Diagnose & troubleshoot problems with DirectX Diagnostic Tool

DirectX is a suite of technologies used by many of the multimedia programs in Windows. It is developed by Microsoft to provide hardware acceleration for heavy multimedia applications such as 3D games and HD videos. Windows 7 has  the latest version of DirectX v 11. Windows 10 has DirectX 12 installed.

Run DirectX Diagnostic Tool

If you’re having problems getting a game or movie to play properly, the DirectX Diagnostic Tool can help you point out the source. To access it, go to Start in Windows 10/8/7, type dxdiag and hit Enter.

If this is the first time you’ve used the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, you might be asked whether you want to check if your drivers are digitally signed.

Click Yes to ensure that your drivers have been signed by a publisher that has verified their authenticity.

Once the Diagnostic Tool has finished, here are three key things to check:

1. Check your video card: Some programs run very slowly or not at all unless Microsoft DirectDraw or Direct3D hardware acceleration is turned on.

To determine this, click the Display tab, and then under DirectX Features, check to see whether DirectDraw, Direct3D, and AGP Texture Acceleration appear as Enabled. If not, try turning on hardware acceleration.

  1. Right click on desktop and open Screen Resolution.
  2. Click Advanced settings.
  3. Click the Troubleshoot tab, and then click Change settings.
  4. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to Full.

If that fails, you might need to update the video driver or the card, itself. You can typically find the latest drivers for your hardware in the support section of the manufacturer’s website.

2. Check your game controllers: If a joystick or other input device fails to respond, it might not be installed correctly. Make sure the device shows up on the Input tab. If not, reinstall the device according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s a USB device, unplug it and then plug it back in.

3. Check for “unsigned” drivers: A driver that’s been digitally signed has been tested by the Microsoft Windows Hardware Quality Lab for DirectX compatibility. If the Diagnostic Tool flags an unsigned driver, updating the driver might solve your problem. You can typically find the latest driver for your hardware on the support section of the manufacturer’s website.

Other things to check: If you’re still having problems with a game or movie after running the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, there are a couple of other things you can check.

Check the display mode of your application or game.

When a DirectX 9 application goes to full-screen mode, the resolution of the application might not match the native resolution of your LCD monitor, the resolution your monitor was designed to display based on its size. If you see black bands on the tops or sides of your screen where a portion isn’t used, you can try scaling the full-screen image. If your application or game allows you to choose the display mode, you might be able to change the application or game settings and choose a mode that matches the native resolution of your LCD monitor. This will help you use all of the screen and still preserve the application’s intended resolution.

Check the version of DirectX that your application or game requires.

Some applications and games require DirectX 9. However, Windows 7 is installed with a more recent version of DirectX. If you install an application or game that requires DirectX 9, you might receive an error message, such as: “The program can’t start because d3dx9_35.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.” The last two digits of the file name might vary. If you receive the same error message after reinstalling the application or game, go to the DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer webpage and follow the instructions to install DirectX and receive updates to DirectX and previous versions of DirectX.

Recommended link for developers: DirectX developer center.

The DirectX Legacy may also interest you!

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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.

6 Comments

  1. boobs

    you don’t say ,where is the dx tool!

  2. Updated the post. Thanks. 🙂

    Go to Start Menu in Windows 7 or Star Screen in Windows 8, type dxdiag and hit Enter to access it.

  3. Loney Pickle

    ok so i still got problems, i have my direct X up to scratch to Direct X 11, but when i go to open the game that i want to play (Garry’s Mod), It says you have to update your Direct X before opening the game, so i follow what it says, then as its about to finish it stops and says its failed saying. (An Internal System Error Occurred, Please Refer to DXError.log and DirectX.log in your Windows folder to determine a problem.) But i cant even find those files so i’m completely confused on this please help.

  4. Loney Pickle

    ok so i still got problems, i have my direct X up to scratch to Direct X 11, but when i go to open the game that i want to play (Garry’s Mod), It says you have to update your Direct X before opening the game, so i follow what it says, then as its about to finish it stops and says its failed saying. (An Internal System Error Occurred, Please Refer to DXError.log and DirectX.log in your Windows folder to determine a problem.) But i cant even find those files so i’m completely confused on this please help.

  5. Fedpul

    Same problem here, do not know how to solve.

  6. Amadeu Macedo

    Nitin
    I have windows 8.1 (hated windows 10). Out of a sudden I became unable to play a game which I have been enjoying since 2014. Thus I contacted the makers (Paradox) who requested me to open a window called DirectX Diagnostic Tool, the details of the instruction follows:
    QUOTE
    Open your Start menu, Cortana or Search (Windows 8/8.1: Slide from the top-right corner of your screen down to open the charms bar, and select Search)
    Type dxdiag in the search field (without quotes)
    Click on the dxdiag program
    A window called DirectX Diagnostic Tool should pop up now
    Wait until the green bar at the bottom-left has disappeared
    At the bottom right-hand side, click on Save all information
    Save it to a place where you can find it easily, for example your desktop
    Attach this file with your ticket or email
    UNQUOTE
    Whel, I found a small screen within the huge page which contains a question about if I would like to check whether drivers are digitally signed, so i clicked YES.
    I did click on SAVE ALL INFORMATION but there was NO option such as “SAVE AS”. In light of this new impasse, I attempted to “think out of the box”, and “saved image as”, at my desktop. Then I send the JPG file. MY QUESTION TO YOU: Did I follow the instructions correctly? Thanks

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