LEGO Racers Support F.A.Q

Table of Contents
Videos Installation Windowed Mode


I start LEGO Racers and the sounds from the intro videos play, but my screen is black! My game crashes when the videos should be playing! I am getting an error message saying “Unable to set message drain”! Something else related to the videos is broken!


There is no permanent fix for this error, but it can be worked around.

If you run LEGO Racers on Windows Vista, 7 or Windows 8 (any version), the videos and sound will play, but it is not the active window, rather LEGO Racers is. You have to Alt + Tab to another window called “ActiveMovie Window” to see them. When they finish playing, LEGO Racers will revert back to be the active window, and everything will work normally. To fix this bug, you need to skip the videos using one of the game’s command-line parameters.

  1. Pick a shortcut to the game, right-click on it and press “Properties”. In the Target area in the resulting box, outside the closing quotation marks, type -novideo.The Target box should look like this:
    "C:\Program Files\LEGO Media\Games\LEGO Racers\LEGORacers.exe" -novideo

    "C:\Program Files\LEGO Media\Games\LEGO Racers" is the default installation path. This may vary depending on where you installed it. Be sure to include the space after the closing quotation mark and before the dash!

  2. Click OK, and start the game from that shortcut. LEGO Racers will load, skipping the videos thus removing the bug.

Simply remember the -novideo parameter will only work on that shortcut. To make it work on any other shortcut, you have to do the same thing to that one, copy the fixed shortcut to the other location. This parameter can also applied using a batch script, albeit with the same limitation.

  1. Open Notepad (yes, it will work in this case) or Notepad++, type (or copy-pasta :P) the following code, edit it with your installation path, and save it with the .bat extension.
    @echo off
    cd "C:\Program Files\LEGO Media\Games\LEGO Racers"
    start LEGORacers.exe -novideo

When creating the batch script, be sure to wrap the installation path in quotation marks. If you do not and the path has spaces in (usually it does), the script will fail.


I cannot install the game! The installer runs but is never visible! The installer processes opens then closes or never starts at all!


You can thank improvements in computer technology for this one. The InstallShield installer located on all LEGO Racers discs is really old (1999 to be exact), 16-bit application. 64-bit Windows, which is the majority of Windows installations and the most common platform this error occurs on, is unable to run 16-bit processes. However, the issue lies in what could be likened to a traffic jam. The installer contains a 32-bit helper which translates the 16-bit commands into 32-bit ones. 64-bit Windows then uses something called WoW64 (Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit) to translate those commands into native 64-bit ones. Somewhere in that process, the translations stuck, rendering the installer inoperable. While this issue is applicable to all editions of 64-bit Windows, it is most commonly seen on Windows 7. Windows 8 seems to process the command translation better, allowing the installer to run.

Regardless of reason, there are two alternate methods of installing LEGO Racers on a modern computer.

  1. Download my LEGO Racers Alternate Installer and insert your game disc into the disc drive. Once Windows recognizes the disc, run the installer. If the installer cannot detect the disc, you will be prompted to check again. Once detected, simply follow the prompts to install the game. If your disc is not detected at all, skip to Method 2, and contact me with the issue. I will look into it and try to update it to support the disc version. 😉
  2. Manually extract the files from the disc. All of the LEGO Racers game files are located in a .cab archive on the root of the disc. Since it is an InstallShield archive Windows cannot open it. To gain access to the files within it, use a program entitled Universal Extractor (or UniExtract, for short), which contains the required tool to extract the archive.If you do not already have it, download and install UniExtract, or grab the portable version if you do not want to install yet another application. Insert your game disc into the disc drive. Run UniExtract and either point it to on the disc or copy the and data1.hdr files to your computer (perhaps your Desktop) and use that instead (copying it makes for a faster extraction). Set the output location and let it do it’s thing.When it is done, rename the folder however you see fit and move it to your desired location. Finally, run LEGORacers.exe. This will inform you if you need to insert your disc to play or not, and partially if you have a 1999 or 2001 release of LEGO Racers . For more information on the two releases, see 1999 or 2001 Racers?

Windowed Mode

Windowed mode will not activate!


You have to change your bit depth (sometimes known as bit mode or color mode) to 16 bits color. Full details can be found in Activate Racers Windowed Mode.


One thought on “LEGO Racers Support F.A.Q

  1. I have installed the game on a 64 bit Windows 7 computer, however it asks me to insert the right disc before it will open the game. The disc is pretty scratched; any ideas?

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