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Frequently Asked Questions

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Crystal TheFish 95.9  1.1 - Windows Thumbnail


    Top Questions
    1. How do I upgrade to the newest version of Marine Aquarium?


      This depends on your purchase.
      • If you have purchased Marine Aquarium 2.0 you can simply download the latest version from the product page and use your keycode. This will only work with the Marine Aquarium 2 line.

      • The price for upgrading from Marine Aquarium 1 to Marine Aquarium 2.0 is $5.95.

      • Before making your purchase you may want to check to see if you have already been upgraded. Click HERE for information on how to retrieve your Keycodes.

      • If you purchased Marine Aquarium 1.1 as an online download from this site, please click HERE for information on purchasing an Upgrade Keycode.

      • If you have purchased the Marine Aquarium 1.0 CD (Not the XP Plus! CD), click HERE for information on purchasing a CD Upgrade Keycode.

      • If your email has changed since your purchase or you have lost you original keycode click HERE for information on how to email Customer Support.

      • If you do not wish to upgrade but would like the old Marine Aquarium 1, here is the link for downloading the program:

      • Marine Aquarium 1 for Windows

    2. My Marine Aquarium CD stops installing at 99%

      This is a problem with InstallShield, a utility that guides software installation on Windows machines. The folks at InstallShield have identified this problem and offer a solution on their website HERE:

      InstallShield fix

      We recommend changing BOTH the TEMP and TMP variables as outlined in their fix.


    3. I have an old Keycode and it does not work with the new version of the Marine Aquarium.

      Old Keycodes will not work between the separate Marine Aquarium program series (.99, 1.0, 2.0, etc.). In order to prevent piracy, we modified the Keycode system for the release of Marine Aquarium version 1.0 and again with version 2.0. If you wish to use a new version of Marine Aquarium, and you have an old code, you will have to aquire an upgraded Keycode.

      For more information on upgrading, please click HERE

      Lastly, Keycodes that we see posted on the Internet are automatically deactivated in our database. You are urged to NEVER give out your Keycode to anyone. If you do, they might post YOUR Keycode to a website or forum. At that point we will be forced to disable the Keycode. We ONLY disable Keycodes that are posted to the Internet, or from customers that could not get the product to work on their computer. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN WE "RE-ACTIVATE" A KEYCODE. We apologize for any inconvenience.


    4. I lost my Keycode OR I made my purchase but have not received my keycode.

      If you purchased the Marine Aquarium CD, you will not need a keycode. After installing the program from the CD, leave the CD in the CD-ROM drive and start the Aquarium. The program will read the CD for authorization and you can now run the full version of the Aquarium. After the initial authorization, the CD does not have to be in the CD-ROM drive. Keep in mind that this will not work between the separate Marine Aquarium program series (.99, 1.0, 2.0, etc.).

      PLEASE NOTE - This process will NOT work with the Microsoft Plus! CD or other demo CDs.

      If you purchased the download version, please go HERE and enter your email to retrieve your keycode.

      If this procedure does not work, e-mail us the following information where applicable and we can retrieve your information from our customer database:

      • The full name you registered under.

      • The Order Number from your confirmation e-mail.

      • Both the first four AND last four numbers of the credit card you used.

      • Your email address at the time of purchase.

      • Your old Keycode. (If you are upgrading from an older code)

      • The store or website you purchased the product from.

      • The date of your purchase.


    5. The Fish swim slowly and/or the Aquarium freezes.

      Slow animation, jittering, or freezing can be caused by a variety of things. Let's try a few of the basics and see what might be causing the issue:

      A. IMPORTANT: Be sure that your video card has 16 megabytes or more of video memory and an up to date driver. Do not skip this step! Even if your computer is brand new or you've recently updated drivers, there can still be problems in this area.

      Click HERE for more information on your video card and how to check it.

      B. Limit the Aquarium's animation frame rate as follows:

      1. Run Marine Aquarium and press the spacebar to bring up the settings menu.

      2. Click the "Settings" tab.

      3. Check the "Limit frame rate (fps)" box and use the slider bar to set the frame rate below 30.

      4. Click the OKAY button.


      C. Examine the programs in your System Tray (The area just to the left of the clock on the Taskbar). Placing your mouse cursor over the icons will give you item's full name. If you have Windows XP you may have to "Show hidden icons" using the small circle and arrow button to the left of the System Tray.

      If the icon is Windows or another program waiting to update, run the updates then continue.

      If the icon is not one of your basic system functions (volume, task manager, mouse, video card, printer, etc.) exit, disable or close the program. Right-clicking will usually give you options. Then, check if Marine Aquarium exhibits the same behavior.


      D. Double-check your computer for spyware or viruses.

      If none of the above solutions work, please create a system information report as outlined HERE and e-mail it to us along with a description of your problem.


    6. Will I receive a CD with my online order?


      No.

      We do not ship CDs with online orders. You may purchase the CD at any CompUSA Store, Fry's Electronics Store (a West Coast electronics chain).

      You can also purchase the CD online from Encore Software

      For more details, you can contact our Sales Department via e-mail.


    1. None what so ever.

      We do not send out any product or support spamming in any manner. Just a clean download of our Screen Saver.

      However, there are a companies and software pirates that grab popular online products and alter them to include invasive spyware and even viruses.

      If this has happened to you, please let us know the address of the web site that sold your offered you our product. You can contact us by
      e-mail.

      Also, there is a free product called AdAware, that we ourselves use. This program gets rid of all sorts of spyware, etc. on your machine you might not know about. AdAware can be downloaded from: LavaSoft

      Afterwards, if you are still interested in Marine Aquarium 2, please download it from our site where we guarantee a download free of any other annoying ads or programs.





    2. Yes!

      We have a special version of Marine Aquarium 2 that supports both widescreen and multiple monitors. Marine Aquarium 2 MD can be downloaded from the following link:

      Marine Aquarium 2 MD

      If you have an old version 1 Keycode and would like the old widescreen version, click HERE to download it.

      The installation instructions for both versions is the same as Marine Aquarium 2 and can be found HERE




    1. If you purchased the Marine Aquarium CD, you will not need a keycode. After installing the program from the CD, leave the CD in the CD-ROM drive and start the Aquarium. The program will read the CD for authorization and you can now run the full version of the Aquarium. After the initial authorization, the CD does not have to be in the CD-ROM drive. Keep in mind that this will not work between the separate Marine Aquarium program series (.99, 1.0, 2.0, etc.).

      PLEASE NOTE - This process will NOT work with the Microsoft Plus! CD or other demo CDs.

      If you purchased the download version, please go HERE and enter your email to retrieve your keycode.

      If this procedure does not work, e-mail us the following information where applicable and we can retrieve your information from our customer database:

      • The full name you registered under.

      • The Order Number from your confirmation e-mail.

      • Both the first four AND last four numbers of the credit card you used.

      • Your email address at the time of purchase.

      • Your old Keycode. (If you are upgrading from an older code)

      • The store or website you purchased the product from.

      • The date of your purchase.





    2. There are three things that can cause this error.

      1. Some characters in the Keycode can be easily confused (i.e. O and zero, capitol I and the number one, etc.). We recommend that you copy and paste your Keycode into the registration space to avoid any possible input errors. For more information on the copy and paste procedure see
      HERE

      2. You may be attempting to use your Keycode in another version of the Marine Aquarium. Check your confirmation e-mail to see which version you purchased and make sure this is the version you downloaded.

      3. Your copy of Marine Aquarium may have been corrupted during download or installation. Try downloading a new copy of the program and reinstalling it. Be sure to deactivate your anti-virus software for the duration of the download and install. For full installation instructions, click HERE




    3. Old Keycodes will not work between the separate Marine Aquarium program series (.99, 1.0, 2.0, etc.). In order to prevent piracy, we modified the Keycode system for the release of Marine Aquarium version 1.0 and again with version 2.0. If you wish to use a new version of Marine Aquarium, and you have an old code, you will have to aquire an upgraded Keycode.

      For more information on upgrading, please click
      HERE

      Lastly, Keycodes that we see posted on the Internet are automatically deactivated in our database. You are urged to NEVER give out your Keycode to anyone. If you do, they might post YOUR Keycode to a website or forum. At that point we will be forced to disable the Keycode. We ONLY disable Keycodes that are posted to the Internet, or from customers that could not get the product to work on their computer. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN WE "RE-ACTIVATE" A KEYCODE. We apologize for any inconvenience.





    4. The CD you have acts as the Keycode. However, it will not work between the separate Marine Aquarium program series (.99, 1.0, 2.0, etc.).

      We still honor the free upgrade from the 1.0 CD to Marine Aquarium 1.1. If you would like to download and install version 1.1 click
      HERE

      After installing the program from the CD or the download file, leave the CD in the CD-ROM drive and start the Marine Aquarium. The program will read the CD for authorization and you can now run the full version of the Marine Aquarium. After the initial authorization, the CD does not have to be in the CD-ROM drive.

      PLEASE NOTE - This process will NOT work with the Microsoft Plus! CD or other demo CDs. For more information click HERE

      For information on upgrading to Marine Aquarium 2.0 click HERE.




    5. This can happen if Marine Aquarium was corrupted during installation. To solve this you will have to reinstall Marine Aquarium as outlined below:

      1. Make sure you have your CD handy.

      2. First remove any previous versions of the Aquarium from your system. For more information on how to do this, click HERE

      3. Re-boot your computer.

      4. IMPORTANT: Before re-installing, be sure your anti-virus software is deactivated for the duration of the install.

      5. Place your Marine Aquarium CD in the CD-ROM drive.

      6. The CD will automatically run the Aquarium Setup Wizard, which will install Aquarium on your computer, simply read and follow the instructions for installation.

      7. Once the installation process is complete, there should be a new icon on your desktop that looks like a pair of orange and white fish.

      8. Double-click on the fish to run Aquarium to start the program. At this point Aquarium will read the CD for authorization and unlock the program.

      9. While the Aquarium is running press the space bar to bring up the Settings menu.

      10. Don't forget to reactivate your anti-virus software when you are finished.

      Please let me know if you have any problems with this procedure.





    1. This is a problem with InstallShield, a utility that guides software installation on Windows machines. The folks at InstallShield have identified this problem and offer a solution on their website HERE:

      InstallShield fix

      We recommend changing BOTH the TEMP and TMP variables as outlined in their fix.





    2. There is no separate "demo version" of Marine Aquarium. We built the Marine Aquarium to act as a demo unless you entered a valid keycode. To properly install SereneScreen Marine Aquarium, and activate the demo mode, follow the instructions below:

      1. IMPORTANT: Before installing, be sure your anti-virus software is deactivated for the duration of the download and install.

      2. We also recommend uninstalling any previously installed copies of Marine Aquarium to avoid conflicts. For more information on how to uninstall any version Marine Aquairum, click
      HERE

      3. Download the newest release of Marine Aquarium from HERE

      4. After downloading the program, find the folder you downloaded to and double-click on the Marine Aquarium installer file. This will run the Setup Wizard, which will install Marine Aquarium on your computer, simply read and follow the instructions for installation.

      5. Once the installation process is complete, there should be a new icon on your desktop that looks like a pair of orange and white fish. Double-click on the new Fish icon to bring up the registration box.

      6. Type TESTFISH in the registration box. This will unlock the demo mode and display three Fish.

      7. Don't forget to reactivate your anti-virus software.

      8. Let the Marine Aquarium run for a little while to be sure everything is working properly. If you have any problems consult the graphics or troubleshooting sections of our FAQ.





    3. Once you have purchased your keycode you can activate the full version of the program. To properly install the Marine Aquarium, and activate the full version, follow the instructions below (If you have already installed the newest demo version, skip to step #6):

      1. IMPORTANT: Before installing, make sure you have your keycode handy and be sure your anti-virus software is deactivated for the duration of the download and install.

      2. We also recommend uninstalling any previously installed copies of Marine Aquarium to avoid conflicts. For more information on how to uninstall any version Marine Aquairum, click
      HERE

      3. Download the newest release of Marine Aquarium from HERE

      4. After downloading the program, find the folder you downloaded to and double-click on the Marine Aquarium installer file. This will run the Marine Aquarium Setup Wizard, which will install Marine Aquarium on your computer, simply read and follow the instructions for installation.

      5. Once the installation process is complete, there should be a new icon on your desktop that looks like a pair of orange and white fish.

      6. Double-click on the fish to bring up the registration window.

      7. Copy and paste your keycode into the registration space to avoid any possible input errors (Some characters can be easily mixed up i.e. the letter O and zero, capitol I and the number one, etc.) and press enter.

      PLEASE NOTE: Version 1.1 keycodes will not work with Marine Aquarium 2.0. Please click HERE for information on upgrading.

      8. Once the program is running, press the space bar to change your settings.

      9. Don't forget to reactivate your anti-virus software when you are finished.





    4. To use the CD version of the program, the computer you are installing to needs to have a CD-ROM drive. (See the System Requirements
      HERE) When Marine Aquarium is first run the program looks for the CD to register the program. Using a network CD-ROM will not work for this purpose, but a portable CD-ROM drive will suffice.





    5. This depends on your purchase.




    6. The simplest way to uninstall any Marine Aquarium program is to use the Uninstall option through the Start menu under Programs/SereneScreen or use the Add/Remove utility located in the Windows Control Panel to remove all Marine Aquarium programs.

      This should clean your system of any Aquarium data. However, if you want to be doubly sure, you can go through the longer uninstall process below:

      1. First remove any previous versions of the Aquarium from your system. Click on the Start button then select "Find" or "Search" and search for the file names of the products you installed. When the list of files displays in the Find window, right click on each of the fish icons and choose delete. Here is a list of the file names for each Marine Aquarium product:

      Marine Aquarium 0.99 - fish.scr

      Marine Aquarium 1 - Aquarium.scr

      Marine Aquarium 1.5 - MAEncore.scr

      Marine Aquarium 2 - MarineAquarium2.scr OR Marine Aquarium 2.scr

      Marine Aquarium 2 MD - MarineAquarium2MD.scr

      Marine Aquarium Time - MarineAquariumTime.scr

      Marine Aquarium Time 2 - MAT2.scr

      Marine Aquarium Time 2 MD - MarineAquarium2MD.scr

      Marine Aquarium Crystal "The Fish" - AMCrystal-theFish.scr

      Microsoft Plus! Marine Aquarium Demo - plusaqar.scr


      2. Click on the Start button then select Programs/SereneScreen/Aquarium/Uninstall SereneScreen Aquarium.

      3. IMPORTANT: Download the SachsRemove utility from HERE

      This utility will delete all entries associated with the any version of our program from you computer's registry. Once the download is complete, double click on the program. Then click "YES" and "OK".

      4. Re-boot your computer. Your Computer should now be completely free of all Aquarium data and programs.





    1. All of the options below are found under the Marine Aquarium 2.5 menu under the "Settings" tab. To bring up the menu, press the spacebar on your keyboard while Marine Aquarium 2.5 is running.


      Exit on Mouse Move - If this is checked; you can exit the Marine Aquarium by moving your mouse or pressing a non-hotkey (see above) on your keyboard. If this option is not checked, you can only exit the program by pressing the ESC key.

      Disable Monitor Sleep Mode - Some monitors will shutdown after a period of time. This option allows the Marine Aquarium to override this shutdown and continue playing the aquarium on your monitor.

      Always on Top in Windowed Mode - When the Marine Aquarium is in Windowed Mode (See "W" hot key above.) this option will place the aquarium window over any other program you are running.

      Starfish Allowed on Glass - If this box is checked and the automatic lighting is on (see below) the starfish will climb onto the "glass" of your monitor and show off its belly.


      Limit Frame Rate - Forces the frame rate (animation speed) of the Marine Aquarium to the frequency you select. If your the Marine Aquarium is jerking, or running slowly, you may need to reduce the frame rate below the default 62 by using the slider bar.


      Windows Resolution and Color Bit - Controls the Desktop resolution and Color depth settings that the Marine Aquarium uses when it runs full screen.

      • Resolution Dropdown menu - "Default Desktop Resolution" will match the aquarium display to your current desktop settings for color depth and resolution.


      • 16/32 bit - Forces program to display at 16 or 32bit color depth regardless of desktop settings.

      Automatic Lights - To prevent your monitor from burning in, the Marine Aquarium will cycle the lighting from light to dark across the tank. Un-checking this box will give you full control of the lighting.

      • Delay Slider - Determines the length, from light to dark, of the lighting cycle when in Automatic lighting mode.

      • Lights Slider - Manual setting for the lighting when not in Automatic lighting mode.


      Bubbles - Controls the bubble column and sound.

      • Column - Activates/Deactivates bubble column. Bubble sound will still be present and is controlled by the sound settings below.

      Sound - Bubble column sound.

      • Volume Slider - Controls bubble volume.


      • Always On - Bubble sound will always be heard when the Aquarium is running.


      • When Active - Bubble sound will only be heard when the Aquarium window is visible. Helpful when Aquarium is in Windowed mode (see "F" hotkey above.)


      • Off - Turns off bubble sound entirely.




    2. There are some additional options in the Settings menu for Marine Aquarium 2 MD, our multimonitor and widescreen version of Marine Aquarium 2. For more information on this special version, click HERE.

      Start Window Mode - This sets the windowed mode of Marine Aquarium 2 to a specific Anamamorphic setting. The Anamorphic settings are as follows, though they may require slightly different numbers on your specific monitor:

        1.0 fills any screen. If the Aquarium is set to widescreen and you have a widscreen monitor, there will be no distortion.

        0.8 will "Letterbox" the Aquarium image, placing a black bar at the top and bottom of the screen. This setting will allow the widescreen mode to appear without distortion on a normal ratio display.

        1.2 will "Sidebox" box the Aquarium image, placing a black bar on the left and right of the screen. This setting will allow the normal mode to appear without distortion on a widescreen display.

      Use Widescreen - Sets Marine Aquarium to widescreen mode, which uses an additional Fish (for a total of eight) and expanded background art.

      Select Monitor - Use this scroll menu to specify which monitor you are changing the options for.

      Anamorphic Factor - These settings can be different for each monitor and are the same as the “Start Window Mode” settings above.

      Black - Blacks out the specified monitor. If you are seeing black on one monitor and not the others, most likely this option has been checked for one of your monitors.




    1. Slow animation, jittering, or freezing can be caused by a variety of things. Let's try a few of the basics and see what might be causing the issue:

      A. IMPORTANT: Be sure that your video card has 16 megabytes or more of video memory and an up to date driver. Do not skip this step! Even if your computer is brand new or you've recently updated drivers, there can still be problems in this area.

      Click HERE for more information on your video card and how to check it.

      B. Limit the Aquarium's animation frame rate as follows:

      1. Run Marine Aquarium and press the spacebar to bring up the settings menu.

      2. Click the "Settings" tab.

      3. Check the "Limit frame rate (fps)" box and use the slider bar to set the frame rate below 30.

      4. Click the OKAY button.


      C. Examine the programs in your System Tray (The area just to the left of the clock on the Taskbar). Placing your mouse cursor over the icons will give you item's full name. If you have Windows XP you may have to "Show hidden icons" using the small circle and arrow button to the left of the System Tray.

      If the icon is Windows or another program waiting to update, run the updates then continue.

      If the icon is not one of your basic system functions (volume, task manager, mouse, video card, printer, etc.) exit, disable or close the program. Right-clicking will usually give you options. Then, check if Marine Aquarium exhibits the same behavior.


      D. Double-check your computer for spyware or viruses.

      If none of the above solutions work, please create a system information report as outlined HERE and e-mail it to us along with a description of your problem.






    2. It is important to make sure you have the latest driver for your video card from the manufacturer. We have found that outdated drivers are the number one reason for many graphics problems.

      IMPORTANT: If you have a laptop, you will want to go to the laptop manufacturer's website to find a new driver.

      PLEASE NOTE - The Windows update function is often not sufficient for updating your video card drivers.

      Video card manufacturers update their drivers once every THREE to SIX months. These new drivers can usually be found on their websites. Using the information you gathered
      HERE about your video card, you should search the Internet for the manufacturer's website and download the driver from there.

      Read the installation information on the manufacturer's site very carefully. There is no standard way to install updated drivers, though many companies are including auto-installers with their driver downloads.

      If this update does not solve your problem, please create a system information report as outlined HERE and e-mail it to us along with a description of your problem.





    3. We have found that Marine Aquarium can be minimized by Windows when another program steals priority from your system's processor. This can be caused by any combination of the following:

      1. Programs running in the background. Nearly all computers have programs and utilities running in the background, not noticed, but requiring resources to operate. Some of these programs are less obtrusive than others.

      Examine the programs in your System Tray (The area just to the left of the clock on the Taskbar). Placing your mouse cursor over the icons will give you item's full name. If you have Windows XP you may have to "Show hidden icons" using the small circle and arrow button to the left of the System Tray.

      If it is not one of your basic system functions (volume, task manager, mouse, video card, printer, etc.) exit, disable or close the program. Right-clicking will usually give you options.

      2. Windows or another program is trying to update. Be sure that ALL programs on your system have been updated or do not update automatically.

      3. Viruses and Spyware can steal a lot of system resources; in fact this is one of the symptoms of being infested with this malevolent software. Update and run your antivirus program. Do a full system scan to be sure that your computer is clean.

      For Spyware, we recommend AdAware from LavaSoft. AdAware has served us well for years and they have a free version on their site.

      Also, Microsoft has recently released their anti-spyware program. Information on it can be found HERE.

      You should run a Spyware scan even if you have a Spyware blocker or filter of some sort. No one program can catch everything.






    4. Your computer may not have Direct X, or may have an old version of Direct X. Direct X is a graphics language program required for running the Marine Aquarium. Click on the following link to Microsoft's
      Direct X website and download the latest version.

      If you know that you already have Direct X installed on your computer, than you may want to run the program's self-diagnostic tool as outlined below:

      1. Click on the "Start" button and select "Run".

      2. Type in "dxdiag" and click OK. This will open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. The version of DirectX you are running will be displayed toward the bottom of the first page.

      3. Go through each tab and click the buttons with the word "Test.." in them. This will take you through a series of diagnostic tests.

      4. When you get to the "Display" tab make sure that "Directdraw" and "Direct3D" are enabled. If Direct3D is "Not Available" right click your desktop and click "Properties." Go to the "Settings" tab, click "Advanced." Go to the "Performance" tab and make sure hardware acceleration is set to Full.

      5. If you find any problems you will need to download and reinstall DirectX from the link above.





      1. If you purchased a CD from a retail store or from
        Encore Software, you can register this product using the link below:

        Encore Software Registration Page

        Products purchased directly from our website as an electronic download do not need to be registered, all of your information was entered into our database at the time of purchase. However, if did not check the "I would like to receive email updates, notices, free offers and gifts." option when you made your purchase then you will receive none of these services.




      For further Technical Assistance please check
      our Customer Support page.



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