Driver Internal Errors (Direct3D 9)

In Direct3D 9, Direct3D will allow the driver to return error codes such as E_OUTOFMEMORY, D3DERR_OUTOFVIDEOMEMORY, and D3DERR_UNSUPPORTEDCOLORARG so that an application would be able to respond to them. However, sometimes the API calls that generated these return types get loaded into a command buffer and are batched up to be sent to the GPU (see Controlling Runtime and Driver Optimizations). In this case, the errors cannot be relayed to the application when action needs to be taken, so the error code is consumed by the runtime and a note is made on the device object that this happened. Later when the application invokes IDirect3DDevice9::Present, IDirect3DDevice9::Present will return D3DERR_DRIVERINTERNALERROR. This is why the best approach for an application to take when receiving a D3DERR_DRIVERINTERNALERROR from IDirect3DDevice9::Present is to destroy and recreate the device.

If you want to try to debug further, here are a couple of suggestions for trying to figure out which API call is generating the error:

  • Because the list of possible return values is not complete, you can try to find which call is failing by surrounding each API call like this:

    TRACE ( "Calling DrawPrimitive" );
    TRACE ( "done\n" );

    The output debug stream should then show the call that is causing the problem.

  • Additionally, for debugging purposes, try calling IDirect3DDevice9::ValidateDevice immediately before each IDirect3DDevice9::DrawPrimitive to see if there is an additional problem with the device driver (unsupported operation, unusable combination of texture formats, etc).


    IDirect3DDevice9::ValidateDevice should be used carefully and sparingly because of the amount of validation work the driver needs to perform to return an answer.


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