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Post tutorial Report content RSS feed [GEN - ZH] Game Display error fix with kvm switch

KVM switch system owner tips regarding display errors with games (Direct-X in win32)

Posted by Metalloid on Mar 21st, 2012
Intermediate Other.

KVM woes
For those of you who play on a computer with a kvm switch, this error may occur when you change your monitor from one vga connector to the other. When you try to start your game (e.g Zero Hour) after that operation, you will get the following error message:

  • [Please make sure you have DirectX 8.1 or higher installed. Also verify that your video card meets the minimum requirements.]

Don't get frustrated when you see that, because it simply means that your monitor-driver has been automatically changed from the one you manually installed before, to the default monitor driver, that doesn't support the extended resolution of your flatpanel (or CRT).

  • This was done by the OS without your knowledge OR consent in background!
  • You were not notified about this change!

As a result of that, Zero Hour, C&C Generals and some other older games cannot open the screen in your preferred resolution, which is higher than 1024 x 768 - the maximum that the default monitor driver can produce.
Zero Hour and Generals then crash dramatically, with the cryptic error message above, because they are limited by the bad driver, to go in the resolution that you've defined. Some other games are worse, they just crash (Need for Speed Most Wanted, eg) and the debug output is meaningless to you.

The fix is now obvious

  • Manually re-install your preferred monitor driver!
  • I replaced the default driver with Digital FlatPanel 1600 x 1200 here

All your games which suddendly crashed, will start behaving normally again and will open as before.
This was a nasty teasing error for me, because I could open Shift2 Unleased and HotPursuit 2010 (both Need for Speed games) without problems, because those games don't use the same routines to change the monitor resolution as our beloved C&C games.
I was lucky to stuble upon this message, which brought me to the fix really fast. Since the guy (gsurby) changed his vga card and got into problems because of the supported resolutions it was similar to my change of video connector on the kvm-switch.

Now back to the Zero Hour goodies!


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