Microsoft made a lot of people mad last month when it disabled support for Safedisc and certain versions of Securom DRMs in Windows 10, which made hundreds of older PC games unplayable, short of downloading no-CD cracks. Rather than fix the problem, Microsoft is extending it to the older version of its operating systems. A new security update for Windows Vista (Service Pack 2), Windows 7 (Service Pack 1), and Windows 8/8.1 – 3086255 – has removed Safedisc support.
The description for 3086255 claims that it “addresses a defense-in-depth update for the secdrv.sys driver, a third-party driver,” acknowledging “The update turns off the service for the secdrv.sys driver. This may affect the ability to run some older games.”
Microsoft does provide a two workarounds for users to activate Safedisc games again, but warns that the “workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software”.
Run cmd.exe and type in ‘sc start secdrv’ to start the driver service. The driver can be turned off again by entering ‘sc stop secdrv’ into the command prompt.
Safedisc can also be turned on permanently via a registry edit:
- Click the Start/Windows icon button, type ‘run’ into the search bar, enter ‘regedit’ into that window, and click ‘OK’;
- Find the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\secdrv;
- Right-click on the file, and select ‘Modify’;
- Enter a number into the value data box – 4 to disable, 3 for manual, and 2 for automatic – and click OK.
Thank you Rock, Paper, Shotgun for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Smart Things.