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Troubleshooting Display Problems

Very Important

You can usually cure all display problems by switching to "Software mode" which bypasses your graphics hardware. The performance will depend on the speed of you main processor. With fast processors (eg more than 400 MHz) the performance and quality may be better than using you Graphics Card's processor. You can select software mode using the "Options" from the "View" menu, or from the Freecell3D Welcome screen if you are still choosing to have it displayed. There is also an option on the start menu.

Before investigating any display problems it is important to ensure that you have the both DirectX 7 or later installed and the latest drivers for you graphics card. DirectX is supplied by Microsoft to add multimedia enhancements to Windows. There may be a control panel icon called "DirectX" that will tell you what version you have. DirectX can be downloaded from Microsoft here. Alternatively you may find that a coverdisk from a recent computer magazine has DirectX 8 or 8.1 on it.

You may also have to check that your graphics/video card drivers are up to date for use with DirectX 7. You can usually download the latest drivers from the website of your PC vendor or the graphics card manufacturer. For how to find information about your graphics click here.

Error Messages and Warnings

The latest version of Freecell3D shows plenty of information with most of the error messages, including where applicable, a suggested remedy.

Sometimes it will advise that you change you screen depth (number of colors) and suggest compatible modes (eg 16-bit or 32-bit). To set the display depth open the Windows Control Panel and double-click the "Display" icon. Click on the "Settings" tab. In the drop-down "Colors" or "Color quality" box select an option that is 16-bit or more (16, 24, 32, 48 etc). It might be described as "high color" or "65536 colors" for 16-bit or "true color" for 24- or 32-bit.

For the best visuals you should select 32-bit, but this might affect performance on some older systems. Note: some graphics cards do not support Direct3D in 24- or 32-bit mode - you must select 16-bit mode (65536 colors)

You may see one of the following errors when you start Freecell3D.

Please set your color depth to 16 bits per pixel or more.

Freecell3D needs the display set to 16-bit (65536 colors) or more. To set the display depth open the Windows Control Panel and double-click the "Display" icon. Click on the "Settings" tab. In the drop-down "Colors" box select an option that is 16-bit or more (16, 24, 32, 48 etc). It might be described as "high color" or "true color". For the best visuals you should select 32-bit, but this might affect performance on some older systems. Note: some graphics cards do not support Direct3D in 24- or 32-bit mode - you must select 16-bit mode (65536 colors)

Other Problems

Nothing is visible

Maybe the view is not facing the table. Select one of the View Presets from the View menu to see if it comes back into view.

Some or all cards are white or invisible or Card Textures cannot be loaded.

Your graphics card might be running low on video memory. Try setting your display to 16-bit color as described above. Also check that you are not using the "High-Quality" or "HQ" cards in Options->Card and Table and try turning off Multi-Texturing in Options->Display.

Setting "Software" mode from the Display options should also cure the problem.

Movement and animation is jerky.

If you have an older PC or graphics card you should disable some of the advanced features such as: Drag Cards; and Animate Automatic Moves in Options->Moves. You can also reduce the Texture Quality in Options->Display.

If you are using Hardware mode select "Optimize Hardware Rendering" in the Display options.

If you have a fast PC and graphics card then make sure the Target Frame Rate in Options->Display is set to 20 or above.

Cards move too slowly in Solver and Goto / Undo / Redo.

Decrease the Auto Move Interval in Options->Moves. A suggested value is between 200 ms and 500 ms.


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