Command and Conquer: Generals won’t run on Windows 10 [FULL FIX]

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how to solve Command and Conquer: Generals won't run on Windows 10

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Command and Conquer Generals is a popular real-time strategy game released back in 2003, so it’s expected to have some issues with Windows 10.

If you’re having problems with Command and Conquer Generals on Windows 10, you should have a closer look at our solutions.

How can I solve problems with Command and Conquer: Generals?

Command and Conquer Generals is a great game, but many Windows 10 users reported that they are unable to run it on their PC. This game also has other issues with Windows 10, and here’s the list of issues that other users reported:

  • Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour won’t start – Many users reported that Zero Hour expansion pack won’t start on their PC at all. If you’re having that problem, feel free to try any solution from this article.
  • Command and Conquer Generals not launching – If the game isn’t launching, be sure that both your game and Windows 10 are up to date. Installing the latest updates should remove any incompatibility issues that you might have with the game.
  • Command and Conquer Generals please login with administrator privileges and try again – This problem can appear if you’re not using an administrator account to start the game. To fix this problem, you can simply create a new administrator account or just force the game to run with administrative privileges.
  • Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour opens then closes, black screen then exit – This is a common problem with both Command and Conquer Generals and Zero Hour expansion. To fix the problem, you need to modify your options.ini file. Many users reported that this worked for them, so be sure to try it out.
  • Command and Conquer Generals you have encountered a serious error – Sometimes you might encounter this error message while trying to run Command and Conquer. If this happens, you might want to consider purchasing Command and Conquer Ultimate Collection.
  • Command and Conquer Generals keeps minimizing – This is another common error that users reported. However, you might be able to solve it simply by running the game in Compatibility mode.

If you want to fix issues with Command and Conquer Generals on Windows 10 you can try one of these solutions.

Solution 1 – Create a new options.ini file

First thing we’re going to do is modifying one game file a little bit. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Go to C:\Users\username\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data folder
  2. Inside it create a new text file called options and paste the following into it:
  • AntiAliasing = 1
  • CampaignDifficulty = 0
  • DrawScrollAnchor =
  • FirewallBehavior = 1
  • FirewallNeedToRefresh = FALSE
  • FirewallPortAllocationDelta = 0
  • GameSpyIPAddress = 10.0.0.2
  • Gamma = 50
  • IPAddress = 10.0.0.2
  • IdealStaticGameLOD = Low
  • LanguageFilter = false
  • MoveScrollAnchor =
  • MusicVolume = 0
  • Resolution = 1024 768
  • Retaliation = yes
  • SFX3DVolume = 79
  • SFXVolume = 71
  • ScrollFactor = 16
  • SendDelay = no
  • StaticGameLOD = High
  • UseAlternateMouse = no
  • UseDoubleClickAttackMove = no
  • VoiceVolume = 70
  1. Save the file and change the extension of your file from .txt to .ini. To do this, you must enable file extensions for known type of files. Right click the options.txt file and choose Rename from the list. Now rename it from options.txt to options.ini.
  2. After creating new options.ini file you can patch the game to version 1.04 if you want.
  3. Try starting the game and see if it works.

For a better gaming experience, we recommend downloading Game Fire (free). It will help with various gaming issues, such as freezes, crashes, low FPS, lags and slow PC.


Solution 2 – Buy Command and Conquer Ultimate Collection

If you own Command and Conquer Generals on a CD your game might not work on Windows 10 due to some compatibility issues, and then the only solution is to purchase Command and Conquer Ultimate Collection or just buy the digital version.

The digital version doesn’t come with same limitations and issues like the CD version.

Compatibility issues are common in Windows 10, especially with older games. But most of the developers still didn’t release an official word if their ‘older’ games will become compatible with Microsoft’s newest operating system.

However, if everything else fails, you can always run Command and Conquer Generals on a virtual machine. If you’re interested in the best virtual machines for Windows 10, check out this article.


Solution 3 – Update Windows 10

If Command and Conquer Generals won’t work on your Windows 10 PC, you might want to try updating it. Even though Windows 10 is a solid operating system, certain bugs and glitches can occur.

Microsoft is working hard to fix those bugs, and if you want your PC to be bug-free, it’s important to keep it up to date.

To make things easier, Windows 10 already automatically checks for updates, so you won’t have to do that manually. However, due to certain errors, you might skip an important update.

On the bright side, you can always check for updates manually by doing the following:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that quickly by pressing Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to Update & Security section.
    Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour opens then closes
  3. Now you’ll see the status of your PC and the last time you checked for updates. Click Check for updates button.
    Command and Conquer Generals you have encountered a serious error

Windows will now check for updates and download them in the background. After downloading the updates, they will be installed as soon as you restart your PC. Once your PC is up to date, check if the problem still appears.

If you experience any issues when checking for updates or if the Check for updates button is missing, take a look at this guide to make sure that you will solve the problem quickly.


If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.


Solution 4 – Modify your registry

According to users, you are unable to run Command and Conquer Generals on your PC because SafeDisc DMR feature is disabled. However, you can enable this feature by making few changes to your registry. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter regedit. Click OK or press Enter.
    Command and Conquer Generals please login with administrator privileges and try again
  2. In the left pane, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\secdrv.
  3. In the right pane, you should see secdrv DWORD, double click it to open its properties.
  4. Set its Value data to 2 and click OK to save changes.
  5. Close Registry Editor.

After doing that, check if the problem is resolved. Keep in mind that this solution won’t work for you unless you can access the key from Step 2. If you don’t have this key on your PC, you can just skip this solution.


Can’t access the Registry Editor? Don’t worry, we’ve got some easy solutions that will certainly help.


Solution 5 – Use Command Prompt

If Command and Conquer Generals won’t run on your PC, you might be able to fix this problem simply by running a single command from Command Prompt. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. In the Windows search box type cmd, right-click the first result and the select Run as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter sc config secdrv start= auto and press Enter to run it.
    Command and Conquer Generals keeps minimizing

After doing that, you should be able to run Command and Conquer on your PC.


If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.


Solution 6 – Run the game in Compatibility mode

Windows 10 is a new operating system, and sometimes older applications might not work properly with it. Fortunately, Windows has a useful feature called Compatibility mode that might be able to fix this problem.

This feature allows you to run older applications on your PC, and it might be able to help you with some older applications. To use Compatibility mode, do the following:

  1. Locate Command and Conquer Generals shortcut, right click it and choose Properties from the menu.
    Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour won't start
  2. Now go to Compatibility tab and check Run this program in compatibility mode for. Select Windows XP from the list and check Run this program as an administrator. Now click Apply and OK to save changes.
    Command and Conquer Generals not launching

After doing that, try starting Command and Conquer again and check if the problem still persists. Although Compatibility mode is a useful feature, it’s not a universal solution, so it might not be able to fix your problem with Command and Conquer.


Solution 7 – Copy the game files

According to users, they managed to fix the problem with Command and Conquer Generals simply by copying a couple of game files. This sounds like a peculiar solution, but several users reported that it works, so you might want to try it out.

To perform this solution, do the following:

  1. Go to game’s installation directory.
  2. Locate game.dat file and create a copy of that file in the same directory.
  3. Now delete the original game.dat file.
  4. Rename the copied game.dat file to game.dat.
  5. Now locate generals.exe, create a copy, remove the original and rename the copy to generals.exe.

After doing that, try to start the game again. Several users reported that this solution worked for them, so feel free to try it out.


Solution 8 – Create a new user profile

According to users, you might be able to fix this problem simply by creating a new user profile. Sometimes your user profile can become corrupted causing this and many other problems to occur. To create a new user profile, simply do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Accounts section.
    Command and Conquer Generals keeps minimizing
  2. In the left pane, select Family & other people. In the right pane, choose Add someone else to this PC.
    Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour won't start
  3. Now select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Command and Conquer Generals not launching
  4. Now choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    Command and Conquer Generals please login with administrator privileges and try again
  5. Enter the desired name and click Next.
    Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour black screen then exit

After doing that, switch to a new user profile and try to install Command and Conquer Generals again. If you’re experiencing issues with your Microsoft account, take a look here to solve them.


Windows 10 is playing tricks on you and won’t let you add a new account? Keep it in check with this guide.


Are you also experiencing problems with older games in Windows 10? And is there any game you’re not able to play since the upgrade? Tell us in the comments.

Don’t forget to leave there any other questions you may have and we’ll be sure to take a look.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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