Well, that would explain it! Unfortunately, AOE II is what I and my friends have had to resort to since this computer is uncooperative with Conquerors. Being a fan you must know how aggravating that is (I think all I need to say is "farm queuing," haha!) The fact that the game itself is playable makes it even more frustrating, as the only difference is the goddamn startup to the expansion. Plus, as stated, I've gotten the same error and while perhaps on a fluke I have found a way in a half dozen or so times and the game plays perfectly fine.
Also, I (and by "I" I mean myself and the guys I play with) have already tried the partitioning route, and no such luck.