This may be the type of thing you've heard over and over again, but its getting on my nerves... so, sue me.
Our resident Souce Code team is always egar to get feedback on stability to improve the successive builds. I've had this but occuring with FS2 for as long as I can remember, even in Retail. I have noticed however, that this bug occurs much more frequently in Open, say once every 3rd mission, or even more frequently than that if its a demanding mission. When playing the main campaign, I had to replay "Love The Treason" several times, same thing for "Battle In The Wilderness", then later in "Exodus" and "Their Finest Hour". All of these missions include lots of ships, but the bug usually occurs when a dammaged fighter explodes or crosses through the field of view. The bug is a game freeze. All motion will stop, the music keeps playing, and any looping sound like the aspect locking sound will continue. If I'm using the afterburner, the force-feedback in my stick will continue to rattle it. The computer will refuse to respond to keyboard or mouse commands and the only option is a hard reboot or reset. Somtimes the screen will lock up, but if a voice wave is playing (ie, something that isn't repeating), it will usually resume after a few seconds. I reported this in Bugzilla, but either no one has responded or I just don't know how to check for responses, being the noob that I am. It is registered as Bug-117.
I'm currently using Phreak's latest Open build, though when playing Inferno in his INF_Open, I encountered the same problem. I haven't tried the HT&L build, as I am a bit chicken. Whenever I play FS, I always try to free up as much memory as possible by shutting down resource hoggs like ASUS Probe, Norton Antivirus and Utilities, and ICQ. My system specs are as follows:
Athlon 800 (Thunderbird series) 200 MHz. FSB
ASUS GeForce 2 MX (pre 200/400 models) 32MB AGP
Please note, I don't use the latest drivers, as they've caused some problems for me in the past, and are incompatible with certain programs. I use the Det3 12.41.
I hope someone can solve such an error. If however, this is a hardware issue, or something so deep in the code that it is irreperable, please reply as such. Thank you all.