know below if you have any issues in getting it set up and do give us feedback for whether it does indeed fix your alt-tab crashes.


(Many thanks to CJHM for recommending this bit of kit which we had been unaware would kill two birds with one stone).



  • Captain John H. Miller and Highway Man like this

#2 Highway Man

Posted 18 June 2021 - 02:13 PM

Me and Rubulator talked about this one time... I believe he came to the conclusion that if you suicide/get killed and then in ghost cam go up in the sky to where you can not hear any of the explosions etc. It would not crash as well.

#3 Capn Cackler

Posted 18 June 2021 - 07:11 PM

Me and Rubulator talked about this one time... I believe he came to the conclusion that if you suicide/get killed and then in ghost cam go up in the sky to where you can not hear any of the explosions etc. It would not crash as well.

Yeah, I remember that sometimes when i alt tab and come back it plays a whole bunch of sounds at once. Maybe the game has a limit to how many sounds it can play and if that limit is exceeded it crashes??? idk. The sound in this game is and always has been very buggy in many ways.

#4 moist armpits

Posted 19 June 2021 - 05:20 PM

Awesome thanks for this! It's in full screen, but now it's wide screen. Is there a way to get it back to it's normal frame?

#5 dodgem

Posted 23 June 2021 - 06:00 AM

Hmm, that's strange.  This shouldn't change any of the BF1942 settings apart from making it play in windowed mode.  There are separate settings to force it to display in widescreen.

Have you changed any other settings apart from renderer.setfullscreen?


If not, I wonder whether BorderlessGaming.exe forces widescreen itself.


Are you telling me you still play on a 4:3 monitor though?  Or just that you prefer the game to play in 4:3?

#6 moist armpits

Posted 26 June 2021 - 07:10 PM

I guess I still play it that way. Just not used to widescreen lol. It's not a big deal I would just prefer it that way? Do most people just play widescreen anyways?

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