Help this guy understand how to get back to playing games on PC

Discussion in 'PC Gaming' started by hesido, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. hesido

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    This whole ordeal reminded me why I had switched to consoles for gaming. I'm not that incompetent with computers, I come from Amiga times so I'm OK with fiddling stuff, but I had simply gotten tired of the amount of work necessary to get games running to their full potential on PC's...

    I had a lot of problems migrating my Steam to Windows 8. Old times, I'd just copy the entire Steam folder and steam re-arranged everything. But this time, I did not want to fiddle with the partitions on my new Samsung laptop, so I went against everything I know about Windows and I have a single C: partition, and Steam did not like this, games stopped working. For some odd reason, the new path was not being updated in Steam App folder's application files. Everything took several hours of looking for solutions on the internet and applying the solutions with varying degree of success (It was like baby steps but hit a wall each time) I finally made a simple regular expression search and replace on Notepad ++, to avoid re-downloading everything and manu-automatically fixed those paths in multiple files in 2-3 passes.

    Things began running. Strangely, games seemed to be capped at 30fps. ( Samsung Laptop,
    Windows 8 64bit,Core I7 3630 QM @ 2.4ghz, GTX650m ). Good luck trying to find the correct keywords to search a similar problem.

    It turns out, it was caused by the "Eco Mode" that Samsung provides, I had to guess it by myself. So that was settled, I thought. But I realized Popcap games had also begun working on a strange resolution and at 30fps (No, I refuse to play Peggle at 30fps), as if it falls back to a non-hw accelarated mode. Good luck finding keywords for that too. Popcap support couldn't help with that problem also. I still have it. Shame, stuff is working slower with worse graphics compared to my 7 year old laptop, as far as PopCap games were concerned (other PopCap games were also similarly affected, running in strange jaggy resolution at 30fps)

    Now, to test my GTX650M, which I thought wasn't too shabby, to see if it was performing as well as others and see some DX11 goodness for free, I downloaded 3DMark 11. To my lack of surprise, it made my laptop freeze. But I figured I should download the latest version which popped up as a reminder, so I downloaded an update. Oh, the update failed as I had 1.003 or something, it only worked for 1.000. But there wasn't a specific update for 1.003, so I downloaded the latest archive in full again. So nice.

    But I couldn't do the benchmarks, instead of freezing, this time it managed to give an error: IDXGISwapChain::SetFullscreenState failed. The demo worked, the benchmark didn't. Ah. Eco mode was off, what could it be? Several hours of searching the internet, I found out it could be due to some applications blocking full-screen access, but I had none of the various applications that seemed to create problems. I was terminating executables from task manager to no avail, with dozens of programs working on my "vanilla" laptop, it was taking time.

    But I solved that problem too, in the end. It turns out, due to a UI bug, turning of ECO mode off didn't always turn it off. Good luck trying to find that one out, I noticed by doing a test run of Trials 2 Second Edition ;), which seemed to have no problems with going fullscreen but it was capped at 30fps. But the eco mode seemed to be off. Turning that on and off again and hitting the default button really turned Eco Mode off. Another mistery solved. Now I can benchmark but still, no Nvidia Tech demo works, even the one that says is compatible with Windows 8, in case there's such an issue. The tech demos claim I either don't have a supported gfx card, latest drivers, or correct version of Windows. None of which are true, I have latest certified drivers as the Nvidia Geforce Experience tells me... But there's nothing on the forums to guide about those tech demos not working either. I'm at a loss as to why they don't work.

    Now, I still have that PopCap 30fps problem on their 2d games, and Nvidia DX11 demos not working. If I'm having this many problems, I'm not going be paying 50 dollars on PC games which I'm guessing are also prone to such problems as I've run into forums with so many people having similar problems not in those tech demos but games. But I really want to give it another shot. If you have any suggestions that would stop me from cursing PC as a gaming platform, do let me know!
     
  2. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Sounds like Samsung failed you.....

    Have you tried reinstalling the NV drivers? Also update the Intel HD 4000 driver. The notebook almost certainly uses Optimus, meaning the NV chip interacts with the HD 4000. Of course everything should have worked out of the box....

    You could also try a system restore to return to factory state. One of the function keys before boot will get you to that. Backup data you dont want to use.
     
  3. Davros

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    I would also look at the powersaving options select high performance
     
  4. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    uninstall all samsung apps, especially the power settings/eco thing.
    install latest nvidia drivers standalone (i think you already did this? so skip this)
    disabled INTEL GMA.

    press WINDOWS R.
    type
    Shutdown.exe -f -s -t 1

    this is important because the Shutdown button on windows 8 are not shutdown, its hybrid shutdown (forgot the exact name).

    when windows started, press WINDOWS D.
    now on taskbar, left click on battery icon. Choose MORE OPTION.
    choose HIGH PERFORMANCE and press Change Plan.
    choose change Advanced power setting

    on the new window, disable all everythings that sounds like power save mode.
    disable all things that sounds like power management mode.
    set CPU maximum speed to 100%.
    set GPU power setting to Max performance
    disable the Intel gpu.

    On nvidia laptop with intel gpu and installed with custom power profile/app its completely normal that it will mess-up gaming performance.
     
  5. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I don't think mangling the power saving settings is the solution to DX11 programs crashing.....

    Lets see if he ever comes back to his thread.
     
  6. hesido

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    Hi guys, thanks for the input... I'll try disabling the integrated graphics first, then uninstall samsung apps, then maybe revert to factory defaults (but it's not like I've installed anything new, other than Steam and Acrobat Reader, nothing like Fraps or things along those lines)
     
  7. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    3DMark can crash if you run it with an old driver installed. I had that happening myself on my old PC rig. Also, if you bought 3DMark separately (IE, via their website or got it on a disc with some other stuff, whatever), you can activate your product key in Steam and automatically download and install the newest, most up-to-date version (suggest you uninstall the other version first, if applicable.)
     
  8. Yemeth

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    For any new laptop user http://pcdecrapifier.com/ is a must have... They put so much preinstalled, well crap, on these days that it is amazing how much faster the laptop runs after you purge everything you do not need (of course, I am never for those "let's just uninstall everything" reactions).

    Before I was always uninstall everything by hand (and searching on the internet what the hell the installed program does/should do), hope it helps someone here...
     
  9. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Why bother with an equally mysterious decrapifier, just pull out the windows install disc, boot from it, select to format the harddrive and then mangle all of that crapware with a fresh OS install. Takes what, half an hour? Maybe less these days, I dunno.
     
  10. Silent_Buddha

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    OEM's don't often provide clean install Windows disks or ISO downloads. Usually you'll just get an OEM Windows "restore" disk or ISO which just puts the machine back to what it had on it when you bought it...with all the "crap."

    They do that not because Microsoft wants it that way, but because they get paid for that "crap" that is put on the machine and/or the OEM believes that their OEM software is essential to distinguishing their laptop/desktop from another OEMs laptop/desktop. And I'm guessing part of the contract terms for getting that money is that they (the OEM) must use a "restore" disk in order to put that stuff back on whenever a user wants to re-install Windows.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  11. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    I would assume they are obligated to provide a regular windows (oem) disc since you paid for the OS. I wouldn't buy a laptop that didn't come with one, that's for sure.
     
  12. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Notebooks never come with a Windows DVD. I do think it's nonsense that they can't throw restore media in the box. I hate burning those images after purchase because it can take hours.

    But for most customers a raw Windows DVD would be mystifying.
     
  13. hesido

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    My Samsung has a few hidden partitions all for the sake of restoring to factory defaults, with all those "crap" apps. Problem is, I'd normally have all my personal stuff on a second partition, but this time I didn't want to divide partitions as there's the chance that factory defaults mean reverting to single partition while destroying the second partition (I'm not sure, but there's that very real chance) so I have everything on this single partition as dividing the harddisk may not bring tangible benefits. Old times I could decide for a clean install in under a minute, being sure there was nothing I could delete as all valuables were in D:. Now I have to start a back-up.

    If I was sure the reset to factory defaults wouldn't delete D:, I'd split the partitions but I can't be so sure.

    Btw, no single laptop I have seen from friends who bought came with a Windows DVD during the last few years, all had restore partitions, which is very convenient but you can't do a clean install with them.
     
  14. Yemeth

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    Why is this software mysterious? Because it is not GPL?

    As the others have said, laptops usually do not get real Windows CDs/DVDs (for XP you could convert them, c't had some tools for it, for later Windows OS I do not know) and when you recover it you have the same crap again. If you use a different CD/DVD then good luck with making your 30 minute deadline, because you need to find all the proprietary laptop drivers etc. which is usually a pain in the backside.

    Way back I have even gone your route, but now, IMO it is only needed if the PC is so full of spyware/trojan horses et al that you do not trust your e.g. Kaspersky boot CD to clean it up. But this is not the case with new laptops, only those that have been in use and now are in the "help, my Windows is slower than before/of course I do not download/install toolbars, free games, exe greeting cards..." state...

    BTW, for no power users who do not play games, I usually recommend Linux any way, because a PC without a virus scanner etc. is like a car which is constantly on turbo (without the damages to the engine ;) ).
     
  15. homerdog

    homerdog donator of the year
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    I think your Windows 8 key will work with Win7. Download the Win7 ISOs from Digital River. I believe since you own a key already, it is legal. I am sure Microsoft is okay with you downloading it from here in any case.

    Win7 Home Premium x64
    http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58997.iso

    Win7 Professional x64
    http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-59337.iso

    More versions and languages (those above are English) here.
    http://www.shayatik.com/2013/03/download-windows-7-sp1-official-iso-from-digital-river/

    Put Win7 disc in, delete all partitions ([strike]recovery partitions included[/strike] perhaps leave the recovery partition in case your key doesn't work for this), and set the laptop up as you like. With Windows 7, assuming your key works with it. Although it might only be Win8 Pro keys that are backwards compatible with Win7..
     
  16. Silent_Buddha

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    OEM keys aren't necessarily compatible with non-OEM specific disks. I know this was the case for Windows Vista and XP. Not sure if they changed it with Win7/8 but I'd be slightly surprised if they did. Especially with major OEM versions of Windows, as those are bulk licensed even if each machine gets an individual key.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  17. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
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    Did you try the latest official Nvidia Drivers, or the latest Beta drivers? Sometimes the latter can be a good test to see if some bug is affecting you.

    I have Windows 8 and haven't had any issues really. The only thing you need to know is that for rare settings you do need to reboot into that special settings menu, for instance to allow unsigned drivers - I had to do that to get 3D Vision to work with my unsupported LG monitor (by using a modified driver for another supported monitor).
     
  18. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    Guys, you can recover keys from win 7 or win8.
    Then use an app to determine the windows version needed.

    If you need obscure version like, windows 8 core single language....
    You are In luck! I have written a post on b3d how to mod regular windoes 8 iso to become that specific version.

    All of the app needed to recover key, determind key windows type, and patch regular w8 iso are available on mydigitallife and technet or msdnaa or msdn.
     
  19. hesido

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    I have the latest signed drivers. I may try a USBfied version of Win7 first, see if it works better, and try to activate that with my current W8 key, if I can find it.

    I'm no longer as eager as I was a couple of days ago, tho. I'm kind of let down that I have to go back being a "power user" to utilize hardware that I paid for. I can imagine how there are thousands of casual users who play Zuma at 30fps with their GTX 650m's, thinking it's the way that's meant to be played. Luckily, we have console gaming where you don't have to worry about which antivirus to use, what to remove from startup, which driver settings you need.

    Thanks for all the help here.
     
  20. Cartoon Corpse

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    PC gaming has become, as usual, a user UNFRIENDLY environment, for all, except the "geek". Those twats whine and bleat ALL day and night about this tweak they need, and that tweak they need. When you listen to squeaky wheels you should get REPLACED, not "greased".
     
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