Manual Install Guide

The following is a guide that will help users troubleshoot the installation and use of Populous on Windows XP based systems. Please note that this guide was written with the use of helping Windows XP users. If you are using a different version of Windows, then this may not help you much.


For some reason, on random computers, Windows XP will refuse to install the game because it cannot locate a file by the name of Autoexec.nt. Other errors occur in the same fashion and usually involve MS-DOS related problems. The error is completely random and does not occur for any specific reason to my knowledge. This guide will help you fix this and configure your game so that it will run properly in a Windows XP environment.

Installing the Game

The first thing that needs to be done is to insert your Populous disc into the drive. If and when the auto play appears, choose Quit from the list. The next thing you need do is access your CD drive. This can be found by going into My Computer. If you are using the default start menu, it can be accessed by going to Start > My Computer. If you make use of the classic start menu, then all you need to do is double-click the My Computer icon on the desktop.

From here, you should make a decision as to where you wish to place your Populous installation. I recommend using the default location, C:\Program Files\Bullfrog\Populous\. Others will work, but most programs will look for Populous in the default location. Make sure that the game is located inside of the folder named Populous. Unless the folders you have exist, you will need to make new folders to locate these items in. Right-click and choose New > Folder to create a new folder. The new folder will appear, now all you need to do is name the folder. After doing so, press Enter. Double-click the folder to open it. While you are at it, minimize that window and open up My Computer again.

Look for the drive with the Populous Icon on it that says POPTB on it. It is usually located on drive D:\ in here. Right-click the drive and left-click Open from the menu that opens up. You will now be browsing the contents of your Populous Disc. Hold your control key (Ctrl) and click on the following items in the lists below.

Folder List

File List















Make sure that when you copy the folder, you copy the contents as well, don't just create empty folders. If you are planning to install Undiscovered Worlds, do not do so until you have completed this guide and have been able to make Populous run properly. If you are running low on hard disk space, you can avoid copying the FMV folder. Doing so will save about 188MB on your hard drive. If you want the movies, but only the versions in your particular language, you can delete p3intro2.tgq and p3intro3.tgq. You can also save additional space by deleting Trailer.tgq from the same folder.

Manually Patching the Game

After the files are copied, you will need the patch files for the game. Do not, under any circumstances, try to apply the patch the regular way, it will not work! To help you along, I have provided you with the extracted patch contents of the official US version 1.01 Populous. Because the US version seems to work the best with Windows XP, it will be the version that you will patch the game with. It should be noted; if you are able to read and understand this guide, then you know enough English to play the game. If it absolutely bothers you to have it in English, you can simply download the original patch and extract the contents for your country and apply them the same way as this. You can download the Extracted patch contents by clicking here.

After you have downloaded the contents, simply extract them into the root of your Populous directory.

Adding the Registry Entries

After the patching is completed, it is time to make your computer recognize that Populous is installed. Go to Populous: Reincarnated's downloads page and download Pop Fix. Place the file into the root of your Populous directory. Double-click Popfix.exe (Popfix if file extensions are hidden). It should now report that your Populous installation is fixed and should work.

Creating the Shortcuts

Before running the game, you should make shortcuts to the executable files to ensure that it works properly. To make a shortcut for Populous, right-click your desktop and choose New > Shortcut. In the wizard that appears, it will ask you to input a command line. For the command line type (using the quotations) “%popdir%\HW_SW_Select.exe” /RUNGAME. Remember that %popdir% is actually a variable that I used which means the location of your Populous directory. An example would be C:\Program Files\Bullfrog\Populous. Click next, then for the name, type Populous. After this, press finish. You can use the same method to make shortcuts in your start menu if you do not like to clutter your desktop with icons.

The previous shortcut makes it so that the game will launch pending on your settings. These settings would be whether you are using Direct 3D or Software rendered mode to play the game. To make this option changeable, make another shortcut to %popdir%\HW_SW_Select.exe. You can name this one Choose Hardware or Software. The use of this shortcut is optional because you will be prompted for this option when you first run the game regardless of which shortcut you use. It is recommended that you make this shortcut; however, incase you ever need to troubleshoot the game or change your settings.

Compatibility Mode

Given that you are now running the United States Version of Populous on a Windows XP based system, you are most likely going to need to run the game in compatibility mode. Compatibility Mode is a feature incorporated into Windows XP that, when in use, will emulate an environment of a chosen operating system. For the sake of running Populous, you will be emulating a Windows 98 / Windows ME environment. Do not fear; however, this is very simple and it will not alter any other settings that you have made prior to this in reguards to Compatibility Mode.

To run Populous in Compatibility mode, simply locate and right-click on one of the shortcuts you use to play the game. From the list that pops up, click Properties. In the dialoge that appears from doing so, click the Compatibility tab. From here, add a check to the box next to Run this program in compatibility mode for:. After doing so, click the arrow on the drop-down combo box. You should see a list of several previous versions of Microsoft Windows. From the list choose Windows 98 / Windows ME. Now click Apply and press OK. Depending on your system configuration, you may need to go and do this for every instance of the shortcut you run Populous from. On some systems, applying the settings for one will take care of all of them, while on others it will only apply the settings to the shortcut you were working with. In either instance, it would behoove you to check this.

After these settings are applied, the game should run properly.

Some Final Notes

After following these steps, Populous should run properly. Bear in mind that this will allow you to run the game, it will not fix any issues inside of the game that pertain to its visual appearance, so do not ask me why you see weird lines across the screen in Direct 3D mode because it really isn't because the game won't install, it is more of a Video Card Driver compatibility issue.

After you have successfully made the game run, you may apply any additional patches and MODS as you like. You may also install Undiscovered Worlds. Please note that you will need to restart the Populous: Reincarnated Matchmaker before it will recognize the game being installed.

Notes for Uninstalling

If you at any time need to uninstall Populous and you used this method to install it, you will need to delete all registry entries, shortcuts and files by hand.



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