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ss2:start

System Shock 2 info for Windows 2000 and Windows XP

System Shock 2 was developed to run on the OS Windows 95 and thus has all kind of problems when being installed / running on a newer OS version of Windows. The information provided in this article should help to overcome these obstacles.

Getting the game installer to work on Windows 2000 and Windows XP

  1. Put the System Shock CD into the CD-Rom drive. If the autostart feature is enabled for the CD-Rom drive the installer menu of System Shock 2 will come up. Exit this automatically launched installer instance since you need to call the installer with a special parameter to make it work.
  2. On the Windwos Desktop pick Start→Run from the Start menu in the Windows task bar. A little window will open, type <CD-Rom drive letter>:\setup -lgntforce in the entry field labled Open:. Replace <CD-Rom drive letter> with the letter associated with the CD-Rom drive in which you put the System Shock 2 CD. For example, if your CD-Rom drive is associated with the letter E then the correct command to enter was E:\setup -lgntforce. Note also, that he first letter in the parameter -lgntforce is an l as in lamp and not an i and that there is a space character between setup and -lgntforce.
  3. Click on the OK button of the window to start the System Shock 2 installer, it should now run without any problems.

The System Shock 2 patch

The official (by now dead) support sites claimed that System Shock 2 versions shipped quite some time after the initial release do already include the fixes of the patch I linked in below. If you are not sure whether or not your System Shock CD contains the patched version then give the patch a try. The patch setup will recognize an up to date version and will cancel the patch process in that case.

System Shock 2 patch

Running System Shock 2 on a PC that provides more than one CPU core

While a PC normally provides more than one CPU core nowadays that was not the case back when System Shock 2 had been developed. Thus, the game has troubles running on a system with at least two CPU cores: it will simply lock up after the boot stage right on rendering the game world the first time.

This lock up can be avoided by pinning the System Shock 2 Windows processes shock2.exe and shock.ice to the same CPU core. Below you will find described two possible approaches how to bind the System Shock 2 processes to a single CPU core.

1. Manually pinning the System Shock 2 processes to a singe CPU core

  1. ALT-TAB back to the Windows Desktop once the System Shock 2 main menu appears.
  2. Open the Windows Task Manager and switch to the Processes view.
  3. Select the entry for the System Shock 2 process shock2.exe and and open its context menu by right clicking on the entry.
  4. Select the option to set the process CPU core affinity and set it to core number zero.
  5. Repeat steps 3. to 4. for the System Shock 2 process shock.ice.
  6. ALT-TAB back to the game's main menu screen and process as normal.

2. Configure System Shock 2 for automatic CPU core pinning upon start

Suppose you have the following (example) setup:

  • You installed System Shock 2 into the hard disk folder d:\games\ss2.
  • Your PC provides four CPU cores and you want to pin the System Shock 2 processes to the first core.

In that case you would proceed as follows:

  1. Download the tool launchWithCPUAffinity.exe into the folder d:\games\ss2.
  2. Open the Windows File Explorer, right click on launchWithCPUAffinity.exe, keep the right button pressed and drag the program symbol from the File Explorer Window to the Windows Desktop. Once you relase the right mouse button a menu appears. Pick the Create Shortcut(s) Here option from the menu. This will create a shortcut object to the tool on the desktop.
  3. Right click on the new shortcut object and pick the Properties option from the menu. A configuration window for the shortcurt appears. The field of interest for us is labeled Target:. Right now there is nothing else than the absolute path to the tool's storage location be found there:
    d:\games\ss2\launchWithCPUAffinity.exe.
    You need to add two parameters at the end of that line: the absolute program path to the 'normal' launcher program of System Shock 2, which is shock2.exe and the number of the CPU core you want to pin the System Shock 2 processes to, in our example 0 since we want to pin the processes to the first CPU core (cores are numerated zero based so the 1st core gets number 0, the 2nd number 1 and so on). The modified Target: field content for our example would look like this:
    d:\games\ss2\launchWithCPUAffinity.exe d:\games\ss2\shock2.exe 0.
    Note that there is a space between the threee parts of the command line.
  4. Click on the OK button of the shortcut propety window to save your changes.

Now every time you double click on the shortcut icon on the Windows Desktop the launcher front end launchWithCPUAffinity.exe will start System Shock 2 and set the CPU core affinity of its processes to core one which will avoid the game lockup.

ss2/start.txt · Last modified: UTC 2016-01-02 20:10 by tcbw