How to Fix Prototype 2 Crash on Startup on Windows

Some Windows users have been unable to play Prototype 2 due to the fact that the game crashes at every startup during the initial loading screen. This problem is reported to occur on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

Prototype 2 Crash at every startup

After investigating this particular issue and looking at various user reports, it turns out that there are a few different causes that might cause this problem:

  • Minimum requirements aren’t met – If you’re seeing this problem on a very old configuration, the game might crash because your GPU or CPU is not powerful enough or you don’t have enough memory. Consult the minimum required specs to make sure that’s not the case.
  • Hyperthreading and MultiThreading – If you’re using an AMD or Intel CPU that has hyperthreading or MultiThreading enabled by default, this is most likely what’s causing the game to crash. In this case, you need to access the BIOS or UEFI settings and disable this option.
  • Conflicting HID-Compliant Control drivers – Prototype 2 came before the era of Windows 10, so it doesn’t know how to take advantage of the new control drivers. Even more, leaving them enabled might end up crashing the game, so it’s best to use Device Manager to disable them while playing the game.
  • Inconsistency with the game files – If you’re running the game through Steam, you might want to check the game’s integrity via Steam and see if any inconsistencies are found. Several users with the same issue have confirmed that the game finally ran normally after doing this.

Prerequisite: Checking the Minimum Requirements

Before you try any of the fixes featured below, you should start by making sure that you have a rig good enough to run this game. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a fairly new configuration, but if you’re attempting to run this game from an older PC or laptop, take a look at the Minimum Requirements:

OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 10 (Compatibility Mode)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.6GHz, AMD Phenom X3 8750.
Memory: Minimum of 2 GB RAM.
Hard Disk Space: 10 GB available space.
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4850 with 512 MB RAM.
DirectX®: 9.0c.

If you cross-checked the minimum requirements against your own configuration and you pass without issues, start troubleshooting with the potential fixes below.

Method 1: Running the Game in Compatibility mode (Windows 10)

Keep in mind that this game was originally released years before we even got word of Windows 10, so it was not designed to work with the newest operating system from Microsoft. Fortunately, that’s not an issue, cause you can easily configure the executable of Prototype 2 to run as for the older infrastructure present on Windows 7.

There are a lot of affected users that confirmed this fix as the only thing allowing them to play the game without encountering startup crashes every time they arrived at the first loading screen.

If this scenario is applicable and you’re trying to play Prototype 2 on Windows 10, follow the instructions below to modify the behavior of the executable to run in compatibility mode with Windows 7:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the location where you installed Prototype 2. Once you’re inside the game folder, right-click on prototype2.exe and click on Properties from the context menu.
    Right-clicking and selecting “Properties”.

    Note: You can also modify the game’s shortcut if you want, but you’re better off doing the modification from the main executable.

  2. Once you’re inside the Properties menu, click on the Compatibility tab from the vertical menu at the top. Next, go ahead and check the box associated with Run this program in compatibility mode and then choose Windows 7 from the associated drop-down menu.
    Running installer in compatibility mode
  3. Next, click Apply to save the changes, then run the game once again and see if the problem is now fixed.

In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 2: Disabling Hyperthreading or MultiThreading in BIOS / UEFI

This might seem like an unlikely culprit, but a lot of users have reported that they managed to get the issue fixed and play the game after finally realizing that a CPU-enhancing feature called Hyperthreading on Intel or MultiThreading on AMD ends up making the game unstable enough to crash before the in-game engine can be rendered.

In case this scenario is applicable and this feature is actually enabled on your computer, you should be able to fix the problem by accessing your BIOS or UEFI settings and disabling this setting before attempting to launch the game once again.

To help you with this, we’ve created a small guide that will walk you through this process. But be advised that depending on your motherboard, the steps you’ll need to take and the menu you’ll see will be different from case to case.

Here’s how to disable hyperthreading or multithreading on a PC:

  1. Power up your computer (or restart it if it’s already on) and start pressing the Setup key as soon as you see the initial screen.
    Press the BIOS key during startup procedure
    Press the BIOS key during startup procedure

    Note: The BIOS / UEFI key should be visible on the screen, but just in case you don’t see it, search online for the specific BIOS key depending on your motherboard model.

  2. Once you’re inside the BIOS or UEFI settings, look for the option that allows you to disable Hyperthreading on Intel or MultiThreading on AMD. In most cases, you will find it under the Advanced settings, Tweaker Config, CPU Feature, Performance, Processor, CPU or similar.
    Disabling SMT

    Note: Depending on the platform and the BIOS / UEFI version, you might find this feature labeled as: Intel (R) Hyper-Threading, Hyper-Treading technology, Hyperthreading function, CPU Hyper-Threading or Hyper thread control.

  3. Once the modification is enforced, save the changes, then restart your computer and wait for the next startup to complete. Next, launch Prototype 2 once again and see if the problem is now resolved.

In case you’re still seeing the same error, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Disabling HID-Compliant Control Devices

As it turns out, several affected users have managed to fix this problem and play Prototype 2 without frequent crashes after they used Device Manager to find and disable each ‘HID-compliant consumer control Devices‘ under Human Interface Devices.

This might seem like a reckless thing to do since HID-Compliant Control Devices are actually the mouse and keyboard drivers, but actually it makes a lot of sense. Keep in mind that Prototype 2 is an old game that doesn’t know how to take advantage of the newest HID functionality (dynamic DPI, etc.).

So disabling HID devices via Device Manager will not actually disable your mouse and keyboard, it will just disable some newer protocol that might actually cause the game to crash.

If this scenario sounds like it could be applicable, follow the instructions below to use Device Manager to disable the HID-Compliant Control devices:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘devmgmt.msc’ and press Enter to open up Device Manager. If you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
    Type devmgmt.msc and Press Enter to Open Device Manager
  2. Once you’re inside Device Manager, scroll down through the list of installed devices and expand the drop-down menu associated with Human Interface Devices.
  3. Next, go ahead and right-click on every HID-compliant consumer control devices and choose Disable Device from the newly appeared context menu.
    Disabling HID-compliant consumer control devices
  4. Once every HID-compliant consumer control device is disabled, close Device Manager, launch the game once again, and see if the problem is now fixed.

In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 4: Validating the Game in Steam

If none of the instructions above have worked for you, you launch the game through Steam and you previously made sure that that you meet the minimum requirements, it’s possible that you’re seeing this problem due to an integrity problem regarding some Prototype 2 game files.

If this scenario is applicable and you’re running the game through steam, follow the instructions below to verify the file cache integrity of Prototype 2 to fix the startup error:

  1. Open your Steam client, select the Library from the menu at the top.
  2. Next, right-click on Prototype 2 and choose Properties from the newly appeared context menu.
    Accessing the Properties screen of Prototype 2
  3. Inside the Properties screen of Prototype 2, select the Local Files tab and click on Verify Integrity of the Game File.

    Verifying the integrity of game files
  4.  Wait until the operation is complete, then restart your computer and launch the game once again to see if the problem is now fixed.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.