PullMonkey Blog

30 Apr

How I got GTA San Andreas to Work with (a crappy OS) Vista

So I bought Vista thinking it was going to be like 10 times faster and 100 times better than XP. Soon after buying it I realized it was approximatly 1/2 times as fast and 50 times worse. .

I recently installed GTA San Andreas on Vista. Surprisingly (this is sarcasm) it didn’t work. My mouse would stop working randomly during the game, and when I would go to the in game menu. The game would freeze. This happend regualarly and made it impossible to play. I went to google groups hoping there might be some others who had the same problem. There were, unfortunatly most of the people who answered were apparently retarded telling people to reinstall graphics card drivers and mouse drivers even when the mouse worked fine outside the game.

Frustrated and irritated I went about solving the problem on my own. Thankfully I am such an incredible genius(or maybe just lucky). I figured out how to fix it. My solution is as follows.

The first thing I did to solve the problem was right click the GTA shortcut on my desktop and in the menu click Properties. A Properties window will come up. Click the Compatablity tab. Under Compatablitly mode, check the box that says Run this program in compatability mode for:
Then select Windows 98/Windows Me from the dropdown list. This is actually a solution I got from the web and I had to do this running the game under XP too.

The game should work fine now if you want to start a new game fresh. However my old game that I started before I got Vista was 95% complete and I didn’t want to start all over again. Since Vista is confused about its sexuality, it saves the GTA files running under its original compatability in a folder that is in a different location from the one GTA running under compatabilty for Windows 98/Windows Me. So if you were to start a game in Windows 98/Windows Me compatabilty all your saved games would not be there. So to combat this, go to the default directory where GTA saves your game in Vista. Mine was C:\Users\your username\Documents\GTA San Andreas User Files.

If you can’t find this folder, do a search for “GTASAsf1.b”. This is the file name GTA uses for your first save slot for your game. Find the directory that contains this file name. This is the directory that contains all your specific user data including defined control settings and your saved games. The folder should be called GTA San Andreas User files. I suppose you could do a search for the directory instead of the game name.

Copy all the files files in that directory.

Now get into GTA start a new game, get to a save point and save it under the first save slot. This will create a saved game in the directory that it saves Windows 98/Windows XP compatabiilty games under. Now exit the game.

Next go to the new directory where San Andreas saves it’s files under Windows 98/Windows Me compatablilty. Mine was C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\GTA San Andreas User Files, but if you cant find it, do a search for the file name listed above under SIDE NOTE. Just make sure to open the directory that contains the new save file and not the old one. I did this by checking the date the files were modified. Paste all the files from your old Vista compatability directory to this directory and write over all the files. Viola, now when you get into the game all your old saves and controller settings should be there.

Filed under: games, Home

74 Responses to “How I got GTA San Andreas to Work with (a crappy OS) Vista”

  1. By sdsdsd on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply


    This tut really helped as IΒ΄m running the save files and set files from my old harddrive that had GTA on it.
    The OS was XP and now I copied the files from old XP GTA san A folder to the new destinatiion folder.

    So now everything is runnig smoothly on my vista 64 machine !!

  2. By bobdealer on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply


    thx man, this really helped!

    You are really DA MAN! πŸ˜‰

  3. By Alfred on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    damn compatability doesnt work
    useless atm

  4. By MattB on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    so yah, I bought this game and dled it. Did what he said, changed the properties. Yet it lags like a mofo I’m on Vista Home Premium

    Manufacturer: TOSHIBA
    Model: Satellite A205
    Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 540 @ 1.86GHz 1.86 GHz

    Memory (RAM): 2,00 GB
    System type: 32-bit Operating System.

    Please help!!

  5. By Sant on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    THanks man, you are the best I couldn`t get the game saves to work.


  6. By Paul on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    Thanks a lot for this article!
    I also had same problems in Vista.

  7. By bob` on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    the cycle redundancy check is cause by a lacking in the sound card or drivers eaisest way to fix is to do a cutsom install and unselect the sound option that comes up. should install fine but i havent gotten past a gta_sa.exe has stoped working error when it goes to the first load screen.

  8. By Jonathan on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    As a few people have said, we all bitched and complained when XP came out too because games we’d loved under Windows 98 no longer ran. Come to think of it… Same goes when Windows 95 hit the shelves and DOS games stopped working!

    As with all the others, the solution is there if you’re prepared to look.

    In this case, I followed the instructions here and they worked really well. With a fresh install, I set the compatibility settings, ran the game, configured the keys, tested the mouse and saved a game. Then I located the savegame and overwrote it with my backed up copy from my XP computer.

    NOTE: I did not overwrite any files at all except the single savegame I wanted to replace. This leaves the configuration files as they should be.

    I used the "Windows XP SP2" compatibility option and have suffered no loss in speed or graphic detail / resolution. I’m running with my savegames transferred from my XP machine. In fact if you ONLY copy the savegame files, you can switch between the two OSes as you like.

    Good luck!

  9. By Dgseo on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    I love you.

  10. By B on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll try it. My San Andreas On Vista Home Premium 32bit doesn’t even launch the executable and I have tried several things, next I will try rolling back the compatiblity mode. Wierd thing is Vice city installed and ran without a hitch, even my colledit and map mods. I have the 2008 version of MS-developer so a may just rebuild the darn executable, if I do I will post it at GTA forums. To the other comments, every version of Windows is worse than the one before it, you tend to remember win95 with fondness cause your pulling your hair out in win98. The trend never changes, I had to hack the user-level access control out of the system registry in Vista before I was willing to even try any games on it. Weird thing is after I did that I did get a few Dos-mode games to work in Vista (Doom2, Quake1, & Carmageddon 1) Still tring to get Carmageddon 2 to have sound but everything else works. Anywho, Vista is like any other piece of CRAP from microsoft, don’t expect them to fix it, the user community will end up doing all the work just like every other version of Windows.

  11. By Alex96' on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    PLZ HALP! I did it all but i cant find nor the new user file ( C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\GTA San Andreas User Files ) nor SIDE NOTE ? where is it? plz halp me!

  12. By bnm9417 on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    hey man! i think i’ve found the solution to this problem without doing anything more than a simple double click…

    Just go to the Task Manager (Windows key + R .. type taskmgr .. press Enter) and kill (if running):


    then just start GTA San Andreas and… voila!

    it actually works for me .. even when i have the worst OS ever made .. yes, worse than any VISTA .. VISTA STARTER ..

    NOTE: Do it every time before you start GTA San Andreas ..
    NOTE2: Once you’ve started and played GTA without problems, you wont need to do this anymore .. whenever your PC stays turned on or in the same account
    NOTE3: After a few days (or maybe weeks) .. you wont need to do this even if you turn off your computer… [many times i dont have to do that "kill" process .. now i

    simply start my GTA .. and it works fine .. MANY TIMES, not always]

    For those who dont want to bother killing processes .. u can download my "kill-n-play" batch (i know its a stupid name) just click here to go to the download page .. its

    only a few KiloBytes…

    Download Here: http://cid-4c138c91424da1f8.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Warez/KILL%7C_N%7C_PLAY.rar

    well i hope this could help any in need of playing GTA San Andreas..

  13. By Anette on Apr 30, 2007 | Reply

    Find the files you are looking for at download-the-movie.net the most comprehensive source for free-to-try files downloads on the Web

  14. By J on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    I did all the things, but when i start up my game it freezes and i have to cancel it. Help ?

  15. By J on Jun 24, 2010 | Reply

    and sorry for my bad english, i’m swedish.

  16. By rodo on Sep 22, 2010 | Reply

    damn such a simple solution, yet doesnt work for me :/
    been having this problem for about a year and still no fix. wtf man my pc is cursed πŸ™

  17. By ram on Oct 1, 2010 | Reply

    on vista some strange letters appear when gta-san-andreas run

  18. By GAURAV KR. on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


  19. By jamesc on Jan 14, 2011 | Reply

    THANK YOU SO FREAKIN MUCH. BEEN PLAYIN TILL 80% BEFORE THIS. awesome technique. now i continue without crashes or freezes. thanks again

  20. By IWANTGTASATOWORKONVISTA! on Jul 6, 2011 | Reply

    always i click on the desktop shortcut it says “gta_sa.exe stopped working” anyone that knows how to fix it? please.

  21. By WiiTold on Aug 22, 2011 | Reply

    Hi, if you’r so smart, try to make out how to solve this problem in GTA:SA bought on Steam πŸ™‚ When i’m setting compatibility mode on 98/ME i receive the info that have to turn off this mode πŸ™‚

  22. By miami boi on Jun 13, 2012 | Reply

    i have a problem i have a dell xps. i meet all the requirements and what not for the game. the only issue i have is when it is copying the files from the cd to a folder an error message pops up saying cannot copy data3:invalid MS_DOS function. note i tried to install it from the cd itself it says the same thing. so i tried coping the files into a new folder…. and says the same thing. does that mean my cd doesn’t work?

  23. By Dar_bok on Nov 4, 2012 | Reply

    I cannot explain how relieved I was to read others were having this same issue. Thanks soo much for this fix. I am forever in your debt~

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