SECDRV.SYS Not Loading in Windows 10; this will break thousands of older games.

Hello,

I have discovered an unfortunate problem with Windows 10.

Many games from the early-mid 2000's used Macrovision's SafeDisc (version 2) as a means of copy protection. At game startup, Windows loaded SECDRV.SYS to verify an original game disc was in the drive, after which the game would start.

When you try to run ANY game which uses this SafeDisc form of copy protection in Windows 10, the following happens:

 - You get an error window that tells you to log in with Administrator Privileges and to try again. This happens on any account, even those with Administrator access. The game fails to start.

 - If you then set "Run as Admin" compatibility mode on the game's startup file, the message disappears, but the game doesn't start.

 - Keeping a window open for C:\WINDOWS\SYSWOW64\DRIVERS shows SECDRV.SYS appearing at the moment you try to start the game. Based on its size, it appears to be the file that is present on the game disc (tested across several games), even though I see no disc activity and cannot find the file elsewhere on my system.

 - The Windows event log shows that SECDRV.SYS failed to load.


 - This happens both with an upgraded install (Windows 8.1 > Windows 10) and with a fresh Windows 10 install, with one of the games being installed immediately upon the fresh install completing.

 - On my Windows 64-bit 8.1 system, C:\WINDOWS\WINSXS has a folder called amd64_macrovision-protection-safedisc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.3.9600.16384_none_4e6b3758913c9240 with a SECDRV.SYS in it, presumably the one that ships with Windows. Windows 10 had such a folder in early builds, but it is missing from the release build. It appears SafeDisc support is missing entirely.

OTHER TESTING I HAVE DONE:

 - I updated one of the games to a version that no longer required the CD check, and it started immediately and ran perfectly once the check was removed. However, this is possible only with a very limited number of games, or resorting to fixes that violate the game's EULA or put the user's system security at risk.

 - I tried disabling driver signature verification and installing one of the games again; same problem.

 - Multiple compatibility modes; same problem. XP (Service Pack 3) mode and / or Run as Administrator mode make the error message go away, but the games still fail to launch.

SIGNIFICANCE:

Unless this is fixed in Windows 10, a massive catalog of older games will cease to function in Windows 10 for the simple reason that they cannot pass the SafeDisc copy protection check. I am accustomed to some games breaking with every new version of Windows as technology progresses (for example, the loss of the ability to run 16-bit programs in 64-bit Windows), but this seems to be an unnecessarily harsh change.

 

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Last updated September 20, 2018 Views 155,105 Applies to:

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Strange how this new os loads x box and app store on down load and suddenly I cant use any old game software when I ask for help with the on line assist the person was not interested at all totally offhand I guess the free down load is going to make Microsoft money in tech support and people downloading games they want you to buy?

Poor support don't care attitude same old microsoft 

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Well just please Microsoft can you make running these older games seamlessly possible again? I certainly don't mind a 2005 or earlier kernel driver to be banned from my 2015 system, so if that's the rationale, then that's defendable but in fact that might keep some people on Windows 8.1 just to make sure those games 'just work'. Make people decide once not to upgrade and they might never...

So the big question is, will there be a solution for this? We'll love to hear a statement about this from Microsoft.

If removing this has been based on telemetry or feedback during the insider builds, start with me to count all but telemetry from very, very early preview builds as coming from clean installs including the one I am evaluating Windows 10 RTM on right now. Most if not all of my games have not gone through any Windows 10 upgrade yet. Neither did I run an installer for any game except a select few modern ones. Mileage of other people may vary but I expect there's more people that have done something similar to my approach, hesitating to upgrade (enter large number here) GB of game data not knowing whether it'd be moved around or not (I've got more than 350GB).

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Yup same here. Such a deal breaker for me. I'm now forced to go back to windows 8.1 unless the issue is fixed.

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This is exactly the problem I have! However, I can't even go back to the Windows 8.1 because I apparently have an administrator account that I need to delete but cannot find. I think it is talking about the built in administrator which I activated to try to get my games to work. I can't even get ahold of tech support to help solve the issue. 

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Hey Ben890, 

See if you can delete the user profiles from your Users folder.  That worked for me and allowed me to roll back.  Best of luck. 

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I and thousands of players in my game forum have the same problem. Looking forward MS fix this issue.

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As Microsoft is marketing windows 10 as compatible with the software and hardware you use, one can only assume they will fix it. 

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Hello,

I have discovered an unfortunate problem with Windows 10.

Many games from the early-mid 2000's used Macrovision's SafeDisc (version 2) as a means of copy protection. At game startup, Windows loaded SECDRV.SYS to verify an original game disc was in the drive, after which the game would start.

When you try to run ANY game which uses this SafeDisc form of copy protection in Windows 10, the following happens:

 - You get an error window that tells you to log in with Administrator Privileges and to try again. This happens on any account, even those with Administrator access. The game fails to start.

 - If you then set "Run as Admin" compatibility mode on the game's startup file, the message disappears, but the game doesn't start.

 - Keeping a window open for C:\WINDOWS\SYSWOW64\DRIVERS shows SECDRV.SYS appearing at the moment you try to start the game. Based on its size, it appears to be the file that is present on the game disc (tested across several games), even though I see no disc activity and cannot find the file elsewhere on my system.

 - The Windows event log shows that SECDRV.SYS failed to load.


 - This happens both with an upgraded install (Windows 8.1 > Windows 10) and with a fresh Windows 10 install, with one of the games being installed immediately upon the fresh install completing.

 - On my Windows 64-bit 8.1 system, C:\WINDOWS\WINSXS has a folder called amd64_macrovision-protection-safedisc_31bf3856ad364e35_6.3.9600.16384_none_4e6b3758913c9240 with a SECDRV.SYS in it, presumably the one that ships with Windows. Windows 10 had such a folder in early builds, but it is missing from the release build. It appears SafeDisc support is missing entirely.

OTHER TESTING I HAVE DONE:

 - I updated one of the games to a version that no longer required the CD check, and it started immediately and ran perfectly once the check was removed. However, this is possible only with a very limited number of games, or resorting to fixes that violate the game's EULA or put the user's system security at risk.

 - I tried disabling driver signature verification and installing one of the games again; same problem.

 - Multiple compatibility modes; same problem. XP (Service Pack 3) mode and / or Run as Administrator mode make the error message go away, but the games still fail to launch.

SIGNIFICANCE:

Unless this is fixed in Windows 10, a massive catalog of older games will cease to function in Windows 10 for the simple reason that they cannot pass the SafeDisc copy protection check. I am accustomed to some games breaking with every new version of Windows as technology progresses (for example, the loss of the ability to run 16-bit programs in 64-bit Windows), but this seems to be an unnecessarily harsh change.

I have the same problem , downloaded MS 10 and then was  unable to get FS( 2004 ) to run despite trouble free reinstall and the app on desktop !!! got the same message about Admin permission . Tried all kinds of things including creating a second Admin Name ?? Also have a FSX disk and tried that to see if that would go because I don't think it required the second disk to be in the drive . It started to go then just sat their for 15 minutes with the drive just whineing away !!! I know there are a few spots that you have to wait awhile before it progresses on but this seemed way to long so I canceled it.  I'm a private pilot and I have a few bucks tied up in the Saitec yoke , throttle Quardrant and rudder which has been working great with windows 8 so this is one big disaster for me ( relatively speaking of course )

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The silence from Microsoft is deafening seems they do not care best they offer is roll back to windows 7 or 8 etc very poor considering they had lots of time to get windows 10 right ?

I wonder if they have a motive such as bundled app store and x box 1 support in o/s lets make some money by not supporting existing old software?

Either way its disappointing as on the whole 10 seems good in a lot of ways

Chris K the Madaxeman

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Well i won't be paying for the games again. I'm just irritated because Microsoft have said at least some of them are compatible.

If Microsoft did gather any telemetry on that, the data must have come from cracked games not legit ones, OR there is a solution in which case could someone please share?

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