Vista + Games + ALT-TAB = The recipe for headaches

By SongLive
Aug 18, 2008
  1. Imagine you are playing a RTS Game. You have the winning edge, the only thing you need to do is click "launch bomb" and then You Are Victorius.
    But wait ! Something prevents you from doing this ! A friend asks you something via skype chat. You want to ignore it but what the hell !??! The game minimizes itself automatic @!&@!(^_(. You quickly reactivate the game by clicking on it in the taskbar... but nothing happens. Only a black screen and thats it.. the game isn't showing up anymore... the only thing you hear 5 minutes later is "You have been defeated".

    This happens to me daily. Is there a solution to this ? It's very annoying.
    I can't answer skype calls, skype messages, msn messages etc etc because every time, but really every time, whenever I do ALT-TAB/Minimize the game/Have it minimzed automatic, the game hangs up. It doesn't crash, it just sits there and hangs. Nothing happens. Black screen and thats it.

    I have Windows Vista SP1 X86 with 3GB RAM , Core2Duo E6750 and a 8800GT Video Card.

  2. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    Not sure about the apps you're specifically asking about, but I know this used to happen to me in AIM - but they eventually added an option for new messages to not steal focus. Perhaps there is a similar option for your apps? Also, I have no problem restoring games/applications in Vista that I've minimized. What game is it specifically that's doing this to you? Is there a patch/update available to address this behavior?
  3. SongLive

    SongLive TS Rookie Topic Starter

    This happens to me in GRID, Call of duty 4 and in Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour.
    I checked skype, couldn't find that option.

    All games are up to date with the latest patches....GRID and COD4 are designed for Vista, Zero Hour however isn't. But that doesn't make a difference, they all hang.
    Any other thoughts?

  4. Darth_Terra1

    Darth_Terra1 TS Rookie Posts: 212

    If your palying games then that's all you should be doing, any other applications or utilities running as well will use resoruces that the games need and will hang the system if you try and access them, games are not like apps where you can switch between them they are very system heavy especially the modern games, you should tun off these apps before launching a game you may even find you games run better for it.
  5. SongLive

    SongLive TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have plenty of RAM left while running these games, so that shouldn't be the problem.
    In XP I could switch without problems, vista is being an pain in the... again...
  6. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    Well - I can confirm that the problem isn't the application or Vista - I can minimize GRID and CoD4 without any problems in Vista 64 Ult and restore them just fine. Just as an FYI I'm running on an nVidia card and have been able to do this with the last 3 driver releases from them including the PhysX driver set they recently released. I have not tried this with an ATI card.
  7. SongLive

    SongLive TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I installed Generals Zero Hour on my laptop with Vista and was also able to do Alt - TAB without problems, so it must be driver related on my pc then ?

    Downloading new drivers right now (nvidia card)

  8. Richardw9

    Richardw9 TS Rookie Posts: 127

    I have a similar problem with dawn of war. The system will hang and the sound will completely go on my computer and then when i try to exit the game the co muter will freeze completely. I'm running windows xp home edition but its the same principle, you can run games and instant messages at the same time, you cant use skype properly while you're on a game anyway so why bother trying
  9. papermate

    papermate TS Rookie

    try Ventrilo instead of Skype
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