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Tchooder

CMBN Demo Issues, Windows 8, probably graphics/driver-related

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Hello,

I installed the CMBN demo to find out whether it would work on my new PC before purchasing the full game. I can't get it to run correctly.

Specifications:

Dell Inspiron One 2330 (All-in-one desktop PC)

Intel Core i3-3220 CPU @ 3.30GHz

4096MB DDR3 (1600 MHz)

AMD Radeon HD 7650A + Intel HD Graphics

MS Windows 8 (64-bit)

1. Initially, the game would just crash after the Battlefront logo. I learned here that this may be caused by defaulting to the integrated Intel HD Graphics. I moved the game to 'High Performance' in the AMD Catalyst Control Center, but it changed nothing.

2. I disabled Intel HD Graphics in the Device Manager, trying to force the game into using the dedicated card. This time I received 'Unable to initialize OpenGL graphics. Please update your OpenGL drivers' message even before the Battlefront logo.

3. I removed the AMD driver and software from the PC and cleaned up with Driver Fusion. After restart, I installed the latest driver for my PC from the Dell website. The situation changed a bit – now I can start the game once in four or five attempts, apparently at random. When the start is successful, I can't tell for sure which graphics it is using, but I suspect Intel HD. Disabling Intel HD Graphics still has the same result as before – that ugly OpenGL message.

Maybe actually nothing had changed and I just hadn't been lucky enough to run the game at least once before reinstalling the driver.

4. I tried to disable Intel HD Graphics in BIOS, but either that option is unavailable or I can't find it there.

5. I tested the AMD card with OpenGL Extensions Viewer. It recognizes the card, confirms support for OpenGL 4.2, and rendering tests succeed up to that version - if it means anything.

Additional info: I have no other games or graphics-heavy applications installed. Except CMBB, which doesn’t work either, but that’s another story.

I'm out of ideas, I'll be grateful for any advice I can get here. A successful solution wins $65 for Battlefront ;)

Thanks,

Tchooder

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Does your Catalyst Control Center appear like in this YouTube video on AMD Switchable Graphics ? If it does and the Demo executable is set to 'High Performance' in this list, then I'm not sure what to tell you. Your issue sounds very much like the game is attempting to run on the Intel integrated video each time (which can be flaky and not launch quite often). Usually when the game does launch the text will be 'splotchy' and blurred in places. This is a consistent problem with the Intel drivers that is fairly indicative that you're running on an Intel integrated video.

What Catalyst drivers do you have installed on your laptop ? Are they only available from Dell or can you use the AMD provided ones ?

AMD Mobile Catalyst Drivers (Verification Tool)

This tool checks to see if your laptop can use the AMD provided drivers and offers to download them once it is verified you can use them. However a significant number of laptops can ONLY use their manufacturer provided drivers due to "customizations".

Unfortunately the graphics core in your CPU is an 'Intel HD 2500 Graphics'. We've only seen the March and May 2013 drivers for the Intel HD 4000 Graphics work. Reports from customers using the same driver release for other Intel integrated video cores has not been successful.

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Thanks for looking into this. My Catalyst Control Center looks like this (note - your link does not point to YouTube):

Catalyst_CC.jpg

The text in the game is smooth – I know what you are talking about, I ran the demo before on an old laptop with integrated Intel HD only and I remember what the text looked like.

The driver is from Dell – although when it installs, it comes with AMD software, including the Catalyst Control Center. Driver version 12.100.0.0, dated 15 Jan 2013.

The AMD Mobile Catalyst Drivers tool tells me I have incompatible hardware. Their site suggests I should contact the manufacturer in this situation. However, my PC is not a laptop, and I think AMD Radeon HD 7600A is not even designed for laptops (at least AMD doesn't list it among laptop products) – is this tool the right one for me?

I tried the AMD Drivers anyway (Catalyst Suite 13.4), but the installer worked strangely. It looked just like the installation from Dell, but it only installed the AMD Catalyst Install Manager, no drivers or Control Center. In addition, I found no way to run the Install Manager afterwards – the folder to which it was allegedly installed was empty. The Device Manager listed an old driver (8.97.10.6, dated 19 Jun 2012), CMBN wouldn't run ('Could not initialize OpenGL graphics'), and so I reverted to my previous configuration.

More experiments/observations:

1. When switched to “Power saving” in Catalyst Control Center, the game always starts, the text becomes blurred/splotched and performance is markedly worse (Intel HD Graphics, apparently).

2. When switched back to “High performance”, I get one start out of five or so attempts as before, but then the text is clear again and game runs much more smoothly (I guess Radeon wakes up).

It looks I can run the game the way I want, I just have to be patient when launching it :)

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I must of being copying-and -pasting something else just recently to get the wrong link. Your Catalyst panel looks just like what was presented in the video (which was geared towards a laptop with Intel integrated video and a Radeon GPU).

It can occasionally take CMBN a little bit of time to launch. Do you get any sort of error or confirmation that the game is definitely not going to launch on those times that you believe it is not doing so ?

I'm not sure if it would make any difference, but you may want to double-check your BIOS version and see if it is A13 or not. If not, then try updating it:

Dell Inspiron One 2330 A13 BIOS

However, be aware that motherboard BIOS updates can trip up the copy-protection system for CMBN. Since this is only the Demo, then you should hopefully be fine, but it is possible that the CMBN Demo may report an error.

You may need to uninstall the Dell-provided Catalyst driver and THEN install the 13.4 driver. I'm not sure how much of a difference that may make since I assume the Dell-supplied driver may be the Catalyst 13.1. I don't know if the Catalyst 13.8 Beta driver listed on the same page as the 13.4 driver will have more or less problems (haven't personally tried it myself as of yet). I would suggest having a download of the Dell-provided video driver on-hand BEFORE removing the current driver and installing the 13.4 Catalyst.

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There is no other error message than 'The Program Combat Mission Normandy Demo has stopped working'. It happens just after the Battlefront logo screen when the program attempts to switch to the dedicated graphics card. However, I also installed CMFI Demo, which behaves the same way (21 attempts, 4 successful launches today). This one leaves an error log in AppData/Local/Temp/CrashDumps folder when failing to start. And I found out CMBN Demo leaves similar files in another directory without telling anyone. Binary files, about 13 MB in size for CMBN and 300 kB for CMFI:

CM Normandy Demo.exe.6860.dmp

CM Fortress Italy Demo.6132.dmp

I have A13 BIOS, and I uninstall old drivers before installing new ones – at least I think so. I run the AMD Install Manager from the Add/Remove Programs window and order to remove all AMD software. It then proceeds with removing drivers etc. until it removes itself at the end. Works the same way whether it comes from Dell or AMD, except that for the AMD drivers the only thing to remove is the Install Manager alone (as I had described before – and I tried the Beta, too). Then I run Driver Fusion and tell it to delete AMD Display driver entries. I haven't found any other way to uninstall old drivers. Any suggestions here?

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According to the CMFI Demo crash log, you ARE running on the AMD Radeon when the crash happens. The CMBN Demo crash log doesn't have this information, but I suspect the issue is the same.

I'm not sure if this exists in the Demo installs or not, but you may want to go into the 'Data' sub-directory and remove the 'Intro.wmv' file if it exists. If this file does exist, then removing/deleting it should have the demo skip the into logo video. See if that makes a difference.

I'll have to check these drivers out under Windows 8 and see if I can reproduce any problems.

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I was unable to duplicate the problem with Windows 8.

I ran Windows 8 64-bit on an AMD Phenom II 975 with a Radeon HD 6870. Using the 13.1 Catalysts with the CMBN 1.10 Demo it ran fine with no issues. This setup does NOT have an Intel CPU with an integrated Intel HD graphics core. I'm not sure if that may be making a difference with what you are experiencing or not. There is no 'switchable graphics' option in this particular setup. Most desktops probably would not have that configuration either since the Intel integrated video typically gets ignored without the Lucid Virtu software. That adds another layer of complexity that I have not worked with though.

Unfortunately I can only guess that this particular setup will probably experience problems with the full version of CMBN and CMFI too. It appears that there is an issue with the way the 'switching graphics' works with the AMD drivers, despite having a specific profile/exception set for the game (and it does appear to be running on the AMD in CMFI's case - and most likely true of CMBN's case too).

I have yet to install Windows 8 on a computer with a Radeon HD 7000 series video card. I wouldn't expect there to be much difference since this setup would be another AMD CPU with a dedicated video card only (no other integrated video). I do have one other desktop that has a newer 7000 series paired with an Intel CPU with integrated video, but it would require Lucid Virtu to be in the mix in order for the Intel integrated (HD 4000) to be active in any way.

Your desktop mimics a number of laptops (and most likely has similar integration). However I was under the impression that other laptop users with the Radeon/Intel video were able to get the game to work with the 'power saving' / 'switchable graphics' settings within the Catalyst Control Center.

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OK - it seems unlikely you'll be able to reproduce my situation. If there is a conflict between the two graphics cards, I can try again to disable Intel HD in some way. I'll let you know if I make any progress. Hopefully I won't end up blowing something up.

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Solved. Kind of.

I set the CMBN demo to start minimzed (Right click on the shortcut, Properties tab, drop-down menu 'run') and all is fine. First I click on the tray icon to open the initial screen (play or buy), select 'play' and the game starts minimized. Then I pick it up from the tray once more after it starts. 100% success rate, and it is a lot less annoying than the 'trial/error' method I had to use before.

The same trick does not work for CMFI demo, which makes me ask whether I will be able to use it with upgraded CMBN. But there is another difference: that initial screen in CMBN demo, asking you to play or buy, lacks the minimizing/maximizing controls, while CMFI has them. So, perhaps, once I click at the tray icon for the first time to open the window that launches the game, the application forgets it should be minimized?

The full game does not have these play/buy screens, so I should be fine... any thoughts?

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With the full version of CMBN 2.x I have been unable to get the games to remain minimized with the 'Run' option set to 'minimized'. Even removing the intro.wmv video file does not work and the game always starts maximized/normal (Windows 7 64-bit). The same is true of CMFI. So I don't know if your current workaround will actually make a difference or not with the full, licensed versions of the game.

CMBN/Commonwealth 1.x uses a slightly older version of the copy-protection system that has license dialog boxes without the standard controls on them. For CMBN/Commonwealth 1.x I believe the license dialog boxes are embedded with the game executable. With CMBN 2.x, CMFI and Gustav Line I'm not sure what is used to draw the license dialog box. It may be making calls to standard, external DLLs to draw them, but I'm not sure. It's strange that a simple dialog box is enough to determine whether the game starts normally or not. I could potentially understand if the drivers were 'dynamically' trying to determine what GPU to run on, but with the profiles/exceptions set in the Switchable Graphics settings for the CCC, there shouldn't be any issue with dynamically trying to determine what to run on. However it is my guess that somehow, even with the profiles, the driver is still attempting to dynamically determine what to run on (though the profile tells it to run on the AMD).

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Hi,

same problem here with a Dell Inspiron and the full version.

Fortunately the solution of starting the game minimized works.

That's strange beacause i have CMSF and it runs with no problem in a normal window.

I have dual screen in extended dektop mode.

Hope you'll find the fix.

Zed

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Unfortunately the problem is back after patching in 2.0 then 2.1...

It sounds like from v 2.0 (or 2.1 since i don't start the game in 2.0), the game forces normal window at launch

whatever we select in the shortcut properties.

I succeeded to make it work by forcing the 640*480 res in compatibility mode.

Beyond this reso it crashes.

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zeduncan - do you know what specific video chip you have in your laptop and what previous Catalyst drivers you were using prior to the 13.4's you currently have installed ? What laptop manufacturer and model do you have ?

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Driver updates didn't work for me, but the workaround did.

- set the game shortcut to start in a minimized window

- run it and ignore the error/crashdump message that pops on the screen (do not OK it!)

- pick up the perfectly normally running game from the tray

Tested on full game CMBN+CF 2.01

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