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 IMPORTANT INFORMATION | READ FIRST BEFORE POSTING 
 

sgtcasey

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      Posted: 22 Nov 2006 12:27 Profile United States


Here is a quick index of the information contained in this thread. Click on the section name to be taken to that post or just scroll the window down some.

Introduction & Basic Guidelines
Here you will find an introduction to the PC Support forum and some basic guidelines to follow when using this forum. It's highly suggested you at least read this section before making a post here.

Troubleshooting
Here are some things you can do to troubleshoot the game issue yourself before you ask for help. Often times the stuff contained here will help you solve a problem faster than asking for help and waiting for someone to reply.

Requesting Help
Here you can find some tips on what you should do when you need to request help. You will also find the steps on how to post your dxdiag information here.

Basic PC Maintenance Tips
Here is information on some basic things you can do to help keep your PC running smoothly.

Important URL's
Here you can find the URL to websites for such things like drivers and useful applications.

How to disable the Windows key
Here are the steps you need to follow in order to disable the Windows key on your keyboard and prevent the game from being minimized when you accidentally press that key.

This is an ongoing project to help keep the PC Support forum sticky threads updated and clean. If anyone has a suggestion feel free to send a PM to one of the PC Support forum moderators. We're here to help you get this game working when you are having an issue and we're always open to new ideas or suggestions.



Last edited by sgtcasey on 27 Nov 2006 21:22; edited 2 times in total
sgtcasey

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      Posted: 22 Nov 2006 12:28 Profile United States


Introduction


Welcome to the America's Army support forums!

These forums are for the use of players who are having an issue with the game. There is no paid support staff on these forums so everyone from the forum moderators to the volunteers who hang out and help are all doing so on their own time. The exception are the AACM's and DEV's who are paid members of the America's Army team. Please treat ALL members of the forum with respect at all times. We are here to help you.


Basic Guidelines


In addition to the forum TOS, which you can find here, we ask that you follow some simple guidelines to better help us to help you:


  • Do not PM a moderator or any other forum volunteer regarding an issue. Part of the reason to have a public forum is so that information is cataloged and, most importantly, *searchable*. If you have problem and another user months later has the same problem they would be able to find your posts and apply the suggestions or fix there to resolve the issue. However, if you communicate in a PM then there is zero record of the issue.

    Additionally, there are many people here who want to help you out. If you are communicating in PM's then others who want to help will not know what has been tried or suggested and you will end up getting the same suggestions.

  • Be detailed about the issue you are having. Simply saying, "it doesn't work" really doesn't help much. We need to see any error messages you are getting, what you were doing when you got the error message, and what you have tried to do so far to fix the issue.

  • Do not jump into someone else's thread with "I have the same problem" unless you are 100% sure it is the exact same problem. Often times it isn't the same problem and when you try to help more than one person in the same thread things quickly become confusing for all involved.

  • Stick the one thread! If you get frustrated or your thread moves off page 1, by creating a new one you make it more difficult for people to help who might not be familiar with your original thread.

  • Only post in one of the support forums. The same people help out in all of the support forums (with a few exceptions like the Mac and Linux forums) so making a post in each doesn't get your issue looked at or resolved any faster and only creates work for the forum moderators to lock the duplicate threads.

  • Be patient and try the suggestions you are offered. They are not randomly made and are often the result of a lot of trial-and-error by other people who have had the same or a similar problem. When you get upset over a suggestion, you only increase the time it will take to try and solve the issue you are having.

  • If you find a solution to a problem you were having, feel free to post it here if it isn't already known. Often times the support staff are only going by their own experiences and those of others who post when making support suggestions. We're all here to help each other. Additionally, if your problem and solution are posted that will help someone else who may be having the same issue when they search the forums and find what you did to fix it.

  • If you have a suggestion for the PC Support forum, don't hesitate to PM one of the PC Support forum moderators. We are always open to new ideas and suggestions that will help us to help the America's Army community even better.



Last edited by sgtcasey on 27 Nov 2006 22:10; edited 2 times in total
sgtcasey

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      Posted: 22 Nov 2006 12:31 Profile United States


Troubleshooting


There are some things you can try or check before making a new thread in one of the support forums. They are things that are designed to rule out common issues people have with America's Army. Some of these things are:


  • Verify you system meets the system requirements for this game. You can find a list of the system requirements in the FAQ on this website, at the top of the General Support and PC Support forums, and in-game by going to Support ---> Release Notes and scrolling down.

    Always keep in mind that unsupported or below minimum requirement hardware *does not* mean the game will not work at all. It means the game might not always work or work very well when it does. So, even if your system does not meet the requirements or your graphics card is not supported, make a post requesting help. You may be able to get the game working enough to play by simply updating some drivers or tweaking some of the settings. You won't know until you try.

  • Drivers, drivers, drivers. You generally do not need to update your drivers the second newer ones are available. If things are working fine, why mess with them? However, if you are having some issues then verifying you have updated drivers may be the thing you need to try. Drivers include graphics, chipset, audio, BIOS, etc.

  • Reinstall the game. I've sometimes found that a simple reinstallation of something would fix a problem. America's Army is no different. Some people think reinstallation means redownloading. That's not the case *unless* you did not save a copy of the download file. I have every version of America's Army since about 1.9 burned to CD/DVD somewhere. It's a good idea to do this unless you don't mind waiting for the file to redownload.

    Make sure you reinstall per the steps in the sticky threads! Also, if there is the option for a full install or a patch, the full install is the recommended way to go if you are having problems with the game.

  • Verify your system is not overheating. The most common symptom of an overheating PC is a sudden reboot or your system locking up.

    Overheating can and sooner or later will damage your PC components if it is not corrected. It's a good idea to periodically open up your PC case and use a can of compressed air to blow out all the dust. Do not do this while the PC is running! Also do not blow air directly on the fans as you can damage them or, I've heard but have no desire to confirm, build up a static charge that can fry a CPU or graphics card in an ungrounded PC.

  • If you are overclocking any part of your system, try the game with the hardware set to normal clock speeds. This includes anything which was overclocked at the factory. I've seen a number of issues with the game go away once the person having the problem stopped overclocking. If nothing else, this will rule out overclocking as the source of the issue.

  • Verify that your firewall and router are both allowing the game access to the Internet. How to verify your firewall depends on what brand you are using. If you are not sure whether or not your firewall is correctly configured, disable it and try the game. If the game still does not work and you disabled the firewall correctly, then the problem most likely is elsewhere.

  • Check the sticky thread at the top of the General Support forum for a list of the most common PB kicks and GPF's and the steps to solve them.

sgtcasey

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Joined: 24 Jul 2004

      Posted: 22 Nov 2006 12:34 Profile United States


Requesting Help


When you need to make a new thread requesting help, be as detailed as possible. Include the error message if you are getting one and what you were doing when the error occurred. Be sure to include a copy of your dxdiag information per the following steps.

Windows XP



  • Click on Start
  • Click on Run
  • Type in 'dxdiag' (without the single quotes) and press ENTER
  • At the bottom of the dxdiag window you will see a button labeled Save All Information. Click this button and save the information to your desktop.
  • Next, open up the text file you just saved using Notepad, click Edit on the menu bar at the top, click on Select All, then click Edit again, and click Copy.
  • The entire text file has now been saved on the clipboard and can be pasted into an America's Army forum post. This is the information we'll need and don't worry about how long it is.


Windows Vista


  • Click on Start
  • Click in the Search Bar or click RUN
  • Type in 'dxdiag' (without the single quotes) and press ENTER
  • At the bottom of the dxdiag window you will see a button labeled Save All Information. Click this button and save the information to your desktop.
  • Next, open up the text file you just saved using Notepad, click Edit on the menu bar at the top, click on Select All, then click Edit again, and click Copy.
  • The entire text file has now been saved on the clipboard and can be pasted into an America's Army forum post. This is the information we'll need and don't worry about how long it is.

sgtcasey

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Posts: 19547
Joined: 24 Jul 2004

      Posted: 22 Nov 2006 13:14 Profile United States


Basic PC Maintenance Tips

This is a quick guide on some things you can do to keep your PC up and running efficiently.


  • Keep windows XP up-to-date by going to the Windows Update website at least once per month. You want to download and install ALL of the critical updates.

    You should also be using Windows XP SP2 by now so if you don't have it installed you haven't been going to the Windows Update website like you need to be. Microsoft is good about releasing bug and security fixes/patches on a regular basis so don't be the person out there who is still open to an old exploit or still having problems with a bug.

  • It's vital these days to keep an updated anti-virus application running on your PC at all times you are downloading files, surfing websites, checking your email, etc. There are plenty of free anti-virus applications available which are as good if not better than the ones you have to pay for so there really is no excuse to not being using one.

    However, even the best anti-virus application is useless if you do not update the definition files on a regular basis. I suggest at least once per week if not more often. New stuff is coming out all the time and if your anti-virus application doesn't know what it looks like, it won't be able to tell you if you have it.

  • Spyware has become a bigger problem in the last few years as new ways are found to infect your machine. Protect yourself by using some anti-spyware software. Again, there are many very good freeware programs out there so there is no excuse to not be scanning for this stuff.

    Just like anti-virus software, if you don't update the definitions on your spyware scanning software weekly if not more often you might as well stop using it completely.

  • Set your page file to 2GB in size. Most people find that this offers the best system performance while gaming with America's Army. Follow these steps to set it:

    Right click on My Computer or whatever you have it renamed to
    Click on Properties
    Click on the Advanced tab
    In the Performance box click on the Settings button
    Click on the Advanced tab
    At the bottom click on the Change button under Virtual memory
    Check the Custom Setting button
    In the Initial size box put something like 512
    In the Maximum size box put 2048 (for 2GB)
    Click on the Set button (if you don't it won't save changes)
    Click on OK until you're back to desktop and reboot if it says you need to

  • Run Disk Cleanup often. You can find Disk Cleanup at Start ---> All Programs ---> Accessories ---> System Tools unless you moved the menu items around from the default.

  • Defragment your hard drives often. You can find Disk Defragmenter in the same place as Disk Cleanup.

  • Keep a minimum of free space on your hard drives especially the one where Windows is installed and your page file is located. A full hard drive can have a major impact on your system performance even more when you are using your page file a lot. I like to keep at least 10% of the total space free on a hard drive. For example, on an 80GB hard drive I would set 8GB as the minimum amount of free space.

    If you are using a hard drive just as storage for downloaded files or movies and such, then there really doesn't need to be a minimum of free space. This only applies to the hard drive where you have Windows and America's Army installed since the game will need to access those hard drives while playing. So you want those drives to perform as well as they can.

  • Disable any services you do not need. There used to be an outstanding website maintained by someone who went by the name Blackviper. He no longer maintains that website, but it is archived in many places on the Internet. A Google search should turn it up. Using that website, you can determine what default Windows services you can do without and turn them off freeing up system resources.

    Update 3/13/2007: Blackviper's website is back! Check it out at www.blackviper.com. Thanks to [red-vex] for finding this out and letting me know.

  • Keep your registry clean goes a very long way to keeping Windows running smoothly. The registry is a series of files that basically tells Windows how you like things to run, where to find important system files, etc. Over time the registry becomes full of stuff that was not correctly uninstalled. The larger the registry gets, the slower Windows will run as it needs to load more information when it accesses the registry.

    There are many freeware and payware registry scanning programs available. Norton's WinDoctor is one of the best I've ever seen, but they all basically do the same thing. Scan your registry often to help keep your system in good shape.

  • Keep the inside of your PC clean and free of dust. Dust builds up no matter how hard you might try to keep it out. When you have a layer of dust covering things like your CPU heat sink, your graphics card heat sink, etc. the heat transfer is not as efficient causing higher case temperatures.


This was typed up using the thread How to maintain your PC in tip-top condition! which was created by =ALCO=SpRiGuN in July of 2004 as a guide. It was stickied for a very long time, but I decided to add it to the README FIRST BEFORE POSTING! thread to help clean up the sticky threads at the top of the PC Support forum.



Last edited by sgtcasey on 13 Mar 2007 16:43; edited 1 time in total
sgtcasey

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Joined: 24 Jul 2004

      Posted: 22 Nov 2006 13:38 Profile United States


Important URL's

Graphics Drivers

ATI ---> http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html
Nvidia ---> http://www.nvidia.com/content/...ers.asp
DriverCleaner ---> http://www.drivercleaner.net/
(It looks like they are now charging for this application.)


Chipset Drivers

Intel ---> Intel Chipset Download Site
Nvidia ---> http://www.nvidia.com/content/...ers.asp
Sis ---> http://www.sis.com/download/ag...wnload/
VIA ---> http://www.viaarena.com


Audio Drivers

Creative/SoundBlaster ---> http://www.creative.com/langua...wnloads
Realtek AC'97 ---> http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/


Anti-Virus Software

AVG Anti-Virus ---> http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1


Spyware Scanning Software

Ewido ---> http://www.ewido.net/ (30-day trail, but free to use to scan)
Ad-Aware ---> http://www.lavasoftusa.com/ (You want the free version for home use)
Spybot S&D ---> http://www.safer-networking.org/

The above links are subject to change without notice. If you find a dead link or have a suggestion on something to be added to the list, send a PM to one of the PC Support forum moderators.



Last edited by sgtcasey on 05 Dec 2006 01:42; edited 1 time in total
sgtcasey

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Posts: 19547
Joined: 24 Jul 2004

      Posted: 27 Nov 2006 21:00 Profile United States


How to disable the Windows key

Instructions:
Go to Start...Run..Type:Notepad
Copy the Code to the text area (Warning: Do NOT alter\change the Code in anyway)
Choose File and Save As
Name it DisableWindowsKey.reg (Note: Name can be changed to whatever you want, just make sure to add the .reg extenstion)
Save it to your Desktop or somewhere easy to find.
Right Click on the File you created and Choose Merge
Choose Yes to Add Changes and OK to confirm changes.
Reboot


Disable Left Windows Key Only
Code:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,00,00,5B,E0,00,00,00,00



Disable Right Windows Key Only
Code:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,00,00,5C,E0,00,00,00,00



Disable Both Windows Keys
Code:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,00,00,5B,E0,00,00,5C,E0,00,00,00,00



Restore Windows Keys
Code:


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=-



The above steps are from a post made by KingFisher which was a sticky for a while, but was merged with this thread to help clean up the top of the PC Support forum.

+TheSaint+ was kind enough to provide some files to do the above stuff for you without having to edit the registry manually. I copied his post exactly. See below for information on those files:

I've created a few registry files that you can simply download and execute to add these settings into your registry without creating text files.

Simply right-click and select "save as" to any of the following files:

Disable Both Windows Keys
Disable Left Windows Key Only
Disable Right Windows Key Only
Restore Windows Keys

Double-click on the saved file(s), then click "Yes" to add and "Ok" to confirm. Your settings should be applied.

You can find all the information in this post at the following URL:

http://forum.americasarmy.com/...=239511


 IMPORTANT INFORMATION | READ FIRST BEFORE POSTING 
 

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