Technical Issues

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Getting Diablo I to work on a modern computer can be tricky.

Character Save Files in Diablo I[edit]

Diablo I saved character files.

In Diablo I and Hellfire, all characters are saved locally, on your computer. This means the files can be backed up or restored manually, or accessed via trainers and editors. Players who play Diablo I via are advised to save backup copies of their characters, since other players may have hacks that will ruin your character, corrupt them to make them unplayable, etc.

Character files are saved on your machine in two locations, depending on which version of Diablo I or Hellfire you are playing, and if your characters are single player or multiplayer.

All single player character files, and multiplayer files prior to patch v1.09 (the latest version), were saved in the folder where you have Diablo or Hellfire installed. The files are not the character names, but are generic titles:

  • Single Player:,,, etc.
  • Multiplayer:,,, etc.

These files are just the character and their gear in multiplayer, but are the entire game state in single player. More recently-created characters have the larger numbers and are displayed first in the listing. (If you wish to change the display order, just edit the files via Windows Explorer to change the numbers.)

Multiplayer files prior to patch 1.09 were hidden files stored in the Windows folder which were tied to the workgroup name of the computer. This was a problem for players who tried to copy their character to move them from one machine to another, since the exact same workgroup name had to exist for the game to "see" the files to load them.

Technical Problems with Modern Computers[edit]

Diablo I was not been supported by Blizzard after the release of Diablo 2, and thus many players found the game inoperable on newer versions of Windows or Mac OS, for a variety of reasons.

Many modern laptops do not have a CD-ROM drive, and thus can't install or play Diablo or Hellfire as these require the Diablo I CD to be in the drive at all times. (Players turn to pirated copies of the game to bypass this issue, or hacked "no-cd" versions. You can also use software like Daemon Tools to create a virtual disk that will run on a laptop without a CD drive.)

None of the tactics are supported by or endorse by Blizzard, but as the developers have not provided technical fixes for players who want to run the game on on modern computers, few players find ethical issues with these workarounds.

Technical issues are another matter, and many players are not able to make Diablo I work on a modern computer (Windows Vista was notoriously unfriendly) even if they have their original CD. Issues stem from older games like Diablo I running in DOS, only displaying with a 640x480 resolution, a 256 color palette, etc. This problem is largely fixed on the most recent versions of operating systems (post 2010), which seem to do better on emulation mode to run older software.

That said, many players are still unable to get older character files to read, or can't play multiplayer, or can't get Hellfire to install, etc. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that Blizzard will address these technical issues so many years after Diablo I's release. If you run into technical problems, searching for help online will often find forum posts with useful info. Compiling a full set of work arounds is beyond the scope of this wiki.