Troubleshooting FS2004 Launch Issues on Windows 11

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crash_deplane Trainee

I managed to install FS2004 on my Windows 11 laptop, but no matter what I do it won't launch.  I've tried running it as administrator, in compatibility mode, but absolutely nothing happens.  Does the installer also have to be run in compatibility mode?

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello there! I see you're facing some hiccups with getting FS2004 up and running on your Windows 11 system. Let's dive into a few potential solutions that might help resolve this. First off, kudos for trying out the administrator mode and compatibility settings - those are often the go-to initial steps.

  1. Running the Installer in Compatibility Mode: Yes, it's a good idea to run the installer in compatibility mode as well. To do this:
    • Right-click on the installer > Properties > Compatibility tab.
    • Check "Run this program in compatibility mode for" and select an older Windows version, like Windows XP or Windows 7.
    • Apply the settings and then run the installer again.
  2. Updating Graphics Drivers: Outdated or incompatible drivers can sometimes cause issues. Ensure your graphics drivers are up to date. You can usually find the latest drivers on your graphics card manufacturer's website.
  3. DirectX Version: FS2004 was built for older DirectX versions. Make sure you have the necessary legacy DirectX components installed. You can download these from the official Microsoft website.
  4. User Account Control (UAC) Settings: High UAC settings can sometimes interfere with older software. Try lowering these settings temporarily to see if it makes a difference.
  5. Checking for Conflicting Software: Sometimes, other software can conflict with FS2004. Consider doing a clean boot to check if any background applications might be causing the issue.
  6. Running in Windowed Mode: Some users have found success in running FS2004 in windowed mode. You can usually set this in the game's settings or configuration file.

Remember, these steps are applicable to both Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and X-Plane 12 if you ever encounter similar issues. However, due to the more recent architecture of these platforms, such issues are less common.

If you're still encountering problems after trying these solutions, feel free to provide more details about any error messages or behavior you're observing. This will help in giving a more tailored solution. Good luck, and I hope you'll be back in the virtual skies in no time!

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