Running Baldur’s Gate on Windows XP

Baldurs Gate 4 in 1After all that talk about travel, I’m kicking this off with something random instead! (This is actually a repost of a note I wrote on facebook a few years ago but I’d like to give it a wider audience.)

Baldur’s Gate is quite possibly my favourite PC game of all time. Back in August 2008 I bought the 4-in-1 boxset to play it again on the laptop I’d recently purchased. I could hardly believe how difficult it was to get it running smoothly on a (then?) high-spec machine. I spent days sifting through forums, tweaking settings and doing multiple installs/uninstalls, until I finally worked how to get it running beautifully:

  1. Install Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast.
  2. Patch with the 5512 (non DX8) patch from here. (Seemingly no longer available from the current Bioware website.) It’s also possible newer re-releases of Baldur’s Gate will include this patch in a folder on the disc.
  3. Patch again with the Widescreen mod from The Gibberling’s Three and set to your desired resolution (1440×900 for me). This is optional but if you do install it you get to see so much more of the map during in-game play, it’s awesome. :D
  4. Go to Start > Run > dxdiag.
  5. Go to the Display tab and disable DirectDraw Acceleration.
  6. Start a new game in Baldur’s Gate.
  7. Go into the Graphic settings and make sure they’re set to 16 bit. (I couldn’t find any success stories from anyone running 32 bit.)
  8. Enable Software Transparent BLT.
  9. DON’T disable Full Screen mode (this gave me heaps of errors).
  10. Optional: up the framerate in Baldur.ini then Config.exe.

My system specs:
Windows XP
2.4 GHz dual processor
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics card