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Author Topic: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255  (Read 18154 times)

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Offline mgb204

So it appears that Microsoft have decided that secdrv.sys, the driver for passing the Safedisc CD validation check, is no longer secure and a recent MS update KB3086255 will disable it on Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 systems.

It should also be noted that this update/change is a mandatory part of Windows 10, there is no real workaround for Win10 users. Unless you want or know how to manually digitally sign a driver for your OS (not recommended).

Information on this update from MS themselves can be found here.

In short this means if you've a CD version of SC4 (and indeed many other CD-Based games using similar technology/DRM) you will find it will no longer work after installing the update.

There are a couple solutions:

  • Use a workaround to re-enable the secdrv.sys driver - See MS support article above.
  • Get a digital copy of the game, Origin will replace it free if you ask them nicely it seems.
  • Buy a digital copy of the game, during sales this can be under $5/£5/5€ in price. I prefer to use DRM-Free software personally and highly recommend GoG (Good Old Games).
  • I'll get in trouble if I post option 4 - it would also stop the NAM from installing - but there is another way if you know about these things.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 06:02:07 PM by mgb204 »

Offline APSMS

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2015, 10:02:53 PM »
The workaround worked like a charm. Thanks for sharing; hopefully those of us with older PCs can continue to use this in the future. I suppose this doesn't prevent the BAT/LOT tools from working, does it?
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Offline Indiana Joe

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2015, 11:43:30 PM »
The workaround worked like a charm. Thanks for sharing; hopefully those of us with older PCs can continue to use this in the future. I suppose this doesn't prevent the BAT/LOT tools from working, does it?

Only programs that check for a CD are affected.  As I've been telling everyone: get digital copies of all your CD programs.  The age of CDs is over and support is going to disappear.

Offline mgb204

Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2015, 03:40:38 AM »
I understand the sentiment, but whilst there is a DVD drive in my computer, when exactly is this support going to stop? Of course new disks may not be produced, but that hasn't stopped people hoarding out of date formats for years. I still have a USB floppy drive that is called into action every now and again for important tasks, I won't be giving up disks in the near future personally.

Offline carlfatal

Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2015, 05:32:03 AM »
To get digital copies of programs is nice as long, as you can use a fast internet connection. But not all people on the world can. Old games like SC4 can be played by people anywhere on this planet, and now this should end?
For me personally another reason not to get a digital copy is Origin. I don´t like to install adware or spy programs to be able to play games. I don´t need to buy new games, so why should I be forced to use these programs although?

I am still using win XP, but sooner or later I will install Linux as system software.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 05:43:48 AM by carlfatal »

Offline APSMS

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2015, 12:47:37 PM »
@carlfatal: The recommendation for digital copies is non-DRM versions, like those from GOG or Amazon. These versions are completely offline compatible, and do not have anything that tracks you, and will work long after either company bites the dust.

I agree those with slow connections have it tough, when the move to strip support for physical media is strong. Unfortunately the market caters to those who have enough money to buy into the whole infrastructure, which is a shame as there are more people on the outside than we would expect. I guess the idea is to force everyone into the new model, but I suspect that's a philosophical/political argument for another thread.
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Offline j-dub

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2015, 06:33:43 PM »
Huh. Tried it myself, no dice. Not that it really was working safely before for my later system anyway.

windows 7:
start button then search programs and files:
type: CMD (run CMD as Admin)
in the CMD box type:
sc config secdrv start= demand

that one seem to work for me this time
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 08:13:48 PM by j-dub »

Offline mgb204

Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2015, 02:11:24 AM »
Of course the slightly more long-winded solution to all this (probably only useful if you have a few games) is to simply run XP as a Virtual Machine under your current edition of Windows. That way you can isolate it with a firewall from the internet for safety and still use your games, it's not so terribly hard to do.

Personally I won't be installing this update, I have a fairly sound backup usually and I can just re-image my OS if the worst were to happen.

Offline deora

Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2015, 03:24:24 AM »
Yep, you got me good Microsoft.
Needles to say i was really bummed from this Event.
Well i temporary uninstalled the Update but i will try j-dubs solution when Home.
I hoped using an image of my Game would make it work but it didn't
Another weird thing is that my Sims 2 Game wasn' t affected by this.Maybe some Graphics Errors but i guess it has nothing to do with it...

Offline vortext

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2015, 09:19:08 AM »
Over on the SC4 reddit sub someone posted a way to alter the SC4 shortcut so it temporarily turns on the needed service, see here.

I just tried it out by re-installing the update and changing the short cut: it works as advertised, SC4 starts without a hitch (though the command prompt window pops up as well, but that's a minor detail).

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Offline metarvo

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2015, 12:53:24 PM »
???

That's what I get for not checking in here to keep up with what's going on.  Needless to say, this piece-of-junk update is going off my computer.  As an aside, does anyone notice how Microsoft still keeps holding this "Free Windows 10 Upgrade" over our heads?  I haven't taken the bait yet; I know W10 doesn't play nice with SC4 and besides, what's wrong with W7 anyway? 
()stsfd()

I see the merit of digital copies of games; they're convenient, with no discs to lose or switch out should one want to play a different game.  They're not for me, though; I want to be able to hold the game in my hand.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 01:03:27 PM by metarvo »
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Offline compdude787

Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2015, 06:08:50 PM »
I just decided to "hide" the update so that Windows Update won't install it at all. Security risk? Whatever. The chances of anything bad happening are very low.
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Offline j-dub

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2015, 11:46:46 PM »
All I know is when I used that code from reedit, it also got rid of the error flags/brown boxes that would plague me.

Offline mgb204

Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2015, 04:41:29 AM »
If you are following the script on reddit, it might be worth noting that this part:

"D:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -CPUCount:1 -intro:off -CustomResolution:enabled -r1366x768x32 -IgnoreMissingModelDataBugs:on

Is SC4 setup for one particular users preferences. The switches you should use with your game, not to mention the install location, most will not use D:\ for example, could and should be modified for your own requirements.

So in my case I would modify this line to:

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Maxis\SimCity 4 Deluxe\Apps\SimCity 4.exe" -audio:off -intro:off -CPUCount:1 -f -CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1080x32 -l:"UK English"

Which is simply copy/pasted from said target line of my SC4 Shortcut. For more information on the possible command switches for use with the game, see this article.

I know this was covered in the article, but I wanted to make sure no one misunderstood this, since it seems many are using the line in the example and running into problems.

Whilst using the switch -IgnoreMissingModelDataBugs:on will remove all the brown boxes. If you add this you'll never know about problems with your plugins folder either. It's probably better to simply download the missing files, even without brown boxes, you will have empty spaces you shouldn't.

I don't personally think there is a security risk here, I think this is motivated by a commercial decision. Don't want your games disabled on Win10, I'll go back to an older version of Windows then... oh wait, that no longer makes any sense. Has anyone noticed how desperate MS are to get you under their control with updates you can't turn off... scary if you ask me - who's computer is it?

Offline FrankU

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2015, 04:44:18 AM »
Over on the SC4 reddit sub someone posted a way to alter the SC4 shortcut so it temporarily turns on the needed service, see here.

This one worked for me, although I had to find out that the author forgot to include the 4 in the name of the application...
Anyway, this is nice. I would never have found out by myself.

Thanks!

Offline YouBet

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2015, 01:28:07 PM »
Anybody lose their DAMN Menus following the Windows update? I'm running SC4 on a Win 7 platform.

I used the script workaround discussed above, but now my DAMN Menus are blank (i.e., the link is there but the menus/submenus and contents are not ). The lots previously in my menus are still hidden (as they should be), but otherwise, nada.

Been scouring the DAMN Manager pages but have not found anything that works, yet.

Edit: Troubleshooted the problem further and found a solution that works on my system. The DAMN menus won't appear when the "Target" path in the properties window of the SC4 shortcut is changed (at least not on my setup). The script to re-enable the driver (that Microsoft's update disabled) changed the path. To get the DAMN menus to populate as they had previously, I had to reset the target path in the shortcut to what it was previously (i.e., I cannot use the script to temporarily re-enable the driver). Accordingly, I have to manually reset the driver (using j-dub's trick) to get SC4 to run.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2015, 04:27:17 PM by YouBet »

Offline Shark7

Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2015, 02:24:27 PM »
Over on the SC4 reddit sub someone posted a way to alter the SC4 shortcut so it temporarily turns on the needed service, see here.

I just tried it out by re-installing the update and changing the short cut: it works as advertised, SC4 starts without a hitch (though the command prompt window pops up as well, but that's a minor detail).

Thanks for the link vortext, this worked perfectly for me.

Of course if MS would actually warn you what the updates it is about to install could do, one could maybe make an informed decision on whether to install or not.  You know instead of sending you to their technical page that may or may not give you the info you need.  And if you have auto install (I don't thank goodness), then you may never figure out what happened. 

Now to go and undo the rollback on my vid card update that I had thought caused the problem.  I am so glad I decided not to update to Win 10 and its forced auto-updates.  ::)

Offline deanva

If you have the disc and the 20 digit code that came with the game you can contact EA/Origin live help and they will give you a free digital copy of Simcity 4

Offline jjeffrey

Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2015, 09:57:31 PM »
windows 7:
start button then search programs and files:
type: CMD (run CMD as Admin)
in the CMD box type:
sc config secdrv start= demand

This one worked for me. Thanks J-Dub!
Jeffrey

Offline noahclem

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Re: CD Version of SC4 will stop working if you install Windows Update KB3086255
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2015, 04:58:57 PM »
I had this problem earlier but was able to resolve it by reactivating the secdrv as specified eralier in this topic. Unfortunately, I've had very similar difficulty opening SC4 today and was wondering if it could be related and if anyone else is having the same experience. I was unable to fix it by using the tricks that worked last time  &mmm