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I've tried getting this game to start every which way, with no luck. It is a box CD, it ran fine under Vista, but my Vista machine smoked and died. Got a new Windows 10 machine. I can run Rome TW 2 Ok, but Medieval II not at all.
Tried attaching dxdiag here but doesn't seem to have worked, I can provide in email if needed. I can't follow all the other instructions you gave for Win10 problems, because I'm not running this thru Steam. This is a plain vanilla Win10 install, installed its own drivers, and I've installed the most current from vendors (Nvidia, etc.).
It takes so bloody long to install, and I've installed it half a dozen times now with all the compatibility options, with no luck. Can someone please advise on how I can get it working?