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I keep getting this error when trying to launch Internet Spades on a Windows XP machine:

Spades is unable to start. Close some other programs and try again, or try reinstalling Spades using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.

I used the Add/Remove programs to disable, then enable games. It asked for the Windows XP CD which I put in. Did some stuff like it was working. Still get the same error message.

share|improve this question
Do any of the other games still work? – user3463 Aug 30 '11 at 3:00
Can you explain what you mean by this: "...try reinstalling Spades using Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel."? – SgtOJ Aug 30 '11 at 4:36
Now it makes sense. Thank you for the edit. – SgtOJ Aug 30 '11 at 6:12
Are any of the other MSN Zone games working? – SgtOJ Sep 7 '11 at 5:10
up vote 4 down vote accepted

This solution will fix all Windows XP MSN Zone Internet games. As always, first try rebooting the computer. If that doesn't solve the problem, please try the following:

How to uninstall and reinstall Windows XP games via Control Panel

  1. Clicked the Start menu
  2. Click Control Panel
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs
  4. Click Add/Remove Windows Components located on the left side
  5. Select Accessories and Utilities
  6. Click on Details...
  7. Uncheck the box for Games
  8. Click OK
    • Accessories and Utilities windows will close
  9. Click Next
    • Windows Components Wizard will close upon completion
  10. Click Finish
  11. Repeat Steps 4 - 10
    • On Step 7: Check the box for Games

If the steps above dont work then try these instructions:

Manual install/reinstall option (Source)

  1. Insure the following files are at: C:\Program Files\MSN Gaming Zone\Windows\
    • bckg.dll
    • bckgres.dll
    • bckgzm.exe
    • chkr.dll
    • chkrres.dll
    • chkrzm.exe
    • Cmnclim.dll
    • Cmnresm.dll
    • hrtz.dll
    • Hrtzres.dll
    • hrtzzm.exe
    • rvse.dll
    • Rvseres.dll
    • Rvsezm.exe
    • shvl.dll
    • Shvlres.dll
    • hvlzm.exe
    • UniAnsi.dll
    • zClientm.exe
    • ZCorem.dll
    • zeeverm.dll
    • ZNetM.dll
    • zoneclim.dll
    • zonelibM.dll
  2. Insure these files exist:
    • C:\WINDOWS\Help\bckg.chm
    • C:\WINDOWS\Help\chkr.chm
    • C:\WINDOWS\Help\hrtz.chm
    • C:\WINDOWS\Help\rvse.chm
    • C:\WINDOWS\Help\shvl.chm
    • C:\WINDOWS\system32\zoneoc.dll
  3. Edit this file: C:\WINDOWS\inf\sysoc.inf
    • [Components]
      MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7 ZoneGames=zoneoc.dll,ZoneSetupProc,igames.inf,,7 <-- Add This Line
    • You only need to add the ZoneGames line. The other lines are there for context.
  4. Restart the computer

Note: If you are missing any of the files then download this zip file. The zip file is courtesy of Dale Swanson -- the one who is responsible for the above steps. Step are in detail steps for both the experienced and non-experienced users.

share|improve this answer
How does this fix spades? I feel like you copy and pasted this – Simon Sheehan Aug 30 '11 at 5:11
It basically removes (or uninstalls) all the games, including spades, then installs them back. As for me copying and pasting, you would be wrong. If you look at most of my answers, I tended to post my answers like this -- very detail. Since I have Windows 7 Ultimate, I wrote these steps up by recreating the steps via Windows XP Mode. Please do not assume. – SgtOJ Aug 30 '11 at 5:22
... If I use a source from another site or questions, I always add link to the original source of the information within my answer. That can be verify by review my questions. In many cases, I will look for supporting sources to support my answer even if I knew the answer in the first place. – SgtOJ Aug 30 '11 at 5:35
That's fine, it just looked that way because you didn't really state how this was solving the problem – Simon Sheehan Aug 30 '11 at 5:41
Considering that the OP noted that reinstalling games through the Add / Remove Programs Control Panel didn't fix the problem, I fail to see how this suggestion, original as it is, will help. – user3463 Aug 30 '11 at 5:51

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