View Full Version : FAQ (please read before posting)

30-01-2011, 10:47 PM
Abandonia's Troubleshooting board is where you can get help to run old PC games, which isn't usually easy on modern computers.

Q: I have a problem with my computer.

You're in the wrong board. We'll be glad to help you informally with your graphic card, virus infestation, etc. if we can, over at the Tech Corner (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/forumdisplay.php?f=23).__________________

Q: How can I download the games?

Again not in the scope of this board, but the answer is here (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/showthread.php?t=31355).__________________

Q: How do I play the games from this website?
Q: Windows tells me the game can't run on my PC and to contact the software publisher about a 32 or 64-bit version.
Q: A game won't run and complains that it's not installed or asks for a disk.
Q: wtf IS dos bOX AND DOES IT WORK ON wIN xp???
Q: A game was made for an older version of Windows, and I'm having problems running it.

Here (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/showthread.php?t=17476) you have an introductory guide. Make sure you know beforehand the OS (DOS, Windows) the game was made for. DOS games should be played with DOSBox (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/showthread.php?t=17498). When tried to run on modern Windows they produce a message asking to contact the software publisher or need for 64-bit version: in this case try first to use DOSBox. To learn how to deal with games for older Windows versions that don't work well in recent ones, click here (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/showthread.php?t=17501). There's also a variety of other guides on the Tutorials (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/forumdisplay.php?f=90) board.

Also, make sure you read the review on the download page, it sometimes includes technical information (including if any sound files are ripped off from the download), usually but not necessarily at the end, and specially but not necessarily under headings similar to


Q: My mouse doesn't work in DOSBox, or it doesn't work outside of DOSBox.
Q: I want to play in full screen, why is the game inside such a small window when using DOSBox?
Q: The game is too fast or slow in DOSBox.
Q: How can I capture screenshots or video from DOSBox?

Ctrl+F10 Switch mouse control between Windows and DOSBox.
Alt+Enter Toggle between fullscreen and windowed.
Ctrl+F11 / Ctrl+F12 Reduce / increase the game speed, if it's too fast or too slow.
Ctrl+F5 Capture a screenshot ...
Ctrl+Alt+F5 Capture a video clip ...__________________

Q: I'm getting no sound in DOSBox.

Click on the <img src="http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/images/buttons/viewpost.gif" alt="View Post" /> below to read the whole thing:
If a game's lacking sound ... we run the configuration program, in DOSBox too ...
Also bear in mind that some games may be ripped, which means they have been modified by removing some sound files, because we have a limit for how big can an archive be. If this is the case, it should be mentioned on the review page, or in the forum thread; if it's so and the review page doesn't mention it, please report that to us so we can fix it. On the other hand, all the external downloads in our ISO Cellar (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/showthread.php?t=16245) are complete images of original CDs.__________________

Q: How do I use CDs or disk image files in DOSBox?

Read the DOSBox CD tutorial (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/showthread.php?p=445456).__________________

Q: There are black stripes taking up a big portion of my monitor when in full screen.
Q: Full screen images look stretched because my monitor has a wider aspect ratio than the game.

One last tip. When playing in full screen we may see an empty black frame surrounding the game image, which may also not be centered. I recommend the following changes to the default configuration. Open it by going to the Windows start menu > DOSBox-x.xx > Options > DOSBox-x.xx Options. You will see a text file, look for "aspect=" and change the rest of the line to "true". Look also for "output=" and set it to "ddraw", and "fullresolution=" to the maximum, native resolution of your monitor (for example, "1920x1080"). Make sure to save the changes and close the notepad.

(If you have a 4:3 monitor the image should fill the whole of it, but if you have a wide screen you'll get black stripes left and right. Don't worry, there's nothing wrong about it, otherwise the image would be distorted (click here (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/awesomeaspectratio.gif) to see an example); if you wish to learn more, read about "fullresolution" in the configuration file tutorial. However you should never see black space at the top and bottom.)

If a game is for Windows, but its resolution is different from your hardware, the graphic card can do a number of things to adapt it. The best option is to "maintain aspect ratio", so you make the most of your display area, but the image is not distorted, even if the sides show black stripes (click here (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/awesomeaspectratio.gif) to see an example of aspect ratio distortion).

You only need to look through the graphic card control software for the aspect ratio options, and set them to your liking. This software is usually accessible in Windows from the notification area (system tray). Although it comes usually pre-installed, and bundled with any driver download from the manufacturer (not from Windows Update), you may not have it installed even if you have the driver itself. In that case you can download it from the website of your graphic card manufacturer, and then you'll be able to use it to access these aspect ratio settings among others.

Here are some examples of this kind of software, and where can the aspect ration options be found. Click on the small images to enlarge them:

nVidia (www.nvidia.com) Control Panel:

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/th_nVidia.png (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/nVidia.png)

ATI (AMD) (www.amd.com) Catalyst Control Center (older version to the right):

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/th_aspect_ATI.png (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/aspect_ATI.png) http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/th_catalyst-image_scaling.png (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/catalyst-image_scaling.png)

Intel (www.intel.com) Graphics Media Accelerator:

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/th_intelgma1xy.png (http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m87/japofran/tutorial/intelgma1xy.png)

Incidentally, all this can apply when using DOSBox: after it has done all the image manipulation, according to its configuration, it sends the final image to the graphic hardware, just like a Windows game would do directly. If this final image doesn't have the same aspect ratio as the hardware, the same problem would arise. Because of this, and since DOSBox allows total flexibility, it's best to configure it so that the final image does have the native resolution of the hardware--read the answer immediately above this to learn how.

Also, these graphic card settings apply when watching movies in full screen as well as when playing games. It's a shame to watch a movie or play a game with aspect ratio distortion.__________________

Q: I'm having a different problem.

First of all search (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/search.php?f=11) this board in case your problem's already been asked and solved. (I recommend checking "also search in child forums" at the right bottom, and if you want to refine the results to fewer, more meaningful ones, you can try changing "search entire posts" to "search titles only" at the left top, below the keywords field.)

In particular, a handful of problems and workarounds are archived in the Specific Games (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/forumdisplay.php?f=96), General compatibility fixes (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/forumdisplay.php?f=95) and Archive (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/forumdisplay.php?f=31) subforums.

If you haven't found your answer, you're welcome to start a new thread (http://www.abandonia.com/vbullet/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=11). Please provide as much information as you can, so we're able to help you.