November 23rd, 2002 08:57 AM
Video Game Troubleshooting Guide
Many here on this site know me for being a big Gamer. Well, figuring that I am a Gaming Guru, it would be a good idea for a troubleshooting guide tutorial to be written by me. If there are any errors or additions that need to be made, let me know, and they'll be made.
Basic Video Gaming Problems Resolved!
(For Windows Boxes (Sorry))
There's nothing that's more frustrating then going to play a game and finding out
that the stupid thing doesn't work. It's happened to all of us and it'll happen
again in the near future. So how do you fix these problems? This guide will show
you how. (If not let me know, I'll try to fix it)
First thing to do is the practical, yet doubtful help. Manufacturers will tell you
to try to defrag and scandisk before running the game. Give it a try, I've never
seen it work, but hey, it *might* for you! So give your drive a good cleaning.
Another thing they will suggest is to turn off all background programs. This is
another thing I find to work pointlessly (except for AV programs), but I guess
that older systems may need this done if system resources are stark. To do this,
get msconfig.exe going (start>run>msconfig). Then on the general tab and uncheck;
Autoexec.bat, Config.sys, and Startup Programs. On clicking OK, your system will
restart. Once you're done playing the game, repeat the steps, but in reverse (check
what you uncheck)
Manufacturers will also want you to have the most up-to-date Windows patches (ie:
Critical Patches) This is practical just to have, so I won't go into the specifics
While most games will claim that they are supported by so and so hardware, they may not be telling the complete truth. It's been well documented that the nVidia chips
have issues with games here and there. Also, while your device may say something,
the game will say something else (ie: DirectX 8.1 supported) So how do you find out?
Well, first off is figuring out what the problem is. If the
picture is choppy/glitching, obviously it's video. If the sound gets skippy or
noisy/disturbance, well... duh. But what about stuff like "Critical Error at
address A0x00010201"? Well, it's seems that Ram may be doing this. (Believe me,
I went through it!)
So, Go to the (Game's) Manufacturers site and look for a FAQ section in the
support area. Usually, if it's an issue with a output device (ie: Video or Sound)
it'll be well documented. They will explain the problem and *might* have a solution
for it (Drivers to Download, Settings to Change).
If there is no luck there, next step would be to go to the devices manufacturer's site.
Some companies will address issues and try to correct it with modified .dll or .vxd
files or with a driver package. Don't put too much hope into your brand though, this
seems to be a rare commodoty (especially with nVidia).
The game's support section will insist on getting the *most* up-to-date drivers for
your device. This ain't true. Some games will actually run worse on up-to-date drivers
(ie: Detonator XP drivers are reknown for this) Something should be mentioned on the site.
While it seems to be pratice from manufacturers to insist on using the patch they supply, if you don't see any problems, don't use it. Only use it in instances where you are to play online games and version numbers matter for a compatible connection. The reason I say this is because some patches are just as buggy (if not buggier) then the game. I've seen games run finely until a patch was applied, then the game crashed on startup. There's nothing worse then having to remove the game, reinstall it and having to repatch the darn thing. Basically, what I'm saying, is patch at your own judgement. (note: if you had any games prior to the patch, it *may* not work after the patch - another thing to think about)
Patches are used to fix gameplay problems (sprites stuck in walls, can't attack) video
problems (missing hands, blurred vision), and so on, as well as extra features like
multiplayer support, extra levels, voice paks (celebrity voices) and more. So like
I said, it's your judgement to install the patch or not.
Another thing to try is to run a diagnostic program. MadOnion.com has a benchmarking program called 3DMark2001. This program tests your system and tells you what you should run games and gives your system a final score which you can compare to their database.
If nothing has worked for you yet, and the site sais nothing about a problem, and it's
nothing to do with Video/Sound, then it's time to think serious. It could be that your
computers running memory (RAM) is damaged. This is usually more to a computer with more then one stick or Ram in the box. Try removing a stick of Ram at a time and booting back in and seeing what the results are (process of ellimination)
--Another Things To Do--
If all else fails, check the games bulletin board for related problem treads. While the site has a support section and a database of problems, it seems that the BBS has the answer before the site. Check out there.
Also, you paid the price for the game, so get your money's worth and send off an e-mail to tech support. They'll ask you idle questions we've covered here but you'll eventually get to creative solutions.
A solution I've been told to try is reinstalling Windows. It could be that either Windows itself didn't install correctly, an update screwed up, or other issues that could be
corrected with a clean install.
Another solution is to write-protect the Windows directory (and it's hierchy). It is
theorized that the game might be writing to that directory and corrupting something
important. If you can't install the game with protection on, remove it, but put it back
before running the game.
Hope this information helped. If you ever have to contact tech support, this tutorial has taken care of a lot of teadious steps they'll throw at you. Good luck and "Game On!"
November 24th, 2002 10:54 PM
just thought i would add a few small points,
sometimes it can be as easy as turning down the specs the games is running at to make it run correctly. so it is always worth your while just checking the video options menu also (GTA3 trails?!), and changing the lighting, turning off fog or whatever other bells and whistles are tin there. doing a full install of the game can also improve things if you have a slow, or "special" CD reader. for games that require alot of hard disk space, that don't have alot of FMV, defragmenting the disk can seriously improve performance, especially if you had to remove files to do the full install. becareful in this case, remember to leave enough free space for the operating system, like for virtual memory, about two and a half times your RAM should do. also Win2k users should turn off most services, or partition and install Win98 for games. if you have to run it off the CD, common sence tells me to get the CD backed up first, and lock the original away in "the vault" for safe keeping. with problems with mice buttons or wheels, or keyboards, joypads etc the same procedeure tyger_claw described still applies. Drivers, Patches, Forums (game and hardware manufacturers).
thats it, nice an' simple!
Hmm...theres something a little peculiar here. Oh i see what it is! the sentence is talking about itself! do you see that? what do you mean? sentences can\'t talk! No, but they REFER to things, and this one refers directly-unambigeously-unmistakably-to the very sentence which it is!
November 25th, 2002 01:20 AM
Om seeing as tho your a guro and all i got a question for you. I have mechcommander 2 and i start it up and its jumpy as hell i am runin a nivida mx400 with 32 mb of ram i have spent 80$ taking it into shops nd letin them work on it and still nothin i have played the game before with no problems at all none zip any how i have tryed chagein hard where aclertion ect ect i am usinin 192 ram and i beat all the games recomned reqmenits my 2x if not more on some so if u have any idea i would love to hear them
O yes when i had teh game it had a diff logo somehow and now when i put it in the slot its a diff logo now i am usin the same os and even have reformated and redid ever thign even news drivers and intalled it as full instal
[shadow]I Have Not Failed I Have Just Fond 10,000 Ways It Will Not Work[/shadow][
November 25th, 2002 07:32 AM
Exactly what do you mean by jumpy? Do you mean that the game is slow and the display is choppy? or do you mean that the mech/robot is jumping?
Here are a few things to try:
-What nVidia drivers are you using? Detonator 40.72? If so, use the WHQ 30.82 instead, it seems to rectify the problem (another nVidia problem!)
-Try lowering your resolution. Also try setting your desktop resolution to the same as the ones for the game. It seems to make a difference due to screen flickering on loading the game (flickering from changing resolutions - might not notice the flicker)
-Check your controls. If your mech is jumping around, you might have the same button for two different functions (jump or run and shoot)
-Is the card AGP? If it's AGP, go into your BIOS and lower the AGP from 4x to 2x or 1x, it seems to be a medecine for gaming problems.
-Which DirectX do you have? If you have 8.1, try 7, if you have 7, try 8.1.
-Are you running the game on D3D or OpenGL? Try reversing it (going with the other decoder) If you are trying to use 3Dfx, don't. (Only if you have a Voodoo)
-Now you say you have 192mb Ram, did you have 192 before too? maybe a chip is fubar?
-Microsoft suggest the following (corrupt texture file):
-Delete the file "textures.fst" from the directory where you installed MC2. (Normally
-C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\MechCommander 2.)
-Copy a clean "textures.fst" from the root of the MC2 CD, to your MC2 directory on your hard drive.
-Go ahead and try the game again.
-A Forum suggests:
"Try deleting the badcard.csv and oldcard.csv files from the MC2 directory. It should help."
What kind of work did the PC shop do? Let me know if you know, it'll help.
Let me know if any of this worked, and if not, let me know.
December 1st, 2002 04:05 PM
Note: I bumped the tread to get Furinax to respond. (He's not "subscribed" to the tread)