This has been a great month for PC gaming with the release of Resident Evil 5, Batman Arkham Asylum. Red Faction : Guerilla, etc. Today saw the release of yet another highly anticipated title for the PC, Need for Speed : Shift. First of all thank you EA for not fuc*ing up another NFS title – this game seems very promising. Based on my experience with the game so far (that’s 1-2 hours), car handling has been significantly improved. When maxed out, graphics looked pretty amazing  (especially the car models). Anyways purpose of this article is to provide possible fixes to some problems several folks seem to be having with the game.

NFS : Shift screen goes black

You might be able to load the game just fine but sometimes – mostly when you get control of a vehicle (when you load a race) - monitor might suddenly go black. Nothing but a black screen will be visible. This seems to be happening a lot under Windows XP. There are two possible fixes that might solve this issue (provided that your system meets minimum requirements)

Run game under compatibility mode for Windows 98.

Yeah it’s strange, we are used to running games under XP SP2 compatibility when problems arise. Since the black screen might be related to XP environment, try running with Windows 98/Me compatibility.

1. Right click the NFS : Shift executable (or shortcut).

2. Select ‘Properties’ and go to the ‘Compatibility’ tab. Choose Windows 98 from the list, select it and press ok.

Compatibility mode

3. Run the game.

There is another solution but this might be a little extreme. From the responses I saw on various gaming forums, Windows 7 users have had a lot less problems with NFS : Shift than XP users. If possible, try running the game under Windows 7.

Do you use a game controller?

Lots of people use 3rd party controllers rather than mouse + keyboard to play NFS games. Sometimes, issues or incompatibilities with such hardware might cause random crashes or black screen errors. If you are experiencing any, try removing your game controller and playing the game.

Whatever you do, please update your DX9 to the latest monthly runtime (regardless of using Vista, XP or Windows 7). It can be downloaded from here. This will fix most (if not all) missing dll file errors and other issues related to DirectX. Also, don’t forget to update your display and audio drivers.

This post will be updated as more fixes are discovered.

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77 Comments

  1. Pedro // 9/16/2009 10:19:00 PM  

    Thank you for that!!!!!!! :D

  2. varium86 // 9/17/2009 01:43:00 AM  

    Not a single thing described here works.

  3. ET-Ext // 9/17/2009 02:03:00 AM  

    varium86, maybe not for you but setting compatibility to Win98 worked like a charm here.

  4. varium86 // 9/17/2009 02:24:00 AM  

    I don't know, I use Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit edition and have NEVER had "compatibility mode" solve anything. The majority of people will agree with me.

    I guess you could say im a little sour about the whole thing. Spending money on a game that does not work for 7 out of 10 people. Only 2 out 5 people can get it to work setting it to a different version of windows. The rest of us are pulling our hair out trying to find a fix.

    I have tried all kinds of things like updating the drivers to NVIDIA beta drivers (190.89) that supposedly worked but didn't... Now i'm just like the majority of others that have to sit around with our thumbs up our butts and wait for an update from EA. Not happy at all.

  5. Haralampos // 9/17/2009 04:12:00 AM  

    I have done the compatibility thing and it did not work.
    Is it the windows, can we do anything else without having to reinstall windows ?

  6. thomukaz // 9/17/2009 10:33:00 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  7. thomukaz // 9/17/2009 06:07:00 PM  

    installed the old drivers:

    190.89_geforce_winxp_32bit_beta

    and now it works fine, try that!

  8. varium86 // 9/17/2009 10:49:00 PM  

    Finally found a fix for this!!!

    If nothing on this blog works, try this instead.

    Inside your NVIDIA control panel, RESTORE DEFAULTS to all your 3D settings. By doing this you are allowing the GAME to control the graphics and not your video card. Something to do with how it renders the shadows.

    I just found this on the EA boards by user "bmwRacer42" and it works!

    If your using an ATI card and you have the black screen i can only assume that this same remedy would work as well for you. But i havent owned an ATI card for over 10 years.

    So, restore your graphic card to default and make sure the game (or 3D application as its labeled in NVIDIA) is deciding the graphics and you should be all set.

  9. Vojin // 9/18/2009 07:11:00 PM  

    it runs ok with compatibility win 98 mode but it freezes every time i try to run it with Logitech steering wheel. i have win 7 x64 and black screen is there if i don't run in compatibility mode.

  10. d34thblooms // 9/18/2009 09:49:00 PM  

    I'm also experiencing this issue. First, when I try to run NFS Shift after installation, all I see is a black screen and it just sits there. Tried setting the compatibility mode to win98, now its starting to work but after seeing the NFS Shift logo, it wont go any further, it just sits in the "if you want to race, then take it to your local track" thing.
    Tried to delete graphicsconfig.xml in my documents but still wont work. Since I already ran out of solution from the internet, I tried to make my own way on how to solve this issue. What I did was I opened graphicsconfig.xml with a notepad and I set most of the values there to '0' and saved it. Tried to run NFS Shift again and boom! it worked...but its very dark because most of the setting is low or zero. Second time around I decided to change the settings one at a time, I changed Vsync from '1' to '0' and saved it. Tried to run NFS Shift again and it a lot better now! I think with vsync on or off is unnoticeable..just a minor difference which is better than you cannot play...Hope this helps....

  11. peterfaj // 9/19/2009 03:38:00 PM  

    @d34thblooms:
    Thank you! I had the exactly same problem and turning of v-sync helped.

  12. varium86 // 9/19/2009 10:27:00 PM  

    **UPDATE**

    Earlier i said to revert your graphic card to DEFAULT and let the game or application decide the graphics and not your video card. It worked, but not for long. Now instead of a black screen it just crashes immediately when you start the race. Then i saw on the EA boards and someone posted what an EA rep told him to do over the phone.

    This is what EA recommended:

    Move the "NFS Shift" folder out of My Documents (or just Documents for vista and 7) to the desktop or any other place for a safe back up. Make sure it is COMPLETELY out of your documents. Restart the game. It will create a new folder.

    Now it works FLAWLESSLY for me! Been playing all last night and today. Im not sure if there is an order to get the game to run properly or what. Maybe first default your graphics card and then remove the NFS Shift folder. But whatever the case is it worked.

    I also heard of people deleting the "physx driver" from their computer and installing the driver that the game came with. The driver on the disk is older than the one i have. I never installed the old one and my game works great, but it worked for some. In any case there are too many bugs with this game for any casual gamer to circumvent. Hopefully a patch will come out soon for the people that still have trouble with it.

  13. Vincent // 9/21/2009 09:04:00 AM  

    Hey everyone!

    compatibility mode worked perfectly for me!!!

    (im using win vista ultimate)

  14. `zm. // 9/21/2009 10:24:00 AM  

    prepare for lag if anyone chooses to use win98 compatibility mode.

  15. Lightning_Struck_Tower // 9/21/2009 10:59:00 AM  

    Guys,
    Try the updated fix mentioned here:
    http://filenetworks.blogspot.com/2009/09/updated-fix-for-nfs-shift-black-screen.html

  16. A // 9/21/2009 07:29:00 PM  

    http://filenetworks.blogspot.com/2009/09/updated-fix-for-nfs-shift-black-screen.html

    this worked for me...im finally playin now

  17. ghhost // 9/25/2009 03:29:00 PM  

    THANX varium86 SOLUTION IS GRATE
    WORK FOR ME
    TANX AGAIN varium86
    varium86
    varium86

  18. P73-I7 // 9/26/2009 01:38:00 PM  

    WEll i have
    i7 920
    Asus P6T deluxe v2
    Xfx HD4890 ATI card
    6gb kingston DDr3

    when i get as far as to choose a new game i have to write a file name.
    All is good as far but it is now that it gets wierd when i am to write then name i have a black blank area all i see is the "write the name of your save file" and there is nowhere to write since i see no fields or anything and that´s it then it goes back to choose languae and so on what is wrong???

    best regards
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  19. sven3375 // 10/03/2009 11:37:00 PM  

    ok thanks i hope i hope

  20. CallmeRob // 10/05/2009 10:59:00 PM  

    Ha!! Windows 7 users get less problems? I've spent a whole week online trying to get my copy working starting from 98 compatibility to hacking the depths of codes to get cracks, patches and updates and I'm yet to even get past the loadding screen for the first race.

    Seriously EA should have stayed with Blackbox. Less errors.

  21. James P // 10/07/2009 02:27:00 PM  

    Varium86 with the latest fix you added do you still need to be in 98/ME? My computer is quite powerful and runs the game staright from install without changing compatibility changed but after i finish a race it freazes so i run it in 98/ME but i have to turn the graphics way down which sucks ass.

  22. rajesh // 10/07/2009 10:21:00 PM  

    copy all d content from crack folder to installed folder, its works for me

  23. Steve // 10/16/2009 08:35:00 AM  

    yeah nothin works nor will it, if you need me ill be at gamestop begging for my money back. Games should work 100% of the time and nothing less, san andreas works perfect, flawless to be precise for me and this stupid game has to ruin it. I know san andreas is a lot less complex, but come one it should at least work, even if its laggy. This is another reason why i will never buy computer games again, waste of 50 dollars. From now on i torrent because its such a waste of money when i have to PRAY that the game works when i pay money. Companys deserve to get screwed over from torrents, such as this, because it is pathetic that they can make a friken game that works for more than 50% of people who buy it. EA doesnt realize how much money they are going to lose when the next NFS game is out because no one will trust them enough to buy it.

  24. amogh // 10/17/2009 04:50:00 PM  

    this game should have name
    NFS ctrl+alt+del....:-)

  25. Gerold // 10/23/2009 07:30:00 PM  

    Encountered the problem myself, but I still heard sound playing while the screen turned black. This happens just at the start of a race.

    My solution was to hit the ESC button, which shows me a menu where 'Resume' is the pre-selected option. Just hit ENTER and your monitor shows you the full picture again.

    Yes, it is that simple

    My system:
    WinXP SP2 (Dutch edition)
    ATI 4670 1GB (Catalyst 9.1)
    2GB RAM (Corsair Dominator)

  26. Stevan // 11/06/2009 10:09:00 AM  

    Holy crap!!
    Aren't this the missnamed Need For Speed "Shitf"?
    OK, great graphics, seems to be a great game (coudn't check myself yet), but omfg.. a totally bugus software!!
    Tested on Windows 7 32bit, windows xp 32bit.
    Blackscreen problems, then after running this with W98 compatibility, I always get this:
    http://www.postimage.org/image.php?v=aVMmj0
    Sad, EA.. very sad...

  27. carson // 11/07/2009 06:31:00 PM  

    Installing ServicePack 3 on xp resolves problem of black screen ;)

  28. Patti // 11/09/2009 01:38:00 PM  

    THIS FIX IS MAGIC
    Downloaded 5 different copys to get a working one applyed this fix worked a treat. I'm running windows 7 Ultimate
    1GB Ram ATI HD2400 Pro
    I was very sceptical it would work but done properly it works a treat Great game Thanks...

  29. punit // 11/21/2009 07:56:00 PM  

    Thanks mate, but sitll have same problem when i start game, still black screen appears.

  30. S // 12/01/2009 04:00:00 AM  

    98 compatibility mode worked for me but i found that that implied that the game uses only 1 processor core when i have three.
    Actually when i use the following program (http://edgemeal.110mb.com/SetAffinity/index.htm )and set shift to use only one core i didnt need to use 98 comp mode.

    But one core leaves a lot of proc power unused so when i selected the prog to use two cores (but then not the first core on my triple core proc) it worked too.

    So finally i can run the game smoothly.

  31. Greg // 12/27/2009 05:12:00 PM  

    98 comp mode worked for me also. But yeah, adds another 20 seconds to the already long load times. Fun game, shitty software.. :/

  32. kuricheti // 1/04/2010 12:22:00 AM  

    Thanks !!!

    Windows 98/ ME compatibility mode works for me. Running game successfully.

    PC specs: Q9550, nVidia GTX 275, 6 GB DDR3 RAM, 2TB Seagate HD, Windows 7 x64

  33. Ali // 2/08/2010 06:46:00 PM  

    "NEED FOR SPEED SHIFT has stopped working" problem

    --------------------------

    I have HP DV5 1150US notebook
    Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 64 Bit Edition with
    2.00 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor P7350,
    3 MB L2 Cache, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD,
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD.

    --------------------------

    As soon as the startup screen loads, it shows "Need for Speed Shift has stopped working" and stucks.
    Please suggest a solution to alihasan4u@gmail.com

  34. mrdeepakgupta // 2/11/2010 07:47:00 PM  

    Hi, I have dwnloded the torrent, installed it , copied the crack files to the installed folder, , the errors are as follows:
    a)At the very onset it would say"Shift.exe has encountrd n so n so...."
    b)Worked fine till the local track n safety check screen, then got frozen where i had to restart the machine.
    c)Worked ok by compatibility mode or tweaking the xml file, but again stuck at the safety check local track screnn....
    pleeez help how it can be run, i had big hopes with this game n downloaded with a lot of anticipation

  35. Rodrigo // 4/12/2010 01:06:00 AM  

    Hi, I had the same problem that all of you guys above...
    MY SOLUTION was this: After I tried with different Catalysts versions I tried updating my mother's BIOS and VOILA!!
    Crysis, GTA IV, NFS SHIFT and so on, all games are working perfectly

    FYI: No matter what happens with NFS Shift DO NOT, and I mean DO NOT uninstall PhysX. I assumed that since I was having an ATI card that wouldn't be important... turned out I was wrong.

    Hope it helped

    HM.

  36. prateek // 5/08/2010 06:48:00 PM  

    the movie of nfs keeps coming again and again after starting the new carreer .....

    whats the problem???
    my system specs:
    intel c2d 2.8 Ghz
    2 gb ram
    intel gma x4500
    vista business

    other games like fifa 10 and pes 10 work perfectly and smoothly..

  37. Richard // 6/26/2010 02:47:00 AM  
  38. Bryan Leow // 7/06/2010 08:49:00 AM  

    Nah,I think its the GRAPHICS prob.Ihave Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT and when I set it to Quality,the screen goes blank when playing Shift.When set to Performance,all is ok

  39. yash // 7/11/2010 08:11:00 PM  

    I tried this but this doesn't work for me....!!!!when i start the race it says nfs shift.exe has stopped working...What should i do???
    PLEASE HELP!!!

  40. Cornelius_007 // 7/28/2010 09:42:00 PM  

    please help me...
    i can run NFS shift properly.. but when i start the career mode...and the introduction video started..it just stuck there.. i already pressed all the keys ..but the video keeps on repeating...how can i solve this problem? pls help me.. mail me at tribal120789@yahoo.com

    or repyl here in my comment..thankyou.

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  43. buji // 11/02/2010 09:42:00 PM  

    well i get a black screen when i just start it , please help me i also found some files missing in the program files (need for speed shift), but the installation was fine though. pls help me

  44. Nawas Saheer // 11/15/2010 05:56:00 PM  

    "NEED FOR SPEED SHIFT has stopped working" problem

    Hw can i run t game in win 7.
    plz giv me a sln 4 it...

  45. Nawas Saheer // 11/15/2010 05:57:00 PM  

    Is thr any posibltiz 2 run t gam n windz 7...?

  46. Nawas Saheer // 11/15/2010 06:00:00 PM  

    Windows 98/ ME compatibility mode s nt wrkz 4 me.

    Any othr slnz...?

  47. vikram // 1/20/2011 11:26:00 PM  

    i am using windows 7(64 bit),it says that it is not compatible with your x64(64 bit) version.....
    can anhyone suggest me for this problem??????
    plz help me..

  48. adriantc1 // 3/28/2011 02:15:00 AM  

    after months of trying i finaly figured it out. i went to the config file that was mentioned earlier by someone and i disabled vsing by making it 0. that did not work so when i went back into the file i noticed that it was posting some weird screen resolution as the native resolution. i changed that to my monitors native resolution which is 1920 by 1200 and boom it worked. give it a try. graphicsconfig.xml file

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    Hello,

    I have Win7 64-bit home basic with ATI Mobility Radeon HD5470 512MB.....all the requirements are met....and the game wouldn't even start....black screens are a matter too far. No matter how I try to run it, system behaves as if I never click to play, no errors, no crashes, no hang-ups, PLZZ help.

    I have tried compatibility modes, run as admin, but nothing could get the game to show me its face even. its just installed for namesake.

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