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Falcon 4.0 — Multiple Installations

by Jennifer & Robert Mitchell

Article Type: How-To
Article Date: September 24, 2001

Some games, European Air War for example, allow the user to easily install two or more copies onto their machines. You could have an EAW--1.2 and an EAW--ECA Panel version, for instance, on the same computer and have no problems with it at all. Not so with Falcon 4.0.

Sadly, F4 seems to be like that girl you really liked in high school, she’s gorgeous, she’s fun, she’s got nice hair and a killer smile, but no matter how much you profess your love for her, she seems determined to make your life difficult. Or maybe I'm thinking of marriage…I don't remember now...Hey!...Ouch!! Anyways, there are other means of having two (or more) installs, but this, in our opinions, is the easiest way of achieving it.

Well, anyways, how do we do this? What are our options? The first thing you probably should know is why you can’t just make two installs and be done with it. The reason, friends and neighbors, is because Falcon writes specific paths in your registry. Oh, before I forget:

I'd like to caution you before you go any further that if you’re not familiar with editing your registry don’t try this at home.

Leave it for those of us that are stupid enough to delude ourselves into thinking that we do know what we’re doing. This is actually quite safe as long as you follow the directions. Remember, as long as you don’t change anything but the Falcon 4 keys the worst that will happen is a (another) reinstall of F4. Worse things have happened…So are we ready? Take a deep breath and follow us into the deep, dark realms of your registry.


Go to Start\Run and type in regedit. If you’re sure you’re up for this click ok. You’ll see this:

Windows registry editor

Click on the plus sign to the right of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder to enlarge it. Go down to SOFTWARE and then down to the Microprose folder.

Go to the Microprose folder

Export Registry File

What you need to do now is go up to where it says Registry in the upper left, and click on it to open up the selections therein. Now, select Export Registry File.

Export the registry file

You’ll be prompted where you want it exported to, and what you’d like to name it. I’d suggest something quite simple and descriptive such as eFalcon or iFalcon, depending on what you’re running. Save the exported registry key to your desktop or somewhere that you can easily find it and close your registry editor.

Save the exported .reg file someplace that it will be easy to find


For clarity’s sake we named this exported key eFalcon, because we’ve got eFalcon installed. Elementary, my dear Watson... Anyhow, open up the eFalcon.reg file on your desktop with notepad and cast your eyes upon the magical computer language written inside it.

Open the exported .reg file with notepad

Paths To Glory

Okay, now under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MicroProse\Falcon\4.0 you notice that it’s got several directory paths written into it? For example, ObjectDir (Object Directory) has the path D:\\Falcon4\\terrdata\\objects. These paths are the reason why you can’t just up and install F4 two or more times and have it work out the way you want it.

What you have to do now to have multiple installs is decide where you want your 2nd copy of F4 installed on your computer. What we usually do is simple. This installation was installed in the path D:\Falcon4 (which is what the key basedir is telling you). For a second install we use the path D:\Microprose\Falcon4. That’s all it takes.

Send in the Clones

Okay, that eFalcon.reg file that you’re looking at? Close it out now and go back to your desktop. Right-click on eFalcon.reg and go to copy in the pop-up window. Put the cursor on an empty portion of your desktop and click paste. You should now have a file that’s entitled copy of eFalcon.reg.

Open up copy of eFalcon.reg with notepad again and change the paths of all the keys that have a path assigned to them, they should all be in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MicroProse\Falcon\4.0. Edit the path names to the path that your 2nd installation of F4 will sit in. In other words, in our example we’d edit the paths from D:\\Falcon4\\xxx\\xxx to D:\\Microprose\\Falcon4\\xxx\\xxx.

What you’re doing is ensuring the .exe file of your second Falcon 4.0 installation will find the correct folders, and thusly, enable you to play the correct version. When you’re done editing the copy close it and rename it (by right-clicking on the file and going to rename in the menu) something that you will be able to easily identify. In our case it’s simply named iFalcon.

Better Safe Than Sorry!
Because you created your new *.reg file before you actually made your second install, take a moment to double-check that your actual install directory's path for the second version matches the path that you typed into your new *.reg file.

Install Second Version

Now that you’ve got the *.reg file made for your second installation, it’s renamed, and you’re chomping at the bit to fly a different version, go ahead and install F4 again. Remember that we wrote the paths in our newly edited and renamed iFalcon.reg file to D:\Microprose\Falcon4 (or whatever path you actually chose). So, you we'll want to install our second copy of Falcon 4.0 to that (D:\Microprose\Falcon4) directory.

Pick a Reg. File, any Reg. File

After installing and patching your other version, and making sure that your two different *.reg files on your desktop (remember, in our example we had an iFalcon.reg and an eFalcon.reg) are pointing to the correct install directories, it's just a matter of double clicking on the *.reg file of the version you want to play.

Just double-click the .reg file of the version you want to play to write it to the registry

When prompted if you wish to add the information in the *.reg file to your registry, click Yes.

Click Yes to write to your registry

If you ever have any doubt about what version is written to your registry, to save any possible complications, simply double-click the corresponding *.reg file to write it to your registry before you begin playing. It's as simple as that.

There's a tool out that you are supposed to be able to manage multiple installations with, but we've never tried it, or heard from anyone that has so we can't vouch for it's usefulness or effectiveness. But, if you're afraid of digging into your registry it could be worth a shot for you. You can find it at in the downloads section under utilities.

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