I am one of the many people that took up the offer on steam of the 10 year anniversary of Deus Ex.

The problem is with Deus Ex 2: Invisible war. The game launches and starts with the opening videos, and then on the first loading screen it crashes to the desktop

There are lots of posts around the internet about this 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8, but there seems no definitive solution (that at least worked for me).

Can we find a definitive answer as all of the above do not work?

I have tried updating all my drivers, various "compatability modes", lots of multiproccesor hacks and nothing seems to work.

My specific setup is: 2.16 Ghz Core 2 Duo Intel 945 graphics card 2Gb RAM Windows 7 Steam


5 Answers 5


I solved this problem, at least on my multi-core machine:

Start the game, wait until the main menu hangs, bring up the Task Manager (i.e., press Ctrl+Shift+Esc). In the list of processes, search for the image: "DX2Main.exe". Right-click on it, and select "Set affinity", and select only ONE CPU core. It doesn't matter which one is selected. For me, there was no need to restart the game as the hanging state was gone.


Both Deus Ex 2 and Thief 3 have issues with multi-core processors that cause that exact symptom. My similar rig (core 2 duo, windows 7 32bit) had the issue resolved with the fix outlined here:

  1. Download imagecfg from http://robpol86.com/pages/imagecfg.php to your game system directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Deus Ex - Invisible War\System)

  2. Start, Run, Type cmd.exe and hit enter, and type the following:

    cd c:\Program Files\Deus Ex - Invisible War\System
    copy "DX2.exe" "DX2.backup.exe"
    copy "DX2Main.exe" "DX2Main.backup.exe
    copy "Ion Launcher.exe" "Ion Launcher.backup.exe"
    imagecfg -a 0x1 DX2.exe
    imagecfg -a 0x1 DX2Main.exe
    imagecfg -a 0x1 "Ion Launcher.exe"
  3. Play game.

If that fix did not solve the issue for you - can you provided the console output (if any) of those commands?


It could be a problem with Windows 7. If you have a spare Windows XP licence lying around you may be able to run it in a virtual machine, such as Windows 7's 'XP mode', or if you are running home premium edition you could grab Sun's xVM Virtualbox solution. I have run the game on a similar specced XP box. You might want to dual boot XP on a seperate partition for extra performance and compatibility.


If you have a hang instead of a crash, try not running Chrome when you start DE:IW. I'm not hating on Chrome, that's just how I got DE:IW working again.


So was having the same issue and I think from everything I've read the issue is overlays. Even reading the comments in this link I supplied also corroborates that statement. I guess since it's such an old game running on Windows 10 computers it doesn't work well with programs such as Nvidia for some reason or another. I know when you go to the task manager and right click on d2.exe then go to details and click, "analytic chain", (I think that's what it's called anyway) and you should see which program is causing the CPU to put the game on the back burner, thus freezing it up.

For me it said "nvcontainer.exe" which is part of the Nvidia overlay that my HP Omen laptop uses.

Update So downloading and installing the, "visible war" update in the link I provided solved the issue. I did that and before I fired the game up I went down to my taskbar and closed out of any overlay programs such as Nvidia or Razer and then crossed my fingers and clicked on new game. It takes you to the profile creation screen like normal, and usually when you click start game that's when the screen goes black and you basically have to restart your entire computer or log out of Windows and log back in, but after doing all of the things I just mentioned above, the game actually loaded in and I'm currently playing the first level!

Deus ex visible war update

  • I don't see where you see that the problem is due to overlays, it seems to be related to multi-core CPUs - which is something the patch you link to also fixes.
    – Joachim
    Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 6:00

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