Troubleshooting FAQ, for technical help

Discussion in 'Fallout RPG Gameplay & Tech' started by Odin, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Odin

    Odin Carbon Dated and Proud

    Apr 2, 2003
    NOTE: all the threads in this post name different problems and their solutions. Read the thread with care before posting your own problems. If they're not in the thread, there's still a good chance we've dealt with your problem before, so use the search function to look around. Limit your search to this forum and use as few search terms as you can.

    Well I wanted to make this a sticky, post either a link or the solution to a certain problem with Fallout 1 or 2 and we can use this as a starting point for those who are looking...

    So post specific error message/what happens and the solution..

    Remember I'm only interested in solutions here!

    Manual Installation of Fallout 1/2

    Here are some that I picked up from the IPLY boards:

    Error saving game! Unable to save game.
    Try this, uninstall, delete the \program files\interplay folder and check the registry for entries about Fallout 2 and delete that also then install..

    Blackouts under XP
    If they only happen infrequently, you might consider ignoring the problem. If you bring a new screen with the 'C' or 'P' key and close it again, it will have wiped the blackness off the screen. This can reduce the problem to a minor nuisance.

    OK, let me clarify things once and for all for those who are having problems launching the game or having blackouts in the game under Windows XP. Now, there is a workaround thats gonna cause a bit of inconvenience but it works for many old games including Fallout 1&2.

    There is an option in XP in your hardware>device manager that allows you to disable your video card - do it! (dont worry, you will still be getting descent graphics), then restart your computer, close all your background programs on the taskbar(optional) and voila!

    Note: This solution was tested only for ATI Radeon 6500 and 9000.

    Also, if you need any patches(like "children fix" for UK version), some info or tweaks then check this site (

    I found this great article on how to optimize Windows XP by trimming some fats off it Check it out, Its a life-saver (

    You can try turning down the amount of hardware acceleration on your computer, which can be found at Desktop -> Properties -> Settings -> Advanced -> Troubleshoot. Try different settings on the hardware acceleration slider and see how they work.

    Another thing you can try is adjusting the priority of the Fallout process. To do this, alt+tab (if this doesn't work, skip this step and just press ctrl+alt+del, which should minimize the game and bring up the Task Manager anyway) out of the game while it is running and press ctrl+alt+del. In the Windows Task Manager, click on the Processes tab and find the Fallout process, it will have 'Fallout' in the name. Right click on the process and choose "Set Priority" adjust this and see what effect it has on the game.

    You can also try what helped a previous user by the name of duc:<blockquote>Disable AGP Fast Writes in the System bios:
    this is usually under chip set or PCI settings.

    Disable AGP Write Combining:
    For the Latest Nvidia Forceware Drivers this is under display properties -> settings tab -> advanced -> troubleshooting
    and may only show up under certain hardware / driver combinations

    These tweaks may only help certain hardware / software combinations, the result for me was improved fallout 1 stability and a reduced number of blackouts. Both of these settings give only a very small performance boost (~= 1%) and can have nasty system stability side effects so there is really not much reason to leave them on.</blockquote>Here is a thread about running the DxWindow application to avoid blackouts.

    Sound or endings problem
    If during the game the sound effects or ending clips interrupt or stop playing at all, then you might want to try reducing/disabling sound acceleration. One place you can do that is:

    Start > Run
    Type in DXDIAG and then switch to the Sound tab.
    In the middle of that window is a slider that you can use to adjust your sound acceleration. Try lowering it or setting it to 'None' and playing and see if that fixes it.

    Once you're done playing, you should put your sound acceleration back up to Full.

    Naturally, make sure your sound drivers are current as well for whatever sound card you have.

    BIS FO Editor "Couldn't locate/load text fonts" error
    To fix this problem change the mapper2.cfg file's [system] section to the following:<blockquote>[system]
    master_patches=H:\Games\BlackIsle\Fallout2\data</blockquote>Where H:\ is the letter of your HD, and Games\BlackIsle\Fallout2\ is the path to the editor. You should manually locate your executable/data files and change the path accordingly.

    Fallout 2 "Couldn't locate/load text fonts" error
    Same thing as above except fallout2.cfg is the file you want.

    Insufficient Disk Space Error
    When you get that message it's either:
    A. You are really running low on diskspace and should free up some, or
    B. Your config files misguide you.

    The following solution is for the latter and was proven to work for both FO1 and FO2.

    In your Fallout directory find the fallout.cfg file and open it with Notepad. Note: Your file may look slightly different from the one listed below.<blockquote>[system] <-----look under this paragraph

    etc.</blockquote>Change the last value to 0 (zero) instead of 20480.

    Alternative solution: In the Windows start menu, choose "Run". Then enter in "services.msc". Find "Error Reporting Service" in the list and right-click to check the Properties. Change the startup type to Disabled.

    Running Fallout 2 requires the CD
    If you find that the game won't let you run without (or even with) the CD even though before it did, use the executable from the US 1.02 patch (you can grab it from the self-extractor using WinRAR). It will work the same as the UK file and won't ask you for the CD.

    Master.dat or critter.dat won't show up after installation
    This probably means your CD is damaged. Use Explorer to move the files manually from the CD to your Fallout directory. Either it will work, or you will get an error message, in which case your CD is scratched. The installer somehow doesn't see a reason to report this.

    Error opening C:\Program Files\BlackIsle\Fallout2\master.dat for writing
    Right-click the file it complains about and see if it's set to "read only". If so, uncheck that option.

    There's no music in the game
    Open your config file and make sure the music path entry points to the right folder. It should look something like this (for Fallout 2):<blockquote>music_path1=C:\Program Files\BlackIsle\Fallout2\data\sound\music\</blockquote>If you have Vista then look in this thread.

    Can't locate save files in Windows Vista
    They will probably be located in<blockquote>C:\Users\"yourusername"\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\BlackIsle\Fallout2</blockquote>or some similarly named folder. If you can't see an AppData folder, go here to find out how to view hidden files in Vista.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  2. jermandubber

    jermandubber First time out of the vault

    May 4, 2005
    i seem to have run into a problem after following your steps for a manual install.
    the game opens up, the interplay bit runs, the intro bit runs... all that works fine, and then it gets to what i assume is the menu screen. all the colors are reversed and everything is horribly pixelated and i cant tell what anything is or where my cursor is so that i can start up a game or anything.
    im running this on xp pro. ive made sure its running in 95 compatibility mode. ive tried reducing the screen size to 800x600. ive put the colors to 16 bit. nothing seems to work, any one have any ideas?
  3. Roshambo

    Roshambo Antediluvian as Feck

    Apr 3, 2003
    With that kind of processer, indeed, good luck in having decent refresh rates of the screen or for that matter, proper DirectX functionality. I'm surprised you managed to install WinXP on that machine with those specs, but even running DirectX applications on top of that would be the equivalent of a graphical aneurism.

    If going to Win98SE isn't an option, try lowering your graphics hardware acceleration down from Desktop -> Properties -> Settings -> Advanced -> Troubleshoot. There is a slider bar on that page, try taking it down a notch at a time and see how the game works. I can't really help any more than that, considering I don't know which game it is (ahem), but it may work with either.
  4. duc

    duc First time out of the vault

    Jun 4, 2005
    Improving 2k/XP Stabililty

    Disable AGP Fast Writes in the System bios:
    this is usually under chip set or PCI settings.

    Disable AGP Write Combining:
    For the Latest Nvidia Forceware Drivers this is under
    display properties -> settings tab -> advanced -> troubleshooting
    and may only show up under certain hardware / driver combinations

    These tweaks may only help certain hardware / software combinations, the result for me was improved fallout 1 stability and a reduced number of blackouts. Both of these settings give only a very small performance boost (~= 1%) and can have nasty system stability side effects so there is really not much reason to leave them on.
  5. kosmiq

    kosmiq First time out of the vault

    Feb 22, 2005
    Ok I followed most of the steps here in order to get the game running, well lets just say it didn't work out...

    Because I am such a nice person I present here an alternative way of playing the game on Windows XP.

    1. Have a bootable Windows 98 disc around (most Windows 98 Second Edition are bootable)
    2. Have your Fallout disc within arms reach
    3. Download and install the latest version of VMWare, get the trial it will do good to get a feeling of it
    4. setup a virtual machine
    5. install windows 98 on that VM
    6. Wait until install is complete
    7. install fallout
    8. play away and be happy

    This will result in what? You will have Windows 98 in a handy little window that enables you to play most old games and it can easily be turned off. No need to fiddle around with XP settings.

    Might be halpful for the lazy ones like me... And as a Bonus, C&C: Red Alert will work perfectly!
  6. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    We have a thread about running Fallout in Virtual PC here, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to mention it here as well.
  7. pennyliu123

    pennyliu123 It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 12, 2004
    Easy way to install and play fallout in win2k

    I've read the guide in the sticked thread, and I think I know an easy way to finish the job.
    I use Win2k Application Compatibility toolkit, and I got it from:

    Run the tool, then select the setup.exe in your fallout cdrom, choose win95or win98 layer, click "advanced" and select all the options on the right panel, then "create fix support" and "run", you can install the game now!

    The same way to play, just select the falloutw.exe in you game folder and create a fix.

    Wish this could be helpful for some friends here :)
  8. pquegg

    pquegg First time out of the vault

    Jan 21, 2006
    I dunno I read all the ideas you guys have used to try and get Fallout 1/2 to work and they are all good ideas and seem to work I guess. But I was thinking of trying to get it to run in a VMware box and to my own pains I could get the games to install on a win98se box no prob and when they would run the mosue wouldnt work! I was so sad, so I started just fooling around with setting in windows xp on my main computer, and to my own joy I found a way to run it without the black screens happen or anything. I have a Via based mobo with a Athlon 64 and a Radeon 9700 Pro with the latest zeropoint drivers. What I did was simply, I installed the games just right from the cds, the installers worked just fine for me. But when I went to run the games I went to the properties on the falloutw.exe file and went to compatibility, selected Run this program in compatibility mode and choose windows 95 and then clicked Run in 256 colors and then clicked Disable visual themes. I have been playing both now for almost 2-3 days without any black screens or strange crashes, also if you have the zeropoint ATI drivers you have radlink installed most likely and you can set gamma settings right there, that way you would not need to use Powerstrip or anything else. Hope this helps people out!
  9. Roshambo

    Roshambo Antediluvian as Feck

    Apr 3, 2003
    On that note, I have added the Disable Visual Themes note, as I also have noticed something of the similar with using old Windows games and that I thought it was already mentioned, but it turns out it wasn't. Thanks for the info.
  10. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Disabling the video card and drivers can cause the game to 'invert' the colours after the intros run, meaning that the background will be lime-green and text black. It'll do this with the last frame of the intro it displayed, and after that it won't display anything new. You can still operate the game, you just won't see anything happen at all. Alt-tabbing out and back in gives you a black screen.
    To fix this, simply don't disable your video card or decrease the hardware acceleration.
  11. Roshambo

    Roshambo Antediluvian as Feck

    Apr 3, 2003
    Also remember that when using XP, you need to have Extra Tools to be able to properly even halfway configure the damn OS. TweakUI, from Microsoft's site, can allow you to do more fine-tuning.

    I haven't nailed down this problem exactly, but try this.

    Set it to not allow programs to steal focus, and you can also mess around with your menus and crap like that. Another aid is to use the Advenced Game Launcher to help with both game speed on the world map and it might also help the draw rates. I've heard a couple of theories about this, I want to see if it works for anyone else.
  12. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    I've had TweakUI for quite some time now, and none of the tweaks actually help. There is no stealing focus involved, because the game minimizes when it loses focus. I also disabled the taskbar blinking on a focus request, still no improvement. The only thing that actually gives any improvement is disablling both my firewall and antivirus, which greatly reduces the amount of blackouts. This leads me to believe it's a problem with background drawing, since my firewall and antivirus both animate in the taskbar.

    As for Advanced Game Launcher, I have no idea as to what it is, and google points me to a Duke Nukem Launcher and UI.

    EDIT: Something of note is that I'm running two monitors on a XFX Geforce 6600 GT 128 MB. The second monitor has an almost blackout once the game starts on the primary monitor, with only a few white spots somewhere where you can see remnants of my Windows XP (SP2) background.
  13. Roshambo

    Roshambo Antediluvian as Feck

    Apr 3, 2003
    Taskbar blinking is one thing that can cause this problem, I know that much for certain. As for the taskbar, it seems that if you go into the right-click properties, you can auto-hide it and also uncheck the "Keep taskbar on top of other windows" box, hide the clock, as well as turn off or hide (through the Customize button in the Properties window, Always Hide) anything that could have a pop-up or taskbar animation, including any wireless connections, firewall animations (like ZoneAlarm, probably best to set it to locked before you play), etc.

    Sorry, Advanced Game Loader. I have found it's one of the better utilities that acts like Moslo for Windows games. :)
  14. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Yep, but I don't use that annoying piece of shit called ZoneAlarm, I have a preference for a decent firewall like Sygate.
    But besides that, no effect. Hiding the taskbar, forcing it under other windows, dragging it onto the right side of my secondary monitor, disabling my secondary monitor, none of it actually removes the blackouts, although it does seem to reduce the frequency somewhat.

    Nice application, but again, no effect. I think that the blackout bug can be unfixable at times.
  15. psycoking

    psycoking First time out of the vault

    Apr 28, 2006
    This is a problem with the mouse driver that is installed with VMWare Tools. Just uninstall the VMWare mouse driver and use the default Microsoft one instead. I had the same problem running Fallout on a WinXP VM, but uninstalling the VMWare mouse driver made everything work fine. You still have to install the tool to get decent video support though. Just uninstall the mouse afterwards.
  16. Rommy

    Rommy First time out of the vault

    Jan 4, 2007
    Hey im totally stumped.Im really not savvy when it comes to all this editing files and can anyone give me a really basic step by step walkthrough with what to do if you have the "could not find/load text fonts error"

    If im honest i dont even know where to begin!!

    I'd be eternally grateful if someone could help me with this!!Thanks
  17. Silencer

    Silencer Night Watchman Staff Member Admin

    Nov 7, 2003
    It's similar to the mapper issue, only edit the file fallout2.cfg (with Notepad)

    Copy the files from th CD to the game directory if needed

  18. Rommy

    Rommy First time out of the vault

    Jan 4, 2007
    Sorry to bug you again but im still not 100% sure.(like i said im a bit slow!!!)

    this is what it says in the cfg file


    ive tried to change it but it keeps saying that it cant locate the master file then.can you show me using that pasted section up there what i should change it to exactly?

    sorry to be a nuisence.
  19. Silencer

    Silencer Night Watchman Staff Member Admin

    Nov 7, 2003
    If you've a relative path to current directory in the config (no path between "=" and "MASTER.DAT"), then just copy the *.DAT files to the main Fallout directory.
  20. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Mar 18, 2004
    I've updated the FAQ with a few things that have been coming up recently. I encourage everyone to submit known solutions to any problems not yet covered for inclusion in this thread.