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Aug 09, 2014

How To Play the X-Wing Series on a Modern Windows PC with a gamepad or flight stick

Troubleshooting Installation & Windows 8 Solutions

Balance of Power Installation – Recently when I tried to reinstall Balance of Power, I had a lot of issues with the installer. You may need to use Markus Egger’s instructions over here and follow the Balance of Power installation instructions here. Also I’ve had problems with the installer detecting my original Balance of Power disc when finishing installation. If you try to cancel at this point it will just roll back the installation. Instead, try pressing ctrl+shift+esc to bring up the task manager, Right click on the installer in the Processes tab -> Go To Details -> Right Click -> End Process Tree. Then run regedit (Win+R -> regedit) and delete the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\InProgress. You’ll then want to do a hard reboot to ensure the MSI installer doesn’t automatically uninstall the game.

Windows 8 – The games just don’t work very well in Windows 8. In Software mode its extremely jerky. In 3D Accelerated mode the 3D objects that are supposed to be on the screen go missing. There are at least 3 solutions to running these games on a machine that has Windows 8.

  1. Install a Windows 7 partition to one of your hard drives. I won’t go over this option in detail here because you’ll be able to find info from around the web on how to do this.
  2. Install Windows 7 to a USB drive via a program called WinToUSB. You’ll want to make sure you have a fast USB drive (at least 70mb/s read, 30mb/s write, otherwise installation could take upwards of 10 hours. If you have a USB 3.0 drive, even better– then the OS should run almost as quick as it does on an SSD. Note that Windows 7 installations via WinToUSB don’t seem to be fully functional. For example certain software like .Net 4.0 won’t install at all. I had trouble installing drivers for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 Wireless and PS4 controllers because of this. But I did get both my Xbox 360 Wired controller and my Logitech Flightstick working on a WinToUSB Windows 7 install. Also UAC just seems to be broken and you’re better off turning it off.
  3. Install Windows 95 or 7 to a VM. The games will be stuck to 2D mode because of this, but honestly you’re not losing much with X-Wing, Tie Fighter and XvT graphically as the 3D acceleration mode doesn’t make a huge difference other than smoothing textures. I’ve tried installing these games to Virtualbox which worked well, but Virtualbox doesn’t put games in fullscreen, so you’re going to have to force Virtualbox to run in 640×480 mode (right click on the virtualbox icon and go into compatibility settings to enable this option). I haven’t tested VMWare but I assume it works better and wouldn’t require the weird resolution work around.

Crashes/Not saving progress – If the game isn’t saving your progress or crashes to desktop it might not have the proper permissions to write files in the game folder. You’ll want to go to folder properties (via Right Click) and give full control to your current windows user to fix the issue.