Age of Empires II - "could not initialize graphics system. make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw"

Hi,

I am having trouble running Age of Empires 2 on my new computer. The following error message keeps displaying: "could not initialize graphics system. make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw." Does anyone have any solutions to this? I have already visited many forums and tried various solutions; none of them has helped!

Solutions tried: Changing compatibility settings and running as administrator, switching to 16-bit color, disabling my graphics card, running the "nostartup" extension of the game, looking for old Microsoft patches (which are mostly unavailable now due to the game being so old). I KNOW others have been able to get this game to work on the Windows 7 OS, albeit with some other quirks, and I KNOW my video card and driver are more than capable of handling this game. Any suggestions?

System Specs:

System Manufacturer/Model Number Dell/Studio 540
OS windows 7 home premium 32bit
Memory 6 GB
Graphics Card ATI Radeon HD 4350
Monitor(s) Displays Dell ST2410

Thanks in advance,

EP

 

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Answer
Answer
I had the above issue with AOEII:Age Of Kings. My brief spec is Windows 7 Ultimate (SP1) and an nVidia 8600 GT graphics card. I did the following (make sure you reboot after each install):

Make sure you're running the latest AOEII:AOK patch (2.0a):

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=35

Download and install latest DirectX:

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=5264

Download and install latest nVidia driver suite. I let the software autodetect my card and reset all of my settings to default. I also installed the full software suite:

http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

Finally, right click the AOE shortcut and click properties. Click on the compatability tab and select the following:

- Run this program in compatabilty mode - Pick Windows XP Service Pack 2 (!!NOT 3!!)
- Disable Visual Themes
- Disable Desktop Composition
- Run this program as an Administrator

One of the above options may work on it's own but that's what I had to do to get it running and I tested it after each step.

Good luck!


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Last updated May 16, 2021 Views 104,715 Applies to: