Tuesday 31 January 2017

After Dark 4.0 in Windows 7/10


Rodger Dodger and Rock Paper Scissor are two main reasons that I keep bringing this antique back to the modern world. Every single time when I adopt a new OS the first mission would be fitting my Chinese input method into the system, and the second mission is to introduce AD4.0 into the machine.

Obviously this is hard because of a few reasons:

1) This is super old. Probably one of the oldest software that people still liked to use in 2017.
2) This is partially for 16-bit system and has limited support for 32-bit system, but machine these days are mainly 64-bit (my Chinese input software failed because of the same reason).
3) The developer decided to integrate the setting page in some very weird position which is then removed in the subsequent Windows version, particularly during the introduction of the Metro UI in 8/10 (and that applies to my Chinese input software...)
4) The installation is flawed - some registry change are missed.
5) This is not the usual kind of screensaver (and again, super old), so you can hardly find support on the Internet except for some people asking the same question every single version of the Windows OS: does AD4.0 fit into Windows xxx?

Anyway I made this entry as to share my way of getting it worked in Windows 7 and 10. Somehow I gave up on doing this on Windows 8 (I only used that computer for a very short time), but the 10-method should work for 8 as well.

Windows 7:

This forum post gave a complete guide on fixing this. It worked for me and should work for every one.

In Windows 7 you have no access to the AD setting page (which was in the monitor page) and you will see "unable to select module..." as the screensaver name. These are minor things (settings can be change directly in the registry and no one cares about the name) but you can fix it following the instructions here.

Windows 10:

(Updated 2/2/17)

EDIT: Somehow I need to perform a recovery on the system hence giving me a second chance to install AD4. Here is a simple solution to get it solved:

- Install AD4 as usual.
- Bring "After Dark.scr" into C:\Windows\System32
- Settings can be done via the registry package from this YouTube video.

Now everything should work the same as what you get in Windows7. The same problem remains -- the 'unable to select module' name and limited access to the settings. Since more registry entries are missed you really have to rely on the package from that video.

But for those AD lovers, I hope the above manual helps you to retrieve what your beloved screensaver that you first met 20 years ago :D

Windows 11:

(Updated 20/11/22) Works the same as in Windows 10!!!!!


  1. Hello :
    Thanks for your detail explain, I have tried win10 64bit + AD 4. Deluxe, I can HexED After Dark.scr with correct name in screen saver list, also import the after dark.reg, unfortunately, I can not see After Dark setup in the Display Properity Tab, I have chceked the registry entry they are improted, but can not find the Tab item of after dark as the Japanese said...

    I have download a batch file that can mnaual change the model and some setting, but still really wish to change the setup in a normal way. The link of the video to download the modify pack is lost, do you still kept the pack ? I search all the net but can not find, please help me, thank you !

    1. Hi,
      I asked the same question for a long time but I think the answer is no.
      Windows interface has changed so much since Win95, and even the "display property tab" is gone. The control panels of program cannot be merges into system control like in the past as well, so creating the tab in win 10 is almost impossible. If you really want to make something like that the best you can do is to write a separate program that allows reading and editing the AD4 registry just like that bat file, but that is something you will have do it by yourself.

      I personally use the paper-rock-scissors only so I don't need to use that file so often :P