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Jae Onasi 02-13-2006 12:12 AM

Dealing with Laptop Issues
Dealing with Laptop Issues

If you have tried to play KOTOR 1 or 2 on your laptop and have had trouble with the game crashing or not loading, you are not alone!
When I installed the game on my laptop, I thought to myself, ďhey, Iíve got 512 RAM and lots of hard drive space. This should run easily.Ē Well, I found out very quickly that this was not the case. After some help here on the forum, some trial and error, and occasionally just plain dumb luck, Iíve managed to get the games working with some reasonable regularity, even though I only have a 32MB nVidia video card. The game still crashes on my laptop infrequently, but considering I can take the game with me anywhere and play it anytime, itís a welcome trade-off.
Here are some of the things I found very helpful that might also help you, short of buying a new computer or upgrading hardware. I donít Ďspeak computerí, so Iíve written it for us non-techies in mind. This list, of course, assumes your computer meets the minimum requirements to play the game. I have included some references and links to other programs and utilities belowóthese are just what worked for me, and you may find something that works even better (if so, please share with us!). Hopefully, this will help you enjoy the game more on your laptop.

1. After installing the game, defragment your hard drive. If your hard drive is getting relatively full, you may need to defragment the drive fairly often. I feel like Norton Utilities does a better job at deframenting than the defragmenter included in your accessories program. I found the game crashes more often as the fragmentation percentage increases.

2. Clean up your registry regularly. While I had a registry cleanup utility on Norton Utilities, I found that a separate utility worked better. I use RegistryFix which I paid for. There are other registry utilities that are free which may work just as well.

3. Since I believe most of the problems with the game crashing are usually related to the video card, one of the best and easiest things to do is turn down all graphics options in the game or turn them off. Turn the game resolution down to 800x600. I found that also changing my computerís display resolution to 800x600 helped improve the chances that the game would load. Sure, the gameís not going to look quite as good, but hey, itís portable now, right?

4. Try also setting all sound options in the game to the minimum available in case itís your sound card thatís causing the trouble.

5. Turn off all background programs running on your computer. I found that turning off my antivirus, firewall, and any other programs I didnít need during the game helped with the game loading. Of course, always remember to turn your antivirus and firewall programs back on when youíre done playing the game.

6. Read stingerhsí ĎNeed for Speed on Your Computerí thread at . I found it extremely helpful. Youíre going to need some of the items he mentions.

7. Download PCWizard (link is in stingerhsí thread, above). Youíll need this to get information on your computer. You can run dxdiag, but I like this utility better since it provides more information. If youíre like a lot of us laptop users, youíll probably find itís the video card thatís causing the crashing, so look at the display section in particular.

8. Download the Omega Drivers (link also in stingerhsí thread above). This was probably the single best thing that helped improve stability. I downloaded the quality settings.

9. Download a utility called RamBooster to help free up RAM during the game. Note that I have a video card with its own memory, however little it may be. Itís not integrated and therefore does not share RAM, so Iím not entirely sure how this utility would work for those of you with integrated video cards.

10. I have overclocked the video card 10 each on core and memory. This may or may not do anything at all. I opted to be very conservative because laptops are so compact I feel they donít dissipate heat quite as well as desktops, and I didnít want to overheat my video card and burn it out.

11. When the game crashes or refuses to load, I have found that I often have to reboot the entire system to get it to load. Sometimes it will restart after a crash to desktop without having to reboot, but if it hangs while loading, it never loads unless I reboot.

12. Make sure you have the latest patches and drivers for your game and your system.

Hope this helps, and enjoy!

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