Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Solution to Crashing

TL;DR

AutoHotkey seems to cause Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (for Windows) to crash. Exiting AutoHotkey before launching the game fixed the problem for me.

Background

I recently built a new high-end desktop PC to use as my primary home-office system. I spent about $2,500 (USD) and this included an Intel Core i9-9900K CPU, 1TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus m.2 SSD, 2TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD, a water-cooler for the CPU, and, of course an eVGA 2070 SUPER graphics card. You can see the specific components on my PC Part Picker list. Over the years, I’ve found that gaming-quality PCs also perform well as business PCs (don’t judge me).

Several of the components included “free” PC games – the CPU included Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was included with the graphics card.

As I was testing the newly-built system for stability and temperature management, I briefly ran both games. They both ran successfully – and both looked simply stunning to my eye (since PC gaming has come a LONG way since I’ve last spent any time playing). I spent the next several weeks continuing to configure the system by installing and configuring the software I needed for work.

Trouble

I was excited to have a little bit of free time around Christmas and thought I would play through part of the Call of Duty single-player campaign.

Shortly after launching Call of Duty – before even reaching the game’s menu – the game crashed! What?!?

I tracked down the log files created by the Blizzard Battle.net application (the client software responsible for connecting, updating, and launching Call of Duty, as well as other games). These log files are located in %LocalAppData%\Battle.net\Logs on a Windows PC (that will look like C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Local\Battle.net\Logs).

The consistent error I noticed looked like: [0126/103350.156:ERROR:browser_process_sub_thread.cc(221)] Waited 9 ms for network service

Sadly, I was unable to locate any helpful posts or articles that mention this specific error in the context of the game. It’s possible that the error is completely unrelated to the actual issue.

As a software developer, that makes me think there’s a problem with something network related. I added exceptions to allow Call of Duty (and Battle.net) to pass through the Windows Firewall, but it still continued crashing.

I tinkered with my Windows network settings and attempted a number of the other typical troubleshooting steps, all with no success.

Breakthrough

The breakthrough finally came when I decided to kill ALL of the background applications running on my PC. After reading through one of many articles and posts, I stumbled onto one that mentioned killing specific background applications, such as AutoHotkey (https://www.ghostarrow.com/call-of-duty-modern-warfare-fix-wont-launch-black-screen-crashes). I use AutoHotkey for several purposes, including handling the media key presses on my Contour ShuttleXpress (for controlling music) and for typing ASCII macros (¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

The game menu showed! And the game actually ran! WOW!!

I have not had time yet to track down exactly what about AutoHotkey is causing the problem. I’ll update this post if I ever take time to dig deeper into the problem.

So now I just have to remember to close AutoHotkey from my Windows Notification area before launching Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It’s not ideal, but at least I can enjoy the game now….

And it makes me feel like I slayed a dragon!

Scene from Fantasmic!

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