Sunday, October 7, 2007

Workaround to Google 4 Black Screen Of Death problem

Ever since I upgraded to Google Earth 4, I've had the extremely annoying problem that tilting to an oblique view produced a completely black screen. The only way to get the screen view back was to restart GE. Time to dust off that ol' BSOD acronym...

I just found a thread which provides a clue to why the problem occurs, and gives a workaround (which doesn't 100% remove the annoyance, since it only works for that one session).

Apparently the problem is caused by the use of a dual core AMD Athlon processor. The solution is to set the processor affinity to use only a single core for the GE process. (TaskManager, Processes Tab, rightclick process 'googleearth.exe', 'Set Affinity', select 1 processor only). I haven't yet found a way to persist this setting - anyone have any ideas?

Update: After a few milliseconds more browsing, I found that you can use the
imagecfg.exe utility to permanently set the processor affinity for a load image. Running the following command in the Google Earth directory does the trick:

imagecfg -a 0x1 googleearth.exe

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