Police Quest: Collection Series Help

The game's original requirements:

MS-DOS 5.0 or Windows 3.0 or greater
486/33 or better
8 MB RAM (MS-DOS games require only 4 MB)
15 MB Hard drive space
SVGA 256 colors
Soundcard with digital-analog converter (DAC)

The Police Quest: Collection Series consists of five discs. The Police Quest Collection: The Four Most Wanted and four discs with the original Police Quest Swat.


Installation Problems

Like many of the later Sierra games, Police Quest: Collection Series has installation problems with the installer not fuctioning with faster PCs or under Windows XP. Two of the more common are below.

Problem - Autoplay Lockup:
After inserting the CD the Autoplay launches and then hangs.

Hold the shift key after inserting the CD to to temporarily disable the Autorun. You can also press Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up the Task Manager to close the locked up program.

Problem - "integer divide by 0" Error:
When installing the games the installer crashes with the error of "integer divide by 0"

This is a speed bug of the installer's system test. Skip this system test. You will still be able to install the games.

Problem - Can't Install the DOS Version of PQ4:
The collection's installer can't install the DOS version of PQ4 under XP.

You have to install the game manually, then setup the hardware from the hard drive.

Audio Problems

Audio problems are common in the later Sierra DOS SCI games. There's no single fix for all these games. If there a Windows version you can try it.

Problem - Poor Quality / No Sound (Win9x and XP):
The game has no sound or the music is of poor quality.

Solution 1 (preferred):
Play the game in DOSBox. It also will work with the MT-32 sound module, if you are fortunate to have one.

Solution 2:
Use VDMSound. The game work well with VDMSound. The sound will be as good as your audio hardware, and as with DOSBox, it works with the MT-32 sound module.

Solution 3:
Play the game with FreeSCI, a third party Interpreter for Sierra's early SCI games.

Solution 4 (DOS/Win9x):
Install DOS drivers for your soundcard. Without DOS drivers installed you won't have sound in a DOS window in Windows 9x. If you can't find DOS drivers for your soundcard, there is an alpha (developmental) version of VDMS that you can try.

Problem - Unable to initialize your audio hardware:
On starting the game you get the message:

Unable to initialize your audio hardware

Solution 1 (preferred):
Play the game in DOSBox. By playing your game in DOSBox, you can avoid this and other timer problems. Even the Windows version can be played in DOSBox if you install Windows 3x in it, first.

Back when computers came with a "Turbo" switch (a sort of speed switch,) Sierra's workaround was to turn off the Turbo switch to start the game, after which you could turn the Turbo back on. If you have your cycles in DOSBox set too high, you may still encounter this problem. You can mimic the turbo switch solution by lowering your cycles (Ctl+F11) before starting your game. You may raise the cycles back up after the game starts (Ctl+F12).

Solution 2:
Patch the old audio driver with GOSiERRA or SBSIERRA.

Solution 3:
Use an updated driver,AUDBLAST.DRV (sb16drv.exe).

Solution 4:
Try installing the Windows version.

Speed problems

As with many of the Sierra VGA games, some of the games in the Police Quest: Collection Series have some speed bugs. These bugs can also be avoided by playing the game in DOSBox. Even the Windows version can be played in DOSBox if you install Windows 3x in it, first. If you can't or don't want to use DOSBox, you can try using a Slowdown Utility. See the Individual Games' Help Pages for help with these.


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