Update on 27th October: see post 3 Update on 28th October: Microsoft XML Update (Thx to MonkeyGVirus), a suggestion from Isak and another XML solution by CivAlby, and a SoundBlaster 5.1 suggestion from Melissa. I ran into trouble with my german Civ4 on my US windows and wanted to post this solution in advance. Symtoms: You installed the EU (language doesn't matter) on an US Windows (XP + SP2 in my case). (might not be limited to this combo, see post 3) When you try to run the game it crashes without any error message while the loader says "Audio". After deactivating audio in the config file (AudioEnabled=0) the game gives you a zillion error popups during startup about some XML errors (float errors). Solution: Do: Start-> Settings -> Control Panel -> Reginal and Language Options -> and then either reset to English (United States) or Customize and change the Decimal symbol to . (dot) and group symbol to , (comma). Now everything (including AudioEnabled=1) should work. The reason for the problem is probably that Civ4 uses some MS parser/library to work with the XML files. The global schema files says: <Schema xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xml-data" xmlns:dt="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:datatypes"> and even tho you changed the decimal and group symbols like I did the internals of the MS libraries still work with the US symbols, thus it won't parse correctly. The alternative to my solution is to change all dots to commas, which is quite a bit more work So now a word of caution from me (I work with XML Signatures, XML report generators and other XML stuff at work) NEVER EVER USE ANY MICROSOFT XML IMPLEMENTATION! Even tho Visual Studio has a nice ER like GUI for working with XML you should only use it to review XML files. Anybody who wants to use XML in a program should use the XML libraries from Apache which are available in C++ and Java. Melissa discovered that changing voice recording to use the onboard devices, and all other sounds to use the SB Live card fixed her problems.