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DirectDraw problem

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I decided to use DirectDraw for fast 2d drawing and preventing the animations and graphics to flicker on the screen. In DirectDraw I need to create a backbuffer and a front buffer and then flip them all the time. The problem is that I cannot create a surface that can use a flip chain, unless I am in fullscreen mode. In windowed mode, after I did all the DirectDraw Initializations and drawing, and I used the Blt method instead of Flip, the output still looks the same: Horibble - everything is not smooth, straight lines look like stairs etc... How to make DirectDraw work normally in windowed mode? or: Is there any way to find out when the next screen flyback (vertical retrace) will occur (without DirectX)?

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