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Here is what fixed my directX incompatibilities - I dont' really have enough info to guarantee if your situation will benefit from this but here goes:

1. terminating the Terminal Services process (you prolly don't need it, unless you run remote desktop or something, just disable it)

2. making sure that Netmeeting is uninstalled
(here's an article that shows you how for win2k and winxp)

click here

3. making sure your AGP port drivers are re-installed (if you have a via-based board these would be the 4-in-1 drivers, most recent version, prolly, check with your manuf.

(maybe 4) don't install the latest signed nvidia ref. driver if your card is not an FX model. at the time of writing it was 4.5.2.3
I rolled back to 4.5.2.0 and it works great.

I'm sure other people with similar errors but different configs will have luck with other methods (ie. running netmeeting and then windows desktop sharing, then disabling desktop sharing, then disabling direct3d accel. then enabling direct3d accel.) but the 3 checkpoints above worked for me, so i think they're not a bad starting point, and they don't involve having to re-install 8.1 or 9.0 or 9.0a or 9.0b. Crikey, if MS would just get it right the first time

my system: for reference is in my profile.

I hope this helps someone avoid a sleepless night like the one I had. if it did - send me a mail cheers.
 

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something else that might help is to
completely uninstall your display drivers using add-remove programs, then diligently elminate any leftover files associated with prior drivers. then download the directX re-distribution package, extract to a folder, then extract the cab files and 'install' the inf's one at a time for every folder. if you get an error message, just move on to the next folder because that means it's not intended for your OS.

then re-install directX using Setup, and then re-install your display adapter.
 
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