GPL on Windows XP

Does GPL Work on Windows XP?
GPL Upgrade Patches
Patch Installation Note
Configuration Issues
File System
Video Card
CPU Speed
Sound Card
XP Tweaking Guide
Troubleshooting Guide

Does GPL work on Windows XP?

Yes, GPL does work on XP. I have it running quite well on a 1.4 GHz Celeron running XP Pro. It also works on XP Home.

However, there are some issues with GPL on XP that you may need to work around, and there are some patches you'll probably need to install.

GPL Upgrade Patches

Make sure you get the GPL 1.2 patch. GPL 1.2 enables Force Feedback and makes many other improvements, especially in online muliplayer racing. GPL 1.2 is essential for racing GPL on VROC.

If you're going to race online, also get the Disconnect Fix. The Disconnect Fix greatly reduces the likelihood of being disconnected from online races.

Both of these patches are available from While you're there, get the CPU Speed Fix too, because you may need it now or in the future. Also (unless you have a Voodoo or Rendition video card; the latter is highly unlikely!) get either the Direct3D or OpenGL patch, or both.

Patch Installation Note: Make sure you install the GPL 1.2 patch before you install other patches! If you install the CPU Speed Fix before you install the GPL 1.2 patch, GPL will crash to the desktop when you try to go to the Mulitplayer screen.

Fortunately the fix is easy: copy the original gpl.exe from the GPL CD to the GPL folder on your hard drive, reinstall the GPL 1.2 patch, and then reinstall the Speed Patch.

Configuration Issues

There are a few things you may also need to do, depending on your configuration:

If you still have problems, try posting a message on the newsgroup or on the forum at These are both excellent sources of information, with quite a few people who are running GPL and XP on various hardware configurations.

XP Tweaking Guide

If you're new to XP, you may not have performed certain tasks like turning on Fast Indexing or adjusting sound properties before. Here are some tips on how to perform certain tasks in XP. These apply to XP Pro, but XP Home should be similar.

Turning on Fast Indexing

You need to take two steps: 1) turn on Fast Indexing for the GPL folder, and 2) enable the Fast Indexing Service.

Turning on Fast Indexing for the GPL folder. To turn on Fast Indexing for the GPL folder, open Windows Explorer, navigate to the place where you installed GPL (by default, C:\SIERRA\gpl) and right-click on the GPL folder. You'll get a popup called GPL Properties. Near the bottom of the General sheet will be an Advanced tab. Click this.

You'll get a new popup called Advanced Attributes. Check the box labeled "For fast searching, allow Indexing Service to index this folder". Click OK on both popups.

Turning on the Fast Indexing Service. To turn on the Fast Indexing Service, open the Control Panel and open Administrative Tools. Choose Services.

In the list of services you will find Indexing Service. Open this and set the Startup Type to Automatic. Click the Start button, and then click OK. The Indexing Service should now show in the list as Started and Automatic.

Installing GPL on a FAT32 Partition

If GPL still CTD's after you've turned on Fast Indexing (and installed the CPU Speed Fix if applicable) as suggested above, you can get around the NTFS issue by moving GPL to a FAT32 drive or partition. (For more information on how to create a FAT32 partition on XP, please see Uwe Wulf's notes on FAT32 Partitions on XP and your Windows XP documentation.)

Be sure you allow plenty of space on the FAT32 drive or partition. The initial install of GPL takes only about 70 mb, but additional tracks, high resolution car and track graphical enhancements, and replay files (which can be very large) add up quickly. I recommend at least 500 MB, and more - over 1 GB if you can afford it - is good insurance.

Just for reference, my current GPL install takes nearly 2 GB, including 1.4 GB of tracks (almost 150 of them). This isn't counting replays. Saving a typical Intermediate Long race produces a replay file which can easily exceed 40 mb. If you save a lot of races, it doesn't take long to pile up hundreds of megabytes' worth of replays.

Once you've created the FAT32 partition, reinstall GPL on it and then reinstall the patches as listed above.

Adjusting Sound Properties

To get to the Hardware acceleration and Sample rate conversion quality sliders sliders, open the Control Panel, choose Sounds and Audio Devices, and click on the Advanced button in the Speaker Settings area.

You'll get another popup called Advanced Audio Properties. The Hardware acceleration and Sample rate conversion quality sliders will be on the Performance sheet of this popup. 

Troubleshooting Guide

Here's a list of common problems with GPL on XP, and what to do about them.

GPL Troubleshooting on Windows XP

Problem Cause Solution
GPL crashes to desktop on startup NTFS File System incompatibility Turn on Fast Indexing or install GPL on a FAT32 partition.
GPL crashes to desktop on startup CPU faster than 1.4 GHz Install CPU Speed Fix.
GPL crashes to desktop when going to Multiplayer screen CPU Speed Fix installed before GPL 1.2 patch Reinstall patches in correct order. See Patch Installation Note.
GPL crashes to desktop when getting into the car Sound card compatibility (certain onboard sound cards) Upgrade drivers, change sound cards. See Sound Card section.
Sound corruption, including scratchy sound or static, random changes in volume, clicks and pops, and no sound Sound card compatibility (SoundBlaster Live, Audigy, certain onboard sound cards, and possibly others) Reduce hardware acceleration, upgrade drivers, change sound cards. See Sound Card section.