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First post, by VirtuaIceMan

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One of my favourite games is Rally Championship by Magnetic Fields/Europress. It (like International Rally Championship, which I found a workaround to install for here: International Rally Championship (Magnetic Fields/Europress) - how to install if setup.exe won't work) has it's own installer built into the game executable on the CD-ROM.

Basically, on my PC (see my signature), when I run the ral.exe installer/game on the CD-ROM, it launches a black screen and nothing happens! No crash, no error, looking in Task Manager it looks like it's happily running (i.e. no "Not responding" message), so I'm a bit stuck!

I tried a manual install (copying the install folders from my old XP machine), but the game still launches a silent black window.

I'm not sure if this is down to my PC configuration, or graphics card/driver (I did have issues with it in the past on my old 7800GS+ card with newer drivers). A lot of 1999-2001 games crash randomly for me (currently) but this RC2000 issue is unique!

Does anyone else have a similar 64bit Win8.1 setup with Nvidia graphics (latest driver, even if your card is different)? Please let me know your findings!

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 1 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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I tried it on my work PC, Win7 64bit, ATI HD 4600, and it works fine.

So I'm looking for anyone with anything closer to my PC to test it (see my signature).

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 3 of 65, by tgomola

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The game runs fine on my laptop. I had to use dgVoodoo's ddraw.dll and had to disable mipmapping to run the game correctly, but other than that it's fully playable.

I have a version from a Polish magazine (KŚ Gry), it has preinstalled Patch 6 as far as I know. Also it has the magazine's logo composed into the loading screen, but other that that I don't know of any differences between this version and the boxed one.

My laptop's specs: Win 8.1 x64, i7, integrated Intel GPU + GT755M (the game uses Nvidia card).

Reply 4 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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I'm starting to solve this one. I noticed the RC2000 demo version 2 works, and demo 3 does the same as the main game. I noticed that in ACT there's a built-in compatibility for "Mobil Rally Championship" which matches both ral.exe and var/ral.zog. I realised the demo 2 doesn't have this folder, so I renamed var folder (or ral.zog) and the main game exe will launch (with patch 6) (but it doesn't think it's installed as I did a manual install...).

I suspected it might be that ACT fix that's breaking it, but disabling the fix in ACT doesn't fix the problem.

I then moved all the content of the CD-ROM to a folder on the desktop and replaced the exe with patch 6 version, as the one on the CD just gives black screen and there's no var folder. Now the game will appear, but as it's not properly installed it goes through the installation process, which then fails as it says not enough disk space available, even if you use ACT GetDiskFreeSPace2GB applied...

So, I think a combination of manual install, then some file trickery may get somewhere. I'll report back soon once I've cracked it!

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 5 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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Unfortunately, that's as far as I can get!

In short:
- ral.exe on CD-ROM just shows black screen, there's no ral.zog on the CD.
- If I install on other PC and copy across install folder and Registry strings, then ral.exe just shows black screen.
- If I replace ral.exe with Patch6 version, again, black screen.
- If I then rename the var folder, or the ral.zog file inside it, then ral.exe loads, showing the install/uninstall options, but not play, as I guess it needs ral.zog to know the game is installed. If you try to install it'll say not enough disk space, even though my C and D drive show >1GB available (the ACT fix to limit disk space reporting doesn't help).

- Demo 2 from https://archive.org/details/RCDEMO2 works fine. RCDEMO3 (available many other places) doesn't, unless you remove var folder or rename ral.zog. Demo 2 has no var folder or ral.zog.

- ACT, under System Database (32-bit) > Applications > Mobil Rally Championship has a thread lowering "fix" that matches ral.exe and val\ral.zog - I thought it could be this, but in reality it's got the wrong path, as it should be var\ral.zog not val... so it's not this either. It's something to do entirely with ral.zog, which contains something like this only:

; Rally Championship
; INSTALLATION CONFIGURATION

cdrom=e:\
installation=3

installation=3 should be full install, option 3 on the installation program FYI.

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 6 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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Okay I found how to install it properly, sidestepping the not enough space issue, you do the following:
1. Go to http://www.patches-scrolls.de/patch/2733 and download the latest patch called 5.30.0 - this is "Patch 6"
2. Extract it into a simple path, e.g. c:\patch
3. Follow the instructions in UPDATE.TXT in the extracted folder! It says these are for 8 MB Voodoo owners, but the same applied to me (i've tweaked the wording below FYI):

As you cannot install the game using the exe on the CD, you will need to ensure that the current directory do the following to install the game.

1. unzip the patch to your hard disk e.g. C:\PATCH
2. open a dos prompt box (press Windows key then type cmd and press return
3. change directory to the Rally CD e.g. D: (or E: if that's your CD drive!)
4. run the new exe as follows, from the folder it is extracted in, via this: C:\PATCH\RAL.EXE
5. install the game
NOTE: Immediately after installation the game is run, this will be the old exe that will just show a black screen/stop. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del, bring up Task Manager and End Task ral.exe
6. copy the new ral.exe from the C:\PATCH folder over the one where you installed the game
7. run the new exe in the game folder

NOTE: for me, I still then get a black screen, unless I rename the var folder or ral.zog inside that folder. After that, the ral.exe just shows an update program message, and if you do, nothing happens!

Alternatively, another way is to unzip the patch as normal and create a shortcut to the new exe ensuring that the 'target' is the new exe and the 'start in' directory points to the Rally Championship CD

NOTE. You will not be able to autorun the Rally CD to run the game.

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 7 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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Interestingly, this bug has been around a while, here's a post from 2002 of someone using XP with the exact same issue I have: http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?t=33621882

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 8 of 65, by mirh

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Anything useful here?
and no, don't ask why suddenly wikipedia transformed into pcgamingwiki

EDIT;: and you may be lucky to find something here or here

Last edited by mirh on 2015-02-06, 20:03. Edited 2 times in total.

pcgamingwiki.com

Reply 10 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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Heh the old High Gear forums were my old stomping ground 😀

I've got some more pointers and things to try in ral.cfg,that might help. Some of the items you listed are to do with improving loading speed or framerate, but I only get a black screen for now! Although I did get sound desynch issues with demo 2.

I'll have another look at this soon.

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 11 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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SOLVED IT!!!

I just needed to apply Creative's ALchemy to the game folder, then the game works fine... a bit odd, but perhaps it's getting hung up on my Creative sound card it seems.

However some of the other fixes above may prove useful in future, for sound desync, etc...

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 12 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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Okay, spoke too soon, now the menu works (some glitches if I use 32bit colour though, with parts missing), but now the game crashes with memory errors when starting a race! Argh!

Right: now I disabled my sound card in Device Manager and the game boots and plays fine (just with no sound!).

I recommend not running >60hz refresh rate though, otherwise the crash-to-desktop will occur when sliding on mud (e.g. in Tyrones Ditches stage).

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 13 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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Okay, lowering the sounds in-game either gives me the game with sound, or it drops out after a few seconds, or if I enable EAX it crashes before loading the stage.

I never thought this game would be more sensitive to sound than to graphics/CPU, but it seems it is! Just a little bit of tracking down to do then, to find a happy medium (don't think I can run full-on audio, but for a game this old, it may just be a case of "good enough"...).

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 14 of 65, by filipetolhuizen

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It doesn't work here with ALchemy at all. In fact, if the game detects any sound wrappers it just crashes right before starting a race with a Guru Meditation. If your Soundblaster ZX has any built-in wrappers into the drivers, you may have to force wave out or Direct sound emulation for the game using ACT.

Reply 17 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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mirh wrote:

What happens with 3Dsoundback or indirectsound?

I don't know either of those, tell me more.

I have to use ALchemy, then turn down sound settings in game, i.e. Not use EAX. I'll be playing with it more soon.

I wonder if the soundcard might be causing crashes in other games, I'll check them out later too.

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor

Reply 18 of 65, by mirh

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VirtuaIceMan wrote:

I wonder if the soundcard might be causing crashes in other games, I'll check them out later too.

Just disable it in windows device manager and it will be like it didn't exist...

Anyway

pcgamingwiki.com

Reply 19 of 65, by VirtuaIceMan

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Right, my final take on this:
1. Needs ALchemy applied to the game folder to even start the game.
2. Audio will smisbehave and/or crash if DS3D is selected.
3. Audio will crash if EAX is selected.
4. Audio will not play at all if Dolby is selected.
5. If sound is not set to Low then it'll stop playing after a few seconds and hitting escape will lock the game up.
6. Enhanced channels is possible with any setting without affecting what that setting does (i.e. can use Low and Enhanced and it'll work).
6. However, HOWEVER... selecting A3D 2.0 allows CD quality and Enhanced, and *seems* to work fine!

So that's it, A3D 2.0 and ALchemy applied to the game folder = works!

There is a little menu glitch though: the menu flickers and disappears in parts (most of the car fixing screen for example). My monitor allows me to swap between 60hz, 120hz and 144hz with a button push, so swapping between them allows more or less to be seen (144hz shows most, 60hz makes most vanish). Double/Triple buffering has no effect on this. Not sure what could improve this (I believe I tried processor affinity and that didn't help). Overall it's more minor, as the game is playable at least, to a degree!

The most important tip is to not run higher than 60hz in stages with mud, or there will be a Guru Meditation crash as you slide on the mud! I tested this on Tyrones Ditches with 60hz vs 120hz vs 144hz and 60hz never crashed.

My PC spec: Win10 64bit, i7-4970K (not overclocked), KFA2 GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER, Creative Soundblaster ZXr, 16GB RAM, Asus Z97-A motherboard, NZXT 410 case, ROG Swift GSYNC monitor