Age of Empires 1 + Windows 7 SP1 = “Could not initialize graphics system. Make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw””
I installed Age of Empires I on Windows 7 SP1 x64 Ultimate. After the installation whenever I tried to run the game (
Empires.exe) I get the following error right at the beginning:
Could not initialize graphics system. Make sure that your video card
and driver are compatible with DirectDraw.
I tried to change the compatibility mode and run as administrator but it didn’t help:
I followed the instructions printed on DirectDraw or Direct3D option is unavailable but it didn’t work (and they went written for Windows XP, not Windows 7).
dxdiag I checked that all my displays have DirectDraw enabled:
I tried to change the monitor’s resolution to 800×600 (which is the default resolution of Age of Empires I):
What else can I try to solve the issue (without having to run Age of Empires 1 on a different OS, and without having to buy anything else as I have already bought the CD over 15 years ago)?
Note that Age of Empires I does work fine with Windows 7 SP1 in a virtual machine, so I guess it might be due to some conflict with my graphic card’s drivers (NVIDIA GeForce GTX660M).
3 Solutions collect form web for “Age of Empires 1 + Windows 7 SP1 = “Could not initialize graphics system. Make sure that your video card and driver are compatible with DirectDraw”””
I would say it’s your drivers. I had the same problem as you. I had to reload Windows and didn’t update the video drivers to the latest and the game is working. Sims3 is also working for me now.
The issue is a graphics card problem where your card is too powerful for the game.
Try any/all of the following to fix the problem:
Uninstall the game completely then reinstall (only worth trying if the game ran at least once before you experienced the problem)
Update your graphics card drivers
Downgrade your graphics card drivers
Disable your graphics card within Device Manager then restart Windows (remember to re-enable after you have finished playing)
Run Win95 in Dosbox. Then you just run the software + you can play any other oldie instead of messing with hardware settings and restoring them after playing.