Gaming issue in network mode

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Offline Mere Mortal

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Gaming issue in network mode
« on: July 06, 2010, 08:05:56 AM »
Hello old friends,

I'm have an issue with retrieving the list of multi-player servers on Freelancer.

The game's central server was shut down several years ago by its owner, Microsoft, but that isn't the problem as game modifications have since worked around the resulting problem. I have two specific modifications for this game, one which enables a list of known servers and another that is a total conversion of the game which lists its own servers, both work as intended normally so I do not believe that they are at fault.

The game has its own server executable so that it is possible to run a local server, for either LAN or net-wide access. However, no servers are being listed for either LAN or internet. It is not likely to be an internet connection issue because an active LAN server should show in the list regardless of the presence or status of an internet connection.

It must be noted that Vista has this exact problem because DirectPlay was deprecated in DirectX 10 which subsequently broken multi-player, this problem could be present in Service Pack 3 on Windows XP but I honestly wouldn't know. The strange thing is that I'm not seeing anything documented that suggests a problem in XP with regards to DirectPlay. Any problems that I do find from a search are generally individual problems that are not relevant to my situation or they relate to Vista. Note that Service Pack 3 appears to have been streamlined into the existing Windows installation on this laptop as there is no uninstall option available. If I could, I would uninstall it and then use my SP2 disk to update.

Here's a brief of my system...

  • Dell Latitude D400 Laptop
  • Windows XP Home Edition, Service Pack 3
  • 1.8 gHz CPU, 768mb RAM, 64mb on-board GPU
  • Working Ethernet and wireless adapters, no issues
  • Windows Firewall normally active, disabled during diagnostics
  • No resident anti-virus or firewall, on-demand scans only
  • DirectX 9.0c, updated by game installations

I have reinstalled the game and all laptop drivers to no avail.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
MM
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 08:17:01 AM by Mere Mortal »

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 02:10:05 PM »
Have you tried resetting the Winsock?

Click Start. click run, type: cmd, and press Enter
Type: netsh winsock reset, and then press the ENTER key.
Type: Exit and press ENTER.
Restart the computer.

Also take a look at the services and make sure that anything to do with network awareness or DNS or DHCP are all running.

If you have done all this, and only this program is having problems, then it could be a problem with its network interface or settings.

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Offline Mere Mortal

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2010, 07:43:47 AM »
No joy I'm afraid with the Winsock. DHCP is always running to enable automatic wireless connections, NLA is set to automatic, DNS Client is usually disabled although running it has no effect and turning a few other random services on didn't achieve anything noticeable. As for the relevant game, the settings are default and have never been a problem before, hence my suspicions that SP3 is a cause as I have never previously used this update.

Is there any way to rollback or uninstall DirectX? It's worth a try, I guess.

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2010, 08:11:30 AM »
Have you tried running DXDiag.exe?

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Offline Mere Mortal

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2010, 08:20:57 AM »
I didn't really think it'd offer much, but then again I just noticed something...

Quote
----------------------------
DirectPlay Service Providers
----------------------------
DirectPlay8 TCP/IP Service Provider - Registry: Error, File:  ()
DirectPlay8 IPX Service Provider - Registry: Error, File:  ()
DirectPlay8 Modem Service Provider - Registry: Error, File:  ()
DirectPlay8 Serial Service Provider - Registry: Error, File:  ()
Internet TCP/IP Connection For DirectPlay - Registry: OK, File: dpwsockx.dll (5.03.2600.5512)
IPX Connection For DirectPlay - Registry: OK, File: dpwsockx.dll (5.03.2600.5512)
Modem Connection For DirectPlay - Registry: OK, File: dpmodemx.dll (5.03.2600.5512)
Serial Connection For DirectPlay - Registry: OK, File: dpmodemx.dll (5.03.2600.5512)

DirectPlay Voice Wizard Tests: Full Duplex: Not run, Half Duplex: Not run, Mic: Not run
DirectPlay Test Result: Not run
Registry: OK
Quote
The registry information for the service provider 'DirectPlay8 TCP/IP Service Provider' is missing or damaged.
The registry information for the service provider 'DirectPlay8 IPX Service Provider' is missing or damaged.
The registry information for the service provider 'DirectPlay8 Modem Service Provider' is missing or damaged.
The registry information for the service provider 'DirectPlay8 Serial Service Provider' is missing or damaged.
You should reinstall DirectX to get the latest version.

These are excerpts from the DirectPlay section of the Network tab. I've reinstalled DirectX a few times, directly and by means of redistributables that were installed alongside a other games. I'll reacquire the latest version from the Microsoft website and install it, then see how things are going after that.

Oh for crying out loud...the location in which I'm accessing the Internet is blocking  "download.microsoft.com" for some insane reason, so I can't download DX right now but I will source it from another venue as soon as I can, which won't be today.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 08:35:47 AM by Mere Mortal »

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Offline Mere Mortal

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2010, 08:56:14 AM »
I've successfully installed the DirectX redistributable of June 2010 but unfortunately the DirectPlay diagnostic error messages are still present. I am very positive that the network problem within Freelancer is directly related.

Strangely though, the below doesn't look untoward and dpwsockx.dll is present in System32...

Quote
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DirectPlay\Service Providers\Internet TCP/IP Connection For DirectPlay]
"dwReserved1"=dword:000001f4
"dwReserved2"=dword:00000000
"Guid"="{36E95EE0-8577-11cf-960C-0080C7534E82}"
"Path"="dpwsockx.dll"
"DescriptionA"="Internet TCP/IP Connection For DirectPlay"
"DescriptionW="Internet TCP/IP Connection For DirectPlay"
"NATHelp"="dpnhupnp.dll"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DirectPlay\Services\{5046ab8cb6b1ce11920c00aa006c4972}]
"Description"="WinSock TCP Connection For DirectPlay"
"Path"="%SystemRoot%\system32\dpwsock.dll"
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 09:10:24 AM by Mere Mortal »

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2010, 10:40:29 AM »
Try running the script below, and then open the game while it is running, see if it is even accessing the correct network locations, if its not, then you know something is wrong with the mod in the game.

Click start-->run
Type cmd in the Run box.
In the command prompt that opens, type or copy and paste the following:
netstat -b 5 > activity.txt

Press Enter. Wait until the game has for sure tried accessing the net,  then press Ctrl+C.
Type activity.txt on the command line to open the log file in notepad.

Depending on how long this takes, this log could be long.

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Offline Mere Mortal

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2010, 05:20:54 PM »
When bringing up the LAN menu for multi-player, the process should attempt to connect to the localhost on port 2302 and I assume that this will be logged in netstat, but it is not, nothing at all is being listed in relation to such an event.

Note that having mods is irrelevant because I should still be able to connect to a game server that is running on the local machine and is using an unmodified set-up.

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2010, 06:20:47 PM »
If its not being logged, then there is something wrong with the game software. I have no idea about this game, but do you have the disks that you can reinstall?

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Offline Mere Mortal

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2010, 05:23:59 AM »
Aye, I've reinstalled the game a few times but it doesn't help. I have a default installation and also a separate one for a modification, neither work in multi-player mode.

It's very unlikely to be a problem with the installation of the game or mod, rather I believe it to be a DirectPlay problem, either SP3 has caused problems or an installation of DirectX has gone wrong somewhere along the lines. I'm not on my laptop at the moment but I need to check whether dpnet.dll is present on it, if not then it could be the problem because I believe that is the file which should be listed here...

Quote
DirectPlay8 TCP/IP Service Provider - Registry: Error, File:  ()

If it's missing then I'll acquire it, send it to System32 and then see how things go.

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Offline Mere Mortal

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Re: Gaming issue in network mode
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2010, 01:31:06 PM »
Alrighty, I've fixed the problem. Dpnet.dll was present but it was not registered, doing so has resolved the matter.