Installing Diablo 2 on an Intel Mac

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?

63 thoughts on “Installing Diablo 2 on an Intel Mac”

  1. Thanks for the instructions for installing Diablo 2 on Intel-based Mac OS X. However, I have a problem that I cannot seem to overcome or find help for anywhere, so I am really hoping you can assist me.

    I have downloaded the installer from Blizzard. When I go to install though (your step 2), after about 30 seconds of installation I receive this error:

    The file “/Volumes/Diablo II Install/Support/Diablo II Game Data” could not be read, because an error -36 occurred. (InstallerFile::Read)

    Since I use an Intel-based mac, which doesn’t support Classic, I cannot even read the Installer File in my CD (as with all Classic apps, there’s a big gray X over it and clicking on it results in an error message of “does not support”). And the Blizzard support webpage is of no assistance whatsoever.

    Any help you can offer me is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

  2. That sounds like the CD is bad. Check it for scratches. Return and exchange it if possible.

    You can also try the disk utility program in Utilities folder to check the CD. or use it to create a disk image and then try to install from that.

  3. You’re absolutely right. Disk Utility tells me the disk is bad, despite there not being any visible cracks. I’ll see what I can do about that.

    Thanks for your help!

  4. Perfect instructions…except I keep encountering a problem. I have attempted to install the game about 5 times, and every time I have the same result:

    It tells me I have successfully installed the game, but every time I launch the app it unexpectedly quits. The last time I installed it I used your instructions (I tried several times doing basically the same thing before I found your website). Do you have any idea why this is happening and how I can fix this issue?


  5. Sorry Juli, only thing I can think of is make sure you’re running the latest version of OS X with all the patches. Also, if you run the console app (in the utilities folder of Applications) you might see some messages in it when running that might point you in the right direction, especially if you Google the messages.

  6. One other thing. I do remember reading that some people suffered crashes due to video driver issues, so try fiddling with that in the start up dialog box that comes up when you first run it. Like turn off hardware acceleration or turn it on, etc…

  7. Hello

    Is it possible to run this game from cd-installer? I have no internet to download this native installer from Blizard. I get the error when trying to open the game and it just won’t start.

  8. this might seem like a stupid question..
    but after you get everything downloaded, how do u manually copy the music filed and put it in the Diablo 2 folder?
    thank you much

  9. Sign up for a Blizzard account for free (google the url, it’s different depending on where you are in the world).

    You can add your existing game licence keys to your Blizzard account. This then allows you to donwload a full copy of the game you already own. Great for people whose “play” CDs have been battered over time.

    And they come fully patched and with Intel OS X installers.

  10. i clicked the website where i can manually download from the website instead of the CD but where can i find the place where i can download it on the website?

  11. Hey Weave,

    Great blogging instructions 😉

    My problem is i’ve got D2 running fine however when i get a screen with many active objects, the screen starts to lag – eg: fighting many monsters or playing with a necro friend with many minions. We’re fairly sure it’s not blizzard’s servers causing the lag. So i think it’s my computer struggling with the graphics – MacBook Pro, 2.16 GHz intel core duo, with OS 10.4.11.
    The version of D2 i’m running is the latest 1.12a downloaded expansion, that i downloaded from blizzard abt 2 months ago (and i’ve tested downloadding and running the 1.12a carbon patch).

    Any suggestions as to how to get it to run smoothly? This is killing me in Hell.


  12. Hey Weave,

    I tried to find the OS X Native Installer for D2 but I couldn’t get it anywhere (on the Blizzard site you have to open a account and I think you also have to purchase the game in their online store(!) – if I’m not confused now – PLEASE could you upload the installer somewhere or provide me a link…?

  13. Ah, they changed it. But as a comment further above stated, you can now download the entire game from their site. You don’t need to purchase the game online to get a account. Just register using the CD key(s) of your D2 and D2X box set.

  14. This is no longer completely accurate, though it helped me a lot by pointing me at this service where I can download native installers. Now you do need to download both Diablo II AND the Lord of Destruction expansion. If you try to do just LOD, the installer lacks an “install” button. After a reboot, launching the installer gives the message that you need to install Diablo II first. I’m working on that 1GB+ download right now.

  15. @Stephen Munn

    Thank you very much for that info! I have been searching for solutions for my exact same problem on intel based mac all evening.

    Much appreciate.

  16. i did all the downloading and the patching but after i go through the video options (render Gl video , configure video options) i press okay to begin playing and my screen just goes black and with just the mouse in sight…any idea what could be wrong?

  17. i am pretty newbie about this guides seriously

    i just have got this CDs:

    -CD 1 : Installer
    -CD2: Diablo 2 game CD.
    -CD3: Diablo 2 expansion (LOD)
    -CD4: Cinema

    i just put the Lord of destruction CD on my comp and open the patch wich i download. (honestly idk if that was right but anyway i get this message even when i put them together or i just try on any CD (except CD4).

    maybe sounds stupid but i have no idea of the concepts and what exactly mean so i would like someone screen me something accurated to what should i do to get over this.

    i am sorry if this annoys for the basic question but i have owned this game since 2000. and from the last year i still trying to find a way to make it playable on my Mac

    i have a Mac OS X v 10.6.3 intel core 2 Duo with Leopard installed btw.

    thanks in advance

  18. this post has helped me alot in poniting me the right way but.
    i am having the same problems as emerson above.. they downloads complete patches are installed but when i go thru the video options my screen becomes black any ideas of what i can do?

  19. I know you have a lot of comments but i was wondering if you can do this without the expansion

  20. Been ages since I tried this but I do believe you can just download the “original” patch and it should work — or register the CD key on and download the entire program over the net.

  21. On step 1….I go to the link and the file there to download is the patch to run AFTER installation…please help.

  22. Hey not sure if anyone is having this problem… I have been on d2 and having a ball after having 7 years off haha… But went to install LOD from the online copy… I downloaded it using the mac client and when I go to install it comes up with an error that it can’t read something then crashes… Has anyone else come across this and know how to get around it?

  23. u have no idea how much uve helped me buddy…thanks alot friend very apretiated……ur the only one who made instructions so clear

  24. the first time i ran the game i pressed “do not show this message again” when the little window popped up. how do i get to see the little window again?

  25. Having some problems installing from a downloaded version of the game. Every time it asks me to “input Lord of Destruction CD” despite the fact that I have the Lord of Destruction DMG open on my desktop. Any suggestions?

  26. Sorry for the earlier post. I’ve gotten it to install completely, I’ve run the patch and I’ve copied the expansionmusic file from the DMG to the DiabloII folder. However, every time I run the program I get the “Diablo2 has unexpectedly quit” message after only about 1 second

  27. Sorry I haven’t kept up with this issue since I wrote the original blog entry. Are you running 10.6? Do you have Rosetta installed? (so you can run PowerPC binaries) The game is (or at least was) PowerPC only, not Intel, so has to be emulated.

  28. love the guide

    small problem i get installer working put in name and cd keys for d2 and lod
    then it asks to insert the install disk but it just keeps ejecting my disk.
    ive tried all disks but nothing seems to work.

    also trying to input the cd key in to battlenet account now doesnt work.

  29. Hey !

    I kinda read your guide by isntalling Diablo 2 but it seems not to work for me. I got a iMac Intel Core i5 2.66 GHz.
    So I just bought the Expansion set today, because that I missed my others LoD cd’s. And as I see on the old cd-key there is a big different between them, which avoid me to install the LoD with the Native installer. So I tried to install with the cd’s installer and it worked. Half of the way 55% ^^). And then it stopped and asked for a ” Diablo Lord of Destruction cd 1″ so i put my new LoD cd in, but the installer refused it and pushed it out.

    Don’t really know if you could help, it would be nice ^^
    hehe. Any suggestions ?

  30. Hey Weave,

    I think I have the same problem as Colin, I downloaded Rosetta now at and i’m not even sure if it’s the right thing that I downloaded. But I still get the same error when I try run Diablo 2 LOD Carbon (Diablo II unexpectedly quit). I’m currently running OS X 10.6


  31. Never mind sorry about that I realised I didn’t instal the patch properly, my bad. But thanks for the guide!

  32. Hi weaver,
    if any one can help you might
    My problem is when it tells me to insert install disk, the disk will just eject with no other prompts. Thank you for the help

  33. I have the same problem listed that Emerson and jake described:

    “i did all the downloading and the patching but after i go through the video options (render Gl video , configure video options) i press okay to begin playing and my screen just goes black and with just the mouse in sight…any idea what could be wrong?”

    This is exactly my problem. Please please help us.

  34. I guess I didn’t play around enough before posting!
    I just chose the software rendering on the box instead of OpenGL or whatever that is. It works!

  35. Wowzers! ( yes, I said “wowzers”. so i’m an old-fart – so sue me…lol )

    I can hardly believe i found a discussion board with comments that are less than a year old! Maybe someone here can help me, by first allowing me a bit of space to rant, and next by perhaps offering suggested resolutions.

    First off, allow me to respectfully request permission to ignore and refuse any and all answers that involve cheats, key-gens, or any unethical tools or sources. please do not waste your time, or mine.

    While I am not against trying before buying, I am a firm supporter of copyright protection laws, and strongly advocate buying legitimate licensing for any software I fully intend to use on a regular, frequent, or permanent basis… or else locate an open-source alternative.

    (I suspect that i may be a rare dinosaur in this respect, but we all have to live with our consciences.)

    That said, onward to my problem…

    Once upon a time, a very long time ago, I purchased 3 complete D2 LOD Battle Chests, so that my son and daughter and I could play TCP and Battlenet games together.

    As so often happens with kids of all ages, the novelty eventually wore off and desire to play D2 LOD waned in lieu of other interests. My daughter became enamored with making and selling her own jewelry… my son became interested in buying that jewelry for various girls… (chip off the old block lol) and I began spending more of my online-time catching up with geographically-challenged friends via FB. )

    Lately, though, the three of us have experienced a resurgence of D2 LOD interest, largely due to the media hype about D3. So I started digging through the various boxes that every home seems to have, trying to locate the lost D2 kits. What follows is the list of everything I’ve managed to locate …

    1. Diablo (original) Install CDs: 2 copies

    2. Diablo II install CDs: 2 complete* sets
    *Each set includes all 3 discs AND the D2 key

    3. LOD Expansion CDs: 3 copies (But only 2 keys)

    BTW… NONE of the original CD cases or boxes are to be found. The CD keys I DO have are on the original labels, which had been peeled off of the original CD cases and reattached to the “slim” cases, in which those CDs currently reside. The 3rd LOD sticker has gone MIA, leaving only a gluey spot in its wake.

    That search began several months ago. For the past couple of months I have been searching online for any information that might lead me to an easy replacement for the one missing LOD CD-key. What I found, on Blizzard’s website, is the following…

    1. I may purchase a replacement CD or CD-key, but ONLY if I ship to them (along with a money order for $10US) either the original plastic CD case or the original manual (If I had EITHER of them, I would also have the original key), or the original (presumably damaged) CD.

    2. There appears to be an absence of human-contact customer support for D2 issues.

    3. I have searched, unsuccessfully, throughout their website, for a way to initiate a phone call, chat session, or email exchange, with an actual human being.

    4. All I found were automated recorded messages, auto-daemon replies to emails, and links to FAQs that only point me back to the party-line response, which is, to paraphrase: “send us the piece of paper or plastic that has the original CD-key on it, along with a $10 money order, and we’ll send you a replacement CD-key.”

    Now, some people, after having already purchased 3 legitimate licensed copies, at $70 US each, might be inclined to think that would justify their use of some illegal hack to obtain a replacement for the missing 3rd key. But my personal ethics prevent me from doing so. I allowed my key to become lost, so I if I must needs pay a reasonable fee to obtain a legitimate replacement, then so be it.

    But that’s not good enough for Blizzard. They insist I jump through a succession of incredibly ridiculous hoops (for no apparent reason, except perhaps a perverse lust of power)!

    How am I supposed to get a legitimate replacement key, when I no longer have any of the requisite paper or plastic items they want me to ship to them. Even if I was willing to spend the current price of $30 for a new Battle Chest, I’d have reservations on matter of principle, not to mention the waste of ecological resources!

    Why doesn’t Blizzard give long-time-loyal customers an EASY way to speak (phone, chat, email… i don’t care which) with a human being, instead of server daemons only?

    I have no doubt, that a live CSR would probably be able to obtain permission from their manager to waive the mail-in requirements for a “special-case” exception. If not, I’d at least have the satisfaction of hearing a sincere apology for that lack of ability to override automated protocols. But BE has effectively removed even THAT option from my reach.

    Is it MY fault I can’t find the original key? YES.
    Am I willing to pay a reasonable fee to obtain a replacement? YES
    Should I have to waste hours of time and multiple physical resources to send in shipping materials from a 15+ year old game to do so? NO.

    BLIZZARD, if you’re listening, please take heed.

    If I could legally bill you, at a reasonable tech-support rate of $25/hour, for the time I have invested in my attempts to retain legitimate use of the products I have already purchased from you, your check to me would easily cover the cost of several year-long subscriptions to each of your games. But you have no reason to fear that, do you?

    What SHOULD concern you, however, is the following simple business rule…
    With each satisfied customer comes the POTENTIAL for 3 or 4 new ones.
    But each dissatisfied customer will cost you at least 10 more.

    Both of my kids are sharp and money-savvy. They WERE willing to pay for their own subscriptions to WoW and D3, so the 3 of us could enjoy playing together online. But after seeing how much time I’ve invested (wasted) in trying to obtain a replacement for the one missing CD-key (out of 3, remember), THEY have decided that since Blizzard Customer Service is as virtual as it’s game worlds, Blizzard Entertainment is not worthy of their loyalty, nor of their money.

    They have informed me that they no longer wish to support Blizzard Entertainment, and are launching a campaign to convince all of their friends and classmates to boycott B.E. and all of its products.
    (Don’t blame me… I just raised them right.) There is yet, a small window of opportunity, wherein BE can salvage their reputation. But I am no longer hopeful of that becoming a reality.

    So, now that my lengthy tirade is over, if anyone is even still reading this, I am officially open to suggestions. I’d still like to acquire a legitimate LOD key. If someone out there has no further use for theirs, and would be willing to part with it, I’m still willing to pay $10 for it… but it MUST be legit (you’ll have to prove it to my satisfaction)… and you MUST be willing to give it up completely.

    Email me at and let’s talk.

  36. Am i a total idiot? I feel like I have tried every fix detailed on the internet about how to get diablo 2 LOD to work on my mac (OS 10.6.8, chipset: NVIDIA GeForce 320M)—all possible graphics configurations, etc.

    Everytime I start the game it gets to just the moment before the moment when the main menu should show up and it “quits unexpectedly.”

    Am I doing something wrong with the patches? I have the latest one downloaded, but when I click on them it just gives me the “bnupdate is used to update the game through battlenet and does not need to be run”…

    again: am I an idiot?

  37. No, not an idiot. A lot has changed since I wrote the original blog post years ago — and now that I’ve upgraded to Lion I can’t run any PowerPC binaries (including D2) so it def won’t work in Lion — without running it inside a virtual Windows machine using Parallels or Fusion.

  38. hmm. So you think there’s no way to make it run on 10.6.8 either?

    I’ve been meaning to partition and load windows 7 on my mac anyway (hopefully be able to get a disc for free from my university)…

  39. Thanks for the great post! I’m running 10.6.8 on a Macbook Pro I bought last summer, and it’s working fine following the instructions. The link you provided will give you the proper patch, but you’ll need to click the following link to download the installer.

    Eugene, I would uninstall everything and start fresh. Only run the patch after you complete the full LOD installation. Also, it said mine wouldn’t work with the default video resolution, so make sure you you follow the “small arrow” in the bottom righthand corner of the setup screen that Weave mentioned. When you run the video test, it’ll set it to ‘640×400 (stretched).’

    It’s great to be playing again! Thanks a ton!

  40. Fantastic advice. One problem. The link provided above for the D2 installer only allows for a 16 digit cd key…mine has 26 digits for D2 and LOD. Help please. Thank you in advance. Btw…I have a MacBook Pro with the quad core i7 and the most recent OS of 10.6.8.

  41. I have yet to find a way to make it work. Im either going to run the windows emulator…or just partition my hard drive and load windows. The latter being the better idea.

  42. I’m so glad that I found this blog! and find out that i’m not the only one that’s triying to play D2 (on a Mac) just to get my mind out of D3 (RELEASE IT! DAMN)
    I have the same issues as other (after playing for a while it “quits unexpected”) but for all I read here, I got some solutions wich I’ll do as soon as I get my ass out of the office XD!!!! (re-install, OpenGL disable and at 640×400 (stretched))…
    I got the feeling of the quitting problem being the graphic card, but no idea that could be for OpenGL 800×600 (stretched). I didn’t want it off cuz it says that “some effects will not be shown”… But I guess that’s better not to see some stuff that not to play at all.

    Thanks for this. If anyone has or know of a good server to play online, I would like to know.

    P.s. sorry for misspellings. Yo hablo es español pá-pá!

  43. Happily playing Diablo 2 on 10.6.8. following your comments tips.

    Just that I want to play online but doesn’t have a CD-Key that works on so if anyone knows of a TCP-IP server that’s cool I could really use it. Thanks.

  44. i bought a new license of Diablo 2 on 2 days ago…
    they sold me a version for mac…
    they didn’t ask is i have lion or not…
    they are crazy????
    i bought the game…and it can’t work on lion :S

  45. 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??

  46. Hi!

    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.


  47. * 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.

  48. 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…

  49. 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. 🙁

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

    [mod note: broken url deleted 🙁 ]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *