I downloaded the first Command & Conquer game from EA and burnt some CDs. I couldn't get the Setup.exe program to run in Windows 7 64-bit, as it must need some old DLLs. So I ran up the Windows XP Mode virtual machine, and was able to install it fine.

However, when I try to run the program, I just get an empty message box with an "OK" button. I've set the compatibility to Windows 95, and checked all of the options in the Compatibility tab, but it's not running. I also downloaded the patch suggested by EA, which is an updated version of the THIPX32.DLL file (copied into the C&C installation folder).

Has anyone managed to get this working?

4 Answers 4


Ok, you need to download the unofficial patch linked from the instructions in indyK1ng's answer, and install that. Then I found trying to run the game gave an error "Unable to set video mode".

To fix this, in the XP virtual machine, disable the Integration Features. This will lose the links back to Windows 7 (e.g. the hard drive(s)), but enable you to change the resolution, and enable the game to set the resolution to 640x480 or 1024x768. Then it works!

  • The official site of the unofficial 1.06 patch is here: nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/cnc95upd/cc95p106
    – Nyerguds
    Aug 5, 2013 at 10:33
  • I think there is is also an open source port available, at least for red alert. Not going to google for it as I am at work right now - If i recall correctly the name was openra. Jan 12, 2016 at 11:13
  • @antipattern OpenRA is actually not a port at all. It's more or less just a game using the graphics of RA. It is in no way modelled after the internal workings of the original games, and isn't even able to read the original RA's mission files. A new project, RedAlert++, is actually converting and decompiling all of the original engine to C++ source code.
    – Nyerguds
    Jan 12, 2016 at 12:30
  • @Nyerguds thank you for the clarification. I just saw it a while ago and never tried. Jan 12, 2016 at 12:50

Did you try reading the installation instructions linked to from the EA website? They have instructions specifically for people running 64-bit versions of Windows.

  • These instructions aren't on the EA website (it's an unofficial site), but they helped a bit, thanks! Nov 7, 2010 at 10:30
  • You are correct, I worded that poorly. They're linked to from the official EA site. That's where I screwed up.
    – indyK1ng
    Nov 8, 2010 at 22:57
  • The question is specifically for 64-bit though. The CnCWorld page just advises 64-bit users to download and install my full HD installer for the game (though their download link is broken).
    – Nyerguds
    Feb 10, 2016 at 10:37

The best way I found to get it working in Windows 7 64-bit was to have it installed in XP, which is pretty easy, and then just copy the install folder over to anywhere you want in Windows 7.

You don't have to worry about any emulation software or changing settings or properties in Windows 7 for it to work.

  • It won't work at all without any patches, though. You need at least the thipx32.dll patch (either the official one that disables LAN, or the unofficial one that fixes it) and Win95 compatibility mode. And preferably something to fix the colour issues too.
    – Nyerguds
    Jan 12, 2016 at 10:04

It is noteworthy that by now all C&C games that can be bought via Origin can be played without trouble on modern Windows.

I just downloaded the original C&C and could start it without any problems on a 64-bit Windows 10.

No patches or special settings necessary.

  • To be fair, it doesn't run very well from the Origin collection without applying the fan patch to it; it gets weird colours ingame. And since the game is freeware, the fan patch comes in full hard disk install flavour too, making the "buying it on Origin" part rather useless.
    – Nyerguds
    Feb 10, 2016 at 10:29

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