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Get KOTOR 1/2 Working on Vista and Windows 7

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Hey folks, I've read quite a few threads of folks having trouble with their use of Original CD Versions of KotOR 1 & 2.  In order to simplify things, I've decided to create this handy - all-in-one thread of how to install KotOR if you're using Vista or Windows 7. This is should NOT be used if you're dealing with the Steam version of KotOR or KoTOR2.
This thread is mostly a cut and paste job put together from sources from both here and at LucasForums. This is what I personally use to install the games when I'm doing a fresh install. Credit for these instructions should go to RenegadeSniper7, Astrotoy, Q, and alinadem. Blame to should go to me in case I've royally screwed things up in putting this thread together. This will be a locked thread as I've not the time to respond to the multitude of question this thread should create.

Definitive Order of Installation and Fixes for the Original CD Versions of KotOR 1 & 2 - NOT the Collection DVDs! (Also Works for Windows 7):

Before we begin . . .

OK, first and foremost:
If you are using a no-CD crack for whatever reason, you do so at your own risk. It's not our fault that it's crashing the game, so STOP PESTERING US! (It may very well lead to a permanent ban from the site too!)
In other words: If you're using a crack, DON'T EVEN BOTHER TRYING TO ASK US FOR HELP.

This initial tip is courtesy of Deadly Stream forum member HK-47.

If you have the AMD Gaming Evolved client powered by Raptr, you may find it difficult to install TSL correctly. Close it until your installation is complete.


1) Start by updating DirectX. For those that haven't yet, it's a good idea to download and install the latest DirectX Redistributable Package available here. This will install a full version of DX9.0c alongside DX10 and DX11 that will not conflict with them in any way. Vista is supposed to provide backward-compatibility with DX9, but I think that it falls short is some areas and this will fix that. The link is for the June 2010 version, so be sure to check for the latest version before downloading. First-time installers are going to want to install the entire redistributable package. Just download the file, extract it to a temporary folder and run the .exe. You can then delete both the temporary folder and the file that you downloaded after installation is complete.

2) Insert the install disk.

3) Open up "computer" , right-click the disc drive and click "Explore", so you can have a poke around what is on the disc.

4) Find the file called setup.exe
>Right-click> select Properties.
>Click the tab labelled, "Compatibility". > Select, "run this program in compatibility mode for Windows XP Service Pack 2(SP2)"

Pic For Steps 3,4(and 9)

5) Go farther down and also select, "Run as Administrator". In order to install KotOR II, you require admin privileges for the duration of installation to start-up. Playing it without this causes failure to launch. (Nb. if you are already logged in as an admin, this option may be grayed out.)

6) Run setup.exe. Select continue, and install as you normally would.

7) Patch the game. This is NOT NECESSARY for, and should NOT be done with, the "Best of PC" version of KotOR 1. When patching either game to the latest version, download and use the manual patches instead of the auto-updaters (KotOR 1; KotOR 2) -Note that, while KotOR 1's patch is for all versions, non-US versions of KotOR 2 require one of the international patches, found here. The international update for KotOR 2 consists of two separate patches, and you will need to install both of them; first 1.0a, and then 1.0b. Using the wrong patch will screw up your game installation, so be sure about which version you have before applying it.. Once downloaded, right-click on them, select "Properties" and set them to XP SP2 compatibility mode just like Astro described for the setup.exe and the shortcut and then run them as an administrator. If you have them, you can also install the enhanced movie (only recommended for monitors with a vertical resolution of 1200 or higher; don't bother otherwise) and music files for KotOR 2 (available on the same site as the official patches) at this time.

8) Remove the "Read-Only" property from the entire game folder (default location: C:\Program Files\LucasArts\SWKotOR). Right-click on the folder, select "Properties", deselect "Read-Only", hit "Apply", select "Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files" and hit OK. Windows may indicate that the folder is still read-only after doing this, but if you've done the above, it has indeed worked and doesn't need to be repeated. This is a necessary step for installation of the TSLRCM mod, but it also helps with some of the remaining steps in this guide.

9) This step is for running KotOR 2 on Vista. You don't need to do this if you're using Windows 7. Backup, move or rename the mss32.dll file in the main game folder. Then download the replacement mss32.dll found here and extract that archived file to the main game folder -This is NOT NECESSARY for KotOR 1.

10) This step is for Vista only. Download the SecuROM-updated .exe's. This is NOT NECESSARY for, and should NOT be done with, the "Best of PC" version of KotOR 1. Once again, these two files are for the US versions of KotOR 1&2:

For KotOR 1
For KotOR 2

Owners of non-US versions and those of you who are experiencing problems with the new .exe, such as its accusing you of using an emulator when you're actually using an original disc, need to go to SecuROM's website and jump through their hoops in order to get a working .exe. It shouldn't take more than a couple of days. After receiving it from SecuROM, anyone who wants to post a download link to one of the updated .exes for a non-US version may do so with my gratitude and I will add it to this guide. They are not as easy to find as the patches.

Extract the archived file to the main game folder after either renaming the old one or moving it elsewhere. Don't overwrite the old one. You may need it later. Then right-click on it, select "properties", then under the "compatibility" tab set it to run in XP SP2 compatibility mode as an administrator. While you're at it, it wouldn't hurt to set the launcher.exe and swconfig.exe files to run in XP SP2 compatibility mode as an administrator using the same method.

11) Find or create a shortcut directly for swkotor2.exe. (or kotor.exe for K1 of course) This is different from the launcher file that automatically gets created.

The file is located in your root file, which is where you put the mss32.dll file.

This is as easy as right-clicking swkotor2.exe, clicking create shortcut. If windows says, "Windows cannot create a shortcut here, would you like on placed on your Desktop instead?", click yes.

12) Those with multi-core CPUs (which is just about everyone these days) need to set CPU affinity to a single core. Not doing so will cause the game to randomly crash. This can be done by modifying the game's shortcut to command Windows to automatically set affinity every time the game is launched:

Note that Windows 7 seems to do this for KotOR 2 already without any modification, but not for KotOR 1.

*If the above does not work for whatever reason, you're going to have set affinity to a single CPU core manually every time you launch the game. Before launching the game, open Task Manager (right-click on the Taskbar at the bottom of Windows' desktop and select "Task Manager") and click on the "Processes" tab. Check the "Show processes for all users" box if it isn't already and then launch the game. Once you get to the game's main menu, hit the Windows key to get back to the desktop and look for the game's executable (swkotor2.exe) in the Task Manager under the "Processes" tab. When you find it, right click on it, select "set affinity" and uncheck every box but "CPU 0" and hit "OK". Once you've done that, just hit the game's icon in the Taskbar and you should be good to go. Remember that you'll have to set CPU affinity like this every time you launch the game.

13) It would appear that the classic "Dantooine lag fix" for ATI video cards is now required for BOTH ATI and Nvidia DX10 and DX11 cards, as well as for Intel integrated GPUs. This should be done with both games. It should also be done when using XP with a DX10 or DX11 card:

  • First, figure out where the .ini is installed. Default is "C:\Program Files\Lucasarts\swkotor2\swkotor2.ini". If its not in that location, then your going to have to do some searching around on the hard drive a bit.
  • When you find it, just double-click on the file to open it in Notepad.
  • Scroll down the file until you find the Graphics Options
  • Under the last line, add "Disable Vertex Buffer Objects=1", without the quotes.
  • Goto File, then Save.

If, for any reason, you want to disable the fix, simply change the "1" to a "0".

With KotOR 2 only, make sure that Fullscreen=1 and that the Width and Height values are the same and set to a resolution that the game actually supports (800x600, 1024x768, 1280x768, 1280x960, 1280x1024 or 1600x1200) under both "Display Options" and "Graphics Options" in the "swkotor2.ini" file. After applying the changes, save and exit then go back into the file to make sure that the changes were saved. If they weren't, move the swkotor.ini file to your desktop and apply the changes there. Save it, exit, go back in to check and see if the changes were applied, then move it back to the game's main folder.

14) Those of you with an Intel GPU need to open your Intel graphics driver's control panel and Click on "3D Options". Look for "Flipping Policy" and change it to "Blit". Note that you might have to download and install Intel's drivers instead of using the ones that shipped with your laptop for the Intel graphics driver control panel to be accessible. NOTE: The newest drivers don't have this option, so if you can't do it, don't worry about it.

How to open the graphics properties window

OpenGL settings guide

If the game still crashes right after character creation after completing the installation, try using the the original .exe instead of the one from SecuROM. If that doesn't work, there is a link in Step #6 that will allow you to contact SecuROM and request a new .exe.

15) If the game is crashing or exiting to the desktop whenever a movie tries to play, you may need to enable support for 640x480 resolution in your graphics driver control panel to allow movies to play.

16) If the game still won't load for whatever reason, it might be a good idea to disable the intro ad movies by renaming their files. This is also handy if you just don't want to sit through them. These are located in the "movies" folder, which is in the main game folder. The files in question are:

KotOR 1: biologo.bik; leclogo.bik; legal.bik
KotOR 2: leclogo.bik; legal.bik; ObsidianEnt.bik

In each case you can just change their file extension from "bik" to "bak" and they'll be skipped.

17) If you have an AMD/ATI video card and are still experiencing problems, here are a couple of things that you can do:
First up, from HK-47 again

  • Download latest ATI drivers
  • Start to run the installer but don't finish. You just need the installer to extract the files to C:\AMD\Support
  • Go to that folder and do a search for atioglxx.dl_
  • When you find that file copy and paste it to KOTOR/TSL folder
  • Open a command prompt as administrator by running cmd.exe as administrator.
  • Change your directory by typing into the command prompt CD path/to/kotor
  • Expand the atioglxx.dl_ to it's uncompressed form of atioglxx.dll by typing this into the command prompt: EXPAND atioglxx.dl_ atioglxx.dll
  • Play :D (Hopefully)


Originally Posted by unlucky_droid
First some facts about the setup:

o Win7 x64
o KoToR via steam (so the installation guide is useless)
o HD5770
o Catalyst 10.2

It's rather simple, really. The game had trouble locating the OpenGL driver and I got a atioglxx.dll exception.

I found the workaround at guru3d and the AMD forums: Put the atioglxx.dll from Catalyst 9.12 in the game folder. So far it works in windowed mode only, but I am glad it works at all.

Thread at guru3d:

Originally Posted by SmittyIsCool
I downloaded ATI System Tools (pretty sure he means ATI Tray Tools, here), created a game profile where I set Direct3d and OpenGL settings to Auto Balanced and it worked like a charm!

18) Still having trouble with graphic issues and you have a NVIDIA Graphic Card? Check this thread after you've done all of the above. (Bonus: this particular fix will stay this way even if you uninstall your KotOR games so you should only ever have to do this step once!)

Very Minor Update 18DEC2016
I am aware that some of the credits link to LucasForums pages.  LucasForums isn't up anymore. I'm leaving them in for old times' sake.

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