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Filed Under: PC Help & Fixes   

DirectX is a popular Microsoft API that is used to incorporate high-end gaming capabilities on your computer. It is designed to enable programmers to gain direct access to PC peripherals such as video and sound cards, joysticks, and even your network to perform various low-level functions. Microsoft Windows XP, by default, ships with DirectX 8.1. However, because DirectX 9 is now available in the market, you may be forced to upgrade to it if you are unable to work with applications using the previous version. DirectX 9 includes a number of features to improve your gaming experience. However, one of the main disadvantages of DirectX 9 is that there is no official method to uninstall it. In this article, we will learn about the methods that you can use to reinstall and uninstall DirectX 9 from your system.

You need to uninstall DirectX 9 if you encounter one of the following errors when you try to run games on your computer:

The game requires a later version of Microsoft DirectX.

The version of DirectX that is installed on the computer is incompatible with the game.
One of the DirectX files was not found.

Reinstall DirectX 9

To reinstall DirectX, you need to clean boot the Windows XP system. For this, run the msconfig command to open the System Configuration Utility. Next, select the Selective Startup check box and clear all the options under it. On the Services tab, select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box and then select the Disable All button. Select OK to apply your changes and exit the System Configuration Utility. Now, restart your PC to perform a clean boot. During a clean boot only those services that are essential to run your XP system are started. All other startup programs are not started.

Now, insert your gaming CD that has the DirectX installer on it. Double-click the installation file to start the installation. You must try to either install the same or a higher version of DirectX on your system. Installing a lower version can lead to further errors.

Note: You can also download the latest version of DirectX from the Microsoft Download Center.

Uninstall DirectX 9

Officially, the only way to get rid of DirectX is to either use System Restore to roll back to the time when you still did not have this version of DirectX on your system, or to reinstall your system. Many third party uninstallers are also available but most of them are buggy and cannot be recommended without proper testing. Using one of these may cause you to end up with more problems. So, the best way to get rid of DirectX is to remove it manually.

To do this, open the Registry Editor by running Regedit from Start > Run. Next, navigate to the following registry key.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\DirectX

Here, delete the DirectX folder, exit the Registry Editor, and restart your XP computer. During the system startup, after the restart, your system will reinstall DirectX 8.1 that is originally shipped with the Windows XP operating system. To confirm this, run the dxdiag command from Start > Run. The command will open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool utility. This utility provides you with a lot of information about DirectX installed on your computer along with the version currently installed on your system.

DirectX is one of the most sought after technologies by Gaming software developers. However, since their arrival in 1996, DirectX has undergone several changes. Although, these changes enhanced the gaming technology, they also gave rise to various problems. For instance, you may not be able to run a game using a higher version of DirectX and you may not be able to upgrade due to problems with your current version. One of the main problems with DirecteX 9 is that it does not provide an uninstall option. Therefore, you can either reinstall it after performing a clean boot of your system or uninstall DirecteX 9 by editing the registry. To prevent these problems from occurring in the first place, we recommend that you perform regular PC maintenance with the help of anti-virus, registry cleaner, and hard disk maintenance utilities. These utilities enable you to keep your system free of unwanted files and considerably improve your computing experience.

Additional Recommendations...

Driver Update: Many errors are related to driver problems such as obsolete, outdated or incompatible drivers. A driver update tool is recommended to scan your system for corrupted and outdated drivers and to ensure that all your drivers stay up-to-date.