I know I probably shouldn’t have gone anywhere near them but curiosity got the better of me.
The thing is that I’m having problems with is Microsoft’s Age of Empires II, it just doesn’t work and I get the error message: "Could not initialize graphics system. Make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw". The Graphics card is an ATI Fire GL 256p which has a 9700 chip and is full compatible with Direct X 9, it works with every other game I have, UT, UT2004, Stronghold, Unreal II, Pain Killer and Microsoft’s Age of Titans.
Now they have a knowledge base article for that exact problem – 242902 and I have tried that to the letter, I have also tried command lines that disable things a clean install after a format, I have tried loads even down loading the demo to see if that works – no.
So I send them a help request thinking who knows they might know a way to fix it that I haven’t had a go at, or at the very least let them know about the problem so they might do something about it, unlikely because of the age of the game but they are still selling a ‘Gold’ edition. SO I send them this:
Simple but to the point and hopefully showing that I have some understanding of a computer and so avoiding the more simple replies.Problem Description: "Could not initialize graphics system. Make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw" error message when you start Age of Empires II
I have tried everything from the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article - 242902 and I'm still haveing no luck.
I have even tried all the command lines, nostartup, 1024, etc
I have also tried turning off the second monitor (I use dual monitors) to no effect.
All my drivers are up to date and I'm running Directx 9.0b
Age of Mythology Works fine, as do all of the other games that I have installed.
And I get this back:
‘Sigh’….Thank you for using Microsoft Games Online Support. My name is Maqmoor and I will be helping you today with the game Age 2: The Conquerors Expansion.
If I have understood correctly, occasionally while launching the game an error message saying “Could not initialize graphics system. Make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw” is received.
Edward, I really appreciate the effort that you have taken to try troubleshooting the issue before contacting us.
This behavior can occur if any of the following conditions are true:
- The monitor is configured improperly.
- The video driver for your video adapter limits the screen resolution to 640 x 480 pixels.
NOTE: Age of Empires II requires a minimum screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels.
- The video display adapter does not have enough video memory to support a screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels.
- The system's refresh rate may need adjusting.
In order to resolve the issue, try the following steps in the order in which they are presented. Check the game after each step.
While checking the system information, I found that screen resolution is set to 1600 x 1200 x 60 hertz. Lets change the Screen Resolution to 800 x 600, which is very important to play the game.
I little better and it got my hopes up after all this is a problem that has occurred in the Fire GL range, I’m not alone! So I sent the Direct X and System info:If the issue still persists, we might need to contact your system vendor to get the driver, which is compatible with Directdraw.
I found that, there is a known issue involving the card ATI Fire GL 8800. The drivers available for this video card are not compatible with DirectDraw.
This is the reason for the error appearing. Unfortunately, there are no updates for the issue and ATI has not released any drivers that overcome this issue.
For your convenience, I am including the following link where you can contact ATI support:
For your convenience, I am including the following link where you can contact Sony support:
In case the issue persists, please let me know, were we able to play the game fine before? If so, let me know the software/hardware changes made to the system since the occurrence of the issue? Did you reinstall the game recently?
If you are still experiencing same behavior, I would like have a look at your system information.
Please send me the following reports after completing a DirectX test, which will provide detailed information about your computer's system configuration that will help us with this problem.
Then I get this:Problem Description: Thanks for getting back to me, I've tried what you suggested and still no luck, I also downloaded the trial version installed it and that doesn't work either.
Attached is the directx diag report all tests ran fine and the msinfo32 file.
I've tried ATI's support before and they basically said that because the card works fine with my other games and only this one have the problem that I should contact you guys.
‘SIGH’ is it me or are they obsessed with my monitor resolution? And as for the driver being out of date, the driver file in question is a driver file that covers about 12 different cards, in the last update there where probably no updates for the card I’m using, but still I update the driver just to be on the safe side and no difference and it definitely installed ok. So I reply still being polite but a little blunt:Hi Edward,
Thank you for the response.
I gather that you are still unable to play online game.
While checking the system information, I found that the video driver installed in the computer is still outdated and also found that screen resolution is set to 1280 x 1024 x 60 hertz.
In order to resolve the issue, we need to update the video drivers and set the screen resolution to 800 x 600.
Step 1: Reinstall video driver
Then today I get this:Problem Description: No it didn't fix it.
The resolution (1240x1024) you gave is from the second monitor a Taxan 975TCO95, the first is running at 1600x1200 the optimal resolution for a Multisync LCD 2110.
The drivers for the graphics card and monitors are up to date, installed and ceritfied and I have tried switching the monitors down to 800x600, turn the second monitor off and uninstalling the second monitor.
The monitors are running off a dual head (one for each monitor) ATI Fire GL 256p Workstation card which is 100% compatable with Directx, I'm wondering if the dual head or the nature of the graphics card could be causing the issues.
Trouble is ATI have told me that the issue is probably down to the game, because I have no other problems with using Directx.
I know this is an old game and is unlikely to get any futher updates, but it is possible that it could be some issue with the game itself. The tech support from the creators Ensemble Studios points here so I thought I would try to see if there are likely to be any future updates that might address this possible issue or if it's a common issue that they know about and that can be solved in some way.
AARRGH! Is this a bot or something? I covered all that in the first message. Why! WHY! Bloody Muppets!Hi Edward,
Thank you for writing in. I am sorry, as my previous suggestions did not help in resolving the issue. I really appreciate your efforts in this troubleshooting.
Please note that, this is a known issue with the game and is documented in Microsoft Knowledgebase article. These are an excellent set of troubleshooting steps that would assist us in determining the cause of the issue and also resolving the issue.
It is important that we try the steps in the exact manner as mentioned in the article. The article I am referring to is as follows:
Please refer the following Microsoft Knowledgebase article and follow the steps mentioned in the same to troubleshoot the issue.
"Could not initialize graphics system. Make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw" error message when you start Age of Empires II (242902)
If the issue still persists, we might need to contact your system vendor to get the driver, which is compatible with Directdraw.
I believe this helps and I am looking forward to your response. Thank you for using
Microsoft Online Assisted Support.
I mean is that what you would call good tech support? I wouldn't: complete failing to understand a single word I've sent and going around in circles. Question is would you bother too reply and if you did would you just rip into them? (in a polite way)