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How to Install Quake 2 on Windows XP

Since it’s the 12th anniversary of id’s Quake II, I thought I would install this classic on my system, along with all my other 90s games. The first time I tried, the installer has some message about not being able to run on my OS. I’m currently running Windows XP SP 3 (I still haven’t switched to Windows 7). Now I remember a few years ago I installed Quake II on XP, but I was using SP 1. That seems to make a big difference.

Then I came across a site after using good old Google where I found some easy to follow steps in order to install Quake II on XP manually, without using the installer, but instead the command prompt.

I’m going to reproduce it here, with a few amendments, but I can say that it does work as long as you follow it to the letter:

1) Click on START / Run / and type “CMD” and press enter.

2) In the DOS Session type the following:

cd\ (press the Enter key)
md quake2 (press the Enter key)
cd\quake2 (press the Enter key)
xcopy d:\install\data\*.* /s/e/v (press the Enter key) (if you’re using another drive like I did, the E: drive, then it would be xcopy e:\install\data\*.* /s/e/v, etc.)

3) After it's done copying the files, type "Exit" and then press the Enter key. You should now be back in Windows.

4) Now Double-click on the My Computer icon, then your C: drive and then the "Quake2" folder.

5) Right-click on the file called: Quake2.exe from the menu that pops up, choose "Copy" (or “Create Shortcut”).

6) Now close all the windows and right-click on the Desktop of Windows and select "Paste Shortcut" (or drag the shortcut to the desktop).

10) To run Quake 2, double-click on the "Shortcut to Quake2" icon.

thanks in part go to

Another step that I did on my own was copying and pasting the quake2 folder to another destination. You don’t have to worry about it not working, because it still does afterwards. I like having all my classic games in one folder, under separate folders for each game, of course.

Right, now you can either run the game vanilla style, or you can try out some of the many ports and HRPs for Quake II, to give it some flavour. See here for some of them. At the moment I’m running it with Quake2Max, but it’s an outdated version, and I’m looking at downloading a later one as well as some High Resolution packs with updated textures or something.

I’m not sure if you’d be able to use the above method of manual installation for Windows Vista or Windows 7, but you can use Google, or maybe if I find out, I’ll put some links here.



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