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The_One 12-11-2003 09:02 PM

Dark Forces on WinXP and newer Operating Systems
Since this is always coming up, I think it's high time we had a sticky containing all the information anyone would need to get Dark Forces running on the latest Operating Systems. There is a common myth among the DF community that the game won't run on anything later than Windows 98. This is not true. There are tonnes of people out there who have it running, me included. Read on if you are having trouble...

Getting Started:

1. Try a regular install from the DF CD.

2. Doesn't work? OK, try this:

This is a very useful guide, and most people who follow it can get it working fine on their systems. I hear of very few people who ever continue to have problems after using that guide.

3. Still doesn't work? Try this:

This is a DOS Emulator. I haven't tried it personally, but I hear good things about it. Give it a shot!

Sound Problems

Sound problems are common when running Dark Forces on newer Operating Systems. No music is one of the most common, or simply no sound at all.

Sound emulation is very much the way forward, and almost always works. VDM Sound is the one most people recommend, and works great for me. Here is the link:

Further Problems

Head here:

DF-21 is pretty much the last remaining (very active) DF community on the internet. Try searching their forums for information, or failing that, post there what your problem is - they will hopefully have the expertise to help you.

I hope this guide helps anyone with problems, usually some combination of the above links will work for you ;) Also, feel free to post any links/info you have on this subject, and I'll be sure to include them in this thread.

Happy fragging!

Lando_C 12-18-2003 05:38 PM

ok....i got dark forces working but now i dont have sound and i open it with vdmn or whatever emulator thing but i still dont get sound, and all the .gob files in the DARK folder are set to open with winamp for some reason, i think that may be the problem, so what should the open with...and any other suggestions to get one of my favorite games working will be gladly accepted.

The_One 12-18-2003 09:08 PM

What they are set to open with shouldn't make any difference to how Dark Forces itself reads them.

Make sure you set your sound up in "imuse" - try selecting SoundBlaster Pro if you can't find anything that resembles your card. Then when you run Dark Forces, I believe you have to right click on it and choose "Run with VDM Sound" or something similar.

Gimme a shout if you still have problems.

jtloper 05-27-2004 01:07 AM

To Lando:
I'd like to recomend DOSbox for running DF. It emulates a wide verity of sound systems. I played talay about an hour ago for the first time in 10 years. Nice. :D The program takes some config work but it works.

Kurgan 06-28-2004 01:52 AM

When I had trouble getting Dark Forces to work on my pc, I went to Yoda's Helpdesk on in the trouble shooting pages.

And it worked!

Previously I could get the music to work but not the sound effects (or vice versa) but then it worked for good.

Hey, whatever works!

Death_Jedi 09-12-2004 12:19 AM

hey guys i gotta problem
im using the real df cd and im on xp
when ever i open it and its got install and all that it just quits out
im not very computer smart so i didnt really understand thoes guides, can any1 help me?


i kinda figured it out but wat cd do u copy to c:/dark

MikeGunther1969 09-20-2004 02:44 PM

I am currently using VDM, but I am wondering if anyone can tell me the comparison between VDM and DosBox...which emulator runs better?

VDM does not fully support a CH Flightstick Pro, nor does it support Add-on levels. Any changes made from the DF-21 instructions on VDM result in a rainbow graphic effect.


Obi_Kwiet 10-31-2004 01:19 PM

You can't even buy it anymore. :/

Franchise 01-10-2005 10:43 AM

If I may ask what are WingXP?

txa1265 01-11-2005 06:00 AM


Originally posted by Darth Nihilus
If I may ask what are WingXP?
It is WinXP, which is Windows XP.


death knigth 01-29-2005 11:25 AM

WingXP is WXP?

txa1265 01-31-2005 12:03 AM


Originally posted by death knigth
WingXP is WXP?
I could find nothing else similar in this thread that he might have been referring to ... I know there was the old 'WinG' graphics <ahem> standard from Microsoft, but not much else comes to mind ...


txa1265 02-03-2005 04:30 AM

Well, in the spirit of having everything available cross-platform, I just re-installed Dark Forces on my ultra-portable Dell (no internal CD). I twiddled around for a while and managed to get it working without CD, and get the sound running with VDMSound.

First time running Dark Forces on a PC in ~9 years! Boy the Mac version is much better looking! That 2x resolution and enhanced sound make a difference ...

Oh well, it is quite playable in a pinch, and since this is the machine I have JK & MotS on ...


bootleg42 04-28-2005 08:57 PM

Well I am a noob at using computers and I would love to play Dark Forces II again but when I try the dosbox emulator it tells me that "This program cannot be run in dos mode" Now what do I do???? I don't understand that first guide really well. I also heard of patches that allow you to play older Star War games on newer OS systems. Is that true????

txa1265 04-28-2005 09:16 PM

Dark Forces *II* is Jedi Knight, which is meant to run on Win95 or later ... but to execute it, you need to run jk.exe from the game directory.


bootleg42 04-29-2005 02:05 AM

I have XP and the game does not work on it. Dark Forces II does not work at all. I already tried to run the setup but the problem is that it only runs on Windows 98, not XP.

I then tried another old Star Wars PC game (Shadows of the Empire) and it gave gave me the same problems. But when I install a newer game like Republic Commando, it installs easily.

When I try to run the old games, a message pops out saying:

"C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\AUTOEXEC.NT The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application."

Then two options come out saying "Close" and "Ignore".

When I click ignore, nothing happens and the program never starts. When I click close, everything closes.

bootleg42 04-29-2005 02:10 AM

Ok wait, I see what you mean, I just clicked on jk.exe and now I see a different message:

The screen goes black and a message now pops up saying:

"ERR_CANNOT_LOAD_FILE_(then a bunch of squares show)t"

Now what???

Katarn07 05-03-2005 04:40 PM

The link to that sound emulation no longer works. Is there a place for another? I'm in a real mood to play DF and haven't gotten the chance ever since I got this new PC almost a year ago.

EDIT- Found it and tried right clicking and hitting run with VDMS or whatever and it told me access was denies. Now what? I'll try the DOSBox thing I guess....

EDIT 2 - DOSBox runs the sound like a dream, but it's really choppy gameplay, even with the graphics reduced in detail (wow, and I thought it looked bad with the detail maxed out :p)

Any other ideas anyone?

INFERNOJHC 07-26-2005 05:13 PM

Lol, I can even run it on a windows 2003 server.

SilentDude56k 08-30-2005 10:19 PM


Originally Posted by bootleg42
I have XP and the game does not work on it. Dark Forces II does not work at all. I already tried to run the setup but the problem is that it only runs on Windows 98, not XP.

I then tried another old Star Wars PC game (Shadows of the Empire) and it gave gave me the same problems. But when I install a newer game like Republic Commando, it installs easily.

When I try to run the old games, a message pops out saying:

"C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\AUTOEXEC.NT The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose 'Close' to terminate the application."

Then two options come out saying "Close" and "Ignore".

When I click ignore, nothing happens and the program never starts. When I click close, everything closes.

Well, I have Windows XP and as long as its not a DOS game it works fine. The reason you need an emulator like VDM Sound is because Windows XP doesnt have the full version of DOS, but older operating systems (Windows 95, Windows 98/SE) run it fine because they run on top of DOS, but Windows XP doesnt, and Microsoft apparently didnt expect anyone to try DOS games on Windows XP. Dark Forces II Jedi Knight works great on my computer, as all other games like SOTE, AS LONG AS ITS NOT A DOS GAME!! For those I use VDM Sound, which took me *hours* to configure to work with DOS games like Dark Forces, Duke Nukem 3D, Doom I & II.

Kurgan 09-08-2005 05:59 PM

Does Windows 2k have DOS? Or is this a unique problem to XP?

There's no doubt it runs, it's just a question of how much frustration a person puts up with. ;) The "Windows" version of Dark Forces is really just a Win95/98 launcher for the DOS program if I'm not mistaken.

-BLaCKouT- 11-27-2005 09:41 AM

Waaaaaahhh!! :cry6: Why won't DF work???

I popped a new HDD in my comp recently and went through a new install of WinXP. I'd backed up all the necessary stuff, including the contents of my C:\Dark\ folder so that I'd keep my settings and savegames etc.

Now, the annoying thing is that when I re-installed all of my apps and games, I tested Dark Forces and it worked fine! Since then I've updated Windows with Service Pack 1 and various 'hotfixes' etc and DF doesn't want to know now. :(

When I run either the version on the CD or the version on the HDD, and either the installer or dark.exe itself, Windows puts up a DOS window (with nothing actually 'in' it, just the heading "C:\dark\dark\DARK.EXE") and at the point where it usually switches to full screen and the game starts... it just disappears! Every effing time!

I've tried looking in the Task Manager's Applications and Processes tabs and it doesn't appear in there. So I'd gather the program's just terminating itself rather than hiding.

I think it's fairly safe to say that everyone in here loves DF so you can imagine how annoying this is. I can't be certain that Windows is at fault, but it's the only thing I can think of that's really changed system-wise. So:

Anyone else had this problem?
Would an upgrade to SP2 help do ya think?

I've tried DosBox in the past and found it to be so choppy it was unplayable. I've also tried the .bat method from but when it starts the program, the same thing happens; it just terminates.

Any help you could give me would be massively appreciated! The PS1 version's just not the same.

Cheers in advance!

EDIT: Sorted :)

Monkey Mania 03-26-2007 09:46 PM

Dark Forces runs on DosBox .70 like a dream.

Have two mounts, one to the DF folder, one to the DF cd.
Make sure to run the setup in DosBox first(imuse.exe), use Sound Blaster and it's default settings, if you want better music, goto advanced and choose General Midi for the Music.

Basic Settings for Dosbox to run DF smoothly. Anything else is to to your taste.

--Dos Memory - 63MB
--Cycles - 20000
--CPU Core - dynamic

darthyorktown 03-30-2007 07:52 PM

I'll try it soon, if I can get around to it. ;)

Chewy1015 05-03-2007 03:22 PM

Okay, my problem is mounting. What the hell is "mounting" in the first place? The directions on the DosBox and readme aren't really clear and I try to do what they say, but it never works. How the hell do I mount? Basically, I need to make a "D:" drive and a "C:" drive.

Monkey Mania 05-05-2007 11:02 AM

Mounting just tells dosbox where to find the files. If a game requires a CD, make a mount to where the cd is (for ex. drive F) and where the game is(for ex. C:/games/Dark)

If you are having trouble, you should use a frontend like Dfend. You don't have to type anything.

darthyorktown 05-10-2007 11:34 PM

i hate mounthing

Gorgi 07-22-2007 12:33 PM

Maybe a dumb question..

I know how to change the cycles in dosbox, but how do i change the dos memory and the cpu core?

Springgirl 10-02-2007 06:41 AM

Can someone tell me how to turn down the cycles in DOSBox to under 200? Thanks.

ryu91 01-05-2008 02:37 PM

Has anyone tried getting Timidity to work for DosBox. I would like to know because I use Vista and it breaks midi support (except for ablib which sucks)

WillKatarn 11-22-2008 12:35 PM

I play DF on PS1 which saves a lot of hassle. Yep I know it aint PC and people may prefer to use a mouse but I like it.

GUNNER 11-26-2008 12:42 PM

Dang, I have never seen this thread. Don't know how I could of missed it though... :confused:

Looks like this weekend I'll be trying to get DF running again. It was my first SW game. :D

wish me luck..

FArt vader 02-21-2009 05:31 PM

u n00bs - DOSBOX TUTOR

U R all so dump n00bs:D (no offense)
On every os DosBox works. Use this. I give u a simle tutorial.
1. Download DOSBox (
2.Install it
3. Create a Folder in C: named DOSGAMES (case sensitive) dosbox
5.write this: mount c C:\DOSGAMES
6.write this: mount d yourdriveletterletter:\ -t cdrom write D:
8.write install.exe
9.go to install
10.go to custom install enter
12.check : levels, textures, cutscenes, and sprites continue
14.look how it installs :) any key any key again
17.wait c enter choose sound blaster 16 port select 220 stereo reverse select 0 detect any key quit y exit exit again
29.write dark.exe the game with no lagg and enjoy (note if u see that the game slows down just press ctrl+f12 or/and ctrl + f8 as times as it runs perfect)

This method works with all sw dos games that i tryed so far. BTW I USE VISTA. alt +enter to full screen

just give a thx :D

axm61 04-12-2010 11:23 AM

I used DOSBOX to install and play Dark Forces and it works perfectly fine. Now I'm enjoying this game from 1995 (!!!) with my kids who are 5 and 7. For those who don't know how to install it, read this thread and you'll get all the information you'll need to play Dark Forces on a PC (XP or Vista). I have the original Dark Forces CD, Dark Forces II and Jedi Outcast.

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