- Ok so many have issues with Halo 2, granted, it's not very optimized for many computers but I have to emphasize that over 80% of all issues with games ARE hardware-related or user-error related.
[u]First take the time to READ through my topic completely BEFORE taking any actions as many of these steps are JUST suggestions!!![/u]
A few things to do before posting here asking for help:
[b]A) Run your Computer in a "Selective Startup"[/b]
Why? - Because this might rule out the fact that you might be running a program incompatible with Halo 2 that might be hogging some piece of memory or the CPUs power that Halo 2 needs.
Go to Start, Then Run... and type into the box "msconfig" (without the quotes) Then, under the Services tab first check the Box that says "Hide all Microsoft services" and then "Disable all". Now go to the Startup tab and Disable all. after this reboot and then test Halo 2 right away (don't open anything before it!) Note that if you wish to return your computer to a normal startup (all programs start up at the startup) then just go to the General tab and click the "Normal Startup" (I don't like the normal one - takes too much time, and I can always start a program myself if I need it)
*NOTE That doing a Selective Startup could also fix problems connecting to LIVE.
[b]B) Try the -nosound parameter in the shortcut[/b]
Why? Because I've noticed that many issues with Halo 2 might be because of different sound cards, drivers, filters or codecs and this would be just a way to eliminate that possibility.
Go to your Games folder (Should be in the Start menu) and Right-Click the Halo 2 for Windows Vista shortcut and select Customize... Then, click the Edit button and in the Target window add the "-nosound" (without the quotes) so that it would look like this:
"X:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo 2\startup.exe" -nosound (X representing the Drive letter where ever you've got Halo 2 installed)
Or if you have a shortcut on your desktop then right-click the shortcut and select Properties and in the Target add the "-nosound" parameter.
Then just click OK and try it out (launch Halo 2 from that shortcut). If the game works, then you'll know that the problem is sound-related and you should try disabling codecs or filters or search for newer drivers etc...
Why? Because maybe something just got screwed up in the installation and is the cause of all your problems.
First, uninstall the game, and when you're attempting to reinstall the game, first, make sure that you have closed all other applications running in the background and secondly, DON'T USE THE TRAY AND PLAY FEATURE! Use the customize game install one instead. Otherwise install as usual, then it is suggested that you defrag the files.
If you still get issues then try uninstalling the game completely (deleting all the game folders too) and then cleaning the Registry from all Halo 2 left-over keys.
-To clean the registry:
Go to Start, then Run... and type "regedit" (without the quotes of course) and the hit OK. Then, by either manually looking for the keys associated with Halo 2 (might take a while...) OR by using the nifty "Search" option (Edit->Find...) look for keywords like Halo or.... well halo. And delete all the entries you find.
PS. If you have Halo 1 installed then you'll need to be more careful.
Why? - Because Halo 2 can be very glitchy on where the gamefiles are and in what shape they are in.
Go to Control Panel, from there System Maintenance and under the Administrative Tools is the Defragmenting option.
PS check page 4, halo2vistas post, it contains a better utility...
[b]E) Do some cleaning[/b]
Why? - I can't even count how many times my computer has started to *** with me and the after cleaning it up everything's got back to normal.
Well... If you don't know how to clean some dust out of your computer then maybe you should let someone else do it ...
[b]F) Do some cleaning part II[/b]
Part II?? - Yes that's right, Part 2, only this time I'm talking about spyware, viruses etc...
Well... DUH!! Get Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware and a free antivirus program (I prefer Avira AntiVir) and perform a basic scan... (You could use something else, but these are the best and most compatible with other programs, you can also check over at TweakGuides the most recommended security programs) PS. These programs are all free and not spyware and/or Adware. Have a little faith people...
[b]G) Increase Pagefile size + defrag it[/b]
Why? - The pagefile is something that Windows uses to store temporal data, much like the RAM does, only Windows mostly stores its own programs and and for a good reason; pagefile is slower than RAM which is used again for the more pressing priorities. If there's not enough pagefile, windows will start to hog RAM. Also, some games are optimized to use pagefile incase if there isn't enough RAM.
Go to Control Panel->System & Maintenance->System and from the sidebar select "Advanced System Settings", then (Under the Advanced tab) select under the Performance section "Settings", now in the Performance Options window under the Advanced tab in the "Virtual Memory" section click "Change". Now to defrag it, set the pagefile to zero (you most select the drive first which has the pagefile) and then reboot. Then set it to something higher than it was (You pick the number, just remember that pagefile takes harddrive space) and you can also give other Drives a pagefile for increased pagefile size (2+2=4) and reboot!
... Last but not least ...
[b][u]UPDATE ALL YOUR DRIVERS!!![/b][/u]
Yes, we've seen this hundreds of times; people claiming that they've got all the latest updates for the game, windows and computer components. Yet, the only thing that they usually have run is the windows update utility (which sucks, by the way) - This is something that you always have to do manually (well, apart from Windows updates...).
Graphics card, Sound card, Chipset, Motherboard (BIOS), windows... Even if you find a driver update for your CPU then apply it! (You can see the links for the most popular ones down below)
... If ALL else fails...
- Go over at Halo 2 Vistas Forum, post DETAILED descriptions about your problem, specs and drivers and please state if you have a laptop or a desktop computer.
[b][u]POST A DXDIAG!!![/b][/u]
Why? Because the DxDiag (Short for DirectX Diagnostics report) provides much useful information about your computer (things you might not even know or think that would be useful to share) And that is why it is imperative that when you come here on these boards asking for help in a tech-related issue, you should always post a dxdiag report with your post!
Go to Start->Then click Run...->Type "dxdiag" (without the quotes) into the box and click OK->Click "Save all information"->Save it anywhere (where you can find it)-> include it in your post.
[i]Another important thing that the DirectX Diagnostic Tool doesn't give any information about is the type/power output of your Power Supply Unit, so information about your PSU make, model and power rating should also be provided, particularly if your problem is related to computer crashes or graphic card freezes and/or lock-ups.[/i]
If you have a ATI Mobility Radeon card, you probably know that ATI has signed with the OEM manufacturers that they won't make drivers for the Mobility branch anymore (because the OEM's like having control over them for some odd reason...) so you also might notice that there are a lot less drivers out there for Mobility cards. This might present to be troublesome for when playing games.
For that, there is a small cure though; the Mobility Modder.
With it, you're able to install the normal ATI Radeon drivers for your Mobility card without much side effects at all!
Remember that ATI does not support this, but it's still fair to say that this is better than sitting on your ass waiting for your OEM to release a driver that might not fix what you're hoping...
Also, there's a lot to read in that page, but it's all important, not bull-blam!-.
(Thanks to Knight for making me realize something...)
[i]*Specified Tips located in original thread. Sorry.
*Some Extras have also been removed due to character limits, see original thread for the links.[/i]
A word of warning:
If you plan on playing Halo 2 on a laptop or with an integrated graphics card/chip you also have to know that it might not work at all, even after all these tips and suggestions because, simply put; Halo 2 doesn't like laptops (or integrated gfx cards/chips) - It hasn't been tested thoroughly on laptops and certainly not optimized for them (again, integrated gfx cards/chips). Any integrated graphics cards (Nvidia GeForce 6150, ATI Xpress 200, etc) will not run Halo 2 well. But usually this is the case with all games, right? Well let's not forget that Halo 2 is a port...
Also, if something seems a bit confusing, weird or if I just mistyped something (or if I got confused... And trust me, it happens...) then just point it out and I will brush it up. Even if you have an idea or a link then post it here for everyone to see (I'd pin it to my post, but I've got limited characters remaining), let's make this a manual for anyone who has problems!
PS: [i]If you wish to see the original (prettier and longer) topic, go here....[/i]
I'll try to keep this one updated accordingly...
[Edited on 10.14.2007 7:56 PM PDT]