DOS4GW games playing up in '95.

For reasons best known to itself, my computer has suddenly decided to run games requiring DOS4GW in a smaller screen and with darker graphics so I can barely see the action.

Has anyone any idea why the STOOPID machine has done this and better still, how to fix it.

rd707
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rd707Asked:
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Somebody_elseCommented:
when the game has started right click on the top blue bar and choose properties, then click onthe tab, ithink it is called view or window, and deselct the option to run the game in a window, it might be called "full-screen", this should force the game to run in full screen mode, as for the darkness there should be gamma settings you can adjust in the game once it is full scree, I believ the gamma runs at default when in a window thus making it "darker", if you still have the problem post the name of the game-games you play and I can give more specific help.
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rd707Author Commented:
The game DOES run in full screen but the game screen is not full size.

The default gamma setting used to be perfectly adequate so something has obviously happened to the settings.

I could use the gamma correction but some games only allow you to do this when IN the game. The menu screens etc would all still be too dark to see.

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Somebody_elseCommented:
ok reject my answer so others will post and we'll try to work through this.

are there any changes that you made to your system like adding a new video card?

when you say:
"The game DOES run in full screen but the game screen is not full size."

does this mean that there is a dark area around the game that the monitor is not utlizing?

are the games pure dos games or are they dos agmes that have been made(ported) for windows?

when in the game try to adjust he gamma on your monitor, does this help?
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Somebody_elseCommented:
p.s.
please post the names of the games you are having the trouble with.
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rd707Author Commented:
There is a dark area around the game screen that is not being used. Also, some games do not have gamma correction.

This is a problem with ALL games running in DOS4GW mode.

I have not changed my display adapter or monitor type.

There is also no gamma correction on my monitor so I can't get round it this way.

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Somebody_elseCommented:
>There is a dark area around the game screen that is not being used.

ok you can increase the size of your screen (make it bigger) when the game is playing by changing the controls on your monitor. this dark area is just screen that is not being used by the monitor.

when you say DOS4GW, how do you know this? explain how you found this info out.

as for your gamma I'm getting kinda stumped, I thought that all monitors have a gamma setting too, usually it is called "brightness".
you could try reinstalling one game and see if the gamma resets. or try running the game in windowed mode and see if this helps.

I know this is getting drawn out but I need the extra info to try and figure out why this is happening, things like this don't "just happen" and there must be a reason why it started acting up.
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rd707Author Commented:
It is not the following...

Monitor - I have tweaked all the settings.

The drivers/display adapter - all checked and reinstalled.

Operating system - reinstalled.

The games themselves - reinstalled.

The games use DOS4GW since it is on the disk and displays this when the game loads. The application .exe is a parameter used by the DOS4GW application.
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Somebody_elseCommented:

can you think of anything you are doing differently that you did/didn't do when the games worked.

have you tried to run this in a dos prompt window?

if you go into the game folder and find the .exe right click on it and choose properties then choose the program tab and click on the advanced button, what does the dialog box that appears say?
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rd707Author Commented:
Can't think of anything that I've done differently.

I've tried running in DOS but get the same thing...

The application does actually run full screen but the displayed area is smaller than it used to be.

I wouldn't mind the slightly smaller size if the graphics weren't so dark. A few of the affected games are Tomb Raider, Diablo and Kick Off '97.

Tomb Raider is OK once you actually get into the game proper. The menu is just too dark.

Diablo is dark initially but you can gamma correct within the game.

Kick Off '97 is unplayable.
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Somebody_elseCommented:
i don't think that tomb raider or diablo are dos games. i run diabloand have never seen that DOS4GW. I know what the DOS4GW looks like too.

reject my answer and then more experts will try to answer, maybe we can find someone who has had this similar problem.
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rd707Author Commented:
Go on then, someone else have a go.
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dbruntonCommented:
These are wild suggestions.

Check that your video card is firmly in its socket.

Check cabling from video card to monitor.

Give monitor a gentle love tap (last resort)

Check your motherboard is not slighly twisted.

Press ALT-ENTER while game is running and adjust screen settings.  Ensure that they are full screen.

Borrow somebody_elses monitor and see if the same problem still occurs.
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Somebody_elseCommented:
8-)  no problem bro!
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grater120898Commented:
Other suggestions:

Check for updates for your games.

Try a trial version of SciTech's Display Doctor. http://www.scitechsoft.com

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rd707Author Commented:
Have checked the machine's insides and connections.

I tried installing a display tester. It appears that the culprit may be DirectDraw (a part of DirectX?). Whenever it tests this, the active part of the DOS window it throws up is the same size as when I'm having the problems with the games. Also, the colours in the DirectDraw window are darker.

I can't seem to uninstall DirectX via the control panel - only version check and revert to previous settings.

How can I blast all the DirectX junk that is hanging around?

I know for a fact that Tomb Raider uses DirectDraw but I'm not sure about the other games. There wasn't any DirectX install folder on the CD so perhaps the reason I can't delete DirectDraw is that it is a main part of the OS that cannot be deleted...?

Any thoughts folks?
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grater120898Commented:
Yes, DirectDraw is a part of DirectX.

You may want to consider updating to DirectX 7.0a and DirectX 6 Media.

DirectX cannot be uninstalled for it makes numerous registry and system changes.

Have you checked out or contacted the video card manufacturer about this problem? It may be helpful if you post the manufacurer of the card so we can do some research.

Alex
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dbruntonCommented:
My version of DirectX can be uninstalled.

Settings --> Control Panel --> Remove Programs and look for DirectX Drivers

Or do a reinstall of DirextX.  Unless you require version 7 use DirextX 6.1
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rd707Author Commented:
According to the following site, my machine (Aptiva Model:141 Type:2144) is compatible with DirectX version 5. However, on the Microsoft site, it does not say that the display adapter (Trident 9680) is compatible with the latest version of DirectX.

Thus my question is...how can I roll back to or install version 5 over the top when I cannot uninstall DirectX and the install programs will only update old versions to the newer versions.

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grater120898Commented:
After much research (including looking at your PC at the IBM web site) the first solution I can offer is to back up all your data, reformat your hard drive, and then reinstall everything.

The other is to get the best video card your PC can support, preferably one with good 3Dfx, DirectX and OpenGL support if possible.

Good luck, and post back if you need more help.

Alex
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MindbenderCommented:
I skimmed the messages, and I saw no one suggest that there is a resolution switching issue, or a colour resolution switching issue at work here. If someone has please excuse me :)
But set your desktop to the colour depth and resolution of the game before you run it.
If you monitor 'remembers' screen settings, then any changes you make to the monitor controls will be used only for that setting. Any analogue controls wont have this, but if the monitor uses push button or OSD it should.
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grater120898Commented:
This is why I got a Voodoo 3 2000 PCI card the other day. It has resolved all my resolution problems. I no longer have to switch resolutions just to play a game; only on my older VGA titles (Lighthouse, etc.) do I do this yet it isn't necessary unless you want to view the game at its optimum resoluton (usu. 640 x 480). Not to mention the speed increase on all my 3d titles.

Good luck :)
Alex Ramos
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rd707Author Commented:
I tried rolling back to DirectX version 3 and the system went belly-up. An evenings work got me back to exactly the way I was before.

I guess it is time for more drastic measures such as a reformat or some new hardware.

So I'll give Alex the points.

rd707
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rd707Author Commented:
I've decided to close this particular question as it doesn't seem to be getting anywhere...
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