I’ve been running this OpenGL Globe screensaver I wrote for several years now on various machines without any issues. Until the other night when I installed it on my new laptop. So I did a little digging and figured out what was going on. After I installed the screensaver and tried to activate it I got the following error:
Googling for information brought me to this site. Further down in the discussion they start talking about switchable graphics with the AMD drivers (which I have) and the Catalyst control center. It seems that by default screensavers are run in “Power Saving” mode with hardware acceleration disabled. Well, since this is an OpenGL screensaver that just will not do! I open up the Catalyst control center and it’s not listed in the recent applications. I guess since it hadn’t run yet it wouldn’t show up. Of course, the Browse… button on the Other Applications box below won’t allow you to select a .scr file. So I try right clicking the .scr file to try to test it that way:
Hey, it starts! So I jump back into the Control Center and there it is!
I set it to “High Performance” and go back to the screensaver control panel and it starts right up! Interesting. I’m not sure if or how I could update the installer to detect and adjust these settings automatically. I’ve been running this screensaver (or previous builds of it) on various computers for several years now and this is the first time I’ve encountered an issue with it. I’m not sure if I can even consider it an issue with the screensaver or not though I’d argue either the screensaver or the installer need to be updated since I can’t really expect end users to have to jump through hoops to get my software to work. I’m probably not going to do it any time soon however. If you have an idea for fixing this problem in an automated fashion I’d be interested in hearing it. If you’d like to play around with the installer code let me know and I’ll give it to you. In the mean time, if you see this issue, let me know if this fixes it.
So, I’ve been playing around with the drivers and mucked things up enough that I had to revert. However, when I installed the original version and encountered the same problem with the screensaver described above, the above fix did not work this time! Grrr… To get around it I had to go in and manually add it in the registry. One of the existing screensavers that actually ran without issues was listed in the Switchable Graphics dialog as shown above. I picked ribbons.scr. I opened regedit32.exe and searched for “ribbons.scr”.
I edited this string value and changed the path to specify “ssglobe.scr” instead of “ribbons.scr”. When I reopened the Switchable Graphics dialog it was listed though it was marked as “Not Assigned”. I’m sure there are other registry settings that can be updated to add it and give it the proper settings all in one shot. However, getting it to show up in the dialog is sufficient for now as the settings can then be changed from there. I set it back to “High Performance” and all is again working.