Huge AoC start delay after launching

 Pottie


Join Date: 27 July 2014
Posts:30
Edited 10 August 2021 - 11:26 pm by Pottie
Hi,

under the 32 bit versions of Windows 7 and 10, I experience a huge delay (about one minute) after launching an Age of Empires II Conquerors game in Voobly and the actual start (appearance of the game settings screen). The same delay also appears if I execute "age2_x1.exe" directly. During the delay there is no apparent CPU/harddisk/network load on the machine. After the delay is over, there are no problems, excellent ping and speed.

I did a fresh install from original CD ROM, then installed Vooby, which reports no problems. Deactivating virus scanner or adding exceptions for the executables makes no difference. Trying various compatibility settings in Windows also not. But if I rename age2_x1.exe to something else, the problem disappears and the game starts immediately! Obviously that does not allow to play via Voobly, as Voobly needs the right name of the game executable. So that's no useful workaround.

Thanks in advance for any hints!
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 +Altair_Ibn


Join Date: 26 July 2015
Posts:145
Posted 11 August 2021 - 1:46 am
It also depends a lot on the hardware of the PC in question, which can also vary the start of the game.
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 +[email protected]


Join Date: 3 October 2007
Posts:10474
Posted 11 August 2021 - 9:07 am
Make sure you patched AOK and AOC and applied the no-cd EXE (from the Voobly directory).
That should fix the delay issue.

And you should consider updating to x64, there is no reason to use i386 anymore.
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 Pottie


Join Date: 27 July 2014
Posts:30
Edited 11 August 2021 - 9:40 pm by Pottie
Thanks for the quick reply, Chris! Can you describe where to find the no-cd EXE? I searched the Vooby directory in vain.

As for patches: I did not apply anything manually. And in case that is required, I do not know how. Voobly seemed to patch the game automatically and reports everything is fine.

This can not be a hardware issue, as renaming the executable makes the problem disappear. As far as I can see, it can only be a "special treatment" for "age2_x1.exe" either by the OS or by Voobly which causes the delay.

If I only wanted to play locally, I wouldn't even bother this forum and just use a renamed executable. But Voobly expects the correct name.
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 +[email protected]


Join Date: 3 October 2007
Posts:10474
Posted 11 August 2021 - 9:44 pm
Rename the original EXE and COPY the files attached to the original directory
AOK: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\
AOC: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\age2_x1
Attachments:
aok and aoc no-cd patch.rar (file size: 1.85 MB)
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 Pottie


Join Date: 27 July 2014
Posts:30
Edited 11 August 2021 - 9:57 pm by Pottie
Thanks for the attempt. Still the same huge delay. But as soon as I rename your file, e.g. to "age2.exe" it starts immediately! It appears that either Voobly or the OS does something weird as soon as the file is named "age2_x1.exe".
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 +[email protected]


Join Date: 3 October 2007
Posts:10474
Posted 11 August 2021 - 9:58 pm
Please perform a clean installation of both, the game and the Voobly client:
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Uninstall both and reboot, then follow the articles above. Make sure to patch the game first, before adding the no-cd-patch and start the game once, before installing and playing on Voobly. That should fix your issue.
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 Pottie


Join Date: 27 July 2014
Posts:30
Edited 11 August 2021 - 11:06 pm by Pottie
I'm not a Steam member, so I could not follow the instructions in the first link exactly. I tried to stay "as near as possible" by this approach:

1. Uninstall AoE, AoC and Voobly, delete all leftover files
2. Reboot
3. Install AoE and AoC from Original Microsoft CD
4. Apply official patch 1.0c (should it be something else?)
5. Replace executables by the ones posted above
6. Start the game once
7. Install Voobly and it's various updates

Result: Same huge delay. Rename "age2_x1.exe" to "age2.exe" -> problem gone.

Is it required to become Steam member to play AoC on Voobly or should the original software do?
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 Pottie


Join Date: 27 July 2014
Posts:30
Edited 11 August 2021 - 11:39 pm by Pottie
Another observation: Even if I start the executable in a completely different directory, I see it run idle in Process Explorer for the delay time. After that, it returns. If I rename it, it returns immediately.

It almost looks like the system (remainders of copy protection?) keeps an eye on anything called "age2_x1.exe" and holds it idle for some time.

Wish I could re-configure the executable name in Voobly somehow... I bet the problem would be gone.
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 +[email protected]


Join Date: 3 October 2007
Posts:10474
Edited 12 August 2021 - 7:53 am by +[email protected]
I linked you the wrong article:
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 +[email protected]


Join Date: 3 October 2007
Posts:10474
Posted 12 August 2021 - 7:54 am
PLease enable the following settings:
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 Pottie


Join Date: 27 July 2014
Posts:30
Posted 12 August 2021 - 7:28 pm
Chris, thanks for your patience in trying to help. I followed your steps exactly, but the huge delay remains. Unless I copy/rename the game executable. I wonder where this special treatment for "age2_x1.exe" comes from.

I'd be willing to purchase the game again from Steam, but without knowing what's wrong, I fear the problem would stay.
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 +[email protected]


Join Date: 3 October 2007
Posts:10474
Posted 13 August 2021 - 9:16 am
If you have time at the weekend, it would be great if we could look into it together using our Help Room.
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 Pottie


Join Date: 27 July 2014
Posts:30
Posted 16 August 2021 - 10:06 am
Thanks, I tried the "Member Plus Help Room" a few times, but did not have luck to catch you online. Not sure if that is what you mean.

Also please feel free to send further ideas. Somehow it can not be much, as a renamed AoC executable works fine. If only I could tell Vooby the name of the executable somehow...
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 +[email protected]


Join Date: 3 October 2007
Posts:10474
Posted 17 August 2021 - 8:56 am
I have read your original post again... is there a reason why you are still on x86, especially on a Windows 10 machine?


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