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Removing and deleting Direct X - part 2

This weeks episode! A good friend of mine persuaded me to get the very cool Myst III Exile ('point and click' Adventure type game for those that don't know it), and suggested it might run better if I installed DX8.. :o\

Well I installed it, and then remembered to check my graphics card drivers after the event (Elsa Gladiac GForce MX2 - v4.12 drivers direct from Nvidia) to double check it supported DX8, it did - I don't recommend you do it this way...!

I was kinda' expecting some screen drawing errors and sure enough DX8 didn't let me down - I kept getting a 'broken' image appearing on screen and the blue/coloured bar at the very top of any program running didn't appear properly, showing the same broken image effect.

I did download and install the latest nVidia drivers but the problem seemed to get worse so I reinstalled my original card drivers, and again the problem still persisted... DX8 causing problems again. Time to remove it then.

Removing the cause ^

Normally the 'recommended' way to remove DX is to reinstall the OS as this then installs the DX version applicable to your OS version (for Win98 it'll be DX5 or DX6) but I thought I'd try a DX uninstaller this time and I just so happened to have been pointed in the direction of one called 'DirectX Uninstaller' (thanks to P Luby).

The exe will install some files onto your hard drive (the application inc. a help file) and your start menu for which there are some very specific instructions on how to use. I'd suggest you print out the instructions (I did) so open up the helpfile "start > programs > directX uninstaller > direct uninstaller help?" Read through and print out what it says. The author recommends that you make backup copies of your important system files before you do anything, namely "c:\windows\user.dat", "c:\windows\system.dat" and "c:\windows\sysbackup" folder. This is just so your can 'reset' your system configuration to the way it was if the uninstall doesn't work properly.

Safemode ^

The PC then needs to be restarted in 'SafeMode' (see above right if you don't know how to do this), this is because SafeMode runs on the bare minimum of system drivers to allow you to diagnose problems and as the author mentions it take DirectX and your graphics card drivers out of action.

Once in safemode you need to run the "DxUnVer13.inf" file. If you follow the link from your start menu ("start > programs > directx uninstaller > shortcut to inf file") Windows Explorer will open showing the files in the programs folder. Find the file (it's the one that looks like a notepad with a yellow gearwheel on it) and right click on it. In the pop up menu that appears select 'Install', it only takes a few seconds. You then need to run "DxDiag.exe" (double click) to check all the DX8 drivers have been removed...

Note : you may get an error message here, just 'OK' this

... near the bottom of the page you'll see reference to what 'DirectX Version:' is running on your system, it should say '<not found>' (or something similar).

Restarting ^

Restart the PC (or shut down completely and cold boot if you like). You may see the help file on rebooting, just close this to get into Windows. Once there install you version of DirectX you want/had before.

Note : you may find that at some point you will need to reinstall the OS, or the next game you buy/run, install the DX version on the disc (as long as it's not DX8..!) to get DX sorted out properly. If you run DxDiag now you're back into Windows and take a look at the files you'll see quite a few with the yellow warning icon it's nothing to worry about but the system is alerting you to 'possible' future problems.

If you need to, reinstall your graphics card drivers and that should be it..! It's easy even when you don't know how..!

Parting shots ^

Well that seems to be it. I'm not longer getting the really bad graphics errors - I do get the odd one but that's because I installed the reference drivers for my graphics card.... that's another story..! :o\

Special thanks to P Luby for pointing this little utility out to me after he searched for DirectX issues on the web and found the original article.

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