Game-On: Troubleshooting Ventrilo For Windows 7 Gaming
by: William Usher
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Gamers don't want to sit around trying to find ways to get their software to work, they want it to work so they can get back to gaming. This quick troubleshooting guide will enable the core crowd to get straight to the problems in Ventrilo so they can get back to gaming.
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The Face Of Gaming Via Voices
A lot of people have tons of problems gaming on the Windows 7 platform...especially in the gaming communications area. So whether you’re playing old-school multiplayer titles like Counter Strike and Half-Life, or new-school MMOs like Alliance of Valiant Arms or Operation 7, you may have come to terms of communicating with friends or rivals through various online services such as TeamSpeak or Ventrilo, and you may have run into your fair share of problems.
Hence, this Ventrilo troubleshooting guide for Windows 7 will allow you to get your game-on and not have to worry too much about trying to get your software to work for you.
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The Troubles Of Communication
As you may know, just because Ventrilo supports Windows 7 doesn’t mean it’s aimed to work right for Windows 7. Playing your favorite games can sometimes become a bother when you can’t log onto your favorite voice chatting service and hit up some fair praise or equally demeaning insults to guild members.
One of the common errors with Ventrilo in W7 is that it displays a very dreadful error that inhibits it from working at all; totally ruining any chance of vocal communication. This error is typically known as the “Contacting Server" syndrome. It’s a repeat error that never leaves; it feels like you can’t get rid of it for anything and no matter how hard you try it always seems to nag you when you need Ventrilo to work.
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Common Solutions First
One of the most common issues with troubleshooting lies in problems caused by simple forms of miscommunication or misinformation. In the case of Ventrilo, it’s usually best to start it before you start your game and to ensure that you have all the appropriate server and password information inputted correctly.
Even if you’re adamant about your numerical-input skills, there’s no harm in double-checking the digits once you start up Vent and click on the settings button for the server.
Ensure that there are no additional spaces, and that no foreign or misplaced characters are located in the server field. If you’re completely satisfied that you haven’t misprinted the server data in the setup for Vent, it’s time to get a little bit more drastic with the solutions.
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Administrators Have All The Fun
It’s no shock that if you’re an administrator over your version of Windows then you’re basically in control of everything that gets on, gets ran and gets off your computer. Nevertheless, being an administrator over the computer for multiple users also limits what software everyone can access, including Ventrilo.
Another common – and oftentimes overlooked – issue with Vent is that it’s not run as an administrator. In other words, when you don’t run Ventrilo in Windows 7 as an administrator you won’t get full access to its networking capabilities. So simply right-click Ventrilo (or have the owner of the computer to do so) and select “Run as Administrator" to access Ventrilo with its full potential.
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Firewalls For Fail
Just because you run Vent as an administrator doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. A lot of people have up tertiary firewalls that can run amok in preventing common online software programs from functioning properly.
Be sure to disable or turn off any non-Windows based firewalls. Despite popular belief, the main firewall in Windows 7’s Defenders’ arsenal actually doesn’t affect Ventrilo. Real-time protection firewalls or active firewalls that search out and disable other programs can pose a threat to Ventrilo’s ability to connect out to other servers. So be sure to scour through your program list and find any active, anti-virus software or service that could have an extra firewall preventing Ventrilo from connecting correctly.
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Ports Can Pose A Problem: Part I
Moving more to the firmware side of things…a lot of people are unaware that your computer or router can sometimes prohibit other software programs from reaching their destination in an appropriate manner. This is oftentimes in fault of ports that are shut tighter than the mind of a fundamentalist at an Ayn Rand seminar. In order to get these ports open and flowing data out like a liberal at a Pride parade, you’ll need to head to your router’s firmware maintenance by typing in 192.168.1.1 into your internet browser’s main window.
If you’re unsure of what you’re doing, make certain that you have your router’s instructional manual with you so that you input the necessary administration login information. Depending on your make and model, there is usually a section for gaming or software that deals with port-forwarding.
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Ports Can Pose A Problem: Part II
You’ll want to input the Ventrilo server’s port address into the field (and not the server address) and your computer’s IP address into the last field (or vice versa, depending on your router’s setup). To find out what your computer’s IP address is, simply right click on the connection icon at the bottom right hand corner of the screen and click on “Open Network and Sharing Center" and then left click on your active connection and press “Details".
If your router supports inputting multiple ports to forward, include the following ports to forward in the remaining slots, also be sure to add the port of the Vent server you're using to enable a smooth route for connecting to your destination:
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The KB972270 Update For The Final Nail
If all else has failed (and really, that’s driving the nail in the coffin pretty deep) then there’s actually one final alternative that a few people have found useful: disabling the KB972270 update patch.
A lot of people might be questioning “Why" and “How" but the security update, for reasons only a trained technician could probably answer, seemed to prevent a few people from connecting to Vent. However, after uninstalling that particular update, running Ventrilo and then reinstalling the update at a later date...all seemed to work quite well. Usually, Windows will automatically reinstall the update during its patching procedures so it's not like you have to be vigilant in remembering to put it back on your computer.
In order to uninstall the update, head to Control Panel, click on Windows Update, and then click on View Update History. Scroll down until you see (and this is important) KB972270. Highlight it and mark the date that it was installed. Click on the Installed Updates tab at the top of the window to head to the screen where you can uninstall it. Click on the “Installed On" tab to change the date and look for the date that matches the KB972270 update and then uninstall it.
In combination with the port forwarding, double checking of the server information and disabling of third-party firewalls, this should enable Ventrilo to work like a charm.