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Call of Juarez The Cartel Crash to Desktop (CTD), Errors, No Sound, Stuttering, Loading Screen Error Fix, Freezing, Black Screen, Low Performance Fixes

When a Mexican drug cartel bombs a US law enforcement agency, a US task force begins a blood-soaked quest for justice. Play as Ben McCall, a brutal LAPD cop and descendant of Ray McCall; Eddie Guerra, a DEA agent with a chronic gambling habit; or Kim Evans, a gang-affiliated street kid turned FBI agent. Who you choose determines how the unforgettable story unfolds.


As you fight to dismantle the Cartel and unravel the mystery of the bombing, you’ll embark on an epic, bloody road trip from the streets of Los Angeles to Ciudad Juarez. Experience the lawlessness of today’s Wild West as you hunt down the Cartel before the violence escalates north of the border.


Ensure that your PC meets the minimum requirements to play the Call of Juarez series.

  • Windows XP (with SP3) / Windows Vista (with SP1) / Windows 7
  • Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz, Intel Pentium D 2.66 Ghz, AMD Athlon 64 3500 +
  • 1 GB for Windows XP / 2 GB for Windows Vista
  • Graphics card with 256 MB RAM, compatible with DirectX 10.0 or DirectX 9.0c with Shader Model 3.0 – supported cards: NVIDIA GeForce 6800/7600-7950/8600-8800/9600-9800/GTX 260-280, ATI RADEON X1650 – 1950/HD 2400-2900/3650-3870/4650-4870
  • 4 GB of disk space
  • Sound card compatible with DirectX 9.0c

Problem: Enable V-sync to Reduce Crashes

Solution: Go to control panel, open “nvidia control panel”, next to “Vsync” click “ON”. This way will give you vsync in all games.

Problem: Black Screen Crash

Solution: Disable your second monitor (whichever one you don’t want to play the game on), start the game, set the resolution settings, then quit it.

Problem: Crash at Intro video

Solution: Go to control panel – in Windows. Select sound then double click your playback device. Then click on the advanced tab and select 16 bit, 48000Hz (DVD Quality).Make sure your firewall allows your Call of Juarez .exe file to access the Internet and is not blocking it.

Problem: Stuck at loading screen

Solution: Download a copy of avifil32.dll ( and put into sytem32 folder

Problem: Game Lagging or Low Performance

Solution 1: If you have NVIDIA 3D Vision installed, then remove the driver as it commonly causes lag and performance drops!
Solution 2: Using NVIDIA Control Panel for NVIDIA graphics card or ATI Catalyst Center for ATI video cards, you can dramatically increase or even fix some problems you’re experiencing. Firstly, try experimenting with VSYNC, turn V-SYNC ON if it is disabled and then try running the game. If you already have it forced on, and then also try disabling it. Depending on the issue, having it enabled instead of disabled or vice-versa may be a better idea than the other. It can help bypass a frames per second / FPS limit or cap and sometimes even helps if you are experiencing blur. VSYNC can affect the refresh rate.
Solution 3: Another option is to enable Triple Buffering through your GFX Card Control Panel. A program like D3DOverrider can help you enable VSYNC and Triple Buffering for NVIDIA cards.
Solution 4: Lower the graphics settings, resolution, antialiasing (AA), and other effects
Solution 5: Upgrade your video card drivers (they generally offer bug fixes and performance increases)

So for the exact steps to enable VSYNC, Anti-Aliasing, and Anisotropic Filtering for NVIDIA cards try:

Load the NVIDIA Control Panel (can be accessed in system tray generally or Control Panel)

Click “Performance & Quality Settings” -> “Add Profile” -> enter Call of Juarez The Cartel

Click “Browse” -> select the Call of Juarez The Cartel exe -> check the checkbox that’s next to it in the associated application list

Under “Application” be sure to select the entry you just added and uncheck “Application-controlled”

For ATI video cards, just Load ATI Catalyst Control Panel and expand the 3D menu. Easy!

Problem: Game Crashes at Launch / Startup / Menu


  • Go to the executable file in the Call of Juarez folder and setting compatibility for Windows XP SP3.
  • Verify steam game cache

Problem: Crash to Desktop (CTD)


  • Go to control panel – in Windows. Select sound then double click your playback device. Then click on the advanced tab and select 16 bit, 48000Hz (DVD Quality).Make sure your firewall allows your Call of Juarez .exe file to access the Internet and is not blocking it.
  • Alt + tab out of the game and check if there are any windows firewall or any other security notification, then click allow or a similar option to it. Firewall and such are common reasons why graphic problems are triggered.
  • Disable your anti-virus programs. Just like item #1, anti-virus problems really can cause graphics problems, and this is often overlooked.
  • Disable all unnecessary background applications, they can unknowingly overload your system and trigger graphics problems for both nVidia and ATI cards.
  • Update your BIOS. Do this only as a last ditch effort since your PC BIOS is very sensitive. Once you’re successful in updating it though, fresh BIOS can streamline your PC process operations and reduce both sound and graphics problems.
  • Download the latest version of your DirectX. Keeping it updated ensures the compatibility of your games to your system which can reduce the occurrences of graphicsproblems.
  • For ATI/AMD users – What did end up working (for me) was downloading a driver cleaner and following the instructions here (I tried to download the program here as well, but was unable to) in order to get a completely fresh install of the ATI drivers. Then did a fresh install of 11.5. This also fixed the ATI catalyst Catalyst Control Center being unable to launch. This will help reduce those persistent graphics problems for ATI users.
  • These comprehensive fixes are known to reduce Call of Juarez crash problems.

Problem: No Sound Fix

Solution: To fix the music and sound, you can try disabling Hardware Acceleration and also try to reduce the Sample Rate Conversion Quality to fix this:

  • Load the Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices
  • In the Volume tab, click the “Advanced” button under “Speaker settings”, then click the “Performance” tab
  • Move the slider from “Full” and “Best” to “None” and “Good”. Now click “OK”

Try doing these one at a time rather than just lowering them both as you may not need to lower / disable both.

Another method is to use the infamous DXDIAG:

  • Go to Start -> Run — type in “dxdiag”
  • Click the “Sound” tab and under “DirectX Features” move the slider over from “Full Acceleration” to “no acceleration” to disable the setting for DirectSound

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