Win95/98 Video Troubleshooting FAQ
This document is intended to help you with problems that can frequently occur
in Windows '9x/ME.
The video display shows incorrect colors or textures, lines or black boxes
on the screen, or other oddities.
Our game uses Microsoft's DirectX for all video and graphics. Make sure that
you have installed the the latest version available from Microsoft.
My game is running in a small window. How can I make it play in the entire
If the above solution doesn't fix the problem, you may need to update your video card drivers to the latest
versions available from the manufacturer.
To learn more about DirectX such as how to install it, obtain the latest
version, or fix problems that can occur in any DirectX application, please see
our DirectX Frequently Asked Questions.
To learn how to update your video card drivers, check out our How to Update Your Drivers FAQ.
This means that you have a serious Direct-X problem, so
When I try to run my game, all I see is a black/blank screen.
There are several methods that you can try to fix this
How can I change my Video Hardware Acceleration
Use the "Purge Cache" command in the "Configure Game" tool
(see details HERE).
Shut down any other applications that you may have running on your system such
as screen savers, virus scanners, etc. For details, see our Windows '95 General Troubleshooting FAQ.
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 the section below
labeled "How can I change my Video Hardware Acceleration Settings?".
Try resetting your computer's video resolution to 800x600 with 65,535 colors.
For details see the section below labeled "How can I switch to the
correct video mode?".
Update your video card drivers. See the section below on "How can I
update my video card drivers?".
Windows video hardware acceleration may need to be turned down when using
How can I switch to the correct video mode?
To turn down hardware acceleration on Win95/98/ME:
If you have Windows-XP then try this sequence instead:
- Right-click on the "My Computer" icon on your desktop
- Click on the "Performance" tab
- Click on "Graphics"
- Move the slider bar ONE NOTCH to the left (do NOT
set to far left)
- Click on OK
- Click on OK once more to exit the system properties panel.
- Control Panel
- Appearance and Themes
- Troubleshoot, then go to step 4 above about the Slider.
Now try your game. If you still have problems, repeat this process until
the game works, or you can't turn acceleration down any further. On some video
cards setting this Windows Acceleration to "None" gives your games
their best speed and stability.
If you have video hardware acceleration turned all the way down, and the game
still won't run, you may need to turn off DirectX acceleration instead. For
details, see our DirectX Frequently Asked Questions.
You can modify your display settings under the Windows '95/98 Display control
panel. To get there:
On newer versions of Windows '95, there is no option for screen resolution.
Instead, just set the desktop to the correct size and your screen resolution
will automatically change.
- Click on the Windows Start button, then on Settings, then
on Control Panel.
- Double-click on the Display icon.
- Click on the Settings tab.
- At the left of the Settings window is the color palette option.
Set this to the correct setting for your game.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
- Select the correct screen resolution on the right side of the
If your display does not look right after you switch resolutions, don't panic.
Leave your computer alone for approximately 15 seconds, and windows will
automatically restore your previous settings.
If you cannot switch over to the correct video mode, you may need to
re-install the video drivers for your card, or obtain updated drivers.
How do I update my video card drivers?
Most computer and video card companies keep the latest versions of their
hardware drivers on their web sites for free download. If you do not have
Internet access, you can usually request drivers by telephone. . To learn more
about updating drivers, including a list of major manufacturers, check out our
How to Update Your Drivers FAQ.
The graphics seem to be drawing very slowly, or the display is choppy.
Our games use DirectX, 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, 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. For more information on DirectX, please see our DirectX FAQ.
Check the system requirements for the game that you are playing. If your
system does not meet the minimum requirements, it may not be able to play the
game at normal speed, resulting in choppiness and skipping.
On some computers the Windows Accelerator conflicts with the speed and
stability of games, so see the section about on How can I change my Video
Hardware Acceleration Settings?
Does your computer hard disk become busy when the game gets slow? That means
you do not have enough free memory. Either you have some other applications
are taking the memory, or your computer has less memory than is needed to run
the game optimally.
Be sure to close down all other applications when running the
game. Other applications may take away valuable system resources that the game
needs to run smoothly. To be sure you have shut down ALL of your applications,
follow these steps:
- Find your Windows '95/'98 taskbar. This is the gray bar where your START
button is located.
- 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 '95/98 task manager. You will see a list of programs that
are still running.
- The only 2 programs that normally need to be there (some exceptions are
possible) 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
- Once you have closed down all of the applications on your system except
Explorer and Systray, try running your game again.
Back to Support