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I have probably investigated this problem beyond the realm of reasonableness but I feel as though I am getting close to identifying the problem.
I am running a 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 Pro (Directx 11) on a Compaq Presario c700 with an Intel (R) Pentium (R) Dual CPU T2370 @ 1.73GHz processor, 2GB Ram, and a Mobile Intel(R) 965 Express Chipset Family (Microsoft Corporation - WDDM 1.1) display adapter with an up to date 184.108.40.20697 driver from Intel.
Here's the problem...
Shogun Total War originally worked on this machine without any hiccups a couple years ago. I believe it ran fine on Windows 7 but I can't be sure if I was using 7 or Vista at the time. I have since upgraded to Windows 8 and upon starting the application, the game flashes between different resolutions and black screens about 4-5 times and then loads the first two videos before the front end/main menu screen. As soon as it is about to load the main menu, it crashes to the desktop with the error "Shog_CPP.exe has stopped working." I checked the error log file and it reports
C:\Shogun\Main3d_1.cpp(3787) : DirectX call : E_NOTIMPL (UNSUPPORTED)
Errors for session started: Tue Nov 05 19:19:09 2013
Before recognizing that it has to be some incompatibility with DirectX 11, I deleted my K-Lite and Combined Community Codec packs after hoping it was some issue with a sound file. I also tested the game by disabling my sound driver and it still would not run successfully. I've reinstalled this game many times and that did not help. I cannot run the game in software mode because I can't get to the main menu to do so. I've tried just about every possible solution I've read buried in all sorts of CA related forums and none of them have worked. I have tried researching what this DirectX call error is and can only surmise that my version of DirectX is incompatible and (UNSUPPORTED), preventing the game from running. I've tried setting the application target file to run previous versions of directx but am not sure that the method actually works. I tried adding -dxlevel 7 and -directxlevel 7 and a few other like combinations that only brought up line errors before launching the game as usual. I've been fruitless in my efforts to figure out if there is a 3rd party or previous driver I could install to allow the game to run properly. Every windows compatibility option fails. If you have any ideas or leads, I would greatly appreciate them. This is my favorite game of all time and I feel like I'm getting close to the answer!