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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them
DEB8

Dedicated Video Memory

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Seasons greetings !

I have all 3 of the CM1 series of games installed on a Vista O/S Desktop PC. 

I would like to install them all on a Windows 7 O/S Laptop.
My understanding is that they should all work on a Windows 7 O/S ; but I have a problem, in that my Laptop is currently limited to an 8 MB Dedicated Video memory ! 

Can you please advise the Dedicated Video Memory required for each of the 3 CM1 series of games.

Many thanks.

 

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I don't know what the 'dedicated video memory' requirement would be for the CM1 series, however 8MB is REALLY LOW for most 3D games. I would assume you would need about 64MB minimum. In fact 8MB for the Windows 7 desktop/OS sounds very low. What is the video chip in your laptop ?

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I went back to look at the 'minimum' specs that are listed for CMBB and the sales page mentions '16MB video card capable of running 800 x 600 or higher'. I believe the same spec would be true of CMAK and CMBO would possibly be even smaller (though you may have to run at 640 x 480). The sales page for CMBO mentions a configuration as low as 4MB for the video card.

Are you certain that your laptop only has 8MB of dedicated memory ? That seems awfully low for most computers nowadays, especially one that can run Windows 7. Many 'low power' laptops often run with video that is either integrated into the chipset or integrated within the CPU. Most of these use a 'shared memory' scheme' where the main memory is used for the video display and often these may have a minimum of 32MB upwards to a maximum of 512MB or possibly even 1GB. Some of these systems may have a small amount of 'dedicated memory' that is actually set aside for the video, while also being capable of 'sharing' the main system memory.

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Thanks for those comments.

Re certainty re 8 MB dedicated memory - no... See below :-

I have installed a game onto my Laptop. It operates ( according to specifications ), on  a minimum of 4 MB dedicated video memory, but 16MB is recommended. An early error at the install stage caused a error report, which listed the dedicated video memory applicable as 8 MB. After the addition of a Flash "video player""(!), the game started up correctly. However, the game's graphics have a minor problem with about 30% of the tree coverage and 80% + re dead bodies. As I understand it, this was a known problem re the games graphics, if the dedicated video memory available was less than the recommended figure !

My video card is an Intel integrated HD graphics card, which when combined with the O/S 's 4 GB of RAM, operates in much the same manner as you describe. However, it reads a games dedicated video memory requirement as input ( sometimes incorrectly ), by the games manufacturer. Some  manufacturers apparently input the Initial video memory, rather than the actual video memory requirement that Intel now use with their integrated video cards...

I presume from the error report that 8 MB was set for the game now on my laptop. It is possible, that if the actual video memory of the CM1 series was set higher than 8 MB, that my graphics card would note that higher figure and work correctly. It would also appear that any that are 8 MB ( or less ) may work correctly too ; hence my query. 

I am fairly hopeful re CMBO, but not so much re CMBB / CMAK.  

  

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With Intel integrated video you MIGHT have a setting in the BIOS that mentions the amount of memory that is 'dedicated' to the video. This 'pre-allocated' video is actually not seen by the OS and is strictly used by the video chip within the CPU (in this case, much older Intel video is integrated into the chipset). However within Windows Intel utilizes their DVMT system that allocates memory on-demand. So memory could be pulled from the OS and used for the video system and when that program no longer needs it the memory can be returned to the OS to be used as 'main' memory for other programs, etc. CM should operate in this manner and be able to request the video memory that is needed.

You can check your laptop's BIOS settings and see if there is anything that allocates more memory to the video system. This could be anything from 512K to 512MB (the lower amount would seem unlikely with the Intel HD Graphics). It's possible that the BIOS may have no setting what-so-ever for allocating dedicated memory for the video system or possibly it may need to have a setting to enable DVMT (not too likely with the HD Graphics).

I currently have a system at work utilizing the Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Intel 3570K CPU). You can see how much memory the system may allocate to the video by going to Start Menu > Control Panel > 'Display' control panel > 'Adjust resolution' selection in the left text-based menu > 'Advanced settings' text selection towards the lower right of the 'Change the appearance of your display' panel > the 'Adapter' tab (default) should list several amounts for your video memory:

Total available graphics memory   (1760MB in my case)

Dedicated video memory   (256MB in my case - POSSIBLY set via a BIOS setting)

System video memory   (0MB in my case - this may also be a BIOS setting)

Shared system memory   (1504MB in my case - the amount of memory that the OS can utilize for either video or programs)

 

If you have a low 'dedicated video memory', then you may want to check around your BIOS settings to see if you could possibly allocate more memory (if that is even an option). With more 'dedicated video memory' the games may work better (assuming that DVMT is not allocating enough video memory for them).

Something else to try is to modify the programs' 'compatibility' settings to see it that may make any difference. Right click on your CMBO/CMBB/CMAK game icon and select 'Properties' from the popup menu. In here go to the 'Compatibility' tab. Toward the top of the tab in the 'Compatibility mode' section check-mark the box next to the text that says "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" and select "Windows XP (Service Pack 3)" from the drop down list (usually the default selection). Further down in the 'Settings' section you can also experiment with the settings of "Disable visual themes" (not sure if this would be effective in any manner), "Disable desktop composition" (this disables the 'Aero' interface to Windows 7 temporarily, can potentially provide a mild performance boost), "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" (its really helpful for scaling text that utilizes Windows fonts - something that the CM programs do NOT utilize). You could also check-mark the box in the 'Privilege level' section' for "Run this program as an administrator".

Looking through the Intel HD Graphics control panel I couldn't find anything that I would affect the behavior of CM to my knowledge, but you could experiment with some of those settings too. I'm not certain what your driver may provide for this control panel. Some options may be very bare depending on the driver.

 Do you know what exact CPU you have (since this will determine the exact video chip your system has) ? Have you updated your driver to the latest that is available ? Many laptops may require you to use the driver that is supplied by the laptop manufacturer, but some may allow you to use the Intel-provided driver, which is often quite a bit newer than what most laptop manufacturers will have on their websites.

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Unfortunately, I am unable to adjust any settings via the BIOS, as this function has been left off on my laptop...

I have also not been able to trace ( to date ), how this may ( or may not ), be able to be done via the Video card settings themselves. I will review this though with the information you have provided. Thanks for that.

I have previously tried adjustments via the compatibility settings, but only re the game ( not a CM1 series one ), that is currently on my laptop. They did not work with that game, but it is possible they may work re a CM1 series one. If I have any problems with any CM1 series one I will re-look at that.

It is still quite possible that I will not have a problem at all with the CM1 series. It all depends on what figure was actually input at the games manufacture re Video Memory ( initial or actual )...

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41 minutes ago, DEB8 said:

Unfortunately, I am unable to adjust any settings via the BIOS, as this function has been left off on my laptop...

I have also not been able to trace ( to date ), how this may ( or may not ), be able to be done via the Video card settings themselves. I will review this though with the information you have provided. Thanks for that.

I have previously tried adjustments via the compatibility settings, but only re the game ( not a CM1 series one ), that is currently on my laptop. They did not work with that game, but it is possible they may work re a CM1 series one. If I have any problems with any CM1 series one I will re-look at that.

It is still quite possible that I will not have a problem at all with the CM1 series. It all depends on what figure was actually input at the games manufacture re Video Memory ( initial or actual )...

Hey, Deb does Dallas...I think a better option is just get a Good Used Laptop (ex; I have used Dell D810 & D830 Laptops w/o issues with CMx1) that's between 5-10 yrs old) w/Dedicated ATI-Nvidia Video Card in the 128-512mb range.

Edited by JoMc67

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On 12/30/2017 at 6:17 PM, JoMc67 said:

Hey, Deb does Dallas...I think a better option is just get a Good Used Laptop (ex; I have used Dell D810 & D830 Laptops w/o issues with CMx1) that's between 5-10 yrs old) w/Dedicated ATI-Nvidia Video Card in the 128-512mb range.

Whilst it is indeed an option, it is not one I am likely to take up.

[ What's with the " Deb does Dallas" moniker ? If I were a girl ( DEB = my initials ), I might well find that offensive... ]

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