DougV, a Valve Software employee has posted on the Steam Forums recommended actions for those who are experiencing hanging behaviour in TF2 should take.
It can be expected with the initial release of a game, especially a beta, that some people are sure to run into issues running the game. DougV’s thread outlines the steps users should take if they run into issues with TF2 hanging.
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“Fixing hang bugs is tricky. Normal crashes automatically send crash dumps to us via Steam and we can easily track crash frequency and try to fix the most frequent crashes first.
Hangs, on the other hand, do not automatically send minidumps to us. There is a way you can help, but it’s a manual process.
1) Try running in windowed mode. It’s easier to get minidumps when running windowed. To start in windowed mode, open up your games list in Steam and right-click on Team Fortress 2. Select ‘Properties’, then click the ‘Set Launch Options…’ button. Add -sw to the launch options. [Be sure to remove this launch option after you’re done getting minidumps]
2) After launching Team Fortress 2, launch the Task manager. You can launch it by right-clicking on the task bar and selecting ‘Task Manager’.
3) Configure the Task Manager to show process IDs. Do this by going to the View menu of the Task Manager and selecting ‘Select Columns…’. Then make sure the ‘PID (Process Identifier)’ field is checked.
4) When the hang occurs, open up a Command Prompt (using Start Menu->Programs->Accessories->Command Prompt)
5) In the Command Prompt, cd to where you have Steam installed. Typically this is stored in c:\program files\steam, so for that case, you’d type cd “\program files\steam” (the quotes are necessary because of the space in ‘program files’).
6) In the command prompt, type ‘writeminidump ‘ where is the number in the PID column next to the hung hl2.exe process in the Task Manager and is the output filename for your crash dump.
7) Mail the file you created to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with information about your video card, your OS (Vista/XP), amount of memory, and, if possible, your driver version, which you can find under Display Properties->Settings->Advanced->Adapter->Properties->Driver on the ‘Driver Version’ line.
8) Don’t bother sending us more than 3 minidumps or so. Most likely you’re hitting the same problem each time. Getting more than 1 is interesting, however, because if they show up in the same place each time, it makes it very likely to be a code bug. We have definitely encountered machines in the wild with bad memory that produce crashes in random places (unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about those machines).”