Running Microsoft Freelancer on Windows 7 

Freelancer worked best on Windows XP SP3.  It did not work at all on Vista.  But it does work on Windows 7.  Just install it normally from the CDROM and play it as normal.

It is possible to install the Freelancer Mod Manager, but requires a bit of ingenuity.  You will quickly find, if you just try to install, that it installs, but none of the mods will activate.  They all give an error in FMM if you try.  Worse, you will find that when you start Freelancer, your main menu screen is missing a lot of its bitmaps; if you proceed to a saved game, that the navmap is blank, and that if you try to leave the station you saved at, Freelancer crashes.

Installing flmminstaller_v1.31.exe

Get the download from the web.  Then right-click on it, and select Properties.  Click the Compatibility tab.  Then:

Then you can double-click the flmminstaller_v1.31.exe file, and install it.

Running Freelancer Mod Manager

Don't even think about running this except with the same settings as above.

So, find the actual executable -- not a shortcut -- on the Start | All Programs | Freelancer Mod Manager and right click the Freelancer Mod Manager icon.

Then do the same as for the installer:

Then, and only then, run Freelancer Mod Manager.  It should work fine.  I turned on the "battleship encounters".  

Changing permissions

I found that I had to change permissions to "full control" for all users on the following directories:

Right click on the directory in Explorer, choose Properties, then the Security tab.  Look at "Authenticated users" and hit "Edit" if necessary to give it "Full control" over the directory.  Likewise with "Users (<yourpc>\Users)".

If you do all this, and you're in the New York system near Planet Manhattan, you should run into battleship and cruiser patrols almost straightaway.

Trouble

I got into a lot of trouble with this.  Even uninstalling Freelancer and reinstalling it did not fix it.  I ended up deinstalling FLMM and FL, removing all nasty-looking references to "freelancer" from the registry, doing a search on the hard disk and ditto, rebooting, and finally installing FL to a new directory.  It works fine from c:\freelancer.

What about your saved games?  These are all in c:\users\<your username>\My Documents\My Games\Freelancer\Accts\SinglePlayer\ as *.fl.  Keep a copy of the directory before you fiddle, I suggest.  Copying the contents back on a new install gave me back my old saved games.

Constructive feedback is welcomed to Roger Pearse.

Written 29th October 2011.

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