Ancient Upates

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Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:49 am

Hey folks!

Due to a oft crashing mouse, and a fan that is in continual need of being restarted manually via a small plastic straw, my appearances IG will be much less frequent than usual. This has already started to some degree, so I thought an explanation might be due.

Not all the news is a total drag. Dave has helped me sort thru some Techie speak, and I have ordered a new rig. Hopefully the new system will be up and running soon, allowing me to play with a bit more confidence, and with far less travels to the Great Halls due to the frequent IG 'seizures'.

The new specs are not really brag worthy (and most mean little to my Techless grey cells anyway), but I wish to publically thank all here for putting up with my stutter-steps, lack of fire support, and occasional bad mood due to all the RL garbage I have been enduring on my end. And I wish to thank Dave for allowing me the courtesy of asking him advice during his down time here.

*crosses-fingers in hope that Win7 Pro will allow NWN and DA to play flawlessly*

Hope to play more soon!

Smile
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:11 am

Hope your new rig comes soon, and works like a dream Smile

Be aware, Win7 will take some getting used to. Try not to let it get you too
fruistrated. Give it time and you will get more comfortable with it.

If you have questions about how to do certain things in Win7, I can give
you some tutorial links.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:39 am

It is my hope that somewhere in the Tech world out there is at least one programmer/anylyst that knows that people resist change, and attempts to make it appear to work like XP; their best product to date, IMO.

But of course, then they should also realize that this was their best product to date (IMO), and simply updated it in the first place... Razz
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:07 pm

Got the new system, but still have to get a Techie to configure this new monster.

Currently, I cannot get my sound to increase in volume, and all sound seems to be coming from the left speaker. My mouse still does not act correctly, but I believe it has configured the mouse incorrectly; different manufacturer. And the new system utility package was twice as much as I wished to spend, so that is even more holiday funds down the drain.

I hates the holidays, but once this rig is going, it will be nice to have something new on which to help me vent.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:24 am

*coughs* er... is it possible that all my Mouse failure (ie; stops working; replug in gets it working again) could be due to an old faded Mousepad? I happened to move it to another, and it seems to be working much better.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:02 am

Your mouse - optic or trackball?
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Grey_Stooge on Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:21 pm

I am assuming trackball. He probably just needs to take out the ball and clean it off.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:29 pm

Nope; optical. I have cleaned my last trackball several years ago. And at that time I discovered optical mice do not like the color red.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:42 pm

Optical mice dont like uneven or partially reflective surfaces. If your old mousepad was not totally flat (rough surface, etc) or was even partially reflective/shiny... that can cause the optical beam to occaisionally miscalibrate and shut itself off.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:13 pm

I was thinking along those same lines, daveyeisley.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:41 am

OK....

So the OS is activated and the Mouse seems to want a new pad for the after Christmas sales. I still have to get the Sound fixed, and reload NWN. Then I have to get it reconfigured for play.

So maybe I will be back soon, hopefully while I am on a break from work. *crosses fingers*

One should not work on systems with crossed fingers....

Having seen the Blue Screen of Death at least a dozen times in the past 24 hrs, I am thinking that I purchased some good components from folks that never took the time to install and check them properly. I hope I have updated enough drivers and have checked all the plugs to persuade this monstrosity of a rig to work.

Have I mentioned I hates Tech?
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:35 am

Nope. Had to unplug and go back to the old system, and will need to get this new one fixed and configured properly. This means I will most likely have to lose it for a week - my week of vacation and lose DAO staycation break. Razz

*grumbles about Tech and all related matters*
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:32 pm

Wow that blows.... did you by chance write down the error code that came with the blue screen?
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:00 pm

Nope; was an entire page long, and I cannot read quite that fast before it re-booted. I think it has to do with hardware, but am uncertain.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:08 pm

oh... what I meant.... in that page of blue, there is almost always a line that tells you the STOP error....

it will follow this format

0x000000AB

Where the zeroes and the AB can be different characters, but the
lowercase X should be there regardless.

The line that has the error code is basically what tells us where the problem occurred. If you can write it down, you may be able to google it and we can try and get to the bottom of the issue.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:26 am

I placed the rig in the shop. While I cannot afford to keep tossing funds at the problem, I have no Tech friends available here to look at it. And the system would not remain on-line long enough for me to download fixes.

Also, I am wondering if my Backup Battery may be the source. It is an APC 350 which runs my old system just fine, but perhaps the new rig requires something else?
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:27 am

Most likely not the battery backup. If a system isnt getting the right amount of juice, it either wouldnt be starting up, or would be totally freezing when the current fluctuates.

You are getting a blue screen, which means your system is detecting a hardware or software issue and shutting down the OS before it can be damaged... if power was the issue, the system wouldnt be able to get that far.

I hope the shop gets it fixed for ya.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:01 am

The shop called, and it seems that I may be a victim of LTBB; Let the Buyer Beware. It appears that in many cases, the default products within the tower case including the power source and hard-drive are all old and/or refurbished parts.

The graphics card has a broken fan, and needs replaced. The power source will have to be upgraded to handle the system specs, and the sound card needed reseating. This will lead to spending another fairly large amount to correct.

My Credit Card support informed me that I must contact the system supplier to see if they will correct the issuses. If after 15 days I do not get customer satisfaction, then they can get involved. It is my hope that I can get a full refund, but based on this entire matter, I doubt I will get anything.

If that occurs, my only plan is to speak out on this company On-Line; rating them and the Shopping Bot site that may have lost my system fund. Nothing is left, and I now am in a growing debt to get it fixed. To say that I am angry, disappointed, and frusrated only covers a fraction of the emotion I now experience.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by MannyJabrielle on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:50 am

Where did you get the system from? Sounds messed up that you got sold a machine with broken parts and wasn't made aware of it O_o
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Wed Dec 30, 2009 3:32 am

Pricewatch.com was the Shopping Bot used, and Ascendtech was the supplier. Again, I am hoping that they will live up to their 100% customer service statement, but I doubt it. Maybe the 30 day warrantee will help.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:41 am

As predicted, little help is likely forthcoming. "House" items - the base system components unless one orders upgrades - are all refurbished or like parts. This is evidently listed in the Terms section of their site. As I was unable to get many upgrades, the vast majority of this rig is refurbished.

As my current rig is also refurbished, I would have little problem with that. However, one should not have to discover that in the small print section, IMO. And my current system has worked fine since activation as a rule; theirs has not.

I can send the whole system back for a refund, provided the warrantee on it was not voided. But seeing as I had to take it to a shop where Techies actually work on it, my guess is that has already occured. Even then, I have to mail it, and 'trust' the original company to estimate the value properly.

Or I can send back each busted or unwanted items for replacement, refunds, etc; each requiring indv shipping numbers. Of course, this means mailing fees. And for the base Video card and power supply, I am probably in the $50 ballpark combined, so little at all would be gained.

As I see it, I spent my entire fund on a refurbished system, and did not get nearly the system I obtained back in 2001. It came with monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse, etc. This one is tower only, and does not work. It requires an added $200-300 to get it fixed properly, and the best I can hope for is a refund of $50 minus handling.

I hates Tech....
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by daveyeisley on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:12 pm

Thats just awful.

I think you may want to verify whether the warranty is voided or not, because sending it back for a refund and never doing business with them again seems appropriate.

As you bought the machine as a full package, I cannot for the life of me understand why they wouldnt pick up the shipping cost for you to send it back and have them at least replace it. After all, in that case, you wouldnt be asking for your money back, and all they are "eating" is the shipping.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:24 pm

I am never doing business with them again, which is one factor in not returning the system. They have legaleze and small print, and I have learned a hard lesson and will still have a new rig which may run for a little while.

Time for me to decide whether I let an object, injustice, and money consume me, or recall that I have overcome worse, and reboot again. While I may be unable or unwilling to fight against them, I will still try to fight against quitting.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Maeglin Dubh on Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:30 pm

I decided not to do business with Seagate anymore after they sent me a hard drive with a broken case, which I replaced, and then the drive itself died shortly thereafter, and they refuse to replace it because of the case, which isn't mentioned on the warranty label on the hard drive.

All told, the drive worked for about four days total use.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:11 pm

The repair shop called and informed me the memory was getting RAM errors in diagnostic mode. On their advice, I am going to attempt to return the entire system for a refund. I hope for full reinbursement, but am expecting to get less. Will have to see.....

I have been looking around for like systems, but few have been located.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:22 am

I returned the rig, along with a detailed Techie diagnostic report attached. This actually seemed to help, as well as informing them my CC company had been contacted.

They offered to make the repairs and implement any needed parts, as well as offer some upgrades, but I told them a refund was expected as trust was not exactly well founded for continued business. I now await what refund they decide to give, less the cost of the OS I registered, restocking fee, and S&H costs. Hopefully, this will be enough to start the ball rolling again elsewhere.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:41 am

Here's to hoping they do the right thing, and that after all the hassle
you end up with a rig that makes you happy at a price that doesnt make you want to cry.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:53 am

Too late there. No matter what they refund, Christmas, repair fees, S&H, etc has managed to double my debt. I figure if they refund the majority, I will simply swallow the added debt, and try and avoid any major purchases this coming year or so. I require the new system for the next decade, but added gaming titles for the next few years will be little at best.

This event has rather tainted my perspective of on-line shopping. The return procedures for many companies are like this one, and many companies also seem to have a few rather unseemly complaints lodged against their customer support teams. Kinda sad that this event is more common than I knew.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:35 pm

OK; Round Two underway....

While I await any refund for the first system, here are the specs for the second. It appears to have a decent review and QA behind it:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5466847&sku=SYX-1024-7

Now I shall let you Techies pull it apart! It may not be the best gaming system EVER, but hopefully it shall be mine! Smile
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:10 pm

Elhanan wrote:http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5466847&sku=SYX-1024-7
I can haz com-puter?

Seriously, this looks like a very nice system to me. Very good performance potential with room for future expansion/upgrading.

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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:37 pm

Thanks!

There is another system there that has 2 such graphic cards using SLI tech, along with 12 GB RAM, i7 chipset, and a few other bells & whistles. But besides the added expense, it is really too much Tech for this old Dwarf.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:13 pm

Well, the good news is.... if you ever decide down the road that you need SLI.... the box you are getting is capable of supporting it. All you need to do is get another one of the same video card.

The more expensive system is probably more robust than most home users would really need at current.... 12 GB ram is... well... more than some servers use Razz
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:30 pm

Other good news is that TigerDirect Customer Support were quite willing to listen to my plight, and allowed me free S&H for this rig. This was quite helpful for me, in both saving expense and seeing actions over words, since they did not have to do so as I was ordering their gear thru another vendor.

Quite nice to see some real QA this month; sorely needed.

Here is a link to probably the best system I have seen in the group from which I was searching (for you Techies):

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5483246&sku=SYX-1032
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:39 pm

Howdy! I have obtained a new copy of NWN for the new system, but am having troubles getting it to run correctly. While I am now able to get a game to start, the GUI (ie; portrait, Quickbar) is missing. It is not hidden, as I have tried hitting 'H' for Hope.

I think it may have to do with Resolution settings of the game within the new monitor. The latter is set and running well this past year at 1920x1080, but am unable to find a setting of NWN which is fully revealed.

Any helpful advice?
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by MannyJabrielle on Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:00 pm

Have you tried running the config program off the launcher?
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:15 pm

MannyJabrielle wrote:Have you tried running the config program off the launcher?

Yep; it chose one of the 800x600 settings which clips even more from being revealed. Thanks for thinking about it, though.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by daveyeisley on Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:38 am

Try going to your NWN directory, and find the nwn.ini file.

Open it in notepad, and see if you can find the display options section. You can set your desired resolution there. It should look similar to this (I have cropped some additional lines that are specific to my system):

[Display Options]
Disable Intro Movies=1
Width=1024
Height=768


Try using 1280 for the width and 720 for the height. Or you can try other settings from this chart. The aspect ratio for your monitor seems to be 16:9, so my guess is that your monitor will display the settings in the blue boxes the best.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:39 am

Thanks, but still no portrait or Quickbar. The new settings are 1920x1080, and will fill the screen, and I reset the Full Screen to =0 instead of =1, but that did not help either.

Any further ideas from the Techs? And thanks again for aiding me in this.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by A_Vagabond on Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:43 am

Have you tried toggling from full screen to windowed and back? Alt-return should do that. I know that sometimes if I'm in one mode and switch to the other, I lose certain graphic elements, but a re-swap usually fixed it.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by MannyJabrielle on Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:43 am

If you want to try putting the game into windowed mode, you have to set another line as well besides the "fullscreen=0" line. Add in this line as well:

AllowWindowedMode=1

And of course make sure that you set NWN's resolution to a bit smaller than your desktop resolution.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:51 am

Progress! Using all above suggestions, I discovered that while in Window mode, I have the missing GUI. But when I go to full screen; nada.

Current NWN resolution at 1680x1050; next purple box smaller than desktop settings.
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by A_Vagabond on Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:41 am

NWN is an older game, and perhaps your newer hardware is having trouble rendering it fullscreen -- no kidding, I have friends who couldn't run it properly on their rigs several years ago, because the graphic cards/drivers were too new.

Just a crazy thought -- have you tried setting your desktop resolution to something that matches the NWN settings? Then switch to windowed and back?

Other than that, you may just be stuck with windowed mode. Oh, are you running DirectX 9 or 10? Which OS?
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:37 pm

Win 7 is the OS, and I believe I must have DirectX10 for DAO. Should I attempt to run NWN in a sim OS?

These are the directions I followed for installation:

http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/187/index/3341490
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by A_Vagabond on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:53 pm

NWN was written before Win7 and Dx10, and I'm wondering if your particular setup has some backwards-compatibility issues.

If it were me, I would try to do some kind of virtualization and see if XP and Dx9 don't work better. *shrugs*
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:08 am

OK. Win XP Virtual PC is now working, and the game is installed including the GUI. But it appears in a Window just a tad larger than a postcard, the graphics settings are worse than my old system, and even character creation has slight lag. This will not be fun.

Any more suggestions?
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by RustyDios on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:55 am

Buy an older machine/laptop and use exclusively for nwn ??....
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:34 am

RustyDios wrote:Buy an older machine/laptop and use exclusively for nwn ??....

heh! I still have my old rig and a full install. But my tiny, dusty apt is not large enough for two systems to be running, and I am a little too old to be gaming on the floor. But thanks!
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by A_Vagabond on Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:26 pm

Does your monitor have 2+ inputs? A cheap KVM (or just KM in this case) would allow for a more compact setup...you could even go the free route with Synergy if the monitor has 2 inputs--which it should.

I ran a setup like this mixed mac/pc, no problems, no additional desk space needed Wink
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by Elhanan on Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:18 am

KVM? KM? Techless One here, as the latter simply means Kingmaker to me.... king
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Re: Ancient Upates

Post by A_Vagabond on Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:05 am

KVM = Keyboard, Video, Mouse. It's a switchbox, so you can use one set of devices on more than one PC. Then, you just keep 2 boxes under the desk, but only one screen, keyboard, mouse, and push a button (the usual method) on the little box when you swap PCs.

Alternatively, modern monitors have multiple inputs. In addition, if one PC is always on (the "main" PC) and the older one is only for playing NWN, you can set up a freeware/opensource program called "Synergy" which will let you share a keyboard and mouse between two PCs. You'd just push the input select button on the monitor when you want to use the other PC. Benefit to this setup is that it's totally free (beyond the cost of the older PC). Downside is that it only works if the "server" PC is always running, since Synergy runs in a client/server configuration.

Either way, you can have 2 PCs without needing to have a substantial amount of space devoted to the second PC.
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Re: Ancient Upates

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