DirectX, DirectDraw, or d3dx9 Error

You may receive one of the following error messages when starting your game:

Application failed because of missing component d3dx9_33dll
DirectX error
DirectDraw or INTDirectdraw error

These errors occur when DirectX 9.0 is not correctly installed (multiple versions of DirectX may run at the same time), or a newer version of DirectX is being used. Though your computer may be new and have the latest DirectX, some games, particularly older games, require DirectX 9.0 to play properly. For assistance installing DirectX 9.0, please contact Microsoft Support.



76 responses to “DirectX, DirectDraw, or d3dx9 Error”

  1. Michael J. says:

    Running Deception Island, or some other older game, under Windows 8.1 a DirectX error about missing DirectPlay. Solution:
    Right click on left lower corner windows symbol or old Start button, select Control Panel. Click Programs. Under Programs and features click “Turn Windows features on or off”.
    Click + next to Legacy Components, mark DirectPlay, click OK. Agree if asked for any update permission.

  2. anonymous says:

    It worked.
    Thank you so much.
    You people are great

  3. Kelsey says:

    Thank you!! WAC did not open due to the DirectX and the first link didn’t work. The second link helped! I love WAC and now I can play it!!!!

  4. Reilly says:

    It didn’t work for me. for some reason it still says it cannot find a directx device

  5. Patty says:

    I used both links and it still didn’t work? Am I doing anything wrong? I followed all of the instructions. Does the fact that I’m just using an external CD drive contribute to this? Help please!

  6. Susan says:

    It still doesn’t work! I tried both of the links, and nothing has happened! I’ve downloaded numerous directx files, but still no luck. Anything else I could try?

  7. herairness says:

    1st link works great, thanks!

  8. itsskayleee_ says:

    I tried both of the links and nothing is working for me either! Extremely disappointing. Anyone know any other ways to get it working?

  9. Sam H. says:

    My games weren’t working after I used the Windows 8 installation guide, so I tried reinstalling DirectX as one of the solutions, and now they give me a new error message saying that I don’t have DirectX! I tried both of the links here, to no avail. Any suggestions that you can give me, besides sending me what’s written here…? The only game of mine that works on this computer is Phantom of Venice, and I don’t want to throw all of my money/gifts down the drain just because they both dislike my operating system and refuse to acknowledge the existence of this bloody program.

  10. Heather says:

    I tried the first one, didn’t work. Tried the second one and IT WORKED!!! YAY!!! Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!!! 😀

  11. Sabrina says:

    I have tried to play Curse of Blackmoor Manor for over a year on my computer, but had no luck because of directx. I tried both links, no luck. I email tech support multiple times and every time they stop replying to me. Very irritating.

    • Little Jackalope says:

      Hi Sabrina! Can you remind us when you emailed last? It’s possible some emails got lost in cyberspace with recent computer updates.

  12. Rebecca says:

    My game (Curse of Blackmoor Manor) will install just fine, but whenever I try to actually launch the game it tells me that it is ‘unable to find a DirectX device. Make sure you have DirectX installed and have installed the latest drivers for your video card.’ I do have DirectX, I tried each of the solutions posted above and neither worked. I have a hp windows 8 operating system.

    • KateB says:

      Hey Rebecca, I have the same issue, but with Danger on Decption Island. Did you ever figure out how to fix this problem?

  13. Chlo says:

    I did everything you suggested i bought some nancy drew games from bigfishgames paid for full version and done everything you suggested to do it still says i don’t have direct x or i haven’t got the drivers i need for the game this is annoying because i didn’t realize that would happen how can i make it work?

    • Little Jackalope says:

      Hi Chlo! If you purchased this game from Big Fish Games, please contact them for help. If you purchase from Her Interactive in the future, we can certainly make sure to get it working. We might have a fix for it… alternatively, you may contact us at Thanks!

    • kateandnancy says:

      Hi Chlo,
      I have the same exact problem. Just wondering
      if you fixed it and how.


  14. Raymond says:

    Hello. Just downloaded CUR, but it will not run. I get “Unable to find a DirectX device”. The other ND games seem to work fine. I’m running Windows 10. I just emailed Tech Support. Lets hope they can help!

  15. Demi says:

    Hello. I am currently having the same issue. I just downloaded Curse of Blackmoor from her interactive, running on windows 10, and it’s giving me the same Direct X message. Emailed tech support, hoping they will answer.

  16. Marjorie says:

    OH I had the same issues with the new Windows 10 but that second part you had up there fixed it. The first attempt going to microsoft they wanted me to download windows 10 but I already have it on my computer so the direct link you gave in that paragraph was my ticket. It was easy to download THANK YOU FOR THE FIX now I can play again. LUV LUV These games I hve all up to 26 now to get the rest. YAYAYAY

  17. violet says:

    I have downloaded both and the Directx message is still popping up. I don’t know what to do or how to fix it. I have tried almost everything. I really just want to play The Creature of Kapu Cave. Oh, also, I have Windows 10.

  18. Heather West says:

    So! I figured it out by accident. I right clicked on the file and clicked troubleshoot compatibility. I used the recommended settings. Eureka! It instantly worked.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks for the idea. After everything else failed, I tried using compatibility mode (it seemed to default to windows vista so that is what i left it on) and it worked! This was for Secret of the Old Clock.

    • hodges2 says:

      i tried this too, still didnt work T_T

  19. Sarah M says:

    I’ve tried both links, the compatibility mode, installed and reinstalled DirectX, reinstalled Stay Tuned For Danger, and I still get the InitDirectDraw() error. What do I do now???

  20. hodges2 says:

    how come your tech support isnt working?

  21. Abby says:

    So I’m trying to play Secret of Shadow Ranch and when I click new game it gives me an error that reads “ERROR – OpenVideoStreamForSingleFrames() – Unable to determine file type in file diff.

  22. Jessie Jones says:

    We purchased your 4 pack for our windows 8 pc and have tried everything you have listed on your troubleshooting page but we still get the error “Unable to find a Directx device”. When we try to download a newer version, Microsoft says that we already have the newest version. And right clicking on the game icon and troubleshoot compatibility did not fix the issue either. We even tried all of the earlier operator systems in the list

  23. AJ says:

    We bought the iciicle creek and blackmoor manor four pack and have DirectX 12 installed but the game still says unable to find DirectX device. Help?

  24. Jenny says:

    Hi I’m trying to play Nancy Drew The Creature of Capu Cove and I keep getting the message that says Unable to find a DirectX device. Make sure you have DirectX installed and have installed the latest drivers for your video card. I have downloaded the updated DirectX and followed the above comment nothing seems to work.

  25. Me439 says:

    Hi, I was hoping to find out what worked for everyone. I have almost every game and am running windows 10 with directx 12. All games up till 20 will pop up a directx error (either that it cant be found or the directdraw error). I’m trying to work with Her Interactive support but everything they have said wont help. Just hoping to be able to play them and not have to pay 200$ again for all 20 games.

    • Little Jackalope says:

      Hello Me439, did you follow the instructions by techsupport? If those steps didn’t help, let them know, and they can redirect you.

  26. Katherine says:

    I’m getting an error message, but it’s different than the ones listed. “InitDirectDraw() – we’re sorry – your system cannot play the correct display mode for this game. Game shutting down.”
    I’m running windows 10.

    • Brian says:

      I’m having the same problem. Did you ever get it fixed? If so, how? Thanks.

      • Lindsay says:

        I just found the solution and now the game runs perfectly. Do the following:
        You may also need to run in compatibility mode:

        1. Right-click the game icon that is now on your desktop, select ‘Properties’
        2. Under ‘Properties’, click on the ‘Compatibility’ tab
        3. Check the ‘Run in Compatibility Mode’ box and then select ‘Windows XP Service Pack 3’ or ‘Windows 98/Me’ from the drop-down menu

        After this, run the game application as Administrator by right clicking and selecting that option (Run as Administrator) and it should work.

        • NDFan says:

          THANK YOU Lindsay! I couldn’t figure out to play Danger on Deception Island or Secret of Shadow Ranch, but your thing did the trick!

        • Morgan says:

          I tried this, but the same error still comes up. Does anyone have any other fixes?

    • Lindsay says:

      Yes I’m having the same issue with Stay Tuned for Danger. I changed the display resolution to 1280 x 960 in my computer settings and this still did not resolve the issue.

  27. Zara says:

    This worked great, and I easily found it when searching google. Thanks!!

  28. Sarah says:

    Hi, I just installed the Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon, and I keep getting the message “unable to find DirectX device” even though I have run dxdiag.exe and it says I have DirectX12 on my system. I have a Windows 10 Home operating system on my HP 64bit oberating system. I bought the game thru bigfish.

  29. Seal cat says:

    Hi all, I had this error forever but I can now work every single ND game including the old ones. I downloaded a Directx wrapper called dgvoodoo and placed the instructed file in each game folder. I then right clicked the game executable file, selected ‘troubleshoot compatibility’ and then went with recommended settings. I launched the game, voila it worked, then exited to save settings. I could then access the games whenever I wanted. Hope this helps somebody!

  30. Kadee says:

    i’m having the same issue you were having lindsey! but when i go to game properties there is no vtab or option for compatibility. every forum i have seen has said to run in compatibility mode and i cant find it. I’m also technologically inept so that’s probably contributing to my issue lol

  31. Tazzie says:

    Seal cat, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! Dgvoodoo worked beautifully for me.

  32. Chris says:

    go into c:/program files(x86)/steam/steam apps/common/nancy drew (which ever game)/dx folder and run dx setup. After trying everything else this worked for me. Good luck.

  33. Deanna says:

    Thank you, Seal cat! The dgVoodoo program worked for me as well. I’m excited to be able to replay the really old games! 🙂

  34. Cat says:

    I downloaded Shadow At The Water Edge, and I get the ‘ND-12126’ error every time.

  35. Teresa says:

    I am getting a “dx included in the game has failed”. please help me so I can play my Nancy Drew game.

  36. Moon says:

    I downloaded Shadow At The Water Edge, and I get the ‘ND-12126’ error every time I try to open the game. Help?

  37. Trevon Noiva says:

    I spent 5 hours on this but got it to work:

    Fail: Unable to find a DirectX device. Make sure you have directx installed and have installed the latest drivers for your video card.

    Problem explained (for me): Screen unable to support game resolution (too low in this case)

    Step 1:
    After doing the above (Installing into documents folder, ect) right click the desktop icon, go to compatiability mode, select run 640 x 480 and Windows 98

    Step 2:
    Find screen resolotions I have a Nvidea graphics card and went to Nvidea control panel > Change resolution > Customize > Create Custom Resolution > 640 x 480
    Save all that and then run the game. This is what finnaly worked for me.

    hope this helps a few stranded souls like me

  38. Mara says:

    If anyone is having this issue in 2021, like I did, I fixed the “unable to locate DirectX” error by just running the game as Admin.

    Hope that helps someone.

  39. Allie says:

    Fix for anyone having issues in September 2022:
    You need to have a compatible DirectX version to play the older games on Windows 10 and 11. You can download the DirectX End-User Runtime (June 2010) from Microsoft to get a package of the older versions. It will not affect your current installed DirectX. After downloading, you must extract the file into a folder (create a new one and name it the same) and then, click DXSetup in the folder to install it. After that, you should be able to run the game. (I recommend running as Administrator.) Good luck!

    • Sohana says:

      Yessss thank you so much !! It helped !
      The only thing is, I had to turn off my internet, for it to work. But your solution was the only one to help, and it was so simple to do. THANK YOU

  40. Camden says:

    I’ve done everything including downloading the old DirectX End-User Runtime (June 2010) but I am still getting those errors on ND 18, 21, and 30. What do I do?

  41. How to solve the “Unable to find DirectX installation” Error:

    1) Download an application called “dgvoodoo” which can supply the missing legacy DirectX dll libraries
    2) Unpack it anywhere on your computer
    3) Go to the folder you unpacked, and copy all the files from the MS/x86/ folder to your game folder. It should be 4 .dll files
    4) Run the game, this time, hopefully, without any DirectX related error. Enjoy!

    • Syd says:

      This worked for me. It took some patience on my part, but I was able to get the older games up and running from Steam. I recommend having two File Explorers opened for this – one for the individual games and another for the 4 .dll files

  42. Sohana says:

    I meant I had to turn of internet for THE GAME to work (once the old Directx file installed)

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