Feb. 13th, 2009

dslartoo: (Default)
Never believed in that whole superstition crap (as [livejournal.com profile] grunion used to say, "it's bad luck to be superstitious"), but yesterday surely did suck for reasons unknown, so I'm going to say it was my early Friday the 13th or something. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Also, because I believe in telling stories on myself when I do something stupid, my tale of the phantom tech-support issue.

I've been replaying Half-Life 2 lately and finished it a couple days ago, so I'm continuing with HL 2 Episode 1. Except....for some reason, when I started the game, there was no sound. Weirdest thing -- it would launch with sound and music at the Valve intro, but when the opening menu loaded, not a sound. I could load one of my old savegames and...no sound there either.

I started with the usual stuff: reboot the PC, update sound card drivers (which I hadn't touched in over three years), check the Steam website for sound issues. There were a couple knowledge articles related to sound but none of them applied in my particular case. Nothing I did seemed to help and I was getting steadily more annoyed because the game had worked perfectly well when I first purchased it on its release date and on a couple replays since then. Also, weirdly enough, every time I brought up the sound options, the speaker config was completely blank with none of the valid choices selected. I could change it to "2 Speakers" but it wouldn't save properly.

So I sent off a support question to the Steam website. They replied with links to a couple of the knowledge articles I'd already looked at and dismissed due to irrelevance, so I replied saying politely why those particular articles didn't apply. Back came another reply. Tried the stuff in that; still no fix. Sent another clarification question; back came another reply. So I tried the stuff in that. Deleted the cache files to force a re-extract of the game files the next time the game was run. Still no sound. So I tried running the game with a "--autoconfig" command line prompt to force a reset of the game options, and suddenly the problem was very apparent.

When I pulled up the window to enter the command line prompt "--autoconfig", there was already a command line prompt entered into the box. Guess what it said?

--nosound

.....I still can't figure out why in the hell I would have set the game with a "--nosound" prompt at any point, but apparently I must have done so. Options don't just set themselves. In any case, removing that took care of the problem quite nicely, as you'd expect. I sent off profuse thanks to the Steam support team for assisting the idiot.

What a dumbass.

-- END OF LINE --

[[The Oracle would like to know your current favorite food.]]

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Phil C.

April 2011

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