Dust: A Tale of the Wired West

Genre: Adventure
Release Year: 1995
Developer: Cyberflix
Publisher: GTE Entertainment
Age Rating: 15+
Playability Status: Perfect (Windows 3.1 required)
Tested On: Windows 7 x64, Windows 8 x64
Availability: Copyright retained - Out of print/unavailable

There’s a stranger in Diamondback, and that stranger is you partner. In this western themed adventure game you must make your fortune and get revenge on “The Kid”, who cheated against you during a high stakes poker game, leaving you without a gun or a buck to your name.

Dusty relics

We were not able to get Dust: A Tale of the Wired West to work natively on our modern PCs. The only way to run the game reliably on a modern PC is to use DOSBox and a copy of Windows 3.1. Setup DOSBox and Windows 3.1 according to our tutorials here.


To install the game in Windows 3.1, insert your Dust CD-ROM into your computers optical drive then Start DOSBox and Windows 3.1, making sure that your optical drive is mounted in DOSBox. Open the Main group and start File Manager. Click on the CD icon at the top of the window and then run the Setup.exe file in the list of files on the right. Installation should then begin automatically. When asked what components you wish to install, you can select all options.

On our test machine, the installer failed to properly detect how much hard drive space we had and refused to install the game claiming that there wasn’t enough free space. If this happens, exit the game and run “setup.exe” again. A message should appear that says “Are you having trouble installing DUST?”. Click “Yes”. and then “Yes” again. This will launch an alternative installer. Simply follow all the on-screen prompts and choose “Large” install when asked what type of installation you want to perform.

When installation is complete, the installer will prompt you to install two “enhancements”, namely the WinG and Win32s components. if you followed our Windows 3.1 setup tutorials, these components should already be installed.

For those of you wanting to try the game on more modern versions of Windows, note that the game uses a 16 bit installation program meaning it cannot be installed on 64 bit versions of Windows. By installing the game on an older computer and then copying the files and registry keys manually, the game can be made to launch on 64 bit operating systems. Writing a replacement installer would be possible but since we weren’t able to get the game to work correctly in this situation we have not produced one. For reference, the game stores its registry keys under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Cyberflix\Dust

Playing the game

Before starting the game, you may want to change the screen resolution in Windows 3.1 to 640×480 with 256 colours. See this tutorial if you don’t know how to do that. You can start the game by opening the Cyberflix group and then clicking on the “Dust” icon.

Below are the notes we compiled when trying to get the game working directly on a more modern version of Windows.

Windows 8

Running the game in Windows 8 was the most problematic. The game would only run once, then require a complete reboot of the PC before it ran again. While running the game, certain areas on the screen were missing. This affected the menus and made navigating to save and load impossible, for instance. None of the compatibility mode options were able to fix this problem.

Windows 7

Running the game in Windows 7 was significantly more successful. By setting the game to Windows 95 compatibility mode and by using a batch file that shut down Windows Explorer before starting the game (the same method we used with Titanic – Adventure out of Time) we were able to get the game to start. Navigating around and talking to characters then worked fine, with no graphical corruption. Sadly, when we tried to save or load a game, the game just crashed back to desktop.

Windows XP Virtual Machine

In our tests Dust: A Tale of the Wired West did NOT work on a Windows XP virtual machine. The game simply crashed immediately upon launching.

Can you submit a fix?

Know how to get this game working without the need for DOSBox and Windows 3.1? Help the community by submitting a comment and letting us know!


Click on any screenshot to see a bigger version.

A friendly local comes to chat.

A friendly local comes to chat.

Practising your shooting.

Practising your shooting.


  1. Miles says:

    I am able to run Dust on my Win8 laptop by using a virtual WinXP machine on the Oracle VirtualBox; Email me if you want an update.


  2. Miles says:

    I am away from my laptop right now; I will give you the details when I can get to it.


  3. Milestone says:

    My apologies, the virtual machine program I got Dust to work on was not VirtualBox, but VMWare Player.

    VMWare Player, with a winXP Professional ISO allows me to play Dust: A Tale Of The Wired West on my win8 machine.

  4. Nate Trotter says:

    I put DOSBox as well as Windows 3.1 on a thumb drive. I placed all the Dust files on the drive as well. I then ran Windows 3.1 in DOSBox and ran the Dust setup. Once done, I was able to click on one of the files in the Dust folder and and it ran perfectly. I renamed the .exe file that worked so I could distinguish it from the ones that didn’t, so I don’t remember the name of it. I think it was dt.exe or df.exe or something like that. If you can’t get that to work you can mount c:/ as usual and then mount the Dust folder as d:/. Be sure to use the command -t cdrom when you mount the folder so that Windows 3.1 will think it’s the disk. Find the file in d:/ in windows and run setup. You’ll be on the streets of Diamondback before you know it. I have the entire system contained on a single thumb drive (DOSBox, Windows 3.1, and Dust). It runs like a charm. I have tried it on Windows 7 (64 bit) and OSX Mavericks and it worked beautifully on both without having to change anything to go between the two. It runs completely off the thumb drive without actually having to put it on your system or use the disk. Good Luck!

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Hi, thanks for taking the time to let us know about that. Windows 3.1 in DOSBox is definitely something I want to look at doing tutorials for in future.

  5. Kokonutmoney916 says:

    To resolve the save issue,
    1. Open the DUST installation folder.
    2. Open the LOCAL folder.
    (if there is no local folder in the dust folder, create one)
    3. Create a text file and change the extension from .txt to .rtd
    4. Now when you select SAVE, you can select the text file and overwrite it creating a dust save file

  6. Anthony says:

    How would this game perform on a legitimate fully Windows XP Home OS? I was thinking about purchasing this game again (my wife is intrigued as she’s enjoyed the Titanic game).

    I thought I remember playing this when I was little and it ran fine on XP, but I could be mistaken.

    Any thoughts?

    • BuckoA51 says:

      I’ve tested it natively under XP and with a VM and wasn’t able to get it to work. Best bet is Dosbox running Windows 3.1, that I will try in the near future.

  7. Daniel says:

    Hi there. Same problems on my Test Machines. Test with 32 Bit Windows, Admin rights…..

    Then Tests on WinXP – same Problems…

    To resolve the Problems:
    Just check that you have an Resolution of 800×600 / 16 Bit. Otherwise df.exe crashs

    No more Problems :)
    With Win7 you must additionally set down the User control rights.

  8. Daniel says:

    Under WinXP 32Bit Prof SP3 / 800×600 Resolution with 16 Bit i dont have any issues with starting or save the game and no graphic errors.

    I just use an Onboard Q33 Graphic (Core2Duo E8400),maybe that caused some errors on your system.

    Go under msconfig and disable all the needless Graphic / Audio Tools – had resolved some of my grapic errors.

    On Win7 you probably need to push you User AND Computer Account and give full Admin rights and disable the User Account Control.

    On Win7 i dont have any saving problems, just many graphic issues. So i switch my new “Retro PC” from Win7x86 to WinXPx86

    • BuckoA51 says:

      Ok thanks let me look into this. I was under the impression that nothing short of a patch could fix the saving/loading problems in Windows 7. I’d never advise disabling UAC as it simply makes your computer too insecure.

  9. Daniel says:

    For this reason i have now this “Retro PC” with Win XP. Main focusly is not Internet / Online services, it´s just for playing these good old Games :)

    • BuckoA51 says:

      No joy with your workarounds under VMware unfortunately. I do have a native Windows XP installation that I can still boot into on here but I have a better idea for getting the game to run that I’ll be looking into soon. Appreciate all the suggestions though, they may help other users.

  10. Alex says:

    If you want to avoid the “not enough free space” issue and install all the extras, just add the “-freespace 1024” flag when mounting your virtual harddrive. This makes the drive appear to have 1024MB free space. EG: “mount c path/to/virtual/c/drive -freespace 1024”

  11. The Wanderer says:

    Has there been an update getting this to work? I have Windows 8.1, and while the “Titanic” patch from this site works like a dream, I cannot get “Dust” to work. I was wondering if anybody has made any headway getting a reliable Windows 8 patch/fix.

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