Win95/98 General Troubleshooting FAQ
This document is intended to help you with problems that can occur frequently
in Windows 95 and 98.
When I try to run my game, all I see is a black/blank screen, or the game
just quits back to Windows
There are several methods that you can try to fix this problem:
Use the "Purge Cache" command in the "Configure Game" tool
Shut down any other applications that you may have running on your system such
as screen savers, virus scanners, etc. See the section below labeled "How
can I be sure that I've shut down all my other applications?"
If you are using a machine such as a Pentium 233 or faster, you may need to
turn down video hardware acceleration. For details, see our Windows '95 Video Troubleshooting FAQ.
Try resetting your computer's video resolution to 800x600 with 65,535 colors.
For details, see our Windows '95 Video
Update your video card drivers. See the section below on "Why should I
update my hardware drivers?".
There might be a conflict with your sound driver, or the Direct-X Sound
Accelerator settings. See the Windows '95 Sound
The game's installation program starts to copy files, but then quits.
My game will not run, or doesn't work right.
The most common cause of this problem is an incomplete download of the
installation package. We strongly encourage the use of a good (free) Download Manager
that can recover from aborted downloads, and determine if the download is
If the downloaded file is complete and undamaged then shut down any other
applications that are currently running on your computer. Other programs can
interfere with the installation program or use up memory that's needed to copy
files. Or an Anti-Virus package may be causing a problem and need to be
temporarily suspended. See the section below labeled “How can I be
sure I've shut down all of my other applications?”
Finally, check your hard drive to see if you have enough space left for
installation. It may be a very good idea to run SCANDISK and DEFRAG, at their
There are many reasons why your game may not run or run correctly. Take a
moment to go over the system requirements and
installation instructions for your game. If your system does not meet the
minimum requirements, or if you have not fully completed the installation, the
game will not work properly.
You MUST install DirectX before running the game. For more information on
DirectX, please see our DirectX FAQ.
It is also a good idea to terminate all other running applications before
running our games. Other programs can interfere with the game's operation or
use up system resources needed for the game to run. These applications
include, but are not limited to screen savers, virus scanners, web browsers,
and system monitoring programs.
Take the time to review all the suggestions in these technical help FAQ, in
here are the solutions to a huge majority of problems that arise. Make special
note of the remarks HERE.
Why is the game so slow on my computer?
How can I be sure that I've shut down all of my other applications?
There can be various causes, including: not meeting all the system
requirement specifications, other applications active or in memory, need to
lower Windows Video Accelerator or DirectX Sound Accelerator, or perhaps you
need to tune some advanced game features. You may need to SCANDISK and DEFRAG
your disk, at their maximum settings. You can find detailed information on
these issues in these FAQs: Windows Video Driver
FAQ, Direct-X FAQ, and Configure Game FAQ.
I've tried all that and my game still won't run!
- Find your Windows taskbar. This is the gray bar where your START button
- For every button on the taskbar except for the start button, right-click
once and then left-click on "Close".
- Do the same for each of the icons on the opposite side of the taskbar.
If there is no option to Close or Exit the application, don't worry, we'll
deal with that in a moment.
- Once you have closed down all of the applications that you can using
this method, press [control] [alt] [delete] (only once!) to bring
up the Windows task manager. You will see a list of programs that are
- The only 2 programs (normally) that need to be there are Explorer and
Systray. For everything else, click once to highlight the program you wish
to close, and then click on "End Task". The task manager
will close too, so you will need to press [control] [alt] [delete]
again if you need to terminate any other programs.
- Once you have closed down all of the applications on your system except
Explorer and Systray, try running your game again.
Try playing the game in Safe mode. Safe mode does not load up many of the
system drivers that could cause problems with your game. To load windows in
Why should I update my hardware drivers?
- Restart your computer.
- When the message "Starting Windows" appears, hold down
the [F8] key and the Windows 95/98 startup menu will appear.
- Select "Safe Mode".
- When you are done playing the game be sure to restart windows normally
or you may not be able to use certain devices on your system.
Many problems with Windows '95 and Windows '98 games can be the result of
outdated or incorrect hardware drivers. Most hardware manufacturers regularly
release updates of these drivers to fix problems or improve performance. It is
absolutely essential that you update your drivers from time to time to ensure
that your system is up to date.
Most hardware companies keep the latest driver versions for their cards
available on the web for download. If you are unsure what type of hardware you
have in your computer, contact your computer company for help. To learn more
about updating drivers, including a list of major manufacturers, check out our
How to Update Your Drivers FAQ.
The DirectX installation process will try to determine what hardware is
present in your machine, and install the necessary drivers for your hardware.
If the DirectX installer comes across a device it does not recognize, it will
recommend that you keep your existing driver installed. If you choose not to
do this, a generic DirectX driver will be installed. Either way, the game may
not function correctly.
If this is the case, your best solution is to contact your computer company or
the manufacturer of the device in question for an updated driver that is
compatible with the current version of DirectX.
Most computer and hardware companies keep the latest versions of these drivers
on their web sites for download.
The game locks up or crashes occasionally. How can I stop this from
First, shut down any other programs that you have running on your system.
Other programs can interfere with the program's operation. See the section
above labeled "How can I be sure that I've shut down all of my other
If your computer has a processor such as a Pentium II, try turning down your
video hardware acceleration in Windows. To learn how to do this, please check
out our Windows '95 Video Troubleshooting FAQ.
Next, be sure that your computer has plenty of free hard drive space to use
for a swap file in case your system runs out of memory.
Make sure that you have installed the latest version of DirectX. Older
versions may not have all of the right drivers for your hardware that could
cause the game to crash under certain conditions. For more information on
DirectX, please see our DirectX Frequently Asked
A repeatable crash or lock-up can be related to Direct-X Sound Acceleration
settings and conflicts. See the Windows '95 Sound
Troubleshooting FAQ for help, and check the important comments HERE.
If nothing else works for your Windows '95/98 based game, try restarting
Windows in safe mode before playing. For help with rebooting your computer in
Safe Mode, see the section above labeled "I've tried all that and my
Win'95 game still won't run!".
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