Posted by BobM on March 9, 2014
If you buy Command & Conquer on Origin it should work fine without having to hack anything. Even runs in Windows 10. Unfortunately, Generals and Zero Hour can't be purchased separately anymore on Origin, but they are available in the whole Ultimate Collection.
While Command & Conquer: Generals and Zero Hour seem to install OK in Windows 7, actually running them, well, not so much. When you try to launch the game, you might find you get the first splash screen (where the DRM checks disc 1) followed by a slightly larger splash screen, and then... nothing. Eventually you'll get an error dialog that "a serious error has occurred" and that "game.dat" has crashed.
For whatever reason, C&C seems to have trouble writing out a default options.ini file when launching the game for the first time, or otherwise dies because it can't find one.
To remedy this, here are defaults options.ini files for both Generals and Zero Hour. Just use a text editor to create them in the appropriate places, and they should get the game up and running.
C:\Users\YOU\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Data\options.ini
C:\Users\YOU\Documents\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour Data\options.ini