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Thread: How To Run System Shock 2 on Windows Vista

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Victoria, Australia

    How To Run System Shock 2 on Windows Vista

    Test System - Dell Inspiron 9300 Full Kit
    Specs:
    OS: Windows Vista Ultimate RC1
    CPU: P-M 2.0GHz Speed-Step Disabled by Vista
    Video: GeForce6800 Go 256MB
    DirectX Version: DirectX 10
    RAM: 2GB DDR533
    Display: 1920x1200

    !- INSTALLING THE GAME -!
    Inserted the SS2 CD and Vista asked if I wanted to use the Panel, or browse the disk. Launched the Panel, and the "Install" button did nothing. Browsed the disk and ran setup.exe without -lgntforce. Installer worked perfectly and installed the full game to d:\games\Sshock2 (unpatched version installed)
    Tried to run the game, got the "Known compatibility error", clicked "Play Anyway" and it failed to find the CD. Said "Please Insert Key CD".

    Patched game to latest version, no help.

    Game did not require a No-CD crack before I installed Vista. And infact, before I formally installed SS2 (I dumped a pre-installed NON-CRACKED copy of the updated, rebirthed, and SHTUPed copy of the game onto my Vista machine and ran it) the game launched perfectly and found the key CD and ran.

    Models in Rebirth flickered a little bit, could be video drivers, im asking nVidia where to get GeForce 6 Go drivers for vista at the moment.

    I uninstalled my formal install of SS2, and tried to run my dumped version, and it still failed to find the Key CD.

    Tried to re-install. Panel actually crashed this time. Tried setup.exe and Explorer crashed.

    Rebooted, Dumped copy of SS2 launched and detected the Key-CD. Played fine except some flickering in rebirth models.

    Tried setup.exe from original disk again. Complained "Can not create uninstall.log" but installation continued. I canceled it prematurely and deleted d:\games\Sshock2 so it wouldnt fail to make the uninstall.log
    Tried setup.exe again and it did nothing. After about 5 mins, it popped up and closed again.

    Rebooted PC and ran setup.exe again. Didn't complain about "Unable to create uninstall log" this time. Installed all the way. Started the game, screen went blank and began to initialize, then the program halted and crashed. I ran my Dumped informally installed and atched copy, worked perfectly. Quit game and ran Multiplayer Patch on the formally installed copy, and it runs perfectly.

    System Shock 2 intgrates itself into the Vista "Games" menu seemingly with no problems.

    !- PLAYING THE GAME -!
    Running a formally installed and multiplayer patched version of the game. Launched game and no videos play. Mouse cursor stuck in the top left area of main menu. This used to happen to me in XP when i pressed ESC during gameplay, but never on the main menu before now. ALT+TAB then ALT+SHIFT+TAB fixed it without having to quit. Played game upto medsci and worked fine, ran VERY smooth. Quit the game and installed IV5PLAY.EXE off the SS2 CD, it completed, then Vista said "The program didn't install correctly" I selected "Reinstall using recommended settings." Recieved "IV5PLAY.EXE Unexpected Error" then nothing else. Entered System Shock 2, no cutscenes. Tried playing cutscenes manually in Windows Media Player 11, caused WMP to crash.
    Giving up on cutscenes for now.

    Other than cutscenes, game appears working perfectly.

    !- Rebirth Com. and SHTUP -!
    Extracting SHTUP using Vista native Zip support took about 3 mins, very long time compared to XP. Rebirth Com. took about 20 seconds, still quite a slow extraction.
    Game still works perfectly and SHTUP and Rebith implemented without and problems.

    !- SUMMARY -!
    Game loads HEAPS faster, despite the original troubles with safedisk key-cd finding, the game no longer requires safedisk varification mid-game. In XP, it re-verifies every time a .crf file is accessed, or a level is loaded. This does not happen in Vista. This is a good thing because it eliminates the need for a No-CD crack in my experience. The less need for cracks, the better.

    Please post your experiences with SS2 and Vista here.
    Last edited by Ninjit_Turak; 17th Sep 2006 at 03:09.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron
    Installed via "Install" button on panel, applied patch, played game. Worked fine, mods (Rebirth, SHTUP) all worked fine too. Same for the Thief games as well.

    Specs:
    OS: Windows Vista Ultimate RC1
    CPU: Athlon X2 3800
    Video: GeForce 7800GT
    DirectX Version: DirectX 10
    RAM: 2GB DDR400
    Display: 2560x1024

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Victoria, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Installed via "Install" button on panel, applied patch, played game. Worked fine, mods (Rebirth, SHTUP) all worked fine too. Same for the Thief games as well.

    Specs:
    OS: Windows Vista Ultimate RC1
    CPU: Athlon X2 3800
    Video: GeForce 7800GT
    DirectX Version: DirectX 10
    RAM: 2GB DDR400
    Display: 2560x1024
    That's great, looks like so far we might have a better experience with Vista compared to XP.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    If SS2 works on Vista, then my fears of compability problems with older games are not nearly as big.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: In His hands
    Hey, this actually sounds promising! It seems that everyone has different experiences, though, which is no different than what went on with SS2 and XP.
    I'm still wondering about SS1, though.....

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Thats what dosbox is for

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: In His hands
    But does DosBox work in Vista?

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2006
    Vista is OK with games of the SS2 ilk as they do not require a very high version of directx.

    The problem games so far seem to be the latest games, Prey took ages to install (I had to first get round the installer not liking the windows version).

    Then you get a bug when you try and load it, it tries to copy the game engine DLL from a pack file. It won't work due to the annoying change in admin rights (you have admin rights but not administrator rights...strange huh...). Manually coping the file to the right place fixes this.

    Then you get an error sayng that the graphics card does not support the modes required. You then download the latest drivers for the graphics card

    It then works.

    Well if you call having the entire screen filled with visible mesh lines and missing triangles...

    So far not impressed with Vistas compatability!

    BTW didn't I already post this about SS2, I'll have to search for my old "Shocking Vistas" thread.

    here it is after I got the first beta clickie
    Last edited by cosmicnut; 18th Sep 2006 at 07:00. Reason: Found my old thread

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    Wait, you are telling me that Vista runs SS2 better than Prey?
    That is truly hilarious!

  10. #10
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Well I wasn't as lucky as you guys were. I installed the game the normal way on my Vista Home Premium machine, and patched it with shkpatch.exe to v2.03. At first, I was getting a memory error on startup (System Shock needs 35M to run, you only have 29M). Restarted pc, game starts up just fine, I can change options and start game, but locks up as soon as I exit the tram heading toward the gravshafts. Sound looping upon lockup. I tried a variety of resolutions and sound options, but same thing. Also tried running the game in all compatibility modes and as an administrator. I am no expert with computers but I had no trouble getting SS2 running on my older XP machine so I was pretty disappointed about this. Any ideas?

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    That sounds like the dualcore issue. Did you try disable CPU1 in the affinity settings of the shock2.exe task?

    Assuming you have such processor of course.

  12. #12
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2005
    Yes I do have a core 2 duo E6700. I wasn't aware that such a setting existed. I assume this just tells the app to run in single processor mode?
    Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a shot tonight after work.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: England
    The multi CPU fix works on my E6600 Bura - id be mighty surprised if it didnt work on yours...

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    I'd be surprised if the game would not freeze while SS2 runs in dual-CPU mode.
    And I'm also surprised why you didn't try this earlier. This is explained in the very first post of the stickied FAQ thread at the top of this forum.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Edited Post:
    Note: My version comes pre-installed with the multiplayer patch.
    Note2: I needed to add safe_texture_manager to get into the game.
    Note3: I use a non-english program called D3DWindower to force some games into a windowed mode.

    shock2 without using the windower program I have:
    Cutscenes were completely skipped.

    shock2 using the windower program I have:
    Still using fullscreen mode (since windowed mode doesn't seem to work when the game has to verify the CD); I have cutscenes working beautifully.

    Only problem is the one I have with resolution switches slowing down the game for a few seconds when it first opens a screen.
    This problem is due to the nvidia drivers I have installed. Can avoid this by playing the game in 640x480 resolution for now.

    shock2 without safedisc protection and without the windower program:
    It seemingly echoes audio.
    It also completely skips cutscenes.

    shock2 without safedisc protection and with the windower program:
    It actually works in windowed mode.
    The cutscenes only play audio, they don't show the video.
    While using it, if I don't actually have the windowed options on, and the game works in fullscreen mode, cutscenes work fine again.
    Last edited by Talikar; 13th Jun 2007 at 04:46.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Quote Originally Posted by Talikar View Post
    Note3: I use a non-english program called D3DWindower to force some games into a windowed mode.
    This came up before, in a thread about getting Thief to run in a window:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice
    English version (roughly translated using Res Hacker).

    Seems you need to set 'DDraw Emulate' in the 'Windowed Mode' tab in the settings or the game will end up oddly stretched.
    It also seems that you need to quit the program after adding a game, before you can run that game.

  17. #17
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2007
    i have it running on Vista 64 with the following specs:-

    x2 4200+ @ 2.65ghz
    asrock nf6g-vsta nforce4
    7800gt 256mb
    2 gb crucial

    i didnt install it - i had it on a separate partition. i had to use safe_texture_manager. i also had to use the xp/2000 .exe replacement AND patch this with imagecfg to fix the dual core issue. game runs perfectly and without any problems.

    cutscenes do not display. i downloaded the latest Indeo codecs and installed and I can now watch the cutscenes in windows media player but they do not work in game. no big loss really, as long as the actual game works!

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    Has anyone ever managed to get the videos working in-game when running Vista?

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: LTSI
    I guess everyone who runs the HOTU version has.

  20. #20
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2007
    what is the HOTU version?

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: LTSI
    A ripped version of SS2 that's available from a well known site for classic games which is not to be named here, as SS2 is not abandonware (see sticky at the top of the forum). That version has the videos re-encoded with divx which is actually easy to do yourself. But maybe I should re-encode them* and put up a torrent on SBF. I'll see about that.

    *Re-encode them with a windows default codec like mpeg-4 that is. Because I don't want another wave of n00bs who can't get their vids to work.

    EDIT: I just had a look at the HOTU videos. They look terrible to be honest. I understand they wanted to reduce the filesize as much as possible. But I will go for better quality (while still reducing file size).
    Last edited by Kolya; 17th Jun 2007 at 18:27.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    Location: Vantaa, Finland
    Well, my copy of SS2 installs fine, loads fine but as soon as I enter the training level and walk around for a while, it freezes

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Sounds like you didn't apply the Dual Core / Hyperthreading fix.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    Location: Vantaa, Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    Sounds like you didn't apply the Dual Core / Hyperthreading fix.
    I'll try that and see if it works.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Stir Crazy
    Is not that I like vista very much, but Thief I, Thief II and System Shock 2 all work with affinity.exe and patched without the need for a modified exe.
    However as a safeguard I did not tried system shock 2 without the safe texture manager line. And they all work in hardware mode.

    The only real drama is the fact that you have multiple screen flashes when saving, loading or using the maps or objectives (in thief) unless you use 640 x 480 of video resolution, all three games do this. And this stresses my monitor and myself as well.

    [edit]
    And of course no videos, old codec and all, installed the codec but no dice, so I will have to re-encode them to something more recent.
    Last edited by Martin Karne; 19th Jun 2007 at 14:18.

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