Grim Fandango Game Install Guide: Windows XP

Author: Glenn Scrima

Buenos dias fellow adventure gaming fans! In honor of another one of my favorite games of all time I decided to help resurrect this classic from the Land of the Dead and back onto everyone’s computer screen. This game is thankfully much easier to run than its Dos companions since it’s a Windows native program. But before you search through your closet, attic, or basement to find your old copy make sure that you spend a few minutes to know how to get it running. The good news like I said before is that this is a Windows game, the only slightly bad news is that it was designed for Windows 95 and 98 and not Windows XP and Vista. This can still work in your favor though if you follow a few simple steps.

Installing Grim Fandango

Desktop image
First: Insert Grim Fandango disk 1. Most computers will automatically launch the install file by default but if your computer has this feature turned off it is relatively simple to do manually. Go to My Computer and right click on your CD or DVD-Rom drive (its usually the D: or E: drive). You will see a small menu come up at this point, click open. Now if you look at the small number of files that come up one will be named Setup, double click this file and the install process should begin.

Note: Some computers may experience problems running the setup file. If this happens follow the first steps I just provided but just before right click on the setup file. Move the cursor down the small menu you just brought up and click "Properties". Now looking at the two tabs at the top click the one that says “Compatibility”. Under the tab named “Compatibility” you should see a check box with “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” next to it. Click the check box and change the compatibility mode to “Windows 98 / Windows Me” in the drop down menu. Finally click the “Ok” button and run the Setup file again.

Installing the Patch

Grim Fandango patch website
Next: Now that the program is installed we need to run the patch before we play it. You can find the patch here (link). Once the patch is downloaded double click it and allow update the program for you.

Playing the Game

First: Go to My Computer > C: Drive > Program Files > LucasArts > Grim

Next: Right Click on the file “Grim”. In the small menu displayed click “Properties” . Select the “Compatibility” tab. Under the area labeled “Compatibility mode” click the check box next to “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and finally select “Windows 98 / Me” on the drop down menu, then “Ok”.

Grim Fandango setup menu
And Lastly: The game may or may not run properly for you at this point. The problem that most people will encounter is static like lines running through the screen. If this happens press F1 then scroll to “Options”. Under “Options” try turning 3D Accelaration on or off (which one works depends on your video card). At this point you should be all set. I will be posting another guide soon on how to run Grim Fandango off your hard drive (no CD’s). Until then enjoy your stay in the Land of the Dead!

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sebekm said...

A few weeks ago I tried installing and running GF on my new (one year old) system (MPC ClientPro 385 /w Intel Core2 Duo processor-2.40GHZ, 4MB cache, 1066 FSB; 4GB RAM, 160GB HDD (2x80 w/RAID controller); ATI Radeon X1650PRO 512 MB PCIE video card; Creative Soundblaster Audigy SE sound card; running Windows XP Pro w/SP3). Initially, I couldn't install the game from the CDs I purchased way back when. When that problem was solved, the game wouldn't run without freezing up after about five minutes or so (video freeze/audio stuttering). I eventually solved these problems and just finished running the game from start to finish with no problems whatsoever. Since my solutions were a combination of suggestions found by searching the internet and my own trial and error, I thought I'd post what worked for me - as it seems that lots of folks are discovering this game and trying to play it on their newer systems.
1. The solution to the install problem was to download and install the Grim Fandango replacement setup and installer program from:
Once this program was installed, I was able to install the entire game on my hard drive with no problems.
2. When I tried to run the game, I encountered the above described freezes and audio stuttering. I found that setting the game's properties in Win XP's compatibility mode to: "Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5)," and then setting the game's 3d Hardware Acceleration to "OFF" through the game's Options Menu provided the best results - although the freezes/stuttering continued. (Note: I tried running the game in both Windows 95 and Windows 98/ Windows ME compatibility modes, but both of these settings produced an inferior "scratchy" audio, and degraded video.)
3. More internet searching led me to a web page titled "Game Issues with Multiproccessor/ Hyperthreading Systems" at:
I followed the instructions on this page for the "permanent way" to fix the problem (the temporary fix didn't work for me). This consisted of downloading imagecfg and unzipping it to the two folders specified; creating processor.bat per the instructions; saving processor.bat to the game directory; copying a backup of grimfandango.exe to a different directory (just in case); and then modifying grimfandango.exe in the game directory with processor.bat.
Once I did this the game ran like a charm - no hangs, no problems with any of the puzzles (although the elevator puzzle and the crane/chain puzzle were a bit "twitchy" - just the same as when I ran the game on my older systems). But the graphics, sound, and everything else was spectacular. I've kept the compatibility mode set to "Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5)," and the hardware acceleration set to "OFF" in the game's Options Menu.

Hope this information helps anybody having problems running the game on their XP system. Good luck!

Lucas said...

Many thanks for that Glenn, I absolutely LOVE this game. Looking forward for part 2 ;)

Lucas said...

Thanks a lot Glenn, I absolutely LOVE this game. Looking forward for part 2 ;D