Windows Graphics problems - Star Trek Online - Windows 7 - Bootcamp

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by John44, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. John44 macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2013

    Sorry this is so long.

    I have an iMac late 2012. 3.4GHz Intel i7. 1TB Fusion Drive. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5.

    I installed Bootcamp, and Windows 7.

    I'm trying to play Star Trek Online (STO) MMO. I should not have any problems. But I have 5 problems playing STO. I'm not allowed to post to the STO forum because they say I haven't been playing the game long enough. So I thought I would try here.

    1) Sometimes my whole screen goes white for 2 or 3 seconds.
    2) Sometimes my characters and background displays in "black and white" instead of color. Although the control panels/trays "HUD" still display in color.
    3) Sometimes the screen divides into 3 bands. There is a band of red tint (over the characters and background) across the top of the screen, and a band of red tint across the bottom of the screen and a band of regular color in the middle. The bands are all equal in size.
    4) Sometimes in hallways a block of shadow precedes my character about 8 feet in front of him, in what ever direction he turns.
    5) The local "Area Map" that you bring up in game sometimes displays gaps where a second ago it displayed the area. So far these gaps appear just in maps displaying hallways.

    I think this is more than minor graphic setting adjustments.
    I have downloaded the latest drivers from NVIDIA.
    I have been playing under Direct 3d 9. Yesterday switched to Direct 3d 11.
    Playing under Direct 3d 11 so far seems to take care of the shadow preceding my character.

    I also play Dungeons and Dragons (DDO) Online via Bootcamp & Windows 7. I plays very good, and looks great. But I have put very little graphics demands on it in that game. I think I remember seeing the white screen appear while playing DDO.

    I'm ready to reinstall Bootcamp and Windows 7.
    And then reinstall STO and DDO.
    Could there be something wrong with the iMac itself?
    Has anyone heard of this before?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Attached image of black & white screen. I wasn't fast enough to copy the screen with bands of red tint.

    Attached Files:

  2. etravian macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2009
    It's a good thing you did a good job of describing the issue in text, because when I saw the screenshot the first thing I thought was, 'yup, getting his butt kicked, about to die.' :) That band of reddish stuff is STO's way of showing you're really hurt and in imminent danger of going down... but it *moves* on my screen. And you're not moments from death, so I am not entirely sure why it shows.

    I mention this just so others who might have a lead on why this is happening will not dismiss your question out of hand based on the screenshot thumbnail. I'm not sure why it would behave this way... although STO is occasionally weird even on my non-bootcamp gaming rig.

    Best of luck!
  3. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    That really sounds like a video issue, probably the driver. So I have to ask the question: are you absolutely certain that you installed the correct driver for your mobile Nvidia GPU? And, did you remove the previous driver before doing so? I don't usually bother personally but there are some people who swear this is proper procedure and matters. I've never found that to be true but when things go wrong, I'll try anything in the search for a solution.

    The reason I ask about the driver also is that in my experience with ATI, they package separately the drivers for their desktop and mobile GPUs and it is essential to download and install the correct one which would be the mobile GPU for an iMac. I'm not sure if Nvidia does the same thing or not but that is something to investigate and be certain of.

    I any case, I would try completely removing the graphics driver using Windows control panel and then reinstalling it from scratch. Hopefully that helps, particularly if it turns out it was not the right driver to begin with.
  4. John44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2013
    Yes etravian the red tint and the "black & white" screens move a little. They kind of undulate in a wave-like motion - up & down.
    Okay dirtyharry50 I will try that. I've never done that before but it doesn't sound too hard.

    In the mean time another graphics anomaly started.
    6) Almost all the characters (players & nonplayers) in the game have blue heads or faces. My character has blue ears only. I included a screen shot of that at Earth Spaceport.

    Attached Files:

  5. John44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2013
    Thank you for any & all help. Because I'm not going to play this game the way it works now, and I want to. Deleting the current drivers for my NVIDIA graphics card is kind of confusing. :eek: I'm not sure which things for NVIDIA I should delete.

    Attached is an image of the NVIDIA software on my computer. The Control Panel lists 5 program files. I want to delete them all. Is there any problem with that? Maybe that will get rid of "3D Vision Photo Viewer".

    Last time I downloaded a driver from NVIDIA they installed their software that had nothing to do with the driver. They did it without giving me a choice or telling me they were doing it. It's "3D Vision Photo Viewer" I can't even get it to work.

    Attached Files:

  6. doh123 macrumors 65816

    Dec 28, 2009
    I've never played this game in Windows before... but it does sound like driver issues.

    Have you played with any of the in-game graphics settings... like post-processing or any of the others.. trying many combinations of anything? Maybe some certain setting that your drivers aren't liking. I've gotten weird graphics issues in STO before with certain settings, but since I don't use Windows for it, it could be unrelated.
  7. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    You can go ahead and uninstall all of those items listed for Nvidia. I just checked the Nvidia site and noted they do have separate driver downloads for mobile GPUs and desktop GPUs.

    You want the mobile GPU driver for your card. It will have an "M" signifying mobile after the series number and will also say (notebook) after it in the list whereas the desktop drivers just list the numbers. So make sure you download and install the right ones.

    Let us know how you make out with this. Hopefully it will do the trick. If not, it will be time to start playing with settings one at a time, looking to see if there is one in particular or possibly more than one that are buggy with the Nvidia driver. First though, I think it is very important to ensure the proper driver is installed.
  8. John44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2013
    I deleted 4 of the 5 NVIDIA programs listed. I forgot which one it was that could not be deleted. I think it was the PhysX System Software. Then installed the ones specifically for "notebooks" and NVIDIA GeForce "GTX 68MX".

    When I logged into the game:
    The heads of the majority of characters/players were all black instead of all blue. But that seems to have been fixed when I turned "Framerate Stabalizer" ON. I also turned "Auto-stabalize Framerate" ON. They are both in Options > Troubleshooting. I think it improved the picture too.

    The Local Area Maps still have gaps and drops complete sections when displaying long interior hallways. It's strange that it didn't do that when I first started playing. What changed?

    I don't know if the screen will still go white sometimes--haven't seen it yet. I don't know if the wavy bands of color or black-&-white in my case is a warning that appears when you're in danger of dieing like etravian says. I haven't seen that yet. It's only been a couple of hours since "new" drivers.

    I'm still thinking about reinstalling Bootcamp and Windows 7 just to be sure I got it right. I will post if the problems pop up again. Appreciate the help.
  9. blesscheese macrumors 6502a


    Apr 3, 2010
    Central CA
    What you describe does sound like driver issues.

    If you can play other games and it looks fine, I am not sure that re-installing Win 7 (again) is really going to help. It could just be driver specific issues with that game, that may get fixed in an upcoming driver release.

    My experience with Skyrim was that there were regular updates of NVidia drivers, with significant performance improvements. If you download the NVidia tool thingee, it will regularly check for updates and notify you of them (it will read your make and model of video card).

    Note that BootCamp installs old drivers, and you will want to update them if you reinstall, but I would say wait, play the other games, and see if a new update comes out soon.
  10. John44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2013
    Thanks. I will keep that in mind blesscheese.

    I think I had previously downloaded the correct drivers because I found the file:
    in my download folder before I downloaded the "new" drivers for the second time. And the new file that was added for the second download to my download folder has the same name.

    I deleted that older download .exe file from my download folder before downloading the .exe file for the more recent "new" drivers. I think it was worth downloading the drivers again to see if it would make any difference.
  11. John44, Apr 26, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013

    John44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2013
    The last two problems that were unsolved have been explained to me by several players in the game.

    :p etravian is right. When you are on the ground and are coming close to be killed undulating wave-like red or gray color tints will cover your screen at top and bottom. And the words "RED ALERT" will be displayed at the top of the screen. So that's part of the game. I keep my eye on it to make sure it's doing what it's suppose to do.

    :eek: When you are on the ground and inside a building or tunnel part of the local "Area Map" will stop being displayed when you go up or down a ramp or stairs. For example: going up or down a ramp or stairs in building hallways or in tunnels will cause the part of the map you left behind to not be displayed while you are at that new level. It doesn't make sense to me why it does that, but that's part of the game too.

    So that covers all 6 problems. Everything looks good as it is. It runs smooth. Looks great. Thanks very much for the help and feedback. :apple: :)

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