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Civ 3, Windows Update KB3086255, & SafeDisc

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by Laurana Kanan, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. Laurana Kanan

    Laurana Kanan Don’t underestimate who I am.

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    Background

    There has been several posts concerning problems running Civilization 3 under Windows 10 and more recently under older versions of Windows after a recent Security Update. I thought instead of having several disparate threads/comments concerning the problem I'd compile them here under one thread.

    Older pc games (like Civ 3) use SafeDisc and SecuROM programs as a means of copy protection. Microsoft supported this in older versions of Windows through the secdrv.sys driver. However, it was found that that these two programs posed potential security threats.

    Beginning with Windows 10, the secdrv service can not be run or installed on a system so any older games that use these programs will no longer work. Additionally, with the September 2015 Windows Security Update KB3086255, the service has also been disabled on older Windows OSs (Vista, 7, 8, 8.1), causing these games to no longer run on these systems either.

    Options to correct this issue:

    1 - The first and best option would be to download a copy of Civilization 3 without the DRM protection. Full game downloads without DRM can be found at places like Gamersgate and Steam. Additionally, if you already have the full game installed, then the german PC Games site has No-CD versions of Civilization III Vanilla and Conquests available here. Instructions for installing the No-CD patch are here. Civ 3 should also be installed in a location outside the C:\Programs (x86) folder. Puppeteer has a great video tutorial here.

    2 - A second option would be to manually enable the secdrv.sys, or edit the registry as follows:
    Spoiler :
    To enable the service:
    To work around this issue, you can temporarily turn on the service for the secdrv.sys driver by running certain commands.

    Note: When you no longer require the service to be running, we recommend that you turn off the service again.

    Warning: This workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so that you can implement this workaround at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.

    To do this, type the following commands at an elevated command prompt. You should press Enter after you type each command.

    1. To disable the driver's service, type the following command:
      sc config secdrv start= disabled
    2. To set the driver's service to manual, type the following command:
      sc config secdrv start= demand
    3. To enable the driver's service (and to set it to automatic), type the following command:
      sc config secdrv start=auto
    4. To manually start the driver's service, type the following command:
      sc start secdrv
    5. To manually stop the driver's service, type the following command:
      sc stop secdrv

    To edit the registry:
    Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

    Or, you can edit the registry directly. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
    2. Locate and then click the following subkey in the registry:
    3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\secdrv
    4. Right-click Start, and then click Modify.
    5. In the Value data box, do one of the following:
      • Type 4 to disable the driver's service, and then click OK.
      • Type 3 to set the driver's service to manual, and then click OK.
      • Type 2 to set the driver's service to automatic, and then click OK.
    6. Exit Registry Editor.

    3 - A third option would be to uninstall the Windows Security Update KB3086255 by going to Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features and clicking on "View installed updates". Find the update, right-click, and then Uninstall. However, I wouldn't recommend this option since this is a security update after all.

    It should be noted that I haven't read of anyone having success running Civ 3 under Windows 10 even with the No-CD patch as of yet. But, installing Civ 3 as shown above in option 1 outside the normal C:\Programs (x86) location - either under the system drive or secondary drive - should work without any problems. However, I would still recommend waiting to update to 10 for at least a few more months until more bugs are worked out of the OS. There is also allegedly going to be a major update next month, which should fix many issues.

    For further reading:

    MS15-097: Description of the security update for the graphics component in Windows: September 8, 2015
    WINDOWS 10 WON’T RUN GAMES WITH SAFEDISK, SECUROM DRM
    September 2015 Windows updates KB3086255 breaks many games
     
  2. justanick

    justanick King

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    I have:

    http://www.civforum.de/showthread.php?97834-Civ3-und-Windows-10&p=6826080&viewfull=1#post6826080

    So they key seems to install it not on the system drive but a second SSD. Probably a seperate partition will work aswell.

    Also it seems to work via steam, than (so i assume) using the system drive is no problem:

    http://www.civforum.de/showthread.php?97834-Civ3-und-Windows-10&p=6850208&viewfull=1#post6850208
     
  3. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Well, I guess I'm going to stay with Win XP for as long as my current hardware doesn't break down... :think:
    (Fortunately Microsoft stopped shipping patches for XP last year... :D)
     
  4. graham04

    graham04 Chieftain

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    The list of non working games is enormous, there are are going to be thousands of unhappy people out there. I checked on steam, £2.99 for civ111 complete, so I may update to 10 and give that a shot.
    Graham
     
  5. Laurana Kanan

    Laurana Kanan Don’t underestimate who I am.

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    :eek: I hope you're not connecting to the internet with that system!

    graham04 - You would think with the sheer number of games and people affected by this change there would have been a better plan developed to handle this problem either on Microsoft's end or the game publisher's.

    Didn't you try 10 once already and switched back to 8.1? I wonder if doing a clean 10 install, which you can do once you've updated, would make any difference. In my experience clean installs are almost always better for avoiding system bugs. Unfortunately, once a clean install of 10 is done you can't revert back to an older OS.

    Unless there's a pressing need to have 10 installed on your system I'd wait a month or two until the next big update is out. If you do update again now, though, I'd recommend the Gamersgate version over Steam - similar price without many of the hassles. Best of luck!
     
  6. justanick

    justanick King

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    Well, maybe that was the plan all along. ;)
     
  7. tjs282

    tjs282 Disillusionist

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    What, deliberately obsoleting the CD-ROM libraries of every retro-gamer on the planet was M$'s plan? Oh my goodness, whyever didn't I think of that possibility? :sarcasm:

    After all, M$ has never done anything like that before *cough*Netscape*cough*...

    :agree:
     
  8. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    As has already been mentioned elsewhere: the No-CD patch should also do the trick, so no need to buy an additional Steam/Gamersgate/Whatever copy of the game that you already own.
     
  9. Laurana Kanan

    Laurana Kanan Don’t underestimate who I am.

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    From post #1 emphasis added:
     
  10. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    To be fair, the best solution would have been if Firaxis and others had never employed SafeDisc (or SecuROM, or other similar forms of DRM) in the first place. Nonetheless, it doesn't improve my opinion of Microsoft that they're removing support for it - at least if you have the default and Microsoft-recommended update settings in place - from Vista through 8.1 as well. A lot of nontechnical people are going to find their old games suddenly don't work anymore, and have no idea why. Even the technical people aren't likely to think a Windows update is the problem.

    All in all it makes me glad that, like Lanzelot, I have a working install of XP on all my computers. I may not have noticed it right away even on 7, since I often have the no-raze patch running, but if I hadn't seen this thread I probably would have run into it at some point when installing Civ3 on 7 and not realized the cause of it.
     
  11. markdata

    markdata Chieftain

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  12. Laurana Kanan

    Laurana Kanan Don’t underestimate who I am.

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    Find the conquests.ini configuration file located in the main Conquests folder and type "KeepRes=1" on the line after "[Conquests]" which will allow Civ to use your system's screen resolution.
    See here.
     
  13. markdata

    markdata Chieftain

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    The conquests.ini file doesn't show in the file list. How can this run without it??? I have the "hidden" box checked.
     
  14. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    If you don't uncheck "Hide extensions for know file types", it will just show up as "conquests". See the below screenshot for details:



    May look slightly different on 8.1, but IIRC this dialog is largely the same from 98 or so up through Windows 10.

    As for the second problem, do you have Civ installed somewhere in C:\Program Files, or C:\Program Files (x86)? And if so, do you have User Account Control (UAC) enabled?

    If so, you're probably running into the VirtualStore, a feature new to Windows Vista. There's a pretty good explanation of it at TWCenter, the Total War fansite. The solution I typically recommend is different than theirs however - installing (or reinstalling) Civ3 to somewhere other than C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86). For example, C:\Games\Civilization III. Make sure you back up your save files and scenarios first, however, since IIRC they are deleted if Civ3 is uninstalled. According to TWCenter, any "missing" ones should be in C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files, and the Civ3 folder therein.

    The only problem with reinstalling it is this Windows 8 patch would mean you couldn't reinstall with the patch applied and the service not disabled, so it may be simpler to just remember the VirtualStore location. Up to you. But my guess is that's where your missing files are. I'm pretty sure that's why I had all sorts of issues with Civ3 when I first moved to Vista in 2007, only then fewer people knew about VirtualStore moving things around.
     
  15. justanick

    justanick King

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    It can run "without" it by creating it. Before using a C3C installation the first time the file does not exist. Once you start your first game it will be created. Also you can create the file yourself. You can do that manually or simply use a copy of the file from an older installation.
     
  16. markdata

    markdata Chieftain

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    Thanks for all the insights - this is helpful. I broke out some old file management utilities and found an answer - the Win 8 install is different than the previous Win versions. The files I thought were hidden are actually pigeonholed in an unfamiliar C:\ location ---- users\[username]\appdata\local\virtualstore\Program Files (x86)\Atari\Civilization III Complete\Conquests. Under that are four files, the Saves folder, and a TempUndo folder: conquests.biq (the biq it uses, not the one in the Conquests folder), conquests.ini, conquests.mb, and LSANS.fot. This will help me reload games previously in progress and continue my experiments.

    Again, thanks all, and what's going to happen with M$ and all the other packages single use software customers have purchased over the years?
     
  17. markdata

    markdata Chieftain

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    Made the change to the ini file but it didn't change the partial screen display, including with a system restart. Any other ways to do this?
     
  18. tjs282

    tjs282 Disillusionist

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    I'm guessing that your changes to the conquests.ini have actually been saved in the VirtualStore.

    However, Civ3 was released before VS became a thing, so the game .exe doesn't 'know' about the VS folder. When you load the game, it looks for an .ini file in the installation directory, and if it can't find one (which would usually only occur the first time the game is loaded after installation), it creates one from scratch.

    If Windows is preventing the game from writing the .ini file to the installation path (because you installed in the default "C:\ProgramFiles\...\Civilization3\..."), the game therefore never finds an .ini where it 'expects' it to be. So instead it will write a new .ini every time you load the game -- which Windows will then quietly store in the VS directory, overwriting any previous .ini (and hence also your changes).

    Without reinstalling the game -- and assuming that you have the permissions/settings to do so -- the only way to fix this would be to manually copy the modified .ini file across from VS to the original install-path.

    That said, to avoid all future VS-hassle (especially if you want to use/create mods, etc.), I would strongly recommend (re)installing Civ3 elsewhere than the default location (e.g. to "C:\Games\"). Just be sure to copy all your savegames (or move the ...\Saves folder(s)) out of the VS location -- maybe simply to the Desktop -- before you uninstall/reinstall the game, so that they don't get wiped. Having done that, it's then simple to paste those files/folders into the new installation path.
     
  19. Laurana Kanan

    Laurana Kanan Don’t underestimate who I am.

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    Not to be rude markdata, but this had been explained to you several times already and why I asked in another thread where Civ was installed:
    Uninstalling Civ from it's current location and re-installing outside the Program Files (x86) folder will solve most if not all of your problems. You said you'd re-installed Civ outside of this location already:
    Did you re-install it back under Program Files (x86)?

    Edit: I see tjs282 has also explained this again up above.
     
  20. markdata

    markdata Chieftain

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    Well, two things - the Vista install I've used happily for years is dead in the water. I've been trying to get it to work on 8.1 - I've uninstalled and reinstalled several times in the different locations mentioned and while most of the times it works it is not yet stable. For example, on an (x86) install and the previous save file location I mentioned - the game works OK but today's Win Exp listing with "hidden items" checked now does not show any save game files where yesterday it did. Yet a file search in Win Exp gives the file locations where these files are not visible. For the previous install in the Games folder no save files were visible anywhere, again with "hidden items" checked. So I will attempt to uninstall, not a sure thing, and will reinstall to a clean Games folder and will let you know what happens.
     

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