Wednesday, June 22, 2016

VASSAL doesn't work on Windows 10

I can't seem to get VASSAL working on Windows 10 with the latest Java. It installs fine, but upon running it, nothing happens. Anyone seen this before?

UPDATE: I tried installing a 32-bit version, Version 8 Update 91. Still no joy.

UPDATE 2: Finally figured it out. There was a VASSAL directory in the hidden User/Name/Appdata/Roaming directory, and the error log was showing old dates, presumably from a previously installed version of VASSAL. I deleted that VASSAL directory, emptied the Trash, then double-clicked on the VASSAL icon. It works like a charm, although I did need to re-select my VASL boards directory in order to get my ASL boards to show up properly.

Thanks to everyone who suggested fixes.

UPDATE 3: I've changed the name so it will show up on Google searches. If VASSAL 3.16 doesn't run on Windows 10 with Java 8, the problem may be a previous installation. Don't worry, there is a fix.
  1. Go to your C:/Users/YOURNAME directory, and under View, check the hidden items checkbox. This will reveal the hidden Appdata directory.
  2. Go to C:/Users/YOURNAME/Appdata/Roaming. There will be a VASSAL directory there. 
  3. Delete the VASSAL directory.
  4. Now try launching VASSAL again.



Blogger Noah B June 22, 2016 5:07 PM  

Security software stopping Java from running?

Anonymous Bob June 22, 2016 5:10 PM  

On the task bar hit customize. Next to "Get Windows 10" select Hide icon and notifications.

Blogger fisher man June 22, 2016 5:25 PM  

It happened with me. I removed windows 10. Probably not your best solution though.

Blogger overcaffeinated June 22, 2016 5:29 PM  

It might require a specific version of Java.

Anonymous halibetlector June 22, 2016 5:37 PM  

Apparently, you're not the first to stumble into this...

Are you running the 64 bit version of windows 10? I frequently have issues with x86 apps not working on my x64 OS. I'd make sure the architecture of your OS and Java match.

Blogger VD June 22, 2016 5:47 PM  

Yes, 64-bit.

Anonymous Garrulus June 22, 2016 6:09 PM

Anonymous jual kondom June 22, 2016 6:14 PM  

nice post, thanks for sharing...

Anonymous AstralWanderer June 22, 2016 6:14 PM  

VD, need a few bits of info to help:

1) What version of VASSAL?
2) What version of Java is installed? (also, 32 or 64 bit?)
3) Is more than 1 version of Java installed?

For comparison, I'm running Vassal 3.2.15 with Java 1.8 update 91 (32bit) on Win10 x64 with no issues.

Blogger SouthRon June 22, 2016 6:20 PM  


I'll try it when I get home. But, I've had to use the 32-bit version of Java with certain programs on 64-bit Windows 10. It should be available from the Other Versions or Other Downloads link on the Java page.

The other possibility is on the Compatibility tab of the app's properties select a version of Windows you know it worked with.

Anonymous VFM #6306 June 22, 2016 6:26 PM  

Have the same prob. Gonna try 32 bit.

Blogger James Dixon June 22, 2016 6:44 PM  

If you're using the 64 bit version of Java, definitely try using the 32 bit version. Most programs seem to work much better with it.

Anonymous Ostar June 22, 2016 6:44 PM  

I've fixed some Java issues by adding the specific site to the Exception Site List (Java Control Panel, Security). Perhaps adding the Vassal loopback address to that list?

Blogger Anchorman June 22, 2016 7:06 PM  

Have you tried turning it off and then back on again?

Anonymous Anonymous June 22, 2016 7:10 PM  

I have Java 64-bit (1.8.0_91-b14) and the most recent version of VASSAL. It boots to the main menu of VASSAL for me. Generally Java tends to be super picky about security settings. Some random things to try:

- Java Control Panel -> Security tab. Check and see if "High" security is selected (versus "Very High")
- Java Control Panel -> Advanced tab. Check and see if anything sticks out there, in particular related to security settings and mixed code. The code may not be signed/trusted and causing Java to kill it early.

The log for VASSAL may have some info:


Anonymous Anonymous June 22, 2016 7:15 PM  

My VASSAL is installed in "C:\Program Files\VASSAL-3.2.16 so that's the 64-bit version (versus C:\Program Files (x86)\...).

If you just installed JAVA for the first time definitely reboot after installing it. Also, double check the 64-bit runtime is there (versus the 32 bit) as that will cause problems. In earlier versions of the runtime you had to separately download 64-bit bits.

If you've upgraded from previous versions of JAVA try completely uninstalling it and reinstalling it. Yes, it sounds stupid. Unfortunately it sometimes works. I've had all sorts of "fun" tinkering with it getting JIRA/Confluence to run, and with Cisco VPNs being broken by JAVA updates.

Blogger Alexandros June 22, 2016 7:15 PM  

Shot in the dark, but check your system environment variables for PATH (just search environment variables) and make sure there is an entry pointing to the java run time.

We run into this a lot when we install Eclipse on new windows machines.

This might help, but again this is a shot in the dark:

Anonymous Anonymous June 22, 2016 7:18 PM  

Also, you can confirm if you have both 32 bit and 64 bit installed by running the 'Programs and Features' control panel applet. It will have entries for:

Java 8 Update 91
Java 9 Update 91 (64-bit)

Blogger VD June 22, 2016 7:18 PM  

Checked, High is selected. I unchecked everything security-related, but still nothing.

Anonymous Mike June 22, 2016 7:20 PM  

Java developer here, try these:

1. Right click and choose run as administrator. Might be a permission issue; a lot of game developers and Java developers didn't write desktop software for Windows that envisioned a time when privileges would be an issue.

2. Look for the Java command to run it (often found in a shell/batch script) and run the command(s) manually from a command line. The way they set it up to run on Windows might be suppressing an error (common sloppy short cut Java devs take).

Blogger VD June 22, 2016 7:20 PM  

The log for VASSAL may have some info:


I have no AppData directory under C:\Users, unless it's hidden.

Blogger Dave June 22, 2016 7:21 PM  

Have you tried turning it off and then back on again?

Heh. Also unplug power and plug in again preferably while it is turned off.

Blogger VD June 22, 2016 7:22 PM  

Right click and choose run as administrator.

Tried, no dice.

Blogger Salt June 22, 2016 7:40 PM  

Dump Win 10. Heh!

Blogger LP9 Solidified in Gold! Rin Integra June 22, 2016 7:40 PM  

I dont know if its adobe, java and Win 10, its been nothing but trouble since WinD10 downloaded itself to my laptops. I am stuck with console gaming because I can't get anything to configure or work together since WinD9. The laptops and technology are all new but java throws a fit, adobe throws fits computer games wont play or load, its a bummer to lose progress built in pc games..

(On another note, the only good thing is outlook is mostly useless, nothing there will load at all so its almost like an app for drinking while checking emails. Laughs, Kidding.)

Blogger LP9 Solidified in Gold! Rin Integra June 22, 2016 7:42 PM  

Love Salt! Bro, its surreal - I'm not grand with tech and or fixing errors, even google isn't helping, its hilarious. Wind10 did install itself 2 months ago and its been nothing but grief.

Anonymous Slowpoke June 22, 2016 7:56 PM  

Your home directory/username should go between the two backslashed that are together, ie, c:\users\darklord\appdata...

Blogger Sun Xhu June 22, 2016 7:57 PM  

@20 "I have no AppData directory under C:\Users, unless it's hidden."

It is hidden.

Blogger Ostar June 22, 2016 8:03 PM  

Adding sites to the Exception Site List in the Java Control Panel/Security has fixed some sites. Try adding the Vassal loopback address, especially if you are on IP6.

Blogger James Dixon June 22, 2016 8:14 PM  

Is Java working at all, Vox. You can use the java verification page to check:

I assume it is, but starting from the basics....

Blogger James Dixon June 22, 2016 8:18 PM  

The VASSAL help topic on it not starting is at

No idea how much help it will be, since most of it has already been covered here.

Anonymous BGKB June 22, 2016 8:19 PM  

I only changed to windows 10 because they made it into malware, clicking the X caused it to download. I am still thinking about rolling it back. What do you guys think about rolling it back?

Blogger Orville June 22, 2016 8:29 PM  

Depends on if it is causing you problems. I went to Win10 on one of the computers on my desk at work, and for the most part everything works ok, but I'm not convinced to change my others that are packed with critical software.

Anonymous andon June 22, 2016 8:33 PM  

Win10 is spyware anyway. if I buy another laptop it will have Win7

Blogger jaericho June 22, 2016 8:40 PM  

What do you guys think about rolling it back?

I dunno what the timeline is for Win7 support being deprecated, but I'm not going to role back. I don't think it's a bad OS in terms of UX. And there are ways to suppress some of the telemetrics going back to MS. I betting on it getting better with time with regards to all that too.

But I'm also going to be using DX12 in the near future so maybe I've just made my peace.

Anonymous Anonymous June 22, 2016 8:44 PM  

The Supreme Dark Lord Wrote:


I have no AppData directory under C:\Users, unless it's hidden."

"AppData" is indeed hidden but it is also under your personal user folder so:


If you navigate to your user folder and then type "AppData\" into the Explorer path it will navigate down for you.

Blogger SouthRon June 22, 2016 8:47 PM  

I'm assuming you don't even get the first screen that allows you to pick the tour.

After installing VASSAL 3.2.16 for Windows it ran without error. Java 8.91 was already installed.

My VASSAL shortcut points to C:\Program Files\VASSAL-3.2.16\VASSAL.exe. The only non-system DLL it is linked against is msvcrt.dll in C:\Windows\System32.

That said all the VASSAL.exe does is launch the VASSAL Java app. I was able to verify it is using the 32-bit version of Java. You can use cmd.exe to bypass the wrapper and run the Java version directly.

Windows+R - Run prompt

Then paste all of this on one line with the quotes:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre1.8.0_91\bin\javaw.exe" -classpath "C:\Program Files\VASSAL-3.2.16\lib\Vengine.jar" VASSAL.launch.ModuleManager

This is the exact command line VASSAL.exe used on my machine. If you're fortunate it will launch the Module Manager. If not, it may provide more information about what failed.

Anonymous Anonymous June 22, 2016 8:47 PM  

I just had a thought... is the account you are running it from an Administrator account? As another poster mentioned it may have privilege issues such as trying to write something to a no-no folder.

Blogger Ostar June 22, 2016 8:54 PM  

If you customize Win 10 by using some registry tweaks and Powershell scripts that disable most pre-installed store apps like CandyCrush and put you back in control of Search/default Apps/telemetry, then it's a decent OS.
We've done dozens of Win10 upgrades at work and except for a few non-compatible programs, it's actually been a pretty painless transition.

Blogger Were-Puppy June 22, 2016 9:20 PM  

I haven't gone win10 yet myself, but I know a guy works with computers all day every day, and he likes it fine.

Tempted to let it install on a laptop.

Blogger The Other Robot June 22, 2016 9:25 PM  

@39: I have resisted the urge and still run Win-7 on one of my machines.

I guess I could try to install Vassal on my work machine.

Blogger The Other Robot June 22, 2016 9:34 PM  

@29: Some people claim that Java works. Your mileage might vary.

Blogger JohnG June 22, 2016 9:55 PM  

Actually I'm surprised you're using Windows 10...I figured after I couldn't use 7Pro anymore I'd switch to Linux...

Blogger 1337kestrel June 22, 2016 10:09 PM  

If you have computer problems I feel bad for you son
I got 99 problems but a glitch ain't one

Blogger Lazarus June 22, 2016 10:16 PM  

UPDATE 2: Finally figured it out.

This is why I hate computers but love my dog.

Blogger James Dixon June 23, 2016 4:27 AM  

> What do you guys think about rolling it back?

If you plan on keeping the machine past 2020, don't. If you plan on replacing it before then, go ahead and roll it back if you don't like Windows 10.

> Win10 is spyware anyway.

Yep. But the machine I have it on is a work machine, and if they don't care...

> I dunno what the timeline is for Win7 support being deprecated,
Windows 7 is already on extended support, and will end of life on January 14, 2020. See my comment to BGKB above.

If you can tolerate or take time to turn off the spyware features, Windows 10 is a reasonable replacement for Windows 7, and quite a bit better for a desktop user than Windows 8/8.1. Most people will probably want to install Classic Shell or one of the other start button restore programs though.

Anonymous Anonymous June 23, 2016 7:45 AM  

The Supreme Dark Lord wrote: "UPDATE 2: Finally figured it out. There was a VASSAL directory in the hidden User/Name/Appdata/Roaming directory..."

At somepoint it was installed for 'Just This User' versus 'Everyone on this Computer'. For reasons that escape me they decided to tuck those user installs away in a hidden folder. Hilarity ensues.

Anonymous Anonymous June 23, 2016 8:32 AM  

Re: Windows 10, it's fine. The UI is not as retarded as Windows 8 and they finally admitted that trying to unify a desktop and a tablet user interface was not the best of ideas. Who could have ever predicted that....

You do not want to be auto-upgraded though... plenty of utilities will stop working so block out some time to deal with that. I personally upgraded to Windows 10 and then did a fresh install to enable UEFI booting. The secret handshakes to make that work rely on how you format the USB stick (versus, say an option during install).

Anonymous Gecko June 23, 2016 9:24 AM  

If only VASSAL didn't require the JRE. I just can't justify installing that for VASSAL.

Blogger Quadko June 23, 2016 10:49 AM  

@48 "JRE"

Yes, originally I held my nose and installed it for VASSAL, but I must admit it was generally painless other than it's constant nagging "javascript updater wants to run as admin... allow or deny?" But other than that, JRE didn't have any of the expected negative impacts to my system that I expected, and that computer hardware is now "old and slow" - 32 bit, 3ghz dual core - but does the job for an everyday email, web, and older games machine just fine.

But someone using one of those javascript standalone-app compilers and producing an independent executable would rock. All the ones I've seen are pricy, though, so I don't know why anyone would pay the monetary and time cost just for my convenience and occasional VASSAL dabbling. :)

Blogger Owen June 25, 2016 12:50 PM  

You're such a unix dude with your forward Windows it's "\" LOL.... JRE is a travesty. Still using the old explode and unzip instead of proper windows installer.

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