Feb 262009
 

[2010-08-12: It seems that perfect solution is found. Start reading article from bottom. :)]

I like Starcraft. Both playing and watching it. However, since I installed Windows 7, each time I run it, screen goes into weird color. Half of color palette just goes into cyan.

This is usually restricted to menus. Once game starts, everything looks fine (ok, water has artefacts too), but from time to time, whole game gets garbled. There is nothing to do other than exiting game.

I tried various settings on compatibility mode without real success. Setting compatibility mode to Windows XP (where game looks good) made things even worse since Starcraft started reporting that it cannot load a file (font\font.gid). Neither combination of settings got palette problem solved.

Unrelated googling threw me a solution. Just open Screen Resolution window and run Starcraft (with that window still open). Colors are as they should be.

I haven’t tested this on Vista yet, but if you have a same problem, it is worth a shot.

Why exactly this works – I have no idea.

[2009-03-06: Notice that you still need some compatibility settings. Here are ones that work for me in Windows 7. Disabling display scaling enables me to have higher DPI (120%) and still use my map (otherwise, place I select on map isn't place where I end up). Without disabling desktop composition, I cannot even switch to game and without administrative rights you may stumble upon some problems if you are running from Program Files folder (write forbidden for normal users). Checking other stuff didn't make anything better, so I left it off.]

[2009-06-09: With Windows 7 RC, things got worse. Even with every checkbox selected, Windows 95 compatibility mode and resolution screen open, I cannot reproduce proper screen every time. Sometimes it works properly, sometimes you can get it to work by pressing Alt+Tab repeatedly, and sometimes it is best to exit and enter again.]

[2009-08-28: This workaround works for final version of Windows 7. It does not work every time but success ratio is well over 50%.]

[2010-08-12: One annonymous commenter suggested solution that includes registry changes. All I can say is that it really works. I did test it only on Windows 7 (64-bit version) and it works perfectly. I do hope that it works on other versions (Vista also). I took liberty of packing those two hacks into one zip file. Do leave comment if you find it working (or not) on other versions.]

  48 Responses to “Starcraft color problem”

Comments (48)
  1. This worked perfectly. Thanks so much – I’ve been searching for a solution to this for quite some time now!

  2. thank you, this is very helpful

  3. This is such a bizarre solution, but it works for me…

  4. Hah hah, wow… it worked! Was starting to get a little frustrated! Thanks much!

  5. Wow, why the hell does this work? Meh, whatever.

  6. This worked for a while and then stopped.
    any other ideas?

    • Only thing that works for me now is to Alt-Tab few times and screen fixes it self.

      Once Windows 7 final version comes out, I will do my best to reproduce correct colors in any way possible. :)

  7. Tested on Vista (home basic) and working :D

  8. haha wth… it worked !
    thank you

  9. I hope Microsoft release a patch so we don’t need these silly work arounds.
    But thanks :)

    • I wouldn’t wait for patch. This problem is there since Vista launch and it will probably stay with us. Technicaly it is bug in Starcraft, not in Windows. :(

  10. if the color bugs out in the middle of the game, all I have to do is go to the video options and change the gamma, then change it back. That fixes it for me.

  11. Right-Click StarCraft.exe, Properties. Under Compatability, select Run in 640×480 resolution. Fixed my problem, I’m running Windows 7 RC

  12. I figured it out. make sure that you’re screen saver doesn’t change often. mine changes every 5 minutes and sure enough, every five minutes my screen would go all funky

  13. Now only would I’d like to figure out how to make the Screen Resolution window to open as Starcraft is runned…

    But thanks, this sames my day anyways :)

  14. this fixed it for me perfectly on a new version of windows 7. go to the search box from the start start tab and type “compatibility” click on the first program listed. run the trouble shooting wizard based on problems you have noticed. check the box “worked on previous versions of windows. click through. it will ask you what versions it worked on. choose windows 98. thats it, test it and click next to finalize. runs perfect

  15. For me works killing the “explorer.exe”-task in the task manager. Not my invention found it somewhere, seems to work for many people. Your fix didn’t work for me.

  16. The fix is much more simple. As encountered with many programs Windows7 Aero does damage to graphics of older program. My first encounter was with Matlab…Windows7 Aero screws up with Java and doesn’t even let the program start.

    A solution to many problems related to windows7 compatability with Windows7 Aero is disableing the Theme. Just save youre current them and use Windows Basic Them. Everything Works out just fine.

  17. This is not a solution. Yes it does fix it for a little while but not forever and you end up having to restart the game to fix it time after time. Blizzard needs to put out a windows 7 patch.

  18. Tried this not expecting it to work… Why the hell does it? Someone needs to explain this to me ._.

  19. Great solution, worked for me!d

  20. I have a fix that works 100%. Update your starcraft to the latest version, then use chaoslauncher (google it) and all you have to do is turn on w-mode on the chaoslauncher. Problem solved.

  21. Another solution, close explorer.exe from taskmanager. Then go to file -> new task and search starcraft.exe

    Happens the same with Diablo 1

  22. The “explorer.exe” trick works every time. Why? The taskbar itself (which Windows Explorer, the file manager, manages) runs “always on top”, except now with Windows 7, it fucks with the palette. Kill it, start StarCraft (in whatever order) and be happy.

  23. bless your soul man, bless your soul. now all of the awesome cutscenes wont be ruined by the color problem.

  24. Found a good solution:

    Open notepad

    Copy this code into it:
    taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
    Start /wait C:\”Program Files”\StarCraft\StarCraft.exe
    Start explorer.exe

    When saving it, in “Type” choose “All files” and save it as Starcraft.bat

    Now, just click on Starcraft.bat to run it.

    Nota:

    If you have a 64 bits system, use this code instead:
    taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
    Start /wait C:\”Program Files (x86)”\StarCraft\StarCraft.exe
    Start explorer.exe

  25. For 64bit OS make this changes to registry (similar patch is already done by MS):

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\DirectDraw\Compatibility\Starcraft116]

    “Flags”=hex:00,08,00,00
    “Name”=”Starcraft.exe”
    “ID”=hex:ca,89,65,49

    For 32bit OS :

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\DirectDraw\Compatibility\Starcraft116]
    “Flags”=hex:00,08,00,00
    “Name”=”Starcraft.exe”
    “ID”=hex:ca,89,65,49

  26. hey, this fix didn’t work but it turns out my screensaver was the problem. . . and it changed every 10 seconds!! thanks so much David! :D

  27. The link that Tomáš Čejka listed in post 25 worked perfect for me; after trying most of the other tricks listed to no avail. I’m running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit…

    -Just open notepad and type these four lines…(remember to save file with .bat extension)

    taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
    StarCraft.exe
    pause
    start explorer.exe

    When you save it: Click save-as and when the window opens look for “Save as type” and choose the “All Files” option. I named my file StarCraftStartup.bat (must be saved as a batch file). ***Save this file in the Starcraft folder: “Local Disk->Program Files (x86)->Starcraft***
    -Now Right click on the Starcraft desktop icon and choose the option “Open File Location”. You should see the file you created in notepad in the list of files that appear. Create a shortcut of your notepad file, drag it to your desktop and use that to run your copy of starcraft! Problem Solved!

  28. The regfix works on win7 ! Thanks !

  29. I tried all of the fixes suggested in the article but none seemed to work. Okay, I figured I’d try EVERY combination of the fixes to see if any worked. Yeah, this was convoluted and silly, but here’s my final fix.
    FYI: I use Win7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM.

    I always have the run as administrator box checked since some anti-virus and firewall programs will crash certain games if you don’t, so that’s out of the way already.

    First, I tried ALL the different compatibility modes, since they usually do nothing to fix any problems I have. They all crashed the file immediately upon load. Couldn’t even get the StarCraft Banner logo to Pop. So, I disable compatibility mode.

    So then I tried Run in 256 color mode, which the game was originally made in. Still glitching. No luck with disabling visual themes either. So that’s two more boxes left unchecked.

    Disabling Desktop Composition fixed a couple of the problems I had, but I still had color glitches. I left that on.
    Disabling Display Scaling fixed my other non-color problems, but still experienced color glitches. Left that on as well.

    Tried the Window Resolution box trick. No luck there.
    Downloaded and installed the registry hack for 64 bit. Still no luck.

    Then I tried a bunch of stuff that has no effects on games and is unrelated to games or graphics but did solve my problems. I was running 3DMark Vantage when it disabled my custom themes and changed it to Windows 7 Basic. After the benchmark finished, I left the program up, and decided to just play the game with the glitches. Lo, and behold, no color glitches. The solution was immediately obvious. Just switch your theme to Windows 7 Basic. As near as I can tell the only difference between my custom theme and the W7B is there is only one wallpaper image for the basic. My custom theme had 50 different wallpapers set to change every minute. The registry hack may or may not be helping with my fix so you might as well use it.

  30. EXCELLENT!!! it works :) thanks a mill!

  31. The reg trick worked. Thanks man.

  32. Zip file worked for my x64 system! Thanks so much.

  33. wow it worked for me (win xp sp2)

  34. thx guys it worked on my win xp sp2 with x64

  35. i love you so much, these regestry fixes made it work on windows 7 :)

  36. Beautiful! the registry fix worked like a charm!!!

  37. GREAT NOW I CANT PLAY STARCRAFT…..

  38. it’s not working for me for some reason??

  39. This worked Beautifully for me… The only issue I have, is after exiting the game…it kills my desktop and I have to “Log Off” and then “Log On” (Not a real big issue) However I can play the game again!

    (If anyone knows of an easy fix, and wants to take the time to email me.. aiwa741@yahoo.com Thank-you!)

    Windows7 Home Premium 64-bit

    Here’s the fix I used….

    -Just open notepad and type these four lines…(remember to save file with .bat extension)

    taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
    StarCraft.exe
    pause
    start explorer.exe

    When you save it: Click save-as and when the window opens look for “Save as type” and choose the “All Files” option. I named my file StarCraftStartup.bat (must be saved as a batch file). ***Save this file in the Starcraft folder: “Local Disk->Program Files (x86)->Starcraft***
    -Now Right click on the Starcraft desktop icon and choose the option “Open File Location”. You should see the file you created in notepad in the list of files that appear. Create a shortcut of your notepad file, drag it to your desktop and use that to run your copy of starcraft! Problem Solved!

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