Updated 18 September 2010


Prison Oubliette











For Windows Vista and Windows7:

You may be able to run Hardwar's "Setup.exe" file with no problem at all. The game will install smoothly and play flawlessly. I recommend that you try running the installation using a simple double-click of the "Setup.exe" file first. Don't try to solve problems that don't appear.

You will find that you need to patch the original game for the video to work under Windows XP and up. I recommend the UIM06 patch to start.

The key to solving Hardwar problems on modern Windows systems is to set Hardwar's executables to operate in Windows2000 mode. It is true that Hardwar was ported to be played under Windows98, but reports have indicated that Windows2000 mode is best for installing and running Hardwar under Windows7. Here's how -

Installing under XP goes best in Windows98 Copmpatibility Mode.

Step 1 - Begin by unzipping the pack wherever you want. Locate the "Setup.exe" file in the Hardwar Demo folder. We will run this file in Windows2000 mode by doing the following:

1) Right click "Setup.exe" and select properties from the context pop up menu.

2) A multi-tabbed dialog box will appear. Click the "Compatibility" tab.

3) In the middle of the Compatibility box will be a drop down menu with various operating systems to emulate. Select Windows2000.

4) Click Apply and OK until you are finished.

Note: If Windows2000 doesn't work, retry with Windows98 compatibility.

Step 2 - After installing the game, install the included UIM06 patch before running the game. You can try all sorts of patches later, but use the included one for now to get started. The patch may well install directly without using any compatibility mode at all. It was coded well after the original game. Use a Compatibility Mode only as needed.

Step 3 - Once the patch is installed, open the Hardwar directory and find the "Hardman.exe" and "HardwareW.exe" files. Set both of these to run as either Windows2000 or Windows98 based on your experience above.

Step 4 - Check the video options and set conservative audio and video options until you know the game works. Now launch a game and see what you get. If the audio and video work okay, go back over the games settings and set them to what you'd like. Note that all options don't work with all systems. A little experimenting is usually called for.

Below are some troubleshooting ideas for specific problems. Most of the problems are due to the game's video under DirectX 10+.

Windows7 and Vista Help

By - janskjaer

Okay, first of all, there are many old games that will not supposedly run on Windows 7 due to the same DirectPlay problem. The reason for this is that many of the class method calls in the DirectPlay module have been revised since DirectX 10.

However, a simple way for you to fix this is to use copy the file, DPLAY.DLL from the DirectX .cab file of the version of DirectX that you currently have installed on your system (Preferably DirectX 10 or earlier). If you are having trouble locating this file, try extracting the file from the DirectX (version 5) source on the game CD. (You can get the older dplay.dll needed HERE.

You need to put the DPLAY.DLL file into the root folder of the game, or in the same directory where the .exe and .res files are.

Diskspace Check Skipper

This is quite a common problem, before Windows XP computers couldn't handle more than 40GBs due to the Fat32 formating, Install a Terabyte harddrive and format it in Fat32, you won't be able to save anything over 4 GBs at a time. When Hardwar tries to install it scans the harddrive and once you reach a certain amount (32,000 KB area?) the numbers turn into negatives. So any harddrive that has over 40GB will return a negative number, giving Hardwar's drive space checker a false negative. Click here to download the small executable.


The following workaround comes from timski's Hardwar FAQ.

The secret is to fill your hardrive until you have less than 2 GB of space on it. Then, install Hardwar. Then, remove whatever you used to fill the hardrive.

Hardwar is an older game and doesn't see your free space. The trick, again, is to fill up your hard drive to just below 2 GB. Then the game sees the trailing free space and installs.

Notes: A good way to fill up your hard drive is to copy an audio CD onto it. No compression, .WAV files. Copy these into a few folders and that free space will get sucked up fast.

It's a good idea to defragment you hard drive after removing all of the "filler". This will bring the Hardwar files in an easier to find position (from your machine's standpoint). Your hard drive may slow down overall after such a large delete due to over-fragmentation.


The following is an easy installation workaround for Windows XP that was sent to me by Zero-Saber:

I downloaded and installed the 2.04 patch. when ever that patch is installed and I put the disk in it asks if I want to downgrade to the old version. I say yes and then it installs.

-- Zero-Saber


When installing Hardwar on Windows XP, you may get an error that you don't have enough disk space. Loyal and Greedy pilot solidox has discovered a simple workaround for this:

To install hardwar without getting the "not enough disk space" error on XP, go to the CD directory (in a file management program like Windows Explorer) and right click on "install.exe" and choose Properties from the pop up menu. Next, turn on compatibility mode for win98 and try and install. It should work fine. This does not work on Windows 2000.

-- solidox

Another XP Workaround

This workaround involves copying the CDs to your hard drive for the install. It was sent to me by Sniper.

Copy the contents of disk 1 to the hard drive(preferably in a folder) and double click on the HARDMAN icon, then the install button. It should install. Please note, after doing this you must not delete the folder that you copied disk 1 into because that is where your computer will get the information instead of the CD-ROM, and you need not your disk 1 unless the folder somehow gets deleted. Also it may be nessasary to download and install patch 2.04 to be able to play the game in window mode for XP(because it didn't work on my computer unless I did this).

-- Sniper

Vista Installation Tips

I just got through installing Hardwar on Windows Vista and the installation is very similar to XP, except:

You must change compatability mode to "98/ME". 95 and 2000 will not work. Also, you must go into the "Display" tab and make sure the display is set to "Primary". The game does not select this for you. (I don't recall if XP does this.)

Everything else seems to be about the same.

-- Andrew P


When you start HardWar from the provided shortcuts (leading to a file called Hardman.exe in the main HardWar directory) you'll get an initial tabbed screen that provides you access to the game's configuration. The default tab is the 'Game' tab and let's you start a new game or play a saved one. To start a game click the 'Launch' button and a selection screen will appear. You can select your choice here and the game will begin.

You can escape the first initial screen by pressing the 'Esc' (Escape) key. The movie and following screens can be bypassed by left clicking your mouse until the loading screen appears.

If you are beginning a new game, you will be asked to enter a pilot name. Do so and click accept to move to the next screen. The next screen will ask you to pick an initial occupation and describe the type of Moth you'll begin using. Make your selection and you will start in a hangar relative to your chosen occupation. Now launch your Moth, exit the hangar, and play!


You can save your game at any point by pressing the 'Esc' (Escape) key and clicking the 'Save Game' option on the closing screen. The save will be confirmed and you will go back to the closing screen where you are given the option to shut-down or continue. Save your games often. It will save you a lot of backtracking if you get killed.


As much as we'd all like playing HardWar forever it pays to eat, sleep, and bathe from time to time. To shut the game down just press the 'Esc' key at any time. You will be presented the shutdown menu. You may save your game if you wish. Click the shutdown button and then click 'Yes' in the confirmation screen. That's all there is too it.


Archiving saved games means to copy them off on a floppy disk or other removable media. This comes in handy in case you crash. You can install your saved games right after you re-install HardWar. You won't have to start from the very beginning. You can also share games with other pilots and use other's saved games like the one's on my site.

The saved game files are in your main HardWar directory. This is the directory you installed the game in. They carry the file extension '.sav'. If you can't find your HardWar directory, you can use Windows Find function to find '*.sav'. This will find them and lead you to the directory. The filename will be whatever you typed in when starting a new game. For example, one of my favorite saved games is 'wealth.sav'.

It really pays to 'zip' or compress your saved game files once you find them. I use WinZip available here. This makes most saved games only a few hundred kilobytes. Once archived, you can attatch the files to e-mails and send them to fellow pilots or to me to put in my Downloads Section.


To install a saved game just decompress, or 'unzip', the file and copy the .sav file to your main HardWar directory. You can find the directory by using Windows Find function and looking for Hardman.exe. Put the .sav files in the same directory.

Once installed, you will see the file present when you select to play a saved game.