http://gamingtrend.com
August 29, 2014, 02:38:47 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Vista Games Explorer weirdness  (Read 1255 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Skylark
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 50


View Profile WWW
« on: May 01, 2008, 04:37:35 AM »

Not sure if this belongs in "Hardware / Software Hell" or this forum. It's partly PC Gaming-related, but not quite... I also didn't want to hijack the other Vista thread.

I have a weird problem with the Vista Games Explorer thingy.

  • It does not have the default Vista games (the card games, chess, etc) in it. I could just drag and drop their shortcuts into it, but that's beside the point - why aren't they there?
  • The games it has (in my case, I have the Orange Box, Oblivion and The Witcher installed, so I can see HL2: Episode 2, Oblivion and The Witcher there) do not have box art, nor do they have the description and experience index on the right side. They only have the game shortcut's icon.
  • If I click on the "Options" button at the top of the window, nothing happens.

I have googled "Vista Games Explorer does not download box art" and "Vista Games Explorer Options button does nothing" (both without quotes so I don't force a full-sentence search) but haven't found anything useful.

I've tried resetting the permissions and ownership on my user folder (and subfolders), but it didn't change anything.

I don't know what else to try... I remember it working fine before I had to wipe my drive and install Vista fresh. The only thing I kept when reinstalling Vista is my user folder, and that should not be a problem as long as it has the right permissions to work with it, I think.

Anyone else seen something similar? Suggestions/troubleshooting tips welcome. Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 04:39:17 AM by Skylark » Logged

Dan_Theman
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 418


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2008, 12:05:59 PM »

That sounds like you're just accessing a folder, and not Games Explorer.  You aren't using a desktop shortcut to access it, correct?

Also, if you go to REGEDIT, navigate to the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
--------------------->SOFTWARE
--------------------------------->Microsoft
------------------------------------------->Windows
---------------------------------------------------->Curent Version
------------------------------------------------------------------->GameUX

Depending on your setup, you'll see one or two subfolders under there.  Each should contain individual folders with entries for each game installed in Vista Games Explorer.  These are most readily identifiable by the AppExePath, where you'll see things like "chess.exe" or "Solitaire.exe" for each of hose respective games.  If you don't see any entries for the missing games, I'd suggest a reinstall/repair.  On the other hand, if you do then my thought is there's something else that's amiss.  Check the ConfigApplicationPath and the ConfigGDFBinaryPath and make sure they're still pointing in the right direction (the ConfigGDF should point right at the .exe file that starts the game, as it's looking for the embedded game ID to reference). 

If all of that is still correct, then there's something else with the VGE that's not showing in the usual way.  Exit REGEDIT and open your Games Explorer from the start menu.  Try going to the Options pane.  From there, first make sure that "Download information about installed games" is checked.  Assuming it is, select "Unhide games" just in case they're still in there.  If nothing appears different after doing so, go to the Organize pane, put your cursor on "Layout" and make sure that the Details Pane and the Preview Pane are both highlighted. 

If all of that is still correct, I've got nothing except to try and navigate directly to the games and see if starting them up will cause Games Explorer pick up the info.  You can always manually edit the info with VGEE, but that can be a bit of a pain.

EDIT - oh, and make sure from Tools -> Folder Options that you've got "show preview and filters" checked as well.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 12:12:08 PM by Dan_Theman » Logged
CeeKay
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 71766


La-bibbida-bibba-dum! La-bibbida-bibba-do!


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2008, 03:23:14 PM »

I gave up on the Games Explorer and just started putting shortcuts on the desktop.  It's been awhile since I looked, but never saw much benefit to using it.  Did I miss something?
Logged

Because I can,
also because I don't care what you want.
XBL: OriginalCeeKay
Wii U: CeeKay
Blackjack
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 10821



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2008, 03:35:07 PM »

I'm used to using it now (you just get snazzy, almost 3-D versions of the box art for the icons and it does shuffle all the games into its folder for easy access).

Although you can arrange games a zillion ways to Sunday, I haven't found an easy way to separate the card game junk from my retail games on it.

I also find it annoying that the game's actual folders no longer show up on the start menu itself (unless I go to Classic View).

To me MS spends far too much time trying to be the Wizard of Oz, and hide all its mechanics (and filename extensions) behind curtains. disgust
Logged

Playing
PC
-Halfway (sci-fi, turn-based squad strategy)
Butterknife
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 378


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2008, 05:58:05 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on May 01, 2008, 03:23:14 PM

I gave up on the Games Explorer and just started putting shortcuts on the desktop.  It's been awhile since I looked, but never saw much benefit to using it.  Did I miss something?

This is me too.  I tried using it for a while, but it didn't offer me any useful information.  Now I just have my typical mess of installed game icons on my desktop, that I sort myself into what I want to play.  It also makes browsing through my installed games far easier to just have the icons for each game on my desktop.  It also lets me track which demos I haven't uninstalled yet.
Logged
Dan_Theman
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 418


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2008, 07:43:28 PM »

It's a neat, somewhat useful tool.  I personally love it, but it's not for everyone.  The idea behind Games Explorer was just to be a convenience to gamers and to throw a few bells and whistles/bones our way.  If it isn't something you care for, then certainly don't feel compelled to use it.

For instance, I have a few hundred+ games installed on my PC.  I've carefully added each and every one to my Vista Games Explorer (quite often using VGEE, a third party program) so that I can have quick access to everything on one screen, yet not clutter up my desktop with hundreds of shortcuts.

What I've ALSO done is copy the Vista Game Explorer links to folders on my desktop which organize games by type and genre (for instance, one folder for RTS games which then has subfolders for "Fantasy," "Real-World," and "Sci-Fi").  That at least allows you to keep the admittedly cool boxart graphics while providing more organization options that I really wish had been built into Vista Games Explorer in the first place.

It's an imperfect solution, but a solution nonetheless.
Logged
Skylark
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 50


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2008, 12:52:02 AM »

Hi Dan, when I saw your lengthy post I thought "great, this guy will have the solution to my problem"... Not quite. See below.

Quote from: Dan_Theman on May 01, 2008, 12:05:59 PM

That sounds like you're just accessing a folder, and not Games Explorer.  You aren't using a desktop shortcut to access it, correct?

Nope. Start -> Games.

Quote from: Dan_Theman on May 01, 2008, 12:05:59 PM

Also, if you go to REGEDIT, navigate to the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
--------------------->SOFTWARE
--------------------------------->Microsoft
------------------------------------------->Windows
---------------------------------------------------->Curent Version
------------------------------------------------------------------->GameUX

Depending on your setup, you'll see one or two subfolders under there.

I have three:

Games
GamesToFindOnWindowsUpgrade
S-1-5-21-857963864-543261081-2103538435-1000

The first contains the card games I'm looking for, but which don't show up in VGE. (chess.exe, solitaire.exe, minesweeper.exe, gotta love your classics)

The second is empty.

The third contains the games that actually show up in VGE. Cool name, but a bit useless.

I tried exporting the games from the first ("Games") and reimporting them into the third ("S-1-5-21-857963864-543261081-2103538435-1000") but that didn't fix anything, they still don't show up. Plus, I don't think that would fix my other problems.

I think a repair would probably be a good idea at this point. I don't really want to reinstall, as I have tons of apps (so it would take lots of time) and reinstalling is what actually led to this...

Quote from: Dan_Theman on May 01, 2008, 12:05:59 PM

Try going to the Options pane.  From there, first make sure that "Download information about installed games" is checked.  Assuming it is, select "Unhide games" just in case they're still in there.  If nothing appears different after doing so, go to the Organize pane, put your cursor on "Layout" and make sure that the Details Pane and the Preview Pane are both highlighted. 

See in my post above where I say that clicking on "Options" does nothing. So I can't go to the "options pane" to do anything... But yes, the details and preview panes are both highlighted.

Quote from: Dan_Theman on May 01, 2008, 12:05:59 PM

If all of that is still correct, I've got nothing except to try and navigate directly to the games and see if starting them up will cause Games Explorer pick up the info.  You can always manually edit the info with VGEE, but that can be a bit of a pain.

I can't run VGEE. When I start it up, it says "Vista Games Explorer has not yet downloaded any box art. Start it up and let it download box art, then restart VGEE". I think I'm going around in circles here...

Quote from: Dan_Theman on May 01, 2008, 12:05:59 PM

EDIT - oh, and make sure from Tools -> Folder Options that you've got "show preview and filters" checked as well.

Yep, it is.

Any other ideas?

Oh, and thanks to those who replied to say that VGE is useless. I've always liked GameJackal for the fact it put all my games in one place. VGE is that, plus it looks cooler. Think what you want, I like it, and I want it to work.
Logged

Dan_Theman
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 418


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2008, 01:09:07 AM »

Wow, that really does suck ... I'm sorry I wasn't much help.  I do know that manually adding reg keys doesn't work because it needs to pick up the GDF file first (the workaround that VGEE implemented bypassed this), but I was hoping something would be missing so I could have an "Aha!" moment.  Alas, it's more of a "Drool coming out of the corner of the mouth" moment.  Hmm.  Yeah, in the end I think you've exhausted my ideas.  If it's giving you a boxart error and Options isn't functioning, there's something fouled in the install so the repair makes more sense than anything else.

Oh, and I completely agree that it's a really cool feature ... as long as it works.  icon_frown
Logged
Skylark
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 50


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2008, 02:06:33 AM »

Quote from: Dan_Theman on May 02, 2008, 01:09:07 AM

If it's giving you a boxart error and Options isn't functioning, [...]

There isn't even an error message or anything - that could at least help me theorize about what might be wrong... As it is now, the boxart and info doesn't download, the options button doesn't do anything, and I'm really wondering what's wrong.

I'll try a repair and see. Thanks for trying in any case.
Logged

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.103 seconds with 40 queries. (Pretty URLs adds 0.017s, 2q)