First, many thanks to all those sharing their fixes, especially Astrotoy7 and EvilQ for posts 1 & 2.
Just in case it helps anyone else, here is how I adapted their instructions to get the version of KotOR (1) included in the "Best Of PC" DVD running stably under Vista 64-bit.
- Install as per Astrotoy7's instructions in post 1, but don't replace mss32.dll (the suggested replacement is byte-for-byte the same as the one on the DVD).
- Make a shortcut to swkotor.exe as in post 2 but you shouldn't install the version of swkotor.exe patched by SecuROM (because that version is only for the original four CD release of the game; the version on the DVD has the disk check built into launcher.exe, not into swkotor.exe).
- Add "Disable Vertex Buffer Objects=1" to swkotor.ini (as in post 2).
- Use the in-game settings to disable soft shadows.
- That's it!
Again, thanks for all the help: it's been great to re-discover this classic.