secdrv.sys from Macrovision

In an earlier build (< 10100, I think, I don't recall), I had an old game using Macrovision secdrv.sys (which has been bundled in previous 64-bit Windows releases) working fine. When upgrading to later builds, this broke. The file is missing on my system in 10240. I see a few threads discussing weird sfc errors involving secdrv.sys, but I don't get those either.

Is this file present on your system, in system32\drivers? Game intallers might try to put a 32-bit version in syswow64\drivers, which will of course not work. It also seems that the (signed) driver from Windows 7 is not considered valid and thus not allowed to load.

 

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Last updated February 27, 2019 Views 1,476 Applies to:

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Hello Carl,

Thank you for posting your question on Microsoft community.

I would like to know some information about the issue so that we could help you better.

Do you receive any specific error message related to secdrv.sys file when you run the game?

I appreciate you for providing details about the issue.

"secdrv.sys" is a SafeDisk copy protection file associated with games and other programs using copy protection system driver file.

If you are getting missing secdrv.sys file errors or other errors with the secdrv.sys file, I would suggest you to re-install the program, uninstall and re-install a more up-to-date version, or check to see if any updates are available for the program associated with the file instead of attempting to copy a new version of the file to the computer.

File errors are often caused by more than just a single missing or corrupt file and copying just one file could cause more issues.

To uninstall the game, please follow these steps:

a. Press Windows + X keys and click programs and features.
b. Right click the software and click uninstall.

Now, you may reinstall the game and check the issue.

I hope this information helps.

Please do let us know if you need any further assistance.

Thank you

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Ratandeep, the specific game in question is Civilization IV. However, this applies to many products that were released before 64-bit systems became common. The only driver version actually bundled with the game is 32-bit and thus won't work. I had already tried patching and complete uninstall/reinstall before posting here.

In Windows 7, for example, a 64-bit version of the driver *was included in the OS distribution*. Therefore, older 32-bit products would still work. My main question is therefore if secdrv/SafeDisk support bundling in the OS has been deliberately removed.

What surprises me is that I am positive that the game did work in earlier preview builds. I can also confirm that the version of the file from Windows 7 systems will not load depending solely on the system log error message relating to invalid certificates.

There are also threads in this forum relating to e.g. build 9926 where it seems quite clear that secdrv.sys was indeed in included with a Windows 10 build number, although this specific thread relates to some error regarding the file checking functionality. The "feature name" Macrovision-Protection-Safedisc seems completely absent from my system.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/insider_wintp-insider_perf/system-file-checker-failed-to-complete-build-9926/6bf46a11-3842-4d4b-ad4a-4ceea2038839

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Carl,

I'm seeing this with other games as well, and if it's not fixed, Windows 10 is going to break MANY games from the early-mid 2000's. The typical symptom is a popup window saying "Access Denied: Please login with administrator privileges and try again" when you try to run the game. Setting Compatibility Mode to run as an administrator causes the game simply not to start, and viewing the event log shows why: SECDRV.SYS fails to load.

If I keep C:\WINDOWS\SYSWOW64 open in a window, I see the file appear at the moment of failure. 

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Gamboleer, thanks for confirming this.

Was your install fresh 10240 or an upgrade through builds? I am just trying to exclude the possibility that secdrv.sys is supposed to be installed from some other source, and that the upgrade path somehow botched that.

I have confirmed that the file does exist, with a proper build date, inside the wim file in the iso image for 9926 (an old build for which I happened to still have the ISO on disk).

It's not only that Microsoft is breaking compatibility with a 3rd party driver, it is the fact that this driver was bundled with Windows releases from XP up to 8.1. Therefore, third party vendors did not seek alternate solutions or patches to their software to make them independent of it.

Incidentally, I have been through this before. In Windows 2000, Safedisc compatibility was a real hassle with many games. If you wade through Usenet, you might find posts from me about how the solution for the "European" releases of the games (which did include Safedisc, while US versions did not, at the time) was to actually find gray area "no CD" hacks/cracks to the games... XP fixed that by bundling secdrv.sys.

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Hi Carl,

My first build was a "keep my current stuff" 10240 upgrade (from the download page after public release) from 64-bit 8.1. The first game I encountered the problem on was Impossible Creatures, one of Microsoft's own. The behavior was that I was given an error message that I needed to log in with Administrator privileges and try again. Setting Run as Admin on the startup icon resulted in nothing happening.

Thinking perhaps the upgrade went awry, I did a "delete everything and reinstall" from within Windows 10. I ASSUME this means it's the same as a clean, fresh Win10 install rather than an upgraded Windows 8.1, but you probably know better than I do.

HERE is more detail on the behavior I'm seeing from affected games.

I am loathe to resort to grey-market noCD hacks. This really needs to be fixed. I'm hoping it was temporarily removed for stability reasons to meet a deadline, and will be put back in.

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I too am noticing exactly the same problem, with a genuine Microsoft game that was working great with Win 8.1 64-bit (I have investigated, and there were signed drivers for it in the old build), yet nothing in the Win 10 64-bit build.

Would really appreciate Microsoft fixing this by providing the driver in an update v. soon.

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I got an auto reminder from the Community site now to close this issue. Although there are confirmations from other users seeing the same thing, I have not received anything close to an authorative response. For example, it might be possible that Safedisc compatibility was intended to work some other way. For example, the important matters should be the device and service name, not the name of the service binary. There could also be a shim that was intended to be in place to solve this.

If you see this, it would be interesting to know for example if the driver is still present in the 32-bit release, or in some edition of the OS. I also wonder if someone doing an upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 gets to keep it and get the signature verified, against all odds.

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I wouldn't close the ticket.  I am experiencing this same issue with a new install of Windows 10 on new hardware.  The driver is completely missing and the most recent bundled update form Microsoft did not resolve the issue.  In my case it is Microsoft's Game of Mythology and The SIMS Medieval that are not working but, like mentioned above, any game using this copy protection scheme will break if not corrected.

There are a number of posts on other forums regarding this issue with no response yet from Microsoft.  IMO, they need to at least respond with their official position on this before being let off the hook.

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I am having the same problem with age of mythology.  I upgraded from 8.1 where the game worked.  the secdrv.sys file is in the windows.old directory and I AM NOT able to copy it to the new windows directory.
engineer

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Has this been on the MS radar to fix?

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