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Why won't some older games run on Windows 10 and how to make them run?

Updated on February 29, 2016

How to identify if your game is restricted on Windows 10?

Many games won't work on Windows 10 even despite changing the compatibility mode to say Windows 8 or Windows 7. So, to find out if your game falls in that unfortunate category, the best way is to try the compatibility mode on it. If it works, good for you. If it does not, you would have to roll back a few security updates. The steps to check if changing the 'compatibility mode' works or not is as follows.


Step 1

Right click on the game and click on 'Properties.'

Step 2

Click on the 'Compatibility' tab.

Check the box which says 'run this program in compatibility mode for' and change the compatibility mode to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Click on 'Apply'

Why exactly won't many older gamer work despite changing the compatibility mode?

Microsoft released an update kb3086255 recently. The update was specific to Windows 10 and changes the systems security settings. It disables two old style DRM's Securom and Safedisc. This did not happen in older versions of Windows, thus your games worked well with them. However, changing the compatibility mode to the earlier versions won't help because these 2 features which the games needs would be disabled after the update.

In lay man terms, the games used the older style of Digital Rights Management which won't work with Windows 10. Thus, the issue.

How to roll back the update and play the games?

NOTE: It is not advisable to roll back any security update an the update should be rolled back at your own risk and accord.

In case you really want to play that game at any cost, the security update can be turned off by making changes to the registry. Since this involves making changes to the registry and not merely a roll back, this should be done very carefully.

Step 1

Open 'Command Prompt' as an administrator. Right click on the 'start' button and you would find that option.

Step 2

Disable the driver's service by typing the following command in the 'Command Prompt' window:

sc config secdrv start= disabled

Step 3

Set the driver's service to manual by typing the following command:

sc config secdrv start= demand

Step 4

Enable the driver's service (and to set it to automatic) by typing the following command:

sc config secdrv start=auto

Step 5

Manually start the driver's service by typing the following command:

sc start secdrv

Step 6

Manually stop the driver's service by typing the following command:

sc stop secdrv

Step 7

Restart the system.

What if it kills my computer and I wish to undo the changes?

If you are making changes to the registry, it should be done very carefully. But if it creates problems later, the procedure to recover it is as follows:

Step 1

Search for 'run' in the Windows search bar and click on it to open the 'run' window.

Step 2

Type 'regedit' in the open box. Click OK.

Step 3

Locate the following subkey in the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\secdrv

Click on it

Step 4

Right click start and click 'modify'.

Step 5

In the Value Data box, do one of the following:

  • Type 2 and click OK. It will set the driver's service to automatic.
  • Type 4 and click OK. It will disable the driver's service.
  • Type 3 and click OK. It will set the driver's service to manual.


Step 5

Exit the registry

Disclaimer

This resolution is as per the advisory given by Microsoft for their update kb3086255. It had been tried by professionals and worked successfully. However, we shall not be responsible for any system issues arising due to our suggested resolution.

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