Hello everyone...I am taking the time to write this to possibly save someone else the huge headache in dealing with the "can't load shader library errors." In Civ 4
This is what I discovered after countless reinstalls...tech support..registry edits...and software updates...
Its important to know that a specific version of direct X 9c is the most stable for this game...it also seems to be the only package that I could get to work...make sure you get this specific package because in later months several pertinent dll files were stripped and recoded for emulation. With umpteen versions of Direct X floating around out there this is where the majority of the problems arise. This is what I installed to get Civ 4 to work on a 64 bit Windows 7 platform:
Last month I built a new rig with a shnazzy 5850 ATI card and made the mistake of installing direct x 11 BEFORE installing some of the previous versions of Direct X. Theoretically, DX11 is backwards compatible and allows for an upgrade from previous DX versions which should allow everything to run correctly. This is simply not the case as two crucial .dll files in the C:/Windows/System32 directory have been replaced by emulation files instead of the older, larger content specific files....even though the files look and are named the same...they are composed of a different code than what was given to many software developers.
This is what is causing Civ 4 to lock up and crash. Even after spending an hour with FireAxis games in Northern England...even they could not figure out how to correct this problem. Several sites want you to replace the files listed below in your C:/Windows/System32 directory...do not do this as you will mess up a clean install of DX which will cause more compatibility errors with newer games (Metro 2033 and Sims 3 in my case).
Instead, download and save the dlls listed below.
Next install Civ 4 in safe mode...this will prevent the application from automatically downloading premature software info...again avoiding a lock up and freeze. Once you have installed Civ 4 in safe mode...then unzip, copy, and paste the two dll files you downloaded and place them into the same directory as your Civ 4 Application...this will probably be your C rogram Files/2KGames/FireAxisGames/Civ4/ file folder.
The game should boot now. Fingers crossed and praying to Jesus...
I also found out that the majority of people having this problem use higher end ATI cards...make sure you have the latest version of Catalyst Control Center and download the most current drivers for your card: Here is a link for Win 7 Users of the 5800-5970 cards