Installation of WoW

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Windows 98 / NT

Please note these Operating Systems are NOT supported, and as such will receive no assistance if you experience troubles with it.

Windows 2000

Please note this Operating System is NOT supported, however users have found a way to install wow. If the following method doesn't work to get you back into wow, you're unfortunately out of luck.

There are only 2 .dlls that need to be wrapped: user32.dll and kernel32.dll, and one .dll that needs to be available: apphelp.dll.

  1. Follow the steps found at http://win2kgaming.site90.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=520 to modify your registry so that the two .dlls are searched for in local folders rather than in system directories (thus avoiding installing the wrappers system wide). This requires a restart to take effect.
  2. Grab the latest dll file from http://www7.atwiki.jp/win2000/pages/17.html Copy the two needed wrapper .dlls and the one missing .dll to the WoW directory - kernel32.dll, user32.dll & apphelp.dll
  3. COPY (do NOT cut and paste) your original two .dlls from the C:\Winnt\system32 directory, rename them as follows and place them in your WoW folder along side the wrapper .dlls
    In your WoW folder you should have:
    1. user32.dll (the wrapper)
    2. user2k.dll (original copy, renamed)
    3. kernel32.dll (wrapper)
    4. kernel2k.dll (original copy, renamed)
    5. apphelp.dll
      You may find during installation that you also need a copy of these files in other folders, such as WoW/Temp or WoW/Update.
  4. This should then allow WoW to install correctly.

-Courtesy Xdt, US-Destromath & Solrando, US-Arthas

Windows XP

WoW defaults to installing to either

C:\Program Files\
or
C:\Program Files (x86)\

depending on whether you install to a 32bit OS, or 64bit OS. Running wow from this location is safe.

Windows Vista / Windows 7

WoW 1.x and 2.x defaults to installing to

C:\Program Files\
or
C:\Program Files (x86)\

WoW 3.x as well as the 2.4 - 3.0 migration patch defaults to

C:\Users\Public\Games\

It will also offer to move your data to that folder if it is installed somewhere else. The online installer will leave a copy of the installation files at

C:\Users\Public\Documents\Blizzard Entertainment

Some patch files will also appear in that folder. This folder can be deleted safely.

WoW 4.x installers will default the install to

C:\Program Files\
or
C:\Program Files (x86)\

Due to issues with UAC and protected folders. Do not attempt to install to Program Files, as it'll just cause you massive headaches. Installing to

C:\World of Warcraft\

is what many users do just for ease of usability.

If you rather install it to the Program Files or Program Files (x86) folder, keep these UAC tips in mind:

When not running as admin:

  • Your data and addon settings (the WTF folder) are read and saved in the VirtualStore folder
  • Your screenshots are saved in the VirtualStore folder
  • You're not allowed to write patches to the game folder itself
  • The Launcher is not allowed to write registry keys

When running as admin or if the Launcher elevates the game/patch:

  • Your data and addon settings (the WTF folder) are read and saved in the World of Warcraft folder
  • Your screenshots are saved in the World of Warcraft folder
  • You're allowed to write patches to the game folder itself
  • The Launcher is allowed to write registry keys

Linux

See World of Warcraft functionality on Wine.