Age Of Empires 2: The Conquerors In A Virtual Windows XP

Published on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 in , ,

When I was young I used to play AOE2: The Conquerors a lot. I think it’s actually 11 years ago when I first played it. Recently I thought I take a peek again and see who’s still playing it online. It used to be available on the MSN gaming zone, but that place has been closed for years. Nowadays you can play it (one of the options) on GameRanger. Really easy and quick.

There is only one room, but it’s quit active:


I started using AoC on my Windows 7 x64 machine, but I had troubles. After enabling compatibility mode (Windows XP SP3) and disabling visual themes and desktop composition (also compat options), the game ran. One of the common issues on Vista and Win7 is the grass which looks like toxic wasteland and the purple water. An easy fix is to just kill “explorer.exe” every time before you launch the game…

Gaming was ok, however every now and then upon launching a multiplayer game, my computer froze completely. Very annoying, and other people really really dislike it when you leave em with one player short.

So I took a Windows XP installation inside a VMware Workstation Virtual Machine on the same box. Less troubles however the names and scores of the players were really unreadable.


After some online searching I found out that if you actually disable your video card driver the issue might go away. As I use this VM only for AoE that is a highly acceptable workaround. To disable it open the display properties by right clicking on your desktop and choosing properties. Navigate to the “settings” tab.


Choose advanced


Choose properties


Make sure to set the setting to “Do not use this device (disable)”


Click yes when asked for a reboot. The result?:



VMware Workstation: Bridged Networking: No Internet in VM

Published on in ,

Mostly when I’m working with VM’s on my desktop I do not really require internet access from inside the VM. Whatever I need I download on my host and I drag and drop it into the VM. Lately I started playing Age Of Empires 2: The Conquerors again, and due to instability I wanted to play it inside a Windows XP VM. When I configured my VM its network as bridged, it received a DHCP address from my router, it could ping the router, but DNS requests were not succeeding. Weird. Started binging around and I came upon this: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/250656?tstart=210#1454201

As a (free, x64 compatible) alternative to the Cisco VPN client I sometimes use Shrew Soft VPNClient. It binds its protocol to your LAN adapter. When I unchecked it from my LAN adapter on my host, bridged internet connectivity immediately started working.

  • My VMware Workstation version: 7.0.0 build-203739
  • My host OS version: Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (build 7600)