by Nyerguds

or How To Get TFD Working While Freeing More Than 1.5 GB Of Hard Disk Space In The Process (*)

(*) compared to a normal installation patched with the official patches. Though compared to a bare install it's probably still over 800 mb.

1. Getting Started

Before getting started:
  1. Make sure your DVD-ROM supports dual layer DVDs.
  2. BE ADMINISTRATOR. No exceptions. If you're not on an administrator account you will have LOADS of problems. On Windows 7, ALSO make sure you always use the "Run as administrator" option, even if you are administrator.

Okay, now... install C&C: The First Decade. Shouldn't be too hard.

For all patches and fixes in this guide, keep in mind that unless you choose custom install and change the installation path, TFD will be installed in this directory:
C:\Program Files\EA Games\Command & Conquer The First Decade\
If it's not there, simply right-click on the TFD launcher link on your desktop, go to Properties, open the Shortcut tab and see which directory it launches from. That folder should be the subfolder "Launcher" of the main TFD install folder. There should be a "Find Target" or "Open File Location" button to go right to that location. If you go one directory up from there you'll end up in the main install folder.

Since I'm a C&C1 and RA1 modder/hacker, this guide is mainly focused on these 2 games, so most of it will be useless if you don't install them. So install them. They're awesome.
Note that in this guide, I will refer to the first C&C from the TFD pack as "C&C95", since it's the Win95 remake of the original DOS C&C1.

After installing, let's get to the patching! There are 2 official patches for The First Decade, but I no longer advise people to install them, since the fan fixes (C&C95 v1.06 patch, RA1 main.mix patch & XCC Shortcut Installer) do the same thing in a much cleaner way. If, for some reason, you'd still want them, you can find them here.

2. The patches

Now here's the real stuff. As I already mentioned, the official patches should not be used, since they manage to add about half a gigabyte of extra space to the installation, whereas these fan-made fixes repair the same problems while freeing up some 800 mb of unnecessarily wasted space.

TFD fast launcher: No more waiting for logos to disappear on startup!
http://www.cncforums.com/new/local_links.php?action=ratelink&linkid=49&Catid=4 (97 kb)
Just replace the original TFDLauncher.exe in the Launcher folder with this modified one.

Nyerguds' Red Alert main.mix cleanup: Takes 500mb off the main.mix file, adds the missing RA expansion music, and cleans up the loose movies in the RA directory. (ENGLISH VERSION ONLY)
http://nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/cncstuff/tfd_ra_main_patch.rar (40 mb)
Unrar in your Red Alert folder, and run patch_main.bat (don't run vpatchprompt.exe, it won't work without extra parameters).
After executing this patch, you can delete patch_main.bat, patchra1main.pat and vpatchprompt.exe.

XCC shortcut Installer: not only adds the game shortcuts to the start menu, but also fixes a lot of registry errors.
http://xhp.xwis.net/utilities/XCC_TFD_Shortcut_Installer.exe (72 kb)
The installer is completely silent, so just check your Start Menu after running it.

C&C95 patch 1.06:
See http://nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/cnc95upd/cc95p106/
Vital patch with tons of upgrades and fixes. Instructions are included in the patch program.

RA95 patch 3.03:
The unreleased latest official Red Alert 1 patch. See full listing for more info.

Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2 LAN play patch:
http://www.understorm.net/downloads (24 kb)
Download the zipfile, and copy the dll in it to both your TS and RA2 directories.
WARNING - this DLL is known to cause problems with online play. It is advised to rename it or move it to a different folder to play online, and only install it for playing LAN games.

Red Alert 1 Ant missions fix: This fixes the error where the hidden ant campaign keeps giving "Unable to read scenario" errors, and adds the ant mission briefing video from the Playstation version.
http://nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/tools/antbriefing.rar (7 mb)
To play the hidden ants campaign in Red Alert, simply start the game, tap the [Shift] button on your keyboard, and click on the speaker in the upper right corner of the main menu background.

Internet components fix: Not always necessary except if you're on Vista, but hey, better not take any chances and do it anyway.
http://nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/cncstuff/wolregister.zip (0.5 kb)
Put the extracted file in the Internet folder of your TFD installation and run it from there. It should give two confirmations that "DLLRegistryServer succeeded".
If it doesn't, I refer you back to Before Getting Started note #2.

3. Troubleshooting

Video mode settings error: On most systems, the default C&C95 and RA1 resolution of 640x400 causes problems. RA1 will show an "Unable to set video mode" error box. On unpatched C&C95 you'll get an error box without any text on it.
To fix that, go to your C&C95 and RA1 directories and run their respective setup tools CCSETUP.EXE and RASETUP.EXE to put the games in 640x480. Note that the C&C95 v.106 patch (see below) automatically fixes this, by setting the game resolution to 1024x768.

If you still got problems, lower your screen refresh rate to 70Hz or less.

4. Additional support and cool stuff

For more fixes, upgrades and help with common problems, check out these pages:

TFD Common Problems thread on the EA Forums:

Nyerguds' TFD Fixes page:

CnC-DDraw project for C&C95/RA95 (removes colour errors and can run the games windowed):

XWIS' C&C Games FAQ:

Have fun!