Microsoft Windows

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Microsoft Windows
Windows logo and wordmark - 2012.svg
Developer(s) Microsoft

Microsoft Windows is a popular family of operating systems.

General[edit]

Command Prompt[edit]

The Command Prompt is the command-line interpreter provided by Microsoft for Windows systems and is the not-as-powerful equivalent of the shell in Linux and Mac OS. It can be accessed by going to 'run' and typing 'cmd.exe' or by running a 'Batch file'.

Task Manager[edit]

The Task Manager is an application built into Windows that allows for the managing running processes as-well as providing information about computer performance. It can be accessed by pressing 'Ctrl + Alt + Delete' and choosing 'Task Manager' or you can press 'Ctrl + Shift + Esc' to open it directly.

Device Manager[edit]

The Device Manager is an application built into Windows that allows for the management of device drivers. It can be accessed from the Control Panel.

Registry Editor[edit]

The Registry Editor allows users to edit the Windows registry. It can be accessed by going to 'run' and typing 'Regedit.exe'.

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)[edit]

A Blue Screen of Death (a.k.a BSOD or Bluescreen) is an error screen that Windows produces when it encounters an error that it cannot recover from.

DirectX[edit]

DirectX is a collection of APIs for Windows that allows programs to interact directly with hardware.

.NET Framework[edit]

The .NET Framework is a software framework for Windows that is required for games built in .NET-aware languages (such as C# or Visual Basic), including those that use XNA. Different games may require different versions of .NET Framework. A list with download links to all versions may be found on Microsoft's website.

DLLs[edit]

DLL stands for "Dynamic Link Library". DLL files (.dll) are Windows exclusive library files containing code and data that can be used over several applications.

While they can save time for developers, these files can cause problems for the end-user (commonly referred to as "DLL Hell").

Issues fixed[edit]

Older Games Missing .dll File on Windows Vista and later[edit]

Information Some .dll files have different names on Windows Vista and later.

Fix Copy DLL to folder

  1. Make a note of the name of the missing .dll.
  2. Go to %WINDIR%\SysWOW64 (or %WINDIR%\System32 if you are running a 32-bit version of Windows).
  3. Find the .dll that has the same name as the missing .dll but with an additional x in the name (e.g. if the game can't find dplay.dll, look for dplayx.dll).
  4. Copy that .dll into the game's installation folder (do not move it).
  5. Rename the copy to the name of the .dll that was missing (so dplayx.dll becomes dplay.dll, etc.)
  6. The game should now see the .dll and play normally.

Older games refuse to start on Windows 8 and later[edit]

Fix Install DirectPlay

  1. Open the Start screen, type OptionalFeatures.exe and press Enter.
  2. Expand Legacy Components.
  3. Ensure DirectPlay is checked.
  4. Click OK to save your changes.

Updating DirectX[edit]

To obtain the latest DirectX, install the DirectX End-User Runtimes. It is worth noting that DirectX optional components are not automatically updated by Windows Update. Although certain games come with the required DLLs, others ship with large DirectX redistributable packages, which often contain files unnecessary for the game, and take a long time to install. Periodically running the Web Installer will keep your optional components up to date, allowing you to skip installing the DirectX redistributable packages.

Force CPU affinity[edit]

Fix Provisional solution: Task manager

  1. Open Windows Task Manager
  2. Find game's process name (right click on its task and press "Go to process")
  3. Right click on the process name
  4. From the drop down menu select "Set Affinity..."
  5. Assign the game as many processors as you need

Fix Permanent solution: customized shortcut

  1. Right click on your desktop
  2. Make a new shortcut to %WINDIR%\System32\cmd.exe
  3. Open its properties and add the following to the "Target" field
/C start "" /D "<path-to-game>\" /AFFINITY 1 "<path-to-game>\game.exe"

Notes

Information Shortcut name and icon can be customized to match game's ones.
Information Additional parameters can be normally added at the end of the target field
Information Affinity value must be in hex. To assign more than a core check this table

Fix Permanent solution: flag game executable

  1. Download ImageCFG
  2. Place it in the same folder of the game exe
  3. Open there a command prompt and run
imagecfg -a 0x1 game.exe

Notes

Information Executable won't be backed up, so if you'll have to do so yourself if you wish to revert it.
Information Affinity value is in hex. If you want to assign more than a core, check here

Fix Use PsExec

  1. Download Sysinternals's PsTools
  2. Extract PsExec in the game executable folder
  3. Run the game through the following command (command line and/or a batch file can be used)
psexec -a 0 game.exe

Notes

Information Additional cores can be specified with a comma after the previous ones

Codec hell[edit]

Fix Reset DirectShow filters

  1. Download and open DirectShow Filter Manager
  2. Go to the Troubleshooting tab
  3. Select Restore standard DirectX codecs

Game files missing after upgrading or refreshing Windows[edit]

Information Upgrading or refreshing your Windows installation will move some files and folders to a Windows.old folder on the system drive.

Fix Retrieve files from windows.old[1]

  1. Open the Start screen/Start menu, type Computer and press Enter.
  2. Go into the system drive (usually C:).
  3. Go into the Windows.old folder.
  4. Go to the equivalent location for the files you are looking for and move them to their normal location.

Non-unicode applications[edit]

Information This is most commonly issue with Japanese games and visual novels. Games may work directly, but usually there may be scrambled text, bugs, game won't start or refuses to even install.
Information Easiest way to fix issues is to set Windows non-unicode language to language game origins from, but in some scenarios it may introduce unwanted changes in other programs, especially if OS language is other than English. This includes some basic characters being incorrectly replaced, programs defaulting to set non-unicode language and other programs suddenly not being able to launch or crash.
Advantage AppLocale runs the application with same effect without effecting system.

Fix Use Microsoft AppLocale

  1. Download Microsoft AppLocale here and install it.
    • With Windows versions after XP installion will fail. Simply put installer to XP SP3 compatibility mode to continue.
  2. Open AppLocale follow instructions. It should automatically detect programs language.

Fix Change non-unicode language[2]

  1. Go to Control Panel, Clock, Language and Region and Regional and Language Options.
  2. From Administrative tab change non-unicode language.
  3. Restart computer for changes to take effect.

References

  1. Retrieve files from the Windows.old folder - Microsoft Windows Help
  2. Change the system locale - Windows Help