0Settlers IIResurrecting a very old post: VGA fix for Settlers 2

Thanks to a request by dhd in a com­ment on the down­loads page, I decided to go look­ing through backups of my old web­sites.  Below is a pos­ted I wrote around 200304 about how to fix prob­lems with run­ning the game Set­tlers 2 on Win­dows XP.  I’m pretty cer­tain the same wont work on new­er ver­sions of Win­dows sadly, but for those XP users still out there who want to play your (very) old copy of Set­tlers 2 — enjoy…


The fol­low­ing inform­a­tion is spe­cific­ally for the Set­tlers 2 Gold Edi­tion, but it should apply equally well to the Set­tlers 2 with the latest update patch (1.51) which can be down­loaded from Blue­byte

How to run it

The set­tlers 2 will run nat­ively in Win­dows XP. How­ever, on some con­fig­ur­a­tions it is not pos­sible to use high­er res­ol­u­tions. The default refresh rate will also be 60Hz, which with most mon­it­ors is likely to cause eye strain.  (2012 note: this was writ­ten at a time of CRT monitors!)

If you can­’t use any res­ol­u­tions above 640×480 (e.g. if you have a GeForce 4 Ti4xxx video card) you need “VGA Fix for Win­dows XP” by Simon Hradecky of NOMISSOFT GmbH or AXVGA by Ken Sil­ver­man. Down­load them from the down­loads page.  Please be warned that this util­ity patches vga.sys and if you exper­i­ence dis­play prob­lems as a res­ult you will not be sup­por­ted by Microsoft, how­ever, I am not aware of any issues caused by this patch. If you exper­i­ence any prob­lems you can run the patch again to unpatch vga.sys.

As with most of the games on this guide the Set­tlers 2 will by default use the low­est refresh rate avail­able. To over-ride this you need a util­ity called UniRe­fresh by Rob Muller. You can down­load ver­sion 1.42 from the down­loads pageI can­not guar­an­tee that the ver­sion hos­ted here is the most up-to-date ver­sion. There are many web­sites that host this util­ity, so to check for the latest ver­sion use a google search.


There are 2 oca­sion­al prob­lems run­ning Set­tlers 2 that I am cur­rently aware of.

1. An error about no COM‑2 port.

This is usu­ally caused because Set­tlers 2 sup­ports two play­ers on 1 com­puter with a split screen mode. It looks for mice on the COM ports but the major­ity of users today have PS2 or USB mice. If you do not have a COM‑2 port enabled on your sys­tem you will get an error. The easi­est solu­tion is to change your COM‑1 port (if you have on) to be COM‑2. Set­tlers 2 seems happy without a COM‑1 port if you have a USB or PS2 mouse.
To change your COM port open device man­ager, and expand “Ports”.
Open the prop­er­ties for COM‑1, select the “port set­tings” tab and click on the “advanced” button.
Change the port to COM2 in the pull-down box, click ok, and click OK again to close the properties.
Close device man­ager and try re-run­ning Set­tlers 2.

2. The game simply wont run with or without the patches.

The first thing to try is re-installing the game. If that does­n’t solve the prob­lem then try dis­abling the in-game sounds.
You should run the game by double-click­ing on “S2.exe”, not “Settler2.exe”.
As a last resort you can try using the “NoLFB” util­ity by Ken Sil­ver­man. Down­load NoLFB from the down­loads page.

For more help, I recom­mend Home of the Underdogs

Cheats & Tips

When you are in the main game screen type the fol­low­ing code (ignore the game win­dows that appear) W I N T E R
A yel­low exclam­a­tion mark in a red circle should appear in the top right corner of the game window
If the code does­n’t work then try T H U N D E R instead.
Press­ing ALT — F7 will reveal the entire map.
Press­ing ALT — F1 to ALT — F6 will change the game speed.
Once the map is revealed you can click on un-occu­pied ter­rit­ory, and if the land is suit­able you will be presen­ted with the option of con­struct­ing anoth­er Headquarters.
If you want access to all of the mis­sions then use a text edit­or (e.g. note­pad) to edit missions.dat in the save directory.
Change the top row of 1’s and 0’s to be all 1’s. You should have a total of 10 1’s.

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