[SOLVED] Alt-Tab doesn't work properly in older games ?

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alanvatrox

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Aug 27, 2017
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Hi all, I'm in a bit of a pickle here...
So, I am trying to play old games that ran fine previously, Battlefield 1942 and Vietnam mainly. I'm using a desktop, Win10, double monitor setup.

Firstly, I'll say I suspect it's some resolution aspect issue that causes this because I installed a community made BF1942and at the main menu, still at the old 800x600 resolution, it will glitch the Alt-Tab, but when I launch a match, the resolution changes to 1080 and only then it lets me Alt-Tab with no issues.

What happens when I try to Alt-Tab on a lower resolution is:
  1. It flickers black on the main screen and it looks like the windows are going to re-adjust like they always do when alt-tabbing from different resolutions, I even get a glimpse of my desktop; I can't see the alt-tab menu when I do this, it's really fast.
  2. It goes back to how it was; the game is still forcing its presence on the main monitor.
  3. I can move the cursor around in my 2nd monitor but I cannot click Windows nor move them around despite showing the animations when hovering button but I can click the items inside normally also, no window is marked as active for longer than 10ms regardless of clicks, the title bars are grayed out all the time.
  4. To interact with the game, I need to press enter regardless of cursor position, otherwise if I click the game directly or on the taskbar, it does everything from point 1 all over again.
Here's some things I've tried:

Compatibility mode for 7 and XP
Disabled fullscreen optimizations
Changed color profile
Disabled game mode
Try all NVidia scaling options (Aspect-ratio / Fullscreen / None) + (GPU /Monitor)
Updated drivers
sfc /scannow
Alt Gr (Right alt) + Tab; does absolutely nothing but at least I can see the window pop-up for as long as I want instead of instantly vanishing
Reinstalled DirectPlay
Uninstalled Xtreme Gaming Engine (official GPU overclocking for my GeForce 1060 6GB) [I did this to be safe because when I launched BF1942, it said that XGE was requiring DirectPlay, which didn't make sense]
Checked all startup applications, and only Intel and NVidia services are running.

This is all the information I have; I really don't know what else I can do here, any ideas/help is appreciated.
 

alanvatrox

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Aug 27, 2017
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After trying some other stuff, the problem seems to be fixed now.

Here's what I did that's new:
  • I did a DISM via UWT
  • Reset Winaero Tweaker's settings
  • Disabled/closed Open-Shell
And nothing changed but I left them off until the next step.

I then made a new user account and launched the game immediately but then I realized I had no keyboard input (couldn't skip the intro, couldn't log in with credentials), which forced me to restart.

After that, it auto-logged into the new account and the input worked fine, I launched the game and could alt-tab; The game minimized and I could do anything, like normal and I could get back to it like nothing.

I logged into my main account and everything works as it should even with my tweaks and Open-shell settings.

It either reset something in Windows or in my user profile;

As a side-note, this might be a stretch but, earlier this year I ran this scummy program disguised as legitimate software for hotkeys, when launched, it would open all Accessibility Options at the same time (zoomed in screen, narrator, magnifier, etc, very chaotic) and it would only go away by restarting.
I deleted every trace of it that I could find, but I noticed after some time that there were binds in CS: GO that I've never set and NVidia ShadowPlay was messed up too (CS because I was playing it and NVidia because it's always there by default).
Maybe this had something to do with it, since alt-tab is a hotkey too but again, it might be a stretch. As far as I am aware, a new user account won't change other accounts settings.
 

Aeacus

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community made BF1942
Contact the modders and ask them to optimize their product. Other than that, there's nothing else you can do. Since it's clear the optimization isn't there for proper Alt+Tab feature.

Playing in (borderless) window usually helps, but i don't know if that modded version even supports window playing.

Btw, old games weren't meant to be Alt+Tabbed out, leaving them running in the background. And even some newer games doesn't fare well with Alt+Tabbing.
 

alanvatrox

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Aug 27, 2017
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Contact the modders and ask them to optimize their product. Other than that, there's nothing else you can do. Since it's clear the optimization isn't there for proper Alt+Tab feature.

Playing in (borderless) window usually helps, but i don't know if that modded version even supports window playing.

Btw, old games weren't meant to be Alt+Tabbed out, leaving them running in the background. And even some newer games doesn't fare well with Alt+Tabbing.
The modded version is the only thing that fixes the issue because it puts the main game at 1080p and I can alt-tab there just fine (exception is the menu that's at 800x600, cannot be modded).

The problem with the alt-tab isn't the usual: Game gets minimized; Can't resume game, black screen.

I've never seen this before, I cannot alt-tab from lower res games at all. It always forces the game to open in the foreground and can't do anything else, I can't even open task manager via ctrl-alt-del because it tries to alt-tab but just resumes the game in the end.
And the game works fine like nothing happened, but I need to press Enter to interact with it.

I've played these older games before just fine in the original format on Windows 10, no issues. Sometimes yeah, a mission was loaded and if I alt-tabbed it would kill the game with a black screen or just crash, but at least that's normal behavior.
 

alanvatrox

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Aug 27, 2017
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If original versions of the game work fine, then why not play the original? :unsure:
I am playing the original games; the mod is optional and only affects one of them.

The thing is, now I cannot use a basic Windows function without it freaking out whenever there's a lower resolution game running.
Here the problem seems to be Windows or even NVidia and not the game because the game doesn't crash or change behavior, but Windows does.
 

alanvatrox

Honorable
Aug 27, 2017
54
0
10,540
2
After trying some other stuff, the problem seems to be fixed now.

Here's what I did that's new:
  • I did a DISM via UWT
  • Reset Winaero Tweaker's settings
  • Disabled/closed Open-Shell
And nothing changed but I left them off until the next step.

I then made a new user account and launched the game immediately but then I realized I had no keyboard input (couldn't skip the intro, couldn't log in with credentials), which forced me to restart.

After that, it auto-logged into the new account and the input worked fine, I launched the game and could alt-tab; The game minimized and I could do anything, like normal and I could get back to it like nothing.

I logged into my main account and everything works as it should even with my tweaks and Open-shell settings.

It either reset something in Windows or in my user profile;

As a side-note, this might be a stretch but, earlier this year I ran this scummy program disguised as legitimate software for hotkeys, when launched, it would open all Accessibility Options at the same time (zoomed in screen, narrator, magnifier, etc, very chaotic) and it would only go away by restarting.
I deleted every trace of it that I could find, but I noticed after some time that there were binds in CS: GO that I've never set and NVidia ShadowPlay was messed up too (CS because I was playing it and NVidia because it's always there by default).
Maybe this had something to do with it, since alt-tab is a hotkey too but again, it might be a stretch. As far as I am aware, a new user account won't change other accounts settings.
 
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