X-com CE on Vista


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#21 zaimoni

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 07:07 PM

View PostDanial, on 24th December 2007, 12:32am, said:

Well I did have 2GB RAM to begin with and I've turned off the "annoying security messages", so maybe that makes it run a bit better. Who knows...
Simply changing the default power plan from "balanced" to "performance" tripled the download speed over a USB wireless adapter.  (Yes, new Vista system; does *not* replace the dual-boot Win95/W2K system, got it specifically for the USB wireless adapter).

This makes me wonder just how much the energy efficiency options cripple Vista.

2GB RAM is the minimum I'd consider for a Vista system.

#22 Gimli

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 10:57 AM

OK, I need a little help. My copy of Vista has to be validated, and I have no web connection working in Vista to do it. To top it off, it's a national holiday so the MS support system is not working either. Until I can get it validated and perhaps find a solution, could anyone who has Vista and the CE version try and help a little?

Be sure to check that you have the latest drivers for your graphics card. Well, actually, any drivers will work as long as they are DX 10 compatible. Be sure to check that they are, then try to run the game (don't forget to try the compatibility modes as well).

EDIT: I wrote something about dplay.dll, but then I decided to turn on my brain, and remembered to check what DirectPlay does in the first place. It's for networking and has nothing to do with X-COM whatsoever (because X-COM has no network mode).

#23 BladeFireLight

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 03:49 AM

View PostGimli, on 26th December 2007, 2:57am, said:

OK, I need a little help. My copy of Vista has to be validated, and I have no web connection working in Vista to do it. To top it off, it's a national holiday so the MS support system is not working either. Until I can get it validated and perhaps find a solution, could anyone who has Vista and the CE version try and help a little?

M$ actualy allows you to extend the trial period twice. However it it has already expired it's a trick to get "rearmed"

if you go into limited use mode you only get IE and no explorer. but this is enough. If you type c:\windows\system32 into the address bar it will open the windows directory, once there you fine "CMD.exe" right click on it and select run as administrator. with that open close the IE window. in the command window type "slmgr -rearm" if you get an error about not enought resorces of some sutch junk, close everything but the command window and try again. if it give a sucessfull message, reboot and your good for another 30 days.

Instructions for doing this can be found on Microsoft.com, so this is not some ilegal trick. it's just not highly advertized.

You can only do this twice.  M$ wants there money.

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#24 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 12:25 AM

Just thinking, if disabling HW acceleration is all it takes to get CE going under Vista, perhaps that setting can be batched into the X-Com shortcut?

I did a little research on the registry keys involved, and perhaps one of you "bleeding edge" types would like to try it out:

Create two files in your CE folder, call the first "HWAenable.reg" and the second "HWAdisable.reg". Open each with Notepad and copy and paste in the following:

'HWAdisable.reg' said:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics\]
"DisableHWAcceleration"=dword:1

'HWAenable.reg' said:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Avalon.Graphics\]
"DisableHWAcceleration"=dword:0
(You might need to replace the "Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00" line with whatever Vista wants there (run regedit and export a random key somewhere to find out), or remove it altogether).

Now create a new batch file (call it something like "Vista UFO.bat") and copy and paste the following into that:

'Vista UFO.bat' said:

regedit /s HWAdisable.reg
<Name of your main UFO executable here>
regedit /s HWAenable.reg
Running that batch should, hopefully, get rid of the acceleration when the game starts and put it back in place when you're done. Create a shortcut to it on your Start Menu and that's it; Making a Vista batch for XcomUtil should be simple enough as well.
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#25 zaimoni

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 01:18 AM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 27th December 2007, 6:25pm, said:

Just thinking, if disabling HW acceleration is all it takes to get CE going under Vista, perhaps that setting can be batched into the X-Com shortcut?

I did a little research on the registry keys involved, and perhaps one of you "bleeding edge" types would like to try it out:
It's video-driver specific, however.  The proposed patch will work for your video card, but creating a universal patch will be trickier.

It can't hurt to have a working example to generalize from.

#26 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 02:14 AM

Actually it doesn't work for my system at all - Though it's supposedly a generic key. Not sure why my XP box doesn't like it but I can only imagine it's got something to do with the term "Avalon" (which refers to Vista).

Ideally I'd find an app that watches over the registry and reports any changes as they happen. Dunno if such an app would be cross-OS though so it's probably not worth my testing one out.
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#27 BladeFireLight

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 04:58 AM

That registry key doesn't work on my vista. But then the the GUI setting for disabling video acceleration is grayed out with a message that it is not supported by my video driver.

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#28 Gimli

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 09:53 AM

I think that is a good solution, but if it doesn't work, there could be a few other ways. One is to find f0dder. I have no idea who he is, but I have taken a look at his patch (I have the source as well) and he says he basically did some reverse engineering and injecting his code into the game to make it work properly. I am hoping that he might be able to fix this as well. On the other hand, it seems that DirectX 10 may be the problem as I suspected. I did a little research and noticed that the game uses some DirectX .dlls as well as kernel32.dll and a few others. Now all of these appear for both Vista and XP. The only problem is, their file sizes are different which implies that their contents have changed. Now if I'm not mistaken the game only calls the features of DirectX and whatever else it needs via some function and probably gives it some input data (variables and what not). DirectX takes care of the rest. Ideally, if we knew what has changed in these functions between DX9 and 10 we might be able to hack into it and fix it much like f0dder did. The problem is, I don't know how to get to DirectX's feature/function/whatever list. Of course, if we could find f0dder, then maybe he would be willing to help?
In any case, I'll ask one dev I know next Thursday, he'll be able to offer some insight.

If you're wondering why some games do work even if they're not DX 10, it's because they're DX 9. DX 10 can switch to Direct 3D 9, but it seems it can't switch to earlier versions, whereas DX 9 could. For example, it seems that Civ 3 doesn't work either (should be a pre DX 9 game as I recall).

#29 Gimli

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 10:44 AM

Update: OK, I tried what you suggested BB, but it didn't work.

A few questions: Is the Avalon Grpahics thing a matter of my graphics adapter or is it there for every computer? Also, which executable were you referring to: f0dder's loader or the normal TFTD one?
What happens if the "Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00" is not what I have? Do I get an error or will it still execute?

@Blade: How did you disable HW acceleration? I don't see options to disable anything in dxdiag. Also, did you use f0dder's loader or the other .exe when you disabled HW acceleration?

#30 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 10:56 AM

That'll teach me not to read the "solution" notes before opening my big mouth - It's the driver that needs to be changed, not the acceleration setting. Can't really automate that.  :)

Well, it might be possible... Hardware profiles, maybe.  :oh:  Probably much more effort then it's worth to setup though.

(That said, I'm assuming people have tried toggling HWA with no luck - Can't seem to see anything specific about that).

f0dder's sites don't seem to load anymore. I'm pretty sure they used to. Contained training exercises for similar things, probably should have gone through them...  :P

Anyone remember 3D Analyzer? Essentially it told games your graphics card had features that were not in fact present (to prevent them throwing up hardware incompatibility errors on older hardware) then "emulated" these features by catching attempts to use them and making sure they got ignored.

Then there was VDMSound which caught calls to (non-present) older sound cards and passed them on to whatever your system actually had.

It wouldn't surprise me if someone throws together something similar for Vista (something that catches older DX calls and "upgrades" them to their DX9+ versions). Bound to be someone working on such a thing.

Edit: Gimli, (under XP at least) you can tweak HWA by right clicking your desktop and hitting Properties off the context menu. Jump to the Settings tab and press Advanced, the new Troubleshoot tab holds the slider you want. Forget about the intermediate settings and drag the bar all the way down to the bottom to disable it.

Try double clicking the reg keys on their own to see if they have any effect on the bar. You'll probably have to have the properties page closed between checks.
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#31 Gimli

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 11:23 AM

It says that my graphics card drivers do not allow changing hardware acceleration settings.
Edit:

I forgot to mention this, but when I used f0dder's loader as the target in the new batch file I got this message:

"Patch code timed out"

If it helps, here's the section of f0dder's code that has that error. That last line of code creates a message box with that text inside.

// the patch codes writes to the executable, so we must unprotect it
	Sleep(0);					// give up remaining timeslice to make the next code less likely to fail.
	ResumeThread(pi.hThread);
	if (WaitForSingleObject(hEvent, 2500) != WAIT_OBJECT_0) {
		szErrorMsg = "Patch code timed out";
		goto error;
	}


#32 zaimoni

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 03:43 PM

"patch code timed out" is some sort of CPU/resource loading issue (it affects me on W2K also, but not immediately).  It's taking more than 2.5 seconds to do the function call rewrites.

As for current DirectX: I find the Microsoft developer's network to be overkill for anything related to the Windows API family.  It documents all changes back to WinNT/Win95.

#33 Gimli

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 05:32 PM

A friend explained that DirectX doesn't directly tell hardware what to do, it passes it on to Vista, then Vista forwards stuff to hardware. So I guess it's Vista's fault after all. Guess we'll have to wait for MS to fix things, or maybe mail someone (don't know who, though).

#34 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 10:08 PM

Just yesterday I got that error message to come up under XP. Grabbed a different version of the loader (there's one in our files section) and that seemed to do the job.
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#35 Gimli

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 09:57 PM

OK, so I tampered with the XP's registry and managed to fix the garbled graphics problem without resorting to f0dder's patch. I followed BB's registry method and found that DirectDraw can be emulated by changing a value in the registry. The reason BB's suggestion didn't work is because there is no HWADisable in the registry in the first place. We created them when we ran BB's suggested batch file.
Still, I tampered some more with Vista and uninstalled the Catalyst drivers as has been suggested. This caused no picture in Vista (expected) so I had to reboot and entered Safe mode. In safe mode, the game runs perfectly. This leads me to believe that DirectX isn't loaded at all in safe mode. If we could somehow force the registry to disable DirectX before running the game and enable it afterwards, the problem would be solved. Anybody want to give it a go? I'm quite out of time. :oh:

#36 Zombie

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 10:29 PM

On XP, if you decrease hardware acceleration low enough (like the 3rd lowest level) that basically disables DirectDraw and Direct3D. With this method you wouldn't have to boot to safe mode or uninstall any drivers. Not sure if this is possible in Vista though. :oh:

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#37 Gimli

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 10:54 PM

Nope, unfortunately it isn't possible. :oh:

EDIT: Shamelessly stealing SC space. For those of you for whom the f0dder's loader doesn't help with garbled graphics, here's a different solution.
Just unpack the files into your TFTD main folder and run "TFTDfix".
Attached File  TFTD_DDraw_fix.zip   2K   496 downloads

This doesn't help the game not running in Vista problem.

EDIT2: Very important! Do not try to run an application that uses DirectX while TFTD is running, because Direct3D and DirectDraw are disabled, so you could have problems.

#38 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:35 AM

Actually, did you know that most video players call on DX? Ever tried to PrintScreen one?

One "fix" to that issue is to run two of the things at once. Apparently they can't share.

I tried this with UFO but unfortunately it didn't make much difference.

It's beginning to sound like Hardware Profiles are the easiest solution. Catch is I can't remember how to use the things and a quick trip to XP's Device Manager is doing nothing to refresh my memory...  :oh:
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#39 Gimli

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 09:31 PM

If somebody has the time, there is a certain Application Compatibility Toolkit 5 from Microsoft. Unfortunately I can't run it right now due to some technical problems, but if you can and have the patience to figure out how it works, it may be possible to fix the game for Vista.

#40 BladeFireLight

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 03:03 AM

View PostGimli, on 18th February 2008, 2:31pm, said:

If somebody has the time, there is a certain Application Compatibility Toolkit 5 from Microsoft. Unfortunately I can't run it right now due to some technical problems, but if you can and have the patience to figure out how it works, it may be possible to fix the game for Vista.

This works!!
I set No emulation on the advanced options I set  ForceDirectDrawEmulation This fixed EU but TFTD has scrambled graphics.

<edit>

Found the solution for that. Forced 256 Color. seems to be fine now.

Although it runs way to fast for my likening on a moder machine but at least I can test xcomtuil with the CE version now.

-BladeFireLight
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Combat is very simple, there is a first place and second place, second place is laying face down in the mud, sometimes, so is first place.




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