Oddly, once I have the game up and running it works splendidly. I haven't actually experienced any lock-ups or crashes whilst playing the game. Unlike a lot of unfortunate people here.
But I do have an odd problem that I don't believe anyone else has mentioned.........( and I spent a while looking! ).
When I first try to load the game, the empire interactive mini-video that plays just before the sick puppy one sometimes hangs on just a white screen. Generally I fiddle around in task manager and try to close it down as it stops responding, and after waiting, probably five minutes or so, it exits. Very odd. If and when it gets past this point, it's fine, although the videos play quite roughly and stutter. I reckon this is down to Windows Media. But I'm not sure what the problem is.
I've reinstalled directx9 and windows media 9 and the detonator44.03 drivers.
My machine is quite lowly in comparison to others here that are experiencing more serious hiccups, but it still is most frustrating.
My PC is:-
MSI mainboard MS-6340 AMD 1100 Socket A Athlon 512MB PC133 ram 40GB HD (10gigs free) Geforce 3 Ti 500 with 128Mb Windows XP home Sounblaster Live Value.
It may also be worth going to the windows update site and downloading the latest windows updates to your computer, and maybe a couple in the Hotfixes in the main update area (non critical area). In particular there is a hotfix there that stops videos from hanging, and it could also prevent problems on your system.