Windows update disables Safedisc DRM for Vista, 7 and 8 | PCGamesN

Windows update disables Safedisc DRM for Vista, 7 and 8


Following on from news that Windows 10 rendered some old disc-based games unplayable, namely those that used SafeDisc and Securom, it transpires that Microsoft have just done the same for Windows Vista, Win 7 and Win 8.

Microsoft released a security patch that did the deed, removing SafeDisc support on the aforementioned operating systems. If you want to play those games, you'll have to download a no-CD crack, or repurchase the game through a digital distribution platform. Some people will probably just pirate them. 

There is a workaround, however, as the update turns only off the secdrv.sys driver. You need to manually turn it back on by going into command prompt or editing the registry, but beware this could open your computer up to an attack. 

Here's how to make the changes via the command prompt:

  • Run cmd.exe as an Administrator and then type the following command: sc start secdrv
  • To turn it off again and re-secure your system, type: sc stop secdrv

If you want to turn it off permanently, you need to make the change via the registry by using the following steps:

  • Click Start, click Run, type 'regedit' in the Open box, and then click OK.
  • Locate and then click the following subkey in the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\secdrv
  • Right-click Start, and then click Modify.
  • 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.
  • Exit Registry Editor.

Or, you know, you could just do the first thing. 

Thanks, RPS

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AnAuldWolf avatar
AnAuldWolf Avatar
2 Years ago

I actually agree with Microsoft, here! No, I do.

Securom was more than a touch rootkit-y. I can't remember if it was one of those that installed itself with RING0 access like Starforce, but it probably was. Hack into that? Gain access to all that can be accessed, going above and beyond what the poor computer's owner has access to.

I've always said that cracks are more safe and trustworthy from a computer security perspective than DRM. Some DRM (like Steam) is harmless. Other forms of it can be the equivalent of putting your computer through a blender. Not something you'd want to do??

The amusing part here, though, is that Microsoft themselves are admitting this. This is basically MS saying that you're safer and better off getting a crack from, say, a trustworthy torrent or Usenet than you are with the DRM.

Which, really, has been my issue with DRM from day one. It's not so bad so long as it doesn't have the potential to deck your computer like Zangief after going on a bender. Sadly, most forms of DRM DO have that potential.