Dead Reefs

Posted by: oldbroad

Dead Reefs - 09/06/17 11:57 PM

Was looking forward to replaying this game but a short time in and the video is not behaving. The screen (or portions of it) turn white. The text disappears and there are just white boxes there, including on the menu screen.

I'm playing in an XP computer but not the one I used when I played it years ago. The video card is a NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX440 w/AGP8X if that means anything.

Is this something simple to deal with or will I have to forget about replaying it, at least in that computer?
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/07/17 01:46 AM

I'm not sure.
The card may be too old for the game, and lack a hardware feature the game uses.
The specs listed in this picture of the back of the box
http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/dead-reefs/cover-art/gameCoverId,91824/
say you need a DirectX 8.1 compliant video card.

According to gpureview.com the Geforce 4 mx440 is a DirectX 7 card
http://www.gpureview.com/GeForce4-MX440-card-127.html
http://www.gpureview.com/GeForce4-MX440-8X-card-242.html
and was released in 2002.

The publication date of the game is 2007.
The game may be trying to use a DirectX 8.1 feature that didn't exist in 2002 when the card was released.

Of course the problem could be something else -- like incompatible drivers (incompatible with the game).

Do you have a slightly newer computer you could try the game on?
Posted by: Marian

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/07/17 02:03 AM

I have installed this game on my Windows 7 computer and it runs without issues.
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/07/17 08:43 PM


If I'm reading that box link correctly it says Direct X 9.0C included. The 8.1 says something about the sound card.

Anyway, I guess I'll try it in my Windows 7 and see how that goes.

Thanks Jenny100 and Marian!
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/07/17 10:04 PM

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
If I'm reading that box link correctly it says Direct X 9.0C included. The 8.1 says something about the sound card.

Next to where it says "VIDEO CARD" it says
Quote:
64 MB 3D ACCELERATED,
DIRECTX 8.1 COMPATIBLE.

The version of DirectX you have installed doesn't have anything to do with whether your video card is "DirectX 8.1 compatible" or not. "DirectX 8.1 compatible" is a hardware requirement. It doesn't mean "will the computer run when I install DirectX 8.1" -- it means "Will the video card be able to implement these special new DirectX 8.1 features? (or will it show a blank screen or white areas because it can't display these hot new DirectX 8.1 video effects)"

Yes I know it's confusing.

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
Anyway, I guess I'll try it in my Windows 7 and see how that goes.

Good luck.
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/07/17 11:16 PM

Yep! I see it now plain as day! Sorry about that!! As I said, if I was reading it correctly, and I wasn't of course. thanks
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/10/17 07:51 PM

The game will not run on my Windows 7.

Marian - did you change anything at all? What is your screen resolution?

I saw somewhere that in Windows 7 you should go to the file location and click on launcher and "select the correct size of your screen resolution". There are 3 options: 800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024. My screen resolution is 1920x1080. I am hesitant to change it to match one of the game options as I don't know how it will affect my computer. I have caught myself in a panic before when I did something and was then afraid I could not get it back to normal.

Marian, Jenny100, Draclvr??

Thanks.

Posted by: Marian

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/10/17 08:06 PM

I installed the game a year or so ago on my Windows 7 Home computer - I don't remember what screen resolution I chose, but it was definitely a resolution lower than what you have as your default resolution. Let's wait for the experts, but your screen resolution could be your problem.

What happens when you try to start the game? Nothing? Any error messages?
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/10/17 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
I saw somewhere that in Windows 7 you should go to the file location and click on launcher and "select the correct size of your screen resolution". There are 3 options: 800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024. My screen resolution is 1920x1080. I am hesitant to change it to match one of the game options as I don't know how it will affect my computer.

I'd choose the largest resolution it allows.
Does your monitor have a scaling option? Does it allow you to have black bars on the sides, or a black frame around the picture?

If not, see if your video card has a scaling option.

Usually the worst thing that happens is the game crashes and leaves your desktop at a low resolution (and your icons all messed up). Usually a reboot fixes it, but sometimes you have to manually go in and change your desktop resolution back to what it's supposed to be.
(Right-click the desktop --> Personalize --> Display --> Change display settings --> Use the dropdown box to select the resolution you want and save changes.)
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/10/17 08:29 PM

Is right clicking the desktop and changing the resolution the same as my monitor having a scaling option?
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/10/17 09:55 PM

No.
The Right-click directions I listed are only to change your desktop resolution.

Either your monitor or your video card properties have to do the scaling. Otherwise if you changed desktop resolution to 1280x1024, you'd get a horizontally stretched picture.

Not all monitors will do scaling. Some will scale but call it something other than "scaling". I have a monitor that let's you choose between "Full" and "Aspect" under "Expansion Mode". According to the manual, "Aspect" would retain aspect ratio (so you wouldn't get a stretched picture).
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/10/17 11:21 PM

Marian - I did not see your post before. No error message. The game just doesn't open.

Jenny100 - thank you. I do not know if the monitor does scaling. I'm not sure if I have a manual or not. Will have to look. I also don't know about the video card but I won't mess with the video card anyway.

I tried again in the XP and got a little further - sort of. The picture itself stayed okay but the text did not. I turned off closed captioning so I didn't have that white box on my screen but I still cannot read the journal or the menu screen. I thought I saved but then went back in to load the save and it wasn't there so I don't know what I clicked.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/11/17 08:57 PM

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
I do not know if the monitor does scaling. I'm not sure if I have a manual or not. Will have to look.

If you have the model number of the monitor you can probably find a pdf of the manual on the manufacturer's website.

Quote:
I tried again in the XP and got a little further - sort of. The picture itself stayed okay but the text did not. I turned off closed captioning so I didn't have that white box on my screen but I still cannot read the journal or the menu screen. I thought I saved but then went back in to load the save and it wasn't there so I don't know what I clicked.

Try using the compatibility mode settings on the game exe (right-click the game's exe, choose Properties, Compatibility tab, and disable visual themes and advanced text services. Sometimes they interfere with games, and disabling them on the compatibility tab won't affect anything outside the game.
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/11/17 09:16 PM

I'll check into both those things possibly tomorrow, for sure by Wednesday (day off). Will let you know.

Thanks Jenny.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/12/17 03:00 PM

I'm not sure if it will work.
I'm wondering if this game requires very specific versions of video drivers.
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/12/17 10:30 PM

Hi Jenny. That didn't work but I did what that person had written for playing in Windows 7 except I did it in the XP. I changed my screen resolution (right clicking) and tried all 3 settings available in the game launcher. The 800x600 seemed to work fairly well but not completely. I still couldn't read some things. I got out of the game and put the visual themes and advanced text services back and now the game seems to be working fine. Not sure if it will get me through the whole game or not and maybe I will have to play in short spurts. I don't know, but I'm going to give that a try. That person who wrote about playing in Windows 7 did say for him/her it was the 800x600 but I didn't read it to mean that's what it should be set at, just that that was his/hers.

Anyway, I also found my monitor manual and it mentions something about Wide Mode (Full/Aspect) so maybe it does scale but I did not try it.

Thank you for your help. I'll update this later as I see what happens.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/12/17 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
Anyway, I also found my monitor manual and it mentions something about Wide Mode (Full/Aspect) so maybe it does scale but I did not try it.

If it's like mine, you'd want it set to Aspect.
Otherwise the picture gets horizontally stretched.

Good luck with the game.
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/12/17 11:42 PM

So, if I decide to play with the monitor, Aspect is the best setting for everything? You don't mean just for this game right? I would not want to be changing it back and forth is what I'm getting at I guess. It's an Acer 23in G237HLbi 1920x1080 flat panel 5ms.

Thank you.
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/13/17 10:56 AM

Aspect should make the viewing area in a game as large as possible without stretching them horizontally. You probably won't see any difference for games with a widescreen setting, but older games that were made for a CRT monitor won't have a stretched picture.

Here's a sample picture
http://i.imgur.com/Uk4sR.jpg

The game in the picture is supposed to be in 4:3 aspect ratio. The top picture shows the "Aspect" setting, where the 4:3 aspect ratio is retained and you have the black bars on the sides.

The bottom picture shows the "Full" setting, where the 4:3 picture is horizontally stretched to fill the 16:9 monitor screen -- characters look fat, objects like the chairs look warped.
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/13/17 12:42 PM

OK, thanks Jenny. I don't think that stretched out picture looks bad though. Maybe just because the pic is small and I can't tell. I guess I'll have to try it to see for sure.
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/21/17 12:05 AM

Well, I haven't played too much of the game yet but have gotten a little further. It's looking like if I play for an hour or so then it starts to act up. I can live with this if it will get me through the game. I don't know. We'll see I guess.

I can't see in my Windows 7 how to change the monitor settings. I find the buttons but don't know how to move anywhere and don't actually see anything about scaling in the monitor menu. I don't want to change my desktop screen resolution on the Windows 7 to 800x600 to even try it. I am afraid I will not be able to change it back.

Hopefully, I'll come back in here one day to let you know I was able to finish the game in the XP!
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/21/17 12:16 PM

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
I can't see in my Windows 7 how to change the monitor settings. I find the buttons but don't know how to move anywhere and don't actually see anything about scaling in the monitor menu.

The monitor controls for scaling would be built into your monitor -- you push the buttons on the monitor and navigate through the popup menu. If I understand what you said earlier, your monitor has selections for "Aspect" and "Full" and doesn't mention "scaling." You'd choose "Aspect" to retain the aspect ratio of the game and not stretch it to a widescreen monitor.

Video card settings for scaling would be accessed through the video card's software. Sometimes Nvidia puts an icon in your taskbar so you can access the controls quickly, or sometimes a selection for Nvidia controls is in the right-click-on-the-desktop-where-there-is-no-icon menu.

If you don't care whether your picture is horizontally stretched or not, you don't need to configure scaling settings -- either on your video card or on your monitor.

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
I don't want to change my desktop screen resolution on the Windows 7 to 800x600 to even try it. I am afraid I will not be able to change it back.

The problem with reducing your desktop resolution is that if you have a lot of desktop icons, they'll get rearranged in order to fit. It's extremely unlikely that you wouldn't be able to restore your desktop resolution back to what it was, but putting your icons back the way you want them can be a nuisance.

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
It's looking like if I play for an hour or so then it starts to act up.

If the game is playing OK for an hour, there's probably not much you can do other than try different video drivers (probably older ones) and see if they are any more stable. Most tweaks suggested in this thread are for if the game won't start at all or crashes when you load a game.
Posted by: Mad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/21/17 03:04 PM

"It's extremely unlikely that you wouldn't be able to restore your desktop resolution back to what it was, but putting your icons back the way you want them can be a nuisance."

I've used a little programme called "Icon Restore" for years.
It's on my Win98. WinXP and Win7 machines - is very simple to use and VERY handy thumbsup
[It's also available for Win10 - which I don't have.]
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/21/17 09:07 PM

Jenny - I'm sorry that there are some things I am more dumb about than others but this "you push the buttons on the monitor and navigate through the popup menu" is what I don't know how to do (the navigating part).

The Nvidia card is in the XP and I didn't see any scaling options in there. The screen really doesn't seem too stretched. It is not bothering me. Just losing the text is the problem.

I shouldn't really have said that I'm afraid I won't be able to change the Windows 7 back to normal if I changed it to 800x600 but I have a lot of icons on my desktop and they would not be visible and would probably leave little clear area to right click the desktop, and I have had to rearrange them on several occasions for some reason or other when they've gotten out of wack. It would be nice to play the game in 7 but XP is fine if it will keep playing.

You said my XP video card may be too old for the game so why would I go with older drivers? I am not online with the XP anyway and not going to worry about the drivers in there.

It is the Win 7 where the game won't start at all.

Thanks Mad for that info.

Anyway, I really was just updating because I said I would. Not really looking for additional help. Sorry. duh
Posted by: Jenny100

Re: Dead Reefs - 09/21/17 11:07 PM

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
Jenny - I'm sorry that there are some things I am more dumb about than others but this "you push the buttons on the monitor and navigate through the popup menu" is what I don't know how to do (the navigating part).

It takes some experimentation. I liked it better when monitors had more buttons instead of the "On Screen Display". Usually there are Menu, Select, Forward, and Back buttons, and you have to doodle with them until you figure out how to navigate. One of my monitors has a button labelled "Input" instead of "Select." I'm sorry I can't be more specific. I have to "relearn" the buttons every time I use them -- start with Menu and mess around. If you're satisfied with your aspect ratio, just leave them alone.

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
The Nvidia card is in the XP and I didn't see any scaling options in there. The screen really doesn't seem too stretched. It is not bothering me. Just losing the text is the problem.

Losing text would be a different problem than scaling.

Originally Posted By: oldbroad
You said my XP video card may be too old for the game so why would I go with older drivers? I am not online with the XP anyway and not going to worry about the drivers in there.

It is the Win 7 where the game won't start at all.

I wasn't clear on which computer it was playing on.
The reason to try older video drivers on an older video card is that Nvidia likes to lump drivers for new cards in with drivers for older cards -- and they're usually optimized for the newer cards.

If you're satisfied with how it's doing now, no need to change anything though.
Posted by: Marian

Re: Dead Reefs - 10/19/17 07:27 PM

I decided to try to run this game today on my Windows 7 Pro computer; the last time I tried to run the game, I was using Windows 7 Home.

I created a new folder in Documents and made that the destination for installation of the game. No problems with installation. I then started up the game from the desktop icon and it runs perfectly. I didn't even have to change my screen resolution, which is set to 1920 x 1080.
Posted by: oldbroad

Re: Dead Reefs - 10/19/17 09:09 PM

Hm. You're making me want to try it again. I am still trying to play in XP but don't get to it very often. A bit worried I'll run into more puzzle problems that I can't see. Actually, after I solved the last one with the help of the video w/t (as stated in the hints forum) I got stuck and haven't been back in there. smirk
Posted by: Marian

Re: Dead Reefs - 10/19/17 09:41 PM

I can't explain why it runs so easily for me (and now on both Windows 7 computers), as I know some people have had problems.

I've actually spent most of my free time the last few days troubleshooting various games rather than actually playing anything. I've had more hits than misses, but there are still a few problematic ones that I am working on. Lots of googling, reading forums, etc.!

Pretty soon I may actually play one of them. lol
Posted by: Mad

Re: Dead Reefs - 10/20/17 03:03 AM

Awwww !! Well I hope you get to play one very soon, Marian kissy