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To celebrate 13 years of Command and Conquer, Electronic Arts is giving away the full version of Command and Conquer: Red Alert as a free download. This is a solid introduction to the series and a great primer for the soon to be released C&C: Red Alert 3. If you've never played it before, or have a craving for some serious PC gaming nostalgia, I highly recommend downloading it and giving it a shot on your computer.

Though the website offers the download, it doesn't tell you how to get it working on newer computers.

There is a video tutorial on youtube that shows you how to get it installed and running in Windows Vista or XP, but there are some problems with screen resolution and sound when running it this way. The instructions below will help you get this game running on your new fangled PC, whether you're running Windows Vista, XP, a Mac OS or some variant of Linux.

Step 1: Download and Extract Command and Conquer: Red Alert.

You can download the full version of the game, 2 discs from the bottom of this page.

When you download these you will end up with 2 RAR files. You will need to open up these RAR files and extract the .ISO files out of them. I use a program called 7zip to extract the files, and save them to My Documents.

Step 2: Get Dosbox

Download and install a program called dosbox

Dosbox is a cross-platform dos emulator that lets your computer run older software and games. Once installed you can run this game and many others through a dosbox command window by mounting directories and iso files as virtual disks in your dosbox environment.

Step 3: Install C&C:RA

Follow these install as Dosbox webpage for C&C:RA

First, create a folder on your PC where you plan to install C&C:RA.

Next, Start Dosbox, and in the command window run the following to mount the folder you just created and the .ISO file you extracted in the previous step:


Next, run this command to change dosbox to run from dynamic core to normal core, so the install won't error out.


Now change directories to your virtual disk and run the install program.


After the install finishes, copy the 1.08PE patch to your virtual C drive.

D:>copy D:Patch*.* C:

Before you can run the patch, switch dosbox back to dynamic mode, and change the cycles from auto to max so the patch install goes smoothly.


Run the patch installer.


Now put the core and cycles back to their default values:


Finally, you can run the game by issuing the following command:


If all went well you should be playing C&C:RA in no time. The next time you want to play, all you need to do is launch dosbox and run the following: