Windows 10 Installation

We have successfully tested from game #6 on up on Windows 7, 8, and 10 (we also have had success installing games 3-5 when running in compatibility mode; and games 1-2 using the special instructions on our website and running in compatibility mode) and have found that installing the game when logged in as administrator and with anti-virus software temporarily disabled has been successful.

If you have already installed one of our games on a Windows 10 system and are having issues; please try doing a clean install using the following instructions, otherwise skip down to the instructions under “Reinstall” for installation on a Windows 10 system.

Completely uninstall your game. 


 1.       Go to the folder where your saved games are located. The default locations are:

               Windows Vista and Windows 7/8/10:  C:\Users\Username\Documents\[Game Title]

               Make a note of the location of your saved game folder.

 2.       In the saved game folder, delete any configuration files (.config extension).

 3.       Go to Start Menu > Start Search or Search Bar. Search for all files and folders by Game Title (e.g. The Captive Curse).

 4.       Delete all results EXCEPT for the saved game folder and the setup.exe file. Empty the Recycle Bin.

 NEXT Update your PC. Update any drivers that need it and general windows configurations.

Restart your computer.


Make sure you’re logged on as an Administrator for your computer, temporarily disable your anti-virus protection (make sure to re-enable your anti-virus protection after the game download is complete), and manually install by taking the following steps:

 1.       Go to your Documents folder and create a new folder. Name the folder with the title of the game.

 2.       If installing from disc, insert game Disc 1 in your disc drive. Go to Start Menu > Computer *Note* if installing from digital download skip steps 2 and 3.

 3.       Right-click your CD-Rom/DVD drive and choose Open.

 4.       Look for the Setup file (this file will display as Setup Application, Setup.exe, or Setup Launcher Installshield). Double-click this file to start the installation process.

 5.       Move through the install process until you reach Choose Destination Location. Click the Browse button or Change button.

 6.       Navigate to the game folder you created by double-clicking in the Directories box. Select C: drive > Users > User name > Documents > the game folder you created. When you have the correct Path, 

           choose OK.

7.       Continue forward with the installation process. When asked if you want to install DirectX, check “No, I will install myself.”

8.      Upon completion, click finish and exit setup.

You may also need to (specifically for games 1-5):

1. Right-click the game icon that is now on your desktop, select ‘Properties’.
2. Under ‘Properties’, click on the ‘Compatibility’ tab.
3. Check the ‘Run in Compatibility Mode’ box and then select ‘Windows XP Service Pack 3’ or ‘Windows 98/Me’ from the drop-down menu. 


71 responses to “Windows 10 Installation”

  1. Trey says:

    This did not work. Trying to get White Wolf of Icicle Creek, but after reinstall and all the steps above it didn’t work. I then tried all the compatibility settings and none of them worked.

  2. Josie says:

    Hi ,
    My Nancy drew game is coming up in a tiny window in the middle of the screen when i launch the game.
    I am using windows 10 on a windows surface computer.
    I have tried deleting the INI files with no luck and changing the screen resolution.

  3. Karissa says:

    I have a surface pro with windows 10…can I download Danger on Deception Island and other games on here that are older, made for windows 98/me/xp? I love the Nancy Drew games and got these as a gift. Thank you for your help.

  4. i am having a problem with white wolf of icicle creek. I have downloaded and installed but when i double click the icon it starts to load but justs goes away. I am running windows 10

    • Little Jackalope says:

      Hello Tina, would you please email with this issue? Thank you!

    • FRANCESCA says:


    • JE says:

      I am also having this same problem. I e-mailed tech support, but did they get back to you. 0

      • Gianina Popham says:

        I emailed them about it but never got a response. Mine does the same thing. All of the games install just fine but when I go to play it the icon pops up at the bottom of the screen briefly before going away. I’ve actually emailed them a couple of times now with no response. I tried all of the install instructions and the reinstall instructions and the same thing happens. I don’t have trouble installing it, just getting it to load so I can play.

        • Little Jackalope says:

          Hello Gianina! We tried looking for your emails but do not see any. Perhaps they were lost in cyber space…? Would you please email us again at Thank you!

        • Lynne says:

          Gianina, did you ever find a solution to this problem? I am having the exact same issue with my game. I’ve been communicating with tech support, but so far we’ve had no luck getting it to run. Just wondered if you ever got yours to work?

          • Maya says:

            Yes, I’ve been struggling with this issue too! I’m going to email tech support anyway, but I also wanted to ask here if any of you were able to resolve it? I miss being able to play Nancy Drew!

          • Michelle Sherman says:

            I have the same problem! How is there not an easy fix/ easy way to get help for it

          • Little Jackalope says:

            Hello Michelle, if these options are not working for you, we can help walk you through the steps for running our old games on newer operating systems. Please email us at and let us know which game(s) you are having trouble installing, thank you!

    • Jaselyn Anderson says:

      I am having this same issue!! Did you ever find a solution?

  5. thoumire says:

    bonjour jai windows 10 et je narive pas a installer ” Nancy drew la malediction perdu ” pourrizer vous maider sil vous plait merci davance

  6. Jenna Kershaw says:

    I can’t install The Haunting of Castle Malloy. It says its installed, but it does not let me play afterwards.

  7. Katy says:

    I have an RCA Cambio Tablet, and the OS is Windows 10. Can I download any of the ND games onto this tablet? I am tech dumb, especially when it comes to these tablets. Thanks in advanced

    • Little Jackalope says:

      Hello Katy! What a great question! If I were you, I would check the specs of the tablet (size, space, speed/RAM, etc.) and see it it is compatible with the game specs. We have never tried it on that tablet, so I cannot promise it will work.

  8. Sarah Yeakle says:

    I am trying to install Sea of Darkness on my windows 10. I keep getting a cyclical redundancy error. I’ve tried to the method of making your own folder destination (which has been successful in the past) but I haven’t had any luck.

  9. Sofia Marsano says:

    Hi! I cant download the game… I bought it from the webpage, its a digital version and when i click on download a “403 Forbidden” page comes up.

  10. Jackie says:

    I’m having a hard time installing Blue Moon Canyon. I’ve done everything you said but when I go to insert the second disk and click OK I keep getting an error message that says “Setup could not find a file on the specified path or disk” Why is this happening? I am making sure the correct folder I created is up.

  11. Tobi K Silvernail says:

    Hello I’m running Windows 10. I’ve downloaded and installed stay tuned for danger but have no desktop icon and when I try to play the game from the documents file it comes up with an error message about incorrect INI path. What do I do?

  12. Rachel says:

    I followed these instructions, but am never asked if I want to install Direct X. It just finishes and I get a message that Direct X didn’t install and I should uninstall and reinstall.

  13. Heather Kase says:

    I’ve been trying to get danger on deception island to run for 2 days but I keep getting this error,

    Unable to open CAL or CIF TREE file: C:\Program Files\Nancy Drew danger on deception island wont run\CIFTREE.DAT
    Check the path in your .ini file.

    I click OK then get another error

    Error: Access violation at 0x0041437A (treied to read from 0x0000000), program terminated.

    I ran as an Administrator and changed setting to run as windows vista and windows 6, I tried reinstalling it and restarting my laptop, I also tired downloading from a disk and BigFishGames and nothing works

  14. Ashley Radley says:

    I have been trying to download secret of the Old CLock on a windows 10 computer and I keep getting the CIF Tree error. Please help! I followed the instructions above.

  15. Ashley Radley says:

    Perfect! I’ll try that. Any tips on how to follow these instructions where there is two CDs?

  16. Lazar Wolf says:

    I’ve been trying to run Secret of the Scarlet Hand on my Windows 10 desktop, but I always get an “ERROR – incorrect path to INI file – C:\NANCYD~1\SECRET~1\Game.INI” message. Is there a way for me to fix this issue? I’ve been wanting to play this game for a long time.

  17. Lazar Wolf says:

    I tried Tiffany’s suggestion, but thanks anyway! Her suggestion went something like this: “This didn’t help for my ‘Nancy Drew’ games, but… I found something that did!

    Just follow these steps:

    1. Disable any antivirus you have on your computer.

    2. Make sure you are signed in as administrator of your computer.

    3. Make a new file and put the game name. Example: ‘Message in a Haunted Mansion’

    4. Put in the game and then click on your computer icon.

    5. Go to the CD/DVD Drive and open it.

    6. Click on the setup icon and run it.

    7. Click next until you get to the game destination. This is the most important part; type this in except put a change in the title to whatever ‘Nancy Drew’ game you’re trying to install.

    Example:‘C:\program files\Nancy Drew\Message in a Haunted Mansion\’. Make sure the file is put in ‘program files’ as this is what stops the INI error and lets you play.

    This works with every game that I have tried that has the INI error.

    Hope this helped!” By the way, how do I change my profile picture for this website?

  18. veca says:

    Itryed everything and it don’t work on windows 10. I turn off my antivirus and I am the administrator of my computer and everything and it just don’t work. the game is odyssey Nancy drew. can someone pls help me??!

  19. Faye Giebink says:

    So Ive downloaded the games from Amazon (for example, I am currently attempting to install The Deadly Device), and I follow all these instructions here. But there is no option when I install to install DirectX myself. It automatically installs, so when I go to open the game, it says that the DirectX is not compatible with this device.

  20. Mileah says:

    I’m definitely going to need someone to walk me through the process.

  21. Little Jackalope says:

    Hi Mileah! If you need some additional help, please email us at – be sure to let us know which game you are trying to install, too. Thank you!

  22. Kaitelyn Walker says:

    I am trying to install Warnings at Waverly Academy but it only installs to a certain point and then stops I have tried it on my windows 10 computer and my grandmas windows 7 computer and it did the same thing on both. I got the game for Christmas but I think my mom said she bought new online from your website. It game with two physical discs. I am not receiving any error messages. I have another Nancy drew game that did the same thing but I was still able to play it without downloading it. I have tried multiple things and nothing has worked so far.

  23. Ashe says:

    I have also bought a Nancy Drew game (Shadow at the Water’s Edge) from Amazon and am having tremendous trouble with it. As previously stated, theres no option to not install DirectX so the error code I get is ND-12126 and says “The installation of DirectX included with this game has failed. Please uninstall and reinstall the game to fix this problem.” This is my 3rd fresh install and still no change 🙁 Please help

  24. Tiara says:

    After installing the digital version of Stay Tuned for Danger, it loaded correctly, but after I exited the game and then clicked on the game again, it suddenly said I needed to insert CD 1 which is impossible because it’s a digital download. Now it won’t let me play the game unless I insert the CD that I don’t have. Did I do something wrong, or is this some kind of glitch? Would really appreciate some help!

  25. Hailey Wilkerson says:

    I did all of the instructions multiple times on my windows 10 laptop. I bought the digital copies of The Haunting of Castle Malloy and The Phantom of Venice. Everything goes fine until the end and it never asks me to install DirectX it just says finish. When I do that then try to open the game it does nothing.

  26. Dorothea says:

    For those of you struggling with this, the only way I’ve ever gotten the older games to work is to move the entire folder into my DOCUMENTS folder. So weird. Absolutely doesn’t make sense, but it works.

  27. Rae says:

    I’ve tried this for multiple games for all the different compatibility settings (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, etc.) and games 16-20 (i have the disks for 20) won’t work although both older and newer games work.

  28. Kelly says:

    I’ve been trying to install The Captive Curse which I bought as a digital download. The game will fully install, but when it goes to launch it comes up with the DirectX error ND-12126 saying that the installation of DirectX has failed and to try uninstalling and reinstalling. Like other people have said, there was no option for installing DirectX yourself.

  29. jacqueline says:

    I have tried this for games 7,8,9 and 19 and it does not work. I have a new windows 10 hp all in one. Has anyone had success downloading the older games?

  30. kinbarin says:

    Heads up: If you try to install an older game but the “setup” file doesn’t seem to exist on the CD, follow steps 1-3 on the reinstall part of this guide, then copy all the files from the CD to the new folder you created.

  31. JookiePookie says:

    They’re deleting comments from customers who’ve already been helped. This community is way too tight knit to leave each other hanging the way these comment threads would have you believe. Why they’re forcing everyone to go through tech support instead of allowing the community to help each other troubleshoot, the world may never know. However, they better get this mess straightened out before the Nancy Drew Centennial is 2030. The sales from that year alone could probably float HeR Interactive for another decade, but their shooting themselves in the foot by shoving complaints in the corner instead of fixing the major issues with the older games. Let’s see how long this stays up, shall we?

    • Indy says:

      Hi JookiePookie,

      I’m not aware of anyone deleting comments after they have had their questions answered. Sometimes commentators will delete their own comments after their issue is solved. Do you have a particular game you are needing help to install on Windows 10? -Indy

  32. Jenj says:

    I tried the instructions listed above to install Terror in the Royal Tower after spending hours getting errors and it worked!!

    • heather says:

      i still cant get shadow at waters edge to work and i have tried everything i dont have this issue with any of my other nancy drew games

  33. Allie says:

    Fix for anyone having issues in September 2022:
    I hope this fix will help some of you. It worked for me. You need to have a compatible DirectX version to play the older games on Windows 10 and 11. You can download the DirectX End-User Runtime (June 2010) from Microsoft to get a package of the older versions. It will not affect your current installed DirectX. After downloading, you must extract the file into a folder (create a new one and name it the same) and then, click DXSetup in the folder to install it. After that, you should be able to run the game. (I recommend running as Administrator.) Good luck!

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