Dungeon Keeper 2 on Vista

This guide will enable Dungeon Keeper 2 to run on Windows Vista and prevent Dungeon Keeper 2 crashes. I have spent a long time trying to get this game to run on my Vista laptop, experiencing multiple different types of errors until I came up with the fixes.

Fixing Dungeon Keeper 2 Blackness/Black Boxes

From what I have been able to tell of the matter the black boxes or blackness on the screen is basically caused by video cards or drivers they are too new. The only way I have found to fix this issue is to go into Dungeon Keeper 2, go to options then graphics options. Now, un-tick the box next to “Hardware Acceleration”. The blackness and black boxes may still be appearing on the menu screens, but in game they should now be gone. As a warning, this may require restarting the game before having an affect.

Fixing Dungeon Keeper 2 Crashes

I found that I had two extra problems relating to Dungeon Keeper 2 crashing. the first of these was that it occasionally crashed on start up. The second of these was that it would crash intermittently during gameplay, generally after roughly 15 minutes of playing. After days of testing different methods of fixing this, I found one that actually worked on my own.

In order to prevent Dungeon Keeper 2 crashing in Vista, do the following:

1. Right click on the shortcut to Dungeon Keeper 2 and select properties, then click the ‘shortcut’ tab and add “-32biteverything” and “-disablegamma” to the target, both without the commas.

It should appear like this:

Dungeon Keeper 2 Vista Black Screen Part 1

2. Next click the compatibility tab and tick the “run this in compatibility mode” box, then select ‘Windows 2000’ from the list.

It should look like this:

Dungeon Keeper 2 Vista Black Screen Part 2

3. Now run Dungeon Keeper 2, go into the options menu and go to the Graphics options. Untick the boxes next to the ‘Water Translucency’, ‘Environment Mapping’ and ‘Hardware Acceleration’ options. Also turn ‘Shadow Detail’ to 0. Next, it is vital that you set the resolution to 640 x 480. Overall, it should look like this:

Dungeon Keeper 2 Vista Black Screen Part 3

Click on the tick box and leave the graphics options, but stay in the options menu. If you have an older version of Dungeon Keeper 2, some of these options may not appear.

4. Now, click on the Sound options and un-tick the box next to ‘QSound’. It should now look roughly like this:

Dungeon Keeper 2 Vista Black Screen Part 4

5. Following that, exit the game and right click again on the shortcut but still in the compatibility tab menu, make sure the box next to the following options are checked:

Run in 640 x 480 screen resolution

Disable visual themes

Disable desktop composition

Disable display scaling on high DPI settings

It should appear like this:

Dungeon Keeper 2 Vista Black Screen Part 5

6. Under the privilege level, tick the box that says ‘Run this program as an administrator’.

Overall, it should now look like this:

Dungeon Keeper 2 Vista Black Screen Part 6

7. Play Dungeon Keeper 2, the game should now run without crashing.

Dungeon Keeper 2 Still Crashes!!!

So you have tried everything in this guide, checked it twice and still the game crashes for you. There are a number of extra things to try:

1. Make sure that you have patched the game to version 1.7 (I have heard 1.6 actually runs better, if you can find the patch for it).

2. Go into your graphic cards setting and turn off all or at least most of the settings pertaining to the game. In particular, make sure that for Dungeon Keeper 2 threaded optimization is off.

3. After starting the game, press ‘ctrl-alt-del’ and select ‘start task manager’. Under processes, right click on DKII.exe and select ‘set affinity’ and make sure that only one CPU is ticked. You may have to click the button labeled “Show processes from all users” first. You will have to do this each time Dungeon Keeper 2 starts.

Last Resort

If all else fails you can attempt to manually edit the registry to change the settings. As a forewarning, be careful when editing the registry as changing the wrong setting can cause further system problems. As a result, I take no responsibility for any problems that occur if you attempt the following fix. However, I personally edit the registry and have never had an issue, just do not click randomly and start changing things you are not sure about.

The following registry setting manually changes the rendering engine from hardware to software, which should hopefully prevent the issue of black boxes covering the screen.

1. Click start > All programs > Accessories > Run
2. Type “regedit”, without the quotation marks, and click ‘Ok’
3. Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Bullfrog Productions Ltd\Dungeon Keeper II\Configuration\Video
4. Then set Engine Id to 4 and Screen Hardware3D to 0 (you may wish to write down what was previously in these), this is achieved by changing the numerical values in the strings by right clicking on the value and then clicking modify. Following that, type in the text box under the ‘value data’ text.

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