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Installing Diablo 2 on an Intel Mac

by weave on July 5, 2009

Back in the day (2000-2003) I played Diablo 2 — a lot.   A bit of nostalgia and the upcoming release of Diablo 3 meant it was time to give it another shot — but I couldn’t find my CDs anywhere. No problem, I went out and purchased the Diablo 2 Battle Chest which includes the original game plus the expansion pack — Lord of Destruction.

But would it work on my Intel-based Mac.  My backup plan was to install it on an old PC, but ideally I wanted it to work on my Mac.  There’s a few roadblocks to that plan though.  1) It was written for the old Mac OS, not “OS X” which is based on Unix.  It was also written to run on a different processor, not the Intel I have in my Mac. It was a bit of a hassle to get it working, and tech notes on how to do so were lacking, but in the end it works. You just can’t expect to pull out the CDs from the box and get it working though.

This blog entry is meant to document first how to do it, then the pitfalls I hit along the way.

Quick Install Steps

  1. Download and run the OS X Installer instead of the one on the CD. Find it here (hopefully):
  2. Run the Installer downloaded above. Be sure to click the full install for Diablo 2, Lord of Destruction. Do not even think it makes sense to first install Diablo 2, then the expansion. This installer will prompt you to install both versions and all CDs
  3. Download the patch for the expansion from the above link. Do not download the patch for the original, just the expansion.
  4. Install the patch
  5. Manually copy the file “Diablo II Expansion Music” from the Expansion CD into your Diablo 2 folder. This is optional but by doing so you won’t need to have the CD in the drive to run the game.

Lessons Learned

I made a few mistakes, hit a few road blocks, learned a few things.

  • Installer won’t run from CD. Says classic environment no longer supported. The native OS X installer fixed that.
  • I installed Diablo 2 first using the native installer, then when it was done, I went to install the expansion and got the error: “Diablo II is already installed at this location. Please try installing to a different location” — the fix is to delete the Diablo II folder and start over — this time just install the full install of the expansion pack to start with, and it will prompt you to shovel in the CDs for the original as well.
  • OK to use OpenGL for video, at least on my Mac. I read some places to use the software rendering or it’d crash. I haven’t encountered that.
  • Hit CMD-M to make it run in a window. Hit CMD-M to bring it back to full screen
  • It’s a CPU hog, even on my 3.06 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac.  Remember, it’s running in emulation mode. It’s not a native Intel app.
  • When you run it, a small window pops up with video options. There’s a small arrow at bottom right to flip to additional screens. Don’t miss it!
  • Remember when 800×600 was hi res?

{ 2 trackbacks }

Installing Diablo 2 on an Intel Mac » It's About Time
September 16, 2011 at 05:12
» Episode 8 – Wait! What??? Shattered Soulstone Podcast
February 2, 2012 at 02:18

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Troy September 20, 2011 at 13:51

Really need some help here.
I’m on osx 10.5.8 and I’m trying to install the whole package diablo2 +expansion but when it asks for the play disk, it doesn’t recognize it (nothing happens)!

But the funny thing is, when I try to install the game without expansion, it doesn’t ask for the playdisk and the installation finishes perfectly. And the game works fine! So the playdisk isnt corrupted or damaged.

What to do??

weave September 20, 2011 at 16:47

See step 5 in the Quick Install Steps above.

Hamsta September 25, 2011 at 11:40

If your doing a clean install from Blizzards BattleNet-Installer-Files, dont forget to apply patch 1.13

leon December 28, 2011 at 16:53

I cant seem to find the installer anywhere, am i doing something very stupid?

Essbrown January 9, 2012 at 22:31

Leon – I feel your pain. I think I’ve found the answer here: http://us.battle.net/support/en/article/intel-based-macs-support

Sean Kibler January 15, 2012 at 14:11
Maksim Laitinen January 31, 2012 at 16:54


So what do I need to make this work? I have OS X Lion, newest patch, and PC CD for Diablo II, and I also have all the expansions. So what do I need to do? Do I have to have a Mac version of the CD? Because I don’t think there is one.

Could you please make a list of what I will need to have.


BH February 27, 2012 at 03:59

* Maksim –
You cannot play Diablo 2 on OS X Lion. Powerpc applications no longer supported. The only way for you to play the game on that computer would be by installing windows. Either with Bootcamp, parallels or Vmware fusion.

Mike April 9, 2012 at 14:06

I am running Mac OS X 10.7.3 and downloading the native installer does not work as it says it won’t work because powerpc is no longer supported. I have tried using Play on Mac to run the clients i downloaded off battle net and all looked well until i got an error message when clicking to install diablo 2. I don’t know what to do anymore and just wanna play diablo on my mac, what to do…

weave April 9, 2012 at 14:20

Sorry, if you’re running 10.7 you are out of luck to run it natively. The only other option is to install Windows inside Parallels or VMware Fusion and run it as a Windows app. :-(

edo May 20, 2012 at 15:52

Port of Diablo II using wine…
Works great in Lion, and is just click and play

[mod note: broken url deleted :( ]

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