The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Thursday, December 24, 2015

American McGee's Alice on Windows 10

My last two computers have been HP, Vista and Windows 7 respectively. Each had a terrible graphics-card, and were prone to crashes. I bought myself a new PC for Christmas. It's a Dell. It came with Windows 7, but I've "upgraded" that to Windows 10. It doesn't crash. But.

In the decade of the 2000s, Windows was still allowing non-Microsoft software to do whatever. Several non-Microsoft companies were worried about piracy. So: various strains of "security" HIV proliferated in PC game-discs. One such was called SafeDisc as in, saving their discs to the detriment of the computer on which you ran them. EA had elsewhere gone with SecuROM, we are told. Either way such EA games include Alice.

Since this particular game came out, every computer I've ever had has been able to run it - including the last two crappy computers. The latest HP didn't run Alice very well, and it eventually failed to run it; but it could always start it.

When I first went to Vista, Starflight was the EA game that wouldn't run anymore; but there I figured my way around it. A little DOSBOX here, a little Run As Admin there...

Anyway for the old EA stuff I am now being directed here - also, here. The canonical suggestions include dual boot to Windows 7 (unsafe, and I shouldn't have to do it), re-buy the game (uh... sure), or download a hacked copy (also unsafe and, also, illegal). Failing that, test-signing a driver file.

In our case said driver-file would be secdrv.sys - the 1 October 2000 version. Alice's installer stuck it in C:\Program Files (x86)\EA GAMES\American McGee's Alice\, which is fair enough... but on a hunch, I ran the disc-search. This found that the installer had also foisted that ancient wooden-horse upon C:\Windows\SysWOW64\drivers. When I found it in the latter place I immediately replaced it with the Windows 7 (10 June 2009) version, 4.3.86 (since I knew that Windows 7 allows it).

The author of secdrv.sys was Macrovision.

Personally I think that EA should offer owners of their CDs a DRM-free download, or at least links to mirrors with free downloads.

UPDATE 6:45 PM: Stuff REALLY started to go bad around my last (win7) HP last September. The forum guys blame kb-3086255.

Also Macrovision changed its name; it's ROVI now. I cannot trust secdrv.sys and have deleted it from SysWOW64\drivers.

posted by Zimri on 17:46 | link | 0 comments

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