setup-windowsxp-buildgames Version 6-06-2014 Release 3 © RTCM Corvin
/!\ Windows NT, 2000, XP users, void this document and use the new DOS Emulator; DOSBox
This Document assumes that you have had your Build Game running on your current system (same hardware) with either Windows95,98 or ME at some point in time. Basically this will indicate that your hardware is compatible with your game. If you have not used the hardware in older windows, just continue on.
The following information is written in away to help you understand debugging procedures as well as providing setup support.
This document will also benefit anyone trying to get a DOS version of BUILD and any variation of the tool to work in XP. Although the variations don't always work to well. EDITART or and variation of said program can also benefit from this document. Under most conditions EDITART has seemed to run at 100% without additional configuration, double clicking in Windows Explorer.
ALL Downloads for this page are located in the download section under "general-tools-dosxp"
1 - Install your game as you normally would.(See RTCMs related document)
2 - Make the following folder. C:\bldgames
3 - Now cut and paste all your BUILD games into the C:\bldgames folder. (EX: C:\bldgames\DUKE3D or C:\bldgames\BLOOD )
4 - Make another folder within the C:\bldgames folder and call it C:\bldgames\blddos
5 - Copy the WindowsNT versions of AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. These are located in the C:\WinNT\System32\ Folder. They are named AUTOEXEC.NT and CONFIG.NT. Copy these two files to the C:\bldgames\blddos folder.
6 - Goto your games folder and Right-click the its executable, select Properties and click on the Program tab. Now click on the Advanced button and type in the directory paths as you see them on the next line. Just replace whatever is there. C:\bldgames\blddos\AUTOEXEC.NT and C:\bldgames\blddos\CONFIG.NT
7 - Now setup your MS-DOS shortcut with the following instructions... Please note: If you prefer not to setup your MS-DOS shortcut manually, you can download them from RTCM and skip the entire step 7.
Configure your WindowsNT Shortcut - Cures stability of game response and speed.
Using a MS-DOS Shortcut provides the best environment for the game while it runs inside Windows. But there's a performance cost: other Window applications will run slowly. But in most cases you will not want to run a BUILD game and window applications at the same time. The most obvious time you would run any other applications is when you play Online and you may be using special connection software.
A Shortcut simply provides a link to a program you can customize. Normally, when you launch a DOS program, WindowsNT makes its best guess at running it. WindowsNT wasn't designed to run all DOS applications this way. With a Shortcut, you can manually help WindowsNT run the WinDos Box much better.
Tab : Font
Tab : Memory
You'll see 4 memory sections. Usually, the "Auto" setting works fine for each but consider selecting the largest amount available on your machine.
Tab : Screen
Tab : Misc.
8 - Now make an identical Shortcut for SETUP.EXE re-using the instructions above.
2 - Now save settings and launch Duke from within setup.exe
3 - The game should load and run correctly with no sound. Play the game for awhile (at least 10mins) and if the game remains stable, quite and exit out of the game.
4 - Now RE-Configure the games Setup Options (from setup.exe)
5 - Now save settings and launch Duke from within setup.exe and Repeat step 3 above.
6 - If the game didn't run or drops out you may have a Vesa related problem. Ensure that your video card drivers contain the VESA 2.0/3.0 support. You may have to contact your video card company to request that full VESA 2.0 or 3.0 is added back in. You can also use older Video Drivers to obtain VESA support. If your uncertain at this point and you want to continue with this guide, move on to the following step. (If the game ran fine at 640x480 skip Step 7 and 8)
7 - We will now attempt to get VESA working (assuming your drivers support VESA). You will need Ken Silverman's (nolfb.zip) patch workaround. This will fool your BUILD Game into thinking that VESA 2.0 is not available and forces the game to drop back to VESA 1.2 standards. Doing so disables the linear framebuffer mode, this will drop the FPS in the game. To install Ken's workaround, just unzip it and place the NOLFB.COM file in C:\bldgames\blddos\ folder. Now goto the AUTOEXEC.NT file you copied earlier and add this line after the dosx line. C:\bldgames\blddos\NOLFB.COM
8 - Repeat step 1 above, then move on to step 2, 3 , etc
9 - You should now have Duke Running at High-Res and with Stable performance. If not then re-read the above steps and insure you have done each correctly.
Higher Resolutions like 800 x 600: If you receive the error "Frequency out of
Range" from your monitor or it shutsdown to sleep mode or if the game drops out. You
can try the following workaround. It patch's the vga.sys file of Windows XP (upto
SP2 Only, no patch for SP3) to allow higher
resolutions by unlocking the I/O ports to your Video Cards BIOS.
1 - Now RE-Configure the games Setup Options (from setup.exe)
2 - You'll need to download the VGAFIX program.(winxpfix.exe)
3 - Run it and follow the instructions provided for installation.
4 - Restart your system
5 - Run your game
6 - You should now be running your game at 800x600 with questionable performance. If your not running at the quality you prefer, re run winxpfix.exe to uninstall the patch and restart your system. Then stick with 640x480.
Setting up Standard Sound in Windows XP is much easier than say in Windows 95/98/ME. The reason being is that XP uses the old Sound Blaster Standard regardless of your Sound Card hardware or settings.
For information in configuring sound for Windows XP, see the RTCM document "setup-windowsxp-sound"
If you want graphics above the VGA-modes (EX: SVGA), your Video Card needs to have VBE (VESA BIOS Extension) built in. It's a graphics standard that is used by BUILD games that are written for the MS-DOS operating system. It allows MS-DOS BUILD games to support screen resolutions and color depths beyond those supported by the VGA standard. Unfortunately some cards only support a limited subset of VESA modes. Since VBE is normally implemented in the Video BIOS, no driver support is normally used under WinXP by the Video Card Manufacturer. However you can gain full VESA support if you have a cards specific VESA driver which most Video Cards do not have in XP. That's where the problem is with XP. Video Card Manufactures moved all VESA support to the BIOS rather than have a custom driver and let XP control those mode via it's faulty VGA.SYS...
Write to your Video Card Maker and tell them you need VESA 2.0 and/or 3.0 supported in there Windows XP Drivers. Tell them the exact Build Games you want to run. Give them as much detail as you can. In there eyes they are seeing VESA(2D) phasing out so why support it on modern systems.
If your Video card supports at least full VBE version; 2.0 (even 3.0), then linear framebuffer modes should be supported. This allows the use of full color and resolution for your protected mode DOS BUILD games and tools. In fact Windows XP will use VBE modes for display until your Graphics Driver is installed.
For running fullscreen DOS applications in VESA graphics modes. VGA.SYS controls it and in most cases it traps i/o ports and prevents VESA-based programs to run correctly. The VGA fix tool fixes a problem in the VGA.SYS driver supplied with Windows 2000/XP, that sends the monitors to sleep with several video cards while running DOS Games. It only supports up to WinXP Service Pack 2 and Windows 2003 Server SP1.