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Thread: Can't get Open Rails 1.4 to run at all on Windows 7

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2022
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    Default Can't get Open Rails 1.4 to run at all on Windows 7

    I dusted off an older PC in hopes of running OpenRails but I'm having a heck of a time.

    PC is running Windows 7 Ultimate.

    AMD Phenom II 840T
    6GB DDR3 RAM
    ATI Radeon HD4200 4GB

    MSTS is installed from DVDs using all the defaults and works fine

    Open Rails 1.4 launches with no errors, but when I try to run an introductory train ride with the MSTS content, i get "Unable to load DLL "d3dcompiler_47.dll":

    OpenRails_error.JPG

    When I go to Tools/Testing and test the installed MSTS content, nothing passes. Clicking Summary or Details gives no information.

    Per the Open Rails installation guide, I have installed Microsoft XNA Framework Redistributable 3.1.

    Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.2 is installed, but .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 won't install.

    At this point I'm tempted to try and upgrade to Windows 10, but I don't know if that would help matters.

    Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2

    Default

    Unless you have a compelling need to run Win 7, upgrading to Win 10 or Win 11 shouldn't be an issue.

    There's no need to have MSTS installed unless you plan to run the default routes or install routes still using it, which are few and far between, or applications which look for MSTS's registry entries, and there are workarounds for that scattered throughout the forums (https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...84#post1996084).
    Last edited by eolesen; 09-17-2022 at 01:39 PM.

  3. #3
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    Eltham, Victoria, Australia.
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    Default

    The message indicates a direct x problem.

    try this page

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/...1-ee1e973ed8c2
    Cheers
    Derek

  4. #4
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    Brockville, ON, CA
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    Default

    I'm running v1.3, 1.4. and 1.5-rc1 on a Windows 7 machine with no trouble, but I have a decent GeForce video card and I thought there was always trouble with and AMD card.

    Paul :-)

  5. #5
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    Default

    The AMD card problem was with MSTS, not OR.
    Cheers
    Derek

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaycosnett View Post
    I dusted off an older PC in hopes of running OpenRails but I'm having a heck of a time.

    PC is running Windows 7 Ultimate.

    ATI Radeon HD4200 4GB

    Open Rails 1.4 launches with no errors, but when I try to run an introductory train ride with the MSTS content, i get "Unable to load DLL "d3dcompiler_47.dll":
    That video card might be a little too "thin" to run Open Rails, especially version 1.4. If you try to download and run ver 1.3 you might have better luck. I still run ver. 1.3 in WinXp, with an AMD 5830 (SLI) with only 1 GB of memory on that card just fine.

    Yes the "d3dcompiler_47.dll" is a mystery, that has to be solved by other means. But really it is solved by putting a version of "d3dcompiler_47.dll" in the Open Rails directory where "runactivity.exe" is present. It appears that "runactivity.exe" tries to find "d3dcompiler_47.dll", often located in the Windows/System directory. When that fails, you get the error you get. My solution several years back with my Windows 7 machine was to find "d3dcompiler_47.dll". Interestingly, safe versions were found in Zip files with the Firefox browser. But be VERY careful. There are/were two versions of Firefox browser, one being 32 bit, the other is 64 bit. You have NOT indicated what version of Windows 7 you are running (32 or 64 bit)? In summary, you will find that performance GREATLY depends on what version of "d3dcompiler_47.dll" you are using and in what mode you are running "runactivity.exe" (32 or 64 bit). The brain trust at Redmond decided to NOT distinguish between the 32 or 64 bit versions of "d3dcompiler_47.dll" by using the EXACT same file name! So be careful, damn careful or like many you will not understand why the performance in frame rates can be so pathetic. At least, that has been my experience.

    QED

  7. #7
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    Your Open Rails fortunes improve dramatically when the specifically chosen PC to run it on isn't quite so 'dusty' on purpose.

    If the only reason you are choosing 'dusty' hardware is to accommodate other 'dusty' software because of some perceived dependency, then stop right there and head directly to jail. Best case scenario is use your 'dusty PC' with its MSTS install to run all the batch files that MSTS grade 'library routes' need and then zip those complete, asset-populated routes back up and move them to safe storage on a fresher, not-so-dusty PC for everyday simming.

    If 'dusty' hardware is all you can afford, then stop wasting time with train games until that underlying life situation gets the attention and fix it requires.

  8. #8
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    There are times I wish the dev team would increase the minimum hardware requirements just to avoid hardware patch drama like this
    https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...42#post2007042

    By comparison to Sleepy's gear, my MSTS-era hardware was a 2005 WinXP Athlon 64 with a 7800GS card. 7800 was tops as the PC had an AGP graphics slot (not PCI-e) and the 7800 was the highest AGP card made. It would barely run Open Rails and the shadows looked extremely muddy. That AGP slot forced me to buy a whole new Win8/Win11-grade PC with GTX900-grade video rather than 'get by' with a $120 xx00GS to GT1030 video upgrade.

    Every other train sim franchise out there requires a minimal degree of financial bona fides just to enter and participate. Open Rails is free, but the minimum hardware required should be higher and represent a significant investment for any user IF THE USER DESIRES ONGOING SUPPORT. That's not to say Open Rails won't run on lesser hardware, but if a dusty computer in the corner of the closet or a $120 upgrade to a GT1030 is all you can swing, then you should be on your own and not consume precious time of support volunteers. That time spent nowadays supporting hardware basket cases like what Sleepy brings to the table should be better spent diagnosing and perfecting derailment physics or fully testing new features like the container loading/unloading module instead.

    No other sim franchise has a fictitious mandate to bring all stone-age stragglers forward into the fold, or tolerates the sacrificing of forward exploration (new features) in order to provide unique care and comfort solutions to backwards-facing elements (hardware deadbeats, religious MSTS compatibility). While the code may be free, if you want the ongoing support, make the appropriate investments.

  9. #9
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    Gee, you must have been having a bad day and feeling pretty grumpy when you wrote that!

  10. #10
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    Nope. Very measured and thought out. And long overdue.

    Lets just not lose the message while taking issue with the messenger.

    It is waaaay past time for the Open Rails effort to develop the same freedom and aerodynamics as these other new sims enjoy by not being bogged down with time-wasting challenges created by various intermittent users who simply are unable or unwilling to pull their own weight in procuring reasonably current hardware (< 7 yrs age).

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