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Old 12-27-2011, 10:20 AM   #1
rleescott
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fish tails

I have MA 3.2 installed on a p4 dell laptop with vista business 32bit. I have 356m available ram by dxdiag. Mobile intel 965 chipset family.The fish have blurry tails or trails behind them as they move.I installed the lastest video driver dell has for my os, which is from 2007.
Here is the interesting thing. I have 2 extra hard drives for this laptop, one with xp and one with win7. MA3 works well with win7 in this laptop. It appears to work well with xp, but after a few hours, then screen shows only the bottom 1/4 image and after escape, a blue screen says driver loop necessitating a dump. This video driver also has been upgraded from dell web site.
Can the trails be explained and corrected with vista?
Can the driver loop be explained and corrected to use with xp. I have this MA3 on a different xp computer desktop without problem.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:35 AM   #2
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Wow, that's a lot to diagnose. Leaving trails means that the background is not being refreshed, which is usually caused by not having enough video RAM to hold a copy of the background. Bad drivers have also been known to cause this. (The latest drivers are not always the best.)

It's also possible that there's a physical problem with the computer (video chip failing, bad memory byte, etc.)

One thing you could try would be to reduce the screen resolution for the Aquarium. If you ordinarily use 1280x960, try 800x600. This would free up a bunch of video RAM. If the fish no longer leave trails, then at least we have another clue to the puzzle.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:53 AM   #3
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Doesn't the fact that the same computer with a different hard drive installed with win7 works flawlessly eliminate all hardware problems?
I have resolution set on automatic. Doesn't it select the best setting that way, which is the setting i always use?
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:20 AM   #4
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At this point it is a matter of diagnosing the problem to start with. You need to try the settings and see the result to eliminate different possibilities.

As for the differences it sounds like you are running two different OS in different hard drives. If that is the case then you are using two different sets of drivers even if they are the same version.

One for Win 7 and one for XP, therefore you can be experiencing different results depending. Maybe one has memory leaks that the other one doesn't have and after running awhile its loading up the memory and causing problems.

Like Jim says, manually set and try a lower resolution and see what the results are and let us know...........


I hate to tell you this, but dell drivers are generally crap for stuff like this. The problem is unless Dell has changed, you can't just go get standard drivers and expect them to run. Dell manually changes issued drivers to fit their systems. It stinks exactly because of problems like this and a lack of choices from them to pick from.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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A different operating system would be using different drivers and different sections of memory, so it's still concievable that there's a hardware problem (though less likely).

As far as resolution, MA simply checks the card's list of available resolutions, and picks the highest one. Whether the card runs out of VRAM depends on a lot of things. Of course, the most important is the amount that the card starts out with. But every open window, fish, background object, etc., uses up some of it. An 800x600 screen uses 1,920,000 bytes for each buffer (2 flip buffers, and an off-screen refresh buffer). That's 5,760,000 bytes even before we add fish and background. A 1280x960 screen uses 14,745,600 bytes for the three buffers, more than twice as much as 800x600.

Give the lower resolution a try, it just takes a second and would provide important info.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:42 AM   #6
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I tried the lowest res, same result. Also, even though I am set for blue background, which works properly on win7 on this computer, it is always black in the vista os. I also uninstalled and reinstalled, no effect.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:22 PM   #7
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Press Ctl+T and see if that makes any difference.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:45 PM   #8
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I tried ctr and then the letter t, also ctr, then +, then t, just to be sure. No help.
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Old 12-27-2011, 09:07 PM   #9
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You ARE pressing CTRL and t at the same time, right?
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:53 AM   #10
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Yes, I am, I just tried the other ways also just in case. This ctrl t is the same command that opens a new window, if not in screen saver mode. It has no effect when the screen saver is on.
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:45 AM   #11
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I don't know what Ctrl-T is supposed to do. - But strictly speaking you don't press them both at the same time. That would be almost impossible!
One or other would make contact first.... The procedure is:- Whilst holding down Ctrl, you press T.

.... Don't believe me? ..... Then try Ctrl-C to 'Reset window position'.... If C makes contact first, it doesn't work!
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:59 AM   #12
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Please state what ctrl t is supposed to do to the screen saver. I can't find it in the list of commands on the web site. But as i said, it had no effect.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #13
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Some video drivers and cards have troubles processing compressed textures, which can cause the effects you are describing. Ctl+T changes this to uncompressed and can sometimes alleviate the problem.

I hate to tell you this, but I am afraid that the problem is your Dell video drivers that you are using for that operating system. You will probably need to go back to dell and try installing different video drivers if they have any available.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:45 AM   #14
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I agree with Michael.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:44 PM   #15
feldon34
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Originally posted by rleescott:
Mobile intel 965 chipset family.

This video driver also has been upgraded from dell web site.  
Therein lies the problem. Download the latest i965 video drivers from http://www.Intel.com/
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