Some Windows 10 users are reporting that they always end up seeing the ‘Error 25: A Critical error has occurred while initiating Direct3D‘ whenever they attempt to launch Diablo II on their computer.
After investigating this particular issue, it turns out that there are several different underlying causes that might be triggering this particular error code. Here’s a list of potential culprits that might be causing this error code with the legacy game Diablo II:
- The game runs in full-screen mode – For a lot of legacy games, this particular issue occurs in situations where Diablo II is configured to run in full-screen mode. However, a lot of affected users have confirmed that the issue no longer occurs if they force the game to run in windowed mode.
- The Game is not compatible with Windows 10 – Because Diablo II was not originally developed to run on Windows 10, there is an entire host of compatibility issues that might cause this error code. Fortunately, you can use compatibility mode to get around most issues by forcing the executable to run in compatibility mode with Windows XP.
- Graphical Rendering issue – Graphical rendering issues can also contribute to the apparition of this issue since Diablo II knows how to use new technologies like Direct3D 11 and Direct3D 12. In this case, you can use a wrapper like dgVoodoo or Sven’s Glide Wrapper to make the game renderable on Windows 10.
Now that you have become familiar with every underlying cause that might be causing this issue, here’s a list of confirmed methods that other affected users have successfully used to resolve the ‘Error 25: A Critical error has occurred while initiating Direct3D’ when launching Diablo II:
Method 1: Running the Game in Windowed Mode
As it happens with a lot of legacy games that were originally built around a deprecated Direct3D version, you should be able to circumvent the apparition of the ‘Error 25: A Critical error has occurred while initiating Direct3D‘ by modifying the executable so that you force it to run in windowed mode.
Several affected users have confirmed that this workaround has successfully allowed them to finally run Diablo II normally without issues.
If you haven’t tried this fix yet, follow the instructions below to re-configure the properties screen of the game’s shortcut or main executable so that it’s forced to run in windowed mode:
- Navigate to the location of the shortcut (or executable) that you normally launch the game on, then click on Properties from the context menu that just appeared.
- Once you’re inside the Properties screen, click on the Shortcut tab, then edit the Target box and add ‘-w‘ at the end of the target text box before clicking Apply to save the changes.
- Once the changes have been applied, see if you can launch the game normally without encountering the same ‘Error 25: A Critical error has occurred while initiating Direct3D‘ issue.
In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 2: Running the Game in Compatibility Mode (with admin access)
If running the game in windowed mode didn’t allow you to circumvent the issue, you should proceed by using the same Properties screen to run ensure that the legacy version of Diablo II runs in compatibility mode with Windows XP and that admin access is granted.
This fix is confirmed to work by a lot of Diablo II players that were encountering this issue on Windows 10.
For step by step instructions on configuring the game to be rendered in compatibility mode with Windows XP and grant admin access from the Diablo II shortcut, follow the instructions below:
- Right-click on the game shortcut, then click on Properties from the context menu that just appeared.
- Inside the Properties screen of Diablo II, click on the Compatibility tab from the horizontal menu at the top, then check the box associated with Run this program in compatibility mode for. Next, select Windows XP (Serviced Pack 3) from the list of available compatibility options.
- Next, check the box associated with Run this program as an administrator, then click on Apply to save the changes.
- Launch Diablo II using the same executable and see if the problem is now fixed.
If the problem is still not fixed even when you run the game in compatibility mode, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 3: Using a Wrapper for Direct3D
If the first 2 methods didn’t work in your case, you’ve pretty much eliminated every potential cause that might be causing the ‘Error 25: A Critical error has occurred while initiating Direct3D‘ that’s outside the scope of an outdated Direct3D version.
Keep in mind that Direct3D (the technology used on Diablo II) is an old API that is deprecated by no and hardly supported by Windows 10. Fortunately, you can still use wrappers like dgVoodoo or Sven’s Glide Wrapper to convert legacy game graphics to Direct3D 11 or Direct3D 12 so that your GPU has no issues rendering the game.
Note: You can also use wrappers like this to enable various overrides that will allow you to use 3rd party tools that can enhance or improve the gaming experience with legacy games on Windows 10.
If you’re already familiar with a different wrapper, you can use that one instead. But if you never used a tool like this before, you can follow the instructions below to use the dgVooDoo wrapper to bypass the Error 25 with Diablo II and play the game at a higher resolution:
- Start by visiting the official download page of dgVoodoo and click on the hyperlink associated with the latest stable version of dgVoodoo.
- Once the download is finally complete, use a utility like WinRar, WinZip, or 7Zip to extract the contents of the dgVoodoo folder in an easy-to-access folder.
- After the extraction process is complete, follow the documentation inside the folder to configure Diablo II according to your current Windows build before launching it on your computer.