Jade Empire on Windows 7

Posted in General at 7:46 pm by jw

Note: This probably works on Vista as well.

Having purchased Jade Empire from Steam for the cool price of $15, I was having all sorts of trouble trying to get it to run.  Basically the configuration program would crash every time I attempted to run the application, and it refused to run the actual application without running the configuration program.

Searching on the net proved pretty much worthless – turned out quite a few people were having the problem, but no one seemed to know any way to fix it.  Other people were saying it ran fine if you just skipped the config program but the issue is you can’t skip the config program on the “first run”.  That was the trick – how to convince the game it was no longer the first run.

First stop, good old post-moretem debugging with Windbg.  Sadly, this told me that it was crashing trying to free a block of memory that had either not been allocated or had already been freed (the call stack was inside HeapFree, and through a few compatibility layers Win7 had tossed in for me).  No help there, and telling it to ignore the exception didn’t make matters any better – even to get it through the “first run” stage.

Next stop, Process Monitor (one of those evil apps that daft DRM companies like SecuRom decide shouldn’t be allowed because they may actually help you fix their games for them I guess?).  The last file it tried to access before crashing was SystemInformation.xml in the game’s data directory.  Turned out that file didn’t exist, and so was a big clue about what the game used to determine whether the config had run or not.

Nothing to lose – create a blank file with Notepad and save it as SystemInformation.xml in C:\Program Files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\jade empire\data.  Attempt to run the config program and it still crashes.  Next, attempt to run the main game and it skips the config and actually starts and plays without issue (at least to character creation so far).

Cool – not a waste of $15 after all!

Edit:  As pointed out in the comments, make sure you run Notepad as Administrator to create the file or it won’t do what you think.  Thanks to Blog Kindle for the tip.


  1. Ethan Said:

    April 15, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    ok ok kool only one problem
    were the hell do i save it too
    i’ve got visa

    Please someone email me

  2. Ethan Said:

    April 15, 2009 at 11:07 pm


  3. QJ Said:

    June 24, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Yes, this game gave me heart ache on vista. I loved it on xbox. Now, I can play it again.

  4. Jim Said:

    October 29, 2009 at 2:52 am

    In Windows 7, beta (build 7100), all I had to do was create the SystemInformation.xml file in the game’s data directory and the config utility ran just fine.

    Thanks for the help!

  5. casey Said:

    October 30, 2009 at 8:01 am

    I hadn’t downloaded Jade Empire with Steam, but I still got the same problem: “Configuration Utility has stopped working”, and the game never ran. I ended up having to run the .exe directly, which worked but got annoying. Eventually I found this site, and saved the .xml file into C:\Program Files\Jade Empire\data. That’s all there is to it. Thanks so much for the help!

  6. Blog Kindle Said:

    October 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I’m running Windows 7 Ultimate X64. Creating an empty file at the location that you’ve mentioned did the trick and the configuration utility ran just fine.

    One thing to keep in mind is that you need to run notepad.exe as administrator. If you don’t the file will not be really saved in c:\program files (x86)\… but rather in the temporary location and the game will not be able to load it.

    It is windows’s way of dealing with bad software engineers who don’t know any better but to write dynamic data into “program files” directory.

  7. TriggerLappy Said:

    November 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Thank you very much for this valuable piece of help – I’ve trying to figure out a way to get my Steam game going on Windows 7 and found the same initial result you did – a lot of people had a similar issue, but none had a way to get around it.

    Just creating that one blank txt file fixed everything! Thanks again!

  8. Sky Said:

    January 7, 2010 at 1:10 am

    thanks for the help! Worked great!

  9. Yamiki the Pirate Said:

    January 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Windows 7 Ulti Beta build 7100. Did exactly as posted and it works.
    Thanks mate

  10. Darcy Said:

    January 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    I followed the first post and it lead me to success although with a little variation. I bought Jade Empire through Steam too. However when I tried to run the config or start the game each time it then said that steam was not found. After that I deleted that notepad, tried opening config again and it worked. I saved the config settings and ran the game and it works perfectly

    Oh I forgot to run it as admin so maybe that’s why mine ran slightly differently but it still worked as I describe anyways 😀

    Make sure to change settings in game too as there are even more video tweaks in game than in the config tool.

    I currently have Windows 7 RC 7100 64 Bit running on a Core i7 socket 1156 2.8GHZ cpu with ASUS Maximus 3 Gene. Not sure if hardware or anything has a place in this

    Thanks original poster!

  11. johnonebon Said:

    March 8, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Many thanks . Been trying for hours . Works like new again

  12. Matt Said:

    March 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks mate, the boxed version now works perfectly under Win7 Home Premium 32.

  13. Ryan Said:

    March 30, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Just tried it and it worked. All I did was launch it, though, I haven’t tried to play it yet. We’ll see what happens…

    Btw, I have Vista.

  14. Toast Said:

    September 18, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Yey! You saved me 14 euros from going to the bin 😀 thanks!

  15. Jason Said:

    November 2, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Thanks. Worked like a charm.

  16. QJ Said:

    April 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I have Vista and Win 7. Your solution works on both. 😀

  17. Robo Said:

    May 12, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Didn’t work for me – did it exactly as directed.

  18. jw Said:

    May 14, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Sorry to hear that, Robo. Still got the same error as normal, I assume?

  19. Chris Said:

    June 22, 2011 at 8:09 am

    OMG!! I bought this game in 2006 and was heartbroken because my Toshiba didn’t have a good enough graphics card. Got a new laptop w/ Windows 7 and was super excited that I could finally play this…and then the game just wouldn’t start. I’ve literally installed and uninstalled, downloaded patches, compatibility issues, the works! This is the only thing that worked and it took me 30 seconds! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  20. Incognito Said:

    July 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I didn’t get it for steam, but have the same error… Any idea on how to fix it for non-steam users?

    I’ve been dyinggg to play this game!

    PS: Not the most computer savvy..

  21. Incognito Said:

    July 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    That was so simple!! LOL!! All you gotta do is look the file up and right click it. Then open it with a notepad (like he said) and then save it like he mentioned above. Then it’ll skip it immediately.. Brilliant!

    Thanks mate!

  22. Isaac Said:

    July 29, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Brilliant man. Thank you!

  23. Hao Said:

    September 29, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    so lost helppp!!

  24. jw Said:

    September 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Be glad to help – what’s wrong?

  25. Hao Said:

    October 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm


  26. jw Said:

    October 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Like it says in the post – create a blank file with Notepad and save it as SystemInformation.xml in C:\Program Files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\jade empire\data. Make sure you run Notepad as Administrator (right click, Run As Administrator from the Start Menu).

  27. Milly Said:

    January 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I have the actual CD for the PC version of the game. So when I try to save the file to the game, it seems I have to save it directly to the disk which does not work/isn’t allowed. Is there anyway to fix this?

  28. jw Said:

    January 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm


    I think your best option is to attempt to copy the CD with a SystemInformation.xml file in the right place. You may run into DRM issues though, which then means you have to run around looking for a crack (megagames is probably your friend here) so you can run the game you actually bought.

  29. Randomz_Pl Said:

    February 14, 2012 at 8:00 am

    hey when i try to open jade empire special edition the configuration utillity opens and says that it is gathering info to start the game and then it suddenly crashes. Waht should i do? I am playing on disc.please help

  30. jw Said:

    February 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm


    No idea. Could try the same thing I suggested for Milly?

  31. Dennis Said:

    June 17, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Just downloaded Jade Empire through Steam on Windows 7.
    Worked for me!

  32. The Thread Necromancer Said:

    July 24, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Just commenting to let you know this worked aces for me and your a wonderful person. Once again, Google-Fu triumphs over all other fighting styles.

  33. Dee Said:

    July 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Wow, that was the easiest fix Ive ever done, thank you! So simple! Not only did the game play but the config started, scanned, and saved, no problems! I wish everything was that simple, glad I found you:)

  34. Ipsith Said:

    December 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    I’ve got a problem with the game. The Launcher opens up just fine, but when i select “play game” from the options, nothing happens. The launcher closes and after a couple of seconds a dialog box opens saying “Jade Empire has stopped working” and this is what is there is the problem details tab –

    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
    Application Name: JadeEmpire.exe
    Application Version:
    Application Timestamp: 562b029a
    Fault Module Name: ntdll.dll
    Fault Module Version: 6.1.7601.17725
    Fault Module Timestamp: 4ec49b60
    Exception Code: c0000005
    Exception Offset: 0001f7e4
    OS Version: 6.1.7601.
    Locale ID: 16393
    Additional Information 1: abcc
    Additional Information 2: abcc8f7853b48d9807d6d51eb1fa5df9
    Additional Information 3: abcc
    Additional Information 4: abcc8f7853b48d9807d6d51eb1fa5df9

    i have no clue how to fix this and i am dying to play this game. Oh and i have windows 7 32-bit, and Can You Run It says that i can run the game just fine. Please help. I’ve tried downloading the “ntdll.dll” file and placing it into the “data” folder but that doesnt help either. the above dialog box opens up and instead of the “ntdll.dll” it says “Jade Empire.exe”.

  35. Ipsith Said:

    December 29, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    This is the problem details of the game with ntdd.dll inserted into the “data” folder of the game.

    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
    Application Name: JadeEmpire.exe
    Application Version:
    Application Timestamp: 562b029a
    Fault Module Name: JadeEmpire.exe
    Fault Module Version:
    Fault Module Timestamp: 562b029a
    Exception Code: c0000005
    Exception Offset: 00193850
    OS Version: 6.1.7601.
    Locale ID: 16393
    Additional Information 1: 514c
    Additional Information 2: 514c354696596b8c6662ff1b64b27faa
    Additional Information 3: 17d3
    Additional Information 4: 17d336632b4e3256cc8e4a539e8b600b

  36. jw Said:

    December 30, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Did you do the fix I detailed in the post?

    Also, don’t copy ntdll.dll from random places. Will almost certainly break things.

  37. bcaa Said:

    January 21, 2013 at 3:47 am

    I have the same problem as lpsith, and i also did the fix you detailed in the post, mine just won’t work.

  38. jw Said:

    January 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    @bcaa, @lpsith:

    Sorry guys, no idea.

  39. TS Said:

    February 1, 2013 at 9:48 am

    @bcaa @ Ipsith

    I had the exact same error message pop up randomly one day, after having doing all of the tricks listed by jw and having been able to play the game just fine for several days. Uninstalling and reinstalling a couple of times seemed to fix the problem. Hope this helps!

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