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Based on a translation of a German interview first done by Rock Paper Shotgun, it seems that DRM has struck again with stopping legitimate copies of games being played, but this time around it’s specific to Windows 10. A big amount of these cases revolve around the disc-based systems of old, which include games like The Sims, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, and Grand Theft Auto 3. Specific cases have already popped up in the Microsoft support forum as well, as files like SECDRV.SYS is causing problems for SafeDisc as well, it’s not in the Windows 10 builds.  Microsoft’s Boris Schneider-Johne made a couple of statements about the problems at this year’s Gamescom, as shown below.

Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10. There are just two silly exceptions: antivirus software and stuff that’s deeply embedded into the system need updating – but the developers are on it already – and then there are old games on CD-ROm that have DRM. This DRM stuff is also deeply embedded in your system, and that’s where Windows 10 says “sorry, we cannot allow that, because that would be a possible loophole for computer viruses.”. That’s why there are a couple of games from 2003-2008 with Securrom that simply don’t run without a no-CD patch or some such. There are a couple of patches from developers already, and there is stuff like GOG where you’ll find version of those games that work.

RPS did contact SafeDisc and they commented indicated that the DRM hasn’t been supported for years now, and the driver hadn’t been updated for a long time, but they were surprised that it wasn’t moved over in the migration to Windows 10.

Wanted to drown people in the pool by deleting the ladder? Not so fast, it won't work if you update to Windows 10.

Wanted to drown people in the pool by deleting the ladder? Not so fast, it won’t work if you update to Windows 10.

I’m in the process of contacting Microsoft to get their comment on the story and any information about if there are any planned fixes for the problems in question. The decision to maybe hold back on some of these elements however may have been purposeful due to possible security holes (as mentioned by Schneider-Johne), but it is unclear if that was fully intentional or not.

Quick Take

As if you we need another reason to hate DRM. I get the concept behind it for companies, but it just has been proven time and time again that it hurts the paying customer all too often, and this is another example. And I’m unsure Microsoft should do anything about it, considering the risks it puts them in. Bad news all around.

Shaun Joy

Staff Writer

YouTuber Dragnix who plays way too many games, and has a degree in Software Engineering. A Focus on disclosure on Youtubers, and gaming coverage in general.

  • SevTheBear

    Well if the DRM software is outdated and is a big security risk I can see why no one it using it anymore. Sure it sucks that some games will not run on the new OS with it. But as the article said *a no-CD patch or some such* is the best way to deal with old shitty DRM.

  • SevTheBear

    Things being illegal have never stop people in the past nor will it now 😉

  • ParasiteX

    As Al Bundy once said. “It’s only cheating, if you get caught” =)

  • Guy Montag

    Thank goodness for Alcohol 120.

  • I’ve run into SafeDisc while trying to run games under WINE, and if my experiences are anything to go by, it’s not that simple.

    SafeDisc mucks with the CD filesystem at quite a low level (lower than WINE emulates; it just uses the host OS’s drivers), so the DRM has to be used once, to get the files off the disc, before you can use the no-CD patch. And if the DRM code doesn’t work…

  • Toastrider

    “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.” 🙂

  • Haze

    So DRM was a virus after all
    We always knew

  • Niwjere

    Illegal is not necessarily wrong, nor is wrong necessarily illegal. We could outlaw speaking but that wouldn’t make it wrong to speak — it’d just make it illegal to speak.

  • Niwjere

    How about we just do away with DRM altogether? Anyone who knows anything about the tech industry already knows that DRM doesn’t actually protect anything. The number of DRM schemes from the past twenty years that took longer than a week to crack can be counted on a single hand. DRM is snake oil, sold to gullible investors who want someone to tell them that their investment is being “protected”. It accomplishes nothing but making older games utterly unplayable after a while and raising the price of new games (because someone has to pay for that expensive DRM scheme).

  • Reptile

    You can emulate DVDs / CDs with things like Daemon tools or Alcohol 120%. That isn’t a “no CD patch”.

  • Jesus Zamora

    Well, the older games are unplayable until you find a cracked version, in which case, it’s back to the races.

    This is, however, the prime reason I don’t buy many PC games anymore. DRM schemes (including Steam) aren’t guaranteed to be around forever, or even be ready when a new OS comes out. If it’s not GoG, or a platform that CLEARLY marks the games that are DRM-free, I stick to physical console releases. At least I can get the consoles fixed if they break.

  • Fenrir007

    Once again, pirates have the superior product. Sure pays to be a paying consumer, huh?