UT2003 Engine Compatibility with 32-bit Windows 7:
The first Unreal works in 32-bit Windows 7, (implying, that) you should probably have no problems with the newer UT2003 engine. (Which turns out to basically be the case, please see the end.)
So, I went to the trouble, to test the ACTUAL UT2003 engine for you, in 32-bit Windows 7 (Ultimate.)
Testbed (my) hardware: This, (the CPU,) actually turns out to matter, below...
- Motherboard: Asus M2R32-MVP
- CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.6GHz Dual-Core
- Memory: Kingston 4GB DDR2 800 (PC2-6400) CL5
- Video Card: Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4850 1GB w/ 11-5_vista32_win7_32_dd_ccc_ocl
- Hard Drive 1: Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 240GB SATA II MLC SSD
- Hard Drive 2: Western Digital 500GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache SATA
- Optical Drive: LG Black 12X BD-R SATA Super Multi WH12LS30
(Windows Updates installed, up to 6/8/2011. As well as various programs.)
Testing and results:
I installed "Unreal Tournament 2003 Retail Version 2107", from three CDs. (On C:\, the SSD.)
It won't launch un-patched. (Even before Windows 7. It gives a serious Critical Error.)
Then I applied the (last) official "Unreal Tournament 2003 Retail Patch 2225 for Windows".
(Epic's 2225 Patch also removes their own SecuROM CD-check, for their Play Disc (Disc 1.))
The game launched flawlessly. I cranked up all of the settings until it said, "HOLY SH*T!"
I started "SINGLE PLAYER", watched the intro, beat the first two levels, and entered the third.
I quit the game, and then re-launched it, but it wouldn't re-launch! It crashed, saying:
Negative delta time! History: UGameEngine::Tick <- UpdateWorld <- MainLoop
It's a Known Compatibility Issue with AMD X2 Dual-Cores, here are three quickly found fixes:
1) Run UT2003 in Windows 98 / Windows ME Compatibility mode. (Very easy...)
(Right-click the 'Play UT2003' icon > Properties > Compatibility, it's there, near the top.)
2) Install "AMD Dual-Core Optimizer Version 1.1.4" from
It's basically an updated CPU driver, to compensate for incompatibilities with multi-core CPUs.
3) Use "Win2000 Launcher" from http://www.majorgeeks.com/Win2000_Launcher_d438.html
Oh, and 4) you could also use a single-core CPU. NOT recommended.
I tested 1), and it works. I went to test number 2) for you...
I turned off number 1), but, after two (very quick) launches, the launching problem DID NOT return.
So I'm unable to test number 2), (without much trouble,) but I'm quite sure it'd also work... Wait...
After waiting (I waited about 30 minutes,) the problem DID return, at which time I tested number 2).
Number 2) also works, independently of number 1). It will (almost certainly) only work for AMD CPUs.
I didn't bother testing number 3). (Or 4).)
Problem, Solved. [Your two questions: (1): Issues are listed here. (2): UT2003 will run anywhere.]
(Also know, versions of Unreal Tournament 2003 purchased from Steam, (by other users,) may not work.)
I then also went "ON-LINE" and played on three different 2225 multi-player servers, without any problems.
I went back, used my new ON-LINE account, and watched the single player tutorial which I skipped earlier.
I have carefully tested most major functions of the program without experiencing any problems with it.**
That's as completely as I can practically test it for you, without having your content. Or getting paid!
Summary and Solution:
So great news, yes, the UT2003 2225 engine works perfectly fine in Windows 7 32-bit! :O)
**However, multi-core CPU drivers, may not work well with UT2003! If your CPUs are AMD brand, install the "AMD Dual-Core Optimizer", (OR, you can:) If they're Intel: Run it in Windows 98 / Windows ME Compatibility mode.
If you have any other problems, they would be with the content that you purchased/developed, in which case, see the content creators. And if you can't get their help, there are easily thousands of capable "3D content creators" who would love to help you. (Interview 5 or 10, and surely one (or two) of them will take care of you.)
But, you SHOULDN'T have any problems. Definitely not from Windows 7, anyway! Good luck! :O)
Of course, you should test it on a single installation first. Search newegg.com for Windows 7. ($100.)
I just did... (6/8/2011)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 32-bit - OEM $99.99 + Free Shipping
...looks good. (I wouldn't think the difference between Ultimate and Home Premium would matter here.)
P.S. If you're Buying multiple new Computers to run this on, buy just one first, and test it like I did, (if not even more,) first. (If they won't sell or lend you just one, to test with, buy them somewhere else. Really.)
P.P.S. (Among other reasons,) to avoid Hardware Compatibility problems, I always strongly recommend avoiding Dell. You said, "However, we expect to run into compatibility issues that could be expensive to resolve." With you using Dell, I totally believe that.