Windows XP DirectX Diagnostic Tool

DirectX Diagnostic Tool

 

 


Dxdiag.exe

The DirectX diagnostic tool, which has been available since DirectX 6.0, lets you display all DirectX related files on your computer; check the versions of those files, input devices, and the video drivers you're running.

And also test the features of DirectPlay, DirectSound, DirectMusic, DirectDraw, and Direct3D.

(For those not familiar with DirectX, it's the core Windows technology that drives high-speed multimedia and games on the PC.) ...

 

DirectX Diagnostic Tool...

DirectX runs in the background and greatly speeds up your computer's handling of audio and visual content. You'll rarely (if ever) have to think about it unless you need to know your system specs. That's where the DirectX Diagnostic Tool comes in handy.

The DirectX Diagnostic Tool takes a snapshot of your machine and shows you what it sees. All this happens entirely within your computer—no information is reported to anyone but you.

 

To run the DirectX Diagnostic Tool

To do this:

Step One: Click Start, and select the menu item Run

Step Two: In the Run dialog box, type: dxdiag

Step Three: Click Ok

You will then be presented with a dialog window asking you to download new WHQL certificates from the Internet.


I fully recommend you allow this to happen - you will need to be connected to the internet at the time.

After you click the YES button, the DirectX Diagnostic Tool will load...



What are the different parts of DirectX?

Direct3D. This helps make three-dimensional animation possible on your computer monitor. Direct3D is designed to provide a powerful link between your computer's video card and software programs that can render three-dimensional (3‑D) objects. The faster your computer can process animation, the more realistic the 3‑D objects, light, and motion on your monitor will appear to be.

DirectDraw. This helps produce two-dimensional (2‑D) visual effects. Your computer's video card and many software programs use DirectDraw to communicate with one another before sending the finished visual image to the monitor. Computer games, 2‑D graphics packages, and Windows system features all use DirectDraw.

DirectSound. This boosts the performance of audio effects on your computer and makes many subtle effects in audio mixing and playback possible. It provides a link between software programs and the hardware on your computer. DirectSound provides multimedia software programs, such as games and movies, with hardware acceleration, mixing capabilities, and access to the sound card.


Using the Windows XP DirectX Diagnostic Tool...

The following list contains a description of each tab in the DirectX Diagnostic Tool dialog box:

System

The System tab provides system information about your computer and specifies the version of DirectX that is installed on your computer.

DirectX Files

The DirectX Files tab lists the file name and the version number for each DirectX file that is installed on your computer, as well as the file name and the version number of many common files that are used by games that are running under DirectX.

If the DirectX Diagnostic Tool detects a problem with a DirectX file, a warning message appears in the Notes box.

Display

The Display tab lists your current display settings, and allows you to disable DirectDraw, Direct3D, and AGP Texture Acceleration. This tab also allows testing of DirectDraw and Direct3D. Passing these tests indicates that the DirectX Graphics runtime files are installed and operating correctly. It is not a comprehensive test of your computer's display hardware.

The Display tab also lists your device's available memory and can tell you if your video driver is "Signed", which indicates that it has passed Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs testing regimen.

Note: Dxdiag.exe cannot report memory that is in use at the time that it starts. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see less memory reported than your video card actually has.

If the DirectX Diagnostic Tool detects a problem with your display settings, a warning message appears in the Notes box.

Sound

The Sound tab displays your current sound settings, and enables you to test DirectSound. The Sound tab can tell you if your audio driver is "Signed" - which indicates that it has passed Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs testing regimen.

The Hardware Sound Acceleration Level slider is used to correct audio glitches that might be caused by some audio drivers. Reducing the acceleration by one notch and re-testing the application is the best way to troubleshoot DirectSound audio problems. Lowering the Hardware Sound Acceleration Level from the default setting of "full acceleration" may disable advanced audio processing techniques, such as 3D spatialization from functioning.

If the DirectX Diagnostic Tool detects a problem with your sound settings, a warning message is displayed in the Notes box.

Music

The Music tab displays your current MIDI settings, and enables you to test the DirectMusic component of DirectX.

If the DirectX Diagnostic Tool detects a problem with DirectMusic, a warning message is displayed in the Notes box.

Input

The Input tab lists the input devices connected to your computer and the input drivers installed on your computer.

If the DirectX Diagnostic Tool detects a problem with an input device or an input device driver, a warning message is displayed in the Notes box.

Network

The Network tab lists the registered DirectPlay Service Providers. These are the connection methods that DirectPlay will operate across. A registry problem here can normally be resolved by reinstalling DirectX.

The Registered Lobyable DirectPlay Applications section lists all applications that have informed DirectX that they will use DirectPlay for their network communication needs. A registry error here can normally be resolved by removing and reinstalling that application.

The DirectPlay test opens a chat window over DirectPlay using the settings you specify. Systems that cannot successfully chat with one another here will almost certainly be unable to establish a network connection within games.

If the DirectX Diagnostic Tool detects a problem with a DirectPlay Service Provider or Application, a warning message is displayed in the Notes box.

More Help

If you cannot resolve your DirectX issue by using the previous troubleshooting tabs, you can use the More Help tab to continue troubleshooting the issue.

The following list contains a description of the functionality of each button on the More Help tab:

# Troubleshoot
The Troubleshoot button starts a DirectX troubleshooter.

# Sound
The Sound button starts a sound troubleshooter.

# MSInfo
The MSInfo button starts Msinfo32.exe, a utility that gathers system information about your computer. The file created by Msinfo32.exe can be sent to Microsoft Technical Support to help resolve persistent issues.

# Override
The Override button changes the DirectDraw refresh rate.

Note: Microsoft does not recommend changing the DirectDraw refresh rate as a general troubleshooting step..
 

Windows Vista

Please note that under Windows Vista the DirectX Diagnostic utility underwent some minor changes. But you can still access it by typing in dxdiag into the "Start Search" box on the Start orb.

I hope this article on the Windows XP DirectX Diagnostic utility was useful? 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Kind Regards

Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP (2004-2010)

Marc Liron

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