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Lemon's Civ/Vista Guide

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Technical Support' started by Lemon Merchant, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    The Civ 4/Vista Survival Guide

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Windows 7 users take note.

    Civ4 runs on ALL versions of Windows 7, including the 64 bit versions!!!


    The process for installing and running Civ, Warlords, and BTS is exactly the same for Win 7 as it is in Vista. All of the tips and whatnot in this guide apply to installations of Civ on a Win 7 systems. Both 32 and 64 bit.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Well, I've been hanging out in the tech support forum quite a bit lately, and I've been quite dismayed to see so many people having issues with Civ and Vista. As a result, my room mate, Zylornck Davis, and I have done quite a bit of research, and along with some help from the good boys and girls at his engineering firm, we've put together the Civ/Vista Survival Guide. So, without further ado, let's get to it, shall we?

    Disclaimer:

    This is meant to be a general guide to using Civ with Vista. Later in the thread there will be some (hopefully useful) instructions on how to configure and install/run Civ under Vista, and how to install and use mods, as well as a few troubleshooting tips we have collected. This is by no means a comprehensive or exhaustive list, and not all installs of Vista are the same, especially with OEM versions.

    Some of the suggestions in this thread may not help you with the problems you experience. We hope that this will be comprehensive enough for most, but please understand that we can't test every possible configuration. Also, the advice and information in this thread is provided on an "as is" basis. This is also a work in progress, and will be periodically updated with new information and corrections as available.

    Zylornck and myself take no responsibility for any borked systems, messed up files, or broken save games resulting from the use, or inability to use any of the information here.

    If you don't know what you are doing, then get some help (In person, preferably) from someone who does, k?

    First, some basic information:

    - Vista is not the enemy. Its' initial incompatibilities and problems were largely fixed by SP1. SP2 is now out, and offers a few small fixes and hardware updates. We both have updated to SP2, and there have been no issues, except that SP2 broke Firefox (Ooooh! Big surprise there! :lol: But it's been fixed until the next service pack.) By and large, Vista is a relatively stable OS. (Yes, really!) Remember, XP was a mess until SP2 came out, and everybody hated it at first, too.

    - The bulk of the problems experienced by users of Vista are largely due to incorrect or out of date drivers, software that isn't quite compatible with Vista, and the peculiar requirement to run some things in administrator or compatibility modes. A big problem with Vista early on, was software that was not written for, or poorly ported (from XP or '98) to operate with Vista.

    - Vista was almost a complete rewrite of Windows, and is very different from XP, both in many of its' core functions, and the operation of the user interface. Drivers for Vista were a nightmare in the beginning because of lazy or misinformed developers who didn't really understand the new OS, or didn't take the time to learn its' new procedures and requirements. That situation has improved dramatically in the past year.

    - Microsoft recently said in a discussion on the rollout of Windows 7, that over 10% of printer driver installs still fail under Vista, a statistic that they find unacceptable, and they are hoping that it won't be that way under Win 7. The MS representative also mentioned that the bulk of the problems are due to a lack of cooperation by a couple of printer manufacturers, and a refusal to allow MS to certify and distribute the drivers under the Windows Update system. [Source: Slashdot]

    - Both Nvidia and ATI have had issues with getting their graphics driver packages to operate correctly with some Vista installations/hardware setups.

    - Nvidia drivers were quoted at Slashdot as being responsible for 30% of system crashes for Vista in 2007, and this even resulted in a lawsuit being filed against Nvidia by Windows users. Just recently, my ATI video driver update broke Media Center and I had to do a system restore to fix it, so ATI isn't perfect either.

    - There are fundamental differences between 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Vista, but by and large, anything that runs on 32 bit will run in the 64 bit version in a 32 bit mode, and does so automatically. The exception is that 64 bit Vista requires signed drivers to install things. There is a way to turn that requirement off, but that's beyond the scope of this little guide.

    - Vista will not run properly, and will cause problems if you do not have Vista compatible drivers installed for both hardware, and any software you plan to use. This should be immediately obvious to anyone, I would think. That means graphics card, audio card, HDMI, IDE controller, USB... everything. You can't expect an OS to run properly if it doesn't know how to use a resource in your computer the right way. It's like driving a car without knowing about the brake pedal...

    - Most importantly, neither Zylornck or myself work for Microsoft, and we don't hold any MS stock either. We did this to contribute to the CFC community, because we can't make mods. He has no time, and I'm inept. :p


    Vista 32 vs 64:

    There is fundamentally no difference between the two versions of Vista that can be seen by the end user in normal day to day operation. The exceptions are:

    1. 64 Bit has two "Program Files" folders. One called "Program Files" and one called "Program Files (x86)". Any 64 bit program you install (usually, but not always) goes into the "Program Files" folder, and a 32 bit program goes - guess where? At this point in 64 bit support, you will find most of your programs will install into the x86 folder. It's not a big deal. They run the same, it's just that 32 bit programs themselves can't see more than 2 GB of RAM, unless they are specially coded. You may have 4 Gb of RAM in your computer, but that's total system RAM. That means that the OS, any hardware that needs a physical address, and your video card all take a chunk out of that memory, and that reduces your total to less than 4 GB. Eg: A computer with 4 GB, and a 512 MB graphics card will usually have just over 3 GB (possibly less) of usable system RAM for applications.

    Some new motherboards have a "remap" feature that puts the hardware addresses above system memory, thus freeing up some extra RAM. My MB has that, and I have 8 GB (I use 64 bit). My hardware addresses are remapped to start above the 8 GB boundary, saving me some space below for applications. There is more technical detail there, but that's beyond the scope of this thread.

    2. It's said that you can't install 32 bit drivers in 64 bit Vista. We would argue that point, because both Zy and myself have done it. If the driver is signed, it seems to go in just fine, though 64 bit does prefer 64 bit drivers. So there are exceptions to that rule.

    3. Some programs that do "special tricks" with processor time slicing, addressing, and memory shenannigans might run fine on 32 bit, but may mess up on 64 bit. The bulk of current software that we have used seems to work just fine on both.

    4. Software written for older versions of Windows (95, 98, ME, etc.), may not run on either version, or only 32 bit, even with compatibility mode enabled. This has to do with the way that Vista was written. MS couldn't do some of the improvements they made to utilize improved hardware and still retain compatibility with older versions of Windows. If this bugs you, deal with it. It's the 21st century, things change.

    5. A program designed for 64 bit Vista will usually not run on 32 bit. The reasons for that should be obvious... Most programs, however, are available in a combined 32/64 bit version, or 64 bit versions are available separately.

    End of section 1.
     
  2. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    The Civ/Vista Survival Guide - Section 2

    Civ4 and Vista:

    OK, now we get down to brass tacks. Here's the stuff you really need to know: There will be some screenies in later sections.)

    1. Vanilla, Warlords, and BTS (Including 3.19) are completely compatible with both versions of Vista, as long as ALL patches are applied and drivers (including DirectX) are up to date. The new "Complete" edition is causing some people some issues with installation errors. We don't have the "Complete" editions and can't test them to see what the problems are, but we are looking at the posts in the forum and trying to find common issues that we can research. The plan is to add to this thread when information comes available.

    2. Civ only uses one core of a multi core CPU. That being said, a dual core CPU will run Civ better than a mono core because the game runs on the first core, and the OS and system apps run on the second core (Mostly. It isn't that cut and dried, but for simplicity, that will do.)

    Likewise with a quad core. However, the performance increase is not doubled by having the second core. You basically see a little less lag in the late game, but that is also dependent on the amount of memory that you have installed.

    3. Running Civ and Vista with less than 2 GB of RAM is just asking for slow, choppy performance, turn lag, and leaderhead slowdown. Vista really needs 2 GB to do anything reasonably well, and 3 Gb is better if you only run 32 bit. 4 GB or more is nice for 64 bit.

    Vanilla Civ does not use more than 2 GB itself, because it's just written that way (BTS is /3 GB switch aware and can use up to 3 GB, Vanilla is not.), but if all the other stuff running in the computer is up above the 2 GB boundary, Civ has all 2 GB to use and performs quite well.

    A modest 1.8 to 2.0 GHz dual core with 3 GB of RAM and a 512 MB graphics card will run Civ beautifully on either version of Vista, right up to huge maps. And Intel/AMD doesn't matter, btw, so let's not go there, shall we?.

    4. The ATI/Nvidia "Which is better" discussion is largely irrelevant, with one exception. Recent (Early 2009) Nvidia drivers seem to have a problem with Vista 64 particularly, by all of the data we could find. We don't use Nvidia cards, so we have no direct experience. We can only rely on second hand data, so no criticism from us on this one. The problem is, however, not confined to Nvidia. ATI cards will sometimes have the same problem.

    There is some evidence from a while back to suggest that Microsoft has issued an update to Windows that is the culprit. Details can be found here:

    http://www.3dgameman.com/forums/showthread.php?p=718296

    And here:

    http://www.3dgameman.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56528

    Follow the linked advice at your own risk. We haven't tried it because neither of us have the problems described.

    5. Vista installs Civ in a different place than XP does, and even my 32 bit laptop installed differently than my 64 bit desktop. This can mess up some mod install programs, as well as different versions of Civ, like Steam versions and the Civ Gold edition.

    In most cases you can override the install path. More on that later. Note that we are only speaking of the standard retail versions here. We don't have any downloaded or special versions, sorry, and we don't know any of the little idiosyncrasies about them.

    6. The copy protection on the Civ disks can sometimes do funny things with Vista. This is usually a driver issue, or an incompatibility with your CD/DVD drive. My BTS disk will not load from my CD drive (safedisk/secureROM error), even with new drivers, but it will from my DVD. Go figure. Btw, Zy and I each have our own legal copies of Civ, even though we share a house. Please follow our example.

    There will be no discussion of CD cracks or copy protection circumventing here, it's against the forum rules to even discuss it, so please, don't use them. You're just asking for trouble by using them anyway (or a virus). Note that the CD check has been eliminated in BTS 3.19. You now no longer need the CD in the drive to play.

    End of section 2
     
  3. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    The Civ/Vista Survival Guide - Section 3

    Installing Civ:

    The Basics

    Note: This information is based on the normal "Retail" version install of Civ 4, Warlords, and BTS. Other versions install differently, but the concepts here are largely the same for those installs, as far as we can tell. Some files and directory paths may, however, be different for those versions.

    Ori has mentioned that there is a peculiarity involving the Vanilla patches if you will be installing Warlords. Please read the section on patching Vanilla carefully for details as it alters the install procedure a little bit.

    Special Note: Do NOT have any other programs (Email, Firefox, WinAmp, iTunes, etc.) running at the same time as you are trying to install the game. Windows asks you to close other programs when you install something new for a reason. It's to minimize mix-ups, registry errors, and general overall confusion. Vista is pretty stable, but many other programs use resources that the Civ installer needs to use, and or update. Watching "Napoleon Dynamite" or whatever, during an install is just asking for troubles. You have been warned. :)

    1. As mentioned above, Civ usually installs differently under Vista than XP. It usually isn't a problem, except for some mod install scripts not correctly installing the mod, or completely failing to install. You can get around this potential problem by specifying the install path manually when you install Vanilla. For example, if you want an install that almost all mod installers can find, use the XP style path "(Drive):\Program Files\Firaxis Games..."

    (Note that an alternate to both types of installation is to install the game into a plain old folder, like C:\Civ4\... That will work fine for most users as well.)

    This is an XP style install path:

    Spoiler :



    In most cases, Warlords and BTS will install wherever the registry says that Vanilla is.

    This is a normal Vista install path:

    Spoiler :



    Notice that the game is installed under the "<Logon Name>\AppData\Roaming\..." folder tree. My logon name is Admin, so that's where it got installed.

    AppData is a hidden folder normally. You have to unhide it to see it, or to manually be able to install a mod to the folder later. To do this, wait until you have actually installed the game (it's easier to see what you're doing that way), open Windows Explorer and go to the Logon folder (in my case "Admin"), choose "Folder Options" and then the "View" tab, and then "Show hidden files and folders" The AppData folder will become visible. Select the AppData folder, right click and select "Properties". The "Hidden" box will be checked, so uncheck it.

    Windows will ask if you want all subfolders unhidden as well. Say "Yes". Then go back to "Show hidden files..." and select "Do not show...", then "Apply". The normally hidden files will be hidden again, but AppData will still be visible. Leave it this way and let's continue.

    2. Under Vista, and particularly 64 bit, the actual install of Civ can be a little tricky. The best way to install the program is to obviously, start with Vanilla. Put the disk in the drive, and if the "Autorun" pops up, DO NOT choose to run Setup. Instead, choose "Open folder to view files", and when Explorer pops up a window, find the "Setup" application program and right click on it.

    Choose "Run as Administrator" from the menu that looks like this:

    Spoiler :


    This is essential for 64 bit.

    3. The install program may tell you it is looking for, and installing, DirectX 9 components. This is normal, and you should let it do it's thing, even though Vista actually uses DirectX 10. In most cases, it won't hurt anything.

    4. Follow the normal instructions for install, and here you can specify the XP install path as shown above, if you wish. Note that if you use an XP style install path, you don't have to unhide the AppData folder. When the install has completed, proceed to step 5.

    5. Once you have installed Vanilla, you must patch it in order that you may continue to install Warlords and BTS without problems. (If you will be installing Warlords, patch Vanilla only to 1.61 - then install Warlords as discussed in the Warlords section below.) It will normally patch in-game. Vanilla normally installs an icon on the desktop, so, run Vanilla as Administrator. You always have to run Civ as administrator under Vista, so you might as well set it up to always run that way.

    Do this by right clicking on the Desktop icon, and choosing "Properties". Under the "Shortcut" tab, choose "Advanced", and check the box "Run as Admin...", then "Apply".

    You need to do the same for BTS, and a screenie is shown below:

    Spoiler :


    You normally don't have to run Civ in compatibility mode under Vista, if the program is patched properly, but if you are having problems, setting it to XP Compatibility Mode may help. Much depends on your version of Vista. As mentioned, OEM versions can have some quirks. Setting this is done by choosing the "Compatibility" tab under "Properties" above, and choosing your compatibility mode as necessary.

    Occasionally, the install program doesn't put an icon on the desktop. In that case you need to go to your install directory, and locate the file named "Civilization4.exe" and drag it to the desktop and make a shortcut there.

    The location of the .exe file for my install is shown below:

    Spoiler :


    The BTS exe is in the BTS folder and is done the same if need be. Remember to set the Shortcut's Administrator privileges as above.


    Note: The first time you run the game, you will likely get an error from the Program Compatibility Assistant saying that the program is incompatible with Vista. Don't panic. This is because the patches have not been applied yet, in most cases. Just ignore the error and continue. Civ may say that there is a newer version available, or you may have to go to the update screen yourself and start the patch process manually. Either way it needs to be done to get the game to work right. After the patches are fully downloaded and installed, close vanilla and reboot the computer.

    After the reboot, open Vanilla and make sure it works. That means actually start a game to make sure that the interface works, etc. This has the added advantage of building necessary files in the custom assets folder, and initializing all of the program files. When you are convinced that Vanilla works alright, close the game and move on.

    6. After Vanilla is installed and patched to 1.61, install Warlords, and patch it to 2.08. If you will be installing BTS, install it at this time. BTS will automatically patch Vanilla to 1.74, and Warlords to 2.13, while it is installing. After the BTS install, apply the BTS patches as appropriate. If you will not be installing BTS, you must patch Vanilla to 1.74, and Warlords to 2.13 by using the in-game updaters for each game. Caveat: The install program will show you the install path before installing. It has to be the same place as Vanilla, so check, and correct it if necessary.

    7. If you did not install Warlords, use the procedure below. If you did install Warlords, follow the instructions for installing BTS in that section. added BTS is a little different. Use the above procedures, but when it comes time to update the game to patch 3.17, don't do the update by using the game's update feature. Download the patch directly from CFC, unzip it, and run the executable as Administrator, just like the above. The patch will install (and boy, is it slow!), and then you can run the game and make sure it works by actually starting a throwaway game.

    8. Repeat procedure 7 to patch to 3.19. The patch link is located in the Spiffy Links section later in the thread.

    9. Once you know that the games work, fiddle with whatever settings you like and play already!

    At this point, our advice would be to play a full game on a standard map, without using any mods, before doing anything else. This way you will know if there are any issues in the late game when the CPU and memory loads increase. If you notice anything strange, take some notes, make a DXDiag file, and check the Tech Support forums on CFC for any help. Chances are, you'll find that someone else has already had the error, and there is a solution. If not, maybe someone can help.

    Note that Zylornck and myself do not accept requests for technical help in PM or email. No exceptions, sorry.

    We do, however, gratefully accept suggestions and clarifications on the accuracy and completeness of this little guide.

    Also note: We do not assist anyone with pirated copies of the game or Windows in the threads. If we have been giving suggestions in a thread and we find out that your game or OS is cracked or pirated, our participation in the thread stops.

    End of section 3
     
  4. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    The Civ/Vista Survival Guide - Section 4

    MODS:

    What's a good game without some nifty mods? I know I can't play without BUG... :)

    A note on the 3.19 patch and mods:

    With the release of BTS 3.19, many of the mods that we know and love don't work right anymore. It isn't your machine. The mods have to be updated by the mod makers in order to work. Be patient, it takes time. Many of them have been completed by the time of this writing. Check the Creation and Customization forum for details on your favorites, but please don't yell and complain at them. They work hard on these things and need our undying love and admiration as fuel to continue making these wonderful little extras...

    Remember also, that when downloading a mod, you need to make sure it is compatible with the patched version of the game that you are using. Most of the mods are made for BTS. Check the particular mod's discussion thread for install instructions. Most of the compatibility information will be there for you. Note also that there are a couple of mods that specifically do not work with Vista. If in doubt, check the relevant thread.

    Installing a mod:

    Most of the newer mods are coming equipped with an installer script or executable that will automatically put the mod in the right place for you. Some of the older mods require that you unzip or extract the files into the appropriate directory. This is pretty simple, and usually doesn't cause any issues, unless you have a D2D or Steam version. Apparently, those, along with the Gold Edition can be a little weird when adding mods. Sorry, but you're on your own with those ones.

    Mods that auto-install:

    With these mods, it's usually as simple as running the installer executable and voila! You're done. The only thing that you have to worry about is if the mod installs to the correct place. As noted above, Vista will install Civ in a different spot than XP unless you override the location, so you need to make sure that the installer is pointing at the right place. Most of the installers are smart enough to know where the files are supposed to go by looking in the registry, but some installers will plunk all of the files onto the desktop, or in some weird folder, forcing you to manually move them. More on that below in the Manual Install section.

    Normally, a mod will go into the \Mods directory in your install path. (See the "Install Path" screenies above for more detail.) A few mods will go into the Custom Assets folder, which is in a different place than your main files and \Mod directory. For instance, the BUG mod will go into the Custom Assets folder, (There are some custom locations in BUG's setup executable that give different choices, but the usual place is Custom Assets for most of us.) located here:

    Spoiler :


    Note that the Custom Assets folder for both an XP install and a Vista install are pretty much the same. They both go in the "My Documents" folder of the user's profile. In my case "Admin".

    Manually installing a mod:

    If you have to install the mod the old fashioned way, it isn't a big deal, it just requires a couple of extra steps. First, for most of them, you'll need a good de-archiver program, or "unzipper" to decompress the files. I use IZArc, and I like it a lot. It does pretty much every format and is quite flexible and easy to use. Most of the archive files for mods contain some kind of "Read me" file. Do as it says. Read it. It usually has some valuable information like install directions in it, and maybe some info on known bugs, so that you aren't surprised.

    To manually unzip the "Lemon Mod" into the BTS mods folder as a generic example, open your archiver and set the extract path to the mods directory in your install path. For an XP style install (see the screenie above), the full path is "(Drive)\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 4\Beyond the Sword\Mods" This will make a folder called "Lemon Mod" in that path as ...\Mods\Lemon Mod, like this:

    Spoiler :


    Similarly, if the mod auto installs into a strange location, like the Desktop (some do - insert rant here), simply drag the whole folder from the desktop to the \Mods folder. It should then show up like the "Lemon Mod" above.

    That's really all there is to it.

    Running a mod:

    Normally, you can load a mod from the startup screen, but you can get one to auto load when the game starts. To do that, you can use a Mod Chooser (one is downloadable from the CFC d/l database.), or you can edit the config file "Civ4Config" file in your install directory.

    There is a shortcut in the main BTS directory, for example, which opens it for editing with notepad. Scroll down until you find the "Mods = 0" line. Change that to your favorite mod and save the file. To auto load the "Lemon Mod" you would change the line to "Mod = \Mods\Lemon Mod" without the quotes. An example is below:

    Spoiler :


    There are some other nifty things that you can do with that file, but we shall leave you to experiment with that on your own.

    Something nifty to do with mod loading:

    Spoiler :
    If you don't want to edit the ".ini" file every time you'd like to play a different mod, you can make shortcuts for the game on the desktop which will auto load the mod using the command line feature of Civ/BTS. The procedure is quite simple:

    1. Make a copy of the BTS shortcut on the desktop.
    2. Right click on the new shortcut and select "Properties". A dialog box will open and it will show you the "Shortcut" tab. Locate the the legend "Target" and the small window to the right of it. Inside the window will be the following:

    "C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Roaming\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 4\Beyond the Sword\Civ4BeyondSword.exe"

    This is the command line that Vista uses to load the game. To have the game load the mod you like, change the line to this:

    "C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Roaming\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 4\Beyond the Sword\Civ4BeyondSword.exe mod="MODS\Lemon Mod"

    Click "Apply" to update the changes and close the dialog box. You now have another BTS icon on your desktop. Rename that icon to something descriptive (eg: Lemon Mod). Note that the picture will stay the same unless you use the "Change Icon" function in "Properties"

    3. Test the new shortcut by double clicking it. BTS should load, along with the Lemon Mod. Once you get to the main screen, you should be able to open a saved game, or start a new game as normal.

    Repeat the above procedure for other mods that you like. Some self-installing mods will occasionally have an option to add a shortcut to the desktop which makes the above unnecessary. "Legends of Revolution" is one such mod.

    Vanilla is done the same way. The command line looks like this: (This is an XP style install in this example!)

    "C:\Program Files\Firaxis Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 4\Civilization4.exe" mod="MODS\[Mod Name]"


    End of section 4
     
  5. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    The Civ/Vista Survival Guide - Section 5

    Spiffy Links:

    All of the necessary game patches can be found here: (Including the unofficial ones.)

    Civ4 Patches Download Database: http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=cat&id=12

    Important. If you have a special version of Civ, like a Steam or D2D version, these patches will most likely not work and force a reinstall, and the consumption of much Tylenol. Obtain these patches from the retailer of your version. Also, there has been some confusion about the ability of the BTS patches not working properly with the new "Complete" version. We have not investigated this as of this writing, so please do your research before attempting to patch these versions.

    Special note on patches:

    In most cases, patching the game is pretty straight forward. Some people have had varying levels of success when applying a later patch when the game is first installed. For example, going directly from 3.13 to 3.19 in BTS. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Our recommendation would be to patch in sequence to preemptively rule out problems and failed patches. YMMV.

    Vanilla will normally patch fine in-game. Use the downloadable patches in the event of difficulty. They must be applied manually.

    Warlords also seems to patch normally in-game. (Please PM either Zy or myself if this is not the case, and we will correct this.)

    For BTS: Patches after 3.13 do not patch correctly in-game, (a fault of the in-game patching system), and must be applied manually after installation.

    You must patch to 3.17 prior to patching to 3.19, or the patch will fail. (See note above. This is our recommendation based on a number of frustrated user posts. It takes a bit more time, but the chance of a messed up patch seems to be lessened by this method. If you choose to go from 3.13 directly to 3.19, and it breaks the game... Ibuprofen makes a nice analgesic for that headache/sore fist from pounding either against the desk...)

    Also, keep the downloaded patches somewhere, so that you don't have to download them again if you need to re-install.


    Some nice mods that you can install, which are quite well received by the CFC community are located here, in no particular order:

    The BUG Mod: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=274636

    Blue Marble: http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=6

    Varietas Delectat: http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=7358

    Legends of Revolution: http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=12275

    Rise of Mankind: http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=9301

    BetterAI: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=297810

    Fall From Heaven II: http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=1

    All of these mods work with BTS 3.19, and will self install.

    Please note that the Lemon Mod will be ready in the spring of 2037. :lol:


    Virtually all of the other mods can be found here, along with their discussion threads: http://forums.civfanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=171

    In addition, the latest DirectX 9 package can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...38-db71-4c1b-bc6a-9b6652cd92a3&DisplayLang=en

    (Please note that the above link may break. You can always search for it at: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/)


    Troubleshooting:

    Most of the time, the problems that we have running Civ4 with Vista are due to something really innocuous. The stupidest things are the hardest to fix. Take heart, we understand, we've been there, too.

    Some advice for clearing up problems with Vista are detailed below. These things do not necessarily apply to just Civ4, but may occur in other applications as well. We have organized them into point form for reference. Please note that this is not an exhaustive FAQ.

    In most cases, if our advice here does not fix the problem for you, make a DXDiag file, collect as much information about the error as you can, and post in the CFC Technical Support Forum. And please, please, PLEASE, include some hardware specifics of your machine, along with the OS version and service pack you are using. That means the amount of RAM, type of system (laptop, desktop) and processor model, type of graphics card. The more detail, the faster people can help you get playing.

    Hardware related issues:

    Prior to doing any of the troubleshooting tips below, if you are having issues with Civ, or the machine in general, make sure that:

    A. Your drivers for all of your hardware are up to date. Especially your graphics drivers.
    B. You have installed the latest updates for Windows, including the newest service packs.
    C. You have the newest version of DirectX 9 installed and patched properly.


    Problem 1. The computer will Crash to Desktop (CTD) while playing (Not game time specific. I.e. any time.)

    Things to check:

    A. Temperatures of your CPU and Graphics card. If either seem high and this doesn't just happen with Civ, make sure your fans are working, and your heatsinks are seated properly. Also make sure that your fan speeds aren't accidentally set too low. If they are ok, contact your computer dealer for advice.

    B. Your RAM voltage. You'll need a program like CPU-Z, or look in your BIOS for this one. Make sure that the RAM voltage is set to the memory manufacturer's specifications for the timings that you are using. Many motherboards have an auto setting for RAM which often is not correct and actually "undervolts" the memory causing failures, data errors, mysterious crashes, and spontaneous reboots. DO NOT make any alterations in BIOS if you don't know what you are doing. Please ask someone with experience for help.

    C. Are you overclocking? Set your clock speed a little lower and retry, or do a stability test. If you're OCing, you should know how to do this already.


    Problem 2. The computer will CTD in the late game.

    First, check everything under item 1 to rule out hardware issues. The problem might be:

    A. A MAF (Memory Allocation Fault) error. This happens especially with large mods on low memory machines. Search for MAF error on CFC, there are a
    couple of guides there on what it is, and how to fix it.

    B. How long have you been playing today? Civ has a memory "leak" which eventually allocates a very large chunk of RAM away from the system, basically starving the game. The cure: Reboot, or shut down Civ and restart.


    Problem 3. The computer is very slow between turns in the game. Leaderheads load slowly.

    A. Early game slowdown usually means you don't have enough memory to really let Civ run well. Increase the amount of RAM, or use Readyboost with a USB drive.

    B. Late game turn lag can be caused by not having enough RAM, or the memory leak in 2A. If you have lots of memory, restart the game and continue.

    C. The game is running slowly because you are running a CPU intensive task in the background like transcoding video, watching a movie, checking email, listening to music, and surfing the net, all at the same time, while playing Civ on a single core machine with 512 MB of RAM. What can we say here? Smarten up. :lol:

    D. Are the game's graphics settings too high? Try running at a lower detail setting, and lower the Anti-Aliasing in-game. This is a good idea if you have an older, low end video card with less than 256 MB of video RAM.


    Problem 4. The screen gives you a weird black background with squiggly graphics, and maybe shows only a few units or a city. The game is unplayable.

    Cause (usually):

    A: A graphics driver problem - It seems that this is the largest single problem with getting Civ to work properly with Vista. Check your driver version, and make sure there are no other problems with other apps. Roll back to an earlier version of driver if you just updated and see if that cures it. If it's only Civ that this happens with, it is most likely a DirectX problem, or a fault in the renderer initialization files within Civ. Post in the forums for a solution.

    B. Your graphics card is not capable of running Civ because it's old and lacks Vertex shaders, does not support DirectX 9 properly, or doesn't have enough memory. This happens mostly with older integrated motherboard graphics cards, but can happen with a discrete card as well. Go out and buy a newer card with at least 256 MB of graphics RAM, and some shaders, that is Vista compatible. Both Nvidia and ATI make some nice cards at the low end which will play Civ very well, for very little money. Make sure that you get one that will fit the slot in your motherboard!


    Other non hardware related issues:

    Civ can decide not to work properly for a variety of reasons, not necessarily because of Vista. Some of the more common problems experienced are:

    1. XML errors.
    2. Mod or map script incompatibilities, errors in the mod's XML, Python, or DLL files.
    3. Incorrectly installed mods.
    4. A messed up install due to InstallShield difficulties. This normally requires registry editing to fix. Not for the timid. Get some help.
    5. Corrupted or scratched CDs not allowing a proper install.
    6. An incompatibility caused by a Windows update. It happens, it is usually realized and fixed quickly. If this happens, do a roll back of the update using system restore. Vista is wonderful at making restore points before an update is applied. (As long as you don't "tweak" that feature off.)

    There are too many more to list here, but if you have a problem like any of these, please post in the Technical Support forum and ask for help. The bunch of us that hang around there will do our best to help you get back to your game.

    Remember, too, that if you fix your problem by yourself, or if anything that any of us suggest helps you out, please let us know by posting the results so that others can benefit.

    Outbursts of admiration for those of us who do help are always gratefully accepted, too. :p


    Acknowledgements:

    Speaking of admiration,

    This little guide was sort of my idea, but I could not have compiled and prepared it without the support and technical expertise of my room mate and best friend forever, Mr. Zylornck Davis.

    - Also, the good boys and girls in the IT department at Zy's engineering firm who put up with my stupid questions. :rolleyes:

    - The many giving souls who hang out at or visit the Technical Support forum on CFC, and lend their expertise to those of us who have problems, simply because they're nice people and care about the rest of us having fun.

    - The makers of Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Because we all need some sometimes. Like when a new Windows service pack comes out. Or for that ninth re-install of BTS. :mad:

    - And finally, the driving force behind the Tech Support forum, Moderator Extraordinaire Ori. Something he said way back when inspired this, and he is graciously allowing me to post it for your collective benefit. I asked him to look it over for errors, too, so I'll probably get it back in PM with red marks all over it. :lol:

    Seriously, many of the tips that are here are collected and gleaned from posts of his and others in the forums, and would not be possible without the collective input of Ori and all of the other posters in the Tech forum. Some of those people being:

    deanej (more to come!)

    We owe you all a debt of gratitude.

    Please note that due to time constraints and personal issues, this guide is no longer being maintained. I can't speak for Zylornck, but I no longer frequent the Tech forum. Thank you for reading, and I hope that you were able to solve your issue. -LM
     
  6. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    Request to readers:

    Please do not post questions relating to problems with Vista in this thread. The reason for that is that the bulk of people reading this thread are here for the same reason that you are, and probably can't answer your question.

    If you have a question directly relating to the material in the Guide, or you have suggestions or corrections, than please do post in this thread.

    Otherwise, your best bet at getting help is to start a thread in the main Technical Support forum, where those of us who can help you are reading.

    Thanks,

    -LM
     
  7. deanej

    deanej Deity

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    I would recommend changing the install directory to something like C:\Civilization IV if you want to run mods in Vista. For one, it's easier to get to than the vista default location, and it's better for modding as it's not a protected folder location. I think that means that civ will run fine as a standard user, but I'm not sure (I run civ sandboxed, so my experience may be different).

    Also, keep the downloaded patches. If you ever need to reinstall, you won't have to get them again.
     
  8. Zylornck Davis

    Zylornck Davis Lazy engineer

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    good tips, thanks. hanging on to the patches is a good idea, i have em all on a cd so they dont get mesed up and i dont have to download them again

    the reason we were suggesting the xp install was because lots of older mods get screwed up if they self install and dont checkout the registry for the game location. its mostly the older stuff, all the new stuff is ok. and its easier to get to. the place where vista puts everything is a pain if you have to go in and fix something. id like to get my hands on the goofus who decided to hide that directory
     
  9. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    Thank you deanej. Updated and credit given! :)
     
  10. GVBN

    GVBN Emperor

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    Also 64-bit Windows puts Civ4 registry entries under Wow6432Node. So uninstall subkey would be in

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\
     
  11. Zylornck Davis

    Zylornck Davis Lazy engineer

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    i thought registry editing might be a bit too compliated so i got lemon to leave it out. to many people are gonna muck up their systems if they start that. it might be a good idea to collect a list of registry stuff and eventually add it in, but i dunno if its really safe to do.
     
  12. Tommy Sieve

    Tommy Sieve Chieftain

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    Hi, I bet what you wrote is really interesting but i dont understand :confused:
    In simple terms like click by click sort of thing, when it says 'Check XML' it crashes and a popup says 'Sid Meier's Civilization 4 has stopped working'. How can I resolve this in simpleton terms please?
     
  13. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    @Tommy Sieve:

    In "simpleton" terms, what is happening is that when Civ is initializing, it is encountering something that either the game or the OS doesn't like. The game then crashes, and produces an error message in the event log.

    This could be something as simple as an XML error, or as difficult as a graphics card malfunction.

    My suggestion would be to post this problem in the regular Tech support section, because this is beyond the scope of this thread, and not as many people are reading this thread as would be in the open forum. You are more likely to get a qualified answer there.

    When you do make your thread, post your hardware and OS details in the message, please. It's impossible to diagnose your problem without those details. :)
     
  14. bowmandna

    bowmandna Chieftain

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    @ Tommy Sieve: I had the exact same problem. I dl'd new drivers for the audio, video, updated my Vista and none of it worked. What I FAILED to do was dl the patch. I downloaded the patch and now it works!
     
  15. Sprig

    Sprig めんどくさい

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  16. Zylornck Davis

    Zylornck Davis Lazy engineer

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    Thanks man. Appreciated. I'll pass that on to Lemon when I visit her tomorrow. She'll be happy to hear that.
     
  17. Psimon

    Psimon Chieftain

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    CIV4-Vista related problem I had. Thankfully, the workaround was simple and it seems it's solved. Just posting as a FYI and since LM stated they haven't had much experience or info relating to Civilization: Complete

    PC (basics): Gigabyte GA-X48-DQ6, Q6600 Kentsfield (quadcore), 4gb RAM, EVGA 9800GTX
    OS: MS Vista Ultimate SP 2 (32-bit) 6.0, Build 6002

    CIV: Civilization Complete, retail version, installed to the default directory

    This is the first time I fired up BTS. The installed version was a bit odd:

    Civ Version: 317
    Save Version: 301
    Build Version: 3.1.3.1 (104717)

    Anyway, the bug:
    - I hit update and it said it found a newer version (PATCH_319).
    - I said yes, update me
    - downloads the new version
    - dialog: "Click okay to close game & install patch"
    - I do so, and the game exits. . .

    . . then nothing else happens.

    Troubleshooting

    1. Checked hard drive to ensrue I had space for the patch & other operations (been keeping an eye on it recently, it's filling up). Had 108gb remaning, not an issue.
    2. Read a few threads, then this thread. Spotted manual download links.
    3. Downloaded, but couldn't find where it put it. I have a custom downloads directory.
    4. Located it in "<login_name>\Documents\My Games\Beyond The Sword\Patch"
    5. Installed manually. Got an error saying it was already registered, "FAILURE".

    The last made me nervous, but it's referencing registering the game with 2K, not the Vista/Windows registry

    Seems to be allright, though I've yet to play a game (game was correctly updated, and it says no more updates exist, I've the latest version).

    Here's to hoping that's my worst problem with CIV4. Again, I had the default Vista path for the game. . . . I don't think this was a pathing error, unless Firaxis just got it wrong.

    I suspect the UAC interfered with the install, I think it was the culprit.

    . . and thank you for the thread, and the download links, :goodjob: saved me some searching (and I loathe "please register" download sites)
     
  18. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    Thank you for the thank you. :)

    And the information, as well.

    EDIT: Btw, it seems as though a great many people have better luck manually downloading the 3.19 patch and manually installing it. I don't know why. My 3.19 actually downloaded in-game like it should (surprised me a whole bunch... ), but wouldn't update. I had to do it the manual way from CFC to make it work.
     
  19. deanej

    deanej Deity

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  20. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Disinterested Observer Moderator

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    If you mean in-game, I agree. I think it's a permissions thing, or the Application Experience mess that MS put in there to be a nuisance. :mad:

    You seem to need to force Vista to run it by doing it manually and elevating privilege as you do...

    I really detest software that tries to be helpful by "protecting" me. If I want to execute something, or change something, then let me. I'm a grown woman. If I make a mistake, I'll take some Tylenol, kick myself, and fix it - just like any other adult who chooses to take a risk. :rolleyes:
     

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