Hardware Issues
Original page by Wiper 6, re-edited by Reaper

This Page is intended to help with information about hardware issue, conflicts, etc. That are
known to exist (and hopefully have known fixes). If you have had a crazy hardware issue with
comanche, please send it in along with the fix so others can take advantage of your misfortune.

What causes ci's ?

ē  The game server.
   When you go to novaworld and click on a game, your machine receives the IP address of the game
   server. you then connect to the game server directly, and your machine and the game server send data
   back and forth. The game server also is sending data back and forth to everyone else in the game. The
   following things can cause ci's at the game servers end of things:
* Background processes.
   If the server is running any background processes or services they can cause ci's. Calendars, alarms,
   scheduled programs, automatic updates, many of the services that most people don't even use, icq,
   windows messenger, email programs, windows alerter, windows SSDP, windows qod, print servers,
   the list is endless.

* There are many services that you do not need on your machine for it to run, for a starting point see
   the page on
tasklist programs.

* Devices on your own network/home network can also cause ci's on a server, especially a print server,
   which can poll all the other machines every minute or less to let them know its there.
   Crappy routers, or routers that aren't configure for the connection speed can also cause ci's.

* The server can cause ci's if its TCP settings aren't set for the connection it has.

* Lastly, if the machine just doesn't have enough ass to handle the game, that can also cause ci's. It's
   best to run a machine with at least 1gig or 1.5 gig ram, a good video card, and at least 2.4ghz

ē The game server's connection to the internet.
   The key factor on a server is the up speed. A basic rule of thumb is to divide your up speed by 50.
   If you have an upload bandwidth of 400 bps, then your server should be able to handle 8 people.
   Most people have a download much greater than their upload, so its pretty much irrelevant as long as
   that's true. If you want to server over 12 players, however, its best to have a rocking connection,
   preferably a 1500/1500 or better.

* Cable connections are known for ci's. Many cable companies time-slice the connections, and the users
   get a built-in ci at regular intervals. Others are just overloaded and weren't built to handle the amount
   of traffic going through them, again causing a lot of ci's. The problem with cable connections has to do
   with the infrastructure of the cable network you are connected to. If you live in a town with a great
   cable company and a fairly high population that demands good service, chances are that your cable
   company has, or is in the process of upgrading to fiber optic connections. In my area, I think the cable.
   company must be run by homeless people because the connections suck, I pay twice what I should to
   get a "better" connection, and I still get ci's no matter what.
* DSL, there are several types of dsl, and most people (in the states anyway) seem to get better results
   with dsl. Where I live, however, its not the case. I tried a 384/384 dsl through Verizon (our phone
   company) and it sucked, and it also had more ci's than my cable connection (384/4000). Don't assume
   the dsl is automatically better, although it often is. (Using the dsl to play on LRS server gave me a ping
   that was also higher by about 50 due to the latency of going through their crappy network connection to 
   me). I know for a fact that the overhead wires in my neighborhood are at least 30 years old, and that
   also causes bad connections. Finding a location for your server that is in a new neighborhood with brand
   new fiber wires, or an office building with fiber, and close to the phone company switching network will
   give you a fantastic connection.

* Satellite, orget about it. As far as I know, they are only interested in selling to internet surfers. You can
   push plenty of data up but I think you'd have to talk to the big boys about renting satellite bandwidth,
   plus your 3' dish isn't going to hack it. Talk to NASA, maybe someone there can help you.

* Wireless, you got to be kidding. Even if you can hack into a free wireless network with you empty
   Pringles can, who are you going to serve to ? You and 2 friends ?

* The internet. Ok, your packet made it out of the game server and is headed to your town. It has to
   travel through 5 or 10 servers to get to a major backbone, then go through 3 to 10 of them, then at
   your end go through 5 or 10 more local servers to get to you. Anywhere from 10 to 30 hops is normal,
   but it could be more. If you do a trace route to the server you are on, you can see how much latency
   you lose at each hop. If you are having a bad connection day, you can find out the server that is causing
   the problem by doing a trace route to that server.

   To do a trace route, you need to know the ip address of the server (most people can find that on there
   software firewall), go to the command line and type tracert <ipaddress>.
   Example tracert will do a trace route to the novaworld come and get it server.
   (Note - your firewall might not let you run a tracert if echo in/ echo out are blocked).
   When I am having connection problems I do regular tracerts and save them, and you will find that
   one or two servers along the path are always the ones making your ping jump up because they are
   overloaded, malfunctioning, performing maintenance, or whatever. If you have a whois utility or an
   Iplookup utility, you can get enough information to get the webmaster's address, and send them a
   nasty email about it (don't know if it helps, but it feels good). I had problems with a company that was
   offering  the "highest speeds in the nation", my ping was jumping up 50 or 100 going through their
   stinking network servers, so I sent them an email saying that I was considering getting their super fast
   service, but since my tests of their network revealed that it was supers low, they could forget it. At any
   rate, knowing what is causing the problem to be worse than it is important, because you will be able to
   find out one of three things - 1) is there a specific problem on the internet 2) is there a problem at your
   end of the internet, or 3) is there a problem at the server's end of the internet. If the problem is at your
   end, maybe you could change to a different ISP and fix it. If the problem is at the server's end, and its
   your server, you could try to get it fixed, or get a new server somewhere else.

* Your end of the network. Basically your end has the same considerations as the game server end.
   Your connection, your machine, and your network/home network. Any of the same problems that cause
   ci's on the server end can cause them on your end - background processes, software firewalls and
   antivirus scanning software (which you may or may not just have to live with), services running in the
   background you don't need, print servers on your network, servers running on your machine
   (file sharing, print sharing), etc. Read the game server section above, shut off all services, make sure
   your connection is optimized, make sure your router isnít causing problems, make sure your software
   firewall isnít slowing you down.

* Attacks, at any point in the network - your machine, the game server, or any internet server down the
   line, if a machine is being attacked heavily, or a machine on the network is simply overloaded with
   traffic, that will definitely cause lag, and often also cause ci's.

* Your settings, most people run 640x480 or 800x600. It doesn't cause ci's, but if you are running high
   resolutions and high settings for textures and stuff, make sure your machine isnít lagging you down -
   change to lower setting and see if the game runs quicker to test it out.

* packet loss. when your machine loses a packet, it will ask the server to retransmit the packet. If the
   server has to continuously retransmit to someone in the game because they have a bad connection, I
   believe that will also cause ci's , because it really overworks the server (not positive about this). If you
   are running team speak, you can see your own packet loss to the team speak server by right clicking on
   your name and selecting "connection info". Pinging a server will tell you your packet loss, but not very
   well because a lot of times you lose packets when a lot of data is being sent, not just a few ping packets.
   You can run ping from the command line by typing "ping <ip>" , if you are having a really bad
   connection you will see packet loss, and then its time to do a tracert and see where the problem is.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


I plan on listing known reasons for sysdumps here, if you have something to add, please send it in. Currently there are some ongoing threads in the forum regarding unexplained regular sysdumps that seem to be related to the P4 hyperthread boards (?).

It is not well understood why this game crashes. There are portions of the code that appear to indicate that the game was intended to support multiple processors (server side ?); however, since it was written in 98/99 (?), there will obviously be some issues with newer hardware. Why all the sysdump issues haven't been figured out is just a shame, but we plan on listing everything that we come across here. So if you know something, please email solutions and I'll post them here.

Known Sysdump causes.

1. Background processes definitely contribute to ci's, and many directly cause sysdumps. Running C4 with the bare minimum processes running is a must. Some firewalls cause sysdumps, some don't, but any process that uses pop up windows is suspect to cause a sysdump due to the graphics intensive portions of the program.

2. The following are known to cause sysdumps at times:
Norton Antivirus, Windows messenger, Windows alerter service, any systray hardware monitor,

3. The following may cause sysdumps to some:
Rogerwilco, Zonealarm, Print server running in background, File sharing running in background, AOL messenger, ICQ, Fraps, Windows settings (Ethernet/network settings, built in firewall, system monitor, cache settings, services that are running) You can try to avoid the sysdumps by making sure your system is completely optimized.

Checklist :
* Install latest motherboard drivers, especially agp miniport drivers ,some machines really do need to
   have latest bios, others might need an outdated bios !.

* Install latest hardware drivers, especially for video and sound.

* Install latest windows drivers, and windows updates.
   some hardware configurations require that you play as an administrator (unfortunately) so that the
   controller software works properly (saitek, logitech for starters).

* Put as much memory as you can in the machine, 1 GB really helps, 1.5 is even nicer, I've heard that 3
   really rocks but I wouldn't know !.

* Play with the bios settings - video shadowing with modern cards probably slows it down, you'll have to
   play with the other ones and compare results to know for sure.

* Try to install the hardware so that you don't have built in problems - some machines can handle IRQ
   sharing with video/USB, etc, but some crash regularly doing that. If you have problems, yank out all
   the hardware you don't need and get game to run while playing with the settings. Then add other
   hardware one at a time and find out where the problem is.

* Optimize your internet/Ethernet connection (several places online that help you to do that - look for
   (DrTCP). If you have to use a router, make sure its optimized too. Learn how to ping and tracert to
   the server to find out if you are having connection problems or losing packets so you can figure out
   where the problem is.

* Make sure that your internet exploder settings, and your firewall settings aren't hurting your connection.
   There are several firewalls you can try for free - try em all (zonealarm, sygate, agnitum outpost) to see
   which one works best for you.
   If your firewall is a slow dog, or your machine is constantly under heavy attack, your firewall may
   actually be slowing you down. Sometimes you are better off with a router, sometimes not. If you are
   running a firewall then you don't need windows built in firewall (disable it) C4 graphics settings - lower
   resolution sucks, but some of the lower or normal settings can help your game play if your hardware
   can't keep up.

* Go to the forum here and ask for help - some of the most experienced players in the game play here,
   and they will be happy to help you. CheckpointDelta is also a good place to look for help.