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Direct X help with an Older Game


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My goodness.  I am having a really tough time trying to play a game I really liked.  Here's the story:

My friend asked me if I wanted to play a multiplayer game of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.  My old copy was long gone.  So I purchased one from Amazon.com for ~$7.  It arrived.  I put it in my laptop, autorun took over, and when I clicked on "Install Game" the CD whirred and then the all screens went away.  No error message.  Nothing.

I did some looking around and found Firaxis's website that said with Windows XP, there's a patch and you have to update the .ini file.  Well, I couldn't do that if the program didn't install!  I tried clicking on the files on the CD directly, and clicked setup.exe, but it does absolutely nothing.  DirectX 6 is on the CD, I tried installing that, but that doesn't work.  I think the game is meant to work with DirectX 6.

Specs, if anyone is interested...

Dell, MXC051, Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A02

Intel® Pentium® M Processor 1.73GHz, 1016 RAM

Page File: 433 MB used, 2008 MB available

DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.9094)

My first thought is that the CD was bad.  So I took it over to my old computer, and put the disk in there.  The program installed without a hitch.  I tried playing the game.  The game crashed in the old school way... frozen.  Only way to reset the computer is to kill the power and restart it.  No CTRL ALT DEL.

I then went and did what the Firaxis website said to do.  Installed the Patch, ran the program, it still froze.  Changed the .ini file, and ran the program and it still froze.  The game plays for a short while (about 3-5 minutes), and then it completely freezes up.  Oddly enough, though something I got a question to ask if I wanted to install Direct X 7, so I did.  Still freezes.  I tried the installation of DirectX6, but that just doesn't seem to work.  Still freezes.


Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition (5.1 Build 2600)

Processor: Intel Pentium III, ~996 MHz

Memory: 254MB RAM

Page file: 156MB used, 468 MB Available

DirectX Version: DirectX 8.1 (


I've read something about "pirated software" but this is all legit stuff.  My old computer was originally loaded with Windows Milennium and then upgraded to Windows XP.  (I had upgraded, but I think I lost the upgrade disk, and then went out and bought Windows XP Home Edition... but that was a while ago.)  The laptop came with Windows XP preinstalled.

The game was purchased from Amazon.  It wasn't the retail packaging, I just received the disk shrinkwrapped in a jewel case.  There are no scratches on the CD and it has a serial number.

Anybody have any ideas on how to get this game to run?  I used to love playing it and found others that do - but they all have their old computers that they use to play it.  Any help is greatly appreciated!

So what on earth do I do?

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