Written and Edited By: MarkEAW

Download Links:
-game-patch-registry - Has all the old Win9x and WinXP EAW helping reg fixes plus a WinVista / Win7 menu color fix.




About Registry Entries Produced by Windows | Game EXE File Names
Direct Draw Menu Color Registry Fix | Windows 8/10 Compatibility Layer
Win10 And DirectDraw | ACT Compatibility Database EAW Entry
Moving A EAW Game Folder | Having Multiple Copy's Of The Game | Cleaning Out The Registry Of EAW



This document was written to get you out of issues or problems you may have with the game and Windows Registry.



This section is for the more complex details pertaining to the Windows Registry and EAW. Such as how EAW behaves with the Windows OS and it's Registry. This is not a complete guide, but only part of the picture.


About Registry Entries Produced by Windows:
The EAW game itself does not put any entries into the registry. EAW does not use any information that is stored within the registry for its own purpose. The only entries in the registry are those produced by the Windows operating system. The operating system produce changes in the registry whenever you run, move or duplicate the EAW.EXE file on the hard disk. These entries are used by Windows for tracking, compatibility and running the game itself.

There is an entry produced by the operating system that shows the path to every EAW.EXE and this value will be updated automatically. As far as I can tell any entries in the Registry for EAW are based on the full file/folder path to a eaw.exe. (The cache location used on the HD is different for each file/folder path name. Meaning that a file called "C:\MicroProse Software\EAW12\eaw.exe" is a totally different file than the one called
"C:\MicroProse Software\EAW10\eaw.exe").

As what I determined is that the Windows OS self generated REG Entries only need to know that 'eaw.exe' is launched to apply the correct automated compatibility settings to it.



Game EXE File Names:
Remember when running the game natively (without a wrapper), to get the best performance, stability and compatibility out of the game and Windows (after WinME), any of the specially modified or even unmodified EAW "exe's" available from the EAW community will have to be renamed to just "eaw.exe" before you run them. Windows2000 and above are very sensitive to the EAW naming as they have built in Compatibility Fixes/Modes (not the same as Compatibility Mode Tab settings you find in a shortcut for the game). Those Windows Modes all look for filename eaw.exe to apply to correct settings.

You may get the "Sorry, EAW will not run under WinNT" error if the filename is not eaw.exe. You'll have problems running the game properly. Not to mention many registry entries will have to be rewritten by the Windows OS for every name of a exe you have run, which will eventually cause problems and won't run properly.

If your using a Wrapper program, you can have multiple game exe's with different filenames on a WinNT system as the Wrapper is handling the game and not WinOS. However one game exe must be named eaw.exe. See my 'Troubleshoot Wrappers Help Document' for more details on this.



Direct Draw Menu Color Registry Fix:
If on Windows Vista or Win7 and the EAW Menu Screens colors are messed up, you can use a special program that I found to help EAW's DirectDraw Screens and Windows to get along better, thus restoring the Menu Screen colors back to normal. You use this if your running natively and not using a Wrapper Program.

The Windows OS, Windows 7 (perhaps Vista as well) applies some sort of a Compatibility Fix when eaw.exe is run (I no longer have win7 so I can't say what is applied), but the fix that the MS Windows OS applies, lacks a 8 bit color fix for the menu screens (Note: those screens in game are displayed with DirectDraw). However to correct the colors you can apply a 3rd party (but really a Microsoft Setting) registry color fix for the Accelerated DirectDraw screens to work correctly. Even when this Registry setting is applied, EAW runs at full speed on those Windows OS versions, (Note: A natively run game (no Wrappers) displays at 60FPS on Win7).

If the menu color issue is your only issue, then I recommend you forgo any of the Direct3D type Wrapper Programs and just use a DirectDraw Registry Fixer Program I mention below. This type of fix is a lighter option (less CPU power required to run the game than using a Wrapper).

The name of the DirectDraw registry entry program I prefer (there are two of them) is the "DirectDraw Compatibility Tool" made by Galogen. (This program is for WinVista and Win7 ONLY). This will create automated registry entries to correct EAWs Menu Screen colors. You must apply the fix for each eaw.exe you intend to run, and in the game folder that you run it from. Just remember this; you either want to use a Wrapper Program or this Reg Fix, NOT Both. If you use both it will cause problems..., so stick with one or the other. Running the game without Wrappers is preferred on Win7.

(See the top of this page for a link to the download the DD Compatibility Tool and don't forget to read the readme that comes with the program to understand how to use it).

Here's my instructions to use it, below:

1) Place the program in the game folder you want to fix.
2) You then run the program, pick the eaw.exe you intend to use, and then click 'Apply' or 'Create Reg File'. It then checks the eaw.exe file for some specific attributes, such as CRC and File Size etc. Then it writes a reg file that you can inspect with notepad, if you used the option to create reg file.
3) To finish, You need to Install this new reg entry "patch" with a right click on the filename.reg, install or merge.


If afterwards you need to delete an entry in the registry file, here are there locations written by the Reg Fix program, pick which ever one you used (The first entry is for a 64bit Windows OS , the second is for a 32bit Windows OS):

The DirectDraw Compatibility Tool writes here:



Tip: See my 'Known Bugs and Features Ideas Help Document' and read the section titled 'WEIRD COLORED MENU SCREENS' on that page if you need more details about the odd colors you may experience.



Windows 8.1/10 Compatibility Layer:
All tests show that Win10 applies its own Compatibility Mode to the eaw.exe automatically (at least most of the time) when the game is first launched outside of a wrapper program, by clicking the eaw.exe to run it directly, naitevly.

Win10 applies a detected 8/16 bit color / Compatibility Mode called: "DWM8And16BitMitigation". This will display the in-game DirectDraw Menu Screens perfectly (unlike Win7, see above). (The fix offers mitigation for applications that work in 8/16-bit display combo color mode because these legacy color modes are not natively supported in Windows 8.1/10). This may be partly also why all EAW versions/types runs slower in the games Flight Screen in Win8.1/10 than on Windows 7 (Note: the game runs full speed on Win7).

If you are going to use a Wrapper Program in Win8/10 I suggest that you remove the MS Windows OS set Fixes first to strictly use a DirectDraw / Direct3D Wrapper to run the game in Windows 10. (Preferably, you do not want to run a DX Wrapper Program plus an OS set Fix together, they may and often will conflict with each other and most likely give you the graphical 7217 eaw error or other issues, like lower FPS, even when Optimizing a Wrapper Program).

When you remove these registry entries, do NOT run the specific eaw.exe from OUTSIDE of the Wrapper Program, or the WindowsOS Fix will be most likely be written again by the WindowsOS, causing problems. (For steps to remove the entry in the REGISTRY, see the topic further down, 'Cleaning Out The Registry Of EAW'). The entries to remove are also listed below.

However, If you need to re-introduce this reg entry because Win10 fails to automatically apply it, which results in you getting the 7217 EAW error when run outside a Wrapper with no set fix in the registry. Then you'll want to add back this Value Data in the registry path indicated below.

These are the Win8.1 and Win10 Registry Additional Compatibility Mode/Fix Entries:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers

These are the Values (Note that the folder path to your game will be different):
Value Name: D:\MicroProse Software\EAW12\eaw.exe
Value Data: DWM8And16BitMitigation

and/or (setting for All Users):
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers

These are the Values (Note that the folder path to your game will be different):
Value Name: D:\MicroProse Software\EAW12\eaw.exe
Value Data: $ DWM8And16BitMitigation



If your getting the 7217 error and you don't want to mess around trying to add to the registry, a quick tip that I found is to do the following procedure. This will add the correct Value Data to the registry if you find windows won't do it automatically:

  1. You can select/highlight the eaw.exe that won't start and right click it.
  2. Select properties at the bottom of the menu that pops ups.
  3. Select the Compatibility tab at the top of the menu that pops up.
    Under Compatibility mode check mark 'Run this program in compatibility mode for:' and Click okay. (no need to bother selecting a windows version).
  4. Now double left click your eaw.exe and the error will be gone , then the main screen menu will apear,....exit out of the game.
  5. Next right click the eaw.exe again and this time uncheck the mark and click okay. (remember to do this, because with a Compatibility mode checked, you can run into problems with your controls and other weirdness).
  6. Now double left click your eaw.exe and the error will be gone and the game will launch.



Win10 And DirectDraw:
In Windows 8/8.1 Microsoft deprecated DirectDraw even more so. It's been superseded with something called Direct2D, and this doesn't provide the full boosted performance to old DirectDraw games like the original accelerated DD DirectX did. (DirectDraw appears to be used for the HUD text "overlay" during the D3D flight screen in EAW...).

This directly effects the Frames Per Second in EAW's Flight Screen, as they have dropped dramatically from Windows 7 EAW performance, Nearly in half. From around 60 to down to around 30FPS, sometimes slower in heavy trafficked game moments (and on low spec machines). There has been many post made to Microsoft about this issue, so far no update has addressed it (June 2018).

Slow Screen Transitioning:
The old Windows10 update; version 1803 (April 2018) has an issue of slowing down the screen switching of EAW from the normal delay of 1 to 2 sec, to making it around 7 to 10 secs. This applies to first loading the game to get to the Main Menu, and going from the Main Menu to the Loading Fuel Gauge, and exiting Flight Screen back to Mission Results Screen. Its unclear what Microsoft did to cause fixed with a Wrapper Program....I figure its the speed at which its loading the textures and graphics, including the models, It could not only be an OS problem but more specifically a DirectX/DirectDraw issue....

However tested a year later (April 11 2019), the slow menu transitioning is gone now. EAW is running normally again in this regard. (Just like before).



ACT Compatibility Database EAW Entry:
Windows also has a central database of compatibility fixes and modes that it uses on eaw.exe that are not in the registry. For further advanced details and information on the Win10 Fixes, Modes and the ACT toolkit settings; see my 'Windows ACT ToolKit Help Document' and refer to the topic titled 'Windows 8.1/10'. You don't really need to read all that information, it's there for the technically minded though.

I was researching the issue to try to get EAW to run as close to 'natively' as possible while retaining high performance for the game. Testing is done with the ACT compatibility settings ToolKit. To speed things up in the emulation layer of Win10 I've tried many, many fixes that I could come up with, none worked (early 2018) However Since then, with deeper testing (later in 2018) using the ACT toolkit for Win10, I've found some tweaks to increase speed and performance corrections, however testing is incomplete and limited currently (June 2018)...

So then you won't want to mess with what is called the Win8.1/10 ACT compatibility database unless your an Advanced user. It's completely unnecessary to experiment with it, even earlier versions, however if your interested, see my help document 'Windows ACT ToolKit' for my findings to TRY to improve the game compatibility and performance.



Moving A EAW Game Folder:
Moving a game folder that you have already run a game in, is considered moving a game that the Windows OS has set Registry entries for already. Once you have moved the game folder contents to a new location, or renamed the folder the game is in, you should clean out the Registry of the old location.

A build up of Compatibility Registry entries for the game, may at some point cause the game not to load and run, no matter where it is on your system. See 'Game Crashes To Desktop Troubleshooting' topics under the section PROBLEMS RUNNING THE GAME , and read the topic titled 'Game CTD When Loading Game / It will never run' for more details on this rare occurrence.

(For instructions to remove the entry in the REGISTRY, see the topic below, 'Cleaning Out The Registry Of EAW').



Having Multiple Copy's of the Game:
You can have as many copy's of EAW on your HD as you want, especially when you manually install the game. See my 'Many Copies Help Document' for all the ways to do this. Below is the information that pertains to the registry.

Beaware, that some of the Windows compatibility fixes will set themselves based on the location (or folder path) to the eaw.exe. The DirectDraw registry fixes used for WinVista/Win7 are based on the exact exe used. So it's best once you RUN or Apply a Reg FIX to any particular EAW game folder, that you leave it in that location. Otherwise you may need to reapply a Windows fix and perhaps clean up the old reg entries. This doesn't normally effect Wrappers, as they are more or less dependent on the path you point them too.



Cleaning Out The Registry Of EAW:
If EAW will no longer run (after it has before) no matter what you do properly to add the game to your computer HD. This is because when ever you delete/rename a EAW game folder or the game has been effected by other compatibility problems, the old Registry Entries that where left over can be detrimental to new 'installations' of the game where it won't run/launch.

If you have to remove the primary entry due to a Compatibility Layering issue, do the following:
(Or use the ACT Toolkit to views and remove which eaw.exe's have this registry entry.)

From the taskbar, click on the Start button

  • In the Search or Run field type REGEDIT or REGEDT32, Press the Enter key on the keyboard
  • Click Yes in the User Account Control dialog (if necessary)
  • Navigate to:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers
  • Click Layers to select it
  • You may find multiple EAW entries listed. If multiple eaw.exe are listed, make sure you select perhaps the entry that is disallowing launch.
  • Press Delete on the keyboard
  • Click Yes in the Confirm Key Delete



You may also (if the primary entry removal didn't help), need to go through the entire Windows OS Registry searching for entries with "eaw.exe" and "European Air War" and "EAW" etc... ...and remove them so you can start over fresh. Read on below.



Here's a list of Registry Entry Locations that Windows 10 has other than the previous mentioned entry above. (If you find more please let me know). I would NOT delete the following unless they are clearly NOT used anymore by a current or present location of a EAW game folder / eaw.exe.

I'm truly unsure which Registry entry is the real problem beyond the primary entry listed above, because I don't know exactly what they are doing or really what the Windows OS is doing with them. I have no idea why so many EAW entries by the Windows OS. If you know more about the more mysterious reg entries, please let me know... Below is a list of the related reg entries that I found in Win10.

For now just delete the entries that point to non existing EAW game locations and eaw.exe's. I had to do this once before myself and I'm no expert, and it resulted in the game running again.


There appears to be a ton of Registry Virtualization for the 32 bit EAW game. The following descriptions is what I'm guessing at their meaning. I'm still baffled why Windows needs these entries, perhaps most are not needed...

  • The NVIDIA entry is probably for when you customize the Graphics Card Control Panel for the game, like adding Anti Alias setting just for EAW game profile.
  • Wow6432Node is all about running 32 bit applications on a 64 bit system. A 32bit (x86) system wouldn't have these entries, if they do they are ignored.
  • MostRecentApplication is apparently which game that uses Direct3D / DirectDraw last.
  • The DirectPlay entries are probably the compatibility settings for the game under Multiplayer.
  • RADAR is Windows applications troubleshooting a memory leak.


Searched For :  "eaw.exe"  (Search Registry and check mark, Match Whole String Only).


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NVIDIA Corporation\Global\NVTweak\NvCplAppNamesStored



Applications\European Air War



Microsoft\DirectPlay\Applications\European Air War


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\DirectPlay\Applications\European Air War


HKEY_USERS\<User SID>\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\

HKEY_USERS\<User SID>\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\

HKEY_USERS\<User SID>\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\
Microsoft\DirectPlay\Applications\European Air War

HKEY_USERS\<User SID>_Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\

HKEY_USERS\<User SID>_Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\

HKEY_USERS\<User SID>_Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\
Microsoft\DirectPlay\Applications\European Air War



Searched For :  "european air war"  (Search Registry and check mark, Match Whole String Only).


HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\MuiCache

DirectPlay\Applications\European Air War

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\MuiCache

Microsoft\DirectPlay\Applications\European Air War


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\GameUX\<User SID>\

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microprose Software\European Air War

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\DirectPlay\Applications\European Air War


HKEY_USERS\<User SID>\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\

HKEY_USERS\<User SID>\Software\Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\
Microsoft\DirectPlay\Applications\European Air War

HKEY_USERS\<User SID>_Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\MuiCache

HKEY_USERS\<User SID>_Classes\VirtualStore\MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\
Microsoft\DirectPlay\Applications\European Air War