Diagnose a PC's Multimedia Functions
By Stephen Bucaro
DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) for handling
tasks related to multimedia, especially computer games and video, on Windows
PCs. Originally, the names of these APIs all began with Direct, such as
Direct3D, DirectDraw, DirectMusic, DirectPlay, DirectSound, and so forth. DirectX,
then, was the generic term for all of these APIs and became the name of the collection.
The DirectX Diagnostic Tool (Dxdiag.exe) is a Windows built-in diagnostic tool
included with DirectX to help you troubleshoot DirectX related issues. The default
installation folder for Dxdiag.exe is: C:\Windows\System32. To start the DirectX
Diagnostic Tool, click Start | Run, then type dxdiag in the Open
dialog box, then click on the [OK] button.
The number of tabs depends upon the PC's specific congifuration
Below is a description of each tab in the DirectX Diagnostic Tool dialog box.
System provides system information about your computer and specifies the
version of DirectX that is installed on your computer.
DirectX Files lists the file name and the version number for each DirectX
file that is installed on your computer, as well as the file name and the version
number of many common files that are used by games that are running under DirectX.
Display lists your current display settings, and allows you to disable
DirectDraw, Direct3D, and AGP Texture Acceleration. This tab also allows testing
of DirectDraw and Direct3D. Passing these tests indicates that the DirectX Graphics
runtime files are installed and operating correctly.
The Display tab also lists your device's available memory and can tell you if your
video driver has passed Microsoft's Windows Hardware Quality Labs testing.
• Note the DirectX Diagnostic Tool cannot report memory that is
in use at the time that it starts. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see less memory
reported than your video card actually has.