Game error [201] Can't open the data files. Check that they exist and that you have permission to write to them. The program will now exit. [201].


I am receiving the error "Game Error [201]: Can't open the data files. Check that they exist and that you have permission to write to them. The program will now exit." when the game tries to launch after I log in, what can I do?

The "201" error indicates that the game cannot gain access to or find its "dat" or data files. This can have several causes, the first is if the files are missing.

If you open the folder the game installed into (The DDO or LOTRO folder found in C:\Program Files\Turbine or C:\Program Files (x86)\Turbine) you should see roughly the same as these images below. Note though that the first image is a DDO installation, and the second is LOTRO and both reflect the contents of a "High Resolution" installation which has some extra files, (mainly "client_hires.dat").


With the exception of the 'client_highres.dat' (and client_highres_aux_1.datx for LOTRO) if any of the other files are missing this can cause the 201 error.

File permissions or patching related issues:

The games need to be run on a non-corrupted full admin user account on the system; in the case of Vista/Win7 it needs to be run under UAC (User Account Control) on a "Normal User" via "TurbineInvoker" (It can be run on an "Admin User" with UAC disabled but issues can arise since the game was written with UAC/Normal in mind).

Windows XP users usually get this error if they are not using a profile with Administrator privileges, or one that has incorrect/misconfigured permissions (Malware is one corruption cause, often it "attacks" user permissions to make itself harder to remove from the system).

The game requires that the user logged into Windows has full administrator privileges to be able to write to the game data when the game needs to such as patching or installing/reinstalling.

(Win7 Vista users should try these steps as a "just in case" test, but use the Win7/Vista steps here instead, and click the "My Computer is on a Workgroup" option).

Perform the steps outlined in that article, but when you come to the steps asking to choose the "Account Type", please be sure to select the “Administrator” setting. After creating the new user account, click on the Windows "Start" button and choose the "Log off" option (not "Switch User"). Once you have logged off of your current Windows username, log into the newly created one to test.

If you no longer receive the 201 error, most likely permissions issues on your previous account were not allowing the game to access or modify its files.

Windows Vista/7 users should not need to run the game with "Run as Administrator" or any form of "Compatibility mode". If either of these options are being performed on the game files (TurbineInvoker, TurbineLauncher or dndclient/lotroclient) disable them (see steps further down).

On Windows 7 and Vista the game file "TurbineInvoker" is designed to elevate and run the game with sufficient permissions on systems where UAC is in use. In some instances though, UAC can cause issues with elevation and permissions and Vista/Win7 users receiving the 201 error after patching or updating the game should try temporarily disabling UAC as a test:

How to turn off UAC (Vista)
How to turn off UAC (Win7)

If you do not get the 201 error with UAC off, it is most likely because the game is not being launched correctly from TurbineInvoker or due to "Run as Admin"/"Compatibility Mode" being active.

To check for "Compatibility mode" or if one of the game's executable (exe) files is running as the permanent "Run as admin" option, use these steps:

  1. Click on the Windows "Start" button and choose "Computer"
  2. Double-click on your "C:" drive (it might show as "Local Disk C:").
  3. Then double-click on "Program Files" (Note: if you see "Program Files (x86)" pick that one instead).
  4. Now double-click on "Turbine" > "The Lord of the Rings Online" or "Dungeons and Dragons Online".
  5. In this folder look for these files "TurbineInvoker" "TurbineLauncher" "Lotroclient" or "Dndclient"
  6. - They are most likely going to display without the ".exe" but they will be listed as "Applications" and will have the "One-Ring" or red DDO "shield" icons for invoker/launcher and the "client" files will have a gray "box" icon.
  7. Right-click on each of those files in turn, choosing "Properties" > "Compatibility" (tab).
  8. Under that tab make sure none of these files is using a "Compatibility mode" setting, and/or using the "Run as administrator" setting.
  9. If they are, de-select the option and click okay to restore them to normal operation.
  10. - Note: You may have to do the same (Right-click > Compatibility) for the "shortcut" you launch from as well.

This error can also come up because of a patch file being corrupted during the download/patching process. Please go to the main installation folder as detailed above and check if any files exist in the Bindat and Patches folders. If there are files, please do one of the following, depending on what type of file there is. (Note: If you find no files or those folders do not list, skip to step "5" below)

  1. First make sure the game/game launcher is not running at all.
  2. If you find a temporary file (.tmp), please delete this file. Then try to launch the game launcher again and see if the game continues past the error.
  3. If you find a complete file with any extension such as .dll, .exe, or .dat, please select it, then press "Ctrl" and "C" (copy), click the "Back" button in the upper-left corner of the folder window and then press "Ctrl" and "V" to paste the file, and click yes to overwrite if prompted.
  4. Try to launch the launcher again and see if the game is able to continue past the error.
  5. If nothing is found in those folders, please go to the "Backup folder and copy the contents of that folder out to the main installation folder.
  6. This will revert the program files for the game to the previous versions. Now, restart the launcher and repatch the program files again and see if the game is now able to continue.


If you require additional assistance lease follow up with Technical Support.

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