|I did exactly this, and mine still crashes on startup. Any ideas?
Well, does it crash with the Direct3D error? Or is it another type of error. I used the 77.11 drivers from www.laptopvideo2go.com
(the thread with the title: v78.10, v78.11 | NEC/PACKARD-BELL/FUJITSU/DELL). You might need to uninstall it and reinstall. Are you playing this on your Alienware machine? That has a Radeon video card. Radeon + AOE III has problems too. Google your error. I'm sure someone has talked about it once or twice.
I also noticed that once you were in the program, if you go to options, you can change the resolution to anything you want; even 1920x1200.