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UberDemon
06-13-2007, 08:42 PM
A Report: Win Vista, Laptops, IL-2 1946, SFP1/WoV/WoE & UQMG

So I decided it was time to invest on a new Laptop, since my old laptop was falling apart, for real.

All I could find was Windows Vista laptops, so I decided to give it a go, and went for a Toshiba Satellite w/ Win Vista Home Premium, Intel Core 2 Duo (1.73GHz), 2GB RAM, 200GB HDD. The graphics is Mobile Intel 945GM integrated video with up to 224MB shared memory. The screen is a 16:10 ratio 15.4"¯diagonal widescreen LCD.

The GUI is very nice, I must say, but I was interested on the inner-workings. There is so much protection in the OS that sometimes it gets a bit irritating, and I found myself not being able to do simple stuff like overwriting files, installing programs, unzipping archives, etc. EVEN as an Administrator of my own machine! Well it is all possible, you just gotta find out...

My reasoning for the laptop was definitely not gaming, but I figured I'd give it a whirl anyway. So here are some tips and some surprising results...

IL-2 1946
------------------
So... what about IL-2 1946? I actually own two copies of IL-2 1946, because my first purchase took so long, I bought another one that got to my home sooner... then I ended up w/ 2 copies. Oh well.

The combo DVD/DVDR/CDR/etc... of course had problems installing, so I had to manually double-click the file "a.exe"¯ in the DVD installation disk and it installed perfectly.

The program loaded without a hitch... the only problem is that IL-2 1946 does not have widescreen settings, as far as I can tell, so unless you want to view a bunch of fat planes, you have to use Window setting...

The funny thing is that even with all the other processes running, including McAfee, the performance was actually very good if not slightly better than my desktop, which is a 2.53GHz Intel Pentium 4, 1GB RAM, 256MB DDR ATI 9xxx Radeon, running on a clean install of XP with an AV, Internet protection suite. With an update from UbiSoft to support widescreen, this would be money, so to speak... I am pleased that I may be able to play on the road, so that is a bonus to me.

UQMG
---------------
I use UQMG (UberQuick Mission Generator), of course, I wrote it... but installing it and making it work was troublesome.

Here is the deal. I told you about the overly protective nature of Windows Vista. In the Security Center in the Control Panel, there is an additional setting called "User Account Control"¯, and if you don't disable it, you will not be able to do things like, overwriting or deleting an executable file, which is essential for updates to low-end applications such as mine, even if you are a SUPER-ULTRA-GOD-MODE-Administrator... that was so frustrating until I disabled it.

Basically I installed it, and it would not let me run the install part of running UQMG the first time, which unzips the "fb100.exe"¯ which contains all the essential config files of UQMG. At first I had to right click the file and select "Run as Administrator"¯, which is a nice feature, but still... the user should not have to worry about that...

Then I installed the update to UQMG from my site at www.uberdemon.com.. (http://www.uberdemon.com..). And it would simply not allow me... that is until I found out about the "User Account Control"¯.

So the lesson here is that if you want to install UQMG and any upgrades, you gotta disable UAC first... and if you really want it, then enable it after you are done with install... and for any future updates you will have to do the same.

Other than that, UQMG works as advertised in Windows Vista as well.


Strike Fighters Project 1 (SFP1) / Wings Over Vietnam (WoV)/ Wings Over Europe (WoE)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This Thirdwire series is my new favorite, outside of Star Wars Battlefront II and the Battlefield 2 series.

Well, I installed WOV first, then updated it, then installed WOE, which can automatically import the planes and map of WOV into it... then I manually installed the 2 extra planes from SFP1 and its desert map plus campaign into it as well... Then all patches, etc...

Things worked OK before the patch, even though the patch adds an additional widescreen setting... after installing it, BAM, no more sim... It kept asking for a file called "d3dx9_30.dll"¯ when entering a mission... so I thought DirectX 10 does not include all the files for programs that were written to work with DX9.

I went back and installed DirectX 9.0c from the WOE CD just to see what happened... and a bunch of files ended up being installed, without messing up DX10. I ran the program, and I got the same error... frustration.

So I found a few similarly named files in the C:\Windows\System32 directory, namely, "d3dx9_24.dll"¯ to "d3dx9_29.dll"¯. No "30"¯ though... so I tried to be sneaky and copied "d3dx9_29.dll"¯ into "d3dx9_30.dll"¯ just for kicks...

I re-started WOE, and was able to play on the 16:10 video setting with maximum settings, and it runs flawlessly, better than in my desktop, with better graphics...

There you go... I hope this was useful.

Targ
06-13-2007, 08:50 PM
Thanks for the tip on disabling the user controls as I was holding off just for that reason.
I am still going to wait a bit for third party driver support to improve and sp1 if ms ever releases it before purchasing vista.

LStarosta
06-13-2007, 08:52 PM
Be sure to download the new drivers for the Intel graphics processing unit THROUGH VISTA'S UPDATE CLIENT, NOT FROM INTEL. The drivers from Intel's site will mess everything up forcing you to dig out your recovery disks and performing a Windows System Recovery (non-destructive retroactive type) from the boot CD.

Those drivers fix a ton of glitches, including problems running simulators such as FS9 in high resolution widescreen format. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

AVG_WarHawk
06-13-2007, 09:21 PM
I'll be upgrading soon and with all this news of Vista suffering from control freak syndrome, it's kinda scary. Good to know I can find plenty of help on this forum, thanx UberDemon!

dieg777
06-14-2007, 01:37 AM
you can edit the config file to get your widescreen settings mate

see here

http://mission4today.com/index.php?name=Knowledge_Base&op=show&kid=5

Genie-
06-14-2007, 03:52 AM
uh oh.. that intel video card is VERY bad choice...

today you can get much much better graphic card in some mid level laptop...

UberDemon
06-14-2007, 08:03 PM
dieg777,

I got the hint last night that I could do that. I tried 1280x800x32 and it worked, but that was too much... so... even better, I found a setting in the Intel Video which allows a Force Aspect Ratio, it allows selecting the best performance setting without having to worry about a stretched screen... so I can have 1024x768x32 working very well and with very good graphics in a laptop I never thought I'd get IL-2 working... again a bonus.

Genie-

I've had really good luck with the Integrated INtel videos... some of the other laptops cost way much more because of ATI or NVIDIA video, with half the memory and HDD... like I said... it is not a gaming laptop, so just the fact I can run any games/SIMs in it, and actually with better performance than my desktop makes me happy.

For my next desktop, definitely I'll be getting a high end video card.

Akronnick
06-15-2007, 04:14 AM
The DirectX issue with the WOE/WOV patches is not Vista's fault. The latest patch for the third wire series uses a version of directX that is more recent than the one on the CD.

I had the same issue on my XP machine. IIRC the fix is to download and install the required file directly from the Microsoft support page.

Hawgdog
06-15-2007, 04:34 AM
Thanks Uber

Playing on the road would be a +1

Bearcat99
06-15-2007, 06:23 AM
Hey Damien good to see you around here again... Last I heard you were taking a break due to real world issues.

UberDemon
06-15-2007, 09:01 PM
Akronnick,

Got the MS download yesterday

Hawgdog

Yes! definitely a plus... especially cos I was not expecting that either would work... i am very impressed that with 80 processes running in Win Vista, including Internet protection, I can run my two fave sims pretty much without a hitch.

Bearcat99

Whatup? Yeah... real life is a real drag sometimes, but that is cool... take it in stride you know?