Tips 57

Q. What is DirectX 8.0a?

A. DirectX 8.0a provides the latest update to the DirectX technology. DirectX 8.0a will ensure trouble-free installation and includes the latest USB game controller updates.


Q. Do I need DirectX 8.0a?

A. Typically, any title that uses DirectX will install the version of DirectX it requires in order to run, if you don't have it already. Therefore, you generally should not need to download DirectX 8.0a in order to get your programs to run. That said, it does not hurt to install DirectX 8.0a. Some of the new functionality built into DirectX 8.0a may even enhance the quality and performance of your existing titles. Additionally, many game demos do not come with DirectX, so you may need to install DirectX 8.0a if you plan to play the latest demos.


Q. Should I install the Digital Video Update for DirectX 8.0?

A. 1394 Digital Video functionality is supported on Windows 98SE, Windows ME, and Windows 2000. By design, the DirectX 8.0 (and 8.0a) end-user runtime installers do not update existing Microsoft DV functionality. This installer includes the latest DV support (and updates for Microsoft TV Technologies). Although recent games and video editing applications may optionally ship and install this update, we recommend installing the updater to ensure access to PAL format support and better DV device support on Windows 2000 and 98 SE. Windows ME users who install the update should also gain minor bug fixes.


Q. Why is DirectX required for so many games?

A. DirectX is a foundation upon which many games are run. Read About DirectX for a detailed explanation.


Q. How can I install the latest DirectX for home users?

A. The latest DirectX downloads for home users can be found on the Downloads page.


Q. What operating systems does DirectX 8.0a support?

A. DirectX 8.0a can be installed on the following operating systems:


Q. Is DirectX compatible with Windows NT 4.0?

A. Yes. However, the only version supported on Windows NT 4.0 is DirectX 3.0a. You must also install Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6.


Q. Where can I get the Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6?

A. You can get Windows NT Service Pack 6 from this Web site.


Q. Will installing DirectX 8.0a cause my existing titles to fail?

A. We do application compatibility testing with a large number of released DirectX titles, and a number of pre-release titles, every time we release a new version of DirectX. In rare cases, some titles are "version coded" to accept only a single version of DirectX. These titles are almost always updated by the manufacturer to fix this behavior. This aside, we are not aware of any compatibility problems with any previously released DirectX titles. In some cases, they may even run better with DirectX 8.0a!


Q. Are there any phone numbers I can call for support?

A. To see all the support options provided by Microsoft, please visit Microsoft Product Support Services.


Q. I'm looking for earlier versions of DirectX but can't find any. Where are they?

A. DirectX 8.0a has been released, so we no longer provide earlier versions of DirectX. Please download DirectX 8 instead. The home user run time is upwardly compatible with earlier versions.


Q. There are times when DirectX indicates my driver is "not supported"—what do I do?

A. In most cases DirectX will operate correctly, but without hardware acceleration. You may find that the manufacturer of your system, display card, or audio card has upgraded drivers available that better support DirectX.


Q. Can you please send me the updated DirectX driver for my display or audio card?

A. If you don't have the right driver for your card, please contact your hardware or system manufacturer directly.


Q. Where can I find the latest drivers for my audio or video card?

A. DirectX 8.0a includes no audio or video drivers. You can download current drivers either by visiting our Windows Hardware Compatibility site  or by going directly to the Web site of the company that manufactured your hardware.


Q. Do you have a version of DirectX for languages other than English?

A. In addition to English, DirectX is localized into 14 languages: German, Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Dutch, Korean, and Chinese Simplified and Traditional. For non-supported languages, English is used.


Q. I saw an article with a DirectX Control Panel Icon, but I installed and don't see it. Where is it?

A. The DirectX Control Panel is part of the DirectX Software Development Kit (SDK), and is used by software developers who are debugging their DirectX applications. Although home users might find the control panel interesting, it does not provide any useful features for experiencing DirectX applications, and may cause problems with your applications.


Q. Where can I find instructions on downloading and installing DirectX?

A. Take a look at our Knowledge Base article  in the Microsoft Support Web site, which provides detailed directions. (Please note: You may have to register to view the article; it only takes a minute and costs nothing.)


Q. How do I uninstall DirectX?

A. DirectX 8.0a is a system component and cannot be uninstalled. If there is a problem with the DirectX install, it can normally be resolved by shutting down all running applications and reinstalling. As mentioned previously, DirectX 8.0a is fully backward-compatible with titles written for previous versions of DirectX. If you are having other problems after installing DirectX 8, these can often be resolved by installing updated drivers for your display card, audio card, or input device.