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Tom Speirs

GameEx F.A.Q (Read this first)

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GameEx FAQ

Q: Why won't videos play correctly in GameEx?

A: You may have to install the correct codecs. First make sure any codec packs such as ffdshow are uninstalled first. Install the LAV codec pack.

Q: "My Games" does not show on the Windows Media Center start page, how can I get it to show up?

A: Windows Media Center (MCE) has a fixed amount of maximum programs you can show on the Start Menu. You need to remove some existing programs. To remove a program, right click on it with the mouse or when selected press info/more on the remote.

Q: The snap in the bottom left corner is very small.

A: You can free up more screen real estate for emulators, by turning on "Hide Create Snaps" under Enable/Disable features in the configuration application.

Q: I'm using a recent version of MAME (.106 or newer), I'm a registered user and I've read all the other suggestions but games do not run it just returns to GameEx. On closer inspection it appears that only vertical games do not run such as Pac Man.

A: You can fix this by turning off the "Use Bezel" option under "Basic MAME Settings" in the configuration application.

Q: How do I change the text shown in GameEx, like change "MAME Games" to "Arcade Games"

A: You do this in the configuration application under Text/Language. NOTE: In order for it to work and have GameEx use this text, make sure you set the Language used to "CUSTOM".

Q: I've made some changes to the MAME filters and lists, or I've enabled Zinc or Model 2. The changes are not taking affect or I don't see the games for those emulators.

A: You need to Update the list again.

Q: I have latest drivers, version and an ATI graphics card. GameEx really runs slowly.

A: As of January 2007, there are issues with the current ATI drivers. This affects GameEx alpha blending such as when using 3D menu transitions, playing game videos as background, and picture slideshow transitions. You can either turn off these features, or use older ATI drivers. Hopefully ATI will release fixed drivers soon.

Q: I've been using GameEx for a while, and upgrading over time. I just upgraded to a new version which is for .net 2.0 only or I've only got .net 2.0 installed now and I get an error when running GameEx and no log.

A: In the GameEx install folder normally c:\program files\gameex, delete any file in there that has the file extension .exe.config.

Q: Is it possible to improve the quality of DVD and videos?

A: Yes, turn on the Use VMR9 setting under Multimedia/HTPC settings.

Q: Is there a quick, good and easy way just to make GameEx purely for MAME without individually turning off all the features I don't need?

A: Yes, when installing GameEx select the option to set up purely as a MAME plugin or only for games.

Q: I'm using a recent version of MAME, and vertical games don't work or are scrambled when running through GameEx.

A: This is due to changes to the rendering system in latest MAME releases, and the automatic bezel feature in GameEx or if you are using other bezels in MAME. In GameEx configuration, select basic MAME settings and turn off the "Use Bezel" feature (you may have to go to the next page). If you are using other Bezels, back them up and delete them from your MAME installation.

Q: I'm wanting to move my GameEx install over to a new system. Can I just install GameEx on the new system, then copy my old GameEx folder over the new folder?

A: Yes, you can copy your directory over to the new system/location and then install over top of it. That should work fine. Note: you copy the folder first then install GameEx over the top.

Q: The Jukebox does not display Japanese or other unicode languages.

A: In the configuration set the Jukebox to use File Tag mode.

Q: I have a huge audio library and the Jukebox takes a really long time to load, maybe even hours.

A: If you have a really big audio library, your better setting the Jukebox to file tag mode. Note: The first time you access the jukebox in file tag mode, it will take a really long time to load, even hours. However once GameEx has read all the tags in your audio files it will cache these and subsequent loads will be quick. If you add new audio files it will rescan only the new files, this may take a little time, but not nearly as long as the initial load. Alternativly for large audio collections you can use the "Media Library" module.

Q: I meet the minimum system requirements but GameEx runs slowly.

A: There are many users of GameEx that run it on older hardware and it runs very well. The product is capable of running fine on hardware up to 6 years old. On higher spec hardware it should run like silk. Performance issues can be due to various reasons including badly designed pc hardware that tends to overheat. Click here for some things to try and some tips to improve performance of GameEx.

Q: I get the following error when trying to run GameEX:

19:26:06.4 09/11/2005: Running Randomize()

19:26:06.4 09/11/2005: Initialising Video/MNG DLL's

19:26:06.6 09/11/2005: Unable to load DLL (PlayVideoBak.dll).

19:26:06.7 09/11/2005: ERRORS DETECTED: EXITING

A: This is fixed in GameEx version 5.20 and above. Get the latest version.

Q: Can I map the the keys and buttons GameEx uses to something else on my keyboard or game controller?

A: Yes look in the GameEx 'Config' folder for a file called custominput.ini. Open this file with notepad (Start - Run - Notepad - [OK]). For a keyboard - reference the file 'scancodes.txt' and put the appropriate scan code number after the equals sign for each navigation control in custominput.ini. For a game controller use the appropriate button number. To see what your buttons are on your controller, test the game device via windows control panel.

To then use the custom input configuration, turn it on under the input settings in the configuration application.

Q: How do I upgrade my version of GameEx, and not mess up my settings?

A: If you are upgrading GameEx from an earlier version, you don't need to uninstall first, and your settings shouldn't be lost. Although make sure you backup any media files you have replaced with your own..

Q: I'm running Windows 98 and receive the following error:

The .Net Framework OleDb Data Provider requires Microsoft Data Access Components(MDAC) version 2.6 or later.

A: Download MDAC 2.6 Here

Q: Is it possible to remove a game from a list manually?

A: Simply highlight the game to remove and hit your DELETE key. You'll get a confirmation dialog. Just hit enter and it is removed from the list. What this does is add that ROM to the filter list automatically, and you do not need to update the MAME game list.

Q: Is there a list of non-emulated games that work well.

A: Some of the forum members have compiled a great list here

Q: I have a really powerful PC, can I make GameEx look even more slick?

A: If you have a good CPU and good GPU, turn on 3D Alpha Blended transitions. Its the Transition type option under display settings in the configuration app.

Q: Which version of MAME is recommended?

A: There is no particular recommendation of MAME version, mostly all modern versions work fine, either ones that have a user interface (MAME32) and standard command line versions MAME. It is probably better to use the command line version, as GameEx does not need a 32 version, and it will possibly take up a little less memory and start-up quicker. Although it is not a requirement.

Q: I have a good system, but GameEx runs terribly slow or freezes up (I have an NVidia video card)?

A: NVidia unified drivers newer than 66.93 and older than 81.85 seem to have serious bugs with DirectX 2D support. Get the latest NVidia drivers or alternatively you can get 66.93 drivers here direct from this site (English) or here from NVidia. 66.93 was released November 2004. If you have an older card like a Geforce 2, 3 or 4 you may still need the older driver.

Q: I've been using GameEx a while and just upgraded my version of MAME. Every time I launch a game it just returns to GameEx

A: Certain command line options were removed from MAME in recent versions. Go into GameEx configuration > Advanced MAME Configuration. Look at the line that says CMD/Command options and remove the text that says -skip_disclaimer.

Q: I have snaps for most my games, and don't want to create snaps for all my games, can I just create snaps for ones that don't exist.

A: Yes, GameEx automatically only creates missing snaps, it won't create them if you already have then.

Q: Is there anyway to configure GameEx to store all your emulator's rom's into a text/ini file? I think the MAME part does this, which really helps as far as keeping the loading times down. But if you could somehow enable a feature to do this for all the other emulators.

A: Yes you can use a MAP file. GameEX automatically creates these files in the data folder (c:\program files\gameex\data) every time an emulator is loaded. Rename the files, and then use the map file setting in the config for the emulator

Q: My game and GameEx images are fullscreen behind the text and menus. Is there a way to show the image in the corner like shown in the screenshots section?

A: Change the Background mode under Display Settings to Display Background images.

Q: Where can I get snaps, game preview videos, artwork and game manuals?

A: See the Extras page.

Q: The Jukebox stops when going into the screensaver. Is there a way to have the music keep playing?

A: Change the Attract mode audio setting under Audio settings.

Q: How do I get my jukebox music to play automatically when GameEx starts.

A: Change the option under Audio settings.

Q: Are there any command line options for GameEx.exe

A: Yes, you can specify a different configuration file to use by using config=

eg. gameex.exe config="c:\program files\gameex\config\myconfig.ini"

-quick has the same affect as setting gameex to not play the startup video, intro animation and intro sound. e.g. C:\program files\gameex\gameex.exe -quick

-listupdate makes GameEx update the MAME game list then exit. e.g. gameex.exe -listupdate.

-dvd launches GameEx as a stand alone DVD player, and starts playing an inserted disc.

Q: I don't want all the new features such as DVD, I just want to play games, can I have a lite version of GameEx without the bloat?

A: There is no need for a lite version of GameEx, just disable all features you don't need in the configuration application then they will then not be available in GameEx, will not be initialised and will not take up memory.

Q: DVD's don't play on my system. Any ideas?

A: Assuming you have a DVD codec installed such as WinDVD, PowerDVD or PureVideo, then try setting the 16-Bit colour setting. Its under display options in the configuration application. If you have a modern system try setting the VMR 9 option. In addition check the FFDSHOW setting, unless you have it installed and are intending to use it make sure its turned off.

Q: I have trouble using GameEx with my game pad or arcade controls, its just too sensitive, and I end up navigating out of the games list or menus by mistake.

A: Under Input settings, try the "Cab Control Setting"

Q: Errors or display issues are happening when trying to create AVI snap previews.

A: Try performing "Create Videos" when GameEx is windowed and not full screen.

Q: How do I clear the Playlist in newer versions?

A: Just select the all music playlist or select Clear Playlist , and then select tracks to queue up.

Q: I've got video previews for an emulator and I've downloaded the official DivX software, but when a video plays GameEx goes back to the windows desktop.

A: There is an issue with the official DivX software where it creates a tray icon and then switches window focus to it. There is no technical need for DivX to do this, and I assume this is for marketing purposes, i.e. pop-ups. The best solution is to use FFDSHOW, which is actually technically superior to the official DivX, free and also allows you to play and visually enhance just about all video formats. You can get it here http://ffdshow.sf.net

NOTE: Read below. Issue with latest FFDSHOW version.

Q: My preview videos don't play. I just get black with sound.

A: There is a bug in recent versions of FFDSHOW/FFDSHOW tryouts which has an imcompatibility with the libraries gameex uses to play preview/snap videos. Please use this version of FFDSHOW for best compatiblity with GameEx. Here.

Q: I don't want to use a media player playlist for the Jukebox, I would like to have all tracks available and play tracks based on my mood. Can I do this or do I need to use a different Jukebox?

A: There is a special playlist that loads all tracks in the Libraray. Select Playlist then select All Music

Q: I have GameEx locked so users cant do things such as update the list or exit. Is there a special service mode that unlocks GamEx, so I can update the list, delete all favorites, exit or create snaps?

A: To enter service mode do the following:

Keep navigating back to until the buffer is cleared.

Go to the start page.

Then do these controls in order.

BACK

PAGE UP

PAGE DOWN

LEFT

UP

VOLUME UP

To lock again and end service mode follow the same procedure.

Q: How do I not show Adult Games.

A: Under MAME Update settings, make sure to set No Adult games, under Enable/Disable turn off Show Adult games. Then update the list.

Q: How do I get rid of the MAME Original list on the Start Page

A: This is under Enable/Disable in the configuration application, as are the settings to not show a a separate Neo-Geo, CPS, and Vector games list.

Q: How do I turn off the Form resizing - Restore/Maximize.

A: Its under Enable/Disable options, as is just about everything else that can be turned on or off.

Q: How do I turn off having the configuration within the GameEx Front end.

A: Enable/Disable Options.

Q: How do I show visualizations in the Jukebox.

A: Go into the Play list menu item.

Q: How do I set what buttons does what in GameEx?

A: In your GameEx\CONFIG folder, edit the file "custominput.ini". Look in "scancodes.txt" to see which code matches which key. You must also enable the use of custom input in GameEx Configuration -> Input -> Enable custom keyboard controls.

Q: Where do I configure my controls for MAME games in GameEx?

A: You don't. MAME has it's own configuration for buttons. In MAME, press the 'TAB' key on your keyboard to bring up the configuration screen. If you have MAME's default settings on, you use the 'arrow' keys to move around and 'enter' to make a selection. If you should press the wrong key, use 'escape' to nullify it.

Example: You want to set the keys for coin and for exiting MAME:

Press 'tab' then go to->

input general ->

User Interface ->

"UI Cancel" -> Set this to the button you will use to escape from MAME back to GameEx

When this is set, press it once more to go back to ->

input general->

other controls->

set "Coin 1" -> the button you input credits with.

Q: In MAME32, I see 2000 more games than I do in GameEx, why don't they show up?

A: Open up GameEx Configuration app and go to Advanced MAME settings->Page 2:

Here you can change the filters that GameEx uses to import games.

Only working games

Allow imperfect games

etc.

Change to your liking, then open GameEx and update your game list again.

To list all MAME games there are several tutorials on how to do this in the tutorials section.

Q: Can I use multiple configurations to launch GameEx only for Games or only for Karaoke and so on?

A: Yes, GameEx has command line support, so you can create shortcuts that launches GameEx with different settings, like with the screen rotated for a vertical monitor, just for HTPC use, etc.

Example:

Make a copy of your gameex.ini and rename it to allfeatures.ini or something. Then turn off all your settings in your original .ini to create a light version.

Create a shortcut for your full configuration GameEx with this commandline: gameex.exe config="c:\program files\gameex\config\allfeatures.ini"

Q: I'm a registered user now, and when I play vertical MAME games on my horizontal screen, I get a GameEx logo and a MAME logo on each side. What is this and how do I remove it?

A: Open up GameEx Configuration app -> Basic MAME settings -> Disable 'Use bezel for vertical games'.

Q: My custom emulators or applications just give me a black screen, sometimes with sound.

A: Make sure the application is set to launch full screen. If it is not a DirectX application, or this still does not work, set ShowDesktop=True

Q: I am using a custom theme with video/s as a background, and GameEx grinds to a crawl when showing.

A: Turn off Alpha Blending for videos.

Q: I have MAME snaps and Videos set to display as the background image, and when videos play they are very slow.

A: Turn off Alpha Blending for videos.

Q: Picture slide shows are very slow on my system. It makes the feature pretty useless to me. Can I do anything?

A: You need a very good system for this, but yes, turn off AlphaBlending/Transitions.

Q: Can you make a standalone DVD Player based on the one in GameEx, so it can replace the Windows Media Center one or be used by with My Movies?

A: Its already possible. Just launch gameex with the Command line option -DVD

Q: My music does not show up in the Jukebox

A: Make sure you have added the files to the Windows Media Player library.

Also make sure you have Windows Media Player 9 or above.

Q: How do I get the different Mame catagories to show up in GameEx? I downloaded the catlist files and have them in my mame folders directory but they didn't change in GameEx.

A: Assuming you are using the normal catlist version and you set the new path to the catver.ini file in the configuration app too, then you need to do an update list.

Q: Do you know how I can completely hide the operating system for a Games Only PC, and have Windows Shell directly into GameEx.

A: Here is an article I have found. I have not tried this personally with GameEx. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who as tried.

However If you just want to Run GameEx automatically when windows starts. Just create a 'shortcut' to GameEx.exe in the Start Menu > Program Files > Startup Folder.

Q: My Remote or controller, sticks.

A: Get the latest version of the .net framework. It has also been reported that this may be due to your PC overheating, and applying the Sleep and NoWaitVsync settings resolved this. Look at the Sleep and NoWaitVsync settings in GameEx.ini. In addition, make sure the setting for using DirectInput for the keyboard is not set. If you still have problems, please post on the Yahoo group, and be sure to include all logs, configs, and what controller you are using.

Q: GameEx takes a long time to start up.

A: You can speed up start up time, by turning off the Jukebox, Disabling HTML applications and not using ICONS. Also recent versions have much quicker start-up time.

Q: GameEx takes a long time to return after I exit games.

A: Get the latest version.

Q: Can I stream GameEx through my Xbox 360 or other Media Center Extenders?

A: Unfortunately it is just not technically possible to stream PC native full fps games to an Xbox 360 to an extent that would be good enough. If it was physically possible to do it well enough for the likes of real time gaming with the current extender technology, it would do it, but it's not.

Q: I don't have access to a keyboard. How do I page up and down the lists?

A: Press Button 1 Up or down. If this does not work, try setting EnableSlikStick to true in GameEx.ini. This may also be needed for IPAC's

Q: Can I completely operate GameEx and all my games via a game pad?

A: GameEx can already be completely operated by a Game Pad.

You can even exit games with a game pad. Some applications don't support joysticks. You can use an advanced emulator config file this or a utility. There is a utility called JoyToKey which allows you to use keyboard applications with a game device. Get it here. A newer application Xpadder comes highly recommended.

Q: Does GameEx only work with Windows Media Center Edition?

A: Nope, you don't need MCE to run GameEx, it will run quite happily with all features on Windows 98, ME, 2000, and XP.

Q: Does GameEx support any more emulators or games other than MAME, Zinc, Daphne.

A: Yes, it should work with all other emulators that support command line options.

You can also launch PC games from GameEx.

Q: I have an older system, and GameEx runs slowly. How do I get GameEx to run at its fastest possible speed?

A: For maximum speed, use the following settings in GameEx.ini

XResolution=640

YResolution=480

Use16BitColour=True

EnableJukeBox=False

NoGameInfo=True

NoWaitVSync=True

UseLargeFonts=True

ArcadeMode=True

ICONPath=""

Q: I have a modern system, but GameEx is still a little slow.

A: Try using a lower resolution

Q: I have all my paths setup correctly, but see no games in GameEx.

A: Select 'Update List'

Q: I am a newbie to MAME and have a couple of ROMS, but they are not there after updating the list.

A: Turn off VeriyfRoms, OnlyRoms, Only Working, and GameFilterOn, in GameEx.ini. Check your ROM path is correct.

Q: The Game list won't update, or does not update correctly. For example, I see no categories or years.

A: This maybe because you are using an old version of MAME or a derivative build such as MAME Plus.

GameEx has only been tested with the newer versions of the official Windows MAME, MAME32 and AdvanceMAME. Get the latest official version of Windows MAME or MAME32. Once the Games list has updated correctly, you can probably swap over to your derivative or older build.

Q: The games list only shows about half of my games:

A: Turn off the Games list filter option.

To list all MAME games there are several tutorials on how to do this in the tutorials section.

Q: When I run GameEx it exits straight away and brings up the log file in notepad,

with error in Main loop after running once.

A: Check the resolution you are running is valid to windows. If you are launching

from Media Center, try setting MediaCenterMode=2 in gameex.ini

Q: When I run GameEx it exits straight away and brings up a dialog box/window that states can't find xxxxx.dll.

A: Ensure you have the .net framework and DirectX 9 or above installed.

Q: My Zinc games are not in full screen, or I just get a black screen.

A: Check the Zinc Renderer configuration file and that full screen is on.

Make sure you are using the DirectX renderer.

Q: My MAME games are not in full screen, or I just get a black screen.

A: Add -nowindow -hwstretch -ddraw to the MAME Options under Advanced MAME settings.

In addition, make sure UsingArcadeVGA is set to False.

Q: I'm running Windows 98/ME, and when I go to update list, I get a black screen

(with or without some text).

A: In Windows, click Start > Run. Type in command.com. Click OK. If this is then displayed full screen, press ALT-ENTER to make it into a window, then close the window. GameEx should work correctly now.

Q: GameEx produces an error and won't run when launched from Media Center.

A: Set MediaCenterMode=2 (Close Mediacenter)

Q: GameEx returns to Media Center when I use the Skip or Replay buttons on the remote

A: Set MediaCenterMode=2 (Close Mediacenter)

MediaCenterMode=1 is generally not recommended.

Q: GameEx really uses a lot of the CPU, nearly or exactly 100%

A: Set NoWaitSync= True and Sleep=15 in GameEx configuration under Tweaks/Performance. You may need to reduce the sleep setting on older PC's, or you can possibly increase on faster PC's. On an Athlon 3400 64, I can use these settings without any slow down.

After running GameEx with these settings and looking at the Performance tab in Task Manager, GameEx was consistently using about 8% of the CPU while it had the focus.

Note: In recent versions, mostly GameEx uses 0-1% CPU when it does not have the window focus, regardless of these settings.

Q: The Volume and Back buttons are not working on the Remote

A: Turn off Direct Input.

Q: I heard there was a way to create snap shots of my emulator games, but I don't see the option.

A: To make the create snaps menu show up, temporarily disable and not use a database for the emulator.

Q: I get no or very quiet sound when watching a DVD with FFDSHOW.

A: Download the latest 'Daily Build' of FFDSHOW.

Q: Does GameEx support vertically rotated displays.

A: Yes, in recent versions.

Q: Is there a way to use my own album artwork in the Jukebox?

A: Yes, for each album folder GameEx will look for the following images and if it finds them use them for the artwork: folder.jpg, folder.png, album.jpg and album.png

Q: Does GameEx support Arcade Monitors running at 15Khz out the box like ArcadeOS, Kymera, or AdvanceMenu?

A: No, you need to use special hardware such as an ArcadeVGA card from Ultimarc or hardware from Ultracade, or it may be possible with special video card drivers or utilities but I have no information on this. Its mostly not possible on MS Windows anyway without special hardware.

Q: My Emulators ROMS don't show. I just get no Games found, but they are there.

A: Make sure the RomFilter setting is correct for your ROM file extensions. e.g *.zip if your ROMS are zip files. *.rom;*.bin if all your ROM files either have an extension of ROM or BIN. Also, try disabling 'ROMS in folders'

Q: How do I change "My Games" shown in Windows Media Center to something else.

A: Change this key in the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / WINDOWS / CURRENTVERSION / MEDIA CENTER / EXTENSIBILITY / CATEGORIES / START MENU / {3de6904a-d9c7-4ef9-b77d-c1216b39161a} > "TITLE".

e.g. Run Regedit.exe navigate to the above, double click on TITLE and type what you want it to be called.

Q: What is the benefit of an Arcade Monitor?

A: http://www.ultimarc.com/monfaq.html

Q:I did some searching but am still not sure, as to how you can change the intro sound for GameEX.

Anyone done this or know how to do so?

A: Its an WAV file located in your Themes directory. Its Named introsound.wav

Just replace it with another WAV of your choice and keep the same name.

Q: I get "Error: The SELECT statement includes a reserved word or an argument name that is misspelled or missing, or the punctuation is incorrect."

A: Select Start->Run then paste in "regsvr32.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\msjtes40.dll".

Q: I launch XXXX using YYYY as a loader. When the game starts, the screen goes black I can hear the audio in the background but GameEx pops back up. What's going on?

A: When GameEx launches a game (Arcade/Console ROM, PC Game/Application, etc.), it keeps track of the process that was spawned. When that process ends, GameEx assumes that the you are done playing that game and it's time to return to the front end. The problem is that if a loader is used to launch a game (Daphne Loader is a classic example), that process launches the actual game in a new process and closes. The expected result is that the game is playable. However, GameEx doesn't know anything about the new process. The solution is to either launch the game directly without the loader or modify the loader, if possible, to stay active until the game has closed. UPDATE:The other soution if you still want to use the loader is a little more complex. You need to create an advanced emulator configuration ini file and specify it for use with the emulator. Copy an existing one and in the wait for processes section specify the process name of the actual game (this is the name that shows under processes in task manager). This tells GameEx not to exit until the actual game process has finished.

Q: Ive donated already and got a new PC. Can I copy my gameex reg key to this new pc? Or do I need to donate again.

A: Read this thread.. http://www.gameex.info/forums/index.php?s=...ost&p=33132

Q: My sound is stuttering and skipping. Even on old games.

A: Launch the gameex advanced config>goto advanced mame settings>mame options> Remove -Tripplebuffer

Q: I'am running MAME and I want to disable the in-game warning screens and add Hi-score support.

A: You can use the MAME compilier found on a pinned topic toward the top of the forum.

Download mame source. Use the Diff file for that version. And compile. It will remove ALL nag screens and enable hi-score support.

Q: How do I specify multiple ambience files or a simple playlist folder?

A: Turn off the Jukebox, and specify the playlist/music folder.

Q: I have performance issues. Or how do I improve performance?

A:

1. Dont have your MAME game picture images, snaps etc in ZIPS. This really slows it down at the moment.

2. Check your Audio driver. I just upgraded mine to a generic driver, and GameEx really suffered.

3. If background videos are slow, disable alpha blending.

4. Dont use MNG videos.

5. Optimize your PC by disabling unused services, applets, and tray apps.

6. Try running at a lower resolution.

7. Use the latest device specific manufacuturer drivers. Dont always rely on Windows Update.

8. If you have less than 512mb RAM, an upgrade might help.

9. Dont install and run GameEx on a removable drive such as USB/Firewire.

10. Ensure you are running latest version of .net framework, and DirectX.

11. If using Windows 98/ME, consider an upgrade to 2000 or XP.

12. Try using the 16 Bit colour setting in GameEx.

13. If Pictures and Slideshows display slowly turn off Alpha Blending Transitions

14. Ensure you have the latest non beta version of the .net framework

15. NVidia unified drivers newer than 66.93 and older than 81.85 seem to have serious bugs with DirectX 2D support. Get the latest drivers, or you can get 66.93 drivers here direct from this site (English) or here from NVidia. Note: on older cards you may still need to use the older drivers.

16. Make sure your running the latest version of GameEx. Old versions may have bugs that cause slow down.

17. If MAME games launch slowly, then use the -skip_validitychecks command line setting.

18. If you have games stored on a remote pc or server and the list takes a while to show up for emulators, consider using a MAP file. GameEx automatically creates map files for your emulators. These are located in the data directory by emulator number. You can simply use these.

19. When updating the MAME games list you can avoid the long wait for the verify by turning Verify ROMS off, and enabling Only Existing.

20. If navigating lists is slow, try turning off find snap/artwork on best match basis under Tweaks/Performance

21. Turn off GameExtender if your not using it. It is designed to use as less resources as it can, but its at least possible that it may slow down GameEx on older systems.

22. If you have a game device attached with less than 6 buttons, disconnect it or disable it in GameEx config.

23. You can make GameEx run a lot faster (maybe nearly twice as fast on old systems) by telling GameEx not to wait for VSync, although the display animations wont be 100% smooth to the human eye.

24. As of January 2007, there are issues with the current ATI drivers. This affects GameEx alpha blending such as when using 3D menu transitions and picture slideshow transitions. You can either turn off these features, or use older ATI drivers. Note: Picture and slideshows are fixed in newer versions of GameEx. There is still an issue with 3D menu transitions and running game videos as the background when alpha blended.

25. Turn off video previews for actual videos/movies (not meaning for emulators).

http://www.gameex.net/Support/FAQ/tabid/62/Default.aspx

If you think something should be added to the FAQ please reply to this post.

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This may not be the most appropriate place to post about it, but seeing as there is discussion regarding codecs in here that many new members may seek out, I'd like to make it known that this tool modifies the DivX configuration tool to disable the system tray. Even registered users lack the option to disable the system tray, and this utility resolves this. It was designed for older versions of DivX, however, and attempts to modify "C:\Program Files\DivX\DivX\config.exe" which is in current versions: "C:\Program Files\DivX\DivX Codec\config.exe"

To fix this, just rename the "DivX Codec" folder to "DivX" before running the system tray remover, and then rename it back after you're done. So for those who would like to stick with DivX, now you can without the system tray messing around with GameEx :)

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Hiding windows and shelling info..

Replacing Your BIOS Logo

Some modern BIOSes support changing the logo that is the very first thing displayed when your computer turns on. It should be noted that thereâ??s not too much to be gained from doing this as most computers are so fast that the image is only momentarily flashed and your display device normally wonâ??t have got up to operating specifications before the BIOS screen disappears. If yours can be changed, there will be an utility to do this on the motherboard manufacturerâ??s website.

Some (but not all) ASUS brand motherboards support this feature. Support for this feature in other brands is unknown.

[edit] Hiding Windows XP

[edit]Replacing Your Boot Screen

The boot screen is the Windows XP logo on a black background with a little blue progress bar underneath it. Before making any changes, be sure to create a System Restore point before attempting these methods. While not a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card, it can save you from yourself. This way, in case something goes wrong, restarting your computer, pressing and holding F8 until the Operating System menu appears and selecting â??Last Known Good Configurationâ? should get you back to your previous state in most cases.

You can modify your boot screen in these ways:

[edit]BootSkin

This product inserts a driver file into the XP startup sequence that displays an image instead of actually loading a driver.

Pros:

It does not patch or access any operating system files.

If something goes wrong, it is simple to fix.

You can customize both the screen and the progress bar.

Cons:

Relies on BIOS and driver manufacturers strictly obeying certain guidelines.

If the system is incompatible, you'll likely get a "blue screen of death".

[edit]BootXP

This alters resources and some other bits in a file called â??ntoskrnl.exeâ?.

Pros:

You can customize both the screen and the progress bar.

Cons:

If something goes wrong, you will need an original Windows XP CD to put it right and knowledge of how to use the recovery console.

It accesses and patches a critical operating system file.

You get really ugly and slow nag screens every time you want to change your boot screen if you donâ??t pay for it.

[edit]Slimm Boot-Logo / The Microsoft Way

There is an undocumented switch in Microsoft Windows XPâ??s operating system settings file. Slimm Boot-Logo simply flicks the switch.

You can also set this switch manually. Go to My Computer >Properties >Advanced >Startup and Recovery >Settings. Select â??Edit startup options fileâ?. Add â?? /bootlogo /noguibootâ? to your default operating system (there must be a space between each switch) and add a 16-color 640 x 480 pixel BMP file called "boot.bmpâ? to your Windows directory.

Pros:

Simple, safe, simply asks the operating system to use a custom boot screen.

No illegal or unrecommended patching of any file.

Least chance of anything going wrong (your changed settings can be checked before you reboot. After performing the change, go to My Computer >Properties >Advanced >Startup and Recovery >Settings. If you still have â??Microsoft Windows XPâ? in the combo box at the top, everything should work fine next time you boot.

Cons:

No progress bar on custom boot screen.

Have to convert your image to 640 x 480 pixels and 16 colors yourself.

If it goes wrong you will need an original Windows XP CD to put it right.

If something goes wrong: You need to rebuild the â??boot.iniâ? file using the instructions in this knowledge base article

[edit]Makeing Your Own Bootskin for XP using Bootskin_Free

This may work for other "skinning" softwares but I have only used Bootskin.

This is a description of how to make your own Bootskin for win XP.

The bootskin is composed of 3 parts. The main image, the progress bar,

and a little script (for lack of a beter term) to tie the two together.

These are then placed into a folder and zipped.

Start by making a folder for your bootskin.

Rename it to Whateveryoulike.bootskin

I use Photoshop to make my images, but you can use any program that will allow you to change color modes and save a profile of an indexed color palet.

Main Picture is 640 x 480 (72dpi)

Make it "Indexed color" - 16 Colors

Save color loader table (Image->Modes->Color table->Save)

Save as BMP - 4 bit - Imagename_Bootskin.bmp (Imagename is whatever you want it to be called)

Make sure that you save this in your new bootskin folder.

Progress bar is 22 x 9 (72dpi)

Index color - load color table from BKG image (Image->Modes->Color table->load)

Save as bmp - 4 bit - Imagename_Progress.bmp (imagename is whatever you want it to be called)

Save this in your bootskin folder.

Next you will need to open notepad and make a description for the bootskin program to know how to put your bootskin together.

Here is a description of what needs to be inside.

[bOOTSKIN] = what it is

Type = (I do not know what this is for. When I read about this it said to use 0 and it works)

Name = title of Bootskin (inside quotes)

Author = You (inside quotes)

Description = Description (inside quotes)

Progressbar = the name of the progress bar file +.bpm

Progressbarx (y)= X & Y Coordinates (in pixles) for where the progress bar is on the screen

Progressbarwidth = How wide (in pixles) do you want your progress bar to be.

Screen = The name main image + .bmp

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is the last one that I did. You can use it to get yourself on track.

Open notepad and copy - paste the script below.

[bootSkin]

Type= 0

Name = "Blackout"

Author = "MYX"

Description = "Blackout Theme based skin"

ProgressBar= BO_Progress.bmp

ProgressBarX = 140

ProgressBarY = 400

ProgressBarWidth = 360

Screen= Blackout_Bootskin.bmp

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once you have finished filling out your tweaks, save it as bootskin.ini

You will have to type the .ini.

This changes it from a txt document into a configuration document.

Make sure all 3 parts are in your Your.bootskin folder.

Then you have to zip the folder.

Right click on the folder.

When the menu comes up select send to -> Compressed (zipped) Folder

Now that your bootskin is zipped you can put it into the bootskin program.

In Bootskin, I have found that when I navigate to where the folder is many times the bootskin folder does not show up. In the name box, if you start to type the name of the bootskin folder, it will appear and then you can select it. Not sure why this is.

Clear as mud? Good.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[edit]A Hardware Solution For Hiding BIOS & Boot Screens

This may be set-up dependant thus it may or may not work for your setup. In the first step, a cheap or even free part is recommended. This will make testing this method easier on the wallet.

You must be using an AGP video card in your PC. Add a PCI video card to your system (use the cheapest model you can find - it may not even have to work, so you may be able to find a free card!)

Go into the BIOS setup screen of your PC, and find the "Video Card" setting. Change it to "PCI" instead of AGP.

Reboot your PC

The BIOS messages and boot screen should now be output only to the PCI card. The monitor, still plugged into the AGP card, should stay blank until Windows starts. If any BIOS changes are needed, you'll have to plug the monitor into the PCI card, so ensure your PC's BIOS settings are configured prior to attempting this step.

[edit]Replacing Explorer With Your FE In XP

To almost completely bypass Windows and its trimmings, you may want to set up your front end as a shell.

Note: To do this automagically during startup in XP your computer may be a part of a workgroup, but it CAN'T be part of a domain.

Here is the process to follow in order to set up your front end as a shell:

You must have at least 2 users with admin privileges

Open the user that will be auto logged in to the account that will be running your front end as a shell. This user should have admin rights.

Set XP to automate the login process.

Click start >run >type

control userpasswords2Deselect the Users must enter a username and password... checkbox.

Click Apply

Enter the user & pass you want to login with & click OK

Click OK again

Configure your front end... this is not a trial run, so make sure it's the way you want it. You can always get the explorer back, but it will take a minute or two to do so.

Open regedit and find

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\IniFileMapping\system.ini\bootFind a string entry called Shell.

Change the first 3 letters (which should read SYS) to USR. The path after USR will look different for your system, but it should appear similar to this: USR:BLAH\BLAH\BLAH. This tells windows to ignore the systemâ??s shell values and load up a shell value on a user by user basis. If you donâ??t do this it will never even look for the shell value in the current user key, meaning the next part wonâ??t ever be seen.

Now (still in regedit) open these registry folders as follows:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinlogonIf you can't find Shell create a string entry and name it Shell.

Set the string entry to the name and directory location of your front end, for example

C:\arcade\mamewah.exeYOURS may be different, use YOUR OWN path to the exe!

Log out as the auto-login user and log back in as another user with administrative rights. (You DID create 2 accounts with adminstrative priveledges as was suggested, right? )

If you want to limit the access of the auto log-in user set the auto-login user to a standard user

[edit]What to do if you removed the taskbar and want it back

Should you ever care to go back to the way things were, after firing up your front end, simply hit ctrl alt del and run regedit again, and delete the shell entry you created. POOF! Everythingâ??s back to â??normalâ? again!

If you just want the taskbar back temporarily then do the following:

Exit your front end and go back to your taskbar-less desktop.

Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete.

In Windows XP the task manager appears. On Windows 2000 you need to press the "Task Manager" button as an extra step.

Click on the "New Task" button.

At the "Create New Task" window type "explorer" and hit OK.

[edit]Launching Programs/Utilities in the background

If you set your front end as a shell you may notice that other programs you had set to startup on Boot are no longer loading in the background.

XYNTService will allow you to continue to load any programs that don't already support launching as a System Service.

[edit]Alternate Method Without Messing With The Registry

You can achieve a similar affect as the above (although not as "complete", and may or may not be acceptable to you) with the following steps:

Put a shortcut to your FE's .exe file in â??Startupâ? folder.

Hide all windows desktop icons. You will need to download and install the Microsoft PowerToy TweakUI and change the Desktop settings.

Set desktop to black or use a wallpaper image of your choice

Auto hide task bar.

[edit]Returning to Explorer once FE Quits

If you would like the Explorer shell to start up after you quit your frontend, this is possible. Here is how to do it using Mamewah as an example. Keep in mind, that this is only possible if the frontend that you use supports launching an application on exit. Also, the location of the option to do this won't be in the same place everytime, Mamewah is just used as an example.

Go to your Mamewah folder and edit your mamewah.ini file

Near the bottom of the list of options is app_to_run_on_exit enter explorer.exe next to it and save the file.

Now, everytime you quit Mamewah, it will exit back to the Explorer shell.

Edit: From http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?...;topic=53467.40 posted there by Capthowdy

Edit your mamewah\ctrlr\default.ini

EXIT_WITH_CHOICE

EXIT_TO_WINDOWS "DIK_ESCAPE"

EXIT_AND_RUN_APP

EXIT_AND_REBOOT

EXIT_AND_SHUTDOWN

guess where "DIK_ESCAPE" needs to be! That's right...make it look like this:

EXIT_WITH_CHOICE

EXIT_TO_WINDOWS

EXIT_AND_RUN_APP "DIK_ESCAPE"

EXIT_AND_REBOOT

EXIT_AND_SHUTDOWN

[edit]Getting rid of the "Loading settings" Popup screens

The following will hide the dialog box that appears that the beggining of Windows startup informing you that the system is "Loading Settings".

To do this,follow these steps:

Go to, Start Menu -> Run and enter regedit

Navigate to entry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>Software>Microsoft>Windows>CurrentVersion>Policies>SystemIf there is an entry for "DisableStatusMessages" set it to 1 (the digit one)

If there is no entry, right-mouse click the "System" word, and select New->DWORD value, and enter "DisableStatusMessages", right-mouse to edit the value of it, and enter 1 (the digit one).

[edit]Hiding The Mouse Pointer While Logging Into Windows

After having everything else stripped out of Windows, seeing the cursor briefly while Windows boots up is a real experience killer. Here is how to get rid of it! Please make sure you read this thoroughly before you start, as you might get stuck with an invisible pointer, and that won't be fun to get back to normal!

Download this version of TweakUI, it has a special option that we are going to need. http://www.systemsmedic.com/DownloadFiles/TweakUIXP.exe

Once this is installed, go to Control Panel>Mouse>Pointers and change all of your cursors to a cursor file that is invisible, and save this to a scheme of your choice, Ex. "Mame cursors". See TIP at the bottom for some extra info on the cursor.

Save the scheme, but don't apply it yet, as it will be hard to navigate Windows with an invisible pointer.

The last thing to do is to apply the settings to make the cursors invisible. Go back to the cursor screen in the Windows Control Panel, load your scheme and hit apply. It'll be hard, if not impossible to see your cursor, depending on which type of cursor you made, which is why this is the last step. Squint your way into your start menu and open TweakUI. If you can't see the cursor, just hit the Windows key on your keyboard to bring up the start menu. (If your keyboard doesn't have a "Windows key", you can alternatively get the start menu by pressing Ctrl + Esc.) Go to the LOGON option, and somewhere there is the option to copy your wall paper etc. across to the Logon Screen. Check that, and hit apply or press Alt+A.

If you have made an invisible cursor and you can't seem to get around Windows once you exit your FE, you can just log out of the current user and log into the computer as an administrator and all those settings should be untouched. To do this without a mouse, just hit Win+L and it will bring up the login menu (Win is the windows key on the keyboard, right between Ctrl and Alt. Another useful hotkey is Win+R which brings up the Run menu.

TIP: When you download Mamewah, the zip contains an invisible cursor, so you can use that one if you'd like. Also, you can make a cursor that is just a dot, so that it is almost invisible but it can be used to navigate if needed.

[edit]Alternate Change Cursor Method (Without TweakUI)

NOTE: This method was tested to work with Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

1. Open up regedit.exe

2. Go to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Cursors

3. Here you can change the assigned mouse cursor files for your the current user. You can change them all but in my experience the following three do the job for cursor concealment:

"AppStarting"

"Arrow"

"Wait"

NOTE: At this point it is a good idea to backup this branch in case you change your mind.

4. Change the values you wish to replace with the name of the cursor you wish to have instead. Write it using a FULL PATH, for example: "c:\temp\my_special_cursor.cur"

Make sure what you writing is correct and prefer changing spaces to something else if your cursor file is using them.

5. Close regedit.exe and reboot your machine.

[edit]Changing the Cursor Shape During the Logon Screen

For this you need to change the assigned cursor values for the ".DEFAULT" user account. The registry key is:

HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Cursors

If the "Cursors" key does not exist then create it yourself. At the "(Default)" value type a title for the cursor scheme (e.g. "My Special Cursors"). Create REG_EXPAND_SZ entries for the cursor types you wish to change. Use the values mentioned in the previous section as a guide. Reboot your machine for changes to take effect.

[edit]Welcome/Startup/Shutdown/Background Color

To hide the Welcome Screen (where you'd normally log in) you'll need to change from the default windows XP welcome screen to the other style by going to Control Panels >User Accounts >Change the way users logon or off. Deselect the â??Use Welcome Screenâ? checkbox.

To change the login background color from blue to black (to better hide it), use regedit again and navigate to

HKEY_USERS\DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors\BackgroundThe 3-digit RGB color for black is 0 0 0.

If this causes the "Classic" login screen to appear that prompts for a password, the login can be automated as follows:

Click start >run >type

control userpasswords2Highlight the user you want to log into automatically, then deselect the Users must enter a username and password... checkbox.

Click Apply and you'll be asked to verify the username and password to log in automatically

Click OK again and the next time you restart your computer, you'll automatically be logged in without having the classic prompt or Welcome Screen.

[edit]Removing pop-up bubbles

In Windows XP, you occasionaly get pop-up bubbles with all kinds of useful (or less useful) information. In the application of running an arcade machine, we use low resolutions, like 640x480 or even 640x288. In these resolutions Windows XP tries to be helpful and lets you know via a pop-up bubble that your resolution setting is not ideal for this videocard. (Another bubble that can come up because of the low resolution is from the Start menu indicating it cannot show all items on the Start menu because of the low resolution.

We need to live with this, so there is no point in these bubbles coming up everytime.)

To turn ALL (!) bubbles off follow these steps:

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then press ENTER.

2. Navigate to the following subkey:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced3. Right-click the right pane, create a new DWORD value, and then name it EnableBalloonTips.

4. Double-click this new entry, and then give it a hexadecimal value of 0.

5. Quit Registry Editor. Log off Windows, and then log back on.

These steps disable all Notification Area balloon tips for this user. There is no way to disable balloon tips for specific programs only.

[edit]Hide Desktop Icons

To hide all of your desktop icons look for the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\NoDesktop

Set it to 1 to hide the icons, 0 to show them (this is the default).

[edit] Hiding Windows 98

Hiding Windows 98 is lots easier than hiding Windows XP.

[edit]Replacing Your Boot Screen

Create a black picture with in BMP format, RGB encoded, 320x400 resolution, 256 colors in MS Paint or another paint application

Do NOT try to save pictures in 16bit or 32bit colors or such, because it may crash Windows.

Replace logo.sys, logow.sys and logos.sys with your new picture (these are actually bmp files, which were renamed to sys).

Here is more in-depth info about replacing: Replace the Ugly Startup and Shutdown Screens.

Here is a post with lots of good links to logos and free editing tools: Animated/static Win9x/ME logos and free tools to create/edit/manage animated/static logos.

[edit]Special concerns when using the ArcadeVGA

When using a custom boot screen logo with the ArcadeVGA video card, the boot resolution is 320x200. This results in only the top half of the image being visible. However, Windows still requires an image that is the full 320x400 pixels. A simple way to handle this is to make a standard sized boot screen image, resize it vertically 50%, then paste two copies (stacked vertically) into a new 320x400 BMP image.

[edit]Hiding The Mouse Pointer While Logging Into Windows

You can doing the same way as Windows XP.

Whew......

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"Vanilla" MAME = The official MAME build from http://www.mamedev.com (I felt that calling it "Vanilla" confuses new users so I posted this)

MAME32+ = An unofficial Windows32 build that has support for hacked roms and more from http://mameicons.free.fr/mame32p/

MAME32FX = Another unofficial Win32 build that has Hiscore support and more from http://mame32fx.altervista.org/ (features http://mame32fx.altervista.org/features.htm )

Emph

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