Blizzard Hearthstone Blank Screen Not Responding FIX

If you are trying to play Hearthstone, now in open BETA, and are having a problem where as soon as you hit the Play button the screen or window goes dark and the process in the task manager says it’s “Not Responding”, I may have a fix for you.

I had this very same problem and after no help from the forums or tech support, I figured it out myself. Really it was just basic troubleshooting. Getting to the part that helped me with the problem, I disabled my firewall and associated agents (I am running Avast Internet Security, one of the best), the game suddenly ran fine! Imagine that. That meant that the problem was with my firewall. Sure enough, I re-enabled everything and the game stopped working, went right back to the blank screen.

So, here is where the fix comes in. Even if you aren’t running Avast, this could be your problem regardless of what brand of firewall you are running. Check out what I found and see if you have the same problem with your firewall.

I went into the settings and in the application specific rules section, where firewall rules are associated with specific executable programs, I found rules for the Blizzard Agent, the Updater and many more, even the Hearthstone Setup executable. What I did not find was any rule for the Hearthstone game app at all! They had rules for everything but the game itself! So, I simply added a rule for the Hearthstone executable itself

C:\Program Files(x86)\Heartstone\Hearthstone.exe on my system

and then all went well after that, the game ran fine. The whole problem was that the game executable could not talk through the firewall. Once that was enabled, everyone was happy, including me! I hope that helps you with your problem.

SmoothWall 3.0 Released

Also known as, the best little firewall in … well, anywhere! I have been using SmoothWall (the free, open source version) for years. I have used it with modems for dial-up access, as well as with cable and DSL connections. It’s a great product that is robust, feature rich, easy to manage and above all, very secure.

Not familiar with SmoothWall?

I used to run an ISP and the majority of our customer base were dial-up customers. Even now, there are a majority of dial-up users out there still. SmoothWall is a great tool for dial-up users because it is essentially a hardened Linux distribution built solely to be a firewall/router. The IP stack in Linux is more efficient and much faster than Windows, so even on dial-up, you will get a performance boost running SmoothWall, plus the added security of a top notch firewall.

For all of the broadband users out there, you will get a tremendous performance boost when comparing it to the White Box store Linksys products. I am not knocking Linksys or anything like that, but in my own tests, I got almost double the throughput from my SmoothWall box versus my Linksys router. Plus, the SmoothWall box has loads more features and version 3 has even more piled on.

With built in features like this:

  • Bandwidth usage graphs
  • Transparent caching proxy server
  • VPN support
  • Anti-virus scanning of incoming pop3 email
  • Dynamic and static DNS support
  • QoS and more

There are really tons more features than I can list here, the ones listed above are just some highlights. Best of all, this wonderful product is free. Yep, that’s right, free. They do have commercial versions if you have a need for that, but they still maintain the open source GPL release that is absolutely free. So, all you have to invest is the cost of an old low powered pc that has been laying around the house anyway! 🙂 I very highly recommend you check it out if you have a need for a good firewall product.