Avid gamers, who love playing games on their PC, sound composers regularly employing enhanced multimedia functionalities through software to create magnificent sound effects, or 3D animation designers producing unbelievable animation movies, would often require hi-performance DirectX functionalities enabled in their PCs to get best results. Therefore coming across a DirectX error is very annoying.
What is DirectX?
DirectX is a combination of Microsoft’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that provides enhanced capabilities while running multimedia based applications like computer games, or sound processing applications. In simple term, DirectX boosts up the power of your PC’s multimedia functionalities like video, animation and sound processing by optimum utilization of your PC’s hardware resources, in order to provide you with better gaming or multimedia experience.
DirectX is actually a 7-in-one combo that includes – Direct Draw (for 2D gaming), Direct3D (for 3D graphics), DirectSound (for 2D sound), DirectSound3D (for 3D sound), Direct Music (for Music), DirectPlay (for networked based multiplayer gaming), and DirectInput (for input device support like joystick). Depending on the type of DirectX application you launch – the corresponding module will come into effect in your PC, creating the platform for the application to run with full force.
How to go About Fixing DirectX Errors?
DirectX component normally comes preloaded with Windows however, depending on the new games or multimedia applications that you are going to install, a latest or a compatible version of DirectX you might need to make the game work for you in the right manner. Therefore, before installing an application that requires DirectX, make sure you know which version of DirectX is needed and adapt your PC accordingly.
But the major problem arises when your PC’s multimedia support system like graphics card, sound card, main processor etc is old and cannot support the required version of DirectX. Also keep in mind that, all these gaming and multimedia applications require high amount of video memory embedded with your graphics card along with Random Access Memory (RAM) attached to the motherboard of your PC. On top of that, fast processor speed is also critical, for example, if you are playing a high definition car game and you hit the virtual accelerator on the keyboard to go highest – your computer can only act accordingly when there are plenty of resources supporting it do so. Playing games frequently just with minimum resources, might knock out one of the associated hardware very easily.
Recommended resources for some of the hardware goes like this – video RAM (~ 32MB), and system RAM (1.4 – 2.00 GB) for the latest versions of DirectX to work the way it should. If you don’t have enough of these resources, you can still install DirectX driver but in most cases, after launching the game, you will get error message like “DirectX compatible device cannot be loaded”.
On the other hand, if you do have the minimum resources needed and still presented with a DirectX related error message, first thing you should do is run the DirectX diagnostics program as illustrated in the steps below.
DirectX Error Diagnostic
- In Windows XP based machine go to “start menu” and then hit the “Run” option located at the bottom right side of your start menu. A run dialogue box will appear type “dxdiag” as shown in figure 1.
- While launching the dxdiag program, the system might ask you permission to verify digital signatures for your DirectX drivers. You may proceed here by saying “yes”. At this point, DirectX diagnostics program as shown in image 2 will launch. The diagnostics utility automatically performs checks on your DirectX compatible devices and reports to you if it has detected any problem – under “Notes” as shown below. Here you can also find out which version of DirectX is running in your PC.
- Go to the “Display” tab and check if all the following features – DirectDraw acceleration, Direct3D Acceleration and AGP Texture Acceleration are enabled. If they are disabled for some reason, enabling it might just solve your problem. To do that, click the “Enable” button next to it.
- You can manually test some of the features also by clicking options like “Test Direct Draw” or “Test Direct3D” to make sure there is no error reported under any of these buttons available at the top menu.
- If you see an error right away and there is no “device” listed under “device” in image 2, it means your graphics card doesn’t support DirectX functionalities. Replacing the graphics card will be your next option.
- On the other hand if the “device” name is listed alright, but there is nothing under the “drivers” list, then you will need to reinstall the DirectX drivers from the installation CD or from the web link provided below.
- Depending on the type of multimedia application you want to run, you might need different versions of DirectX, but usually the latest available version should work. If you have an older version of DirectX installed in your computer and you don’t have the latest version needed to run the new game you just bought, you can update your old DirectX with the End-User runtime web installer. Go to the Microsoft’s website on the following URL http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35 and install the runtime web installer following the instructions provided in the Web page.
Fixing DirectX errors in older PCs are at times quite painstaking and not recommended for users who do not have adequate experience fixing PC problems. Running the diagnostic utility will not hurt though, and you would be able to get a clue on what’s wrong and decide the next course of action.