I've been a huge, huge fan of LucasArt's Dark Forces (1995) for 12 years now and after moving to Windows XP I started running into some problems getting it to run properly, especially the CD-ROM detection.
Well, I found a fansite called DF-21 that had some excellent directions on how to get Dark Forces running on Windows XP. I messed around with the directions to simplify them a little bit and figured out how to get it to run on Vista. Here are my new directions for getting Dark Forces to run on Vista WITHOUT the CD in the drive:
(1) copy entire contents of Dark Forces CD to a directory (ex. d:gamesdark). Keep the directory name to 8 letters or less.
(2) run DOSBox 0.65 or higher (as of this writing, 0.70 is the current version and it works great)
(3) mount c d:gamesdark (or wherever you put the game on your hard drive)
(5) subst p: c: (you can use a letter other than P: as long as it's free on your system)
(7) cd dark
(8) type either imuse or dark to run the sound config utility or the game
(9) press ctrl-F12 until it runs smoothly (20,000+ cycles for me). With DOSBox 0.70 I didn't need to increase the cycles - worked perfectly!
When running IMUSE for the first time, choose C for custom setup, choose Sound Blaster Pro, use all the default values (220, 5, 1 ) then choose the Advanced Menu. Select Music and choose the Roland at port 330 for the best music.
The only problem I'm having is remapping the keys because evidently Dark Forces didn't come with that ability until a later release. There's some info on the net on how to modify the JEDI.CFG file with your own scancodes and supposedly there's a DF95.EXE program somewhere that does this. Sounds like I should just write this little program to get my keys remapped.
Anyway, I'm really happy to be able to play Dark Forces again under Vista without the CD in the drive at the original framerate and with full Roland audio support!