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Several games suddenly not working

My computer used to be able to play several games such as Far Cry 3, Civ5 and Hitman:A
Then (because of reasons unknown) I had to plug in an outer graphics driver (The type that uses an USB).
After I removed the outer graphics driver I noticed:

-Windows AERO didn't work
-"Desktop windows manager had stopped working and was closed".
-Some games would not start (without sending an error message)

I tried several different things to fix the desktop manager problem such as:

-Restarting it from "Services.msc"
-CMD scf/scannow
-Defragging
-CCleaner
-Reinstalling the games
-updating my drivers

Question:
Is the "desktop windows manager" error the reason why I can't play some games?
And how can I fix it?

ducklonely has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by ducklonely

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Sounds like

In reply to: Several games suddenly not working

Sounds like a pretty simple case of your video card failed. If it's under warranty, get the manufacturer to replace it, otherwise that cost is on you.

Also, just FYI, defragmenting and CCleaner have no real diagnostic function. Defragmenting just gathers up the various little chunks of files scattered about the physical surface of the drive and puts them in a contiguous block. Once upon a time this could improve overall system performance a reasonable bit, but these days it's all but useless for the average user. Particularly with "cloud" services being rather popular.

CCleaner, by and large, just provides a central location for tools already built into Windows. It also contains a registry "cleaner" which will be more likely to cause problems than fix them. Once upon a time, CCleaner was a very specialized tool for the IT professional type. Then it was "discovered" by a few people who want to show off and repeat a bunch of half-understood and badly mangled advice someone else gave them for a completely different situation. The result of which is CCleaner sold out and is now actively trying to market itself as a kind of panacea tool, where it's primary utility to people is providing a single button to do things like empty the recycle bin, delete Internet Explorere's cache files, and things of that nature... All of which already have methods for doing so in a stock Windows environment, it just requires a little more effort.

Collapse -
How come..

In reply to: Sounds like

Video card fail sounds plausible, but how come several games still work, some of which are pretty demanding when it comes to power.

Collapse -
It depends

In reply to: How come..

It depends. "Incomplete" failures like I suspect yours is, are unpredictable. I remember one time coming across a GeForce 7300 card that had a couple of bad capacitors (known issue). It'd work fine for 2D tasks, but as soon as you tried using any of the 3D functions, it didn't go so well. Your video card could have something similar, where a key capacitor or resistor for a specific function on the card has failed. Aero and the games you mention not working might depend on that function while other games may not use it at all.

So this is a good opportunity to go out and buy some cheap <$50 video card that you can pop in and see whether or not any of the symptoms change. If the video card is at fault, at the very least you should stop getting the Aero related errors. If not, it's not a bad idea to have a few spare parts around like a video card and PSU. Not a whole spare computer, obviously, but at least a few key components that can take down the entire computer.

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Answer
Forgot to mention:

In reply to: Several games suddenly not working

My computer is old, but it was able to run the games for several months so it isn't about my computer being too weak

The Operating system that I use is Windows 7

Collapse -
Be honest. Where's the backup of what worked?

In reply to: Forgot to mention:

It could be some driver or even a failed video card. You will encounter clients that will argue the diagnosis which is fine as the meter is running but here the advice is free.

Yes, the AERO and desktop errors are your best clue. I would google about those.
Bob

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