Sonic R

Sonic R box front
Genre: Racing
Release Year: 1998
Developer: Traveller's Tales
Publisher: Sega
Age Rating: Everyone
Playability Status: Fully playable (minor issues only)
Tested On: Windows 8 x64
Availability: Copyright retained - Still sold

When you’re super sonic racing, there’s no time to look around! Before Sonic decided he needed a car to speed around a race-track, he was racing his friends on foot in Sonic R. Originally released for the Sega Saturn console, Sonic R has bright, colourful graphics and bold blue skies, along with a very memorable euro-pop style soundtrack by Sega fan favourite Richard Jacques. If you’re a fan of Sega games from yesteryear, it’s hard not to fall for Sonic R’s charms. While the game is a little on the easy side, it’s very entertaining to play and younger players in particular will find it accessible. If, like us, you can feel the sunshine too, it’s time to get this old gem working again.

Note – The version tested here is the Xplosiv software re-release, this may differ slightly from the original version.


On most PC’s, Sonic R will install without any issues. Simply insert the CD and follow the on-screen prompts. If the installer does not start automatically, browse the Sonic R CD and locate the “setup.exe” file and run it. The installer program will offer to install DirectX, but this is not necessary as the version on the Sonic R CD is certainly older than the version you already have installed. The installer may also crash on exiting but you don’t need to worry about this.

If you have problems with the games installer (for instance, if the installer says you don’t have enough hard drive space despite having more than ample), simply create a folder anywhere on your PC, then copy the entire contents of the Sonic R CD-ROM over to that folder. When you’re done, you can safely delete the files “Setup.exe” and “xplosiv.exe”.

Running the game

There are two separate problems that typically stop Sonic R running on a modern PC. The first problem occurs on all modern PC’s and prevents you from using the keyboard or game controller in the game. To fix this problem, a special tool called DXWind-ms is required. This tool is actually designed to force full-screen games (specifically the RPG Maple Story) to run in windowed mode, but in this instance it helps Sonic R run at full screen without freezing out our keyboard or gamepad. You can download the tool here. The file is downloaded as a .rar archive/compressed folder, meaning you will need to extract the files from this archive before you can use them. We recommend the free 7-zip utility for this. If you’ve never used 7-zip before, there are tutorials available here.

Extract the DXWnd-ms.rar to any convenient location on your computers hard drive. You should now see an application called “dxwnd.exe”. Run this program and the following window will appear:-

dxwind utility in default configuration

On the Edit menu, select “Add”. A window called “Target Setup” will then appear. Click on the button labelled “…” (three dots or period marks). A standard file-requester window will then appear. Browse to your Sonic R directory and select the “sonicr.exe” file. Now, configure the remaining options as follows:-

DirectX Version to Hook – DirectX9
Do not Notify on Task Change
DirectInput is Hooked
Auto Correct Mouse Position
Reduce CPU Load (DirectX1-7)

The picture below shows these options configured on our Windows 8 system.


Click on “OK”. You should now try starting the game. Don’t leave the DXWind program running when you’re not using it, since it appears to have some strange side effects on other programs (it caused Internet Explorer to crash on our Windows 8 machine, for instance).

Running the game

After starting and configuring DXWind as above, you can now run Sonic R. Launch the game either from a shortcut or by browsing to the Sonic R folder and clicking the sonicr.exe file. The game should now start and give you the option of Direct Draw or Direct 3D mode. Be sure to choose Direct 3D (use the arrow keys and the space bar, rather than Enter, to confirm your selection). If you cannot choose an option from this menu, check that you configured the DXWind utility and that it is running.

If the game crashes immediately and won’t start, check the troubleshooting section.

The game should be automatically configured for the best possible visual settings. In Direct 3D mode there’s little that can be tweaked. In the Options menu you may wish to go to the Graphics options. On this menu, ensure that Draw Distance is set to Very Far and Track Shading and Alpha Blending are both set to On. Screen resolution is locked to 640 480 and cannot be changed here, but later on in the article we will give you a way of running the game in more modern resolutions.

Remember that Sonic R doesn’t auto-save or load your progress. Make sure to come into the options menu and choose “load/Save data” when you’re done playing, otherwise all your progress and any options you configured will be lost next time you come to play.

You’re now all set to race. If you want to use a gamepad with Sonic R, proceed to the next section.

Configuring controllers

Sonic R supports game controllers, though like many old PC games it might not recognize all the buttons on your pad. To configure your gamepad, select “Controls” from the options menu, then choose “Set Joystick”. If you cannot select “Set Joystick”, try pressing a button on your controller rather than the spacebar. Now, simply press the button on your controller that you want to use for each action. If you are using an Xbox 360 controller, you may want to configure L.Brake and R.Brake to the LT and RT buttons respectively. Sonic R won’t let you do this by default, luckily our old friend Xpadder can come to the rescue. The picture below shows the Xpadder profile we created for the game.


Z and X are the keyboard controls for L.Brake and R.Brake. We also enabled the D-Pad by mapping the keyboard controls for up down left and right, allowing the player to use either the pad or the stick depending on their preference. Finally, enter is mapped to start, simply to allow the player to advance from the title screen.

Running Sonic R in HD resolutions

Amazingly, it turns out that it is possible to run Sonic R in modern, HD resolutions just by hacking an inf file. For our more technical readers, you can find out exactly how to do this by following this guide.

If the thought of hex editing files doesn’t appeal to you, then fear not. We have prepared two replacement .inf files for you to download. Simply download either of the zip files presented here and then extract the contents to your Sonic R folder, overwriting the existing .inf file. If you ever want to revert to the standard 640×480 resolution, simply delete the Sonicr.inf file and run the game again, the game will then create a new sonicr.inf file that defaults back to the standard 640×480 resolution. Take your pick of either of the two files below.

Sonic R 1080p (link broken? Let me know here) – By using this file, you can run the game in 1080p. Since Sonic R is not a widescreen game, the graphics will be stretched out of proportion unless your monitor or TV supports viewing 1080p content in 4:3 aspect ratio mode. If not, you may prefer the file below.

Sonic R SXGA (1280×1024) (link broken? Let me know here) – By using this file you can run the game in SXGA resolution or 1280×1024. This is a standard 4:3 aspect ratio resolution and should appear with black bars on a modern monitor. By using this file the graphics should not be stretched.

Troubleshooting and known issues

Game crashes to desktop:- On some machines you may see an error similar to the one shown below as soon as you start the game:-


This means that your PC is too fast to run Sonic R. Fortunately, a fan-made patch has come along to fix this problem. The patch only corrects the crashing on startup bug, you will still need to use the DXWind-ms tool. Download the zip file here (link broken? Let me know here) and extract it into your Sonic R game folder. Now, follow the instructions under “Running the game” to configure the DXWind-ms utility again. This time you need to add the executable file called “sonicr-patched.exe”.

With all that done, start the game by clicking on the “sonicr-patched.exe” file. Remember to update any shortcuts on your Start menu or Start screen to point to this new version of the game.

Graphics corruption on menus:- There is slight graphical corruption around menu elements while running the game, this does not affect gameplay however.

Advanced users – Automating Sonic R launching

As we have seen, Sonic R can be a difficult game to get working. If you wanted to install this game for a child to play, for instance, it might be confusing for them to have to configure these options each time they play. It is possible to create a batch file that automates the entire process. All the user would need to do is click this batch file (or its shortcut) to start the game. To give you a rough idea of how this can be done, you can download our Sonic R batch file here . Our hosts have now started demanding we store all batch files inside zip archives, so you will need to download the zip file and then extract the batch file from inside. Below, there’s a picture of our batch file open in Notepad for editing (click the picture to see a bigger version):-


The first line of the file starts Xpadder and tells it to use the sonicr profile. You will need to change the directories to point to your copy of XPadder and to your XPadder Sonic R profile.

The next command is “cd C:\tools\DXWnd-ms\”. CD means change directory. We need to change into the directory where we installed DXWind-ms.

The next command starts the DXWind tool. By prefixing the command with the word “start”, you tell Windows not to wait until this program has finished running.

Next, we change directory back to our SonicR folder.

On the next line, we execute the “sonicr-patched.exe” file, since we need this version on our PC as the standard one simply crashes.

The pause command tells windows to wait for a keypress, when the user presses a key, the batch file will automatically shut down the DXWind tool.

If all the above sounded like another language, don’t worry, it’s not necessary for running Sonic R, but doing it this way can be quite convenient. We will look at creating batch files in more detail in a future tutorial on


Thanks to tankist85 and Joseph Gritton on Youtube for originally figuring out how to run Sonic R on Windows 7. Thanks to Angel.9 Rakou Cobra on Steam for the information on running the game in HD resolutions.


  1. ANGRYGAMER says:


  2. janitoalevic says:

    Music don’t load, HELP!

    • BuckoA51 says:

      If you have 2 optical drives make sure that the disc is in the one that is first alphabetically, i.e if your optical drives are D: and EE, make sure the disc is in D:

  3. Cake says:

    It worked once, but it doesn’t play the music and the second time I tried to load it, it comes up with that “address 004801d9” error message. I am doing everything it says here and it still doesn’t work.

  4. when i open with process sleeper the game controls wont work to select anything (keyboard)

  5. now i did all the process sleeper ms all over to 20 and it still gets the error D:

  6. David says:

    I didn’t end up needing it but the Process Sleeper link is dead. Anyways; I followed directions and got the game to load but I can only select options from the menu. I changed tack and tried to run setup but it says there isn’t enough space to install when there definitely is.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      I just checked the Process Sleeper link and it’s working fine, maybe a temporary glitch? Anyway it’s working now if you want to try it. There’s nothing to be gained from installing the game from the original installer vs. just copying it over in Explorer.

  7. finnaly i got it to work, about the tails doll creepypasta, does it work in pc?

  8. boom3rX says:


    How do i upscale the game resolution to 1920x 1080??????????

  9. x777Snipez says:

    How come I can get it to work, but I can only select options? D:

  10. peter says:

    This worked for me on Windows 7! Thank you!!

  11. solo says:

    I’m having a heck of a time getting this up and running on my Win8 machine. I got it to not immediately crash following your instructions, but then it crashes after I select Direct3D. If I choose DirectDraw it runs, but only allows me to select options even though I have the disc.

  12. Nicolas W. says:

    Hi, I have windows 8 and I downloaded this thing and it takes me to my command prompt…then when it loads up it says couldn’t find (…). please help me and get this game installed I have ben looking on other sites and I download them but they are just papers from IE. I have sonic gems collection for gamecube (Has sonic R on it) but it will let me play every single game except for sonic R!!! please I really want this game and I need you help please help. ,Nicolas W.

  13. jedi-ctx says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, it works fine!

    However I have silence during the music every 20 seconds. At beginning of a race, I have a lag until my hard drive load the music from the disc.

    Is it an error from used disc or from the recent Windows?

    Windows 8.1 Update 1


  14. Neku says:

    Thanks alot! It worked for me!(I’m using Windows 8.1)

  15. Missi says:

    I tried to start Sonic R on Win 8 with DXWnd, but I can only play via networt, the game itself can’t be started. Some ideas?

  16. Missi says:

    First there is grand-prix, then time-race, option and network. Everything is X’ed except network

  17. alex says:

    I’m getting: “the instruction at 00434365 referenced memory at 00000000 the memory could not be read”
    Any suggestion?

  18. JustAskin says:

    just askin what the game in your site background? Look like an old timey RTS…

  19. Sammy says:

    I got the game running on my Windows 7, yay! My only problem now is that every time I finish a race and the results music plays, the little song will end, but then it will keep playing the last second of it over and over again throughout the game. It sounds like a broken record. Is it a problem with my CD? It’s pretty scratched up; I had a hard time installing the game.

  20. Crystal says:

    I have recently managed to have Sonic R installed in my Windows 7 and was able to play the game like normal. The problem is: I can’t seem to have the background music played in every race. I’ve tried adjusting it via “Options” by switching on the background music and turning on the volume to its maximum but it still didn’t work. Is there any way that can fix this issue?

  21. ABOOZ says:

    Hello .. thanks for the tutorial .. but the resolution did not change when I put the inf file in the game folder .. it still the same ..

  22. matt says:

    I’ve followed all of the instructions, but when I open it I get this error:
    The instruction at 00434365 referenced memory at 00000000
    The memory could not be read from
    Click on OK to terminate the applications
    Any idea what this means or how to fix it? I miss this game :(

  23. Umar Farooq says:

    i have a computer which is 3800+ AMD. I downloaded a sonic R game but it does not opened but my keyboard is jam and no key press.the graphics changed.i follow your instruction but when i download file DXWind-ms in rar. it shows wrong response.existing.what is it me and plz reply

  24. VirtuaIceMan says:

    Hmm, followed the DXWnd guide and on my Win8.1 the keyboard still fails to respond when running the patched exe…

    • VirtuaIceMan says:

      I should add, in case it’s relevant, I installed the game under d:/games/sonicr, not on the C drive. It shouldn’t matter, but just stating the fact!

      • BuckoA51 says:

        Mine’s installed to the D drive too and works just fine so no, definitely not that.

        • VirtuaIceMan says:

          Fixed it: turns out DXWnd-ms needs Compatibility Mode of WinXP (or earlier), otherwise it won’t work. With that on it works fine!

          • VirtuaIceMan says:

            And again, adding the DDRAW.dll from this site improved frame rate on Win8.1 (and probably Win8):

            • BuckoA51 says:

              Weird that you’d need to do XP compatibility on the DXWnd tool. That link is the ACT, do you mean the Blitz Basic DDRAW.dll? I never had anything other than completely smooth 60fps gameplay from this one anyway.

            • VirtuaIceMan says:

              One final thing: the batch file command taskkill /f /IM dxwnd.exe won’t work for me; if I add another pause I can see it reports this:

              ERROR: The process “dxwnd.exe” with PID 1524 could not be terminated.
              Reason: Access is denied.

              So I have to shut the DXWnd window manually. No biggy.

              • BuckoA51 says:

                Looks like you’re running dxwnd with admin rights and your batch file as standard user. Shouldn’t need to run as admin.

                • VirtuaIceMan says:

                  Everything should have admin rights, as I’m set as the admin on the PC I think…

                  • BuckoA51 says:

                    Having an administrators account and running something explicitly as admin aren’t the same in Windows Vista/7/8. The security model was vastly improved over XP. Even if you have an admin account, things only have admin rights (i.e super user rights, the right to change or write to any place on your PC) if they are explicitly run as admin. This only changes if you totally disable UAC (absolutely definitely not recommended).

  25. VirtuaIceMan says:

    I just found out that using dgVoodoo’s ddraw replacement means you don’t need the DXWND workaround for the keyboard! However there are some glitches (currently) on the edges of 2D bitmaps (logos, backgrounds and HUD items).

  26. has dxwnd got a virus?

  27. Lionhart says:

    So I noticed the question about the music files was never answered. I have the game working fine, but it refuses to aknowledged any kind of music. I HAVE the music files. What i need is: What format are the music files supposed to be in? Where in the game files do they go once they’re in the right format? I basically want the game to recognise the files and play them at the appropriate time.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      The games music files are on the games CD in standard CD audio format.

      • Lionhart says:

        Yes… I know, except they didn’t exist on the CD. You know that version that they just neglected to provide the tracks? So to eliminate the problem of the CD I just ripped my entire CD so I could easily manipulate the files. Then I went online and found the tracks. But I want to know what I do from there so I can get the game to play the tracks when I play the game.

        • BuckoA51 says:

          Short of burning yourself a new CD you could try inmm.dll

          • Lionhart says:

            Thanks, that method looks promising. I’ll try it when I’m able. I have one question about the CD burning method though. I’ve heard about it but even if you do, how would the game know when to play the music at the right times?

            • BuckoA51 says:

              I don’t understand your question, the game’s programmed to change CD audio tracks at the right time, that’s all there is to it.

              • Lionhart says:

                I understand that, but I meant like, how the Activision releases of Sonic R on the PC didn’t have music files, if you looked into the files, there isn’t even a folder for music. Now, I’m not 100% sure how it works but wouldn’t the files used to know when and what music to play be missing too?

                • BuckoA51 says:

                  CD audio files are not stored as files on the CD, so you will never find them in a folder. They are stored after the data track in the same format that a store bought music CD uses.

                  • Lionhart says:

                    That…actually makes a lot of sense now. Thanks for the info.

                    • Lionhart says:

                      Thanks for the _inmm.dll method it worked! One last question. The music is delayed a bit…is there any way at all to speed it up so it responds quicker? Thanks again.

  28. Murilo Repolez says:

    You Gotta Help Me Man the patched one works but it’s unplayable! can’t acess grand prix nor time attack and neither multiplayer! the only thing that can acess is the options menu!

  29. Martin says:

    How to play music in Sonic R, Help Me?

  30. Alice says:

    I cant get it to install… It said I didn’t have enough space, so I copied the files to a folder on the desktop, but it still said I didn’t have enough space… So I tried running it in Windows 98 compatibility mode and ran it as administrator, but it crashes instead… Any help?
    I’m also using Windows 8.1.

  31. Soban says:

    Will please someone upload the setup wizard of Sonic R or tell me any website from where I can download it safely and 100% working. Please help me…

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Links will be fixed soon.

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Links are fixed for you now.

      • yo says:

        Thanks for BuckoA51 help.
        However, the game fails to start due to the 004801d9 problem.
        I have use the “a fan-made patch” to solve the above problem to enter the game in fullscreen.

        However, the game freeze immediately after enter the game, used the “sonicr-patched.exe”. My keyboard has no reaction even i hit any key including Esc, Enter, Space or other keys.
        I think i can do is Ctrl + Alt+ delete to force close the game.

        What should I do?

        Moreover, DXWnd-ms seems fail to start the game for me.

        I am using Windows 7 Ulimate 64-bit with Aero.

        Thanks a lot

        • BuckoA51 says:

          Make sure you follow the DXWnd-ms instructions exactly, It doesn’t start the game itself, you still have to do that yourself.

          • yo says:

            yes. it starts! but the screen freeze at Selection page of Direct draw and Direct 3D page!

            FORCE escape to desktop can see the error message
            “the instruction at 00434365 referenced memory at 00000000 the memory could not be read”

  32. Lazarus says:

    I got a copy of the game, and I set everything up like you did in this tutorial. Yet, the game doesn’t recognize my keyboard input. I’ve set up DXWND and everything just like you said in this tutorial, but no input.

  33. Vasko says:

    My game is flashing when i play it, and of course… no music.

    The flash starts at the SEGA logo not the DirectX/DirectWrite select screen.
    Please help!

    OS: Windows XP

  34. yo says:

    BuckoA51 has any idea about my situation?

  35. Octvntfzyho says:

    It works to open the game, but the grand prix menu, time attack and other menu have a cross in it. Only the options menu can be selected. How can I fix this?

    • BuckoA51 says:

      The game is not detecting the CD-ROM, make sure it’s in your first drive (alphabetically).

      • Nate Mk.II says:

        Not that guy but, I have the same Issue. I set Sonic R as my A drive (on my external CD drive), and my other CD drive (which is internal and broken and cannot read discs) is set as D drive. When I load the game I have the same problem. Also when I set the disc as the Z drive the game doesn’t even bother to load. If it helps I used to setup.exe to install the game. Any ideas on the problem?

        • BuckoA51 says:

          Try something like D and E for your CD drives, A and B were always reserved for floppy drives in the old days.

          • Nate Mk.II says:

            My broken CD drive is the D drive, so I can’t change it to that. And since it won’t read anything I can’t get it to show up in Computer management. Are there any programs where it would show up, or is there any way I can get around this? Also thanks for the speedy reply, really wasn’t expecting it so quick.

            • Nate Mk.II says:

              Never mind I got it to work! Had to mess around with computer management a bit. Quick question though, is there anyway to play it in windowed?

  36. RabbitMan says:

    How can I get the Sonic R patch the work? I get an error when I try to run it.

  37. AnimuLovah says:

    Is the Tails doll curse included?

  38. Kings says:

    it worked
    thanks! a lot

  39. Sebulba says:

    Guys, try to find the 2004 version of Sonic R, the game is already patched and works perfectly on modern Windows up to 10 (controller support included).

  40. anonymus says:

    I’ve tried for 5 hours to get my keyboard unblocked to play the game , downloaded and extracted dx wnd and everything but it shows an error that file dxwnd.dll is missing. HELP ME plz someone

  41. patrick says:

    works perfectly thanks

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