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Running any ThirdWire sim in Windows Vista, By USAFMTL, column5, jtin.

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By Column 5, USAFMTL, jtin. Edited by FastCargo and Wrench.

 

The ThirdWire series of sims runs fine on Vista. However, there are a few things you may have to do first.

 

1. Make sure that you are running the latest Vista drivers for you video card, sound card and game controllers!

 

2. The version of DX9 that ships with Vista does not include the latest DX9 updates. You will need to go to Microsoft's DX site and download/install the latest DX9 update pacakage. The procedure is exactly the same as updating DX on XP.

 

3. There is an incompatability with Vista's DX9 implementation and the new Pixel shaders TK recently introduced for land and water effects. Disabling these shaders in the terrain INI file fixes this problem (Note: This has been fixed as of the October 08 patches).

 

4. You may have to change the 'rights' of the program and/or change it's location to get it to run fully.

 

5. A FLIGHTENGINE.INI tweak may be needed if you are getting CTDs.

 

 

Lets examine each step in detail. All Vista users are highly recommended to get through at least Step 3. Steps 4 and 5 should only be done if you are still running into problems.

 

 

Step 1:

 

Pretty straight forward, go get the Vista drivers for things like your video card, sound card, etc.

 

 

Step 2:

 

Go to Microsoft.com to get the latest DirectX drivers (you will have to do a search on their website). Realize that sometimes they do very small updates that are not well advertised. Here is the link for the latest DirectX (as of March 7, 2008)

 

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;DisplayLang=en

 

 

Step 3: (Only for installs that have NOT been patched to Oct 08 standards)

 

Stock terrains, Desert, VietnamSEA, GermanyCE and IsraelME have all their files 'packed' into the cat file, located IN each of the terrain folders. The file that needs to be edited, the XX_Data.ini is located inside.

 

Using Skypat's Cat Extraction Tool, available here: -->Cat Extractor<--, extract the XX_Data ini (where XX is the terrain's name). As with other extractions, it will wind up inside the terrain folder in question.

 

3rd Party, or add-on Terrains will have this file already existant in their respective folders.

 

Open the Terrain folder, and for each installed terrain do the following. (In this example, I'm using GermanyCE from WOE.)

 

1. Open the GermanyCE folder.

2. Find GermanyCE_DATA.INI

3. If the data INI is not present, extract it from GermanyCE.cat using the .CAT extractor.

4. Edit GermanyCE_DATA.INI and change any occurance of UseEffectShader=TRUE to UseEffectShader=FALSE. There should be two occurances, one for the NormalTextureMaterial and one for the WaterTextureMaterial, as shown below:

 

 

[NormalTextureMaterial]

UseEffectShader=FALSE //TRUE

EffectShaderName=TerrainEffect.fx

DepthBufferCheck=TRUE

DepthBufferWrite=TRUE

RenderedInOrder=TRUE

AlphaTestEnabled=FALSE

CullMode=CLOCKWISE

LightEnabled=TRUE

SpecularEnabled=FALSE

EmissiveEnabled=FALSE

FogEnabled=TRUE

AmbientColor=1.000000,1.000000,1.000000,1.000000

DiffuseColor=1.000000,1.000000,1.000000,1.0000000

ZBufferOffset=0.000000

BlendOp=ONE

NumTextureStages=1

TextureStage[01].TextureName=

TextureStage[01].MipMap=TRUE

TextureStage[01].FilterEnabled=TRUE

TextureStage[01].StageColorOp=TEXTURE_MODULATE_DIFFUSE

TextureStage[01].StageAlphaOp=NO_OP

 

[WaterTextureMaterial]

UseEffectShader=FALSE //TRUE

EffectShaderName=WaterEffect.fx

DepthBufferCheck=TRUE

DepthBufferWrite=FALSE

RenderedInOrder=TRUE

AlphaTestEnabled=TRUE

CullMode=CLOCKWISE

LightEnabled=TRUE

SpecularEnabled=TRUE

EmissiveEnabled=FALSE

FogEnabled=TRUE

AmbientColor=1.000000,1.000000,1.000000,1.000000

DiffuseColor=1.000000,1.000000,1.000000,1.000000

SpecularColor=0.500000,0.500000,0.500000,1.000000

SpecularPower=5.000000

Reflectivity=1.00000

ZBufferOffset=4.000000

BlendOp=BLEND_SRC_ALPHA

NumTextureStages=2

TextureStage[01].TextureName=

TextureStage[01].MipMap=TRUE

TextureStage[01].FilterEnabled=TRUE

TextureStage[01].StageColorOp=TEXTURE_MODULATE_DIFFUSE

TextureStage[01].StageAlphaOp=TEXTURE

TextureStage[02].TextureName=

TextureStage[02].MipMap=TRUE

TextureStage[02].FilterEnabled=TRUE

TextureStage[02].ReflectionMapping=TRUE

TextureStage[02].StageColorOp=TEXTURE_BLEND_TEXTURE_ALPHA

TextureStage[02].StageAlphaOp=DIFFUSE

 

Basically what I found is that the game ran fine after I updated DirectX, but until I changed the above I would get a CTD every time I hit ESC to end a mission.

 

 

Step 4:

 

For those having problems with screenshots, adding 3rd party mods, or even running the program, read the following.

 

In Vista (Vista Ultimate here, not sure about other versions) the computer bugs you about putting stuff in the program folder. If you are an administrator, it will ask you if you really want to do it (supposed to be good security or something) and if you are a normal user, you have to enter the admin password in order to do it. Also, screenshots and kmd saving will be disabled due to this.

 

To get screenshots, just make the program (flightsim.exe) have administrative rights.

 

If you want to get rid of the whole folder thing, just make the whole folder (in properties) make the normal user have admin rights for that folder (needs admin password). Don't know why it doesn't bug you about if you started the action after that, but it works.

 

Do not unzip anything to your HD with Vista. Unzip files to a folder on your desktop. Vista does something to your main HD that protects it from accidental deleting of files and adding of harmful ones. Vista also makes a file with whatever username you gave your computer on log in. IE I have a folder called "usafmtl" in comprises of my doc, pictures, videos etc. There is where you can add files etc and modify them without interference from Vista. You can even drag the whole directory to the desktop and run it from there.

 

 

Step 5:

 

Open FLIGHTENGINE.INI (It might have to be extracted from FlightData.CAT)

 

Find the section in it called [GraphicsSettings] if it exists.

 

If the section already exists, overwrite it with the entry below. If not, just cut and paste the entry below into the FLIGHTENGINE.INI file.

 

[GraphicsSettings]

ZBufferDepth=24

MaxVertexCount=16384

MaxIndexCount=32768

MaxTextureCount=16384

MaxModelType=2048

MaxMeshPerScene=2048

MaxModelPerScene=4096

MaxLightPerScene=1024

AspectRatio=1.333333 <---- This number may be different depending if you have a widescreen monitor or not. Keep the value you currently have.

MinPixelSize=1.0

 

Save the new FLIGHTENGINE.INI file.

 

 

If after all of these steps, you are still having problems, please post your problem with your computer specifications (including hardware, specific Vista version, and exact symptoms) in the 'WoI/WoE/WoV/Project-1 General Discussion' forum at CombatAce.

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