Tomb Raider 1 Installer

Easily install the classic Tomb Raider games onto Windows XP, Vista and 7

  1. Download
  2. FAQ
  3. Support
  4. Reuse and Distrubution
  5. Acknowledgements

For a long time, it has been very difficult to get the original Tomb Raider (and the Unfinished Business levels) to work on modern operating systems like Windows XP and Vista.

This is Core Design's original Tomb Raider game, repackaged to run under Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 7 without the need for any patching or complicated configuration work. The new setup program installs the game files and the DOSBox DOS emulator, and sets them up as seamlessly as installing any modern game.

Please note that you must have the original game CD in your computer's CD drive to play. If you have more than one CD drive, always use the one you specified during installation.

There's a lot of important stuff at the bottom of the page, like the FAQs and acknowledgements, which you should also read. But here's the installer itself...


"Right! Let's go adventuring ...again"

Latest Version
Tomb Raider Installer v1.226 May 2009Added support for Glide emulation (resulting in better graphics) and various other enhancements due to Gidierre (CD audio patch, Lara's shadow restored, FMVs in Vista)
Previous Versions
Tomb Raider Installer v1.118 Feb 2009Added unfinished business levels
Tomb Raider Installer v116 Feb 2009First release


It's 2018 and I'm running Windows 10, this installer sucks

Have a look at this thread for a cool new way to run the game natively on Windows in even higher res. Maybe one day I will try to build an installer based on this if I can do so without upsetting anyone. Failing that Gidierre has produced some updated installers that are no doubt heavily improved over these 9 year old versions.

Can I use this for the Unfinished Business levels?

Yes - this as an option in version 1.1 onwards. You do not need the original Unfinished Business/TR Gold CD to install but you will need your normal Tomb Raider CD to play.

There's no background music

This is usually nothing to do with the installer and is a result of using a Sold Out Software release of the game. There is a fix for this if you don't mind burning another CD. Also note that the PC version of the game has always had less of a soundtrack than the PlayStation version - and there is no way to fix that under this installer.

In installer versions prior to 1.2, CD audio could be problematic on Windows Vista. Thanks to a fix from Gidierre, this should no longer be the case.

Can I use this with the Tomb Raider Xtra textures?

No. These are only available for Glidos, an alternative solution to running TR on windows.

Why do the graphics look bad?

This is the original version of Tomb Raider from 1996 running inside a DOS emulator. The textures and models are exactly as they would have been in those days, except now our displays run at much higher resolutions under Windows and we are used to far more detailed and realistic games.

Note that installer versions prior to 1.2 contained the ordinary DOS version, not the 3DFX Glide version, and so graphics quality was admittedly poor. We hope that with this latest version you will notice an improvement.

If you would like even higher levels of detail, you should investigate Glidos, Tomb Raider Xtra and Bokkie's Advanced Installer although be warned this is not as easy to set up as with our installer.

I have more than one CD drive - can I change my mind about which one to use after setup is complete?

Yes, but you'll need to edit the shortcuts created by the installer. If you look at the shortcut's properties, you'll see the target has the form "C:\Program Files\Core Design\Tomb Raider\dbtr.bat" D:\. The exact text will obviously vary depending on what you chose in the installer. In this example, D:\ is the CD drive and you can simply change this letter.

I have a joystick. When I try to use it with the game, the main menu just spins around continuously and I can't select anything.

Before contacting us, try this fix:

  1. Locate the dosbox.conf file in the installation folder (typically C:\Program Files\Core Design\Tomb Raider\) and open it for editing. Note that if you using Windows Vista with User Account Control turned on, you'll need to start Notepad (or another editor) as an administrator and then open the dosbox.conf file from wihin the program, otherwise you'll be unable to save changes.
  2. Find the line in the [joystick] section that reads timed=true. This is line 191 in the installed file.
  3. Change true to read false, save the file and try to play again.

This problem has been noted in other games under DOSBox. You may like to consult this thread for some background.

Objects which should be in front of Lara are appearing behind her

This problem affects computers with Intel integrated graphics chips. Those with GPUs by nVidia, ATi etc. should not be affected. To fix this:

  1. Display the OpenGL settings window.
  2. Set the Depth Buffer Bit Depth attribute's value to 24 Bit Depth Buffer.
  3. Click OK to save changes.

Thanks once again to Gidierre for tracking down this fix.

Nothing happens when I start the game, or I get a DOSBox prompt

Ensure you are using the shortcuts added by the installer to start the game and are not attempting to run dosbox.exe directly. If you didn't select the option to create desktop shortcuts at install time and would like them, you can copy them from your start menu or run the installer again.

Note also that if your Tomb Raider CD is not in the (correct) drive when you attempt to start the game, it will exit to desktop with no error message - this is another cause of the "nothing happens" problem.


If you had problems running the game after using our installer, technical support was available in the relevant thread at Tomb Raider Forums. However, nearly 10 years later that thread is unsurprisingly now closed. Regrettably I don't have time to respond to emailed requests for support any more so you're on your own. If you are brave enough to delve into the configuration and manage to fix an issue for yourself, by all means do drop me an email at and I will roll a patch into the installer and your name into the acknowledgements.

Please note that this installer is supplied without warranty of any kind and you use it at your own risk.

Reuse and Distrubution

You may redistribute this installer in unmodified form as you wish. The official version, however, will always be found on this page, and is mirrored by Tomb Raider Chronicles on their patches page.


If you want to link to this page and don't like text links, you can use this:

Tomb Raider Installer



Chris Ware/Gidierre - May 2009, some retrospective commentary added 2018