Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

I’ve had RE5, RE6, RE:Revelations and a bunch of other games I bought through Steam for a while, and have been happily killing off the mutated and the undead every chance I get.

This weekend, though, RE6 wouldn’t start. It would just show a blank screen where there used to be the loading cues. It would stay like that for a while, unresponsive except for the ALT+CTRL+Delete salute. I’ve been able to launch Task Manager this way and found the RE6 process eating up all available CPU, which explains the unresponsiveness.

The Issue:

My laptop comes with two display adapters – the built in HD4000 and a secondary discrete card NVIDIA GeForce GT 740m. On Device Manager, I saw that there’s a yellow exclamation icon plastered on the 740m. Uh oh, trouble. Opening the device’s properties, Windows offered this explanation:

Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)

Some useful information regarding this error can be found here.

The Solution:

In my case, the fix was straightforward.

  1. Right-click the device on Device Manager, select Uninstall. Select not to remove the driver if prompted.
  2. Click Scan for hardware changes. Wait until the device is recognized and Windows reconfigures the drivers. It should take a couple of minutes and a few screen flickers but no reboot necessary.

That took care of it. Easy peasy.

Update: 2014.05.24 It looks like a culprit to the volume-lowering behavior is none other than Steam. Woke up this morning to this:

image

There I was enjoying some alone time watching videos on my Satellite S40t, when suddenly the volume gets knocked down for no apparent reason.

I never had this issue, or at least never noticed it before since I tend to just use earphones whenever I want to watch something. Lately, I’ve been viewing the movies with the ear sets unplugged and listening to the sound directly out of the laptop speakers (Satellite S40t audio is phenomenal, btw).

That’s when I started noticing it. Randomly, the audio would diminish. Still audible, but it’s really annoying and a tad bothersome. I suspected bad drivers, hardware problems, even VLC itself.

The culprit? A seemingly innocuous little setting nestled deep in the audio settings that Windows (using 8.1 here) helpfully enables by default. Fastest way to access the setting is to right-click the speaker icon on the Notification Area, select Sounds and then click the Communications tab. By default, this is set to Reduce the volume of other sounds by 80%.

image

I don’t know what triggers it but Windows seem to think that there is some communication activity going on at random points and decides to swoop in and adjust the sound of my video playback. Setting it to “Do nothing” does the trick.