[FIX] Star Wars Empire at War ‘Exception Error’ on Windows 10

Some Windows 10 users are complaining that they are unable to play the legacy game expansion Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption on their Windows 10 computer. The majority of users are reporting that the base game is fully playable, but when they access the Force of Corruption expansion they see a white screen pop up that simply hangs indefinitely and displays an ‘exception error‘ upon being closed. This issue is reported to be exclusive to Windows 10.

Star Wars Empire at War ‘Exception Error’ on Windows 10

After investigating this particular issue thoroughly, it turns out that there are several different underlying causes that might cause this problem on Windows 10. Here’s a list of potential culprits:

  • Missing Empire at War 1.05 update – In most cases, this particular issue is attributed to a missing updated that makes the expansion of the legacy game playable on Windows 10. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the issue by installing the Empire at War 1.05 patch from the official channels.
  • Game installation is not compatible with Windows 10 – If you got the game from GoG or you have installed it from legacy media, you’ll likely see this error due to incompatibility issues. To fix the issue in this case, you’ll need to force the main executable of the game to run in compatibility mode with Windows XP.
  • RAM inconsistency – Keep in mind that this particular expansion is known to cause issues on computers running on 64-bit versions of Windows 10 with RAM configurations exceeding 2 GB. To fix this issue, you’ll need to install a RAM fix that was originally designed for Windows Vista (confirmed to work for Windows 10).
  • Refresh rate exceeds the range supported by the monitor – Another reason why you might see this error is a situation where a hardcoded registry key forces the game to run with a higher refresh rate than your monitor supports. In this case, you can fix the issue by using the Registry Editor to edit the key that governs this setting.

Now that you know every potential culprit that might be responsible for this issue, here’s a list of methods that other affected users have successfully used to resolve the issue:

Method 1: Installing the Empire at War 1.05 Update (If applicable)

As it turns out, in the vast majority of cases, this particular issue can be attributed to a missing update that makes the expansions of this game compatible with Windows 10 (among other things).

Note: This method is not applicable if you are encountering this issue while attempting to run the Gold pack version of Star Wars: Empire at War.

However, if you have no issues running the base game but you encounter the exception error when attempting to launch the expansion, you should be able to fix the issue by installing the patch 1.05 update using the official channels.

Several affected users have confirmed that this method was the only thing that allowed them to finally launch the Forces of Corruption expansion without running into the same issue.

If you haven’t tried installing this update yet, follow the instructions below to do so and allow the game to run on your Windows 10 computer:

  1. Open your default browser and visit the download page of Empire at War 1.05 update.
  2. Once you’re inside, scroll down to the Installation tab and click on the Download Now hyperlink from the bottom of the screen.
    Downloading the 1.05 patch for STAR WARS™: Empire at War
  3. Once the patch has been successfully downloaded, right-click on the executable and choose Run as administrator from the context menu. When prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click on Yes to grant admin access.
  4. After you’re inside the installer, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation of the patch, then restart your computer.
  5. Once the next startup is complete, open the game once again and see if the issue is now fixed.

In case you’re still seeing the same Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption error when attempting to open the game’s expansion, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 2: Running the Expansion in Compatibility Mode

According to some affected users, you might also be able to fix the issue by forcing the main executable of the game to run in compatibility mode with Windows XP. This is effective in certain situations because the game was originally developed for an older Windows version.

Since some game dependencies that the game requires are not included by default on Windows 10, one easy way to fix it is to force the game executable to run in compatibility mode. Several affected users have confirmed that using compatibility mode with Windows XP has finally allowed them to fix the issue.

Here’s a quick step by step guide on how to force the main executable of Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption to run in compatibility mode:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the location where you installed the game.
  2. Once you’re inside, locate the main executable (sweaw.exe) and choose Properties from the context menu.
    Note: Unless you installed the game in a custom location and you’re playing it through Steam, you will find it here:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Star Wars Empire at War
  3. Inside the Properties screen of the game, access the Compatibility tab from the list of available options and check the box associated with Run this program in compatibility mode for.

    Forcing the game to run in compatibility mode
  4. Next, from the drop-down menu, choose Windows XP (Service Pack 3) from the list of available options before clicking on Apply to save the changes.
  5. Launch the game and see if the problem is now fixed.

If the issue is still not fixed, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Installing the RAM fix patch (if applicable)

If you’re attempting to play the Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption game on a computer running on a 64-bit OS configuration that has over 2 GB of RAM. As you can imagine, this is very likely as you can’t really consider a PC configuration with under 2 GB of RAM a gaming rig.

To overcome this problem, you will only need to install a hotfix patch developed by the community. All this will do is correct the RAM Restriction issue when playing the game on a 64-bit OS with more than 2GB of RAM.

Note: If you are using a 32-bit OS Windows 10 version, you don’t need to install this patch.

If your particular scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to install the RAM fix and resolve the ‘exception error‘ with Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption:

  1. Open your default browser and navigate to the download page of the RAM fix for Empire at War: Forces of Corruption.
  2. Once you’re inside, scroll down and click on the Download button to download the FOCVista64.exe.
    Downloading the RAM Fix from the official download page

    Note: Don’t worry about the name, this is not exclusive to Vista as it’s confirmed to work for Windows 10.

  3. You should then be redirected to the moddb page. Once you get there, click on Download now and wait for the download to complete.

    Downloading the Ram FIX for Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
  4. Once the download is complete, right-click on FoCVista64.exe and choose Run as Administrator from the context menu.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation, then restart your computer and launch the game once the next startup is complete to see if the problem is now fixed.

In case you are still seeing the same exception error while launching Forces of Corruption expansion, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 4: Editing the Profile Settings via Registry Editor

As it turns out, this issue can also occur due to a registry key that controls the refresh rate of your monitor. This rate is hardcoded and cannot be changed from the in-game settings menu of the Forces of Corruption expansion.

If the hardcoded registry key for the refresh rate is bigger than what your current monitor supports, you might expect to deal with this issue while attempting to launch the expansion.

Fortunately, you can fix this particular issue by using Registry Editor to modify the ScreenRefresh key with a value that doesn’t exceed the maximum refresh rate of your monitor. Several affected users have confirmed that this method was the only thing that allowed them to finally play the Forces of Corruption expansion.

If this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to use the Registry Editor to edit the ScreenRefresh key in order to fix the refresh rate issue:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Inside the text box, type ‘regedit’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up Registry Editor with admin access. When prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant admin access.
    Accessing the Regedit menu
  2. Once you’re inside the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Petroglyph\StarWars FOC\Profiles\Profile0\Player

    Note: You can either navigate to this location manually or you can paste the location directly into the navigation bar at the top.

  3. Once you arrive at the correct location, double-click on the ScreenRefresh to edit the key, then change the value of the key to something that doesn’t exceed the maximum refresh rate of your monitor.
  4. Save the changes, then close the Registry Editor and see if the problem is now fixed.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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[FIX] Star Wars Empire at War ‘Exception Error’ on Windows 10

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