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Arena and Win95/98

19 February 2011

Tips and tricks on getting Arena (as well as Daggerfall, Battlespire and other Elder Scrolls games) running on the various versions of Windows.

NOTE: Many of these suggestions involve messing around with the Operating System and can result in you messing up your computer. Please be cautious and backup files as nessecary.

Windows 2000/NT/XP/ME - 26 January 2002
General tips for getting Arena/Daggerfall running under the more recent versions of Windows.

Daggerfall and WinXP - 26 January 2002
Guide to getting Daggerfall running under Windows XP.

Daggerfall and Windows XP - 26 January 2002
Another guide to getting Daggerfall running under Windows XP.

VDMSound/Turbo in Win2000/XP - 26 January 2002
Definitive guide to using VDMSound and TURBO under Windows 2000 and XP to get Daggerfall running at its best.

Win95/98 for Arena/Daggerfall - 26 January 2002
Running Arena or Daggerfall under Windows 95/98 systems.

Windows 2000/NT/XP/ME for Arena/Daggerfall

People have reported great problems trying to run the game under these versions of Windows. In fact, I have yet to hear of anyone actually getting Arena to run under them so indeed it may not be possible. The best bet is to use a dual boot configuration to a DOS 6.2 disk and run the game from there, or put together an old/cheap 486 to run it on. For some dual boot information check out:
  1. CNet Dual Boot Tutorial
  2. Dual-Booting Windows NT and DOS/Win95 When C: Is NTFS
  3. WinPlanet Dual Boot Tutorial

Daggerfall and Windows XP

Here's how I got Daggerfall to run under WinXP (DOS 6.22 or Windows95/98 boot disk needed).
  1. First, I took my DF CDROM and copied the whole thing to my hard drive.
  2. Then I used to handy DOS 6.22 Boot Diskette to boot up the computer into DOS.
  3. Then I created and formated a FAT16 Partition on my second Hard Drive.
  4. Then I restarted the computer and allowed WindowsXP to load. It will take up to 5 minutes while it realizes that a new Partition is there. After the WindowsXP loading animation (in WinXP Pro) the screen may go, and stay, black for a while. Wait it out, the OS will eventually load.
  5. Log on to the computer and copy the DF files to the FAT16 partition (the files that were copied in the beginning; the whole DF CDROM).
  6. Restart the computer and put in the DOS Diskette again so DOS loads.
  7. Go into the Directory where the DF CDROM files are at and execute the INSTALL program. The game will install.
  8. Do not configure sound as that seems to crash the DOS alot.
  9. Once the game is installed, reboot the computer into Windows.
  10. Go to the directory where the game is installed and patch it if you want to. Double click the file SETUP.EXE and configure your sound.
  11. If your Drive C: is using NTFS, you will have to make some changes in the Z.CFG file in the Daggerfall directory. Open this file with NotePad and make sure that the following is set:
    		path X:\dagger\arena2\
    		pathcd X:\dagger\arena2\
    Where "X" is the drive the game is installed on. Make BOTH of those paths identical, as Daggerfall doesn't seem to want to read its CDROM after you use my install method. After that's set, you can double-click the DAGGER.EXE file to launch the game. No compatability settings have to be made.

  1. This method may or may not work for you, but it works well for me.
  2. I am using WindowsXP Professional.
  3. I copied the DF CDROM to my hard drive because it takes forever to install off the CDROM when in DOS.
  4. Don't copy the CDROM file to the root of a hard drive. It will have 'unusual' effects if you do so. I learned the hard way...My hard drive now Autoruns like a CDROM... This may not work on WindowsXP Home.
  5. BE CAREFUL WHEN CREATING A FAT16 PARTITION!! Make sure you are formatting FAT16 on a partition or hard drive OTHER then the partition your Windows is on. If you accidently format your windows partition, you will have to reinstall Windows. When in FDISK, first thing you need to do is select OPTION 5 if you are creating a partition on another drive. Remember that FAT16 cannot be above 2GB in size.

Again, be careful if you are going to use my method. I am not to be blamed if you screw-up and kill your Windows.

Original Text Written by Toller.

Definitive Guide To Daggerfall and Windows XP

Seeing as how I went through the frustration of getting Daggerfall to run on XP last night and this morning I thought I would give you the simplest run down on how to get it working. First of all the only problem I had with it was the Install.exe going black screen on me. Dagger.exe works fine as well as Setup.exe detecting my old SB16 card for Midi and Digital setup under Auto Detect.
  1. Create a Dos startup disk for XP. Do this by right clicking A: drive and selecting Format then choosing to create a MS-DOS startup disk.
  2. Copy the entire cd to a new folder to the drive your installing Daggerfall to (DON'T name this folder Dagger).
  3. Reboot with disk.
  4. Run the install from the dos command prompt.
  5. Restart in XP.
  6. Run Setup in the C:\dagger folder (or which ever folder you installed it to).
  7. Delete the folder you copied the files to.
  8. Edit the z.cfg file to the following:
    		path c:\dagger\arena2\
    		pathcd d:\dagger\arena2\
    (with c: being your installation driver and folders and d: being your cd-rom.Change if necessary)
Run Dagger.exe and everything should be well. Sound isn't very good and I find that the strafing speed is VERY slow so I'm going to try out VDM Sound Emulator now and try bumping the maxSpeed variable. Anyone who has found a fix for slow strafing please reply otherwise reply with any problems incurred while using my install tips.

Original Text Written by Greywolf.

Definitive Guide to Using VDMSound and TURBO Under Windows 2000 and XP to Get Daggerfall Running at Its Best

Note: This only works with NT based OSes
I just got daggerfall working in Windows 2000. I am really happy because prior to this I had to load up Windows 98 every time I wanted to play the game and midi still didn't work. Anyway, first you have to get the game running entirely off your hard drive. You have to start with a DOS boot disk to install the game from what I've heard. (or run a dos based os if you have one installed) Then try running daggerfall or the setup program just to make sure it runs ok. You probably won't be able to get sound working.

Download VDM Sound Emulator. This is a great GPLed program that provides sound support to dos programs under NT. Download and install it. Then go to your Daggerfall folder and right click on the setup.exe file. On the menu choose "Run with VDMS Support". Autodetect the digital device; it should come up being "Sound Blaster 16" or something similar. Play a test sound. It should work. Choose regular "sound blaster pro" for the midi device, not 16, it will run much better at least in my experience (this is kind of important). Once you've made sure both work, save and exit. Then right click on Daggerfall and choose "run with VDMS support" Turn your speakers all the way up to appreciate the sound of daggerfall running on your computer after months of silence!

The next problem is speed. Computers that are too fast can't seem to run Daggerfall properly. Download TURBO and run the EXE in the zip. A nice little window will pop up that allows you to dynamicly set the percent of your CPU speed to use. As with most programs like this the speed decrease is not consistent so the lower you go the choppier it will be. For me at about 70% levitation and monster movement worked a lot better and the choppiness wasn't that bad.

These fixes will probably work to some extent with arena and battlespire too but I haven't tried. I haven't tried it with XP either, but I assume it would work. Remember you need an NT based OS to use this program at all, so ME and 98 are out. Once you get Daggerfall working, take a look at the mod that I just released. The current home page for it is

Original Text Written by Neuman.

Windows 95/98 for Arena/Daggerfall

There have been troubles getting the game to run or install correctly under Win95 and . Here are some tips and tricks to the problem (some tips are as directed by Bethesda).

If you have the CD version -- it does not install to the hard drive, but plays exclusively from the CD -- The install program only allows you set up your sound options and creates a directory for your saved game. When you configure sound/music -- you must configure them both at the same time before you exit the Install menu.

Here are the directions for running the game under Win95. Type install and select configure music and sound options - complete all music and sound configuration before leaving the install menu. Right click on the *.BAT file in your ARENA directory on your hard drive. select properties - go the memory tab and make sure all options are set to auto. Also under its "Properties" set:

If you create a short cut the properties of the short cut must be identical to those of ARENA.BAT. This solution will NOT work for everyone. Only those people who are using sound cards and CD-ROM drives which Win95 supports. If you do not have Win95 support for your peripherals, please contact the manufacturer for specific Win95 drivers. DO NOT CREATE A CONFIG.SYS or AUOTEXEC.BAT.

Many people can't get Arena to run under Win95/98 so they may need to run the game in DOS mode. Follow these steps for to creating a custom config to run Arena under Win95/98.

  1. On the desktop Right-Click and choose New->Shortcut
  2. Type 'COMMAND.COM' for the command line
  3. Enter a convienient name, like 'Arena Config' or something
  4. Right-Click on the new shortcut and choose Properties
  5. Select the 'Program' tab at the top
  6. Click the 'Advanced' button at the button of the window
  7. Select the 'MS-DOS' option and 'Specify New Configuration'
  8. Here's where the config files I gave you last time are entered.
    Again, things might be a bit different depending on your setup, especially the mouse file. You will need some sort of DOS mouse driver to play the game.
  9. Click 'Ok' until all the windows are closed.
  10. Things should now be done. Just double-click on the new shortcut to start a custom MSDOS mode session in which Arena should run... it works for me (I have Win95, but it should be about the same in 98 to). Let me know of any problems.
This setup has worked fine for me and a number of others I've talked to...Enjoy!

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This document was last modified on: Saturday, 19 February 2011, at 09:55:05 and has been accessed 10583 times ( /arena/arena95.shtml ).

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