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Theme Hospital on a Modern Windows PC

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Theme Hospital on a Modern Windows PC

15/12/2012 UPDATE

To save you the hassle of going through all these technical tweaks, try Corsix-TH instead. It is still in its early development stages so you'll spot the odd bug but from what I've tried so far, it is easier and a lot more stable than using these tweaks and supports today's modern screen sizes. No more funny colours and blurry graphics to look at!

It's very simple to setup. Install your copy of Theme Hospital or simply copy the whole "HOSP" folder from the CD. Now install Corsix-TH and let it know where you copied the folder. Then you're ready to run the game!

http://corsixth.com/

Would be nice to have the cutscenes ported over too such as the board and opening animation but, oh well. Keep up the great work, guys! =)

Been feeling like playing Bullfrog's classic "Theme Hospital". It really is a brilliant game despite being over 10 years old and I highly recommend you try it if you haven't already! You run a hospital trying to cure humorous fictional diseases like "Bloaty Head" by popping them like balloons, "Slack Tongue" or "Invisibility". Then there's the receptionist announcing the odd lines over the intercom in a sarcastic voice like, "Patients are asked to be patient," "Patients are here at their own risk," or even "Patients are reminded not to die in the corridors" every so often. Some hospital, eh? The game still plays (and looks) amazingly well for its age.

However, it doesn't look like it's getting a remake any time soon even though Theme Park got one on the DS. I tried getting the Playstation version via PSN but it's very poor, lacking music and has poor controls.

Eventually I decided to try and get the more superior PC version but the catch was, it's so old Windows Vista and later isn't supported. That said, there are ways you can get the game running if you look around such as using the legit DOSBox emulator. There have also been people who have suggested installing the legit Windows XP Virtual Machine provided by Microsoft.

Or, if you want to avoid the hassle of installing more software just to get Theme Hospital running in Windows 7 (or perhaps Vista too), here's how to get it up and running on today's PCs.

Get a copy of the game and copy the whole "Hosp" folder to somewhere on your drive.

Open up Hospital.cfg in Notepad - easy way to do this is run Notepad then drag the file into it. Edit the line...

"SAVE_OVERRIDE=[PATHHERE]"

And change it to wherever you saved your folder. The easiest way to find the text you need is open up the folder, click in the folder's address bar and copy what's there.

Now right-click the Winmain.exe and go to the Compatibility tab. Choose to run in Windows XP mode then check every setting underneath apart from the DPI box.


Now you can create a shortcut to Winmain.exe and you're ready to play!

Oh, you might have to adjust your monitor too. I had to on my widescreen which the game was never designed for but it scales just fine.

If you still have problems running the game, try setting the compatibility mode to Windows 95 instead. Your mouse cursor will probably lag and to fix this, you'll have to...

  1. Press Alt-Tab to switch out of the game
  2. Right-click your taskbar and open Task Manager.
  3. Go the Processes tab and see if you can find Winmain.exe.
  4. Right-click it, choose Set Affinity and make sure "All Processors" is checked.
  5. Close the Task Manager and return to the game.

This should work for Bullfrog's other classics such as Dungeon Keeper and Theme Park but I haven't tried. In any case, hope you enjoy the game!

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#1

Anke


Yeaah! It works!
Now how do I have to adjust my monitor ?

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#2

George


Done all this but it still won't save had to change compatibility mode to windows seven to make mouse work though

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#3

Dan Allinson


Works perfectly thank u so much

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#4

Abstractlogic


Just tried the CorsixTH_SDL with Theme Hospital on my Win7 64 bit and it works perfect!! :) thx!

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#5

Kate


Omg! All these people want to play this old game, even though there are so many new ones! I'm one of them too. Such a shame game producers don.t see it..

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#6

Falky


My game keeps freezing after about 2mins of play is there a way to fix this or not?

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#7

LHY Author


I'm afraid it does happen every now and then in compatibility mode...

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#8

Katie


I have done everything the game is running fine the only problem it still wont save can you help?

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#9

LHY Author


Have you opened the config file in the folder where TH is installed? There should be the following line in it which points to where save files should be stored:

SAVE_OVERRIDE=E:\Hosp\

See the reply I wrote for Ashley.

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#10

Scott


Hi! I did all this to do with the .cfg file and it still doesent save! Can you help?

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#11

Bluebaerry


There is an easier way, you know...
Instead of using DOsbox, you can just use CorsixTH (open-source clone of TH). All you need to do, is have the old game or a demo(installed) and then install CorsixTH and run the game. Check it out!

http://code.google.com/p/corsix-th/

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#12

Louise


WAAAH it won't even open it says Language Setup Failed. What have I done so wrong?

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#13

Chaz


Hi all i have my game working 100% and i install it with the exe, i have it on my D drive and i have got it working on windows 7 64bit. how i fix the not saving go in to the game forder and opne up in notepad (HOSPITAL.CFG) and this is how i got it set up SAVE_OVERRIDE=D:\hosp\ and now the game saves.

To fix the graphics all you have to do is open Task Manager go to processes then find exporer.exe run up the game and then tab out to the task manager then end processes on explorer.exe. now tab back to the game and it should be all good :D.

please note you will have to run explorer.exe back up again if you want to gate back to your desktop, most of you proble no how to do it but here it is, just go to task manager look for applications then look at the botim of the window there is a button saying, New task go to this and then tipe explorer.exe in to it and your have your desktop back. hope this helps :)

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#14

LHY Author


I wouldn't recommend anyone to end explorer.exe if you're not familiar with using Windows. You could find yourself stuck with no interface and end up force shutting down your machine =/

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#15

Catty


The loading and running works perfectly but I cant get it to save. If I go to file and save, whilst the game is on pause, and click a slot. Then when I unpause the game it says "Error, game could not be saved"

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#16

LHY Author


Did you edit the save override line in the config file correctly? If it's not there, you can add it in. Seems to work for most people here.

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#17

TattieMuncha


I found that when you are typing the override part, when you save as...save it to the desktop, then delete the original CFG file then drag the new one into the HOSP file, this should work. Hope this helps!

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#18

Ben


Everything is working as far as im aware of but how do you change the game so that it fits your screen better I forgot lol

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#19

Ben


Graphics were odd before. This fix makes the game look fine and work perfectly. How in the world do you computer geniuses work this stuff out?! Many thanks!!

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#20

James


mouselag problem with vista still, have scanned every forum have tried everything and still lagging, tried dosbox but it says the game is not a dos application which i know it is,, have spent hours and hours gunna have to accept defeat :(

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#21

Nicolas


Worked perfectly for me! Except that I had to turn of the 'Run in 256 colors' because it completely ruined the colors of the game. Thank you very much!

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#22

Sophie


I've got as fair as the winmain.exe, changed all the settings and tried to run it and it says it's not compatible. Then I tried to run it using windows 95 and it's still not compatible. Am I missing a step? Should I remove the disk? Does it matter where it's saved?

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#23

Sophie


I should probably add, when I click the winmain shortcut in either 95 or xp settings, all that happens it my mouse goes multi-coloured,gains a circle underneath, and my desktop just become enlarged and the colours go funny. :S

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#24

Lazers


Awesome fix, works perfectly now, there's something about 23" widescreen Theme Hospital that makes it even more silly!

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#25

Chelsia


Thank you so much! I had figured out how to get it to run, just not to save/load! I just ended up moving the folder right onto the C drive so that it was exactly where the Hospital.cfg file was directing it to save to, and it worked! The only thing I did different is that the game would freeze when I'd try to run it with Compatibility features, so I just left them off and it works fine now. Even was able to copy my save files I kept from my old laptop, and it loads and plays perfectly! Thanks!!

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#26

Ashley


i have tried this and gotten to the part-
Open up Hospital.cfg in Notepad – easy way to do this is run Notepad then drag the file into it. Edit the line…

“SAVE_OVERRIDE=[PATHHERE]”

there is no text in the folder hospital.cfg that says save _overide.

this is whats in my folder hospital.cfg
INSTALL_PATH=E:\Hosp\
INSTALL_TYPE=MED
LANGUAGE=ENG


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#27

LHY Author


It looks like you've only chosen a medium install of the game. You'll have to install the full version to run the game without the CD and I think you have to choose custom install when you're installing to find that option. Or you could just copy the whole "Hosp" folder off the CD onto somewhere on your hard drive too! After that's done, you should be able to add the extra line in yourself so that file looks like this...

SAVE_OVERRIDE=E:\Hosp\
INSTALL_PATH=E:\Hosp\
INSTALL_TYPE=MAX
LANGUAGE=ENG

Reply

#28

George


WOW! I have tried everything to get this to work for the past 3 days and i read ur article and its working perfectly and saving! Thankyou so much :)

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#29

Kate


worked perfectly for me! thanks very much

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#30

Sarah


I followed you instruction to a tee but I cant save the game now
Any Idea

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#31

LHY Author


Hmmm, only thing I can suggest is to go back to the compatibility settings that did work for you.

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#32

Simon N


One word, CorsixTH.

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#33

Katrina


I have just tried this, it worked before hand just lagged and skipped. Now it wont work at all. I have undone everything this article has said to do and still wont work. Wont load. Thank you so very much

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