Known video issues in Age of Empires II

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Article ID: 830651 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This article describes the known video-related issues that you may experience when you play Microsoft Age of Empires II. The article is divided into the following two sections:
  • General video issues
  • Issues that occur only on specific video hardware

MORE INFORMATION

General video issues

The following are general video-related issues that do not apply to specific video hardware.

Black screen appears when you start the game

When you start M Age of Empires II, the game may open to a black screen. To resolve this issue, start the game by using the NoStartup parameter.

For more information about the NoStartup parameter, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
242227 Age Of Empires II: Command line parameters
268471 AOE II Expansion: The Conquerors: Command line parameters

Mouse pointer is not visible

When you play Age of Empires II, the mouse pointer may not be visible or may not move smoothly. To resolve this issue, contact your video card hardware manufacturer to obtain and to install the latest version of the driver for your video card or use the following methods in the order that they appear. For information about how to contact the manufacturer of your video card, see the "References" section.

Method 1: Start the game by using the NormalMouse parameter

For more information about this parameter, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
242227 Age Of Empires II: Command line parameters
268471 AOE II Expansion: The Conquerors: Command line parameters


Method 2: Change the mouse settings

Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Mouse.
  3. On the Pointer Options tab, click to clear the Display pointer trails check box.
  4. Click to clear the Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key check box, if it is available.
  5. Click OK.
Method 3: Set hardware acceleration to turn off mouse acceleration
  1. Right-click the Microsoft Windows desktop, and then click Properties.
  2. On the Settings tab, click Advanced.
  3. On the Troubleshoot tab, set the Hardware acceleration slider one notch to the left of Full.
  4. Click Apply, and then click OK.
  5. Click OK.

Game screen scrolls up unexpectedly

When you play Age of Empires II, the map on the game screen may scroll up unexpectedly. To resolve this issue, contact your video card hardware manufacturer to obtain and install the latest version of the driver for your video card. For information about how to contact the manufacturer of your video card, see the "References" section.

Screen colors flicker

When you play Age of Empires II, the screen colors may flicker briefly when you change from one game screen to another. To resolve this issue, contact your video card hardware manufacturer to obtain and install the latest version of the driver for your video card or perform a clean boot of your computer. For information about how to contact the manufacturer of your video card, see the "References" section.

Restart the computer by using a clean boot procedure

When you start Microsoft Windows, typically there are a number of programs that start automatically and run in the background that may interfere with the game. These programs may include antivirus and system utility programs. When you perform a clean boot, you prevent these programs from starting automatically.

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.

To restart your computer by using a clean boot procedure, follow these steps if you are using Microsoft Windows XP:

Note You may experience a temporary loss of some services functionality when you follow these steps. Restoring the settings restores the functionality, but the original error message or behavior may return as a result.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type msconfig, and then click OK.
  3. On the General tab, click Selective Startup.
  4. Under Selective Startup, click to clear the following check boxes:
    • Process SYSTEM.INI File
    • Process WIN.INI File
    • Load Startup Items
  5. On the Services tab, click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box, and then click Disable All.
  6. Click OK, and then click Restart.
To view the "How to clean boot" video, click the Play button: To view the "How to return from a clean boot state" video, click the Play button:

For more information or to view steps for other operating systems, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
331796 Games: How to perform a clean boot to prevent background programs from interfering with play

Play area or objects are black or discolored

When you play Age of Empires II, the game play area or objects may be black or discolored. To resolve this issue, contact your video card hardware manufacturer to obtain and install the latest version of the driver for your video card or start the game by using the Mfill parameter. For information about how to contact the manufacturer of your video card, see the "References" section.

For more information about the "Mfill" parameter, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
242227 Age Of Empires II: Command Line Parameters
268471 AOE II Expansion: The Conquerors: Command Line Parameters

Screen is black or white after introductory movie plays

When you play Age of Empires II, the screen may turn black or white and your computer may stop responding (hang) after the introductory movie plays. To resolve this issue, contact your video card hardware manufacturer to obtain and install the latest version of the driver for your video card or replace the Wsock32.dll file on the computer. For information about how to contact the manufacturer of your video card, see the "References" section of this article. If you think that you are using an outdated version of the Wsock32.dll file, extract a new copy of the Wsock32.dll file from your original Windows installation media.

For more information about how to extract files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
129605 How to extract original compressed Windows files

Hardware-specific video issues

3Dfx Voodoo 3

When you try to play Age of Empires II with this hardware, game performance may be less than expected or the mouse point may flicker. To resolve this issue, update to the most recent drivers.

Creative Labs Graphics Blaster Exxtreme

When you play Age of Empires II with this hardware and press ALT + TAB, the computer may stop responding (hang), the mouse pointer may disappear, or the screen may become distorted. To resolve this issue, update to the most recent drivers. To do so, visit the following Web site:
http://www.soundblaster.com

Hercules Stingray 128/3D

When you play Age of Empires II with this hardware and press ALT + TAB, the computer may stop responding (hang), the mouse pointer may disappear, or the screen may become distorted. To resolve this issue, update to the most recent drivers. To do so, visit the following Web site:
http://www.hercules.com

Intergraph Intense3D 100

When your try to play Age of Empires II with this hardware, the game may stop responding (hang) during the introductory movie playback. To resolve this issue, start the game using the Nostartup parameter.

For more information about this parameter, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
242227 Age Of Empires II: Command line parameters
268471 AOE II Expansion: The Conquerors: Command line parameters

Matrox MGA Millennium

When you play Age of Empires II with this hardware and press ALT + TAB, the computer may stop responding (hang), the mouse pointer may disappear, or the screen may become distorted. To resolve this issue, update to the most recent drivers. To do so, visit the following Web site:
http://www.matrox.com

Matrox Millennium II PowerDesk

When you play Age of Empires II with this hardware and press ALT + TAB, the computer may stop responding (hang), the mouse pointer may disappear, or the screen may become distorted. To resolve this issue, update to the most recent drivers. To do so, visit the following Web site:
http://www.matrox.com
For more information about how to troubleshoot display-related issues, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
263039 Games: How to troubleshoot display issues

Nvidia GeForce

After you accept the End User License agreement (EULA) on a Microsoft Windows Millennium-based computer, you may receive the following error message on a blue screen:
File Name: VDD(03) + 00001816 Error: 00 : 0028 : C0231D9E
This issue may occur if you are using outdated drivers. To resolve this issue, download and install the latest video card drivers. To do this, visit the following Nvidia Web site:
http://www.nvidia.com
If this issue continues to occur after you have the latest drivers installed, try the 56.64 driver. To install the 56.54 driver, visit the following Nvidia Web site:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/win9x_archive.html

REFERENCES

Contact the manufacturer of your video adapter for information about how to obtain and install the latest version of the video driver for your video adapter. To see if applicable driver updates are available, visit the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site:
http://update.microsoft.com
For information about how to contact your video hardware manufacturer, click the appropriate article number in the following list to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
65416 Hardware and software vendor contact information, A-K

60781 Hardware and software vendor contact information, L-P

60782 Hardware and software vendor contact information, Q-Z
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Properties

Article ID: 830651 - Last Review: February 3, 2011 - Revision: 4.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
  • Microsoft Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion
Keywords: 
kbhardware kbdisplay kbhowto kbarttypeshowme kbinfo KB830651
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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