I am not completely certain that this problem is Vista related. Looking through old threads, though, I can't seem to find anyone else with this problem. That seems to indicate that the problem is a new one caused by Vista. Let me start by saying that most of the time the game works fine. I have had a few graphics issues, but only with funny effects in the skies of Dantooine or the Kasshyk Shadowlands.
That said, my problem has to do with mods. Specifically, mods that modify dialog seem to work fine. Also, mods that manipulate things already in the game work fine -- I have the "Deadeye Duncan Appears on Manaan" mod installed and it worked without a hitch. It is the graphics in mods that are giving me problems. When I try to install Weapons of the Old Republic, for example, many of the weapons show up as blank white shapes. The blaster-fire effects are often surrounded by weird "static," and the little icons that show the items in inventory are replaced by seemingly random kaleidoscope colors. Other examples are the Revan's mask+ 2.0 or the Good/Evil Bastila Clothes mods. With the Mask mod installed I can get the mask and wear it, and the item itself works. In other words, I get the bonuses and abilities granted by the mask. However, the mask's appearance...
As you can see, the shape of the mask is correct -- it wraps around my head like it should. But it is blank white. Things get even odder when I enter conversation with this mask equipped:
Look at the part of the mask closest to my ear. Part of the missing texture has appeared, yet the rest of the mask is still blank white!?
This problem isn't limited to this mod:
This is the Good/Evil Bastila Mod. Again, during conversation pieces of the textures show up. Outside of conversation Bastila is completely covered in a blank white:
...although occasionally during combat bits and pieces of what she should look like peek through, just like how the mask mod had a few bits show up alright during conversation.
Having installed/uninstalled these mods extensively, I am quite certain that this problem is not caused by a mod vs. mod conflict. I've also uninstalled and reinstalled KOTOR itself, with no apparent effect.
I have tried every combination of graphics setting, low or high, that the game options allow. Running in XP compatibility doesn't help. My computer meets the minimum requirements, but not the recommended requirements. I have the latest drivers installed. This is my save file from the KOTOR hardware scan utility in the configuration tool that comes with the game:
ReportDateTime=8/17/2007 6:29:03 PM
Version=Windows XP v5.1 build 2600 Service Pack 2
Service Pack=Service Pack 2
CPUName=Intel(R) Core(TM) Duo CPU T2350 @ 1.86GHz
[Disk Free Space]
C: (NTFS), UNICODE=39.89GB
Drives=PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-K17LF ATA Device
Video Card Name=
Desktop Resolution=1280x800x32 @ 60Hz
DirectX=DirectX (9.0+) (4.09.00.0904)
OpenGL Version=1.4.0 - Build 188.8.131.525
OpenGL Renderer=Intel 945GM
Vid Card Status=Warning
Vid Card Driver Status=Pass
Sound Card Name=@wdma_usb.inf,%usb\class_01.devicedesc%;USB Audio Device
;Game Options from swkotor.ini
Sound Effects Volume=25
Number 3D Voices=16
Number 2D Voices=24
Environment Effects Level=0.60
Environment Effects Nonstreaming=1
Environment Effects Streaming=1
Reverse Mouse Buttons=0
Hide InGame GUI=0
Use Small Fonts=0
Keyboard Camera Deceleration=2000.000000
Keyboard Camera Acceleration=500.000000
Keyboard Camera DPS=200.000000
Enable Mouse Teleporting To Buttons=1
Auto Level Up NPCs=0
Reverse Minigame YAxis=0
Mods I have tried that work fine:
Bendak Starkiller Rework
Deadeye Duncan on Manaan
EZ Swoop (When I started my latest new game I didn't want to have to beat the same old records AGAIN)
Lightsaber Forms for KOTOR1
Manaan Door "Security Zone" Warning Removal
Yuka Laka/HK-47 Conflict Mod
Mods I have tried that have this graphical issue:
Good/Evil Bastila Clothes mod
Light of the Force Mask mod
Revan's Mask + v.2.0 mod
Weapons of the Old Republic
As I said, this problem seems to only exist in the mods. The only place I have found in-game where a similar problem occurs when no mods are installed is at the Manaan Sub Dock and here:
...but the two problems look different enough visually that I suspect they are separate issues. I could always be wrong on that, though.
The files in the override folder and the files I downloaded are the same sizes, so data isn't being lost at that point. My best guesses as to what is going wrong is that something about Vista is making the game fail to read the files in the override folder correctly.
Thanks ahead of time!
EDIT: I previously suspected that downloads might be being corrupted by a firewall, resulting in this error. In order to determine whether or not downloads were being corrupted I followed Achille's walkthrough on how to create a custom lightsaber. I finished the saber and put the files into the override folder as instructed, then used the cheat console to get the custom saber in-game. It suffered from the same glitch described above. In this case the blade appeared as a very thin white line. As I swung it around I noticed that occasionally flashes of color would show up. I managed to capture one of these on pause and here it is:
Shot at 2007-08-18
Look towards the lower part of the blade. See how that part of the blade suddenly has the right coloration and is randomly surrounded with a black background? This seems to confirm that whatever is causing the problem is something to do with my computer, not how I'm downloading files or anything similar.
UPDATE: I've now pinned the problem down to the .mdl and .mdx files. For some reason the game doesn't read those files from the override folder correctly.