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

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Command and Conquer Generals is one of the most iconic real-time strategy games ever created.
  • Some players are encountering some issues when running the game on modern Windows 10 machines.
  • The main problem with the game points to an ini file that you will need to remake.
  • Another solution implies repairing the registry so read on to learn how to do that.
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 Generalspan on Windows 10, you should have a closer look at our solutions.

How can I fix Command and Conquer: Generals problems?

1. Create a new options.ini file

  1. Go to the following folder: C:UsersusernameDocumentsCommand and Conquer Generals Data
  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 =
  • Gamma = 50
  • IPAddress =
  • 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 a 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.

One of our readers also recommended changing the resolution settings in the options.ini file but creating a new file as instructed in this step will also be able to change the resolution.

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.

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 some limitations and issues like the CD version.

Compatibility issues are common in Windows 10, especially with older games.

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.

3. Update Windows 10

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing the Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. 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 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.

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

4. Modify your registry

  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 the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicessecdrv.
  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 the 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.

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.

If you can’t access the Registry Editor, we’ve got some easy solutions that will certainly help.

5. Use Command Prompt

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

After running this command in Command Prompt, 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.

6. Run the game in Compatibility mode

  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.
  3. Select Windows XP from the list and check Run this program as an administrator.
  4. Now click Apply and OK to save the 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.

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.

7. Copy the game files

  1. Go to the 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.

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.

8. Create a new user profile

  1. Open the Settings app and go to the 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.

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.

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.

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

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • You should be able to run C&C on your Windows 10 with some tweaks, as shown in our guide.

  • C&C: Generals won’t start because of missing files or admin privileges. To create the options.ini file, follow the steps detailed in this guide.

  • If the game isn’t launching, be sure that both your game and Windows 10 are up to date. If you’re unsure how to do this, we’ve provided a step-by-step guide on how to update your game and system.

  • 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.

  • This is a common problem with both Command and Conquer Generals and Zero Hour expansion. The solution is to create an options.ini file like shown above.

  • If this happens, you might want to consider purchasing Command and Conquer Ultimate Collection. Here are the latest offers from EA Origin.

  • This is another common error that users reported. You can find a fix for this error in our troubleshooting guide.

  • If you have the game on CD/DVD, simply insert the disk into your computer and run the installer. Alternatively, if you’ve purchased the game as a digital download but can’t install it, you should try the fixes suggested in our guide on fixing Origin installations.

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THANK YOU SooooO MUUUUCH …. There is nothing more nostalgic than this game for me and i’ve been trying everything to get it to work … ur no.1 solution worked


Thank you very much for sharing this information with our community. I hope other users will use this solution and will let a comment in this section.


none of this works for me
I am trying with a CD version of the Last Decade with Generals/Zero Hour
I am running Windows 10 and tried every compatibility mode
I am at my wits end

for some reason my computer always cracks disc one of this game for both my ultimate and the original CD game and its really frustrating me and the CD version was my friends version and he is not very happy either this has happened with both my computers even though I’ve put them in properly they still crack everytime and its really frustrating and annoying too.

hi i tried to play c&c deluxe edition on Windows10. The computer keeps on asking me to login under administrative privileges and when i do it takes me to the world map. but still cant pay the game. i tried downloading the patches before playing and it also did not work.

I got the collectors edition. And i have an error report if i want to start the game “Make sure that DirectX 8.1 or higher is installed on your computer. In addition, your graphics card must meet the minimum requirements.” My Graphiccard is good enough to play new games on highest quality and i have directX 12. Can you help me?

Change the resolution settings in the options.ini file according to your current screen resolution. I’d the same issue and resolution settings change fixed it for me!

Well i did something but i don’t know if it will work for u ..i had same
problem ,simply i bought new laptop with win10 while old one has win7
and c&C running on it but it isn’t on win10..i did dump thing but i
worked ..i copied “EA Games ” folder in programs file x86 and c&C
file data on “Documents” and paste them on win10 in same directories and
game worked fine without any modifications ..try it and tell me if it