Legacy Games & Hyperthreading

Complied by Inferno


The ongoing List of Games which require that Hyperthreading be disabled:

Arthur's Knights

Beyond Time

Black Dahlia

Broken Sword 1

Curse of Monkey Island

Crystal Key

Dracula the Last Sanctuary

Dracula Resurrection

Dracula Unleashed

Grim Fandango

Law & Order Criminal Intent

Martian Gothic






Prince of Persia

Syberia 1 (but a patch fixes the problem)

System Shock II

Tex Murphy Series



So just what is Hyperthreading?

My good friend from GameBoomers and Quandary, Mr. Steve Metzler (AKA metzomagic) explains:

Hyperthreading is a technique used by XP to make your single processor appear as two processors. The theory is that while one process is blocked waiting for something to happen (like a block of data to be read from disk), another process can be running away blissfully on the other virtual processor. Some Windows games that were written before the advent of XP cannot handle this thread-switching scenario, and will randomly freeze up. Here are a few examples:

Grim Fandango

Thief: The Dark Project


Tex Murphy: Overseer

How can gamers find out if their Computer System has Hyperthreading enabled?

The simplest way to find out if your PC has Hyperthreading enabled is to go to:

Start > Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager > Computer

And if you DON'T see: ACPI Multiprocessor PC, then you DO NOT have Hyperthreading enabled.

So, if a gamer has ACPI Uniprocessor PC in their Device Manager > Computer, does this mean that Hyperthreading does not exist on that particular System?

(Answered by our Tech Guru ROBERT)

Yes.  Although one could if there Mother Board supports 2 processors.

You can have 2 dual core, or 2 Hyperthreading processors with that configuration. I think the dual processor setup is kind of like the dual video card setup (SLI), in that it's able to effectively double the processor speed to get beyond the 4 GHZ boundary.

OK, just so I'm clear in my mind; that that would mean that there is the potential to have 2 Hyperthreading processors with a motherboard that would support this configuration, and if the system did, it would show itself in the Device Manager.

So the term "ACPI Uniprocessor" would mean that right now there is only one processor existing. And Hyperthreading is either not enabled or in my case does not exist.

(Answered by GAMEHOUND)

I think it's just Uniprocessor and Multiprocessor (not Dualprocessor). One, or more than

one respectively. This page may help regarding said computers with this feature.


So, what are our options if we have a CPU with Hyperthreading and it is enable?

There seem to be three major ways to achieve disabled Hyperthreading. This can be accomplished by:

  1. Disabling Hyperthreading from within the BIOS

    (This is not recommended for the normal gamer and can have adverse effects for your other system apps) which will not be discussed here.

  2. Using the "imagecfg.exe" Utility Program (by metzomagic)

    If your PC does have hyperthreading enabled, there is a universal patch programme that you can run to permanently bind a particular application to a single processor. We have archived it for you here: imagecfg.zip. Just download that file and unzip it. Then copy the IMAGECFG.EXE file to the folder:


    Now you can run this programme from anywhere. To fix up a particular game, install the game first. Then open a Command Prompt via:

    Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt

    Figure out where your game's main executable file is (right-clicking on the game's icon and examining the Properties is a pretty safe bet). Using Grim Fandango as an example, you would enter something like this at the Command Prompt (note the quotation marks around the path to Grim.exe. These are only necessary if the path contains any spaces, but it does no harm to include them anyway):

    imagecfg -a 0x1 "C:\Program Files\LucasArts\GRIM\Grim.exe"

    And you should see the following output:

    C:\Program Files\LucasArts\GRIM\Grim.exe contains no configuration infor,br> mation
    C:\Program Files\LucasArts\GRIM\Grim.exe contains a Subsystem Version of 4.0
    C:\Program Files\LucasArts\GRIM\Grim.exe updated with the following configuration information:
        Process Affinity Mask: 00000001

    Done! Now you shouldn't even have to run the game in Windows 95/98 Compatibility Mode.



  3. Manual Disabling (by Sierra Rat)

    If all of these fail, the following method worked for me:

    Load the game, and while the intro is playing press Alt-Tab to bring you back to

    your Desktop. Now bring up the Task Manager and click on the Processes Tab. Find

    Syberia.exe and right click on this. The bottom option in the screen that opens

    will be: Set Affinity.

    Open this and uncheck CPU1, leaving CPU0 checked. Close the Task Manager and press Alt-Tab to go back to the game.

    At first you will get a mixed image of the game and your Desktop, but as the opening cut scene plays out, you will be back into the game. From what I‘ve read, you should have to go through this process each time you re-boot your system. However, on my system

    (WindowsXP How with service pack 2) the Syberia.exe file stays locked to the single processor. From what I’ve read, you need to uncheck CPU1 and let CPU0 control the game, because of the two (at least with a hyper-threading processor) CPU0 will run faster because CPU0 is an actual physical CPU whereas CPU1 is a logical CPU.

    One final word of warning; I had Syberia working perfectly (or so I thought) after getting imagecfg to run and setting the compatibility mode to Windows 98, but then I over thought things and decided to install the three Syberia patches. At this point, the game started running erratically again. Now the question is did installing the patches cause the problem, or had I just reached a point in the game play where it would have started to be erratic regardless of installing the patches. I don’t know, but for now, I will not re-install the patches.


More reading and study can be found here:

Windows XP and Hyper-Threading

Cannot Run Certain Programs on Hyper-Threaded or Dual-Processor Computers with a CPU Speed of Greater Than 2 GHz

Skeeter22UK’s Manual Fix for Grim Fandango



Jenny100 and I would like to say a huge thank you to all the Boomers that contributed to this FAQ ---

metzomagic (Please visit his Steve’s XP Games Corner on Quandary for more insightful tips on gaming issues with Windows XP)

SIERRA RAT - ROBERT Skeeter22UK  our tech gurus from GB’s "Glitches Forum"



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