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Monkey Island: Appears in task manager, then immediately stops

posted by zumpiez on - last edited - Viewed by 178 users

When I start the game from Steam, the "Preparing to launch Tales of Monkey Island..." window appears for a moment, then closes and that's it. Task manager shows MonkeyIsland104.exe starting and then almost immediately stopping.

I've verified the game cache, redownloaded it, etc, and I don't think I've changed a damn thing on my system since ch.3. Any ideas?

(I've re-downloaded previous episodes that I've successfully played through and those no longer work either. What in Odin's beard have I done?)

10 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Definitely something on your system has changed. Safest bet: update DirectX, update graphics drivers, and then failing that, try a clean boot of your system:

    To Boot Clean in Windows XP

    1. Click Start --> Run --> Type MSCONFIG --> Click OK
    2. On the General tab, choose Selective Startup
    3. Uncheck Process SYSTEM.INI file
    4. Uncheck Process WIN.INI file
    5. Uncheck Load Startup Items
    6. Click on the Services tab
    7. At the bottom, check Hide All Microsoft Services
    8. Uncheck all boxes in the window or click the button labeled Disable All
    6. Click OK
    7. Click Restart
    8. After reboot, run game to see if it works.

    After performing the necessary steps, restore your system by doing the following:

    1. Click Start --> Run --> Type MSCONFIG--> Click OK
    2. On the General tab, choose Normal Startup
    3. Click OK
    4. Click YES, when asked to restart your computer

  • There's a firmware issue with my video card that basically prevents me from using any nvidia driver beyond this one under Vista or 7. I hashed it out with my card's manufacturer and their ultimate response was basically "That sucks, here's a workaround, we're not going to actually fix it because it's an old card". Which is fine, but updating my drivers are unfortunately not an option :(

    I ran the DX installer and it says I have the newest everything. I also tried running the game under a clean boot and I'm having the same results. (I took a look at http://www.telltalegames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9771 and it looks like some people were having issues with tablet input devices, but alas I have no such thing)

    I captured a Procmon PML file in case this is useful to you guys. I also slapped a dxdiag in there for fun.

    http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/4176/MonkeyIsland104_zumpiez.pml.zip

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    DjNDB Moderator

    Those are often really hard to track down, as you can see in the other thread.
    @zumpiez said: There's a firmware issue with my video card that basically prevents me from using any nvidia driver beyond this one under Vista or 7.


    I never tried that, but it might be possible to bypass that, by adding your
    PCI ID: VEN_10DE&DEV_0291&SUBSYS_22111682&REV_A1
    to the .inf file. Since the official driver supports the Hardware it can't be much worse than still just not allow you to install it.

    Before that you could try some simpler things, such as unplugging you USB sound device (any any others that are not essential).

    You should also try the latest Realtek HDA Driver.

    By the way, what is special about your Graphics card (Model/Manufacturer)?

  • It's an XFX 7900gt. Essentially there's a problem with the default memory timing specified in the firmware, which can cause the display to become unreadably hosed at any time when the display mode changes (including switching into a full-screen game), which can be fixed by using ntune to bump the memory clock up by 5 mhz. I had to go through like six rounds with XFX support to prove to them that everything was fine software-wise and they finally successfully tried to reproduce the problem in their testing lab ;)

    Updating the driver to the current one, however, causes the screen to become unreadably hosed immediately upon log-in, preventing even fiddling with ntune. I have to drop back to the last restore point to make the display usable again. It's pretty irritating.

    Fortunately the driver I've been using has proved pretty solid and I haven't had any performance issues that couldn't be explained away by "it's a 7900GT, what do you expect"

    I will try unplugging this and that to make sure everything's groovy. I also just saw in the other thread that someone solved the problem by uninstalling Lua, which *is* in fact something that I installed between chapters 3 and 4. When I get home tonight I'll see if there's anything to that.

  • Alas, uninstalling Lua didn't fix it either :(

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    DjNDB Moderator

    When did the games work the last time?

    You should take a look into the "application" part of windows "event viewer" after trying to start a game. Set a filter for "application errors" there to make it easier to find earlier attempts.
    If you find anything related to the game you can copy the details by right clicking on the entry.

    You could also look at all restore points between then and now, maybe you'll find something. You can do that in the event viewer as well by filtering for "System Restore"

  • @zumpiez said: It's an XFX 7900gt. Essentially there's a problem with the default memory timing specified in the firmware, which can cause the display to become unreadably hosed at any time when the display mode changes (including switching into a full-screen game), which can be fixed by using ntune to bump the memory clock up by 5 mhz. I had to go through like six rounds with XFX support to prove to them that everything was fine software-wise and they finally successfully tried to reproduce the problem in their testing lab ;)


    How about tweaking your BIOS yourself instead of waiting forever on XFX to do it?

  • I fixed it. Here are my fix-it steps!

    1) Unplug my iPod.
    2) Start Monkey Island successfully.
    3) Plug iPod back in.
    4) Monkey Island still works.

    I feel like I have entered some kind of bizarro universe.

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    DjNDB Moderator

    @zumpiez said: I feel like I have entered some kind of bizarro universe.


    I know that feeling. Didn't it work the first time i told you to unplug everything non essential?

  • @DjNDB said: I know that feeling. Didn't it work the first time i told you to unplug everything non essential?

    It did, in fact! This was my first chance to actually unplug everything non essential and fire the game up. I was remoting home from work and flipping through my restore points to see if anything important had changed and the itunes patch caught my eye and when I got home the iPod was the first thing I tried.

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

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