Getting CNC TFD to run on Windows 10 is remarkably simple, thanks to CCHyper, nathancnc & Nyerguds.
I've replicated this on multiple machines with brand new windows installs. I hope it helps someone.
1. Enable Legacy Components (DirectPlay) in Windows 10.
2. Install CNCTFD.
3. Patch using tfd-103-rev4.exe from cncnz.com
4. Create options.ini files with correct contents in correct directories
5. Play CNC
This guide will get you playing Generals and Generals Zero Hour. I haven't tried the others. There is another comprehensive guide to CNCTFD here:
https://cncnz.com/features/technical-support-help-guides/fully-updating-the-first-decade/ however my guide is specifically CNCTFD on Windows 10 (Generals and Zero Hour).
NO other files required. No old directx installs. No trying to sign and install secdrv.sys. No other packages. No VMs. I am a bit slow, have been trying to get this working for a few years on and off. Spent way to much time, but hoping it helps someone else! I've tried to step through as if you know very little, so that anyone who wants to play their classic CNCTFD set on Windows 10 can play regardless of technical ability. This means for example rather than just saying "create an options.ini file" which in many cases would end up with "options.ini.txt" I've included a cut-and-paste option into a command prompt with step by step instructions on how to open the command prompt, rather than assuming someone knows how to create a .ini file.
Firstly, click on the start menu and start typing "Turn Windows" and open the "Turn Windows features on or off".
In the Windows Features window, select "Legacy Components" and click ok, allowing Windows to install the features.
From your C&C TFD DVD, start the installation process (Autorun from the DVD)
Enter your CNCTFD Key, Next
CUSTOM INSTALL, Next.
Change directory to c:\games\cnctfd, Next
Install all programs, Next
Type in all keys. Next
Click install... wait... Finish.
Install unofficial patch from here: https://cncnz.com/hosted-projects/command-patch/the-first-decade-unofficial-patch/
Double click tfd-103-rev4.exe.
You will get a warning about a possible virus. There is plenty of talk on the forums about this.
I'm installing CNCTFD for Generals and Generals Zero Hour so I don't need to worry about it.
On the blue cmd.exe screen, once finished, press any key and it will close.
You can then install CnCNet or not. If you choose to install it then the CnCNet installer will start. I won't cover that here.
The icon on your desktop will have changed now slightly to a large X.
Double click to open the launcher.
Click CnC Generals. *** You will get a spinning wheel, then back to the launcher. THIS IS GOOD. ***
Now click on CnC Generals Zero Hour. *** You will get a spinning wheel, then back to the launcher. THIS IS GOOD. ***
CLOSE THE LAUNCHER by clicking QUIT.
There are now two new directories in your users Documents directory. In my case it is C:\Users\User\Documents
Your computer will probably be different, swapping USER for your particular username. So it could be C:\Users\MickyMouse\Documents
The two new directories are:
C:\Users\User\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data
C:\Users\User\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data
You need to create a new file called options.ini, and place it inside each of these directories. It can't be options.ini.txt or options.txt. It needs to be options.ini
You can do this on the command line. If you don't know how to open a cmd prompt:
Click start and start typing "cmd". Once you see Command Prompt, press enter. Copy the following line and paste it into the cmd prompt. The strange looking characters are newlines. They are not an error.
echo AntiAliasing = 2◙BuildingOcclusion = yes◙CampaignDifficulty = 0◙DrawScrollAnchor = yes◙DynamicLOD = no◙ExtraAnimations = yes◙GameSpyIPAddress = 0.0.0.0◙Gamma = 50◙HeatEffects = yes◙IPAddress = 0.0.0.0◙IdealStaticGameLOD = Low◙LanguageFilter = false◙MaxParticleCount = 5000◙MoveScrollAnchor = ◙MusicVolume = 50◙Resolution = 1920 1200◙Retaliation = yes◙SFX3DVolume = 72◙SFXVolume = 64◙ScrollFactor = 145◙SendDelay = no◙ShowSoftWaterEdge = yes◙ShowTrees = yes◙StaticGameLOD = Custom◙TextureReduction = 0◙UseAlternateMouse = yes◙UseCloudMap = yes◙UseDoubleClickAttackMove = no◙UseLightMap = yes◙UseShadowDecals = yes◙UseShadowVolumes = yes◙VoiceVolume = 78◙ > "%userprofile%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data\options.ini" & copy "%userprofile%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data\options.ini" "%userprofile%\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data\options.ini"
This will create a new options.ini with the required settings and copy to both locations.
Close the command prompt. Open a new windows explorer window (Windows + E) and navigate to documents --> Command and Conquer Generals Data.
It should now contain a file "options.ini" or just "options" with a cog icon. Double click and it should contain the following text (NOT including the starts **** at the beginning and end).
AntiAliasing = 2
BuildingOcclusion = yes
CampaignDifficulty = 0
DrawScrollAnchor = yes
DynamicLOD = no
ExtraAnimations = yes
GameSpyIPAddress = 0.0.0.0
Gamma = 50
HeatEffects = yes
IPAddress = 0.0.0.0
IdealStaticGameLOD = Low
LanguageFilter = false
MaxParticleCount = 5000
MusicVolume = 50
Resolution = 1920 1200
Retaliation = yes
SFX3DVolume = 72
SFXVolume = 64
ScrollFactor = 145
SendDelay = no
ShowSoftWaterEdge = yes
ShowTrees = yes
StaticGameLOD = Custom
TextureReduction = 0
UseAlternateMouse = yes
UseCloudMap = yes
UseDoubleClickAttackMove = no
UseLightMap = yes
UseShadowDecals = yes
UseShadowVolumes = yes
VoiceVolume = 78
Make sure you set the Resolution = to the resolution of your screen.
Mine is 1920 1200 but yours may be different. Don't change anything else.
Once you have changed this, click file --> save and repeat the process for the options file inside of Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data.
Close all your windows and happy playing. I DID NOT need to change compatibility settings or run as administrator. No direct X install, or downloading of other files.
All you need is the amazing patch that is provided on cncnz.com (huge thankyou to the authors and website). If this guide hasn't worked for you, please start from the beginning and don't skip any steps. Also you may need to have a clean install of windows 10, I don't know what you have already done or installed. Try uninstalling CNCTFD before you start the guide.