This guide will help you fix most of the common problems within ZH, here are just a few of the problems addressed:
- Can't connect to other players online
- You get "Different Version Error" online
- The occasional "Serious Error" and game crashes
- Your units die and you lose a few seconds into the game
- and other problems...
If you have this problem... You need to run the game as administrator...
- Right click on your Zero Hour desktop icon (or TFD icon) and...
- Select "Run As" and...
- Select "Administrator"
- You're done! Run the game, have fun!
If this doesn't fix your problem, please continue reading the guide, it might take more steps.
Can't Connect to Players - Serious Error
This will help most of the time when you can't connect to some people, can't log in at all, have serious errors during gameplay, etc...
Make sure you allow both of these in your firewall:
game.dat and generals.exe
(The First Decade does not have game.dat, so just allow generals.exe)
Assuming you installed to default directories you should find those files here:
If you have OEM Zero Hour...
C:\Program Files\EA Games\Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour\
If you have The First Decade...
C:\Program Files\EA Games\Command & Conquer The First Decade\Command & Conquer™ Generals Zero Hour
Forward Your Ports!
TCP > 80, 6667, 28910, 29900, 29920 and UDP > 4321, 27900
See http://portforward.com/ for help on forwarding ports on different devices.
This fixes many problems, you should always delete options.ini when troubleshooting zero hour problems such as these, delete it and then check to see if problem is fixed, if not then continue troubleshooting.
First, close the game, then navigate to:
My documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data
Find the configuration file Options.ini, and delete it.
Upon restarting the game you will need to reset the options you set previously, and this file will be re-created automatically.
All my buildings blow up as soon as I start the game!
You may have triggered Zero Hour's built-in copy protection scheme. Assuming you have a legitimate version of Zero Hour, the only way to fix this problem is to reinstall Zero Hour. The scheme can be triggered if you make significant changes to your computer (say, upgrading to a new version of Windows or changing the CPU) while Zero Hour is installed. It is much more tolerant, but functions similar to, Windows XP's activation system. This can also happen for other unseen reasons.
Last, but not least, if all above fails, these factors may be part of the problem, and are too in-depth to cover here, but worth investigating if you still have problems:
- Malware infections
- Wireless networking issues (leeching, interference)
- Scheduled tasks
- Direct X health, or in need of updates
- Corrupted installation and/or mod fragments
You can add a command line argument to make ZH start faster, this also forces ZH to use a static shell map in your menu (online and offline), and it kills the music from within the menu and online lobby screens.
You need to add ( -quickstart) as a command line argument, here is how...
- Right click on your Zero Hour desktop icon
- Select "Properties"
- Select the "Shorcut" tab at top of properties window
- Type -quickstart at the end of the text located in the "Target" text box, make sure you type a space after \generals.exe" then type -quickstart
Your game will auto install the latest patch for your game when you first attempt to connect online. In rare occasions this might fail, you will find links below to download the latest official patches to update ZH manually.
v1.04 is the latest EA official patch for the OEM release of Zero Hour >Download<
v1.2 is the latest ea patch for The First Decade >Download<
Original thread by Locutus, moved from old site