Windows Gaming on a Mac FAQ Part 2
From Mac Guides
Return to Windows Gaming on a Mac FAQ Part 1.
Updates to Mac FAQ Pt2
- 09Sep12- Added instructions for running two monitors in Windows. Added link for Tune Up Utilities under Handy Windows Utilities section
- 22Dec09- Added link for ATI Tool in the Handy Utilities section for users of XP on their Macs.
Running Two Monitors in Windows
- Dual Monitor Setup (Windows7, added Sept 2012).
- Move Windows Between Multiple Monitors- Microsoft for Windows 7.
- If you have a MacBookPro or MacBook Air, see this MacOSX Tips Guide section for hardware hookup instructions.
- While running Windows, (in my case Windows7), Open Control Panel>Display>Screen Resolution. Displays can be run as mirrored images or one large display desktop. The latter is more functional. Under the Multiple Display Tab select "Extend These Displays" and Apply. If using a laptop and want the external monitor to be the main display, pick it in the display and check the box "Make This My Main Display". For a laptop and external monitor an external keyboard will be helpful if you want the laptop sitting off to the side.
Connect your Intel Mac (running Windows)/Windows Box to an Airbase Network
(11/3/07 submitted by Hunt'n) Reference: MacWindows.com. Regular passwords don't work in Windows for some reason so if you type in your regular password, Windows will tell you that it's the wrong password. Windows needs to know the hexidecimal password that your Airbase network is using.
Note: This may only be an issue using WEP inscription. I was told if using WPA it is not an issue but I've not verified it. When you pull up Network System Prefs in 10.5 and click on "Advanced". You'll get the same list of available networks. Double click on the applicable network you want to join. Initially I had a problem in 10.5 on my wife's MB, when I clicked "Show Password", instead of seeing the hexidecimal password, the °°°°°°°s change to *******s. The hexidecimal password was not initially revealed in 10.5. On my MBP, the password showed up ok? I don't know what was going on there.
IMPORTANT! Now, here is the trick. You get the code key from your Mac. You can't just enter your standard worded password like you do on the Mac. The PC won’t understand it, so what you MUST do is set up your Macs on the network first, then get the hexidecimal password from you Mac for use on your PC. I only have the AirPort Express, but I suspect that the AirPort Extreme is the same.
Once you have set up your Macs with their passwords accepted and have them fully functioning on the Internet, go to one of your Macs. Click the Apple menu, then System Preferences, then click Network. On the Network page where it says, 'Show' click the up/down arrow to AirPort, then double click the AirPort tab to make certain you find the Networks window.
Where it says, "By default join-" Make sure you click the up/down arrow until it says "Preferred Networks."
Then in the window below "Preferred Networks" it should show a full list of networks that you can join and yours should be listed. Double click on the name of your network and a drop down window should appear.
Once it does then you should see your network name and the “secret” password you used to protect your network.
Under that password there is a small blank box and beside it says "SHOW PASSWORD" Click THE BOX. (This is what appears on Mac OS X 10.4.9)
It will show you the full hexadecimal key that you need to enter into your PC for a network password.
DO NOT use the money insignia at the beginning of the password. The password will not work with it included on the PC.
Share your Mac with a PC (MacOS 10.3 and WinXP)
This example is using WinXP and Jaquar (Mac10.3) so that the Windows machine can connect to and see files on your Mac.
1. MacOS Sys Preferences/Sharing Control Panel
- Turn on Windows File Sharing by placing a check in the window next to the selection.
- Highlight Windows Sharing selection and at the bottom of the window it will show the address for Windows users to connect to your Mac, something like: \\192.168.1.200\jsmith" (no quotes). The name is your short user name.
2. MacOS Sys Preference/Accounts Control Panel- Identify which user can connect from the Windows machine.
- Select a user and then click the Security Tab. At the bottom of the window, check "Allow user to log in from Windows".
- If the user is designated as Admin, then this choice may not be visible and will not need to be checked.
3. WinXP- Click on Start Menu and select My Network Places.
- Click on Add a Network Place. the Add Network Place Wizard starts.
- Select Next
- Select Choose Another Network Location.
- A prompt will appear to type in the Internet or Network Address. Type in the name from step one: "\\192.168.1.200\jsmith" (no quotes).
- Select next. You will be prompted to log in. Use your short name and password you normally use on your Mac to log in.
- If all goes well you will be logged into your Mac's shared folder, by default the Home folder for the user who logged in. A window will open up with the contents of your Mac's Home folder displayed.
- A icon for this network place will be added to your My Network Places page for connecting in the future. Now Files can be dragged into and out of your home folder from you PC.
Understanding Windows XP/Vista on your Mac
- Don't let them suck limited resources (RAM)! Your copy of WinXP may have dozens of background programs running. Obviously this can have a huge impact on your games performance. Here is how to turn them off:
- Hold down Control and Shift, then tap ESC to bring up the Windows Task Manager.
- Click the Processes Tab.
- Click the User Name column heading. This sorts processes together by user name.
- Click an item in your user name group and click END PROCESS.
- Do NOT select items from the SYSTEM, LOCAL SERVICE, or NETWORK SERVICE groups. Do NOT select explorer.exe or taskmgr.exe items in your user group!
- In your user group, turn everything off except explorer.exe and taskmgr.exe.
Note: Items turned off will come back on the next time WinXP is started.
Don't Use Internet Explorer for your Windows browsing
For security issues use Firefox instead.
What version do you have?
To start the DirectX Diagnostic Tool in WinXP:
- Click Start, and then click Run.
- In the Open box, type dxdiag, and then click OK.
For Vista- To start DirectX Diagnostic Tool in Vista:
- Click Start, and in the window that says "Start Search", type in run, hit Return (enter).
- In the Open box, type dxdiag, and then click OK.
- Under the System Tab, check the Direct X version.
Details of what you'll see in the tabs here ... Microsoft Support
Vista DirectX 10 and DirectX 9
Did you know Direct X 10 and DirectX 9 can coexist on on Windows Vista at the same time and both be functional? Yes they can!
Recently I installed Gothic3 on my MacBookPro. Because I knew it had DX10, I unchecked the option to install DX9. When I went to launch the game I got an error message "Error while starting executible: could'nt load DLL file d3dx9_29.dl." Gothic3 was looking for DX9 and it could not find it. The solution is to put the Gothic3 disk in and select Install DirectX9. Then the game will launch normally.
IP Address in Windows
- How to find it.
- On the Windows desktop click on Start>Run.
- In the box type cmd and click OK.
- At the prompt, type ipconfig and press Enter.
This will display the IP address, subnet mask, and the default gateway of your adapter. If the address is 0.0.0.0, check your adapter installation, security settings, and the setting or your router. If your on a network/router, the number you see will start with a 192.
Save your Game Saves
While this falls under basic backup philosophy, it is a good reminder. Windows is more likely to hick up and die than your MacOSX environment. If playing any Windows game where you have worked your butt off to reach a level or develop a character and it would kill you to lose it, be sure you go find where the Windows game places it's save files, either in the game folder itself or possibly in your Documents folder (something like Documents/Your Games or some such) and save them to a secure location.
- WinXP's most inept & sinister feature. A giant text file telling Windows where everything on the computer is located. If it gets scrambled, Windows breaks and most likely it is time for a clean install! :P Most Windows compatible System Utilities, like System Suite include programs that back up the registry. If you'd rather not pay for a Windows Utility, Windows itself includes a means of backing up the Registry. For reference see this Microsoft Support Document.
Vista- Improving System Performance
Side Bar- Turn it Off- Right click the sidebar and select Properties. Uncheck Start Sidebar when Windows starts then click ok. Reboot for change to take effect. Turn Off Sidebar Link.
Turn Off Vista's Visual Effects- Click on the Start Button and in the Start Search window type in sysdm.cpl, enter. Tell the User Accont Control dialog box to Continue. In the Systems Property Box, select the Advanced Tab, then click Settings button in the Performance Box. In the Visual Effects tab, uncheck whichever options you don't want or select Adjust for best performance. When I selected Adjust for best performance on my MBP running Vista, everything was turned off.
I Want to Move a Program in Windows?
There are utilities that allow you to move programs in Windows. But if you drag a folder to a new location in Windows, you'll break it. If you don't know much about Windows, in my opinion its weakest feature is the registry, a huge text database that tells Windows where all programs on the computer's hard drives are located. If the Registry gets screwed up, your computer gets broke. The MacOS does not rely on such a foolish idea. Mac users don't think twice about moving programs around.
In Windows you need a utility for this that updates the Registry entries for that program or it will break. When I speak of a new location, it does not have to be a different hard drive. I'm referring to a different folder that results in a different file location path. I'll clarify that the registry concerns itself mostly with program files. Plain old data files like a text file, documents, or pictures can be moved around without any problems. The only way to move a program/application/executable without a utility is to uninstall the program, then reinstall to a new location. If it is a game, be sure to find the location of your saved game and configuration files and save them prior to doing this. Some un-installers will give you the option of keeping saved games but you can't count on it. Those files may be located in the game folder itself or they may appear in the user's folder on the C: drive/My Documents/My Games folder.
The Registry is an editable file. Under no circumstances should a novice open this file and start editing entries. However as time goes by using WinXP, it can become larger and unwieldy, slowing the operation of your computer down. This is where a System Utility such as System Suite comes into play. It includes utilities that will clean your Registry and keep it in good health.
How to Backup the Windows XP Registry?
-From Ramesh's Site:
Method 1: Using System Restore One way to backup the registry is to create a System Restore snapshot. System Restore returns your computer to a previous snapshot without losing recent personal information, such as documents, history lists, favorites, or e-mail. It monitors the computer and many applications for changes and creates restore points. You restore these snapshots when your configuration isn't working. This method is unreliable in case you want to rollback the registry changes made a longtime ago, in which case the System Restore might have purged that particular restore point - due to space constraints or due to a recent system restore point or even a Restore point corruption. Please remember, System Restore points get deleted for many reasons, making it unreliable, especially in the long run.
For more help, see: How do I create a System Restore point? and Use System Restore to Undo Changes if Problems Occur.
Method 2: Backing up the whole registry ("System state")
For backing up the whole registry, use the NTBackup utility to back up the System State. The System State includes the registry, the COM+ Class Registration Database, and your boot files. See section "Back Up the Whole Registry" in the following article: How to back up, edit, and restore the registry in Windows XP.
NOTE: NTBACKUP is not installed by default in Windows XP Home Edition. Install it using the instructions available at Microsoft.
Other Registry Links Windows XP Registry Backup 101.
Windows XP Home Edition versus Pro Edition Article
- See the Supersite for Windows Link.
- Home Edition supports dual core processors such as your intel iMac.
- Pro Edition supports multiple processor slots. Not an issue for Macs at this time.
Where is the Recycle Bin? (Vista)
It may have gotten deleted! To restore in Vista, right click on the desktop then click personalize. Once there look to the left pane near the top and click Change Desktop Icons. This is where you choose which icons you want to appear on your desktop. Choose the Recycle bin and you are done. (1/08)
Where is the Run Menu? (Vista)
The Start Menu (Start Search Window) in Vista works like the Run command did in XP. Click the Start Button (task bar lower left) and type in the name of an executable it will launch. See more in this article. (Jan 08)
Where are my Desktop Icons? (XP)
Right click on your desktop and select "Arrange Icons by" then make sure Show Desktop Icons is selected.
Your Windows Game No Longer Works/Uninstalling a Game/Program in Windows
There could be many reasons for a game not to start in Windows, even after you've been playiing it for a while. It is not that unusual for a registry problem to have developed. The registry is a giant text database that allows Windows to keep track of where everything is located/installed on your hard drive. See the Registry Health paragraphs in the Understanding Windows XP on Your Mac Section of this FAQ.
First of all do not uninstall a game by simply tossing the program folder into the trash and deleting. This method does not uninstall a progam properly. Windows, depending on the program will install program files into many locations. If you have a registry problem associated with your game, this will not uninstall your game in the proper way and will not correct a problem with a registry error. Uninstall Programs that come with many games, or the Program Uninstall Control Panel are the primary way to correctly uninstall a program in XP. They also make utilities, can't remember a name, that track the install location of every part a program and profess to be the best way to uninstall programs. For most people if you stumble across a solution that involves manually editing The Registry, my suggestion is to resist or at least make a backup copy of the Registry before doing this. If you make a mistake, you can break part or all of Windows.
Three Approaches to fixing a game problem
1. Try uninstalling the game using the Uninstall feature with the game. Look in the Start menu/Programs for the game launch choices or put in the CD and see if it offers an uninstall option, and/or finally go to Start/Control Panels and choose the Uninstall Programs Control Panel to uninstall the game and then reinstall it.
Make a copy of your last game saves before doing this despite that many uninstallers ask if you want to save your save games or not...
After the game is uninstalled, run a registry cleaner utility such as System Suite or a free program such as CCleaner. The idea is to remove stray registry entries that might be causing your game to break.
2. Restore your registry to a former state. Unfortunately I don't have any experience with this. See the Registry Health paragraphs in the Understanding WindowsXP on your Mac Section of this FAQ for some basic info and links. This option is only going to be an option if you've taken some steps in advance.
3. The 3rd option, if a XP reinstall is a pretty seamless process with Boot Camp (I've not tried it), would be to reinstall XP. On my PC if I put in the XP disk, a window will open and an option will be offered to reinstall windows. But with Boot Camp it may be more complicated than this.
Remember to save your game saves prior to an XP reinstall or all game progress will be lost. Most game saves are located in the game folder itself or in the My Documents/My Games folder/Game Name (or something similiar).
Handy Windows Utilities
- TuneUp Utilities- excellent and reasonably priced. (Added Sept12).
- ATI Tool- running XP on your Mac and want to tweak your video card? Try this.
- Driver Cleaner- A utility that helps remove old drivers in Windows. $9.99
- Autoruns- a Windows utility that shows you what processes are running in the background of Windows.
- Driver Cleaner- A utility that helps remove old drivers in Windows. $9.99
- Older free version of Driver Cleaner.
- Startup Manager- Utility that controls what background programs automatically start when WinXP launched.
- Happy Trails Computer Club Listing of Antivirus/Anti-Spyware programs.
- Ad-aware- free version of anti-adware program.
- AVG free virus software
- Mac Disk for Windows a utility that allows WinXP to see stuff on and write to your Mac partition.
- Spybot- Search and Destroy- free adware/malware program.
- True Image- Backup Software creates image of drive.
- Zip Genius- free Windows ZIP utility.
- http://www.zonelabs.com/ Zone Alarm]- Firewall with free version.
- System Suite 8- Good Antivirus/System Maintenance costs $59.
Return to Windows Gaming on a Mac FAQ Part 1.