If you would like to give feedback on this thread, please e-mail email@example.com
If you are having problems installing or activating GalCiv2, problems with serial numbers, the metaverse, forums, Stardock Central, or SmartException, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Always check to make sure that you have the latest version before reporting a bug, whether it's the latest release version or the latest beta version. It's ok to post bugs about the latest release version when there's a beta because there might still be something that we missed, but if you at least check the change logs that we post, you might find that we've already found and fixed the bug. ALWAYS specify what version you were using when you encountered the bug.
Please do not reply to announcements of a new version or change logs with bug reports. Make a new post or reply to a bug report thread.
If you are getting crashes, download SmartException from either Stardock Central or http://www.stardock.com/products/smartexception and send in the reports that it generates to email@example.com (not .net, it goes to the same place but it usually takes longer).
You should only e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for bugs that occur while playing GalCiv2. This does not include installation or activation issues. You may not receive a reply to reports sent to email@example.com so if you need help and no one replies to your post on the forum, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please try to come up with a more descriptive subject than "bug report" or "crash" as it will help me when I'm going through the incoming e-mails, but make sure that you do have a subject and a body or the mail server might block it.
If you are reporting an exploit that can be used to generate high metaverse scores, please e-mail those reports directly to email@example.com rather than posting them on the forums.
Do not e-mail feature requests to support if you feel that they are not getting attention on the forums. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org, which was just set up. If you post them on the forums first, however, you can discuss them with other players, who often will have good input on your suggetions. Do not mix them with bug reports.
You can use Stardock Central or any IRC client to connect to irc.stardock.com and join the #galciv channel. To join #galciv once you've connected, enter /join #galciv in the entry field. I am almost always there during the weekdays, and there are often other users there who can help you even if I'm not paying attention to the window.
To backup your copy of GalCiv2 before updating to a new version (particularly a beta) or before upgrading your computer, there is an option to archive your version under Stardock Central's File menu. You can then burn the archive to a CD or DVD. When you need to restore it, just copy the archives to Stardock Central's backup folder and choose Restore Archive from the File menu. There is also an option to automatically archive your current version before updating to the next one. If you are upgrading your computer, you may need to delete the sig.bin file from your GalCiv2 directory to make it re-activate.
You can always clear your settings by deleting or renaming the My Documents\My Games\GalCiv2 folder. This will restore the default settings. Deleting the folder will delete your save games, your ship designs, and your customized raceconfigs.
If you start using a mod, and the game starts crashing, disable mods, clear out your ships directory and your .raceconfigs, start a new game, and see if it continues to crash. If it doesn't, there is something wrong with the mod, either by itself or the way it is interacting with other mods or the existing data. If you are truly stuck and you cannot figure out the problem, you can zip it and e-mail it to email@example.com and we will look at it when we get a chance.
If you make your ships or your interface black or dark gray, you probably won't be able to see your ships or the interface when you start the game. Space is black.
If you are asked by a Stardock employee to send in screenshots, please make sure that they are compressed jpgs. Save games should always be zipped as mail programs will sometimes corrupt them. Always attach files rather than copying the contents or embedding them in the e-mail. When e-mailing either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or any of the stardock employees, make sure to give as much information as possible including steps on how to reproduce the problem, if possible. I should not have to e-mail you back and ask you what I am supposed to be looking for in attached files. In the same directory as your GalCiv2.exe, there is a debug.err file that logs errors and messages, and it is often helpful in debugging. We always will want your debug.err file.
Crashes and other bug reports belong in the Bug Reports section of the GalCiv2 forums, NOT in the general GalCiv2 forums or the Game Talk section. The developers watch the Bug Reports section more often than the others. Do not introduce different bugs in a reply to a post unless it is specifically labeled a bugs thread. Make extra carriage returns when listing bugs so that we can easily pick out different bugs. If you need to post a debug.err file, it's usually better to mail it in to us rather than posting it because they get rather long.
Blue screens with errors (BSODs) or the computer rebooting itself is almost always caused by failed hardware or overheating, and is just being exposed by GalCiv2. If your computer is under warranty, you may want to contact your hardware manufacturer for assistance.
Here are some troubleshooting tips if you are having consistent problems:
Try these steps one at a time:
1) Update your video drivers with a clean install. Older NVidia drivers have a bug where the software cursor becomes invisible, and older drivers may have other compatibility problems as well. Also, if you updated your drivers recently but did not do a clean install, re-installing the latest drivers is often helpful.
a) Download the new drivers from your video card manufacturer's website. Usually www.nvidia.com, www.ati.com or www.intel.com. If you have a laptop and you cannot get newer drivers from the manufacturer, you may be able to get them from www.omegadrivers.net. Omega drivers also work for desktop PCs, but generally the manufacturer's drivers are sufficient for desktop PCs.
Un-install the old drivers and reboot
c) Cancel the Found New Hardware wizard when you log back into Windows
d) Install the new drivers that you downloaded
If you have the most updated drivers but you did not do a clean install when you updated, you may want to re-install your drivers using the method above.
2) Update your sound drivers.
3) Update to the latest version of Gal Civ 2.
4) ATI and NVidia both come with control panel programs to configure advanced settings. Make sure that you have hardware acceleration turned ON and that your Direct3D settings are set to application controlled.
5) Make sure that your desktop resolution is at least 1024 x 768 at 32 bit color. You may want to try higher resolutions if your video card and monitor support them, but you always want to be at 32 bit color, and the game resolution should never be higher than the desktop resolution. It sometimes possible to run at slightly lower resolutions, if the driver supports it, but the game might look squished.
6) Drivers and monitors handle resolutions in different ways. Changing the resolution to the size of the desktop, whether or not you're running in a window, can often help odd problems such as the bug that prints the message "Driver internal error" to the debug.err file. If you are getting the driver internal error bug, adjusting the resolution and/or refresh rate may help.
7) In your My Documents\My Games\GalCiv2 folder, there is a prefs.ini file. You can change the video settings there if you cannot get to the Options menu.
a) Set Multisample = 0 to disable anti-aliasing, particularly if you have an error in your debug.err file about failing to create a device.
Set HardwareMouseCursor = 1
c) Set Fullscreen = 0 to run in a window. If the game resolution is the same size as the desktop resolution, it will still appear to be fullscreen.
d) If your crashing is occurring after the intro, try setting SkipIntro=1
e) If you have an older video card, you may want to add these lines under video:
8) Check to see what codecs you have installed. Many media player programs like WinDVD or Media Portal install codecs on your system and they don't always play nice with other programs. To see what codecs are installed on your system:
9) Turn off all the music and sfx in the game. You may also want to try disabling your sound card. If this works, there may be some issue with your sound driver that un-installing the codecs didn't fix. You may need to re-install your sound drivers after having un-installed your codecs, or you may be able to fix the problem by changing your audio acceleration.
a) Right click on the My Computer icon and select properties.
Click on the hardware tab
c) Click on the Device Manager button.
d) Right click on Audio Codecs and choose properties. The properties tab of the dialog that comes up will list and allow you to remove the audio codecs installed on your computer. e) You can follow the same steps for the Video Codecs.
f) There are instructions in this MSDN article for re-installing the Windows audio and video codecs:
10) Run dxdiag and the Direct3D and DirectSound tests to make sure that there is nothing wrong that DirectX can detect
a) Click on your windows start button
Click on Run
c) type the word dxdiag in the dialog box and click OK.
d) Allow it to check to see if your drivers are digitally signed, let it run its tests
e) Run the Direct3D and DirectSound tests.
f) Click Save all information and save the file somewhere you'll be able to find it.
11) Particularly if you are hearing clicking noises from your case just before the computer locks up, you may have a bad sector on your hard drive. Right click on the hard drive icon in My Computer and choose properties. On the tools tab, click the Check Now button under the heading error-checking. You may also want to run disk defrag after checking the disk for errors.
12) Exclude the GalCiv folders from your real-time virus scanning. These would include the main game folders in C:\Program Files\Stardock\TotalGaming\GalCiv2 as well as the My Documents\Games\GalCiv2 folders.
I have no problems running Windows XP Media Center with GC2, but this was suggested by a user:
13) If you are running Windows XP Media Center Edition, stop the Media Center services. These would include:
Media Center Extender Service
Media Center Receiver Service
Media Center Scheduler Service
14) If your computer is overheating and the Throttle GPU function is ON, the inside of your case may need to be cleaned. If there isn't a lot of dust in the case, some of your hardware may be failing and you should contact your vendor or a local computer repair shop.