Could not initialize graphics system. Make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw” while playing Age of Empires II

Original title: Age of Empires 2, DirectDraw problems


  • I know this question has been asked before but:

  • I can not get my Age of Empires 2 : Age of Kings disc to run on my computer.

    It gives me the error message: Could not initialize graphics system. Make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw.

    What exactly is DirectDraw. and how do I make my video card and driver compatible to it. I have already tried Uninstalling and Reinstalling the disc. 

    Please Help!!
  • I have downloaded all the directx components I can find here, and have tried messing around with the videoccard, but all to no avail.

 

Question Info


Last updated September 16, 2019 Views 92,317 Applies to:

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Hi Sebstear,

 

What exactly is DirectDraw?

DirectDraw is used to render graphics in applications where top performance is important. DirectDraw also allows applications to run fullscreen or embedded in a window such as most other MS Windows applications. DirectDraw uses hardware acceleration if it is available on the client's computer. DirectDraw allows direct access to video memory.

 

As of now, I would suggest you to try the steps mentioned in the link given below in the order presented.

 

Known video issues in Age of Empires II

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830651

 

Alternatively, you can also try the steps from the link given below.

 

DirectDraw or Direct3D option is unavailable

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/191660

 

Hope this information is helpful and let me know if you need any further assistance

Mouneshwar R – Microsoft Support

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Hi Sebstear,

 

Do you still have issues playing Age of Empires II?

 

I responded above with a solution that should fix your problem. Please return to the thread and let us know if this has solved your problem.

 

If the suggestion above solved your problem, click the “Mark As Answer” button at the bottom of the post. If not, please return and provide any additional details you have come across so that we can further troubleshoot the issue. Thanks!

 

Mouneshwar R – Microsoft Support

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I too have this problem, been searching up and down the internet to find out how to resolve. NO luck!! I tried everything that Mouneshwar suggested, but that error keep coming up. What else we can do?

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I'm afraid this doesnt help.  The first link is way off - doesnt really deal with the problem.

 The second one sounds better, but when I type "display" in the search box of the start menu, I get none of the options listed.  The closest I can find is "change display settings" which takes me to a spcial Dell box.  I then have no further relevant options.

I seem unable to get to the settings tab to try to troubleshoot and increase my hardware acceleration.

I'm wondering if this has anything to do with it being a Dell machine.  This is my first one (first Dell, about my 4th PC), and they seem to have bypassed certain aspects of normal windows operating systems.  Then again, it's also the first time I've had windows 7, so I don't know how different it is.  I can't help feeling I would have found my graphics card easier to check and adjust in XP...

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Hello,

Please attempt download and install the Direct X install from the associated linkhttp://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=2da43d38-db71-4c1b-bc6a-9b6652cd92a3&displaylang=en.  If you would please follow up with me at your earliest convenience, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you,


Aaron
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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I downloaded this, but when I tried to install I was told I had a more current version of direct x and the install aborted. Still the same error message when I try to play Age of Kings, or the conqueror expansion disc. I remain optimistic.

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Reply In reply to deleted message

I know right???

 

I have the game as well and have tried for months to get it to start on my Toshiba laptop that runs Windows 7.

I get the same error message about DirectDraw.

My system does meet the minimum requirements

Compatibility mode does not work for any earlier version of Windows selected.

I've updated DirectX in every way possible.

I've downloaded the aoe2 patch.

The game still doesnt work.

Now, I know very little about video cards, but I know my dad has the same laptop and the game runs just fine on his.

I've tried opening it with 256 colors and 800x600 resolution

I've tried disabling my graphics card and got the same message.

DirectX says DirectDraw is enabled. 

 

It should be pointed out that one time (I don't know how or why) I got the game to start up.  about six months ago and i did nothing different from normal.  It hasnt started again since. But this means i know it is capable of working on this machine.

Also, I never got this error until recently; before it would just go to a black screen until I ctl+alt+deleted my way out of it.

 

I'm begging you Microsoft people to figure this out for me, to find a way to get rid of this error message...

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My apologies, that post would have been marked as answer unintentially.  My apologies for any inconvenience.  Now, if you are not going to contribute valid content associated with obtaining a resolution for this thread, please refrain from posting.

Moving Forward, please proceed with the following support steps.  In addition, please respond to the following questions accordingly....

-Are these custom built computers or OEM purchased?

-Please verify the Make and Model of your computers? (Please provide me with this information)

-Are they Windows 7 compatible?

-Install a completely different Video Card.

-Install the game on another computer.  Verify if the game is installing successfully or not.

-Install the game in Compatibility Mode or Run the Game in compatibility mode.

-Cleanboot Windows isolating 3rd party software interference.

-Verify that Windows is configured to allow Windows to choose what best for you comptuer on the visual effects

-Run DX Diag on your computer

-Install the Drivers for the video card in Compatiblity mode

This game is not compatible with Windows 7.  You will have to install both the .exe file for the video drivers and for the game in Compatibility Mode Windows 98 or 95 or NT.  if the game is on CD, you will have to extract the files into a folder on your desktop.  Right click the .exe file and go to properties.  There you will find a compatiblity tab.  This process will install the application as if it was the selected application.  In addition, you will have to to this process for the Video Drivers.  In addition, you can post your inquiry in the community in the following link.  I hope this information is beneficial.

http://www.microsoft.com/games/age2/community.htm

Thank you,


Aaron
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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I've solved it. Went to Device Manager and disabled my graphic card, then restarted Windows. Then, played perfectly well. When I finish playing, I go back to device manager and enable my graphic card.
The problem is due to newer graphic cards being unable to display in 640x480 resolution.
PS: Don't trust this Microsoft "Experts"... They ask things like "Are you sure you meet the minimum requirements?" OF COURSE YOU IDIOT, I'M RUNNING A 1999 GAME ON A 2009 COMPUTER!!! They bring the worst out of me

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this horrible solution but it works.   Anyone have another workaround?

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