The Active Network

ActiveWin: FAQ's Active Network | Articles | Editorials | Interviews | FAQ's | light Tower | Mailing List | Forums

Frequently Asked Questions
Games Queries & Problems

General Windows Games

Q: My game sometimes slow down without any apparent reason for a few minutes. Why?
A: You probably have a program running in background under Windows such as your anti-virus program or other scheduled program. Try to disable them. You might have the System Agent or Scheduled Tasks running under Windows. Disable them too.

Q: Is it true that older games won't work on newer computers?
A: This is just one of the computer "myths". But there are some truths in it. Older games that utilize older DirectX versions will usually create problems. The game will assume you don't have DirectX installed and automatically install it into your system without prompting you beforehand. If you have a new version of DirectX say version 5 or 6 and the game overwrites it with version 3, all your new games using version 5 won't work. Even after re-installing the newer version or DirectX, slight problems might still appear.

Q: My game can't shut down/exit properly. Windows will crash and I have to restart.
A: We must determined whether it is the game itself that is faulty or the exit process that messes things up. While playing the game (under Windows). press Alt+Tab to switch back to Windows. Now Alt+Tab again to return to the game. If Windows and your game appear to be working smoothly, then the exit process is faulty. The workaround for this problem is simple. First, save your game before you exit. Press Alt+Tab to return to Windows. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del. Highlight the game and select End Task. If a dialog box appears stating that the program isn't responding, just press End Task again and you are done.


General DOS Games

Q: Some games such as Command & Conquer, prompts me whether I want a DOS version or Windows version installed. Which is the best?
A: It depends. DOS versions are usually more stable and do tend to crash less. Besides, with no other programs running, we won't fear that there isn't enough system resources. However, Windows versions supports DirectX. That is why you don't see StarCraft or Diablo running under DOS. DOS games doesn't support DirectX for now. So, if you want stability, go for DOS. If you opt for quality and have a fair PC system, go for Windows.

Q: My mouse won't move under Real-mode DOS. However, it works fine under Windows' DOS Prompt.
A: It seems like your mouse device driver isn't properly configured under DOS. Windows will recognize any mouse but DOS won't. Check whether you have installed your mouse driver. Try installing it under DOS. Or ask your nearest dealer on how to add the proper lines into your Config.sys system file.

Q: What's the difference with playing DOS game under Real-mode DOS and DOS Prompt?
A: The main difference is this - if you are playing under Real-mode DOS, you are actually under DOS 7.00's environment. Under DOS Prompt, you are still under Windows. You can still do multi-tasking and switch between applications using the Alt+Tab key. However, playing under the DOS Prompt has its own disadvantages. Windows do tend to eat up a lot of conventional memory. If you are playing an older game, the game won't start at all. You will have to boot to DOS.


Performance & Display

Q: When I start my game, I only get a black screen. Why?
A: If your game requires DirectX, you probably didn't install DirectX properly or your video card doesn't support DirectX.

Q: My game won't display properly. The screen is either garbled or displayed half-screen. Why?
A: Either you set the game screen to the wrong resolution or your DirectX is corrupted.

Q: I already re-install DirectX. The display is still junky.
A: First, does this happen to all games that utilize DirectX? If it does, maybe you have an application that is incompatible with DirectX. Try checking all your programs and see which one is the culprit.

Q: I simply love 3D games and I intend to buy a 3D accelerator card. What 3D card should I buy?
A: Currently, 3Dfx most popular chip Voodoo and Voodoo2 has the most supported 3D game titles. Get a card that utilizes this chip. If possible, get a card that supports both DirectX and OpenGL.

Q: How do I get my game to utilize my 3D accelerator card?
A: Most games will be labeled stating that they are supported by Voodoo.....etc. Old but popular games will probably get a patch up on their site to support 3D acceleration. Others will have a "Special Edition" of the game to support 3D acceleration. Some games just require you to do some display settings. Others will automatically detect the card and run it smoothly. See for yourself under what kind of category does your game falls in.

Q: I have a high-end computer system. Why is it that my new game looks and sounds lousy?
A: Check whether it is really a promising good quality game. If it really looks good on other computers, don't worry. You probably didn't optimize the game to look nice. Check the options o the game. Look at the display settings. Enable all animations and set the display setting to the optimum (highest). Also remember to check the brightness and gamma balance. Next, check whether you have selected the right channels for your sound card. And AWE64 can sound like an 8-bit sound card if not set-up properly.


This site is not related to the Microsoft Corporation in any way. Windows and the Windows logo are trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation. ActiveWindows is an independent site. The information and sources here are obtained from series of hard work & research.