After spending almost three hours trying to get Bioshock (the first game) working on my Windows 10 computer (upgraded from Windows 7), I determined that the issue was related to the initialisation of the audio device (regardless of what the audio device actually is / was). I’ve got a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy sound card, an onboard Realtek HD Audio sound card, the NVIDIA audio controller (courtesy of my NVIDIA GTX 560), Total Recorder audio drivers, e2eSoft audio drivers and a Logitech G930 gaming headset. No matter what combination of default devices etc that I tried, nothing ever worked.
Two things did work though.
- Disabling all the sound devices (in the Windows Device Manager and the Sound / Recording options)
- Starting the game with the -nosound switch (added to the launch options for Bioshock, on steam).
So that pretty much nailed it down. After a little more research on the internet, I discovered an audio initialisation was carried out at the very beginning of the execution of the game, during the developer intro.
Here’s another switch: -nointro.
Apparently the sound device initialization carried out at the very start, is simply used for displaying the developer intro. When you start the actual game, a separate audio initialisation is carried out.
Who needs to see the developer intro every time they start the game? I certainly don’t.
So I added this to the launch options for Bioshock, on steam
Started the game, no issues. Set my resolution to max, changed my audio to 7.1 (to suit my Logitech G930) and off I went to Rapture!
No other changes, no compatibility mode, no run as administrator, no additional drivers (I’m not using / have never used OpenAL, Rapture3D) installed and no changes to Bioshock configuration files.
Of course, if you have a non-steam version of the game, you could create a shortcut to the bioshock.exe file and add -nointro to the end of the Target line, in the properties of the shortcut and start the game from the shortcut. Did I mention the word shortcut ;-P
This may not work for everyone, as I’ve seen some really ridiculous fixes (seriously, stuff that just doesn’t make sense, like plugging headphones into the microphone port) apparently get Bioshock working for others, so consider this solution to be just as crazy as all the others.
Happy to provide assistance with this solution in the comments. Have fun!