Warcraft II on Windows XP, A step-by-step guide

Warcraft II – Tides of Darkness. I used to love this old DOS game way back when. But now I want to run it on Windows XP. Yes, it is possible. Here’s how.


First you need the very excellent DOSBOX which is a DOS emulator. You can download it from http://www.dosbox.com/.

Once DOSBOX is installed, we need somewhere to put our DOS games. I created a folder called C:\DOSGAMES for this purpose.

Now it is time to run DOSBOX. Once it is going, type the following two commands:

mount c C:\DOSGAMES\

mount d D:\ -t cdrom

NOTE: If your CD-ROM drive is not D:\, modify this accordingly.

Then you can insert your Warcraft II CD. The game can be installed like so:



Just select all the default options except for the soundcard and music device which you should set to Soundblaster 16.

Making an icon

At this point you can run the game by typing WAR2. But I don’t want to stop there. Let’s now make a pretty icon so you can launch the game with a mouse-click.

Open the folder C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.72 and find the file dosbox.conf. Copy it to your C:\DOSGAMES\WAR2 folder.

Edit the copy of dosbox.conf and add the following line to the bottom under the [autoexec] section:

mount d D:\ -t cdrom

I’ve found it is also a good idea to reduce the speed of CPU emulation otherwise the map can scroll too fast. Modify the cycles entry in dosbox.conf like so:


Now save the changes you made to dosbox.conf.

Warcraft II IconCopy the DOSBOX icon on your desktop. Rename the copy to “Warcraft II”. Now right-click on the icon and select Properties.

Enter the following text (all on one line) into the Target box:

 "C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.72\dosbox.exe" "C:\DOSGAMES\WAR2\WAR2.EXE"
-conf "C:\DOSGAMES\WAR2\dosbox.conf" -exit -fullscreen

Then finally click on the Change Icon button.

Click Browse and navigate to the folder C:\DOSGAMES\WAR2. Double-click the file WAR2ICON.DLL.

Choose the WarCraft icon and then click OK. Click OK on the shortcut properties window also.

Now we are done. Click the WarCraft icon and enjoy!

Warcraft II

225 thoughts on “Warcraft II on Windows XP, A step-by-step guide

  1. The conf file doesn’t show up in my folder, so the tutorial is a waste of time.

    Save yourselves the trouble of having to fuck around and just torrent the battle net version of the game.

  2. Hey guys, regarding the CD problem, I’ve never had the CD but I knew it worked fine in DOS when I played it many years ago. So it was very frustrating.
    Here’s how I finally managed to get Warcraft2 Beyond the Dark Portal to Work in DOSBOX:
    Notzig is absolutely right, we have to modify the war2.ini file in directory where you installed the game.
    First line shoud read “cdpath=d:”
    Lines in dosbox conf file shoud be for example
    mount c C:\GAMES\WC2BEY (or whatever you named it)
    mount d C:\GAMES\WC2BEY -t cdrom

    Best regards.

  3. Hello everybody,

    If I start the game, I can’t find the Custom Scenario’s. Has someone got the same problem? Is there a solution for this problem?


  4. I’m trying to run it on XP but every time I type in setup it comes up as (this program cannot be run in dos mode). What am I doing wrong?

  5. Can somebody please help me!!

    I’m quite confused with comment by Moi (Comment # 199).Where should I put in the code “mount d D:\-t cdrom” ? Is it thru Dosbox command prompt or the game’s conf. file?I have successfully installed the game along with additional crack files without cd (via download)& play Warcraft II by the conventional way, typing the command in Dosbox without any problem.Just the mouse scroll is moving too fast.But when i want to launch the game by using shortcut icon,the game loads but it keeps asking me to put in the game cd.I wanted to play this game via shortcut.Is there a solution for this problem?

    -I have edited the .conf file so that it can run in fullscreen & with cycles of 20000 – the game adheres to the settings.
    -the text line in my shortcut target box is:
    “C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.74\DOSBox.exe” “C:\dosgames\Warcraft\WAR2CD.BAT” -conf “C:\dosgames\warcraft\dosbox.conf” -exit -fullscreen
    -the last line of autoexec in .conf files looks like this:

    # Lines in this section will be run at startup.
    # You can put your MOUNT lines here.
    mount d C:\dosgames\WAR2CD -t cdrom


  6. Im here too inform you that you can download basically warcraft ii @ war2custom.com. The game has been modified to be smaller in size 13.3 mb for large quantity of downloads and online game play on our pvp server.

    The game is now a simple download thats compatible with xp/vista/win7 (no mac sorry) and is simple as that. We have a small community of online gamers, we average about 60-100 players on at all times 24/7.

    So what are you waiting for? Forget campaigns, thats old school! Come download our game @ war2custom.com and get competitive on our online server and play on teams. Ladders,Tournaments,Forums And more.

    Also “New” War2Combat Map Editor has been released in our downloads section. Go to our downloads page to get it. Combat Edition Nor Editor require any kind of cd or cd-key. Make your own maps and try them online.

    My online game username is NaTE. Add me if you like!

  7. Hey, Adam Thank you so much for your tutorial! I’ve spent the last hour reading all of the posts trying to figure out this issue. Ive not had to put in commands in MSDOS type stuff since i worked on a Commodor 64 when i was 10 so bear with me here.

    Ok yesterday i followed the instructions, downloaded dosbox(i downloaded version.74) and then when i got to the point of the icon, i could not find the .conf file, there appears not to be one. So how would i go about accessing the game? i do have a cd, what kind of commands can i use? if i just have the commands i dont mind not having an icon.

    Thanks in advance if anyone would like to help me out.

  8. Ok anyone useing XP and cant find the Conf file, Go to your start menu go to the dosbox on the menu and then on that menu click the options(it will look like a file) then DOSBOX 0.74 options, that will open the conf file you need :)

    So im going to go continue the instructions thanks everyone,
    I found this tip on http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/Dosbox.conf

  9. Unfortunatly it still didn’t work because of the second step where you put the text in the “target box” not sure what you mean by that. Tried where you rename the file, tried in DOSBOX and couldnt find a Target area in the conf file. Please help with this.

  10. So i did every step you told me to do and after i click install it gets to 17% and sais the following: One of the installed files did not copy correctly. The checksum was not what it should be. You may have a bad input file. Please tell me where i go from here i really want to play this game i just found it today ive lost it for the longest time.

  11. That is absolutely horrible…….. I tried to play it on my other computer and it installed immediately
    but every time i click play warcraft 2 the screen goes black like its about to start and then it goes back to the option to play warcraft 2.

  12. I do everything that the instructions say, but when I click on the icon it opens just DOSBox and not the game. And, when I type the command in to start it, it doesn’t start. I can easily start the game from the beginning without making an icon, but I can’t start the game a second time without reinstalling DOSBox and starting from the beginning. Please help!

  13. Adam,
    I recently purchased WarCraft II Tides of Darkness (TOD) and the expansion set. I loaded DOSBOX as the seller from ebay that I bought it from, among other sellers as well, metioned I would need it to run the game on a newer system like mine, which is Windows XP. So, I (not really knowledgeable with computer hardware or software) installed Tides of Darkness. Once I got playing the game, after about 3-4 scenarios, the screen (while in live game mode) would go black and return to desktop. This happened several times but I was always able to load game back on and continue play. It has reached a point now where I can’t progress or finish from the current scenario. I went ahead and installed the expansion set thinking the problem was specific to the TOD and hoping not the expansion set. I was wrong. It happened a few times and now several times to the point where I can’t progress from the current scenario I’m currently playing. I would really appreciate your help and no I haven’t tried installing the games exactly how you lay out above.

  14. Lol. When I changed windows XP for windows 7, I thought i would never be able to play warcraft 2 anymore. Then, i found that website who explained how to make warcraft 2 compatible. It took 3-4 hours before I could finally make it work but I got it and its all that matter. Thanks a lot for the tricks and solutions. I’m gonna play warcraft 2 and have a good laugh at the old times, when i was playing as a kid.

  15. I have everything working smoothly, i even installed the ipx protocol on my vista computer.
    I’ve managed to create a game on the server and join a game on the client they are communicating finally, however, i can’t start the game, the Start Game button is greyed out, whats happening how do i fix it?

  16. i have downloaded war 2 already installed an i did what you said but it doesn’t work…when i want to ply it appears a black screen and then it comes back to windows…what should i do?

  17. I too am having trouble locating the custom puds that I create or download, while using dosbox.
    If I chose the custom game option, I am only given the built in custom games.
    I have come up with a work around.
    1) start the game directly from the WAR 2 directory, (not using dosbox)
    2) select one of the custom games
    3) start the game
    4) save it.
    5) end game
    6) start game using dosbox
    7) load the saved game and continue from there, with smooth scrolling and sound.
    It would be nice to be able to skip a few steps.

  18. I have the problem of not being able to go to fullscreen mode.
    I am using parallels desktop on mac and i have a win xp running as a virtual machine.
    can u help me and say how can i enter full screen?
    alt enter doesnt seem to work

  19. Can someone tell me how can i fix ”Waiting for Response” problem with connecting over LAN to my friends host?

  20. I don’t know exactly what the problem is, but I made a really awesome scenario that I want to run but don’t know how. I am told that on the menu, you can click single player game, then custom scenario, but there is no custom scenario button for me and I dont see any other way to browse for or open a pud file. have any advice or solutions? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

  21. Hi, I am new to this But have, after 3 installations, finally got warcraft 2 to work.

    Now I would really like to play the map editor.
    I am using windows xp sp3
    I have the cdrom auto mount. The get into the c: drive and into War2 (Normally I would type war2 here to start game)
    If I type in War2edit I get “This program requires microsoft windows”
    War2ed95 I get “This program won’t run in dos mode”

    Any help would Be awesome.

    I would like to thank you for the Blog.
    I have been trying to get this game to work for Years.
    So thanks in Advance.

  22. Hi, people!

    Has anyone found a way to play the cd music without the CD?
    I mean, copying the audio tracks to the HD and modifying the
    installation somehow…


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