Troubleshooting FAQ

This troubleshooting FAQ is derived from the readme file (March 2003 Version) that is located on the RON CD.

Table of Contents

System Requirements

Rise of Nations requires a personal computer running either Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98, or Windows Millennium Edition. It is also required that your computer have a processor speed of 500 megahertz (MHz) or higher, at least 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM, and a 16 MB video card.

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Known Issues

Anti-virus software: Having anti-virus software enabled while playing Rise of Nations can significantly degrade game load times and performance.

Opening movie playback is slow under Windows 98 Gold: When playing Rise of Nations on a computer running the Windows 98 Gold operating system, the first time the opening movie runs, it may be slow. Subsequent playbacks of the opening movie will not suffer from any degraded performance.

Opening movie may skip under Windows ME: When playing Rise of Nations on a computer running the Windows ME operating system, the opening movie may play slowly or skip. To resolve this issue it is recommended that users download and install Window Media Player 9 from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/.

Rise of Nations runs too slowly: You can increase the performance Rise of Nations by lowering the game’s graphic settings. To change the settings, select Options & Profiles from the Main Menu, click the Graphics Tab, and select the Low checkboxes next to individual graphic settings.

Limited Users overwrite profile files: Playing as a Windows-limited user (someone that does not have permission to write to the hard drive), does not prevent that user from saving to other user's profile folders and overwriting their files.

Game crashes cause subsequent games to lag: If a Rise of Nation game crashes or is terminated through the Task Manager, games played after this will slow down. To resolve this issue the user should reboot their computer if a Rise of Nations game crashes before playing another game.

Hardware color cursor support and game resolution: If running Rise of Nations on systems without hardware color cursor support, you cannot change the bit-depth from the Graphics options panel within the game. To change the bit depth between 16- or 32-bit, exit the game and select Start, Settings, and Control Panel. Double click on the Display icon and the click the Settings tab. Select either 32- or 16 bit color quality.

Replay of saved games may not function: If a Rise of Nations game is saved in the middle of a battle, and the player quits and subsequently tries to view a replay of that game, the replay function may not work. To avoid this issue, do not save games to be played back when battles are occurring. There is a recorded game repair facility to allow games with dropped players to be replayed.

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DirectX Troubleshooting

Microsoft DirectX version 9.0 or later must be installed on your computer before you can play Rise of Nations. Rise of Nations Setup should install the correct version of DirectX on your computer.

If Setup does not detect DirectX properly, you can install DirectX manually by running Dxsetup.exe in the directx folder on the Rise of Nations CD.

If you experience sound or video problems using DirectX, go to http://support.microsoft.com/support/directx/ for the latest troubleshooting information.

You should also check with your video or sound card manufacturer for the latest DirectX-compatible drivers.

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Video Board Troubleshooting

Check with your video board manufacturer for the latest DirectX-compatible drivers. See Video Board Manufacturers for more information on video board manufacturers.

Some video drivers may cause the pointer to flicker: To solve this problem, right-click the Rise of Nations shortcut and click Properties or select Rise of Nations from the Start menu, right-click, and select Properties. In the Target box type -nohwcursor at the end of the existing text (e.g. \rise.exe” -nohwcursor). Click Apply and OK.

Creating a Merchant causes the game to crash: This problem may occur on the Diamond Viper V550 and Intel 845 chipsets. To resolve this problem, update to the latest drivers for your video board.

ATI Rage 128: When using video boards based on this chipset, buildings will be displayed with solid white textures. To resolve this problem, download and install the latest drivers from the manufacturer.

NVIDIA GeForce: When using some GeForce drivers, you may experience significantly decreased game performance the first time the game is started after the computer has been restarted. If this occurs, exit the game by pressing ALT+F4, and then restart the game. After restarting once, the game should perform as usual until the next time the computer is restarted.

NVIDIA (GeForce 3, 4): When using these video boards, nuclear explosions may have a muted, grayish effect and boat reflections will not be present. To resolve this issue download and install the 43.45 version driver from http://www.nvidia.com.

Intel 740, 810, and 815 Chipsets: Attempting to launch Rise of Nations on these chipsets results in a black screen followed by a crash to the desktop. There is no known solution.

SiS 315: Shore effects may appear blocky on game map. To resolve this problem, download and install the latest drivers for your specific video board.

ST KYRO: When using video boards based on this chipset, the graphics may be so corrupted that the game is unplayable. To resolve this problem, download and install the latest drivers from the manufacturer.

Specific 3-D graphics accelerator issues

It is usually a good practice (unless otherwise noted below) to always install the latest certified drivers for all your hardware.

  • 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000: Rise of Nations will not run on computers using this video board, regardless of operating system. After the program is run, the screen will briefly flash black before returning to the desktop. There is no known solution.
  • 3dfx Voodoo 5 (AGP Series): Various graphical anomalies occur on water portions of a Rise of Nations map when using this video card on a Windows 98SE operating system. There is no known solution.
  • 3dfx Voodoo 5 (AGP Series): Rise of Nations is unplayable when running the game in 32-bit mode on a Windows 98SE operating system due to missing text, buttons, and other graphic corruptions. To resolve this issue run Rise of Nations in 16-bit mode. To change from 32- to 16-bit mode select Options & Profiles on the Main Menu, select the Graphics tab, and then set the resolution to one of the 16-bit resolutions.
  • ASUS v-3800 Ultra: Rise of Nations may not run on computers using this video board. To resolve this problem, download and install the latest drivers from http://www.asus.com.
  • Creative Annihilator Pro: The pointer flickers and may cause minor corruption to the game graphics. To resolve this problem, update to the latest drivers from the chipset manufacturer.
  • Diamond Monster Fusion: Rise of Nations will not run on computers using this video board, regardless of operating system. After the program is run, the screen will briefly flash black before returning to the desktop. There is no known solution.
  • Guillemot Maxi Gamer Cougar: Attempting to launch Rise of Nations on a system using this video card may result in a graphical initialization error. To resolve this problem, please update to the latest driver from the chipset manufacturer at http://www.nvidia.com.
  • Hercules 3D prophet 4500 (PowerVR Kyro 11): When the Rise of Nations is run with this video card at 32-bit resolution on a computer with a Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating system, the mouse cursor will flicker during the game. To resolve this issue run Rise of Nations in 16-bit mode. To change from 32- to 16-bit mode select Options & Profiles on the Main Menu, select the Graphics tab, and then choose one of the 16-bit resolutions.
  • LeadTek GeForce3 Ti 200: A nuclear explosion may appear as only as a white circle. To resolve this problem, download and install the latest drivers from http://www.leadtek.com.
  • Matrox Millennium G-400: Buildings may appear covered with solid white patches instead of color graphics, and some button text may not appear. To resolve this problem, download and install the latest drivers from http://www.matrox.com.
  • Matrox Millennium G-550: When the Rise of Nations is run with this video card at 32-bit resolution, the mouse cursor will flash during the game. To resolve this problem, update to the latest drivers from http://www.matrox.com.
  • nVidia GeForce2 MX 200: When using this video board with the retail drivers on a computer running the Windows XP operating system, the pointer may become sluggish and/or jump around the screen. To resolve this problem, download to the latest nVidia drivers from http://www.nvidia.com.
  • nVidia GeForce2 MX 200: When using this video board with the retail drivers on a computer running the Windows XP operating system, water textures may not blend smoothly. To resolve this problem, update to the latest nVidia drivers from http://www.nvidia.com.
  • nVidia GeForce 256: When using this video card and playing Rise of Nations in 32-bit mode, the cursor may flash. To resolve this issue run Rise of Nations in 16-bit mode. To change from 32- to 16-bit mode select Options & Profiles on the Main Menu, select the Graphics tab, and then choose one of the 16-bit resolutions.
  • Radeon 7500: Ground colors may appear smeared or stretched, or the ground may appear black when using a computer with this video board. To resolve this problem, download and install the latest drivers from http://www.ati.com.
  • Radeon 9700: The pointer may not be visible when using this video board. To resolve this issue download and install the latest drivers from http://www.ati.com.
  • Radeon 9700: When using this video board and running Rise of Nations on a computer running Windows ME and Windows XP, graphical corruption may occur in the game after a period of time. To resolve this problem, download and install the latest drivers from http://www.ati.com.
  • Radeon 9700: When using this video board with the 9062 version driver on a computer running Windows ME or Windows 98, Rise of Nations will not start. To resolve this problem, download and install the latest drivers from http://www.ati.com.
  • STB Velocity 4400: When using this video card with the retail drivers on a computer running the Windows ME operating system, graphical anomalies may occur with the in-game tree shadows. To resolve this problem, update to the latest nVidia drivers (version 4109 or better) from http://www.nvidia.com.

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Copyright Protection / CD-Rom Drive Troubleshooting

Rise of Nations uses SafeDisc encryption technology. Some CD-ROM drives may not be compatible with this technology, as follows:

  • Acer CD-624a: If you experience problems with this drive when using real-mode drivers, install protected-mode drivers.
  • Cybermedia 204: You may experience problems with this drive. There are no known solutions.
  • Liteon 4265: You may experience problems with this drive. There are no known solutions.
  • Memorex CD-RW2224: You may experience problems with this drive. There are no known solutions.
  • Sanyo CRD-256P: If you experience problems with this drive, do not attempt to run Rise of Nations more than once before restarting your computer. Also, try ejecting and reinserting the CD-ROM.
  • Sony CDU77E 2X: If you experience problems with this drive, make sure it is configured as a master, and then run the game again.
  • Yamaha 2216E, 4416SX and CDR6416S: If you experience problems with these drives, contact Yamaha for a firmware upgrade. [http://www.yamahamultimedia.com/]

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Audio Troubleshooting

Check with your sound board manufacturer for the latest DirectX-compatible drivers.

Following are the known audio issues and workarounds:

  • Audio stops playing: If some parts of the in-game audio (including combat sounds) stop playing after the game has been running for a while, add the -sw3Dsound command-line option to the Rise of Nations shortcut. To do so, left-click the shortcut and click Properties, and then in the Target box type -sw3Dsound at the end of the existing text. Click Apply and OK.
  • Audigy 2: Using an Audigy 2 sound board may interfere with SafeDisc, the encryption technology used to protect Rise of Nations. To resolve this issue, disable the Audigy 2 splash screen. Also, if you play a DVD, you must restart your computer before running Rise of Nations.
  • Aureal Vortex: Rise of Nations audio may not function with Aureal sound cards. To resolve this issue, turn off the hardware acceleration. From the Start menu, point to Settings, and then choose Control Panel. Double click Sounds and Audio Devices and select the Audio tab. Click the Advanced button in the Sound Playback section and then click the Performance tab. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to None and click Apply.
  • SoundBlaster Live!: Using this sound card when running Rise of Nations on a Windows XP operating system may degrade game performance. To resolve this issue, turn off the hardware acceleration for this sound card. From the Start menu, point to Settings, and then choose Control Panel. Double click Sounds and Audio Devices and select the Audio tab. Click the Advanced button in the Sound Playback section and then click the Performance tab. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to None and click Apply.
  • SoundBlaster Live! Wave: Sound will only come from one speaker when using the 5.1.2535.0 driver. To resolve this issue download and install the latest drivers from http://www.soundblaster.com.
  • Onboard sound: Some audio hardware included on motherboards is not currently supported.
  • DirectX: If you experience audio problems using DirectX, connect to the DirectX Web site for the latest troubleshooting information, as explained in the “DirectX Troubleshooting” section preceding.

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Multiplayer Troubleshooting

Recommend memory for multiplayer games of 5 or more players: It is recommended for multiplayer games with five or more players that each player has more than 256 MB of RAM installed on their computer to prevent latency problems.

Systems with more than one IP address currently are unable to host multiplayer games: In order to host a game, one IP address must be removed so the system only has one valid IP address.

Using Cannon Time causes errors in playback of recorded game: If a player uses Cannon Time, the replay of that game will be out of synch.

XP ICS Server Clients: Clients of XP ICS Server cannot join internally Hosted game either using LAN browser or Direct IP without upgrading ICS Server to Service Pack 1 (SP-1).

Cannot use GameSpy or Direct IP to connect to games hosted on Windows 98SE ICS server: If the host of a multiplayer game is running Windows 98SE ICS server, players attempting to join via GameSpy or Direct IP will not be able to connect, or if they do connect, they will be unable to select any game variables in the staging area or see anyone else in the game.

Changing video resolution during GameSpy-hosted games causes graphical glitch: Once a game is launched via GameSpy, if a player changes their game resolution and returns to the game, the cost to build villagers will appear with a “*1” prefix. For example, “25 gold” will become “*125 gold”. This is only a graphical anomaly and does not change the cost of villagers.

On GameSpy Arcade-hosted games public IP address passed when client/host behind same NAT, ICS server, or firewall: For games played via GameSpy Arcade, the public IP address appears even though both client and host are behind the same ICS server, firewall, or Network Address Translation (NAT).

GameSpy Arcade does not work with Network Address Translations (NATs) and internal ICS clients cannot see hosted games on Windows XP SP1 systems in GameSpy Arcade: It is recommended that players instead use the GameSpy interface inside the Rise of Nations game shell if they wish to play via GameSpy.

Hosted games may appear as “No Name” in Gamespy when client/host behind same NAT or firewall: When in Gamespy browsing the list of games to join, some may appear as “No Name” if the host is behind the same firewall or Network Address Translation (NAT).

Routers without Universal Plug and Play (uPnP) prevents multiplayer game connection: Users will experience this connection problem if their NAT/ICS does not have uPnP support. Users should make sure if they have uPnP support that they consult their manual to make certain it is enabled.

Players cannot browse for games over a Virtual Private Network: Players wishing to join a game over a Virtual Private Network (VPN) may not be able to see hosted games on the VPN. Players wishing to join must get the IP address from the host, click Join IP, and enter the IP address.

No link to GameSpy rankings website: Although Rise of Nations supports a ranking website hosted by GameSpy, there is currently no link to that website. Watch for further information on the Rise of Nation's website.

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Video Board Manufacturers

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Technical Support Resources

You can find more information about Rise of Nations on the Rise of Nations website (http://www.microsoft.com/games/Rise of Nations/). You can find information on Microsoft Product Support Services in the manual that came with your game.

Note: If Rise of Nations came installed on your computer as an OEM version, contact the manufacturer of the computer or other hardware it was bundled with for product support. Refer to the documentation that came with your computer or hardware for the product support telephone number.

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