Customer Screensaver Installation

I just received this msg from a customer running Windows XP

"Jim, it appears that the screensaver requires a newer “driver” than I have in my computer. When I try to install, I get a message that I have “OpenGL driver version 1.1” and a recommendation to update to version 1.3.

I also get the attached debug report.

The instructions for updating my driver seem to dead end for my machine (might be me or might be the machine…I can’t tell)…and I’m not comfortable getting off the provided instructions and trying to wing it on the net.

Sorry, but I think I’m dead in the water for the Screensaver.

Here is the Debug Report from the screenshot he sent:

Delta Lvl Message
23388 3 wglGetExtensionsStringARB not supported
0 3 wglGetExtensionsStringARB not supported
463 3 wglChoosePixelFormatARB not supported
0 3 GLEffectCanvas.Setup_ChoosePixelFormat
(con’t) wglChoosePixelFormatARB failed

We successfully tested the installation on several Vista and XP machines. Any suggestions what to tell him. I have 300 of these being manufactured. Do I have a problem? This could be bad for business…


Jim (Mountman)

Hi Jim,

Some thoughts. First, OpenGL 1.1 was the cutting edge standard as of…1997. (see ) So this means your customer’s software is approximately 14 years out of date. At some point, with very old & poorly maintained computers, there is simply nothing that you can do to help. It’s frustrating, but a reasonable response is “Dear customer, unfortunately it seems that your graphics drivers do not meet the minimum specifications for this software…”

Since the customer appears to have tried to upgrade, the best thing is for them to finish the task. The instructions are quite detailed, but clear. The basic gist is that the customer needs to either (A) update the driver using Windows Update, or (B) identify the make/model of the graphics card and download a driver from the vendor’s website (e.g. NVIDIA, ATI/AMD, Intel, etc.) (A) is usually sufficient, but (B) generally gives better results.

Ultimately, it is the customer’s responsibility to perform reasonable maintenance on their PCs, and neither you (the screensaver author) nor we (the screensaver toolkit authors) can do this for them.

Next step: I’d suggest that you ask the customer exactly they hit “a dead end” while upgrading their OpenGL drivers – in our experience the vast majority of OpenGL drivers can be updated, it just takes a few mouse clicks to get there.

Also – one final thing. Make absolutely sure that you are using the “Use Short Name” in the Windows screensaver build panel. If you (the author) have disabled this feature, it can in fact trigger these problems on customer’s PCs.

When this is happening, the customer will see that the screensaver works when clicking the “Preview” button from the installer, but it won’t work after it’s been installed and is running as a screensaver.

From your description, this is not what I think is happening, but it’s worth double-checking on your end.

From my customer:
We’re good now, Jim. My Dell PC is 7 years old and I’ve never knowingly updated any drivers (appear to be 40 in the machine). I Googled on the driver identified per instructions and simply went with the first site. It was one of these sites which promise a free service which turns out to be a scan identifying all your problems and an offer (now for payment) to fix all your problems.

That’s OK…not the first time I’ve been bit for having such an old machine nor the first time I’ve bought a product as the result of a scan identifying problems. This seems to be a pretty standard method of obtaining customers. I’ve previously obtained Spyware Doctor and Advanced Registry Optimizer in a similar fashion. They’re all $39.95, available today for $10 off…must all buy the same marketing advice. And, the important thing: I’m happy with all.

In this case, I purchased Driver Detective which retrieved and installed the necessary driver and 13 others that were out of date and upgradable.

The pics are beautiful and the mechanization is super!

thx, Paul

And thank you Administrator!

Glad to hear there’s a happy ending to this story – thank you, and please thank your customer for working together to solve this :slight_smile: