King’s Quest 5 Game Technical Help

So far, I know that the sound and music King’s Quest 5 may not be completely compatible with the more advanced sound cards on newer computers. It is recommended that when playing the game under Windows, no other programs should be running, such as screensavers, virus protection, etc. If the game is exhibiting too many problems under Windows, try running it under DOS. The most popular game problem for King’s Quest 5 is the heap space error after activating Mordack’s wand machine. If you have the floppy diskette version of the game and do not have your manual to get pass the iconographic copyright protection codes, you need to obtain a new manual from Sierra Customer Service. There are three patches and an online technical document for this game.

King’s Quest 5 Installation Requirements

PC PROCESSOR: DOS 286-12Mhz/Windows 386SX-16Mhz or higher
PC OS: MS-DOS 5.0 or higher, Windows 3.1 or higher
PC RAM: 640K, 2 MB recommended
PC VIDEO CARD: 640×480 VGA 256 Colors
PC HARD DRIVE: 1 MB hard drive space
CD-ROM DRIVE: 1x speed, 2x speed recommended (CD-ROM only)
SOUND CARD: Diskette-No/CD-Yes-Sound Card with DAC

MAC RAM: 2 MB; 4MB (7.0+)
MAC VIDEO CARD: Color or Greyscale

King’s Quest 5 Installation Procedures

King’s Quest 5 DOS Version:

You should not be in Windows. If you are in Windows, quit now. Insert the first CD and change to that drive. For example, if your CD-ROM drive is D:, type D: [ENTER]. From the D:>, type


If you have the original game CD and not a collection version, then just type INSTALL [ENTER] at the D:> prompt. If you have the floppy diskette version, then just type INSTALL [ENTER] at the A:> prompt, or the letter of your floppy diskette drive.

Follow the on-screen prompts. When you reach the Installation Options screen, make sure the settings are correct. Older games often detect today’s 16-bit sound cards incorrectly, so check the MUSIC setting. You will probably get the best sound with the SOUNDBLASTER/ADLIB choice. For best game performance, select “Do not use extra memory” for the MEMORY option. Now, when you load the game, it may still say that it is unable to initialize your audio hardware. Press the ENTER key and wait a while. It should still load and you should hear audio anyway — if all goes well of course!

King’s Quest 5 Windows Version:

Start Windows, from the FILE menu on the PROGRAM MANAGER, choose RUN. In Windows 95, click the START button and choose RUN. Insert the first CD. From the COMMAND line type D:\KQ5\SETUP.EXE and click OK. (If your CD ROM is another letter besides D, substitute that letter in the above command.)

If you have the original game CD and not a collection version, then just type SETUP [ENTER] at the D:> prompt.

Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation. If you are using a Soundblaster or ProAudio compatible sound card, select Base Level MIDI. If you are using a General MIDI device like a Roland, choose Extended Level MIDI. NOTE: Windows MUST be using a 640x480x256 color video driver for King’s Quest 5 to display properly. If you get a message stating that you are not running in the correct resolution for the game, check Windows Setup in the Main program group to find out what display driver you are currently using. Your video card documentation should include information on how to install and change Windows video drivers.

King’s Quest 5 Game Patches

Sierra has three patches for King’s Quest 5. If you have the heap space error problem, look at Sierra’s Technical Troubleshooting Document first concerning how to fix it before downloading the patch.

This patch is only for the original diskette version of King’s Quest 5. It fixes the save and restore problems for the game.

This patch is actually a saved game that starts after spot in game where the “Out of Heap” message appears on some systems after activating Mordack’s wand machine.
This patch is only for the MAC version of King’s Quest 5. Corrects timing-related lockups on the Mac versions of some of Sierra’s older games. I had a hard time accessing this patch.
Once it is downloaded, run the program like any other installation program. Follow the instructions. Once the patch is installed, restart the computer and play the game normally. You no longer need the patch program, so just delete it off your floppy disk.

King’s Quest 5 Technical Document

Sierra has composed an online technical troubleshooting document for King’s Quest 5. In this document, you can find information concerning the following problems:

  • When installing the game, you receive the message “Error reading drive D”. Message will vary depending on what drive you are installing from.
  • After typing INSTALL, a row of dots goes across the screen and stops. The computer is locked up with this row of dots appearing on the screen.
  • You receive an error message stating, “Your current display driver is not supported by this game.” (Windows version)
  • When you attempt to run the game, you receive an error message indicating insufficient memory.
  • The game locks up after the first sound effect is played (DOS version).
  • You receive an OUT OF HEAP message at Mordack’s machine (Windows version). An entire list of things to do. Try setting the game speed to high and the game detail to low for Windows 95 as well.
  • You have trouble running King’s Quest 5 under Windows 95. There is an entire section for Windows 95.
  • You have problems with the music and sound when running King’s Quest 5 under DOS, Windows 3.1, or Windows 95.

Click here to view Sierra’s KING’S QUEST 5 TECHNICAL DOCUMENT.

Note that these technical documents are rather outdated, and Sierra is no longer updating them. In fact, Sierra Planet was lucky enough to save a copy of the document before Sierra deleted all of them. If your problem is not listed there or not resolved, check out Sierra’s technical support knowledge base for more updated information.

King’s Quest 5 Other Game Problems

This is a list of problems I know of and/or have experienced for myself when playing this game. I will hopefully expand this section as I become aware of any other problems with the game. If you have not run scandisk or defragment your hard drive lately, doing so may help.

If you have a new computer with a 16-bit or higher sound card (most new computers these days do), then you may not be able to get the DOS multimedia version of this game to work. A lot of older DOS Sierra games that use MIDI have sound incompatibilities because they were originally programmed for 8-bit sound cards. While many Sierra games will give you an “unable to initialize your audio hardware” error, but you can press ENTER and continue with the game, King’s Quest 5 can be one of the exceptions. The game may freeze entirely (either before you ever get the audio error message or right when you see that message). You can try different audio combinations, such as Soundblaster, Adlib, or Gen Midi if that is an option. However, if it does not work, your best bet is to manually install it in Windows via setup.exe (remember to uninstall your DOS version completely first). If you have a Collection version of the game, look in the KQ5 folder for a setup.exe program. Try Extended Midi. If for some reason that does not work, then try reinstalling it with Base Midi.
King’s Quest 5 is extremely picky with display settings. You MUST be in 256 color mode. I recommend also switching the resolution to 640×480 for full screen and the least hassle before playing. Make sure you have those settings, especially if you suddenly get a sciw256 error message. If switching to 640×480 res 256 colors does not help, Sierra recommends setting your graphics hardware acceleration to none. To do this, right click on My Computer and select Properties. Go to the Performance tab and click on the Graphics Button. In the Advanced Graphics settings, move the Hardware Acceleration slider. You can always move it back to its original location later. Make sure your video card has updated drivers.

Other Contact Information

If you need more technical support, then try More experienced players might be able to help you out relatively quickly.

Here is the KQ5 help page.