9.3 Crashes, Slowdowns, and Other Problems

  Because is based on a slightly upgraded version of the same 3-D graphics engine that No One Lives Forever 2 uses (another Monolith game), it seems to share similar problems with that game. The engine used for NOLF 2 is the Touchdown Entertainment Jupiter engine. (It used to be called the Lithtech engine. When new features were added, it resulted in the new version being named Triton, but that moniker seems to have been abandoned now.)

  What follows in these troubleshooting sections is a list of problems, and possible solutions for on the PC; some of which worked for NOLF 2. The author takes no responsibility if any of this advice causes more damage, instead of solving issues.

Remember to always back up your computer, before you start messing around with uninstalling and installing drivers and programs!

My computer won't read the first CD when the game asks for it!

When I type in my Serial Number during installation, the game refuses to accept it!

  In case you can't find the Serial Number, it should be inside the front of the CD jewel case or on the quick reference card. If the number is missing, contact Buena Vista Games.

I'm having serious problems installing the game, it keeps crashing or aborting!

I own a motherboard with a VIA chipset, and I'm having serious problems with the game crashing!

I keep getting an Error copying file cshell.dll message when I try to run the game!

  The author of this FAQ has created a program to deal with the .rez limitation problem, called REZ Handler. Visit the 10.1 Editing Tools section to check it out!

I can't tell which game version I have!

When I connect to a server in Multiplayer, I get booted off!

I can't even connect to a server in Multiplayer!

When I try to Join an Internet Game, a message comes up saying that there's an update available. Then I notice that my version number has suddenly gone back to an earlier version! I also encounter other strange game behavior!

  The author of this FAQ has created a program to deal with the .rez limitation problem, called REZ Handler. Visit the 10.1 Editing Tools section to check it out!

After I load a saved game a couple of times, slows to a crawl!

Will my old saved games work with a newer patched version of the game? I don't want to start over!

  You can temporarily disable the v1.040/v1.042 patch, by using my new REZ Handler program! Go to the 10.1 Editing Tools section to find out more.

Every time I load a particular saved game, the game crashes!

I have a ZIP or other external drive, and the game keeps giving me an error that reads something like No disk in \Device\harddisk\Dr1 when I run it!

The computer freezes during cutscenes all the time!

  If you're still having problems with cutscenes, pressing the Spacebar will skip them.

The game crashes or goes wonky, if I hit the Spacebar or F9 during light cycle matches!

I can't see my mouse cursor in the menus!

The game still locks up or crashes when I play, or runs slowly, even after reading through the previous tips!

98/Me Specific

  • If running programs can't be shut down from the Tray, you'll have to use the Windows Task Manager by hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del.

    Be very careful when shutting down processes!

    Generally, in Windows 98/Me, the only processes that absolutely need to be running, are Exlporer and Systray. I recommend downloading EndItAll2, to help easily shut down all running processes (even ones that are hidden from the Task Manager), and to show you which processes are important and should not be shut down.

  • Also in 98/Me, you can check the System Properties Performance tab, to see what your performance settings are like. You do this by right-clicking on the My Computer icon, selecting Properties, and then clicking the Performance tab.

    I won't go through all the settings you can change though, I'll leave it up to you to find out more about them. Basically, just make sure all acceleration, read-ahead cache, and CD cache sliders are set to full; the 32-bit file system isn't disabled; and virtual memory (swap file) is kept at a reasonable size . . . usually twice your amount of RAM. Try to put the swap file on a different partition or physical drive, than the OS and game.

2000/XP Specific

  • Again, you hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete to bring up the Task Manager in 2000/XP.

    Be very careful when shutting down processes!

  • The situation regarding tasks, is very different in 2000/XP. There are many more processes and services running, that are essential to keep Windows operating properly. Once more, I recommend you use EndItAll2 — which also works in 2000 and XP — to find out which processes you can shut down safely.

  • To cover everything that could be shut down, would go way beyond the scope of this FAQ. But I will cover some of the most important tips you can follow, to improve performance.

    Run the Services Management Console, and take a look at all the services you have running. A fair number of them are actually unnecessary, wasting memory.

    To run the Services Console:

    • Go to Start, then choose Run, and type services.msc.
    • Click OK.

    • The console will come up, and you can scroll through the services running.

      If you want to figure out what each service does, and which ones you can turn off safely, visit Black Viper's Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Configuration guides.

  • Something you might want to consider doing, is setting up a separate Hardware Profile and Account, just for playing games like . Again, to go into major detail, goes beyond the scope of this FAQ. But I will give you a start in the right direction.

    To set up a new Hardware Profile:

    • Right click on My Computer, and choose Properties.

    • Select the Hardware tab, and click on Hardware Profiles.

    • Here you can make a Copy of your current profile, and then name them both. In this example, I gave them the logical names of Applications when I run day-to-day tasks, and Games when I switch to gaming on my PC. Make sure to tick off Select the first profile listed if I don't select a profile in XX seconds. That way, your computer will automatically select one by default, without having to hit a key every time you boot.

      The point of this, as you may have seen in the picture for the Services Console above, is that you can enable and disable each individual service for each profile. Which can be done by right-clicking and choosing Properties for each service, then clicking the Log On tab. So this way . . . you can turn on all the services in Applications, and turn off as many as possible in Games.

  • Then you can create a new account, also just for gaming. Get rid of those fancy desktop themes, icons on the desktop, programs that autorun on startup, and so on. Just have a clean, pared down desktop in another account, dedicated to playing games.

    To create a new account:

    • Go to the Control Panel, and select User Accounts.

    • Choose Create a new account.

    • Name your account. Give it a logical name like Games.
    • Click Next.

    • Though it's usually recommended otherwise, I would suggest giving the new account Computer administrator privileges. That way you can uninstall games, and make changes to the system as necessary, in this account.
    • Finally, click Create Account.

  • Now you can boot up with the new profile and account — to get the best performance out of your machine — for gaming!

  • You should also check to see if your virtual memory (swap file) is being kept at a reasonable size . . . usually twice your amount of RAM. Try to put the swap file on a different partition or physical drive, than the OS and game.

    To change your virtual memory settings:

    • Right-click the My Computer icon, and choose Properties.

    • Select the Advanced tab, then click the Settings button in the Performance area.

    • Now select the Advanced tab.
      You can adjust the Processor scheduling and Memory usage, if you like.
    • Click the Change button.

    • Now set one partition, other than the Windows and game partition, to hold the swap file. About twice the size of your RAM should be sufficient.

    • Highlight the partition you want.
    • Click the Custom size radio button, to specify the minimum and maximum swap file sizes. Make both these values the same.
    • Click the Set button.
    • Click OK.

    • Click OK again, on the previous two dialog boxes.

None of the previous tips have helped me!

98/Me Specific

  • Right-click the My Computer icon, and choose Properties.

  • Choose the Device Manager tab.
  • Expand the CDROM and Disk drives trees.
  • Select your hard drives and CD/DVD drives, one by one, and click Properties as each one is highlighted.

  • Choose the Settings tab.
  • Look to see if the DMA box is checked, on each device. If a box is empty, check it and select OK. Windows may need to be restarted, for the change to take effect.

  • If the DMA box is greyed out on a particular device, you can try removing its driver. Click Cancel to go back to the Manager. While the device is highlighted, click Remove. When Windows asks if you're sure, click Yes. If Windows prompts you to reboot, select No.
  • Go to the Control Panel, and select Add New Hardware. Let Windows detect your hardware. It should re-detect the device you removed the driver for, and re-install it. See if the DMA box can be checked now.

2000/XP Specific

  • Choose the Hardware tab, and click the Device Manager button.

  • Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers tree.
  • Select the Primary and Secondary IDE Channel items, one by one. Right-click on each, and choose Properties.
  • Choose the Advanced Settings tab.
  • Use the Transfer Mode drop-down menu to select DMA if available, and click OK.

  • If Windows shows PIO Only as the only option on one of your hard disks or CD/DVD drives, click Cancel. Highlight the IDE Controller item, and click the icon with the red "X" at the top. Confirm that you want to remove the driver, by selecting Yes.
  • Next, click the icon with the magnifying glass. This will cause Windows to re-scan your devices, to see if drivers are missing. The driver you removed should be re-installed. Check again to see what is available, on the Transfer Mode drop-down menu. A DMA option should now be present.
  • Click OK to save the change.