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First post, by lucascoelhofc

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Hi, I new here to VOGONS and I am not sure if this is the correct place to post it. If not, please let me know. I have been using these forums for years as resource for all sorts of things and only now had the courage to participate. So here it goes:

I have been experiencing a weird issue when trying to install retail CD or DVD games on Windows 10 or on an updated version of Windows 7. For some discs (had been trying with Crysis, Half Life 2 and Borderlands), whenever I insert them, the drive becomes very noisy, like it is scratching, the whole system becomes laggy while it tries to read the files inside the disc. If I pop open the tray, the system resumes to behave normally.

I experienced this problem on a Dell laptop (with internal dvd drive) and now on a Thinkpad P50 with an external USB dvd drive. I am sure it has to do with updates for Windows because I tried dual booting the system with a retail Windows 7 SP1, without any further updates and the drive behaved normally, installed the games just fine, on both laptops! I then installed the updates for Windows 7 and the problem returned.

The external drive also worked just fine on a T510 with Windows XP and installed Half Life 2 perfectly.

For the life of me, I cannot find a way to fix that, and I would rather play these games on Windows 10 than having to dual boot to an older version of Windows 7. Any ideas on what is causing this and how to fix it? Has anyone else experienced this?

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-07-06, 01:01. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 7, by yochenhsieh

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If you still have Windows XP:
1. install the game on the winxp laptop/pc.
2. Copy game folder to a portable USB drive.
3. (Optional) Export the registry of the specific game, usually can be found in [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\(game dev or publisher name)\(game name)]
3.1 Since your win7 or win10 is most likely 64bit, please use notepad to edit the exported reg file. Add "\Wow6432Node\" after SOFTWARE (see attached file for example).
4. Copy the game folder to win10 or win7 pc. Preferably same path you installed on the winxp.
5. (Optional) Import registry to win10 or win7 pc. If you copied to a different path and the registry contains install path, you need to change it.
The game should work. Sometimes compatibility mode and/or unofficial fixes are required, though.

I also compressed game folder with registry (if required) as backups, so those CD/DVDs are no longer needed if I ever need to "re-install".

Another way is to convert the CD/DVDs to image files and use some virtual drive software to mount them. Windows 10 can mount .iso files directly.

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Reply 2 of 7, by lucascoelhofc

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Thanks for the reply.! I will try the simplest one first - converting to iso on the laptop that can actually read the discs - to see if it works. But that is quite a lot of workarounds just to install games on Windows. Jesus, what is Microsoft doing? Any idea on what is the cause of this? I understand security updates killed those old DRMs, but messing up the CD drive like that is so weird. I believe Crytek released a patch to remove SecuRom from Crysis 1, but I need to install the game first, which is close to impossible.

Still, if I am patient enough, the files eventually load on Explorer (Borderlands only), the Setup eventually start (I am talking like half an hour), but it hangs on the infamous "Registering Updated Components"...

Reply 3 of 7, by ZellSF

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I've installed lots of old games from CD/DVD without problem. I haven't heard of this from anyone else either. It's probably not a Windows 10 problem, but a "you" problem. Maybe some commonality between the two systems you're not thinking of; some installed driver that messes with CD/DVD drive access.

Try booting in safe mode.

Reply 4 of 7, by DosFreak

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Likely a copy protection driver or controller driver issue.

Slap a blank HD in there, install Windows 7/10 with the network disconnected. Verify the CD drive works.
Create a backup image.
Install Windows Updates (not drivers)- Verify CD drive works.
Create a backup image
Install Windows Update drivers - Verify CD drive works
Install drivers not on Windows Update - Verify CD drive works.

If all of the above works then it's likely copy protection drivers.

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

Reply 5 of 7, by Jorpho

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lucascoelhofc wrote on 2020-07-05, 07:56:

Any idea on what is the cause of this? I understand security updates killed those old DRMs, but messing up the CD drive like that is so weird.

Many of those old DRM schemes relied on using bad sectors purposefully written to the CD that could not subsequently be duplicated with CD burners.

Do you have anything running in the background that might be trying to scan the CD? Some sort of file indexing program or virus scanner, maybe?

Reply 6 of 7, by lucascoelhofc

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ZellSF wrote on 2020-07-08, 14:08:

I've installed lots of old games from CD/DVD without problem. I haven't heard of this from anyone else either. It's probably not a Windows 10 problem, but a "you" problem. Maybe some commonality between the two systems you're not thinking of; some installed driver that messes with CD/DVD drive access.

Try booting in safe mode.

Hi guys, thanks for the inputs.

You were right, ZellSF, it was a "me" - or "I"? - problem. I formatted the hard drive and tested the games before doing anything else and they worked. So I kept installing my usual softwares one by one and testing, all good.

I guess the culprit is the first thing I always did after fresh installing Windows 10: the debloat script. I used the one provided by Chris Titus in his channel. This is the only thing I can think of to have caused the same problem on two different laptops, with both internal and external cd/dvd drives. I am not going to run it again, as the system is working perfectly right now and I don't want to do it all again if it ends up messing things up, even though the RAM consumption is definitely higher, around 4gb.

PS: not necessarily related, but regarding the "Updating Component Registration" status when installing games on newest versions of Windows 7 and 10, during my attempts to fix the other issue I timed the installation and the duration was roughly the same across the board (XP, retail 7, updated 7 and 10). The real difference seems to be only cosmetic, related to how the newer versions of Windows display the installation progress.

Anyway, have a nice weekend everyone.

Reply 7 of 7, by lucascoelhofc

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Just a quick follow up if anyone is still interested: I used WinaeroTweaks instead of running the script and the problem returned. So, I tried setting by setting. It seems that, whenever I disable telemetry, the cd/dvd drive stops working properly.