This article applies to older operating systems, like Windows XP, and Vista. For newer operating systems, see this article here.
If you are seeing error messages when opening a 3D Viewer (and/or on other dialogs where 3D data is generated/viewed, such as the Imports, Exports (with textures), Ortho photo export) it is most likely related to a problem with your video / graphics card openGL drivers.
In many cases, downloading the most recent driver from your video / graphics card manufacturer will solve the problem. If that doesn’t solve the problem, turning off or lowering hardware / video acceleration almost always will. This setting affects whether your video / graphics card’s drivers or the native Windows graphic drivers are used for graphic display features. Here are some instructions for adjusting the acceleration setting on XP and Vista:
To lower or set hardware acceleration to Off on Windows XP:
1. Right-click the desktop, and then click Properties on the menu.
2. Click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.
3. Click the Troubleshoot tab.
4. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left until it is set to Off. You may want to try various levels to see if a certain setting works best.
5. Click OK, and then click Close.
To lower set hardware acceleration to Off on Windows Vista:
1. Right-click the desktop, and then click Personalize on the displayed context menu.
2. Click Display Settings
3. Click Advanced Settings…
4. Click the Troubleshoot tab.
5. Click the Change Settings button, then move the Hardware Acceleration slider left or until it is set to Off. You may want to try various levels to see if a certain setting works best. Note that for display adapters that do not allow hardware acceleration to be changed, the Change Settings button may be disabled. In this case check to see if your graphics card has a control panel or separate utility for editing this setting.
6. Click OK on the three open dialog boxes.