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I purchased and installed MOO3 today from GOG on my windows 7 64bit PC. It installed correctly, loaded the splash screens, and allowed me to go through the menus up to creating a new game. When I did try to play the game, I get only a black screen and the message: DirectX surface unavailable.
So, I transferred the GOG installer to my 32bit windows vista laptop to give it a go there. The installation went fine, but when I try to start MOO3 I get a message telling me to insert the proper CD...
I'd appreciate any help on either of these issues.
This question / problem has been solved by mastalouistimage
Ack, I should have mentioned I am trying to run the Tropical Mod 1.2.1 on both machines. I'll have to reinstall the game and see how it runs without the mod.
The Tropical mod packages I have seen (1.2 and 1.3) both overwrite the main executable with their own copies, which are derived from the retail release.
My first suggestion is to not overwrite Moo3.exe when you install Tropical, keeping the GOG version, and see if the patcher will still work on it.
Otherwise, my suggestion is to find a file called Master of Orion 3 no-cd/fixed image, which comes in at about 20mb, and mount that in your favorite virtual drive software. Note the legality of doing that is gray of course, but the morality of it's usage in this case seems much more clear :)
I got my copy of MoO3 at retail a few years back so I can't test my first suggestion or offer any additional options.
Hopefully someone who picked it up from GOG will have some more suggestions....
Thanks for the reply! I've fixed both issues, and I might as well post up how I managed it in case anyone else has the same problems.

No CD: Oddly enough, I found that running the plain GOG version once before over-writing it with the mod .exe did the trick. I'm not sure why, but that's the only difference between the install I did on the laptop, and the one I did on the desktop (I loaded up the GOG version on the desktop once to check the version.)

DirectX error: This I found is caused by missing/incorrectly placed/corrupted spreadsheet files. The chief cause seems to be corrupted or sloppy mods. There are two things that seem to have contributed to fixing this.

First, I switched from the (possibly junk) 1.2.1 Tropical mod I had gotten from MOO Guardian (which USED to be a fantastically reliable source) to the 1.3.1 mod posted by shamusmcfatty here:

Second, and perhaps more importantly, I changed my user permissions. Seems Windows 7 doesn't (by default) allow for winrar to extract to, and over-write files in, the Program Files directory. When I tried, I would get an access denied error each time. Initially, I had just extracted to a non-Program Files folder, then copy and pasted those files into the MOO3 directory. My guess is that when I did this the files weren't applied properly. By enabling full user rights and permissions for the MOO3 folder, I was able to have winrar extract and over-write the files properly, and I'm now happily a few hundred turns into my first game.

Windows claims that each iteration gets more "user-friendly" but I'm finding the opposite to be true. the fact that my administrator account doesn't have the proper rights to mod my games is more than a little annoying :)

Thanks again!
Post edited June 02, 2011 by Funke
i had a prob with Moo3 but i fixed it by adding Dplay.dll to system folder. it also fixed afew other older windows games DirectX4+ worked on XP, Vita and 7