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NWN2 was working fine, if a bit choppy with the mouse, on Tues. When I tried to load the game Wed it froze on startup. No intro graphics, no sound, just a blank screen with the hourglass frozen after about 5 seconds. I can't access the task manager, I can't esc, I can't do anything but turn the computer off with a hard reboot.

What happened?! The only difference between Tues and Wed was an update to the GOG Galaxy Client. I've uninstalled and reinstalled everything, game and client from both the website and Galaxy. Nothing is working. I've tried the directx; it's fine. I've reinstalled the C++; doesn't work.

I can't play this game at all, and I would kind of like to at least be able to finish it. :(

OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core 2 E4600 @ 2.4 GHz
RAM: 4 Gb
System: 64bit
Video Card: GeForce GT 730
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That's very odd; it's quite unusual for problems to persist across a reinstall of an application like that (unless it is dependent on some registry setting, but games usually don't put all that much in the Windows registry; besides, the uninstaller should have removed registry entries) - even if NWN2 is a buggy mess (for which we can blame Hasbro lawyers for yanking the licence abruptly from Atari, just before Obsidian was going to release the 1.24 patch that would have fixed so many of the remaining bugs, presumably in order to hurry said licence over to Cryptic and its promised microtransaction heaven i.e. the Neverwinter MMO ... Yeah, Old Billy may have been right :P).

Only thing I can think of is that Windows 7 received some kind of update that causes NWN2 to no longer work - you mention the problem developing over the course of a Tuesday night, so perhaps a Windows Update was indeed released (did you find your PC auto restarted in the morning?). I do not currently have a Windows 7 machine on hand to test; any other Win7 users finding issues with NWN2 this week?
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duskywing: NWN2 was working fine, if a bit choppy with the mouse, on Tues. When I tried to load the game Wed it froze on startup. No intro graphics, no sound, just a blank screen with the hourglass frozen after about 5 seconds. I can't access the task manager, I can't esc, I can't do anything but turn the computer off with a hard reboot.
When you say it was working fine on Tuesday, does that mean it was working fine everyday up to and including Tuesday, or that you first installed the game on Tuesday & it run until you rebooted your PC.
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duskywing: . I've tried the directx; it's fine.
Windows 7 doesn't come with directx 9.0c that the game requires, did you install that?

Have you tried installing without the Galaxy beta client?

How much free space do you have on your C: drive?
I bought NWN2 over a year ago from GOG, and downloaded it before I switched from Vista to Windows 7. Life got in the way, my computer got in the way, and I never really got to play it. But I did play it at some point while I had Vista. Then re-installed it after I upgraded to 7 along with the Galaxy Client. It was working fine. I got to Crossroad Keep on Tues, and on Wed I couldn't even open the game. It froze the first time I tried, then when I rebooted I noticed Galaxy updated.

First thing I tried was uninstalling Galaxy, thinking the update might have been the issue.

I've tried downloading fresh from the website without Galaxy, then again with Galaxy so I could validate and repair.

I manually update Windows, and I didn't update until after the crashing.

I fished Google and found this list: <quote>First and foremost, take a quick breath. Crashes and the like are frustrating, but this is the PC world we live in. First and foremost there are some extremely basic steps to look through.

Install DirectX using the DXSetup.exe in "Steam\steamapps\common\neverwinter nights 2\Redists\DirectX"
If that fails, try a DirectX Setup from Microsoft.
Make sure your video card drivers are up-to-date.
ATI
nVidia
Intel (For Intel GMA)
Reinstall Visual C++ 2005 and 2008.
Visual C++ 2005 x86 (Microsoft)
Visual C++ 2005 x64 (Microsoft) (For 64-bit Systems Only)
Visual C++ 2008 x86 (Microsoft)
Visual C++ 2008 x64 (Microsoft) (For 64-bit Systems Only)

After those are done, some people have recommended rebooting in an effort to make sure shared libraries are freed up. </quote>

According to dxdiag I still have directx 11 installed. I tried directx 9.0c as olnorton suggested, but I don't know if the install worked or not.

I have Steam, but I don't use it, so I uninstalled it.

I unplugged my bluetooth dongle and hooked up a wired keyboard and mouse.

I unplugged my expansion drive.

I shut down every background program I could find, including Norton.

I'm hardwired into my wireless router.

I ran disk clean-up and optimizer.

I have 144Gb of hard drive space.

The only other thing that changed on Tues, other than the mouse issues, was that I switched from full screen view to window screen.
I've never used Galaxy, but I suspect the update changed the permissions for your user files.
The default location without Galaxy is C:\Users\Username\Documents\Neverwinter Nights 2\
If that is where they are, right click on the Neverwinter Nights 2 directory >Properties>Security & see if both system & your username have full access.

If they do, then it could be a single corrupt file in that directory causing the problem.
To check this, rename that directory Neverwinter Nights 2 Old & then try and start the game.
If the game starts and creates a new default user directory, copy your saved game from the old one.
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duskywing: According to dxdiag I still have directx 11 installed. I tried directx 9.0c as olnorton suggested, but I don't know if the install worked or not.
The only other thing that changed on Tues, other than the mouse issues, was that I switched from full screen view to window screen.
Even when you install DirectX9, you will still also have DirectX11. But you need to know if the install worked, and you do need 9 for the game. Did you get it directly from Microsoft's site?

Not to be obvious, but did you try switching the windowed mode back to full screen?