I recently installed Halo: Combat Evolved and patched it to version 1.09. When I run it, it plays the logo videos fine but then when it gets to the menu, it plays only the music on a black screen. Is there a compatibility problem with my system?

My specs:

  • Windows 7 Professional x64
  • Intel Core i3-3110m 2.4Ghz
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM

Try installing it in the default directory (don't pick somewhere else). I tried every tweak I could find on the net, and nothing was working. Then I decided to go with the default directory (C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Halo) and voila, none of the other stuff (compatibility, etc.) was necessary -- it worked fine.

  • This also worked for Gears of War (original). – user101016 Sep 21 '15 at 8:44

I guess the simple thing to check would be to make sure your graphics drivers are up to date, but assuming that doesn't help, There are two solutions I can think of that might work

Running the game in compatibility mode

  • Navigate to the .exe file in the install location.
  • Right-click the shortcut, and click 'Properties'
  • Click the Compatibility Tab
  • Check the box that says Run this program in compatibility mode for: and select Windows XP (Service Pack 3)

You can also try Run the Program as an Administrator as well.

Killing explorer before running the game

The other thing I sometimes find when running these old games in Windows 7/8, is that the taskbar seems to stuff them up somehow. You can also try killing explorer.exe before starting the game.

I usually wrap the game's executable in a batch file that kills explorer, starts the game, and waits for it to finish, before starting explorer again. Here are the commands. Put these in a .bat file in the Halo install directory, and run this to launch the game:

@echo off
taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
start /WAIT <halo executable name>.exe
start explorer.exe
  • 2
    Alternatively, instead of start /WAIT <halo executable name>.exe you can also do start /WAIT %1, which will allow you to drag & drop any executable onto the batch file. That way, you don't have to make a copy for each and every .exe – Nolonar May 31 '13 at 9:31

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