Warlords 3:DLR in a Virtual Machine
How ¬†to run W3:DLR within a virtual machine
After trying a few options this has become my firm favourite system for running Warlords.
- Host machine: any PC with a reasonable amount of RAM, 1GB is probably the minimum required and you will need about 1GB of space on your hard drive.
- Virtualisation Software: VirtualBox
- Guest machine: Windows 2000
It took a little time and effort to set up this system and so I decided that I would make the end result available as a pre-built 'VirtualBox Appliance' ready to download and run straight away.
I decided upon Windows 2000 because it is runs Warlords easily and without any problems. It has a low overhead to run the operating system, my virtual machine (VM) has only got 64MB of RAM allocated to it and it runs Warlords perfectly. Lastly I feel that it is not too immoral to be offering a full installed copy of Windows 2000 as the software is no longer for sale and has no real world use, it has no 'activation' and even if their agents (!) were to visit your house I would imagine that Microsoft are extremely unlikely to be very concerned about the use of Windows 2000 in this context.
However I am not going to put my pre-built VM on this site as technically it is distributing content against licence terms.
If you would like a copy of my VM then please send me a private message using the forums on this site, my user name is Batz.
Step by Step Help
First download a copy of VirtualBox from here:¬†https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
The latest version I have tested as working is:¬†VirtualBox 4.1.8 for Windows hosts x86/amd64 ¬†but I am sure later versions will be fine as well.
Install VirtualBox, it is quite straightforward. There are some screenshots on this page:¬†http://lifehacker.com/5204434/the-beginners-guide-to-creating-virtual-machines-with-virtualbox
Once VirtualBox is installed you may need to reboot, go ahead. Don't try and configure any Virtual Machines yet.
If you have multiple hard drives and you want to put your Warlords VM on a second drive then start VirtualBox and go to File > Preferences. In the 'General' section change the 'Default Machine Folder' to a location on your system.
Next, download the file warlords.zip which I will have pointed you to, this is around 400MB so it will take a while to download. Extract the contents which is a file called warlords.ova you can save this anywhere. Double-click the OVA file and VirtualBox will start and begin the import of the VM. Once it has finished you can delete the OVA file from your system. I recommend that you keep the ZIP file in case you need to start again from scratch at any point.
Once VirtualBox has completed the import you will see a new VM called 'W2k2' (sorry it is not more descriptive - you can rename it by right-clicking on it and choosing settings). Simply click on it and click the big green arrow labelled 'Start'! After a few moments you will be greeted by the long forgotten Windows 2000 boot logo. Oh happy days.
Once it has booted up you may get a message from Windows 2000 saying it has installed some new devices and it needs to restart, go ahead. In a remarkably short period of time you will be back on the desktop with lots of lovely icons to look at!
I have tried to set up the VM so it is as simple as possible to run Warlords but the VM is not designed for anything else so please do not try to use the VM for surfing the internet or anything else!
I have put a text 'readme' file on the desktop which gives you some basic advice, this is also here (I have updated it a little for clarity since I created the VM).
Virtual Machine Help/Readme
This system is purely for running Warlords.
It is Windows 2000 Professional without any service packs or Windows Updates.
This is to keep the file size down.
Do not connect this virtual machine to the internet or try to use it for web browsing!
The Regional settings are set to UK as is the keyboard layout, these can be changed¬†if required (in control panel) but there is not usually any need.
How to use with the host computer
Shared folders is switched on and there is a shortcut to the parent computer's C drive¬†on the desktop.
(There is also a¬†shortcut to the parent computer's G drive which I forgot to remove - please just delete this)
If you want to alter Shared Folders go to Virtual Box Devices Menu.
To work with the default set up:
On the host (parent) PC:
1. Create a W3 folder on your parent PC's C drive. e.g. C:\W3
2. Copy game turns into C:\W3 as required
In this Virtual PC:
1. Open the shortcut 'Parents C Drive' and find the folder you created above e.g. C:\W3 and then right-click and choose 'send to desktop'. Go to the desktop and open this folder.
2. Open the shortcut 'Shortcut to Warlords Email'
3. Arrange the two folders (I usually arrange them side by side by right-clicking on the taskbar and choosing 'Tile Windows Vertically') and Drag the game turn files across
4. If the file is Zipped then right-click > jZip > Extract Here
5. Run Warlords and play turn
6. Close Warlords
7. Right-click on your the turn for the next player > jZip > Add to turnname.zip
8. Drag this Zip file to the parent PC W3 folder
9. Clean up by dragging all files from the email folder into the Archive folder
The copy of Warlords installed has been cracked so you do not need the CD and I have also pre-installed KHeroes and Stormheim units.
You can see that I have put on the desktop some shortcuts to other handy utilities and a Wordpad file that explains the combat sequence. Hopefully these will be useful.
After using this system for a few months now I have some tips to pass on.
- Do not worry about the 'Low disk space' message that appears when you start to run Warlords. It often appears on many systems (even not virtual) and can be safely ignored. I do not think there is anything that can be done to remove it because it is apparently to do with the way Warlords counts the free space and gets confused with big disks (relative to how big disks were in 1998 anyway!)
- Once you are finished playing Warlords do not shutdown Windows 2000 but simply close the VirtualBox window. From the 3 choices choose 'Save the machine state'. In seconds it has saved the state and closed. When you restart the machine it starts very quickly and you don't need to wait for Windows 2000 to boot. I haven't actually rebooted Windows 2000 for over 6 months now.
- You can run Warlords and then minimise it from the menu inside Warlords. You can then run a second copy of Warlords if you like.
- If you are part way though a game and have to stop to do something else you can suspend the VM and when you restart the VM then Warlords will be exactly as you left it.
- If you are running Windows 7 then you can pin VirtualBox to the Start menu and you can even pin the VM itself to the 'Jump List' that shows from the Windows 7 start menu. If you click on the VM itself then it will start straight up without showing the main VirtualBox interface.
- VirtualBox has great documentation, here is a good starting place:¬†http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html#idp7646256
- I've been told that you can do a custom install of VirtualBox without networking and USB support and it still works with this W3 VM. This might be useful if you don't want the additional virtual network and USB components installed into your system which may in some rare cases cause speed or network connectivity issues on the parent PC.