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Microsoft Direct X10

Mrs. Muddled

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My husband was using Skype today to make a long distance phone call. In the middle of the conversation the computer screen froze up - the computer locked up totally, there was a loud screech coming from the computer and nothing would work. I had to hit the power bar to get it going again.


I've sent Skype a query. I received this message back:


"These types of crashes mostly occur due to outdated drivers, Windows or application incompatibilities.


Please update your:

* Skype client, available from http://skype.com/download/

* Windows with the latest Service Packs and updates, available from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/

* Device (sound, video, motherboard etc) drivers (those can be found on the device manufacturer's website - contact the manufacturer/vendor of the device for more information)

* DirectX - the core multimedia component of Windows. The newest version can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.aspx


Furthermore make sure that your system is 100% free of viruses. Best would be to have the latest version of a virus scanner that can boot directly from a clean CD.

Afterwards try to disable security programs, such as virusscanner / firewall / spam & worm protection before using Skype."


Okay - there is no question of virus on this machine and all of my microsoft updates are complete. This is where I am out of my depth. I don't have this Microsoft Direct X10. I don't think I have it anyhoo. I don't play games on the computer and I'm wondering if it is something I need to download. I read part of their site and they do mention "sound."


"Drivers" - this is where I get lost. How do I know if every driver I have is up to date?


Once again, hoping you can save me from myself.

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From what I understand, DirectX 10 are only for Windows Vista according to this page.


I am running DirectX 9c on my xp and Skype works fine, so you should not need DirectX 10 unless you have Windows Vista.


To find out if there are any updated drivers for the sound card for instance you need to know who made the card. To find out the manufacturers names, please try one of the following:


Method 1: Via the System Properties menu



2. From the System Properties window:

1. click on the "Device Manager" tab if you are using Windows 95/98,ME,NT, or 2000

2. click on the "Hardware" tab and then select "Device Manager" if you are using Windows XP

3. Click on the "+" next to "Sound, video, and game controllers" to expand the list

4. You will see several devices listed. For every audio device listed (such as Creative SBLive!) , perform the following steps:

1. Write down the device name (this is the name of your sound card)

2. Right click on the device and select "Properties"

3. Select the "General" tab and write down the manufacturer (such as "Creative Technology, Ltd")

4. Select the "Driver" tab and write down the Driver Provider (such as "Microsoft" or "Creative") as well as the Driver Date and version



Method 2: Via the DXDIAG utility

Use this method if you could not find the manufacturer using method 1 above. For example, some computers do not have a physically separate sound card. Instead, they have a sound chip embedded in the motherboard. In this case a sound card manufacturer will not appear in the System Properties (it may just say "Generic Sound card".)


1. Click on START->RUN

2. Type "dxdiag" (minus the quotes) in the 'Open:' dialog box and the press "OK"

3. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool window will appear

4. Click on the "Sound" tab

5. In the 'Device' section, write down the name, and manufacturer

6. In the 'Drivers' section, write down the name and version


Now you should have written down some information similar to this:

When you have completed the steps in any method above, you should have written something down similar to the following:


Name of your sound card: Creative SB Live! Value

Manufacturer: Creative Technology, Ltd.

Driver provider: Creative

Driver Date: 7/24/2002

Driver Version:


Then google the manufacturers name and and you should hopefully find their site in the google results and on their site you should be able to find the latest driver with the above info easily.

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You might also want to check your event logs and see if anything is shown at the time of the crash. Was he doing anything else at that time as well? Did a scheduled event take place at that time, like an anti-virus scan? Was he eating tacos on Tuesday? Wait, that last one only causes my computer problems. Has this happened before? You may never see it again. Also, pay attention to what is going on next time he uses it and see what was happening at the time of the next crash if there is one. The event log is a good place to look though.

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Thank you Thomas.


I have followed your instructions. The two Microsoft drivers offered me the option of checking for updates, installing them and ... rolling them back if they cause havoc in the computer! I haven't touched them yet! The others were all Standard System Devices ... with no driver info that I could see.


Question: Am I the only lost soul out here who isn't watching the heavens for driver updates? It seems like a rather convoluted process to make sure your various drivers are working the way they are intended to work. It would seem to me that during the use of a program there should be an alert of some kind that a download is required for the program to work properly. Am I being naive?


Rob: Ah yes! I never even thought of that at the time. I've used that process before a couple of times - can't even recall the procedure now. I'll dig it up somewhere. I will certainly remember to do that if it happens again.

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"There is no sense in introducing trouble where none existed in my opinion."


Bruce that is exactly the kind of advice I seek!



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