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Thread: Need more help running on XP

  1. #1
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2008

    Need more help running on XP

    I tried to follow Shadowcat's info but I don't really comprehend the technical terms. I have ADHD!! I need a little more direct assistance.

    First, when I load and try to read the CD, it works really slowly. Then when I try to install it on my XP system I get a "VVD format in registry is invalid", warning. It offers me to cancel or ignore. When I select ignore, the screen goes into DOS and ask me if I want to attempt to install UniVIBE. It doesn't make much difference if I select Y or N, all I get is a scrambled screen.

    I'm sure it has something to do with some sort of graphics compatibility. I'd really appreciate any help you can give. Let me know if you need any info on my system. Thanks!

  2. #2

    How to run Terra Nova using DOSBox

    If you have a fairly recent CPU in your PC, DOSBox should run the game very successfully, and will hopefully make your graphics incompatibilities moot.

    You also don't need the CD if you can copy all of its contents over to your hard drive, because the game will install and run from that copy, so I would definitely recommend doing that first if you are having CD issues (and indeed even if you're not).

    So try something like this:

    1. Copy the TN CD contents to C:\games\tnova_cd

    2. Install the latest version of DOSBox

    3. Run DOSBox, and enter the following:
    mount c c:\games
    cd tnova_cd
    (Answer No to the question about uniVBE)

    Note that you can put that mount command -- and anything else -- at the bottom of your dosbox.conf file to have it execute automatically each time you run DOSBox. I also have the following in my default config, to mount my CD-ROM drive:
    mount d d:\ -t cdrom -usecd 0
    4. The default digital sound card is probably fine, but I recommend changing to a "General MIDI" card for music. Modern sound hardware should be fine with that, and auto-configure should take care of it.

    5. Install to c:\tnova (which in reality is c:\games\tnova)

    6. Choose the minimal install size (because everything is already on the hard drive)

    7. Cross your fingers and run the game. When you start up DOSBox it gives you some help on improving performance, so take note of those items if the game runs slow. You can usually get away with one or two skipped frames, for example.

    Use ALT+ENTER to toggle between windowed and full-screen modes, as usual.

    8. In future when you run DOSBox, you'll want to use:
    mount c c:\games
    cd tnova
    9. If you use a GUI front-end for DOSBox you should be able to set up a config that will launch the game with all the settings you require, including any performance settings, so you don't need to do any typing to get going.

    Without a front-end, your quick and dirty solution would be to have the default dosbox.conf autoexec section run the game for you, as well as mounting your drives. A cleaner solution would be to copy dosbox.conf into your tnova directory, make the changes there, and make a shortcut to dosbox.exe that runs it using the tnova config. The shortcut target would be something like:

    "C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.72\dosbox.exe" -fullscreen -conf "C:\games\tnova\dosbox.conf"
    DOSBox will also let you rebind your keys, should you wish to do so.
    Last edited by Shadowcat; 13th Apr 2009 at 02:05.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Registered: May 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat View Post
    1. Copy the TN CD contents to C:\games\tnova_cd

    2. Install the latest version of DOSBox

    3. Run DOSBox, and enter the following:
    mount c c:\games
    cd tnova_cd
    As far as I got. It says 'illegal command: install' when I type 'install' =(
    Last edited by Straften; 27th May 2009 at 00:25.

  4. #4
    That would seem to suggest that you weren't in the right directory (or at least weren't in the directory containing the CD's contents).

    If you open the C:\games\tnova_cd directory (folder) in Windows, do you see all the files? Make sure they're not in a sub-directory instead. If you are using my instructions verbatim, then the file 'install.exe' (and the rest) need to be present in C:\games\tnova_cd

    Similarly, after changing directory in DOS (typing 'cd tnova_cd'), you can type 'dir' to get a directory listing. If that shows the presence of install.exe, but you still get the error when entering 'install', then I haven't the foggiest idea what is going on.

    I suppose there could be releases of the game which either do not contain all the install files at the top level of the CD's file system, or else do not use 'install.exe' to install -- potentially the case for non-English languages?? -- in which case the exact steps you take will need to be modified accordingly.

    edit: Hmm.. in fact there was another issue reported recently with an 'illegal command' error. If everything else looks okay, then there might be a genuine bug in the current release of DOSBox? (although I'm using 0.72, and haven't seen any obvious problems). If all else fails, you could try 0.70 or 0.71 and see if anything changes.
    Last edited by Shadowcat; 27th May 2009 at 05:19.

  5. #5

    DOSBox 0.73

    How's that for timing?


    Release notes

    If you were still stumped, give this one a whirl, and see if it helps.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2003
    Location: British Isles
    I had similar trouble and found a work-around completely by accident.

    I have the game installed to C:Games\TNF108

    I just drag that folder (TNF108) onto dosbox, and type 'cd tnova' (no quotes) to navigate to the correct folder inside it, then type 'tn' (no quotes) to start the game.

    For some reason, dosbox lets the game run doing it this way. Give it a go.

    The full path to the exe is:


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