Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Unable to boot older games. (Windows 7 64-bit)

12 May 2019   #1

Windows 7 x64
Unable to boot older games. (Windows 7 64-bit)

Hello, everyone. After getting a rush of nostalgia lately, I've wanted to go back and play some of the games I grew up with. In particular, the older Tom Clancy games. Regrettably, I am having difficulty getting most of these to run. For example, I can get Pandora Tomorrow to boot, but not the original Splinter Cell, or the first two Rainbow Six games. The issues amongst the latter three are the same: I attempt to run the game, I get a little Windows 7 loading circle for less than a quarter second, and that's it. Nothing. I have tried to run as administrator, changed the compatibility when booting them, none of this is working.

I'm not sure what the issue is, so perhaps someone here can help me. I've checked the PCGamingWiki and there's no mention of the original Splinter Cell or Rainbow Six Rogue Spear simply not even booting as an issue. I've installed them via disc, too, which is the way I've played them on my tremendously old eMachines back in the day. Hopefully, someone here can help me troubleshoot the error, as I'm really in the mood to just mess around with some of these older games.

I'm not sure what you guys need from me, but I have an i5-3370k with an NVIDIA GTX 970 if that somehow helps, but as these are not technically demanding games, I don't think my issue is new specs, but how to figure out how to get older games running.

EDIT: In fact, to give you a list of the games I have and in their order of release, I'll list their status as working or not. Perhaps what's making one of these fail is making the rest all fail too.

Rainbow Six - Doesn't boot
Rainbow Six Eagle Watch - Doesn't boot
Rainbow Six Rogue Spear - Doesn't boot
Rainbow Six Rogue Spear Urban Operations - Doesn't boot
Rainbow Six Rogue Spear Covert Ops Essentials - Boots (???? I have no idea why this one works...)
Rainbow Six Rogue Spear Black Thorn - Doesn't boot
Ghost Recon - Doesn't boot
Ghost Recon Desert Siege - Doesn't boot
Ghost Recon Island Thunder - Doesn't boot
Splinter Cell - Doesn't boot
Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow - Boots

These were all tested with just disc installs, and then recent patches. Nothing changed before or after.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2019   #2

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone

Hi Foffy,

You want to check the DRM of each game on PCGamingWiki. 1) There are issues with SecureDisk, meaning game running on Updated Windows and dependent on SecureDisk will not run. 2) Other games depend on UPlay DRM. Recommended action is to re-install UPlay. 3) You need to determine which games depend on which DRM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2019   #3

Windows 7 x64

Just a quick Google search shows that if they used SafeDisc DRM (almost all of these do), they have issues. But if I'm directly quoting from the PCGamingWiki, " SafeDisc retail DRM does not work on Windows 10 and is disabled by default on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 when the KB3086255 update is installed" wouldn't this mean that this update disables SafeDisc entirely, thus I wouldn't have this issue? Or am I reading this wrong and that this update simply prevents these games from even booting completely?

A quick check on the PCGamingWiki shows that Covert Ops Essentials doesn't have this DRM, hence why it boots among the rest, but Pandora Tomorrow has the same DRM, but a different version, and that works too. All of the non-working games have a SafeDisc DRM that's lower than 3.0
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 May 2019   #4

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone


Sounds like SafeDisc DRM is the culprit. Microsoft issued KB3086255 in 2015. This update was optional on Windows 7 and Vista, but compulsory on Windows 8 and 10. But most people just installed KB3086255 not knowing what it does - and then found out later, that it affects the SafeDisc DRM. In other words, this update disables the DRM service from starting up.

What the PCGamingWiki does not say, si that Microsoft offered a workaround to the side effects of KB3086255. The workaround can be found here:

Known issues in this security update
After you install this security update, some programs may not run. (For example, some video games may not run.) To work around this issue, you can temporarily turn on the service for the secdrv.sys driver by running certain commands, or by editing the registry.

Note When you no longer require the service to be running, we recommend that you turn off the service again.

Warning This workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so that you can implement this workaround at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.

To do this, type the following commands at an elevated command prompt. You should press Enter after you type each command.
To disable the driver's service, type the following command:
sc config secdrv start= disabled
To set the driver's service to manual, type the following command:
sc config secdrv start= demand
To enable the driver's service (and to set it to automatic), type the following command:
sc config secdrv start=auto
To manually start the driver's service, type the following command:
sc start secdrv
To manually stop the driver's service, type the following command:
sc stop secdrv
Source: ms15-097 | Microsoft


ImportantThis section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
Or, you can edit the registry directly. To do this, follow these steps:
Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
Locate and then click the following subkey in the registry:
Right-click Start, and then click Modify.
In the Value data box, do one of the following:

Type 4 to disable the driver's service, and then click OK.
Type 3 to set the driver's service to manual, and then click OK.
Type 2 to set the driver's service to automatic, and then click OK.
Exit Registry Editor.
Source: ms15-097 | Microsoft
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2019   #5

Windows 7 x64

I actually seemed to have fixed the problem, and it's...well, quite an interesting one.

I didn't follow anything listed as a solution. I merely looked at Windows Update, saw I had the KB3004394 update installed, which effectively left my PC unable to get major updates since 2014, deleted that, updated my PC, and it all works now.

How absolutely odd. I had an odd feeling that this was going to be my solution, and I have no idea why it is, and why it was so selective, too. Perhaps a later Windows Update fixed this? At least on 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2019   #6

Windows 7 x64, Vista x64, 8.1 smartphone

You can do that as a workaround , too. But bear in mind that removing this Update leaves your computer open to security vulnerabilities.

Also keep in mind that the next time Windows Update is run, your computer will be offered KB3004394 again by Windows Update (WU). So, you will need to turn off Automatic Updates, and then Hide the Update KB3004394 from WU, to be sure that you wont be asked again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2019   #7
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Just to add here. To check what protection a CD is using, use A-Ray Scanner. Download A-Ray Scanner
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2019   #8

Windows 7 x64

I probably jinxed myself, as I tried to install the rest of my old school Clancy stuff just to have them on PC, and I believe the DRM is messing with the installation to Rainbow Six Raven Shield - Athena Sword. I got the regular game to install, but I keep getting a "failed to load a required DLL" for Athena Sword. A small Google search implies that the RCMVER.DLL on the disc is protected by Safedisc file "SECDRV.sys", and if the DRM fails, that doesn't work.

How would I exactly bypass this? I've attempted to edit the registry for it, and that doesn't appear to change anything. Moving it from "disabled" to "manual" or "automatic" didn't change anything.

EDIT: Doing the solution with cmd.exe worked, I was trying to avoid that because I'm a clutz!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Unable to boot older games. (Windows 7 64-bit)

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Older games do not run Help please
Hi all, I need some help please. My old computer quit ( asus A8N-sli, AMD Athlon 64 2 core). The new one is a MSI H 110M Pro-VD board and Intel I5-6400 Skylake with 8 GB ram. Win 7 HP 64 bit. The games are COD 2, COD 4, Flight sim 2004, Battlefield 3. They all install using Admin privilege and...
Installing older games on Windows 7 x64.
I am trying to install an older game on Windows XP SP3 (32bit) using Virtual PC. The game has been installed without any error and running its panel. Now whenever I hit the 'start game' button it says" "No 3D hardware installed in your system." I loaded my laptop drivers into virtual...
General Discussion
Windows XP Mode problem running older games
Hello, I am running Windows 7 Pro x64 and have been trying to run some old games in XP Mode. I keep getting error messages. "16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem, C:\WINDOWS\system32\cmd.exe, The video device failed to initialize for fullscreen mode." How can I fix or get around this error? Here are just...
Unable to install older software
I am trying to find a way to install an older recipe software that my mom has been using for years, Key Home Gourmet for Windows (1994 Softkey International). She just replaced her computer which had Windows Vista with a new Dell which has Windows 7. She has over 500 recipes backed up on an...
Older Games
Hey, I'm considering an upgrade to 7 and have a large collection of older games which I'm hoping will run on Vista. Firstly, will XP games like Simcity 4 and Civilization 4 work with 7 (without XP Mode)? Secondly, will ANCIENT games like Championship Manager 3 & Settlers 3 (which both...

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:16.
Twitter Facebook