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FYI: Steam drops XP/Vista in 2019

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Reply 41 of 225, by ZellSF

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infiniteclouds wrote:

Being that Steam has many DRM-free games on there already -- in that you can install the game and launch the .exe without Steam - they should just include offline executable installers for these titles. Negates the need for a legacy client altogether. Download the installer from your library on your main machine, then copy it over to your XP machine.

I think we have a better chance of seeing this than a legacy client.

That would be Valve saying Steam DRM, a service Valve offers, is a bad thing. That's not happening.

Not to mention it might be against agreements they have with distributors, they might not want offline installers.

Also it's a lot of work to satisfy 0.22% of your user base that you're giving up on getting future purchases from anyway.

Reply 42 of 225, by Destroy

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DosFreak wrote:

The steam fanboys always mention that Valve will push out a magical patch to make their (ie Valve) games offline when Valve disappears.

Yes, I will be anxious to see how and if Valve handles this also.

Reply 43 of 225, by badmojo

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Destroy wrote:

Yes, I will be anxious to see how and if Valve handles this also.

I doubt Valve would be spending any time whatsoever thinking about what they'd do in the case of them going under, it'd be up to the hackers to sort it out I'm guessing.

If it's broke, then fix it!

Reply 46 of 225, by BeginnerGuy

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infiniteclouds wrote:

I might be wrong, but I think even if you install all of your games and go into offline mode... it will eventually try to phone home.

It would work indefinitely as long as you keep it in offline mode, but you better have a good mirror of your OS on tap in case something goes bad, because once you have to reinstall steam -- you HAVE to get online the first time as far as I know.

I've already set up an XP virtual machine to play around with. I have to check if a Virtual Machine to Physical Machine migration from XP is possible.. I've done this before with Windows Server editions. This way I can just have a fallback prepared for worst case.

Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?

Reply 47 of 225, by Shagittarius

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Unfortuanately not true, even in offline mode the games will eventually refuse to run unless you reconnect. I have had this happen to me first hand.

Reply 48 of 225, by appiah4

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Shagittarius wrote:

Unfortuanately not true, even in offline mode the games will eventually refuse to run unless you reconnect. I have had this happen to me first hand.

This has never, ever, not once happened to me and I do not believe it to be true, as Steam's own statements on the subject explicitly refute it: https://steamcommunity.com/discussions/ ... 3745925033

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Reply 49 of 225, by Shagittarius

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Well it happened to me. I had steam in an offline mode on a machine (I think I might have been connected to the internet but had been running steam in offline mode) and after some time it gave a vague error and would not launch the game. Allowing it to connect again fixed the issue. This may trigger when valve specifies an update is required even in offline mode. Probably when they are updating their DRM measures. Maybe you can avoid it by being completely off the internet or blocking everything steam related.

I'm not arguing, this happened to me first hand, for whatever the reason. That discussion you linked to says nothing about allowing steam to run indefinitely, its just talks vaguely about making steam offline mode "More Robust".

Reply 50 of 225, by ZellSF

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Destroy wrote:
DosFreak wrote:

The steam fanboys always mention that Valve will push out a magical patch to make their (ie Valve) games offline when Valve disappears.

Yes, I will be anxious to see how and if Valve handles this also.

They won't. Any amount of critical thinking would make that obvious.

Reply 51 of 225, by BeginnerGuy

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ZellSF wrote:
Destroy wrote:
DosFreak wrote:

The steam fanboys always mention that Valve will push out a magical patch to make their (ie Valve) games offline when Valve disappears.

Yes, I will be anxious to see how and if Valve handles this also.

They won't. Any amount of critical thinking would make that obvious.

I would imagine Valve/Steam would be acquired by Microsoft in such an event. Millions of people have spent a decent amount of money on their digital Steam libraries and MS knows full well they made a big mistake letting a 3rd party control PC gaming on their own operating system.

As for what that means for our game libraries, your guess is as good as mine. I highly doubt Valve would just roll out a goodwill patch effectively breaking their DRM before selling off. Just like they wont give us a legacy steam client for XP.

I've never read Steam's fine print, pure speculation.

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Reply 52 of 225, by shamino

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A few years ago I was setting up Steam on a P3 machine, and it was crashing due to an undocumented requirement for SSE2. There was a thread where somebody figured out how to fix the SSE2 issue, which involved reverting to an older version of one of Steam's .dll files (crashhandler.dll).
In order to prevent Steam from auto-updating back to the current (broken) version, there was some change that had to be made to one of the config files. Putting it in offline mode was apparently not sufficient. I do think I've seen Steam update itself when offline. If that happens after XP support is disabled, there's some risk it might break our installs.

My old notes say this:

Must replace the broken file with this, and then write a steam.cfg file which prevents updating it. […]
Show full quote

Must replace the broken file with this, and then write a steam.cfg file which prevents updating it.

That file just needs to say this:

BootStrapperInhibitAll=Enable

described at
steamcommunity.com/discussions/forum/1/ ... nglish#p24

I'm not swearing that this info is correct, but to the limited extent that I used that P3, it never updated to a broken version. Steam was still working on that machine last I tried it (not that it was recent).
If I remember correctly, I think the steam.cfg file was also getting wiped sometimes - I *think* when the system was put online. Hopefully not every time I ran Steam.
Assuming that this works, I have no idea if it still works the same way on more recent versions of Steam. That install was a few years ago (the link says 2014).

I've disabled SteamGuard on my account, because it forces an "activation" step for any new install. This might be a pitfall when cloning. So I'm in favor of disabling SteamGuard, but use a strong password of course.

Reply 53 of 225, by shamino

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My current plan for a WinXP Steam image is this:

- decide the hardware platform
- SATA channel running in IDE mode, not AHCI. I think this will make it easier to clone and use on a different motherboard in the future.
- set up a reasonable sized, single disk partition for XP in a utility that aligns it properly
- Basic XP install on that single partition. Keep it simple, avoid installing anything not relevant.
- SteamGuard disabled
- all games installed and tested working in offline mode
- set that steam.cfg parameter to prevent Steam updates
- run once more and see if the .cfg parameter stays intact.
- defragment
- use the utility "sdelete" to zero out free space. 'sdelete -z C' will do this to drive C:
- make the disk image. Free space will be 0s so it's highly compressible.
- test the disk image on another drive, maybe even a different motherboard, and see if it seems to work.

The archived image doesn't need to represent a huge partition. After restoring the image, utilities like gParted can be used to expand the partition to fill a large disk.
I was starting to do this on an SSD a while back, but I've run into sporadic, infuriating issues with SSDs on this motherboard for whatever reason. I decided it wasn't meant to be and have switched to a Seagate SSHD instead.

I'd be interested in critiques and any opinions of other steps that we should follow. It's probably a good idea to test this before it's too late to fix mistakes. I've had trouble getting motivated to spend time on this "Steam preservation project", but I am making some progress on getting games downloaded at least.

Reply 54 of 225, by tpowell.ca

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Does anyone have a thread on how to fix all the issues with Steam on older hardware/XP setups (pre-SSE$2) ?
Seems there are multiple issues at hand.

- SteamGuard disabled ?
- set that steam.cfg parameter to prevent Steam updates (BootStrapperInhibitAll=Enable)
- reverting to an older version of one of Steam's .dll files (crashhandler.dll v2.35.92.75)

Is this still necessary?

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Reply 56 of 225, by Scali

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Azarien wrote:

We don't know what they'll do after Dec 31, 2018. One possible outcome is that the client will update itself regardless of the OS, bricking XP and Vista installations.

This is what they did before with Win9x and non-SSE installations I believe, so I won't hold my hopes up here.

scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it-r ... ogramming/

Reply 57 of 225, by dickkickem

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squiggly wrote:

Fuck Valve.

Agreed, they've been shitters for several years so far.

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My vintage rigs:
Fujitsu Lifebook E330 - Working w/ Win95
Fujitsu Lifebook C352 - Nonworking 🙁
HP Pavilion A520N - Working w/ WinXP
AST Ascentia M 5260X - Working w/ WinME
IBM ThinkPad 770 - Working w/ Win2K

Reply 58 of 225, by DosFreak

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I was checking out the latest smartsteamemu and it looks like it's still compiled with Visual Studio 2010 so should work fine for XP and Vista. Most games will load fine using this, for the ones that don't Revolution Loader will, those remaining usually have 3rd party DRM that requires cracks. Again this post is meant for those who want to run their legit games on Windows XP and Windows Vista when support is dropped from Steam.

https://www.gog.com/forum/general/how_t ... rial/page1

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 59 of 225, by schmatzler

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I just installed Steam on my Windows XP box, where it has never been installed before.
It couldn't download any games.

On every download I was getting the error message "Content servers unreachable".
Only a change in the config.vdf file was making it play ball again:
https://bugs.winehq.org/show_bug.cgi?id=45329#c4

So it seems like Steam is already broken on fresh XP installs and only older installations will continue to work. 🙁