The first game of the Tomb Raider series is a DOS game from 1996 and therefore can only be played well with DOSBox on systems with Windows 7, Windows 8, XP or Vista, especially when those OS's are 64 bit.

Tomb Raider 1 on Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP 32 and 64 bits, with DOSBoxIn this guide we'll explain how to get the game running in DOSBox, when you use the original installation CD. As the initial resolution of Tomb Raider is very low (320x240), we also have some options to upgrade the resolution of the game. Remember that running Tomb Raider in DOSBox requires quite some processing power and the experience while playing might be a little disappointing.

You don't have the original Tomb Raider CD? Download your copy from! It works great on Windows 7 and Windows 8!

Install DOSBox

  • Download the Windows package (that's the Win32 installer).
  • Save it in a temporary folder on your hard disk.
  • Install DOSBox by double clicking the installer file in Windows explorer.

Install and play Tomb Raider or any other DOS game from CD in DOSBox

  • In Windows explorer, create a folder where you want to install Tomb Raider and/or other DOS games, for example c:\games\dos
  • Install Tomb Raider 1 in DOSBox - mount drives.Start DOSBox from the desktop or the Windows start menu.
  • To make folders and drives accessible in DOSBox, you need to mount them.
  • To mount the folder in which you will install Tomb Raider, type in mount c c:\games\dos and press enter. This will create a virtual drive c: in DOSBox, which will use the c:\games\dos folder on your hard drive c:
  • When the name of your games folder contains spaces, you have to use quotes around the folder path and type in mount c "c:\games\dos games" and press enter
  • To mount your CD/DVD drive (in this example drive i:), type in mount d i:\ -t cdrom and press enter. This will create a virtual CD drive d: in DOSBox, which will use the CD/DVD drive i: in your system. Obviously, replace i: with the drive letter of your CD drive
  • As you always will need these virtual drives in DOSBox after installation to play Tomb Raider, it is recommended to put the mount commands in your DOSBox configuration file. This way the games folder and your CD/DVD drive will be mounted automatically when you start DOSBox.

    • Open the configuration file:
      • Windows 7: Start button - All programs - DOSBox-0.7x - Options - DOSBox 0.7x Options
      • Windows 8: Press the Windows key + Q, type in dosbox and the options file should appear in the search results, click it
    • DOSBox configuration - automatic mounting.Scroll down to the autoexec section (at the bottom of the file)
    • Copy the mount commands below the comments (indicated by a hash). The lines below apply to this example:
      # Lines in this section will be run at startup.
      # You can put your MOUNT lines here.
      mount c c:\games\dos
      mount d i:\ -t cdrom
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    • Save the configuration file with CTRL+S.
  • In DOSBox, access your CD drive by typing d: and press enter.
  • To install a game from CD, you need to look for files like install.exe, install.bat, setup.exe or setup.bat

    • Type in dir .exe and press enter to show all executable files
    • Type in dir .bat and press enter to show all batch files
    • As you will see, the Tomb Raider CD contains an install.exe file
    • Start the Tomb Raider installation by typing install and press enter
  • In the Tomb Raider setup program, choose the install option, by pressing enter.
  • Default installation folder is c:\tombraid. This is ok, the game will be installed in the c:\games\dos\tombraid folder on your hard disk, since the c: drive in DOSBox points to the c:\games\dos folder on your hard disk. You can rename the folder with the back space key. The back slash key (\) might be under the slash key (/). When done, press enter.
  • At sound card setup choose auto detect and then continue.
  • At last, choose Save Settings to wrap things up and start the game!

Resolution of the game

Tomb Raider 1 on Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP with DOSBoxFirst, set graphics details to high. You can do that by selecting the pink sun glasses in the main menu. It won't improve graphics quality a lot though.

Once you're playing the game, the resolution is very, very low at first. To make it a little more acceptable, press the F1 key when you are in the game. This will change the resolution to (presumably) 640x480. Please note that the game is very processor-intensive in this mode.

You also might want to have a look at our guide how to change the resolution of the program window of DOSBox.

Start the game from DOSBox

After installation, the Tomb Raider game automatically starts. But what to do when this doesn't happen, or when the game is already installed and you want to start it again?

  • You have followed all instructions as described above (install the game, edit the DOSBox config file)
  • Place the Tomb Raider CD (or the CD of any other DOS game you've installed) in your CD/DVD drive
  • Start DOSBox
  • In DOSBox, type in c: and press enter to access the virtual c drive
  • To check which folders exist on your virtual c: drive in DOSBox, type in dir and press enter
  • If you haven't installed other games, only the tombraid folder will be shown
  • To access the tombraid folder, type in cd tombraid and press enter (cd stands for Change Directory)
  • To start a game, you need to look for files that have a file name that resembles the name of the game. These files also need to have a .exe or .bat extension

    • Type in dir .exe and press enter to show all executable files
    • Type in dir .bat and press enter to show all batch files
    • As you will see, the tombraid folder contains a tomb.exe file
    • To start Tomb Raider, type in tomb and press enter

Finished playing?

When you've finished playing and want to play another DOS game which you have installed on your virtual c: drive in DOSBox, you need to access the game folder of that game. This is how:

  • Type in cd \ and press enter to go back to the root of the virtual c: drive in DOSBox
  • You can also type in cd .. and press enter to access the parent folder of the active folder in DOSBox
  • Type in dir and press enter to see the contents of the active folder
  • Type in cd gamedir and press enter to go to the gamedir folder from the active folder

High quality graphics with Glidos

Tomb Raider 1 on Windows 7 with Glidos and high res textures.You can play Tomb Raider 1 with high quality graphics and OpenGL / Direct3D support with Glidos. It is well worth trying. Tomb Raider runs a lot better on modern computers with Glidos. You'll have to read the manual carefully though. Glidos needs DOSBox to function. When you use 64 bit Windows, you'll need a special version of DOSBox, which also can be downloaded from the Glidos website. All this information is on the installation page of Glidos.

When you have Glidos running and you've reached the 3rd level, you'll see a rotating Glidos logo in the middle of your screen. If you want to get rid of that, you'll have to support the project with a humble fee, and your copy of Glidos will be unlocked.

In addition, high resolution textures are available to use with Glidos. Visit for more information and screenshots.

There must be an alternative to Glidos...!

You're going to have a hard time finding it, especially when you're running 64 bit Windows. We got Tomb Raider running in DOSBox with OpenGL support, but it wasn't stable and satisfying enough to put a guide on this website. If you're determined to try, you'll have to start at the SVN Builds of DOSBox. We got the best results with the SVN Build from a fellow named Gulikoza. His version of DOSBox also supports Glide and Direct3D and pixelshaders for anti-aliasing.

You could of course also check out the high quality remake of the original Tomb Raider game: Tomb Raider Anniversary.

What about Tomb Raider II and other sequels?

We've managed to get Tomb Raider II running on a 64 bits version of Windows 7 by just installing it from the original CD and it worked quite well. Since Tomb Raider II also supports hardware acceleration (OpenGL) it doesn't seem to be necessary to search for additional software.

Comments from the retro community
Pedro · 22-12-2013 · 01:17 CET · [#]
DOSGamers · @DOSGamers · 22-12-2013 · 16:11 CET · [#]
Thanks for the hug! smile Keep it retro!
Jules · 06-02-2014 · 13:35 CET · [#]
Thanks!!! I'm so happy! wink
DOSGamers · @DOSGamers · 06-02-2014 · 14:36 CET · [#]
You're welcome! Keep it retro!
mohammad · 14-04-2014 · 16:55 CET · [#]
@DosGamers your the best your a freedom fighter your a rebel and your posts make me smile
DOSGamers · @DOSGamers · 15-04-2014 · 10:21 CET · [#]
Thanks for the kudos Mohammad!
Phillip · 22-04-2014 · 23:25 CET · [#]
I am not very computer litter-it and not to good at many instructions. The DOSBox instructions for setting up a file to down load a game is, unfortunately Geek to me. Is there a common person's translation for the set-up instruction? Please help.
DOSGamers · @DOSGamers · 23-04-2014 · 15:09 CET · [#]
You can't use DOSBox settings to download a game. You must either own the game or download the game separately. After that, editing and using the DOSBox configuration file is the preferred way to set up DOSBox; this way you have control over every configuration option. For common DOS games, just follow our DOSBox step by step guide here and you'll most likely be fine wink

However, there are DOSBox GUI's (graphical user interfaces) which can be used to start and manage your DOS games more easily. These GUI's may look and feel less Geek to you. The games do need to be already installed or copied to your hard drive though. We have a few examples of GUI's here.
ike_2112 · 27-12-2014 · 00:49 CET · [#]
Need some help please.

I am trying to play the Spanish league version of Championship Manager 2, off a CD-ROM.
I followed all instructions and it seemed to work - I got a virtual drive with CM2_SPA mapped to the GAMES/DOS folder. I even get the game intro running.
But then when it attempts to load the game itself, it returns to the DOS screen and gives error "stack fault".

Not sure what to do here. Since the intro etc is working it suggests I've mapped everything correctly. But the game/CD itself works on my mate's very old PC which still runs MS DOS, so there's nothing wrong with it either.
Any suggestions?
DOSGamers · @DOSGamers · 15-01-2015 · 16:51 CET · [#]

Hi ike_2112, sorry for the late reply. You probably already found a solution. If not, there are some suggestions in the DOSBox forum for running CM2 that could help you, specifically the patch...!

EDIT: apparently the patch link in that thread is dead, it's moved to this location.

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