Problems running PC game sanitarium

Written by hilarypost
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Problems running PC game sanitarium
Sometimes "Sanitarium" displays a blank screen rather than starting the game. (notebook pc image by Albo from

The PC game "Sanitarium" is a dark, adventure-style title set in a world of mental illness and trauma. The player, controlling a character trapped in an insane asylum, must solve puzzles and uncover secrets that will enable her not just to escape the asylum, but also to decipher the hallucinations and breaks with reality plaguing the character. While the game is not particularly graphically demanding, there are several problems that may hinder players' enjoyment.

Graphical Corruptions

Sometimes "Sanitarium" will boot to the title screen and allow players to start a game, going so far as to display the opening movie, before game characters and environments start displaying glitches and graphical corruptions. This is a result of an faulty installation, usually caused by installing the game without sufficient administrator privileges. This can be fixed by simply copying all files on the CD-ROM to the game's program folder on the hard disk then restarting the game, or by reinstalling the game in an account with administrator privileges. On Windows Vista, players should take the additional step of right-clicking the game's "Install" program and choosing "Run as Administrator."


The initial retail release of "Sanitarium" contains errors that may force the game to crash, or shut down, at the start of the second level. This error has been fixed in a later patch for the game. This patch can be downloaded from the site in Resources and installed by double-clicking the downloaded file. Patching is recommended for all users, as this can fix other graphical errors and improve overall performance.

Not Loading in Windows Vista/7

"Sanatorium" is not designed for newer operating systems such as Windows Vista or 7. On these systems, it's common for the game to install but not run, or crash after the title screen. To fix these issues, right-click the "Sanitarium" desktop icon or Start menu item and choose "Properties." Click the tab marked "Compatibility" and place a check in the box marked "Run this program in compatibility mode." Select "Windows XP" or "Windows 98" in the drop-down menu, then choose "Apply." Experiment with both compatibility modes to find the mode that works best on your machine.


If "Sanitarium" is running slowly, not responding to controls or displaying characters that move erratically, the game is having trouble competing for system resources. Hold "Alt" and press "Tab" to switch between other open programs. Close all other programs so "Sanitarium" is the only program running. Switch back to "Sanitarium" and reset the game if performance does not improve.

Intentional Errors

As "Sanitarium" is a game that deals with hallucination and altered realities, there are some phenomena that seem like graphical errors but are part of the game. Often, lengthy portions of the game can go by in which nothing is displayed on-screen and nonsensical sounds play in the background. Some characters, when spoken to, display text that may seem nonsensical but ultimately makes sense in the game's context.

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