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 October 21, 2018 Views 158,308 Applies to:

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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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I didnt want to get involved but are you guys serious? Windows 10 is pretty damn good, but i can see wanting to stay to windows 7. But Apple? Apple doesnt have any videogame support much and arent renowned for their backwards compatibility! 

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well that's good to know. site I saw didn't mention was fixed. so why doesn't Microsoft respond?

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Yes - it IS Microsoft's fault. My problems are with |MIcrosoft's own games !

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You might be able to save some of your games by going to the game publisher's websites and checking to see if they have a fix or are willing to give you a Steam copy of the game, if it is available there. For instance Sega is the publisher of the Total War series of games and they made arrangements with Steam so that you can enter your CD/DVD key codes in the activate a product section, receiving a free Steam version of the game. I was able to recover my Total War: Rome, Barbarian Invasion, and Medieval II game titles through Steam.

Upon further reflection it really isn't Microsoft's problem, the game publisher's are responsible for choosing their own SecureDisk code providers and it is their responsibility to correct the situation. Although it is a shame that I don't see any of my old Microsoft Age of Empires games collection listed on Steam, that tells me that maybe I shouldn't buy Microsoft games.

Microsoft went out of it's way to make secdrv not work on operating systems other than windows 10. 

Microsoft is a vendour of other games, benefited from selling competing games.

What pissed me off was, this is a forum on a Microsoft site with people acting for Microsoft participating and all the information from Microsoft actors was useless, wrong and misleading. It wasn't until users figured out what happened that useful information became available!

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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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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 would really appreciate a reply from Microsoft on this one.

I appreciate its probably now an unsupported driver, but it in the spirit of ensuring compatibility it really should be addressed.

By not addressing this situation Microsoft are essentially leaving people with 2 options

  • not upgrading to Windows 10
  • downloading a "cracked" pirated copy of the software it is causing problems with

I don't think they should be encouraging either.

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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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I have found a solution that works on a wide range of older games affected by this problem.

Since the problem is with the check disk function of the games, replacing the .exe with a 'cracked' version, will skip the check disk and the game will run just fine.
It is as simple as replacing the .exe of the game with one downloaded from game copy world https://www.gamecopyworld.com/games/index.php

FInd the download for the relevant no CD fix, and replace the exe with the one given

Normally this practice is used by people pirating games, but I believe there's no harm using it on games we have bough and can no longer play.

I have not read the whole thread so apologies if this solution is already given, but I hope this quick reply is useful non the less

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