Microsoft has introduced numerous software design and architecture changes in later versions of the Windows OS environment, beginning with Windows 8. Several of these changes impact the video display system and its ability to communicate with E-Prime.
E-Prime 3.0 is compatible with later versions of the OS; however, specific DisplayDevice settings are required when designing and running experiments in these environments.
The warning message depicted above will be shown when attempting to run an experiment from E-Studio when the DisplayDevice settings are not properly configured. This Knowledge Base article will describe the conditions which cause this warning message to appear and what precautions and experimental settings can be adjusted to eliminate this message from appearing in the future.
The solutions below require modifications to the DisplayDevice settings. To access the DisplayDevice in E-Studio, double click the Experiment Object properties pages > Devices tab > DisplayDevice. Then, select the 'Edit' button to access the DisplayDevice properties.
Windows 8 and Windows 10 support 32-bit color depth only
Previous versions of the Windows OS and E-Prime supported 8-, 16-, 24-, and 32-bit color depth. However, due to changes in the Windows Desktop Manager (WDM), Windows 8 and beyond supports 32-bit color depth only.
When a new experiment is created in E-Prime 3.0 under these OS environments, E-Prime sets the DisplayDevice's color bit depth to the required value of '32'. However, when an experiment that was created in a prior version of E-Prime is loaded into E-Prime 3.0, E-Prime will keep the originally-specified color depth setting.
Note: Some display adapters are capable of using a color depth of less than 32 in Windows 8 and beyond. However, despite this ability, PST does not recommend running the software under such environments which are not native to the operating system and therefore not conducive to accurate timing.
Flipping is required to maintain accurate display timing under Windows 8 and beyond
The E-Prime 2.0 Production Release introduced the option of using display flipping (also referred to as 'page flipping' or 'back buffering'), which is another tool which helps to ensure that displays are synchronized to the vertical refresh rate of the monitor in order to help avoid screen tearing. For the Production Release of E-Prime 2.0, display flipping was encouraged though not required.
However, since Microsoft made changes in their support of DirectX 7 under Windows 8 and beyond, E-Prime 3.0 uses DirectX 11 hardware acceleration for proper compatibility and timing accuracy. The use of DirectX 11 requires that display flipping must be enabled when running E-Prime 3.0 in a Windows 8 (and beyond) OS environment to maintain timing accuracy.
Display flipping is enabled by default for all new experiments created within E-Prime 3.0. However, when an experiment that was created in a prior version of E-Prime (such as E-Prime 2.0 SP2), E-Prime 3.0 keeps the display flipping settings of the original file. Therefore, E-Prime 3.0 has added a protocol which determines if the machine is operating in Windows 8 or beyond; if this criterion is met, E-Prime will then determine if display flipping has been enabled.
Note that DirectX 11 was introduced with Windows 7; experiments run within Windows 7 are not required to use display flipping to obtain accurate display timing, although display flipping is always encouraged under normal experiment design circumstances. Additionally, caution must be used when working directly with the Canvas object or using InlIne script with display flipping. Display flipping is only required when running the software in a Windows 8 and beyond OS environment.
There are several solutions available which will allow you to make changes to the DisplayDevice settings and limit the occurrence of these messages.
Solution #1 - Allow E-Studio to make changes to DisplayDevice settings
When the message show above appears, select the first radio button to update the DisplayDevice settings. E-Studio will then set the color bit depth of the DisplayDevice to '32' and the FlippingEnabled property to 'Yes' and save the experiment before it is generated and run via E-Run.
This solution only makes the change to the current experiment. After E-Studio changes the DisplayDevice settings and saves the .es3 file, the message will no longer appear for this experiment. However, this warning message will appear for any other experiment files which are opened in E-Studio on the machine.
Solution #2 - Use the StartupInfo Editor to apply DisplayDevice settings
The StartupInfo Editor (refer to NEW FEATURE: StartupInfo Editor  for more information) permits E-Prime 3.0 experiment authors to load variables into the experiment through the use of external .startupinfo3 files. With respect to the DisplayDevice properties and Windows 8 and beyond compatibility, the color bit depth and flipping properties can be specified within a global .startupinfo3 file and saved on the machine which is operating within these environments; thereafter, any experiment that opened on the machine will inherit the DisplayDevice properties specified in the .startupinfo3 file. An example of this can be seen below:
This article applies to: