Just re-installed Windows, now problems with games

By Chestrockwell
Oct 27, 2009
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  1. Ok, so I just re-installed Windows XP. I previously had Win Xp home edition with service pack 2. Something went wrong, I don't know what, but I ended up just wiping away the entire system and re-installing windows. My friend helped me, and this version of windows installed with service pack 3 automatically. Since then however, I've noticed the performance of the PC is not exactly what it used to be.

    First of all my PC specs:
    Dell computer
    intel pentium 4, 2.53ghz processor
    1 gb of ram
    win xp SP3
    Graphic card: Intel 28245G/GL/GE/PE/GV graphic controller, 64 mb capacity.
    directx 9.0c

    I know my graphics card isn't the best and I know I can't play current games, but I'm just worrying about the games I did used to be able to play perfectly, which now either run poorly or don't run at all.

    I've already upgraded my video drivers, in fact they are even more upgraded than they were prior to my re-install(as I was not aware a new update had been out yet). However, I've just been having problems with some games. First of all I used to play Neverwinter Nights on high settings. Now when I try to play even on the lowest settings it runs incredibly slow, it still runs but as I said, just way too slow. Then there is Jedi Academy 2, I couldn't even get this to play, getting the "could not openGL subsystem" error.

    I know the computer itself is fine, my friend did a complete hardware check and none of the hardware has gone bad, so that isn't the problem. The computer has just been completely re-installed, so there are definitely no viruses. Other than having windows service pack 3 and a my drivers more up to date than they previously were, this is the same system that played these games great just days ago.

    It isn't even as if all games don't work. Blood Omen 2, Icewind Dale 1 and 2, Baldur's Gate 2,etc. all work fine. Still, the games having problems require a little more graphical power to play. However, I should have more than enough with my processor and ram to play these games. My video card isn't the best, but it is far more than is required for any of the games failing, and has never failed me before with these games.

    Can someone tell me the problem, is there something I am missing? I know this must be fixable as it is the same PC as before. I really don't want to pay money to have it fixed if it is something I could hopefully do myself. Can anyone help me out?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Your friends Windows XP with SP3, may not be authentic
    And therefore it may have some bugs in it (as all non-authentic Windows versions have)

    You can contact Dell >> HERE, on you "Dell Computer" (model unknown) and purchase a Restore disc, at a very cheap price (ie you just want the disc not the key)

    Once you receive your Restore disc (at a cheap price ;)) Then install Windows with that
    Then update freely to SP3 online
  3. Chestrockwell

    Chestrockwell Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I get what you're saying, but it was an authentic version. My friend didn't give it to me, he just helped me. It was a newer install disc I just had not used yet since I had not had a reason to do so. So it was an official disc and everything, so I don't think that would be a problem.

    As for the model, it's a Dell Dimension 2400 if that helps anyone any further.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    I see
    Because it was made before 2004 you may not have a Recovery Partion installed (At start up, press CTRL + F11)

    Here is Dell's PC Restore for Window XP
    But, as you say the authentic Windows XP SP3 CD may be ok

    Here is Microsoft's Windows XP Home Repair Install step by step (* Including Delete Partition)
    http://www.windowsxphome.windowsreinstall.com/sp2sp3installxpcdoldhdd/indexfullpage.htm
    * Warning deleting the Partition will remove all User data and Windows system files

    Please confirm that is what you have done
  5. Chestrockwell

    Chestrockwell Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Well yes, that is what I did. As I said I completely removed and re-installed everything. I also used the "windows update" program and updated everything possible that it suggested.

    So if it isn't due to a bug with the install of windows xp, what else could it be and what solutions would there be?
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    I have no idea how you could have previously played games with those low specs
    Solution?
    Update your hardware (I recommend 2Gig for XP SP3, and a Video card at least PCI-Express 512Meg)
    ie Maybe time to update your whole computer if you want to game
    Note: Windows and games update all the time, maybe your hardware needs to be updated sometimes ;)
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,409   +281

    I concur with kimsland. That card is too weak to play games like you were saying without some big sacrifices. If you were playing them on high (quality) settings, then you had to drop the resolution a lot. So that might be something you overlooked. Turn down the resolution to 800x600 on the games you are having performance problems on and see what happens.
  8. Chestrockwell

    Chestrockwell Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I'm sort of confused. You're saying my computer is too weak to play these games, despite my computer being more than powerful enough to do so based on requirements needed. Both games I mentioned not working only require up to a 32mb video card. Both games worked fine on the *same* PC as now. I wasn't dropping the resolution, or anything either. Why isn't 1gb of ram enough? minimum requirements for NWN is 256 mb of ram, and for Jedi Academy it's 128mb of ram. Even at the recommended ram of 500 mb for the first and 256 mb for Jedi academy, I still have more than enough ram for either.

    No, none of the games were updated in a way where I could not play them, I checked. Everything is the same except for what I listed. I agree, I could use an upgrade. But these are games that came out in 2002-2003, I should be able to play them just as I did just a few days ago with the same PC.
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Every update (ie you now have SP3) causes your system to use more resource

    Also your game Ram amount does not include the Ram (system resources) being used by all your startups and installed programs
    Have a look here to see what is started: Start > Run > Services.msc
    And that's not the half of it (actually not even the quarter of it !)

    With updates to Service Packs (ie SP3 which includes 100+ Security Updates)
    And Antivirus and stacks of drivers
    Internet Explorer (and many addons and startups) and Java
    Let alone all the normal startups as listed in an excellent program like Autoruns
    And there are literally lots more

    This makes your UPDATE to SP3 more resource hungry, and with that more Ram required
    Yes 1 Gig is good (Minimum) But if you're a gamer I'd say go 2 Gig (I'm running 2Gig on Windows XP SP3 and I don't even game anymore!)
    And 64Meg Video Card :confused: I don't know what to say.. Its not enough.
  10. Breech

    Breech TechSpot Member Posts: 79

    The Dimension 2400 was the lowest offering from Dell years ago..........it's beyond obsolete at this point. It most certainly was not designed with gaming in mind. To be honest I'm surprised that it would even play older games at anything other than the lowest settings. You technically don't have a video card either. It is Intel integrated (or onboard) graphics................and it is horrible, I had it for a long time. You're either going to have to upgrade to an actual video card or better yet purchase a new computer. The first one is obviously the much cheaper option and it will allow you to play those older games at a much better level of quality.

    The bad news is that you don't have a PCI-E slot so you can't do as kimsland suggested. You will only have a standard PCI slot on your motherboard. Check this thread out for more info on the better PCI vid card solutions
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic51437.html

    Also, XP SP3 does increase system resource usage so it's no surprise to see some degradation in performance. Some extra RAM will help but will also add another expense. At some point you will have to ask yourself how much you want to spend on an outdated computer or if you'd rather start saving for something new and improved.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,409   +281

    Kimsland probably hit the nail on the head with SP3. You never had that before, you had SP2. That is probably a culprit in the performance decrease right there.

    If you have a small hard drive (130gigs or less) and are set on gaming on that machine, you may be best off disconnecting it from the internet, and installing XP, the original, before any service packs. That will run fantastic on your machine.
     
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