NOTE: Anything that's in type of a different color (usually blue), is a link to another Internet site. Double-left-click on a link to go to its site.

Also, there's lots of (very necessary) detail here, but don't get overwhelmed. If you can follow step-by-step instructions, you'll be OK. It's a good idea to read through everything at least once, and print it out. Then you can check off each step as you do it.

This topic details how to do a Myst or realMyst clean boot install or re-install with Windows XP Professional or Home Edition.


Myst and realMyst Versions

Information Gathering
-- Using the Event Viewer
-- Posting a DxDiag repost

Overall Windows and Hard Disk Tune-up
-- 1. Virus scanning
-- 2. Spyware and adware scanning
-- 3. Hard disk error checking
-- 4. Clearing Internet Explorer caches and other temporary folders
-- 5. Hard disk defragmenting
-- 6. Registry error checking
-- 7. Windows Update

Installing Myst and realMyst

Myst and realMyst Versions

The following major versions of Myst and realMyst have been released for Windows:
-- Myst: The Surrealistic Adventure That Will Become Your World (CD, original release)
-- realMyst (CD)
-- Myst: The Collection (aka Myst: Ultimate Compilation in UK; CD, plus other Myst games)
-- Myst Trilogy (CD, plus Riven and Exile)
-- Ages of Myst: Fifth Anniversary Commerative Edition (CD, plus Riven)
-- Myst: Masterpiece Edition (CD, plus Riven and Exile)
-- Myst: 10th Anniversary DVD Edition (Myst Masterpiece Edition on DVD, plus Riven and Exile)

Information Gathering

First, gather enough information to define the problem.
-- a. The symptoms of the problem may be sufficient to allow solving it, but not always.
-- b. Be certain to write down the *exact* text of any error messages you get. This is very helpful in problem diagnosis.
-- c. With Win XP, you can use the Event Viewer to help with problem definition. Refer to:
-- How To View and Manage Event Logs in Event Viewer in Windows XP
-- Detailed Usage of the Event Viewer /AUXSOURCE Switch Option

See also:
-- CD drive or DVD drive errors may cause unexpected program crash in Windows XP
-- How to troubleshoot CD-ROM drive problems in Windows XP
-- How to Troubleshoot Hardware and Software Driver Problems in Windows XP
-- You receive a Stop 0x00000050 error on a blue screen

Second, do a clean-boot install, as detailed below. If a clean-boot install or re-install doesn't help, post what you did in a topic along with your DxDiag report. Also include error messages, problem symptoms, and Event Viewer information so that we can make the best recommendations.

If you have already started a thread about your problem, please DO NOT start a new thread for your DxDiag report. Instead, post the report in your existing thread!
1. Press keys (win) + R, or click on Start > Run.
2. Type dxdiag in the box.
3. Click OK.
4. Let the blue bar in the lower left corner of the Dxdiag window finish crawling and disappear.
5. Run all of the tests you can on the Display, Sound and Music tabs. Do not neglect to do this step!
-- a. On the Display tab, click on the Test DirectDraw and Test Direct3D boxes, and follow the resulting instructions.
-- b. On all of the Sound tabs, click on the Test DirectSound box, and follow the resulting instructions.
-- c. On the Music tab, click on Test DirectMusic box, and follow the resulting instructions.
6. Click on Save All Information.
7. Close the DxDiag utility.
8. Now you have a DxDiag.txt file on your Desktop, or in the location where you have saved it.
Copy *ALL* of the contents of this file to the Windows Clipboard:
-- a. Double-click on the file to open it.
-- b. Right-click anywhere in the text, then click on Select All in the resulting menu.
-- c. Right-click on the highlighted text, then click on Copy in the resulting menu.
9. Paste the contents of the file from the Clipboard into a new post in your existing thread:
-- a. Click on Reply to Thread, and with the mouse cursor at the upper left corner of the resulting box, type in any further details about your problem.
-- b. Position the mouse cursor at the left margin and two lines down (press Enter to insert a line) from any further details, then right-click.
-- c. Click on Paste in the resulting menu.
-- d. Click on Save to post.

NOTE: If the manufacturer and exact model number of your PC aren't shown under 'System Information' (System Manufacturer and System Model) at the top of the report, also include that information in your post. Or, if you built your system or it was put together locally for you, include the manufacturer and exact model number of your motherboard.

Overall Windows and Hard Disk Tune-up

Before attempting a clean boot Myst/realMyst install or re-install, it's a really good idea to do an overall Windows and hard disk tune-up:

1. Update your anti-virus software's database, then use it to do a complete, in-depth scan of your hard disk(s). This is the 'start it and let it crank' type of scan, not the bootup quickie!

2. Update your spyware and adware databases, then do complete, in-depth scans of your hard disk(s). I regularly use and recommend all of:
-- Spybot - Search & Destroy - free version
-- Ad-aware - free version
-- Spyware Doctor - free trial
-- PestPatrol - free trial

Be aware that these anti-spyware and adware programs do NOT protect against viruses!

Note: If you have only the built-in Win XP software firewall, you should consider replacing it with a good firewall. I use and recommend ZoneAlarm, which has a free version available here. After you install ZoneAlarm (or any other software firewall), you should disable Win XP's built-in firewall (Start > Control Panel > Windows Firewall > activate the Off (not recommended) radio button.

3. Check all of your hard disks and partitions for errors. Refer to How to Perform Disk Error Checking in Windows XP. Close all running programs before starting the error check, and tell Windows to automatically fix file system errors. Another option is Symantec's Norton Utilities Disk Doctor.

4. Use the Disk Cleanup utility to empty \temp and \temporary folders, Internet caches, and the Recycle bin.
-- a. Log into Windows with full Administrator privileges and close all open applications.
-- b. Click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.
-- c. Select the desired hard disk, then click on OK.
-- d. Click on all of the boxes to uncheck them.
-- e. Click on only the following boxes to check them:
----- 1. Temporary Internet Files
----- 1. Recycle Bin
----- 3. Temporary Files
-- f. Click on OK > Yes to run the cleanup.

Don't check any of the other boxes unless you're certain you know what you're doing and have read Description of the Disk Cleanup Tool in Windows XP. Another option is Wise Disk Cleaner - free version.

Also empty your Internet Explorer caches (temporary Internet files, cookies, etc.) from within Internet Explorer itself. The following steps are for Internet Explorer 8, but earlier versions are similar.
-- a. Close all open instances of IE.
-- b. Open a single instance of IE.
-- c. Click on Tools > Internet Options > General tab > Browsing history > Delete.
-- d. Check only the boxes for:
----- 1. Preserve Favorites website data
----- 2. Temporary Internet files
----- 3. Cookies
----- 4. History
-- e. Click on Delete.
-- d. Click on OK to close IE back to the Desktop.

5. Defragment your hard disk(s). Win XP has a built-in hard disk defragmentation utility. (Refer to How To Analyze and Defragment a Disk in Windows XP and How to Defragment Your Disk Drive Volumes in Windows XP for details.) However, I prefer these *free* utilities:
-- Auslogics Disk Defrag
-- IObit Smart Defrag - don't install the IObit Toolbar if you don't want it
-- Open Source UltraDefrag
-- Piriform Defraggler - don't install the Yahoo Toolbar if you don't want it

To speed up defragmentation, reboot, close all open applications, and immediately begin defragging. Don't run any other programs or surf the Internet while defragging.

6. Check your Registry for errors. Win XP doesn't have a built-in Registry diagnosis and repair utility, so here are some other options. I recommend using at least two of these *free* utilities for complete Registry cleaning, since they'll often pick up different errors. Run whichever utilities you choose until no more safely-repairable errors are discovered, and reboot when finished.
-- Auslogics Registry Cleaner
-- Eusing Registry Cleaner
-- Glary Utilities Registry Cleaner
-- Toni Arts EasyCleaner
-- Wise Registry Cleaner

NOTE: System Restore is a component of Windows that restores your PC - especially the Registry - to a previous state if a problem occurs, and you won’t lose any personal data files, like Microsoft Word documents, browsing history, drawings, favorites, or Email. Before running Registry cleanup utilities, always create a System Restore Point. Just in case!
-- a. Click on Start > Help and Support > "Undo changes to your computer with System Restore" > Create a restore point radio button > Next.
-- b. Enter a Restore Point description, if desired, and click on Create.
-- c. On the Restore Point Created page, click on Close.
-- d. Close the Help and Support Center back to the Desktop.

7. Run Windows Update (Internet Explorer, Tools > Windows Update) and download and install whatever Update recommends, EXCEPT for new video drivers. For video drivers, see Myst and realMyst: Installing Video Drivers With Win XP.

Installing Myst and realMyst

Print out this section, then check off each step as you complete it.

1. Confirm that there are no smudges, fingerprints, deep scratches, etc., on the disc, then:
-- a. Log into Windows with full Administrator privileges, and close all applications.
----- 1. Do NOT log into a Power User or a Limited User Account.
----- 2. Do NOT boot up with the Myst or realMyst disc in the drive.
-- b. For previous installations, remove Myst or realMyst using Control Panel's Add or Remove Programs.
----- 1. Click on Start > Control Panel, then double-click Add or Remove Programs.
----- 2. In the Currently installed programs box, click on the program you want to remove. (The Currently installed programs box can require a minute or two to populate - wait for it.)
----- 3. Click on Remove (or Change/Remove).
----- 4. If prompted to confirm the removal of the program, click Yes.
----- 5. Close Control Panel back to the Desktop.
----- 6. Use Windows Explorer to delete any remaining Program Files Myst or realMyst folders.
-- c. Reboot, and log into Windows with full Administrator privileges. Close all open applications.
-- d. If you didn't do so above as part of a hard disk tune-up, now carry out step 4 under Overall Windows and Hard Disk Tune-up.
----- 1. If a clean-boot install done without an Overall Windows and Hard Disk Tune-up doesn't solve your problems, do *all* of the steps under Overall Windows and Hard Disk Tune-up, above. Then do another clean-boot install. (Yeah, yeah, I know it takes time. pain, no gain...and even if your Myst/realMyst problems don't go away, your entire system will run *much* better. Trust me!)
-- e. Click on Start > Run.
-- f. Type msconfig in the Open box, then click on OK.
-- g. Click on Selective Startup on the General tab.
-- h. Under Selective Startup, clear the check boxes for:
----- 1. Process SYSTEM.INI File
----- 2. Process WIN.INI File
----- 3. Load Startup Items
-- i. On the Services tab, click the Hide All Microsoft Services check box, then click Disable All.
-- j. Click on OK, and then click on Restart.
-- k. Log into Windows with full Administrator privileges, and close all applications. Do NOT boot up with the Myst or realMyst disc in the drive.
-- l. Place the Myst (DVD or CD #1) or realMyst disc in the drive, and allow it to spin up to speed.
----- 1. If it autostarts, cancel back to the Desktop.
-- m. Click on Start > Run, then find on the Myst or realMyst disc:
----- 1. MSSETUP.EXE for original Myst or other Myst CD versions
----- 2. Setup.exe in the \install folder for realMyst
----- 3. Setup.exe for Myst Masterpiece Edition or other Myst CD versions
-- n. Double-click on the file to put it in the Open: box.
-- o. Click on OK to start the installation process.
-- p. Follow the installation Wizard's instructions.
----- 1. If you don't accept the install defaults, make very certain to correctly set all of the paths.
----- 2. Double-check your entries for typos!
-- q. Restore the settings you changed in steps f. through i.
----- 1. Click on Start > Run.
----- 2. Type msconfig in the Open box, then click on OK.
----- 3. Click on Normal Startup - load all device drivers and services.
----- 4. On the General tab, click on OK.
----- 5. Click on Restart to reboot into normal Windows.
-- r. Log into Windows with full Administrator privileges, and close all open applications.
----- 1. Do NOT boot up with the Myst or realMyst disc in the drive.
-- s. Place the Myst or realMyst disc in the drive, and let it spin up to speed.
----- 1. If it autostarts, cancel back to the Desktop.
-- t. Play Myst or realMyst.
----- 1. Start the game by clicking on the Desktop icon, NOT on the CD/DVD menu item.

If the game still doesn't play properly:
-- a. Apply the appropriate patch. If the patch doesn't help, install the proper driver for your video chipset, as detailed in Myst and realMyst: Installing Video Drivers With Win XP.
----- 1. The realMyst version 1.11 patch is available here.
----- 2. The Myst Masterpiece Edition patch is available here.
-- b. Run the game using Compatibility Mode. See How to use the Program Compatibility Wizard in Windows XP or HOW TO: Use Windows Program Compatibility Mode in Windows XP. Try all of the compatibility options, if necessary.