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ND Silent Spy no longer a black screenupdate #923138
11/07/13 04:02 PM
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I've just installed this from disk bought new from HER.
It's the first Nancy Drew that I've had trouble with.
The screen is completely black. In all other respects the game is playing normally - the sound is fine - I can see the dialogue trees - I've groped around and got something in the inventory which I can see.
Completely weird. Any ideas. Would it be my old video card? The previous Nancy Drew played perfectly.

Last edited by meryl; 12/11/13 08:10 AM. Reason: updated status
Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923140
11/07/13 04:54 PM
11/07/13 04:54 PM
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Marian Offline
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According to Her Interactive, you need a minimum of a 128 MB DirectX 9.0 compatible video card, which isn't much at all in the way of a requirement. Hopefully someone will be able to give you some suggestions to fix this problem. wave


Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923149
11/07/13 06:08 PM
11/07/13 06:08 PM
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It would help to know what your old video card is, meryl.


109 tomatoes in the ground. When are the BLT's?!
Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923206
11/08/13 04:21 AM
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It's a Saphire Radeon 9200 series

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923246
11/08/13 10:23 AM
11/08/13 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted By: meryl
It's a Saphire Radeon 9200 series


That may be your problem, the 9200 series is only DirectX 8.1 compliant.

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: InlandAZ] #923266
11/08/13 11:35 AM
11/08/13 11:35 AM
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What doesn't make sense to me is that the video requirement for this game is the same as that of the previous ND game, The Ghost of Thornton Hall: 128 MB DirectX 9.0 compatible video card. So why would the previous game run and not this one? wave

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923283
11/08/13 12:53 PM
11/08/13 12:53 PM
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That's something only the developers would know - it's also possible that the video drivers are out of date. It might be worth while to check them out.

You can find them here - AMD Graphics Drivers and Software

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923298
11/08/13 02:45 PM
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Thanks for looking at this. I went to the link but it leads to a catalyst version that no longer supports the 9200 series.
I think I might have come to the end of the road with my computer. An updated grapics card would mean a bigger power supply than I have and I'm not sure the computer will take it.
I haven't been able to play a lot of the latest games in the last 3 years but the Nancy drews haven't let me down until now.
Games are only going to be produced with greater graphic and other requirements so the bullet must be bitten soon. I hate the thought of change!
Like Marion, I don't understand why the previous game played and not this one though.
Cheers and thanks for trying to help.
Meryl

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923305
11/08/13 03:21 PM
11/08/13 03:21 PM
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You're probably right about your computer. Even adventure games are starting to require more robust computers. If you're still running XP, even that will no longer be supported by Microsoft in less than 6 months.

If you can find a reliable company to build one for you, you can still have Windows 7 put on it which is much less of a change than going from XP to Windows 8 which is what all new computers will have.

Check back in if you need any advice getting a new one. It's always about the video card for us gamers!


109 tomatoes in the ground. When are the BLT's?!
Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923472
11/09/13 12:41 PM
11/09/13 12:41 PM
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Just be sure to check out the video card on any computer you look at. It's the most important piece of the computer for gaming -- and the most neglected in computers sold locally, which usually have only minimal video cards designed for office work. Remember that Nvidia and ATI both make low end video cards as well as cards suitable for gaming. So just because a computer has an Nvidia or ATI card doesn't mean it will suit your needs.

Although it's possible to buy a computer and add a card, unless you (or someone you know) knows about adding a video card to a computer, it's probably better to buy one that has a good video card to start with. Even if you intend to upgrade, you need to shop for a computer that is upgradable.

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923761
11/11/13 04:52 AM
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Hello Draclvr and Jenny
Yes, with XP going out the window, it's the right moment to go for something entirely new that hopefully will be adequate for several years to come. I do need help; all you can give.
First - operating system. Windows 8 frightens me but I'd rather go for this if this is the future and not a blind alley like Vista. I don't want to get Win 7 and then find 18 months down the line it is doomed to closure.
Is Windows 8 running the latest games successfully and are developers making games now which suit this?
Next - video card. I don't play action games but I'd rather get a video card (and all the other computer elements) that is going to enable me to play adventure games way into the future. What is the overall spec I need that will also allow for future upgrades.
I'd rather overspend than underspend on this project.
I don't know if you are allowed to mention specific brands or models which encompass what I want, by private email perhaps. Brands might not be global anyway.
If you could give me the optimum spec needed of all the elements which make up a computer to play adventure games, that would be great.
thanks so much
Meryl

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923849
11/11/13 11:38 AM
11/11/13 11:38 AM
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You don't need to be frightened by Windows 8 - I've grown to really like it and the speed, stability and other "under the hood" improvements are worth it for me. But it can be daunting if you'd rather not learn how to use it. It is definitely the way of the future. However, Microsoft will support Windows 7 until January 2020, so if you'd be more comfortable with Windows 7, go for it!

Check out our Windows 8 and Games thread stickied at the top of the Glitches forum. Windows 8 has been surprisingly great at running old and new games.

If you go with Windows 8, then you can get one from a store. But as Jenny says, make absolutely sure it has a good stand-alone video card and an adequate power supply. Sales people usually try to sell you what they have in the store which is integrated graphics and puny power supplies.

I know you're in Wales, but computer components should be the same. I would suggest getting the best video card you can afford along with a good processor, plenty of RAM and a power supply to support it all. You might go to the eCollegePC website and play around with their configurator. Another good site to visit is Cyperpower, but I find their website a bit more confusing to use.

You will have to decide between ATI and Intel processors and then go from there. Here is the middle one from the eCollegePC Gaming series. I just changed the computer case and put Windows 7 on it. It was $1,000 USD.

Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4Ghz 6MB Cache Quad-Core Stock Intel LGA1150 Heatsink and Fan
MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate(Intel Z87, HDMI, DVI, 2xPCI-E, 6xSATA, 4xDDR3)
8GB (4GBx2) PC3 10666 DDR3 1333Mhz Memory, Lifetime Warranty
500GB 7200RPM 32MB Cache SATA3 6Gbps (Major Brand)
24X LG SATA Dual Layer DVD /-RW/CDRW w/LG Software
2GB ATI Radeon HD7850 GDDR5 PCI-E DVI/HDMI (Major Brand)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Corsair Black Carbide Series 300R (3 5.25, 6 3.5) 3 Fans, Audio/USB 3.0
600watt Thermaltake TR2 W0388RU
Onboard LAN included
Onboard Sound included
Wires and Cables neatly tied up away from fans
3 Year Parts and Labor Warranty


109 tomatoes in the ground. When are the BLT's?!
Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923862
11/11/13 12:17 PM
11/11/13 12:17 PM
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Jenny100 Offline
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Meryl,
Windows 8 works fine with new games -- as long as you have a good video card. If the video card is a "bargain" low-end card, you'll be having problems with many new games being sluggish or not playing at all.

There is a problem with some older Windows games on Windows 8. For example, Still Life (2005) and Post Mortem (2002) don't work in Windows 8 -- even the current GOG versions that are DRM-free don't work, and they're two of the very few games GOG offers that aren't listed as compatible with Windows 8. They both work in Windows 7. Games like that are why you want to keep your old XP computer if you get a new computer with Windows 8.

I'd recommend gettin Windows 7 if possible.
You can see from this website that Windows 7 will have extended support until 2020.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

Extended support means Microsoft will provide Windows updates, including security updates. It's usually all you need. By 2020 you'll be ready for a new computer anyway.

If you go with Windows 8, be aware there is a steeper learning curve than with Windows 7. And you may want to buy something like ***StartIsBack*** to restore a normal Start Menu. Windows 8.1 only gives you the confusing "Start Screen" that looks like a smart phone interface.

Draclvr has put together a good computer for you as an example. See if you can find one with similar specs that's available where you live. You might find one online, or you might find a small computer shop near you that will custom-build a computer for you.

Maybe some of Gameboomers' UK members will have a good idea where to buy.

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923902
11/11/13 02:23 PM
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Oh Brilliant.
If it's OK 'til 2020 I'll go for Windows 7 then.
The spec given is fantastic. I'm printing this off and can go onto our UK Computer mag website to ask where this might be obtained in the UK.
I'm hoping Rushes may be able to help here also and I'll email him (her?).
The price of US$1000 would be fine for me.
This has been so very helful.
Thank you both for your expertise and time.
Meryl

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #923913
11/11/13 02:56 PM
11/11/13 02:56 PM
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Remember that computer that eCollegePC had is just an example of what you should look for. There are other different options in video cards etc. I think you will be very happy with Windows 7!


109 tomatoes in the ground. When are the BLT's?!
Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #924027
11/12/13 04:28 AM
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Just for info I thought you would like to see the technical explanation from HER which I've just received. It explains why this ND game won't play and the others did.
(Also just shows you how out of date my equipment is and how lucky I've been so far!)

"Thank you for sending your Dxdiag file. Unfortunately, from your Dxdiag file I see that you have a ATI RADEON 9200 SERIES video card, which does not fully support DirectX 9.0. Instead, you have the modified DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904) software installed.

DirectX 9.0 support became a requirement for playing our games with #16, The White Wolf of Icicle Creek. Because some cards do support some of the features of DirectX 9.0, you may have been able to play other games requiring DirectX 9.0. However this game uses a part of DirectX 9.0 that your card does not support, and will most likely not be able to run correctly".

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #924075
11/12/13 10:41 AM
11/12/13 10:41 AM
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Thanks for the explanation, Meryl.

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #924078
11/12/13 11:12 AM
11/12/13 11:12 AM
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That's good to know, Meryl. I didn't know there was a modified version of DirectX 9.0c.


109 tomatoes in the ground. When are the BLT's?!
Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #924509
11/14/13 03:36 PM
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Would you kindly look at this quotation and just check this spec, (obtained from a UK computer company on line which builds to order) is comparable to the spec you recommended and will be OK for me. The money is fine.

"Quote Number: 614539 Tel: 0844 499 4000 | Fax: 0845 226 4046
Date Created: 14-11-2013 PC Specialist Ltd
Unit 12 Jubilee Business Park
Joy Thompson Jubilee Way
Grange Moor
Wakefield
WF4 4TD
VAT No. GB 827 4395 05
Product Category Product Description
Case CORSAIR CARBIDE SERIES™ 300R COMPACT GAMING CASE
Processor (CPU) Intel® Core™i5 Quad Core Processor i5-4670K (3.4GHz) 6MB Cache
Motherboard ASUS® Z87-A: ATX, USB2.0, USB3.0, SATA6GB/S, SLi, XFIRE
Memory (RAM) 8GB KINGSTON HYPER-X GENESIS DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz, X.M.P (2 x 4GB
KIT)
Graphics Card 2GB AMD RADEON™ HD7850 - DVI,HDMI,DP - DX® 11, Eyefinity 3 Capable
Memory - 1st Hard Disk 500GB 3.5" SATA-III 6GB/s HDD 7200RPM 16MB CACHE
1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive 24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
Power Supply CORSAIR 650W VS SERIES™ VS-650 POWER SUPPLY
Processor Cooling INTEL STANDARD CPU COOLER
Sound Card ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT - AS STANDARD ON ALL PCs
USB Options MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 4 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT
PORTS
Modem NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND
Power Cable 1 x 2 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Operating System Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit w/SP1 - inc DVD & Licence
DVD Recovery Media Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) DVD with paper sleeve
Office Software FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365
Anti-Virus BULLGUARD INTERNET SECURITY - FREE 90 DAY TRIAL
Warranty 3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year
Labour)
Delivery STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time Standard Build - Approximately 8 to 10 working days
Miscellaneous FREE NEVER SETTLE FOREVER - SILVER VOUCHER with AMD 7800 Series!
Price Ex VAT £665.00
Price £798.00
Quantity 1
Total Order Price EX VAT £665.00
Total VAT Amount £133.00
Total Order Price £798.00



They say they have matched the spec exactly except for the motherboard which is ASUS the one they sell rather than the MSI.
Is it all OK?

If so I'll proceed.
A huge thanks guys
Meryl

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #924515
11/14/13 04:22 PM
11/14/13 04:22 PM
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I very, very much like the motherboard - in fact I also prefer ASUS motherboards over MSI.

That Carbide Series 300R case is a very good one, but if you want something with spiffy blue lights or something, there are plenty of other options out there. The two fans seem to provide plenty of cooling, but I wonder about an extra fan for the video card... you might ask them what they think.

Here are a couple more things to ask them about. See if they can put in a Core i5-4670 instead of the 4670K. When I grabbed that build from eCollegePC, it was for a gaming computer and they had the 4670K in it. The "K" means that the CPU is unlocked for overclocking. Since I doubt that you will be overclocking your CPU, I'd put in the 4670. Will probably save you a few pounds too.

I've always had excellent luck with the stock Intel CPU coolers. But just for another opinion, I would ask your builder what their recommendation would be for the CPU cooler. Do they think the stock cooler is good enough or should you get an aftermarket cooler? Upgraded CPU coolers are usually not very expensive until you get in the water cooled types which is not something you need.

The only other thing I would ask them NOT to put on the computer is the two trials of Office 365 and the Bullguard antivirus. But that's up to you; it would just be a personal preference for me. If you plan on purchasing these two programs, then that's fine. But if you do not plan on purchasing them, I would leave them off. You can put your own preference for antivirus on when you get the computer. I use the free Microsoft Security Essentials paired with Malwarebytes Pro. There are plenty of alternatives out there too.


109 tomatoes in the ground. When are the BLT's?!
Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #924517
11/14/13 04:32 PM
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I could hug you.
Thanks so much. Will get back to them tomorrow.
Meryl

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #924525
11/14/13 05:28 PM
11/14/13 05:28 PM
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Thanks for that explanation about why Silent Spy wouldn't run, meryl - I'm glad to know the why. smile

I am excited for you about getting the new computer. dance

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #924554
11/14/13 08:25 PM
11/14/13 08:25 PM
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Those specs look great, Meryl.
If you want Microsoft Office, see if you can get them to put Office 2010 on it instead of the trial for Office 365. Office 365 is subscription-based.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_365

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #925502
11/20/13 08:09 AM
11/20/13 08:09 AM
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New computer ordered yesterday all as per your advice. The case had to be changed to allow for a photo memory card insert and I needed a new connection for my oldish monitor.
I think the techie company on line who are building this were a trifle amused at my lack of knowledge and my antique (to them)equipment.
They were very helpful. I've had to take a lot on blind faith. I panicked when I couldn't find a CD Rom in the spec but was assured I could put my disks in the DVD slot and they would run.
I wouldn't have known where to start without you guys.

And now for the spooky part:-
New computer ordered yesterday. This morning my old one won't start. How about that! Shouldn't have called it Hal, should I?

Re: ND Silent Spy Completely black screen [Re: meryl] #925518
11/20/13 09:50 AM
11/20/13 09:50 AM
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I think it's a SIGN that it was way past time! Do you have important files on the hard drive you want to retrieve? It's possible the power supply just croaked.


109 tomatoes in the ground. When are the BLT's?!
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