Hi Guys (well, maybe only CLBrown)! It's exciting someone actually came back to this and replied!
CLBrown, that's some pretty interesting stuff you're doing. I tried your method of setting the exes to Win98 mode and putting those dgVoodoo files in with them on my Dell XPS 400. Still didn't work. However, BFN still works like a champ in Wine in Linux!
Here is the specs to my Dell XPS 400: http://pastebin.com/8Pu2CGWH
I have to vehemently believe that BFN not working is a hardware (or firmware) problem, _not_ a (superficial) software problem such as Windows version, DirectX version, etc.
The reason why is that my Dell XPS 400 is the only computer I have experienced this problem with (except for one other XPS tower machine, but that was because it was running 64-bit Windows and wasn't compatible with the bitage).
Seriously, on all other computers I have tried BFN on, it works without a hitch. No compatibility options checked, no wrappers installed, no sorcery at all - just works "out of the box."
I also have a Dell laptop with Windows XP 32-bit Service Pack 3, and a non-ancient DirectX version installed (don't have it with me right now or I'd get the version number for you). BFN works flawlessly on it without any compatibility options or anything (again, "out of the box").
But on my Dell XPS 400, which also has Windows XP 32-bit Service Pack 3, and a non-ancient DirectX version (maybe even the same version as the laptop), it doesn't work.
So, superficial-software-wise, the Dell XPS 400 and the Dell laptop are pretty much identical. But on one it works and on the other it doesn't (without doing any sorcery).
There is a very big hardware difference: The Dell laptop has ATI graphics, and the Dell XPS 400 has an nVIDIA graphics card. You said that your system also has an nVIDIA graphics card, and before you started doing computer voodoo, BFN wouldn't work on it. So maybe this is an nVIDIA-specific problem with either the firmware on the graphics card or the graphics card driver with some
nVIDIA graphics cards, read on.
Also, a friend let me try to install BFN on his little netbook (used BFN iso and CD emulator) running Windows 7. It worked. No compatibility mode checked, no wrappers, no sorcery, it worked "out of the box". Also worked on a friend's MacBook's Win7 32-bit side; again, out of the box.
The MacBook has nVIDIA graphics, so this obviously isn't a global nVIDIA issue. In fact, maybe some ATI chipsets would find BFN unpalatable.
I have been very happy with BFN's performance in Wine in Linux. It's flawless and works "out of the box," even on my Dell XPS 400. I even can run BFN in 64-bit Linux.
This has been a long and persistent mystery.
Maybe by the time we're done figuring BFN out, we'll have a whole new updated version of it or something