Common searches

First post, by ComputerMD82

User metadata
Rank Newbie

Hi all,

Discovered this site about a month ago as myself and a few buddies are working on an old school LAN project (4 PCs). We were originally going for 98/XP dual boot systems, but since *almost* all the older games we want to play work just fine on XP or DosBox, we went with the newer systems to try and broaden the range of titles we could play. Some of the older games we will likely run are Shogo, Populous, Command and Conquer titles- namely RA2, Dune 2000, Quake II, CS 1.5. Not entirely sure what else just yet, open to suggestions too!

Hardware is all in-hand except the boards themselves. The hardware list is looking like:

Asus P8Z77-M Pro MATX Board
Intel i5-3570 CPU
XFX Nvidia GTX285 1GB
8GB G-Skill Sniper DDR3-1866
WD Velociraptor 250GB for XP
Samsung 860 Pro 500GB for Win 7
Corsair Obsidian 350D MATX Case
Corsair RM850x PSU
Cooler Master G100M CPU cooler (Open to alternatives on this, I liked the old school design and the RGB without software, but I don't have the boards yet to test GPU clearance)

Anyway, the one request from my buddies, and the reason we were originally pushing for Win98SE systems.. Is Microsoft Hearts, playable over LAN. Like we used to do in the good old days in our HS computer lab on Windows 3.11. There's even a company that makes a Winpopup alternative that will work with the more modern systems.

So, I know that LAN Hearts wasn't designed to work in XP. I've copied over the files from a Win98 build. At first the network options are grayed out, but I also made sure that IPX/SPX/Net Beui are installed. Also started the 2 services for Network DDE, which I've read was the protocol that Network Hearts used. With trying this out, the options are no longer grayed out, but they still refuse to connect to each other.

Did find an old post (https://www.pcreview.co.uk/threads/network-hearts.3676114/) that mentioned compatibility mode (which I tried as well) and services tweaks, but the comment referenced an older post on a defunct website. Did also try using the Win98 PC as the dealer to see if the XP rig could connect, no luck. Also turned off firewall on the XP builds.

I'm able to troubleshoot with 2 C2D XP systems I have already set up, one is a dual boot 98SE/XP rig, so I have all the 98SE files at my disposal. Open to any suggestions!


"There's an old saying: 'Fortune favors the bold'. I guess we're about to find out."

Reply 2 of 3, by ComputerMD82

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Jorpho wrote on 2020-09-07, 02:57:

I'm going to take a wild guess and ask: did you enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP?

I had not previously. Changed on both PC's from Default to Enabled, no changes. Still getting "Unable to connect to dealer, Hearts will now close."

Also tried with a static IP for each PC just to eliminate that. Workgroup name is the same on both PC's with easy to remember PC names. Also tried disabling Windows Firewall over LAN.

Thanks for your help btw!


"There's an old saying: 'Fortune favors the bold'. I guess we're about to find out."

Reply 3 of 3, by Jorpho

User metadata
Rank l33t++
ComputerMD82 wrote on 2020-09-07, 01:22:

but the comment referenced an older post on a defunct website.

Of course archive.org is always a solution for such things.
https://web.archive.org/web/20080309000420/ht … n95/t1044520479

The solutions listed above to play MS Hearts on an XP LAN WILL work at least as long as one W2k (or W98/95) box is in the mix. (1) Download MSHEARTS zip file and extract the it to the XP Windows folder and W2k WINNT folder. (2) On any XP boxes set Win 95 Compatibility Mode for the MSHEARTS.exe file (3) On any XP boxes run services.msc and set Network DDE and Network DDE DSDM to Manual start (XP SP2 disables these services which are REQUIRED for 16-bit LAN MSHEARTs.) (4) Create a convenient shortcut to the MSHEARTS.exe for any XP or W2k boxes from the desktop or start menu (5) Before attempting to play, run services.msc on all XP and W2k boxes and Start the Network DDE service (Network DDE DSDM will also be automatically started). (6) Use a W2k (or W98/95) box as server - i.e. start it first and select "I want to be dealer" - the game should be waiting for other players to join. (7) The other players should select "join another game" and browse for the dealer - note that the dealer is selected by the COMPUTER name NOT the player's . (8) Once the other players have joined their player names should be displayed on the board and the dealer must press F2 to start the play. Only two real bugs: there must be at least one W2k or W98/95 box in the mix to be server and the animation was timed for SLOWER W3.1 systems and is way too fast. Also since XP SP2 turned off Network DDE services as a security measure, its probably a good idea to disable it and Network DDE DSDM after play if you are on a highspeed always on connection to the internet.

I wonder if the use of Win2K means that NTLMv1 is involved? I'm afraid I can't find a useful link in a minute of Googling.