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RaTcHeT302

Generic Troubleshooting Page

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I am thinking that we need a set of 'Guides' that are formatted very differently from a normal page. Perhaps it could benefit from a new namespace.

 

For example:

Guide:Windows game troubleshooting

Guide:Linux gaming beginner's guide

Guide:PC gaming on a TV and couch (this one exists already)

 

So for Ratchet's example, we could do 'Guide:Windows game troubleshooting' to cover everything you'd need to check first.

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There could still be a generic Windows troubleshooting page, along with a list of all the OSs, as you listed them on your page.

 

The pages will probably shape up better once some work on them is started.

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Some of the most generic things that comes to my mind:

  • Update your graphics card drivers (with link to graphics card page)
  • Update your audio card drivers (with link to audio card page)
  • Update DirectX (with link either to Microsoft Windows page or directX page, directly the web updater or the dedicated knowledge base article)
  • Update Windows with everything (as in there's the green tick in windows update after updates checking has been performed)
  • Update your BIOS/chipset/joystick/network adapter/disk/mouse/keyboard driver-firmware
  • Disable (and if necessary even try to temporarily uninstall) any AV software
  • Make sure codecs aren't messed up
  • Disable v-sync if game lags [and if this solved your issue but you hate tearing as hell check here(we should write on this last page something more about triple buffering perhaps)]
  • If this still hasn't solved lag, lower quality settings (noshit sherlock)
  • Make sure there's no high load activity on your network before playing online games (noshit sherlock)²
  • Make sure cpu (link to task manager) and gpu (link to either gpu-z, msi afterburner, whatever) are free (~0% activity) before starting games
  • If you have an IGP and a dedicated graphics card make sure you are not using the former [with a link to an hypothetic nvidia optimus paragraph in an intel or nvidia page (why I never heard of issues with amd enduro?)]
  • Fullscreen should give a bit more performance than windowed mode (ok, i really don't remember what were the facts behind this claim, and I don't even know if it's still true nowadays)
  • Try to disable overlays (steam/origin/uplay/rivatuner/fraps) if there are problems

 

 

ThatOneReaper, if you are reading this, I haven't forgot what I said you yesterday.. but I couldn't respect my deadlines for today.. I'll try to word everything in the next days

 

 

EDIT: some of these are really generic, others are windows specific.. I guess we should have move the latter to OS specific pages and just have a link for every one in generic page.

Generic page should then be possibly included under ==Issues fixed== for every game

Edited by Mirh
added link to chipset

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Oh, this is a pesky one: sometimes games will refuse to run, just because they conflict with some -god-only-knows-why- not well identified human interface device.

 

Which basically means everything that's USB (from mouses to webcams.. to cpu coolers) may potentially have side effects with some software.

 

Years ago I had something similar with burnout paradise, but I can't now reproduce it anymore (it would have been nice to find a solution other than disabling/disconnecting the device)

 

EDIT: DriverView and DevManView are fantastic to check this kind of things

Edited by Mirh

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Considering we already have Microsoft Windows page issues, I'd say a fair distinction between the two articles is needed.

 

Imo, generic troubleshooting should list everything you would already expect somebody to have done, while the other one should just be a place for the common actions some games might require

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Should we give for granted that users must already have external libraries updated?

For example, here

 

EDIT: Mirror%27s_Edge#Issues_fixed

Edited by Mirh
IP.board screwed link of course

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Games using PhysX typically fail with no feedback (game exits or crashes with no error message), so I'd lean towards covering it on that basis. There is also the issue of legacy PhysX--games bundling AGEIA's PhysX installers need Nvidia's legacy installer in order to use those versions alongside modern PhysX.

 

Games relying on other dependencies like DirectX, .NET, or C++ will typically show an error message naming the missing file.

​

​I've been thinking recently about the best way of handling such crucial cases (which is currently done through manual listing in the key points).

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Legacy Physx is more of an exceptional case imo. It definitively needs to be mentioned.

 

Though, I'd say that the point is not whether there's an error message (I know a couple of noobs that even then wouldn't know what to do with the exotic VC++ warning message) but whether we should assume those components (if present) should always be updated.

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I have made a WIP version: User:Garrett/Troubleshooting. Feel free to edit/expand/etc. Main page has no styling for now (navigation layout would probably be something clear like the editing guide).

Legacy pages (e.g. Rainbow color problems in older games) are currently linked to but would be absorbed in altered form when the troubleshooting pages go live.

Information from User:Garrett/Research would also be included but completely rewritten/rearranged.

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Just for the records, I'd want to remember Windows/Linux/OSX [general] Game Troubleshooting pages should ideally need to prevent and address all those stupid issues derived from deficiencies and improper behaviors we have to take for granted  (otherwise every game could have a potentially infinite number of problems)

 

It'll be interesting to think what could be the best way to "allocate" all this immense amount of stuff.

A quick diagram I got in my mind would suggest to place a link to a Troubleshooting page in every issues fixed section in every game.

There we could place OS agnostic affairs (like I dunno.. update your bios or check if temperatures don't skyrocket) and links to outsource material to every specific OS page.

 

Then (speaking of only Windows), I'm wondering whatever even an additional sub domain/division for XP/Vista/7/8/10 stuff would make sense (considering all of this, it probably would)

 

Last but not least, I was going to finally make some improvement to audio pages... and I was in the belief I'll use Glossary:Sound_card for things mostly hardware related (like drivers and.. how may I say? vendor specific "API arrangements"). Whilst Glossary:Sound would be more for software (to the extent that it might be possible to have no mentions of brands at all)

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Linking to troubleshooting in the issues sections is certainly an option.

 

Hardware causes aren't as likely overall, so I'm not sure how much detail would be necessary for that.

​

Glossary:Sound might end up being migrated to troubleshooting since it has the same sort of content.

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Hardware causes aren't as likely overall, so I'm not sure how much detail would be necessary for that.

Well, nobody said we have to go in deep. It's just to write down every possible cause.

 

Glossary:Sound might end up being migrated to troubleshooting since it has the same sort of content.

I don't actually think it's the right thing to do.

Troubleshooting [whatever is called] is about thing the user is assumed to have done. Drivers.. updates.. disabling stupid antivirus.. things that can potentially cause a problem in every game.

 

Sound page, together with microsoft windows page, engine pages etc are for those issues of the relative product that... well they are issue of that program.

And we (usually) link them there just to make game articles look less polluted.

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Just to add a couple of other interesting oddities regarding crashes:

  • cables can make all the difference in some games
  • the same even for certain utilities or tweaks that injects their dlls into every process

EDIT: also checking windows events viewer.

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Just a remainder that imo, Basic troubleshooting should just mention/link, in a specific order, the specific glossary pages to check.

Like Controller, Audio, Graphics, Directx, generally mentioning to check middleware table for dependencies..

 

Advanced troubleshooting should instead be about madmen stuff, like the aforementioned thing about cables and stupid dlls.

EDIT: or graphics card BIOS updates

EDIT2: oh, and I wasn't joking when I mentioned updating chipset in my first post

EDIT3: mentioning sfc /scannow as one of the really last things, too

EDIT4: uh, and then it's also pretty important to mention the noble practice of "system bisect". First try to disable with auto-start programs, then proceed with services (msconfig), last with drivers (like I mentioned here).

 

 

And.. btw, why can't I use this in links?

 

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Ok, so, here we are at brainstorming (or mindfuck) board.

I'd replace basic troubleshooting with "good practices". This should then be divided into the three OSs.

Speaking of Windows the following should be included (some doesn't necessarily just apply to Windows, but still)

 

 

  • Update Windows with everything (as in there's the green tick in windows update after updates checking has been performed) or whatever else W10 has
  • Update DirectX (with link either to Microsoft Windows page or directX page, directly the web updater or the dedicated knowledge base article)
  • Update your graphics card drivers (with link to graphics card page)
  • Update your audio card drivers (with link to audio card page)
  • Update your BIOS/chipset/joystick/network adapter/disk/mouse/keyboard driver-firmware
  • FUCK any codec pack (with references). VLC for normal people, CCCP for *really advanced people* and Kawaii for those really collapsed in the rabbit hole
  • Keep a list of STUPID av. Norton (damn uninstaller left evil driver here), Avast (mairo had too many false positives). Bitdefender (isn't disabled even when stated disabled). Then everything below 90 percentile of single performance score. Or with so many FP to be downgraded.
  • Why not, even keep a list of stupid software. Like motionjoy or xpadder. Or fraps for recording videos.

 

Other ideas are welcome.

 

Said this, actual generic troubleshooting page (the one linked in "issues fixed", everywhere) should be anything we'll decide to put here, PLUS another mention on the top "first make sure your computer is healthy", pointing to aforementioned good practices page.

 

Then, I think we could use an "hybrid approach" here. I hope this will make everyone happy.

A "division by topic" for starters, with stuff as shown there like Display, Input, Audio.. Performance then perhaps? Other "buzzwords" in noobs heads are welcome.

 

Speaking of what we were saying last year, Glossary pages should talk about "stuff one may wish".

Example: display scaling, or.. I dunno add HRTF effects to audio.

 

And this was for Glossary:Sound/Video

I see Sound_Card/Graphics_card instead more about issues/setup on the "hardware-related/specific" level, rather than software one, if I can explain

 

 

Troubleshooting on the other hand should revolves around "Shit this ain't working" moments. Like missing CD-Audio, garbled graphics or famous rainbow colors

 

 

And then a BFB (where the last B means button) for "this doesn't even start, it crashes, OMG I DONT EVEN KNOW THE PROBLEM", which is what I think we may call advanced troubleshooting.

 

I propose to create a new Category "Errors:" made of redirects of "errors names" to the right page, so that we don't have to reinvent the whell every time, just for the most basic "missing msvcr120.dll" error. 

Once we cut this off, I think we are ready for seriously tough stuff. Like checking if there is some application/service/driver interfering, checking video cables, stress testing with Furmark/Prime95/memtest and other exoteric stuff.

Including, yes, the W10 --> W8.1 --> W8 --> W7 --> WVista rollercoaster (and hey, one day hopefully WXP too).

 

Thanks for reading.

Hoping a week of sea and sun will be able to make me forget all this malicious stuff d:

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Following an IRC discussion with Mirh and Soeb I have updated User:Garrett/Troubleshooting to have each OS page cover the applicable fixes for that version.
 
EDIT: As Mirh noted above, the most generic information would go under basic/advanced troubleshooting pages. Things like ensuring you have the latest drivers and OS updates applies to every platform. The OS-specific pages would then have just a very basic section (currently called "First steps") reinforcing the bare minimum of installing the latest updates.
 
Much of this content is mostly still written based on the reader already having an understanding of the topic. Descriptions should be longer and/or clearer as required. As always, feel free to edit/expand/etc. as needed.
 

I propose to create a new Category "Errors:" made of redirects of "errors names" to the right page, so that we don't have to reinvent the whell every time, just for the most basic "missing msvcr120.dll" error.

 
In that situation another possibility would be to have a template that provides the instructions directly, e.g. {{error|d3drm.dll}} turns into "download d3drm.dll and extract the DLL into the same folder as the game's main executable". This would be faster than linking to the troubleshooting page which is just going to direct the reader to that file anyway.

 

Including, yes, the W10 --> W8.1 --> W8 --> W7 --> WVista rollercoaster (and hey, one day hopefully WXP too).


The current implementation has the applicable fixes covered directly (as Soeb suggested) so there is no backtracking through the inheritance structure.

 

I started with Vista because it is the oldest version still supported by Microsoft and is the origin of most issues. I'm not opposed to a page for Windows XP if there really is interest in that.

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To add to what's here already, two fixes that have been of great use in the past to me:

 

BAD WINDOWS 10 UPGRADE PERFORMANCE​ (Multiple Games, e.g. Shadow of Mordor) - The Windows 10 Upgrade can really reduce performance.  Make use of the "Reset Your PC" option in Settings > Recovery or complete a Fresh Install to resolve this problem.  It will take a bit of time, though.  All your old programs will be under Windows.old, though I'd recommend backing up the actual data portions of this (e.g. saves that store themselves in the game directory, custom INIs, Steam\userdata, Steam\music) before doing it... just in case.  You should also back up Documents, Pictures, etc.

 

FIRST RESORT TO 'UNFIXABLE' BUGS (Example: Grim Fandango Remastered) - Restart your computer.  I'm dead serious.  It's stopped an unavoidable crash in the past for me, the most recent case being the end of the Sea of Despair in Grim Fandango Remastered.

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Both those methods could go on the basic troubleshooting page. The refresh feature is not specific to Windows 10 (it was introduced in Windows 8).

It's not, but I'm pretty sure that much more have done upgrade install to 10 (basically because it was partly forced) as opposed to 8.X. 

I have seen users having problems with 10 after upgrade install which have dissapeared when they have done clean install instead. And I have been recommending that to everyone upgrading to 10. 

 

Heh it's funny how many people skipped 8/8.1 that they missed all its features. (Though I am not surprised cause the UI was horrible)

Because 8 was literally horrible and 8.1 was so shitty naming that many just though it was 8. 

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I used both and I agree. If it wasn't for 3rd party stuff to disable those dumb as hell hot corners and other touch nonsense I'd never use them.

yes I know offtopic

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@@Cptmold There are no unfixable bugs :*
 
Said this..

  • I see what we are saying here with admin rights, and I see what soeb have been saying. But the wording seems too.. redundant.
  • Mobile chips are feature complete with desktop since.. I think at least a decade. And anyway lacking opengl/directx support could cause crashes and all. But I wouldn't say if it's just for "slowness".
  • We should link quite improve how we mention driver updates. In that case I'd be wondering whether to link AMD/Intel/nvidia pages or GPU page instead of just directly the websites.. But then what about all the other drivers?
  • And basic troubleshooting is totally windows specific. As I said above, troubleshooting landing page should first handle that. And w10/8/7/vista pages should just be sub-mentioned in advanced troubleshooting.
  • Aside of this, I think Media Feature could just link to Windows page.
  • Noticing we have a specific physx entry.. I wonder if we couldn't automate the insertion of a fix in pages, once somebody writes the info in middleware table?
  • EDIT: and seeing how amd has crap dx12 dll, something for this too
  • Is it normal that I see no mention to some glossary pages like these, that would quite lower the clutter in the "hub" page?
  • Willy-nilly, whatever you think W10/8/7/vista pages should be meant to teach.. In their current state, especially the first one, are all but -quite- advanced.
  • And.. I don't think anybody really understood what basic really is.

Tentative structure

                                                                                                           ↗ Links (sound, controller, display..)
                                                  Linux...............      Windows basic troubleshooting** 
                                                ↗                         ↗                                ↘ Advanced troubleshooting
Troubleshooting landing page (with OS selection) → Windows good practices* 
                                                ↘                         ↘
                                                  OS X................      Cosy Windows[Vista/7/8/10]*** → Advanced windows
                                                                                              

 

 

"Common stuff" (like "check your cables, psu, bios, temp") could be replicated in all three OS pages, or we may state them in a section in the first landing page with links to this, this and whatever.

 

*= At the beggining we should write something like:

"This are good practices everybody should always keep in mind, regardless of the game. If you know you are already okay and you still have problem click here"

At the bottom, mentions we have good practices for every windows version. TIL. This is what I mean with "cosy",

 

**That cool thing with big buttons Garrett had done, all pointing to specific wiki sections

 

***Advanced windows means pages like this. And they would be introduced by something like "if you know this wasn't happening in previous windows versions, check here".

Though.. A link to these pages should even be present in the advanced troubleshooting page. I still haven't figure out the best way though

 

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That would depend on the complexity. Disabling processing methods like f.lux would be under basic since it's all about eliminating third-party interference. Other stuttering causes will be more about determining bottlenecks or choosing between driver versions, so that would be more of an advanced thing.

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I have redesigned the introduction and navigation. Basic troubleshooting has been merged into the introduction page, and the first steps for each page are presented more prominently.

 

Pages for Windows Vista and Windows 8 are no longer included due to support ending for these versions (extended support ended last year for Windows 8 and will end for Windows Vista on April 11, 2017).

 

Anyway, see what you think.

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Wtf? Since when were we caring for official damns? :s

If any, the only criteria I'd see to hide something is popularity. But this only if space was really all that constraint.

 

For the remainder, wow, pretty nicely of a good page.

Do we have statistic for most searched fixes btw? xD

In hindsight, it's smart to already present there some.. flesh, I mean especially basic troubleshooting (which in your connotation is what I was imagining as "good practices")

And I was also going to critcizie you for duplication "install directx"... But yeah, you are totally right instead: unless they see the "error window" buzzword, some people will never really get it.

 

but aren't sound/controller/graphics pages a bit too much hidden?

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I have rebuilt the example as the Troubleshooting Hub. This separates issues by category instead of OS. The starting page includes some example problems to help guide the reader.

 

but aren't sound/controller/graphics pages a bit too much hidden?

Troubleshooting information from the glossary pages would be moved to the troubleshooting pages.

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