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Cossacks can be played with Windows 95/ 98 /2000 / ME / XP / Vista / Windows 7.
Depending on your system specifications and operating system there may be patches required.

Minimum: Pentium 200, 32 MB Ram, 1 MB video card, 200 MB available harddisk space, 8x CD-Rom, sound card
Recommended: Pentium 266, 64 MB RAM, 4 MB video card or higher.
High End Users: because this is an older game, some fixes are required for high end graphic cards.

You can play Cossacks over Gamespy. http://www.gamespy.com
You can play Cossacks over GSC.net http://www.gsc-game.com
You can play Cossacks over GameRanger http://www.gameranger.com

Please enable/unlock the following ports and you also need a static IP adress:

Ports for GameSpy:

6667 (IRC)
80 (HTTP)
3783 (Voice Chat Port)
27900 (Master Server UDP Heartbeat)
28900 (Master Server List Request)
29900 (GP Connection Manager)
29901 (GP Search Manager)
13139 (Custom UDP Pings)

Ports for DirectPlay:

Initial TCP Connection 47624 Outbound 47624 Inbound
Inbound TCP Connections 2300-2400 2300-2400, Outbound TCP Connections 2300-2400 2300-2400
Inbound UDP Connections 2300-2400 2300-2400, Outbound UDP Connections 2300- 2400 2300-2400

You can install manually, extract the csetup.pkg which you'll find on your Cossacks cd.

There occurred an error in your VxD file [virtual device driver], which could be caused by a video card or an audio device conflict. Commonly this depends on the installed device driver. Conclusion: Delete the movie files in your Cossacks folder. Upgrading to Windows Media Player 7 is always a good solution.

This error message says that there is a problem with your video card, thus the game can’t be started. The reason for this could be that either your monitor or your video card doesn’t support a resolution above 800 x 600. Actually Cossacks demands a resolution of at least 1024 x 786. There is also a patch with a new ddraw.dll and information about this can be found here.(insert link)

By renaming the game's Video folder to Video1 the problem should be resolved. Unfortunately the Video will not be shown at the start of the game.
The game folder is C:\program files\Cossacks\video.

Please try to reduce the sound channels with included tool Soundconfig.exe in the Cossacks directory.

You can either choose to use this batch file to start up the game ( insert link) or shut down explorer.exe while playing trough the taskmanager.

Make sure the cd is clean and the cd/dvd device is clean aswell by using a special cd/dvd created for this purpose.
If you have an UK release of European Wars and the cd/dvd device still doesn't recognize the cd, please use this patch:
For Cossacks: European Wars:
http://cossacksworld.ucoz.co.uk/load/cd_rom_patch_uk/23-1-0-92
For Cossacks: Back to War
http://cossacksworld.ucoz.co.uk/load/no_cd_patch/25-1-0-115