This FAQ is now divided into 5 major sections to make it
easier for you to find information:
Section 1: Startup/General Troubleshooting
Section 2: Video
Section 3: Sound
Section 4: Error Messages
Section 5: Gameplay
Original text by Brian Reynolds with additions by Calvin Rien
Section 1: Startup/General Troubleshooting
Q: Where can I get the latest patch for Civilization II?
A: The latest patch is now available for download. If you're
having problems and you haven't downloaded the latest patch
yet, DO IT! The patch can be found on our FTP site
(ftp.microprose.com under "new versions"), our Web site
(www.microprose.com under CivII "latest"), CompuServe,
America Online or our BBS (510-522-8909).
Q: How do I tell which version of Civilization II I am playing?
A: Go to the Game Options menu (Ctrl-O); the window title says
which version you are playing.
Q: How do I install the patch for Civilization II?
A: If the file name ends in .ZIP, then you will need the shareware
utility called Pkunzip or Winzip. This can be found easily on
most online services (or at www.pkware.com). You then use
Pkunzip or Winzip to extract the files from the archive. The
extracted files should then be copied to the CIV2 directory on
your hard drive. When you are asked if you want to replace
existing, say "yes to all."
If the file ends in .EXE (CIV2P111.EXE), copy the file to the
CIV2 directory and run it. It will automatically extract and
ask you if you wish to replace existing. Again say "yes
Q: What are the system requirements for the game?
A: The minimum requirements are a 33MHz 80486 compatible, Windows
3.1, 8MB RAM, Super VGA graphics, a double-speed CD-ROM drive,
MSCDEX version 2.2 and a Microsoft-compatible mouse. With the
minimum system requirements, though, you may not be able to get
full performance out of the Video for Windows portions of the
the game. (Check the Video for Windows Readme file on the
Civilization II CD-ROM for more information.)
The recommended minimum system is at least a 66MHz Intel-based
80486. Obviously the faster the system and the higher the display
resolution, the better the gameplay. The reason we recommend an
Intel processor is that some users have had problems with Video
for Windows on non-Intel processors (such as NexGen, Cyrix and
Q: Does Civilization II work with Windows NT, OS/2 or
A: Although some users have had some success running Civilization
II under these operating systems, we did not test the game under
these conditions. We, therefore, cannot recommend or support such
Q: What programs could cause problems with Civilization II?
A: We recommend not running anything in the background when
playing Civilization II. Programs that we especially recommend
Virus scan programs that stay resident in memory (Norton
AntiVirus, McAfee, VShield)
Third-party font managers (Adobe Type Manager)
RAM Expanders (RAM Doubler, SoftRAM, MagnaRam)
CD-ROM acceleration software (D-Time, FlexiCD)
Third-party shell programs (PC Tools, Norton Desktop, Packard
Hard drive compression (DriveSpace, DoubleSpace, Stacker, etc.)
Uninstallers (CleanSweep, RemoveIt)
Q1: I am getting a GPF @ 0041:_____ when starting CIV2.EXE.
Q2: I am getting a GPF @ 0044:_____ when starting CIV2MAP.EXE.
A: This problem usually means that WinG installation was somehow
skipped when you installed the game (it is supposed to be
installed automatically). To install WinG manually, run
WINGSET.EXE in the WING directory on the CD-ROM. You'll also
want to install Video for Windows manually by running
VFWSETUP.EXE from the VFW_INST directory.
Occasionally this problem persists. So far we've encountered
this on Windows 95 systems with Windows installed on some drive
other than drive C. Windows 95 seems to have a hard time loading
WinG in this case.
Q: I am getting a GPF @ 0042:____.
A: The initially shipped version of Civilization II requires a
sound card in order to run properly. If you don't have a sound
card or if it isn't active in Windows, you'll need to download
the patched version of Civilization II.
Q: I am getting a lot of GPFs in the game.
A: Make sure you have the latest drivers for your video card and
sound card. Otherwise, check section 4 for more information.
We are aware of problems with certain models of Cirrus Logic
and Diamond brand video cards. In most cases, these problems
can be solved by updating the Windows video drivers. If
you have a Cirrus Logic card, new drivers can be found at
ftp.cirrus.com. If you are using any other brand of video
card, we recommend checking your drivers to make sure they are
up-to-date. If you are using older versions of video drivers,
they can cause problems. Generally speaking, most GPFs can be
solved by updating all your Windows drivers for video, sound,
Q1: I accidentally selected French when I first set up the game;
how do I get back to English?
Q2: I would like to see what the German version is like, but I
don't seem to have the option to play in German.
A: If you are playing Civilization II version 1.01 or later, you
will find a file called CIV.INI in the Windows directory. You
can open this file using either the DOS editor or Windows' Notepad.
CIV.INI has a "Language Preference" line: 3=German, 2=French,
1=English, 0=Ask Me Again.
Q: The text in the game is unreadable, or I receive a TrueType
A: Make sure that TrueType fonts are enabled on the Control Panel.
Also, Adobe Type Manager has a known incompatibility with the
Authorware tool we used for the hypertext Civilopedia. You'll
need to disable ATM (and other third-party font managers) and tell
it to use resident fonts.
If you've tried all of this and you're still getting text in
"Greek," we've had some success by actually uninstalling the
Symbol TrueType font (under Control Panel, Fonts) and then
removing the font file (SYMBOLE.FON) from the WINDOWS\SYSTEM
directory. This is a somewhat crude and last-ditch solution.
Q: I am getting GPFs whenever I discover a new technology, or
bring up the Civilopedia.
A: Try renaming or deleting the file GET_INFO.EXE from your CIV2
directory. You won't get the fancy Civilopedia, but you will get
the beta version of the Civilopedia. In this case, the problem is
some conflict with the Authorware package we used to do the
hypertext version of Civilopedia.
Q: The game tells me to run "VFWFIX.BAT" on the CD-ROM, but I cannot
find the file.
A: Actually, the file is "VFWFIX.REG" and you can still run the
file. If you double-click on the file in the File Manager
(Windows 3.1) or "My Computer" (Windows 95), the information in
the file will be added to the Windows registry and the problem
should be fixed. Sorry for the confusion.
If double-clicking on the VFWFIX.REG doesn't work, you will need
to run REGEDIT. This is usually found in the Windows directory,
or you can access it through the "Run" dialog. You will then
want to go to the Registry menu in Windows 95 or the File menu
in Windows 3.1. Choose Import Registry or Merge Registry, and
then select VFWFIX.REG from the CIV2\VIDEO directory on the
Civilization II CD-ROM.
Q1: I get a window titled "(Inactive C:\mps\civ2\civ2.exe)."
Q2: I am receiving the message "Error -8 in Module 4, data 0 0" and
"File open failed MODULES.DB"
A: When CIV2.EXE is run, its working directory must be set to your
CIV2 directory (usually C:\MPS\CIV2). Check the properties on
your Civilization II icon to make sure its working directory is
set correctly. If you've been trying to start Civilization II
in some other way (such as via File Manager or Explorer), try
starting it by double-clicking the designated icon/shortcut.
These messages basically mean that Civilization II cannot find a
file necessary to start the game. Another step to take is make
sure you have more than enough hard drive space, and then delete
and reinstall the game.
Q: I'm not sure what is causing my lockups or crashes.
A: Try the following steps:
1) Try starting the map editor. If it crashes, the problem is
2) Try starting Civilization II without the CD-ROM in the drive.
If the game doesn't crash, the problem is with Video for
3) Try selecting something from the Civilopedia. If this
crashes, the problem is with the Civilopedia (see above).
4) Try selecting the High Council, If you get black windows,
the problem is with Video for Windows.
5) Try turning off sound effects or music in the game options
window (Ctrl-O). If the game stops locking up or crashing,
the problem is with the sound card drivers.
Section 2: Video
Q: I am having problems running the videos in the game
(particularly if they always show up as black squares).
A: Try reinstalling the "Video for Windows" program (VFWSETUP.EXE
found in the Vfw_Inst folder on the Civilization II CD-ROM).
When reinstalling, make sure that you agree to all the licensing
questions and restart Windows so that the changes take effect.
Q: The heralds appear but they aren't animating (Windows 95
A: You are probably using the 32-bit Indeo driver. You can
check this by looking for a file called IR41_32.DLL in your
C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory. If the file is there, you can
either uninstall the 32-bit version and install the Video for
Windows on the Civilization II CD-ROM or you can wait for a
patch which we hope will be ready soon.
Q: I get strange shifting colors when the videoes for the Wonders
of the World or the High Council are played.
A: Switch your video display to 256-color mode.
Q: The Civilopedia causes a black screen.
A: This will happen if you have Windows 95, did not install the
Civilopedia files to the hard drive and are playing with the
CD-ROM. You'll simply need to download the latest patched
Q: I have an STB Lightstpeed 128 video card and whenever I try to
access "Advances" from the Civilopedia menu, my monitor goes
A: This problem is caused by the 16-bit driver for QuickTime.
(The 32-bit QuickTime player works fine.) You will need to edit
the QTW.INI files in your \WINDOWS directory using Notepad.
Change "Optimize=Driver" to "Optimize=BMP" in the QTW.INI file.
Then right-click on the QTW.INI file and select "Properties"
from the popup menu. In the Attributes section, click to put a
checkmark in the "Read-only" box.
Section 3: Sound
Q1: I can't hear music, even though the CD-ROM is in the drive.
Q2: When I select "Pick Music," it tells me this option is not
available unless the CD-ROM is in the drive, but the CD-ROM is
in the drive.
A: The music in the game is standard Redbook CD audio. This means
that you can put the Civilization II CD-ROM into any CD player
and the music should play just like any regular music CD (except
for track 1). In order to hear the CD audio music, you must have
1) The Civilization II CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive.
2) The proper (and up-to-date) Windows MCI CD audio drivers for
your sound card loaded.
3) A CD audio cable connecting your CD drive to your sound card.
This last is part of the standard system configuration and is
probably present unless you installed your sound card or
CD-ROM drive yourself.
If these conditions are satisfied, the music will play. If you
do not have the latest sound card drivers, you should contact
your sound card manufacturer for an update. Also, there have been
reports of other CD programs (such as Microsoft FlexiCD) causing
a conflict with the game. In this case, disabling these other
programs should fix the problem.
If you're having problems with the music, you may want to check
if you can play a regular audio CD on your CD-ROM drive. Open up
the Media Player (found in the Accessories program group), make
sure CD Audio is in the device list, select it and press "Play."
If music plays in the Media Player, you should be able to hear
music in Civilization II.
Q: The game can't find the CD-ROM after I have been playing for a
A: If you open the CD-ROM drive during the course of gameplay, the
game will stop recognizing the presence of the CD-ROM. For now,
the only fix is to not to open the CD-ROM drive while you are
Section 4: Error Messages
Q: I am getting "SMEDS Application Errors" or "PORTALLOCFAILED"
A: The most likely problem is a lack of global memory space. Even
when you have the required amount of physical memory, it is
possible for other applications or disk cache programs to
drain these resources.
a) Usually the best solution is to increase the amount of
virtual memory swap space you have available. If you are
running Windows 3.1, go to Control Panel, 386 Enhanced,
Virtual Memory and increase your swap memory to 32MB or
more. Of course, you'll need to make sure you have enough
disk space to accommodate the swap file. (The minimum you
should set it for is 10MB or about 11000K.)
b) If you're running Windows 95, it will usually manage your
virtual memory for you correctly. However, you must have
enough disk space available for Windows 95 to create and
use a swap file (at least 15MB free on the hard drive).
c) The above will usually eliminate the GPFs, but you may also
be able to improve performance by freeing up physical memory,
particularly by reducing the size of your disk cache if you
have a large one.
Q: I am getting a "Page Fault" error.
A: Try the above steps for SMEDS Errors. Also make sure that you
have the latest driver for your video card.
Q: I received a "Can't find WinG" error message.
A: Some computer systems have their Windows System directory
write-protected. To fix this problem, you need to change this
attribute and reinstall both WinG and Video for Windows.
Also on some systems, the WinG files fail to decompress when
they are copied to the system folder. Check the following chart
against what is in your Windows\System folder:
FILE NAME COMPRESSED EXPANDED
WING32.DLL 7k 13k
WINGDE.DLL 86k 185k
WING.DLL 47k 91k
WINGDIB.DRV 6k 7k
WINGPAL.WND 4k 5k
If one, or all, of these files is still compressed, then
something is preventing the WinG installation from completing
Q: I received a "Cannot find MSVideo.dll" or "Cannot find
AVIFile.dll" error message.
A: This appears to happen when the Video for Windows installation
is skipped. Rerun the VFWSETUP.EXE from the VFW_Inst folder on
the Civilization II CD-ROM.
Q: I'm getting an "Undefined Dynalink" error message.
A: This is an error message caused by having two Dynamic Link
Library files (DLLs) of the same name on your system. It
usually has to do with the Video for Windows drivers. Try
rerunning VFWSetup from the VFW_Inst folder on the Civilization
II CD-ROM. If this fails, try starting the game without the
Civilization II CD-ROM in the drive. This should get you around
the problem. To fix it, however, you will have to find which
two *.DLL files installed on your system are trying to do the
Q: I am getting a GPF in WING.DLL.
A: This probably means you are using some kind of "RAM doubling"
software (such as RAM Doubler, SoftRAM) which seems to cause a
Q1: I am getting an "Incorrect Windows Version" error when trying
to launch Civilization II.
Q2: I am getting a "Not enough memory" error when trying to launch
Civilization II, even though I have enough RAM and enough virtual
memory. (See SMEDS above for virtual memory info.)
A: We have encountered rare cases in which the Windows
configuration itself is at fault; somehow Windows has been
corrupted since it was installed, possibly by some other
application or by a faulty "uninstall" procedure for another
application. Several users with mysterious problems have cured
them by reinstalling Windows. Obviously, this is a last resort.
If you decide to reinstall Windows, you must then reinstall
Civilization II completely, including WinG and Video for Windows.
Section 5: Gameplay
Q: Why can't I find the portrait option in the game?
A: Unfortunately, this feature was planned, but not implemented, in
the game. It was, however, left in the documentation.
Q: It states on page 93 of the manual that, with the railroad and
supermarket advance, appropriate terrain will be automatically
upgraded. Why isn't this happening?
A: For reasons of game balance, this feature was taken out of the
final version of the game. It was, however, left in the
Q: My file listing is filling up quickly with saved games. How do
I get rid of them?
A: Civilization II's saved game files are files that contain the
first two letters of your ruler's name and the year. Their file
extension is .SAV.
With Windows 3.1, use the file manager to search for *.SAV. You
can then select and delete the files as you wish.
With Windows 95, you can use the Find command from the Start menu
to search for *.SAV. Then select and drag the unwanted files to
the Recycle Bin. Remember: you must empty the Recycle Bin to
reclaim the hard drive space.
Q: I have selected the Capitalization advance in 10 of my cities
and none of them seem to build anything.
A: If you've built Capitalization in 10 cities, you must be very
rich by now. Capitalization is a nonstandard improvement; it
turns the shield production of a city into tax income. It is
generally used in cities that are well-defended and that don't
need other improvements at the moment. Use the money to bribe,
buy and influence.
Q: Sometimes, when I try to move a unit one direction (even one
square), it moves the opposite way. It then goes around the
world to get to the point I selected!
A: What is happening is the unit is trying to cross the 0 degrees
longitude line. Since the game's Goto function doesn't know that
the shortest route would be to cross this line, it avoids this
line at all costs.
What I recommend is, early in the game, click with the right
mouse button. This changes you to the flashing diamond cursor.
On the right-hand side of the screen, it will display
coordinates. When the first number reaches 0, you have found
the line. Find or place a visual landmark (a fort or boat).
Remember not to use the Goto function to cross from one side of
this landmark to the other. Instead approach the line with
Goto and use manual moves to cross it.
Q: I placed a city in a really dumb place. How do I get rid of it?
A1: If you are playing in Chieftain level, there isn't much you
can do. Just leave it at size 1 (don't allow it to produce much
food) and let an enemy destroy it.
A2: If you are playing Warlord or higher, you can do the above or
you can get the city down to size 1 (again by starving the
citizens) and build, or buy, a settler.
Q1: I've gotten the necessary advances, but I can't build
Q2: I've gotten the necessary advances, but I can't build Police
A: These are two city improvements that are directly linked to
certain Wonders of the World. Pyramids count as a Granary in
all friendly cities; Women's Suffrage counts as a Police Station
in all cities.
Q: I've gotten the necessary advances, but I can't build Nuclear
A: This answer is similar to the above. The Hoover Dam Wonder
makes Nuclear Plants obsolete. Also, if you haven't built a
Factory in the city, you can't build Electric or Nuclear Plants.
Also, if you have built a Solar Plant, this makes Electric and
Nuclear Plants obsolete.
Q: I've gotten the Apollo Program Wonder, but I can't build Space
A: If you got the Apollo Wonder without using the cheat menu, you
should be able to build SS Structural right away. To build SS
Components and SS Modules, you need a few more advances.
Q1: I downloaded the Civilization II demo. When I try to run it,
though, it says "Cannot find SMEDSNET.DLL."
Q2: I downloaded the Civilization II patch. When I try to run it,
though, it says "Cannot find SMEDSNET.DLL."
A: The file you have is not a demo or an update program. It is a
replacement executable file for Civilization II. What you need
to do is copy this file, along with the other files that came
with it, to the CIV2 directory that is on your hard drive. If
Civilization II isn't on the hard drive yet, you need to install
it before you can copy over the patch.
Q: I'm having trouble with my user defined techs and units.
A: User defined techs are pretty easy. Just edit the RULES.TXT
file (or RULES.GER or RULES.FRE) and change both "no" entries
for the user defined tech to either "nil" or any valid advance
abbreviation. Also remember that no matter what you name the
tech, the abbreviation will always be U1, U2 or U3.
The extra units are basically the same, but you will want to
experiment with different attack and defense ratings. Also
certain things will cause the game to act weirdly, like an air
unit that can carry air units doesn't work. Remember: if you
want these units attached to your user defined techs, you must
use the U1, U2 or U3 abbreviations.
You can only create three extra techs and units.