I just found an old copy of Diablo (the first game) in a box and whacked it into my laptop I purchased just yesterday.

After the quick install I hit play and found that the screen remained black (nothing was rendering). There was however sound.

I downloaded the patch but still nothing.

With it being a new laptop, I figure I might be missing some required software like Direct X maybe? I'm not really sure.

If anyone has any suggestions or knows how to fix this issue, that would be really helpful.

5 Answers 5


Notorious problem I'm afraid. Not so much missing software but you'll have a version of DirectX so advanced it's incompatible with early games. Some users have had luck running Diablo using Compatability Modes for Windows XP or earlier, or even Virtual Machines/DosBOX or equivalent, so you could try those first?

  • Cheers, I tried compatibility mode which didn't work for any version (for some reason 95/98 said there was no CD). I'm trying dosbox but I'm having trouble working out how to use it.
    – Marty
    Nov 12, 2011 at 2:16
  • 1
    If you're using Win7 Pro or Ultimate, install the XP VM and give that a try. Otherwise, you might try using VMWare or VirtualBox and an XP install.
    – MBraedley
    Nov 12, 2011 at 13:08

This may sound weird (and I have actually done this to play Diablo on my Win 7 laptop), but right click on your desktop and click on Screen Resolution. Leave that open and then run Diablo.

  • I haven't tried running Diablo under Windows 7, but I recall this working for me in Windows 2000. Definitely worth a shot.
    – Ben Blank
    Dec 16, 2011 at 15:32
  • I had to do the same thing for Diablo 2, it was really weird.
    – Wipqozn
    Jan 17, 2012 at 20:43

It's now possible to play Diablo through your web browser : https://d07riv.github.io/diabloweb/ .

Details about the project - https://github.com/d07RiV/diabloweb .

It allows you to provide path to original Diablo files on your disk so you can play game legally.


After updating Diablo to version 1.09 through Blizzard's executable here, you can install the patch from here which contains an updated DirectDraw that allows you to modify both the resolution and windowed state of Diablo after pressing the ~ key. This patch will also work with Windows 10 to some extent, though you will be unable to alt+tab the game.

There are a variety of other mods to Diablo which achieve the same level of modern playability, but many also change the gameplay to various extents. This patch preserves vanilla Diablo.

Note: Blizzard discontinued support for Battle.net for Diablo 1 earlier this year, and so the main drawback of this patch is more or less irrelevant.


explorer.exe has to be killed while you're playing diablo.

hit ctrl+shft+esc, select processes tab, find explorer.exe, then click 'end process.' select 'applications' tab then 'new task.' enter a single period ["." (without quotes)] to start a windows explorer. use that to navigate to your diablo folder or cd and start playing. when you're done, hit 'new task' again and key in "explorer.exe" and whiz-bang, you're back in the 2010's. if you find an obsidian ring of the zodiac, i'll gladly accept that as thanks!

p.s. don't forget to add exceptions for ports 6112-6119 on firewall and router.

  • 6
    This is terrible advice. Do not follow it.
    – fredley
    Oct 11, 2013 at 14:53
  • 2
    No, no, and no some more. Killing explorer.exe is one of the worst thing you could ever do, especially when you're not technically inclined. And what does opening ports have to do with anything at all?
    – Frank
    Oct 11, 2013 at 14:54
  • 1
    This will (and did) fix the problem, despite these comments to the alternative, but there are more modern solutions.
    – Decency
    Oct 18, 2018 at 7:57

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