Thursday, 24 September 2009

Several Fixes For Need For Speed Shift's Frame-rate Problems.

Need for Speed Shift appears to be an awesome game.

I say appears because, EA seem to have botched up the optimization process 'cuz almost everyone's having problems running it, especially on the ATI graphics card front.

So far there aren't many reliable fixes for this problem, but I have noticed improvements with these tweaks, so I've compiled a list of them:


Right click on the game EXE, or the Shortcut on your Desktop. Go to the "Compatibility" tab, check the box next to "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" and choose Windows 98/ME from the drop down box.

Next, check the box next to "Disable Visual Themes" and Desktop Effects [something] (In Vista)

Like so:
Click OK and try again.


The game utilizes PHYSX chips to handle the Physics effects. Now what particular effects I can't tell, but i assume it's the Driver's inertia because the camera seems to shake and rock very realistically with bumps and turns. This solution hasn't worked for me, but it may work for you.

Click Here to download the latest PHYSX software, doesn't matter if you don't have the hardware, you still have to have the software installed.

Pretty straight forward, download, double click, install. Run game and see.


This I've tried and it seems to gain a few frames-per-second.
If you have BD antivirus, disable it (Right click the icon in your system tray) while you play, or uninstall it. I uninstalled it so i can't post a screenie, but just uninstall, try, then re-install.
I wouldn't recommend that though, unless you have another antivirus program on hand or you re-install it immediately after playing the game. Try at your own risk.


Since there's a million firewall programs out there i can't really tell you how to do this, so you will have to Google a method, or post a comment and I'll help you out.
No gain in Frame-rate with me.


Yes, you heard me, crank those graphics settings up. Just keep your resolution the same. For some absurd reason the game favors 8X AA and runs smoother on that. Obviously you need to have at least an HD 4670 to pull that off. Don't worry if none of that made any sense to you, that probably means you just don't like Cheetos and you shower regularly.
Google how to do it or ask and ye shall be answered.


Go to your display properties (Right click on desktop, click properties), choose the "Settings" tab, click "advanced" bottom right. Click the "Monitor" tab and see the number in Hz under "Screen Refresh Rate". Match that value with the one in the options in NFS: Shift and turn VSync on.


Note i haven't stated the obvious, like "update your audio/video card drivers" or close all open programs before starting NFS. I assume you've already done those, if not, what are you waiting for? Go.. GO!!!

I will constantly update this page with solutions as they come, so keep checking back or subscribe to the RSS feed.

I'll post a Noob-Guide on how to update your drivers next. Stay tuned.


Sunday, 20 September 2009

Noob's Guide to Installing DAEMON TOOLS and Mounting ".ISO" Files. (Again, Pictures Everywhere!)

So now you have that shiny li'l ISO, now what? Simple, you can throw your original DVD away (No wait. Don't.) and follow these steps to get that ISO working as a virtual DVD using Daemon Tools.

First off, a little lesson:

What is Mounting?

Put simply, it's tricking your computer into thinking a DVD/CD is inserted when that DVD is actually an image of the physical DVD you have in your collection. If you wanna know how to make an image of your DVDs (or CDs) follow this tutorial.

So how do you trick the computer ?

Simple (patronizing, aren't we? :P) You use a program to create a virtual DVD/CD drive. That program is called Daemon Tools.

Now while I'm aware there are other virtual drive managers other than Daemon, the afore linked Alcohol 120% being one of them, Daemon is free and that is a big plus. Daemon is also pretty well known so chances are whatever problem you might have with it there will always be a fix floating on that magical plane called the interweb.

So, let's begin, shall we?

- First of all, get Daemon tools lite from here, alternatively, you can go to this page and download the latest version.

- Once the download's done, double click the downloaded file, and you'll be greeted with the standard welcome screen. Click Next.

- Make sure to uncheck (untick) the toolbar, and anything on that page, you don't need that extra software (Unless you're genuinely interested, but it isn't needed anyway). Click Next until:

- Daemon will need to restart your PC to install a certain file before it can install itself, you'll see this screen:

Remember where you saved the Daemon installer you downloaded, save/close any open windows and click OK to restart your PC.

- Now once windows is restarted, it's one of two things, either Daemon installation will start automatically or you will have to go find the file and double click it again. Most times everything goes smoothly and the installation auto-starts. Click next.

- When you get to this screen, make sure to uncheck the boxes circled, then click next.

- Also, make sure to uncheck the "Browser's Start Page" box if you don't want setup to change your Internet browser's home page. Now click next.

uncheck that box!

- Click finish and have Daemon tools start by leaving the "Start Daemon Tools" check box unaltered.

Now, Daemon tools will be in the bottom right corner of your screen, in the taskbar.

So now let's get that DVD image mounted, remember where it was saved? Good. No don't go there yet, just recall where it is in your head.

- Go to the Daemon tools icon, click it once with your left mouse button. You'll see this menu come up:

- Click on "Device 0". Make a note of the drive letter (the drive letter between the brackets will vary from PC to PC), that will open a dialog box that asks you where you put your image file, navigate to your ISO file, and click it then click Open.

- Congratulations, the file has been mounted, if it was an AutoRun disc, it will start automatically. If not, go to My Computer (or "Computer" in Vista) and find the drive with the letter you noted before and double click it to open it.

You now have a mounted ISO running from a virtual DVD drive, congrats!

feel free to comment if anything needs clearing up.


Saturday, 19 September 2009

Noob's Guide to Making a DVD image with Alcohol 120% (With pictures and everything!)

Ok, now you have the DVD (or CD, in which case: Hi Dad !) in hand.

Here's an easy step by step guide, pay attention now:

- You'll need Alcohol 120% , get it HERE

- Once it's done downloading, double click it to install it, follow the steps (keep clicking "Next", but make sure to uncheck the tick box "Alcohol Soft toolbar", click next then click "Install")

- Uncheck "Add Alcohol Virtual Drive at first run", keep the check mark on "Run Alcohol 120%" and click finish OR

- Go to your desktop, double click the "Alcohol 120%" icon.

- Click "Ok" on the registration screen

- Wait for it to "Apply virtual device settings"

-Now in the list on the left, click "Image Making Wizard"

- In this screen, choose device name (if you have multiple DVD drives, choose the one with the DVD you want to make an image of) and then depending on how scratched up your DVD is, you may want to check/Uncheck "Skip Reading Errors" check it if your DVD's scratched.

Leave the rest of the options alone, you don't need them now. Click "Next".

- Now first of all: Select where you want to place the image file on your pc.

- Next : Name your image, use the original software name is my advice, as things get hectic when you have too many obscurely named images. Kudos for any names like "ROFLCOPTER" and the like, though.

- Finally; Choose the image format. I won't get into details on this one, but suffice it to say, ISO is the standard and is highly compatible with almost any image mounting program. But i would choose mds, this'll usually generate two files. Image name.MDF and Image name.MDS. You need both in the same place for them to work, but for now, choose ISO.

Click Start, wait for the image to be written and Voila ! You have yourself a newly made image.

Now how to use it? You can either google it, or wait a day and i'll post another tutorial for that.

Cheers !


A few tools you will appreciate

Here are a few things you will always need to look out for:

- If the file name ends with .rar, .zip, or .7z , you need a program like WinRar . Click the link, click download and find the version you need. Or, here's a link if you're too lazy: Click Me!

- As a general rule of thumb, release groups like RAZOR1911 or whatever their name is and RELOADED provide very good NO-CD files. However, there's always the risk that downloading anything from a Torrent site will make you look weird, but what've you got to worry about? You have the original DVD, right? At least the box? No? Uhmmm...
Anyway, I'll link you to the files per game, but only under the mutual understanding that you will not use it illegally, ok?

- You'll need Daemon tools or Alcohol 120% for mini-images. I'll explain what mini-images are when you need to use them.

- Use utorrent to get the NO-CD files off torrent sites, if you so choose at your own risk. More on just getting the files you need without the illegal files included with it later.

- Always update video and sound card drivers. I cannot stress this hard enough. I'll guide you through that too in upcoming posts.

Got all those down? good, let's get to fixin' those games.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Welcome to Fix That Game!

So maintaining DVDs and CDs everywhere sucks, everyone hates a clutter. You bought the game, you spilled your hard earned cash into it, you misplace that DVD and you're screwed. So you run to the internet and all you find are weird "cracks" and "patches" with so many "scene" names attached to them you can almost hear the feds list them to you in the interrogations room.

Call them "No-CD" files, call them "Fixed-EXEs", sure, that sounds more legit. But who cares? You just wanna put something safe on your PC and just get that game working. You've never used Daemon Tools? StarF*cker? Uhmmm, that uhhh, other program..?
No problems, I'll give you step-by-step instructions tailored to each newly released game and sometimes old games too. And when i say step by step i MEAN step by mother-frickin' step. None of that "Ensure decimal value beta is set to nil" crap, partially because I've never seen that statement in Daemon but mostly because I don't even know what that means.

Press Ctrl+D, save the bookmark/favorite and Keep an eye on the blog for new instructions every new release.


**N.B.: I should note, and I know this is boring sh#t but I must get this out of the way, that I do not in anyway condone piracy and will not help you with anything in the same vein. I am only here to help you maintain a tidier desk and to be able to jump in and play your OWN legally obtained games on your PC.**