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New Windows Vista/7/8 update disabled old CD-ROM games from running

Windows 10 players installing no-CD cracks or re-buying the games via modern digital distribution services which don’t use the now-abandoned DRM.Windows wouldn’t run games that employ SafeDisc or certain versions of Securom DRM. This decision was made by Microsoft in response to security concerns, but as a side effect rendered hundreds of old games unplayable on the new operating system.

A security update in Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. that rely on SafeDisc DRM will no longer run with Windows update KB3086255. While a workaround is available, Microsoft warns that it could leave your computer or network more vulnerable to viruses or other malicious software. 

The description for update ‘3086255’ says that it “addresses a defense-in-depth update for the secdrv.sys driver, a third-party driver.” It then explains how it addresses that problem: “The update turns off the service for the secdrv.sys driver. This may affect the ability to run some older games.”

Safedisc was a DRM method that shipped on older CD-ROM games in the mid-aughts. Some well-known games that use this scheme include Battlefield 1942, Sim City 4, and Grand Theft Auto III.
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How to get games running again

Fortunately, Microsoft has published a workaround for Windows Vista, 7, and 8, letting users temporarily or permanently re-enable their games:

The temporarily solution is to launch the Command Prompt (Click Start, click Run, type “cmd,” right-click Run as Administrator), then enter the following command:

sc start secdrv

After playing, close the security loophole by opening Command Prompt again and typing the following:

sc start secdrv

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