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Silent Hunter Commander's Edition

How to Run it with DOSBox in

Windows XP, Windows Vista, & Windows 7

Silent Hunter Commander's Edition

This article will explain how to install Silent Hunter Commander's Edition in Windows XP , Windows Vista, and Windows 7, and how to use DOSBox version 0.74 to run the game successfully in each of these operating systems.

At the outset, I want to extend my thanks to the DOSBox project crew for creating this DOS-emulator.  You guys are great!  I encourage anyone who uses the software to support this project by making a cash contribution to the DOSBox project team via the Paypal links on the project's Web site.

I used a homemade personal computer with the following configuration to install and run successfully Silent Hunter Commander's Edition with DOSBox:

2.66 GHz Pentium Dual Core E6600 processor 1033 MHz FSB;  Gigabyte GA-965G-DS3 (Rev. 1.0) ATX motherboard (Intel G965 Express Chipset);  8 GB RAM;  750 watt Thermaltake power supply;  two Western Digital 1TB 7500 RPM SATA hard disks & one Western Digital 320GB 7500 RPM SATA hard disk;  Sony SATA 52X DVD ROM;  NVidia GeForce 8800 GTS PCI-Express 16 video card with 512 MB RAM;  on board proprietary digital sound device;  ViewSonic VP912b Digital Monitor.

This machine has a triple-boot setup.  Windows XP Home Edition is installed on the 320GB drive; Windows 7 Professional Edition 64-bit and Windows Vista Basic Edition 32-bit are installed on separate 1TB drives.  Using the procedures explained below, I installed Silent Hunter Commander's Edition on the Windows XP hard drive, and then copied the installation folder to the Windows 7 and Windows Vista hard drives.  I installed DOSBox in each operating system and used it to run the game successfully in each Windows version.

You can download the latest DOSBox version ("Win32 installer") from the official DOSBox Web site.  As of January 28, 2011, the latest version is 0.74.  After you download it, install it with the default settings.  You can always go back and tweak things later.

Next, you need to do a "Maximum" install of Silent Hunter to your hard drive.  Under the Windows Accessories group in the Programs Menu, there is a Command Prompt shortcut.  Click that and the command console will open.

Next, at the Command Prompt (DOS prompt) use the "Make Directory" command, i.e., "md" to create the sub-directory "C:\GAMES" (md GAMES).  (Failure to create this sub-directory will sometimes cause a failure later during the installation process.)

Place your Silent Hunter CD-ROM in the CD drive, and at the command prompt change the current drive to that of the CD drive.  Then type the following at the command-line prompt:

Install x:

(where 'x:' represents the target drive for the installation)

The following installation screen will appear.  Select the "Maximum Install" option.

silent hunter windows xp dosbox install screen

The next screen should look similar to the following:

silent hunter windows xp dosbox install screen

You may see "No" under the Satisfied Column for Extended Memory and / or Expanded Memory.  Ignore it.

Click the "Continue" button and you will then see the screen below.  Enter the target 'Hard Drive' (on this screen example I have chosen "C:") and make the "Directory" setting the same as show below.  Click the "Start" button and the installation process will begin.

silent hunter windows xp dosbox install screen

When the installation of the program and data files from the CD-ROM is complete the following screen will be displayed.  Click the "OK" button to continue the installation and configuration process.

silent hunter windows xp dosbox install screen

Next, click "NO" to skip the Readme file.

silent hunter windows xp dosbox install screen

Next, the installation process continues with the configuration of the sound card.  Choose the "No Digital Audio" option, and then the "Done" option to exit.  We will take care of the sound card later.

silent hunter windows xp dosbox install screen

The Silent Hunter installation process is completed when the following screen is displayed.

silent hunter windows xp dosbox install screen

Get back to the "C:" prompt so we can eliminate the need for the game CD-ROM to be in the CD drive.  First, create a sub-directory named "\BUD" in the "\GAMES\SILENT" sub-directory on your hard drive.  From our above example, in the "C:\GAMES\SILENT" location we now have "C:\GAMES\SILENT\BUD".  Second, copy all of the "*.SMK" files in the "\SH\BUD" sub-directory from the game CD-ROM to the "C:\GAMES\SILENT\BUD" sub-directory.  Third, with NOTEPAD edit the file "ShPath.ini" located in the "C:\GAMES\SILENT" sub-directory to look identical to this:


Don't forget to save the changes.

Now let's deal with the sound card.  Create and edit the Silent Hunter sound configuration files "Dig.Ini" and "Mdi.Ini" in the "C:\GAMES\SILENT" sub-directory by using NOTEPAD to configure both files so they look like this:

Dig.ini file contents:
;Miles Design Audio Interface Library V3.03 of 18-Jun-95

DEVICE Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 or AWE32
IO_ADDR 220h
DMA_16_BIT 5

Mdi.ini file contents:
;Miles Design Audio Interface Library V3.03 of 18-Jun-95

DEVICE Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 or AWE32
IO_ADDR 220h
DMA_16_BIT 5

Make sure you use NOTEPAD or other text editor to do this, and remember to place them in the "C:\GAMES\SILENT" sub-directory.

Now close out your DOS session (type Exit).

Look for the DOSBox 0.74 program group in the Windows Programs Menu, and open the sub-folder "Options".  Then click on "DOSBox 0.74 Options."  This is DOSBox's configuration settings file ("dosbox-0.74.conf").  Look for the entry near the beginning of the file (but after the entries beginning with "#") that reads "fullscreen=false". Edit this so it reads "fullscreen=true".  Save the file.

Start DOSBox.  At the Command Prompt (Z Prompt) type "MOUNT X X:\GAMES\SILENT" (where X is the drive letter where you installed Silent Hunter).  So, if you installed it to "C:\GAMES\SILENT", at the Z Prompt you would type "MOUNT C C:\GAMES\SILENT".  Note that there is a space between MOUNT and C, and between C and C:\GAMES\SILENT.  Then at the Z Prompt type X: (where X is the drive letter where you installed Silent Hunter).  Then at the X: prompt type "SH.EXE".  If all goes well you should see Silent Hunter starting.

You can configure DOSBox's desktop shortcut to automatically mount your drive, and then change the drive letter from "Z:" to "X:" (where X is the drive you need to mount).  Then all you need to do is type "SH.EXE" the X: prompt.

If you are using Windows 7 64-bit and "C:\GAMES\SILENT" for your game installation, you would edit the DOSBox 0.74 shortcut so the "Target" block is as follows:

      "C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74\DOSBox.exe" -userconf -c "mount c c:\games\silent" -c "c:"

If you are using a 32-bit Windows version and "C:\GAMES\SILENT" for your game installation, you would edit the DOSBox 0.74 shortcut so the "Target" block is as follows:

      "C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.74\DOSBox.exe" -userconf -c "mount c c:\games\silent" -c "c:"

Note: The quotes are needed!

You can also create a batch file to run Hawk's New Maru patch at startup.  I created a batch file named "silent.bat" which looks like this:

@echo off
cd data

Put the "silent.bat" file in your main Silent Hunter directory.  As you can see from the above, "newmaru.exe" is installed in my Silent Hunter Data sub-directory.  At the C: prompt you enter "silent" to run "newmaru.exe" and then start Silent Hunter Commander's Edition.

After you have played with your new Silent Hunter Commander's Edition installation for a while, you may find that some of the settings in the DOSBox configuration file ("dosbox-0.74.conf") need to be tweaked in order to fine tune your game installation.  The configuration file contains a lot of information about the possible values for each setting.  Spend some time getting familiar with it.  The best way to go about making tweaks is to work with one setting at a time.  Change a value and give it a try.  If it doesn't do what you wanted, edit it again until you are happy with the result.  The bottom line is you have to find the settings that work best for your hardware and operating system.  In most cases, the default settings should work just fine.

On the DOSBox Web site, in the downloads section and under "Frontends", you will find a link for D-Fend Reloaded.  This program is the successor to the original D-Fend frontend.  It simplifies the creation of configuration profiles for DOSBox and is especially useful if you plan to run more than one old game with DOSBox.  The D-Fend Reloaded Web site contains a lot of useful information about the program.

Updated Friday, 12-Dec-2014 09:42:23 EST