I used to have Vista -- it hated Civ 4 in a very similar way. I killed Vista off my computer for several reasons, including what i thought was its hatred of Civ 4, only to find out that on Windows XP -- which is what I'm using now -- the situation has not improved.
Here's what happens. When I launch Civ, everything is peachy for a few rounds. Then the screen pauses for 3-5 seconds, cuts to a black screen, and gives me the message "Auto detect - Analog input". Then it's back to the game again, for a few minutes, before another pause.
The third time or so that it pauses, it goes to a black screen and stays there. I have to start the Task Manager to end Civ 4. As you can imagine, this has reduced the enjoyment I get out of Civ 4 immensely.
Sometimes it won't launch from the desktop icon. In those cases, it tells me Initialize Renderer Failed.... Invalid 3d device type.
I'm no computer guru, but I think my machine should be able to handle Civ 4 + BTS. It's a Dell Inspiron 5305.
What do you think? Tell me it's just a matter of downloading the right driver or cleaning my CD drive. Or do I need a new video card? I'm out of ideas.