Tiberian Sun on Windows 7

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Tiberian Sun is known to have some issues running on newer operating systems especially Windows 7 or Windows Vista. This is understandable as the game was released way back in 1999… I’ve compiled a list of steps below that will cover the majority of potential issues you might encounter running Tiberian Sun on Windows 7. Make sure you see the list of possible errors at the bottom of this post if you’re still experiencing errors after following these steps!

  1. Make sure you have the TFD freeware version installed. The freeware First Decade version of Tiberian Sun comes fully patched and includes both Tiberian Sun and Firestorm. It is also bundled with a few patch files that set you up for online play so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be using it at your main installation of the game. You can get the First Decade version from one of the links here.
  2. Make sure the game is installed in the right directory. The First Decade version of Tiberian Sun expects to be downloaded in C:\Program Files\. Your full game path should be as follows:
    C:\Program Files\EA Games\Command & Conquer The First Decade\Command & Conquer(tm) Tiberian Sun(tm)\SUN
    If you don’t have the game installed in this directory the included shortcuts and registry patch will not work. You can simply move your extracted EA Games folder to C:\Program Files\ if it isn’t there already.
  3. Set ALL game executables to run as Admin with Windows 98 compatibility mode. Right click on your game.exe and SUN.exe files in your SUN directory, then go to compatibility and select run as administrator and run with Windows 98 compatibility. Make sure you do this for both of these files.
  4. Start the game from the Game.exe. If you’re running the game from a shortcut instead, make sure the shortcut points to this file and is being run as administrator with Windows 98 compatibility.

There are a few other issues you may run into when installing/playing the game. See these posts on the respective issues for solutions to some of the common problems you may encounter:

  • One or more DLL files were missing or damaged. Please reinstall.This issue is related to improper installation of Tiberian Sun. See the Tiberian Sun DLL files missing or damaged post for details on how to fix your installation.
  • Failed to initialize. Please reinstall. This issue is related to compatibility issues with newer operating systems. See the Tiberian Sun Failed to initialize post for details on how to resolve these compatibility issues.
  • Westwood online support library is missing or invalid. This error is caused by issues with your Westwood internet components installation or registeration. See the Westwood online support library is missing or invalid post for details on how to fix your internet components installation.

If you’ve followed the above steps and are still having issues running Tiberian Sun on Windows 7, please post in the comments below. To increase your chances of a solution being found include as much detail as possible (which version of the game you’re running, what operating system you have, what video card you have and steps to reproduce the issue). Screenshots are also very useful!

    December 15, 2012 at 8:13 am

    i downloaded tiberian sun command and conquer for windows 7. when i try to open it says you must run this game from its install directory.i tried what you said but it is still not working

      Thanks for the comment. I just updated the instructions above because they were a bit vague. This is what worked for me (I’m running Windows 7 64 bit):

      1. Download Tiberian Sun from: http://www.fileplanet.com/210105/210000/fileinfo/Command-&-Conquer:-Tiberian-Sun—Full-Game-Client
      2. Go into the sun directory: EA Games\Command & Conquer The First Decade\Command & Conquer(tm) Tiberian Sun(tm)\SUN
      3. Right click on Game.exe -> properties -> compatibility -> Windows 98 / Windows Me compatibility & Run as Administrator
      4. Start Tiberian Sun from Game.exe

      This is from a fresh install of the game from the above link with no previous installations on my machine. I hope that helps.

        July 23, 2013 at 4:44 am

        Where is compatability? I have windows 7 64 bit. There in no compatability that i can find under properties

          After right clicking on your Game.exe and selecting properties you should see the compatibility tab at the top of the window. See the circled area in this sample image.

            July 24, 2013 at 8:44 am

            My properties tab only has general, sharing, secuirty, previous versions and customize.

            Other programs, and the launcher from the desktop actually has compatibilty. I’m going to try that. But, the game application file in the folder itself doesn’t for some reason.


        July 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        Hi. Thanks for the advice. I’m now up and running but am encountering random crashes. One glitch is if I select options shortly after the game has started..easily avoidable but the other I completely random. I’m running win 7 on Samsung laptop model:np915s3g

        January 6, 2018 at 9:11 pm


    May 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Thanks it has worked.. Thank you thank you… :D

    July 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I bought the ultimate bundle and dl it. I am typing from my wife’s iPad because I don’t want to turn off my computer(other dl in progress). the game runs but the menus don’t show up. I am stuck and cannot get out of the game. Is there a keyboard command to abort? And how do I get theme us to show up? I am running it on my laptop which is windows7 64bit. Thanks

      First make sure you’re running the game with Windows 98 compatibility and have run as administrator checked off. If you’re still having the menu issues see this youtube video that might cover your issue: http://youtu.be/3tMxSELxEH8

        July 24, 2013 at 9:00 am

        I can change the compatibility from the launch icon on the desktop, but not in the folder. It still goes through the Origin cloud sync. Windows 95 and 98 don’t work, cause a crash error. I’ve tried XP with SP 3 and 2, and I’ve tried changing resolution. In Tiberiun Sun, the gameplay is fine, the movies are fine, but I don’t have the menus. In Red Alert, the colors are wrong and the movies aren’t good quality (have greens and reds around the characters, etc). I’ve tried the resolution and compatibility with both games. no fix.

          Are you by any chance running the game on Windows 8? If you are, there a few extra steps that you have to follow. See this thread for some possible solutions.

            September 7, 2013 at 10:56 am

            No, I have Windows 7 64bit Home Premium :-/

    hi, my english is not very good, cause im from Venezuela, … When i click on Run as administrator with Windows 98 compatibility,., The game start..,. but he seid “Please the tiberian sun cd into drive”….

    im a big fan of tiberian! please help me!

      That’s odd. The freeware version doesn’t ask me to insert the CD. There are two possible options here:

      • If you DON’T have the freeware version of Tiberian Sun you can get it from the Tiberian Sun Freeware post and try again.
      • If you DO have the freeware version and are still getting this error you might be running into the rare case described here. If the exe posted there works for you please let me know.
    Raza Ali Kazmi
    November 9, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I just wanted to thank you guys. I download Tiberian Sun from the link you provided (First Decade Version) and then i followed the instructions in points 1-4. It works wonders. Many thanks guys.

      Happy to help :) Thanks for the kind words.

    Wei Lit
    November 13, 2013 at 5:47 am

    I have downloaded the game and followed the steps above. However, my screen turns dark when i launch the application for a while, and it jumps back to my desktop. I trying going back to the application by selecting it at the toolbar below my screen, the same thing happens. Any advice?

      Wei Lit
      November 13, 2013 at 5:48 am

      Sorry for my grammar btw.

        Hi Wei,

        Sorry for the delay. Can you post whether you’re on Windows 7 64bit or 32bit, where you got the game from and what video card you’re using? I haven’t heard of this issue before, and the only related article I could find was specific to a mod of Tiberian Sun, not the original game:

        My best guesses for the cause of the issue at this point are either that you haven’t properly set up compatibility mode for the game, or you’re using a version other than the patched TFD version.

    January 15, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Hello, I can run the game as well with the menus but the will nto stretch over the screen for no reason. I click on options and instead of a box of options I see only the line from the top to the bottom…so basically I cant operate anything….

    Is there any idea how to fix this issue? Thanks.

      Are you running on Windows 8? If so check out this post first. Also if you could send me some screenshots that would be super helpful!

    January 17, 2014 at 9:55 am

    It works now, I just have to wait for the menus for like 20 secs or so but the game works now in Win7 as well, many thanks for your quick reaction, response and willingness to help ;)

    Best regards


    January 20, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    I am having an issue where the menu’s are not loading. The game loads up fine, but when the menus pop up and you click them, the menus have issues and you cant see them, but you can hear the mouse-over noises. Can’t seem to figure this one out. I have the same issue with Red Alert 2. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance. I have Windows 7 64-bit.

      Two things to try off the bat:

      1. Wait a few seconds (see the comments just above this one)
      2. Try installing the Windows 8 fix

      If you could send me a screenshot of it too that would be very helpful :)

        January 20, 2014 at 6:33 pm

        1. Did that. Nothing.
        2. This worked!!! Great! Thanks dude!

          Thanks for being so thorough! I’ll add that to the solution for people who have menu issues.

            January 20, 2014 at 7:34 pm

            You’re welcome. Any idea on how to fix the same issue with Red Alert 2?

            I believe the same patch will work. Red Alert 2 probably uses one or more of those dll libraries, which is why it encounters the same problem pre-patch

            January 20, 2014 at 11:58 pm

            Okay cool. Going to try it in the morning. I’m downloading it now (uninstalled because I couldn’t get it working). Thanks for your help! I’ll let you know the outcome.

    March 28, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Hello all, I bought Tiberian Sun and it will not install from the disks onto my laptop. Running Windows 7 Professional. When I click on install the screen goes black and the a box popsup with DirectX error. Can not get it sorted. All help will be apreciated.

      Hmm, can you please send me the full DirectX error message that you get? Also what version of DirectX do you have installed currently?

      Edit: Also consider using the freeware install instead of installing from disc. The freeware version is the most recent version of the game and comes with several compatibility patches already installed. You can get it from one of the links here: http://www.thegameengine.org/tiberian-sun/tiberian-sun-freeware-download/

        March 28, 2014 at 2:15 pm

        Hi, alexgophermix, the message is as follows: Action not supported and I am running Direct X 10. I will also follow your advice on the download version thanks

          Let me know if this works for you. I haven’t heard of this DirectX error with Tiberian Sun before. If reinstalling Tiberian Sun doesn’t work there’s a chance that the problem is actually that you have a corrupted/out of date DirectX install and you may want to consider reinstalling it. Also make sure you update your video drivers as well.

    August 13, 2014 at 1:03 am

    I’ve followed your steps for getting Tib Sun to work – before I altered the compatibility modes of the two .exe’s, I was getting the game loading with sound and all, but just a black screen. Now that I’ve changed their compatibility to Windows 98/ME, It’s not loading at all. I’m using Windows 7 64 bit, any help you could give would be great, thanks.

      Sorry for the delay. Are you using the TFD freeware version of the game? The CD install I think requires a few patches before it’ll work on Win 7 for some people.

      Edit: Also for many people the exe have to set to run as admin as well as 98 compatibility or you’ll get startup crashes like that.

    September 14, 2014 at 5:45 am


    Hi All
    What worked for me: Origin The Ultimate collection Tiberian Sun with Firestorm.
    Tried on it 2 machines so far, i7 windows 7 professional 64bit and an i5 Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit.

    No mods or unofficial patches to get it up and running.

    After origin installed the game,
    I set all 4 exe’s to Win XP SP3 Compatibility mode, and run as administrator.
    Set entire install folder to “not” read only

    Then I created a sun.ini in the install folder, with the following lines.


    The rest gets populated once the game starts up.
    Please set the resolution as your pc resolution, my i7 used 1920×1080

    I had the biggest issue where it would keep telling me unable to set video mode.
    Seems to be that windows 7 can’t handle whatever resolution it tries to start up in.

      Thanks so much for posting your solution!

    Jordan Daniels
    November 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    I need help I’m running Windows 7 professional. I have done windows 98 and am running it as an administrator. sadly when I load the game and get to the main menu and choose new campaign a line appears and nothing happens. I can click esc and it returns back. Basically I cant actually start and campaign

    November 10, 2014 at 11:19 am

    How can i set the game’s aspect ratio to 16:9?

      Edit the “sun.ini” in your game install folder, Manually edit the ScreenWidth and ScreenHeight to whatever resolution you choose.

    December 14, 2014 at 11:19 pm


    I am running Windows 7 (How do you find bit?). I am not incredibly tech Savvy, but I’ll try figure out any solutions you may have.

    I have tried downloading my C&CTS discs that I bought back when the game came out. It installs fine, but when I click to play no Menu loads period. I have been reading your suggested fixes and downloaded the Freeware version (minus the videos to save space and time, let me know if maybe that is the issue). I downloaded from the link provided above, http://cnc-comm.com/community/index.php?topic=2119.0. Now the menu does pull up but when I click on New Campaign nothing happens.

    I have tried setting the “exe” files to Windows 98 and XP as well as checking Run as Administrator on both my disc download and freeware download. I do not have a “ini” file folder to try changing the resolution there unless I am either looking in the wrong place or its labeled as something else.

    Thanks for the help.

      It’s possible the game isn’t starting the campaign because you didn’t download the videos (they would play right at the start of the campaign I think)

    December 15, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    That’s what I was thinking as well, so I downloaded the videos, (did no download the online applications as I don’t play online), as well last night after that message. Since downloading them I am now able to access the .ini file. I followed the youtube video that was linked earlier in this thread. I did everything shown there. Updated .ini file with:


    Also added the second screen resolution shown in that video as well.

    Once I updated all this info this is now what I am experiencing. The Westwood Logo and game selection menu will load in my full screen. Once I select either TS or FS the screen shrinks in resolution and the menu will pop up. When I select New Campaign in TS nothing happens. I minimize TS and pull up the task manager, when I go back to the minimized game the menu is gone and I can click around and the button noises sound as if the menu is there, but nothing happens.

    When I do the same thing in Firestorm, when I click around it will show a movie (tried twice and saw a movie with 5 guys from the brotherhood and another video showing a woman at a video screen). After the videos are done it says establishing battlefield control. I then hear my forces show up and respond to my clicks but the screen is blank.

    It seems I am closer to resolving my issue but would appreciate any other suggestions you may have.


      December 16, 2014 at 11:23 pm


      Been playing around with the settings I was able to fix the menu issues. I can now get into a game but I am now receiving a “main exe has stopped working” error message.

      Also, Windows 98 pulls up a half screen with the wrong colors and images that I can barely make out. All other options like XP and such have the right colors but the speed of the intro is super fast and that error pops up and kicks me out of the game right away.

    January 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I have a lot of experience with this game. (many years) It is also perhaps the biggest b***h of a game i have ever encountered in my life. This is mainly because of the wretched internal error. Save often in single player/skirmish, and get ready for dissapointment with lan gaming. This is either because of the damn internal error/exe has stopped working (on newer systems) to the god damn reconnection error. (I’ve yet to see this error in Win 7 yet, although this is due to the almost guaranteed internal error/exe crash) Now to those of you who do not know. This game was packaged and sold unfinished thanks to the EA buyout of Westwood at the time. This meant the game was littered with bugs and problems. The official patches worked to help address these issues of course, however it was not enough. So understand that to get this game to have any chance of working without error… (like my old system) You need 1, a single core computer. Quad cores can also work but i don’t recommend it. DO NOT use an AMD dual core at all. 2. A graphics card that is not too good. (the older the better) 3. Direct X 9c. This means XP is the better choice of OS. Also you can (and should) turn off graphics and 3D acceleration and set sound acceleration to basic. (unlike bloody win 7’s Direct X 11) 4. Play a reliable map like Forest fires. Certain maps (including some solo maps) are known to cause crashes due to the design. (probably a result of rushing what should have been the 3rd quality game of the series) Most maps seem to be bad and trigger internal errors sadly. But a few work ok at least. At the very least you can try your hand at making your own maps with Finalsun. It can be quite rewarding and fun. 5. You NEED two files. 1. To have wsock.dll in your game folder (lan patch to help prevent the wretched reconnection error) 2. You need ddraw.dll. This means you need windows XP. If you use this file on Windows 7. You will get a black screen on load up. If you don’t have it. Then you are susceptible to the horrible waveclass error which triggers the GOD damn internal error. (You will know this error from the loopback laser fire sounds) Currently i have this problem almost every game myself from since i got this new system with Win 7 64 Home edition. I have followed all the advice here and it makes no difference whatsoever. The only useful thing being admin mode allowed seen as the game won’t start without it. The waveclass error is screwing me 99% of the time and i strongly suspect the nvidia graphics card i have does not help matters either. (gtx 650 i think) Now of course as a player vs player, it can be avoided if no one builds the small NOD laser turret. However the AI on the mod i prefer to play tend to love building them a lot. I believe the fast scroll may some how help trigger the waveclass error too. So try to avoid fast scrolling over AI NOD bases too. Other than this good luck trying to get this working without error on Win 7. If anyone knows of a waveclass error fix patch for WIN 7 i will be eternally grateful.

    All the best.


    P.S: Emulation software may be a solution for win vista + users. But i have never tested it. I may need to at this rate though. -_- lol

    Note* Lan gamers, make sure Tiberian sun is allowed in the firewall. Or you will not see the other players. ;)

    Note 2* Try to avoid minimizing the game to windows if possible. Also never play a LAN game right after a single player skirmish. If you play single player and want to LAN after. Then close and restart the game. (this is important in my experience)

    Note 3* If making maps on Finalsun. Try not to make small/medium maps with 8 players in. My experience tells me at least 1 player will get a game crash. (if not all) If you want to make an 8 player map. I suggest nothing smaller than 128×108. (never make maps larger than 128×128) Also NEVER put objects over the red lines on the editor. Finally, some objects or combos (objects stuck in terrain) can and will cause internal errors if they are in the map. So if you suspect one is in your map. Don’t use it. Remember to save often.

    Ok i’m really going now. So again, good luck everybody.

    Gonna get that kettle on. ;)

      January 9, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      Forgive me for i made a slight error in my post. The lan patch is actually called wsock32.dll.

    January 9, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Also i should clarify that like wsock32.dll. ddraw.dll needs to be in the game directory. Also disabling direct 3D and/or graphics acceleration in dxdiag may make the game fail to load if i remember correct. If so, ignore this advice and only change the sound to basic acceleration. On a final note, Sun.exe is the exe file that always worked best for me. I have yet to ever get Game.exe to work on any machine i have ever tryed without an internal error. So i do not understand the basis for this advice in this topic.


    January 10, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Ok, moving forward here. I believe i have found a fix for the waveclass error on Windows 7 machines. I did some further research and testing and tested a map and setup that had always crashed on me before. I just played a 7 hour + game and no error. Since i could not use ddraw.dll. i instead did this next trick and seemingly got the same result. I will explain in detail what i did today.

    Firstly i uninstalled this mod i use and deleted the copy of the first decade that i had. I then got the download of TFD via the link on this webpage and extracted it to the program files folder. I then did everything else on the list at the top of this page to the letter. Once extracted i ran the reg file included in the download. I allowed the changes to the registry and i then added wsock32.dll to the game folder. I also installed the mod at this point and added my own custom maps folder. (A place i keep the maps i have made) I then opened up regedit and went to -> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System and set the EnableLUA key to a 0 value. I then opened Sun.ini and added the line -> VideoBackBuffer=no to the section labelled Video and saved the file into the game directory and replaced the old one. I then ran the game from the newly created game.exe shortcut. I went into skirmish mode, and once the game was set, i loaded her up. In game i changed the graphics detail from high to medium. Now the game seemingly works a treat. No laggs either despite being against 7 AI teams. :D :D :D

    A piece of advice though. MAKE SURE you re-enable the registry value that i told you to change once you have done with it. (It is important for the integrity of Windows 7 security)

    Hope this is helpful to you guys.


      Are you sure that this isn’t just the main menu that shows this issue? From what I remember the menu will never be full screen width but in game should be fine

    Mohamed Amgad
    June 28, 2015 at 6:02 am

    i want to play online and i found this msg plz can you help me — the westwood online support library is either missing or invalid please reinstall the shared internet components from your cd

    November 24, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Hi, im already installing tiberian suns and its successfully installed on my computer. however, when im already inside the game and im click on the menu, I cannot move the the next menu (sub-menu). nothing happen (I already wait for 1 minutes above). actually it already to the next sub-menu but i cannot see the sub-menu completely.

    PS: im already running on win 98 both for game.exe and suns.exe
    and my windows is WINDOWS 7 64Bits.
    please your help.

    thank you very much

    February 2, 2016 at 4:52 am

    What you must do is. Install the game. Ones the shortcut is on your descktop rite click properties, compatibility run in windows 95. Mode and select run as administrator apply ok. Open the game and it wil work

    AFTER INSTALLING I moved the whole folder (westwood) from the C Drive to C:\Program Files and ran the game.exe as administration and worked first time My OS is Windows 7 The install was with the two CD Discs Tiberian Sun and Firestorm

    Hello , I am using WIndows 7 Home premium (SP1) and i follow steps but when i try to save the file and dialog doesnot appear , after I click Windows button it will appear ? Can you help me .. Please Help me ..

    Why Win10...WHY?
    June 8, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Hi, Thanks for the instructions but I am havuing some issues. I am running Windows 10 (64bit) and have followed your instructions to the letter. While the game boots up perfectly I run into trouble when I click the menu opetions. The new menu window does not appear. If I click randomly where I think the buttons should be I can get into the campaign, but the screen stays black (I can hear the game playing in the background). The screen only changes when I open the menu (esc) and close again (esc). However this only acts as a refresh, so I get a ‘snapshot’ or still of what is actually happening. Any ideas on this? Thanks

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