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RazielRahl
04-27-05, 04:03 PM
Ok. I'm not sure which section to post this in, so by all means, move it if it's in the wrong section. I've tried posting this in the Sims 2 forums, and unfortunately, their advice was consistantly the same: Update the video drivers.

Here's the problem. A friend of mine bought the DVD version of the Sims 2 awhile back, and has been playing the game fine since then. She stopped for awhile (probably about 2 months). I recently bought her the Sims 2 expansion pak, and we installed it. When she tried to play the game, the game loaded fine up until the point where the neighbourhood tries to load, and then the graphics becomes garbled and messed up. Sometimes the screen is mostly black, othertimes game textures become this odd pearly purplish color. We've tried taking screenshots to show, but they come out as purely black screens so far.

We uninstalled everything, and reinstalled JUST the original Sims 2 game. It still messes up. She ended up having to format and reinstall everything (due to her little sister accidently deleting something she shouldn't have). We figured that would fix everything, so once she reinstalled Windows, we installed the game. Still messes up. Right off of a fresh format/install.

When I first started asking around about what it could be, everyone immediately jumped to telling me to update the video drivers. We've done that. No go. We've made sure ALL of her drivers are updated, and it's still not working.

I've checked for viruses, spyware, etc. Nothing. We've tried closing out her antivirus before running the game. Nothing. We've tried running Taskmanager and closing everything running under her username except for explorer.exe and then running the game. No go. I think the only thing we may not have tried is trying to run the game in safe mode.


Now, I'm posting this here because everyone I've talked to tells me it's the video drivers - that I need to upgrade them. Well, AFIAK, they are upgraded.


I don't have access to her computer at the moment, so I don't remember all of her specs, but here's what I remember:


Windows XP Pro
Service Pack 2
AMD Athlon XP 2200+ (1.8GHz)
256MB RAM
GeForce2 MX/MX 400 (64MB)

Current Display Drivers: Version: 71.89
Release Date: April 14, 2005
WHQL Certified


Now...please, don't tell me she should upgrade her system in any way. That's not an option, and I'll state it simply. The game worked perfectly before.

Any help? Please? She's pretty upset about it not working, since the game cost her a pretty penny, and currently it's sitting on her desk not doing anything. I'm also alittle peeved since I paid for the expansion. We can't return either as they're opened software.

Thank you.


~RR

Acid Rain
04-27-05, 06:59 PM
Since it worked fine before, and your running all the current software, I have to assume that something hardware related is going on. How old is the machine? I wonder what the dust accumulation is like inside the case. Also, I wonder if the PSU is going down.

You said she stopped playing for a couple months. Was the machine used for other things during those two months? If an extremely dusty PC sits for a long period, it's possible that moisture will condense in the dust, causing shorts when it's powered up again. I've seen this happen a couple times, though, never mine. I keep mine on 24/7. They seem to like that more.

Anyway, maybe pop the case open and blow out the dust with canned air. I'd do this outside. Also, you could vacuum it, but unless you've got a very small one, it's difficult to get all the nooks and crannys, not to mention you can knock your capaciters around with the head of it. I'd just blow it out. Make sure, particularly, to blast the heatsinks out, on both the GF2 and the Athlon.

Good luck!

SLippe
04-27-05, 09:10 PM
Yeah, ditto what Shadowcast said. I don't know what else it could be. Do other games play or have you even tried other games? It is probably hardware related, either PSU, Video Card, or maybe even Monitor. Someone else?

Nefilim
04-28-05, 08:09 AM
Try downgrading the drivers to an earlier set. Try 67.66, these are the set I run and have no problems with The Sims 2 or University. Often the latest drivers aren't the best for older cards.

RazielRahl
04-28-05, 12:25 PM
Yeah, ditto what Shadowcast said. I don't know what else it could be. Do other games play or have you even tried other games? It is probably hardware related, either PSU, Video Card, or maybe even Monitor. Someone else?


Everything else runs perfectly on it, AFAIK. We've tried other games, and they work just fine.


Try downgrading the drivers to an earlier set. Try 67.66, these are the set I run and have no problems with The Sims 2 or University. Often the latest drivers aren't the best for older cards.

Any ideas on how to uninstall her 71.89 set? They're not listed under Add/Remove Programs (I use ATI myself, and the display drivers are listed under there, so uninstall is simple). I'd rather uninstall what she has, and install the older set fresh, so there's no conflicts.



Thanks alot for the ideas, everybody. As I said, it's annoying, and alittle disheartening, to pay out roughly $100 on something you can't use, and can't return.

RobW
04-28-05, 01:26 PM
I had exactly the same problem with an XP3000 and a 6800 - any driver after 61.77 causes graphics corruption in the neighbourhood screen and missing family portraits after "create a sim." In order to play the game properly I have to downgrade the drivers (I use the omega 61.77) then upgrade to the latest ones to play HL2. I've also noticed some graphics glitches with later drivers and X2 the threat but not as bad as Sims 2. Tech support at EA were fast but useless ("upgrade your drivers, its a hardware problem, buy a new computer, stand on your head and put your left big toe in your right ear etc...)

If you do try to "downgrade" your driver, remember to use driver cleaner....

Hope that helps

SLippe
04-28-05, 03:56 PM
Everything else runs perfectly on it, AFAIK. We've tried other games, and they work just fine.




Any ideas on how to uninstall her 71.89 set? They're not listed under Add/Remove Programs (I use ATI myself, and the display drivers are listed under there, so uninstall is simple). I'd rather uninstall what she has, and install the older set fresh, so there's no conflicts.



Thanks alot for the ideas, everybody. As I said, it's annoying, and alittle disheartening, to pay out roughly $100 on something you can't use, and can't return.

You don't see Nvidia Drivers under Add/Remove Programs? If not, then I'd say your drivers aren't installed correctly. They should be there. If not, run the setup.exe again and see if the 71.89's install again or what happens. Report back.

RobW
04-28-05, 04:36 PM
You could try opening "control panel" and clicking on "system". Then click on the tab marked "hardware" and then click on "device manager." Towards the top of the list should be an entry marked "display adapters" - click on the plus sign next to this and you should get an entry with the name of your graphics card (something like GeForce2 MX/MX 400 (64MB)) - right click on that and a menu should come up and one of the itmes should be "uninstall." It should just take you through it. But you may need to use driver cleaner as the normal install process leaves some files and registry entries which can cause problems when installing an older driver. Hope this helps and best of luck.

Sworkhard
04-28-05, 11:20 PM
Get driver cleaner at
http://www.drivercleaner.net/

run after uninstalling the current drivers

I would go back to driver version 61.76
Use either the official drivers from http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp-2k_archive.html
or the omega drivers from
www.omegadrivers.net

RazielRahl
04-29-05, 01:58 PM
Thanks alot, everyone. I'm gonna try that when I go over later today. Hopefully it'll work, and everything will be as it should be again. I appreciate the speedy (and useful) responses. As RobW said, EA tech support was pretty fast, and pretty useless.