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Starforce Protection


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#1 twinpotter

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Posted Jul 09 2014 - 11:58 AM

Years back I installed various games wih starforce protection  like gtl on my vista pc. Although it caused initial problems (3rd party advice saying starforce installed hidden unstable drivers) I could play starforce protected games.
Now with my new pc which is windows 8.1 I have tried to install a starforce protected game. After install it asked me for a restart and then stopped me from coming back to my desktop. I therefore had to system restore my pc as it totally wiped out my rig and destroyed some of my other games like gp4 etc.
I would love to install gtl and others like the pro cycling manager series but am cautious over starcorce and its affect on new operating systems.
Any ideas/help.

Edited by twinpotter, Jul 09 2014 - 12:02 PM.


#2 Saiph

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Posted Jul 09 2014 - 12:57 PM

Hi twinpotter. I think this might be one of the big incompatibility problems with Win 8.1. Any DRM system which uses hidden drivers will probably be unusable on Win 8.1. I've tried installing the Fallout 2 RPG from my old CDs recently, and it won't run, and I think the reason is that it uses the "SecureRom" DRM system. Although SecureRom is more professionally-programmed than StarFarce (sic), it uses some similar techniques which seem to be incompatible with Win 8.1.

One suggestion I can make is to look around on Steam to see if they can supply a version of the games you want. If they can, it will normally have the old intrusive DRM systems removed from it, so the game should run. That's what I think I'm going to have to do with Fallout 2. In a Steam sale, it should only cost me £2-£3, so it will be worth it.

Also, I think there might be a mod available for GT Legends which uses your original DVD as an installation source, but doesn't install the DRM protection system. I can't remember the name of it at the moment, but it might be worth searching around for that and seeing if it works on Win 8.1. (Edit: Just spotted another thread talking about the mod - it's "Power & Glory".)

Thanks for the warning about StarForce. I have GTR, GTR 2 and GT Legends myself, so after what happened to your machine, I don't think I'll be trying to install them.

Edited by Saiph, Jul 09 2014 - 01:00 PM.


#3 twinpotter

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Posted Jul 09 2014 - 02:10 PM

Thanks Saiph for the advice and info.I will check into the steam option and the mod for GTL to see if I can get any further.
As far as the GTR2/GTL connection I remember on my Vista machine that installing GTR2 alone was fine. It was after I installed GTL later that the Starforce issue occurred.
I have installed GTR1 onto my Windows 8.1 machine and that works fine and doesn't seem to be Starforce protected as far as I can see.

Thanks again Saiph.

:hat-tip:

Edited by twinpotter, Jul 09 2014 - 02:12 PM.


#4 jgf

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Posted Jul 09 2014 - 09:44 PM

You can get GTL via Steam (if you can tolerate their draconian policies), but their version doesn't contain all the cars.  There was an updated version offered free from Raceroom to anyone providing proof of ownership of the original;  this had Starfarce removed, all files decrypted, and was "optimized for Vista/W7" (whatever that means).

Starfarce was a horrible process, on my XP system it worked perhaps 10% of the time;  the rest of the time it just sat there "validating" til I invoked Task Manager and killed it.  I finally resorted to a hacked torrent version of the game which I installed over my valid copy ...I still have that installed, along with the Raceroom version.

BTW, P&G gives you improved versions of the GTL cars in a GTR2 environment (so you have variable weather, 24hr races, etc.);  it has nearly supplanted GTL for me.

Edited by jgf, Jul 09 2014 - 09:49 PM.


#5 David Wright Lo67

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Posted Jul 10 2014 - 01:42 AM

The Steam version of GTL is the same as the original, its GTR2 which has the Porsche and Ferrari's "missing" because the license expired.

If you install steam, go to the "games" menu then "activate a product on Steam" you can use your on-line code to get a "free" copy of GTL, though if you've lost it tits not expensive to buy.

#6 Fat Rich

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Posted Jul 10 2014 - 04:23 AM

I had a similar problem when I tried to install GTL on Windows 7 Pro, it corrupted both my hard drives and I lost everything. Had to buy Windows again as my OS backup disks wouldn't work either :harumph:

Will look into getting the Steam version.

#7 TurboMan

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Posted Jul 10 2014 - 04:31 AM

I would go for jgf suggestions.

For GTL, i use GTL-GTR2 mod, and will use (when get a new PC) P&G. For me, it's like having GTL inside GTR2, 2 games in 1.

For Starforce games, i would go for a cracked versions of the games. It's ok while you have bought the original. It avoid games DVD and disc drive damage, and that sh*tty Starforce protection install. For example, i have got rFactor, GTR2, GPL discs and boxes and many others well protected on a shelf, and run them on my computer with a cracked version, not using the disc.

Edited by TurboMan, Jul 10 2014 - 04:32 AM.


#8 jgf

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Posted Jul 10 2014 - 08:42 AM

View PostDavid Wright Lo67, on Jul 10 2014 - 01:42 AM, said:

The Steam version of GTL is the same as the original, its GTR2 which has the Porsche and Ferrari's "missing" because the license expired....

I stand corrected.  And plead encroaching senility.

(But my accusation still stands - Steam sells incomplete versions of some games.  They are also guilty of false advertising - on Amazon there is a page to buy the Game of the Year edition of Morrowind, the original box is pictured, the original game is described, there is no mention of Steam whatsoever (unless you scroll through dozens of customer comments);  yet what you receive is a disk whose setup goes online and downloads the Steam version of the game.)

#9 twinpotter

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Posted Jul 10 2014 - 12:18 PM

Thank you all for all the info and advice.
Excellent as usual!!!!....

#10 Lee200

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Posted Jul 10 2014 - 02:19 PM

This has been an interesting thread.

Went back and looked at my shelf of old software and I had an original GTL and Silent Hunter 3, both of which use StarForce.  On my old XP PC, I once had both programs installed and my PC kept crashing; apparently because of StarForce.  Not knowing much about StarForce at the time or about how to remove it, I wound up having to initialize the hard drive and reinstall everything!  Since then, I won't ever use any software that that even smells of StarForce; especially with Windows 7.

I just tossed GTL and Silent Hunter 3 in the trash just to be sure I didn't get senile and try to ever use them again.  :)

Edited by Lee200, Jul 10 2014 - 02:21 PM.


#11 David Wright Lo67

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Posted Jul 11 2014 - 06:37 AM

For the sake of balance (though its largely academic as Starforce isn't used any more) I should point out that most people had no problems with Starforce and XP.  I have had it on three XP machines without any issues.  It did have problems with an AV program (Norton?) update but this was fixed in the patch.  

Lee is right not to try to run it on a Win7 or 8 machine - it will not run on newer operating systems - Microsoft not caring much about backwards compatibility. But by then non SF versions of GTL were available.  If Lee does want to try GTL he can use his online key to get the steam version for free, though as GTL is now 9 years old perhaps the moment has passed as its not the cutting edge sim it once was.  But many who've run it from new still love it, just like GPL.

Edited by David Wright Lo67, Jul 11 2014 - 06:38 AM.


#12 twinpotter

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Posted Jul 11 2014 - 09:19 AM

As said by David Starforce is now old hat and thank god it is. It's just a shame because it hinders you when you want to play old classics like GTL on a newer OS.
With me it totally wiped out my system which ruined all my hard and devoted projects.
I think I heard the protection was built into the game exe? So on execution you would install the hidden drivers. This would cause your pc to be mysteriously unstable and unresponsive leaving you wondering why and unaware of  the hidden drivers.
I don't like saying but this left the game makers and the Starforce company with blood on their hands for me.

Edited by twinpotter, Jul 11 2014 - 09:23 AM.


#13 jgf

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Posted Jul 11 2014 - 11:08 AM

Due to the way Starfarce functioned (drivers were added to your system folder and loaded with windoze, when you clicked the icon these drivers were activated and compared your DVD, the game install, and pertinent registry entries;  if all was well they then started the game), on Vista and later I believe DEP sensed this as malware action and shut down the drivers.

Why it never worked properly on my XP system I don't know.  Simbin passed the buck to Starfarce, whose "tech help" (and i use that term very loosely) only responded "you need to update the drivers";  when informed I had just downloaded the newest drivers that morning and it still didn't work, they never responded again.

#14 andpan

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Posted Jul 11 2014 - 02:18 PM

Hmmm, isn't it a pity that you have a legal version of GTL and it doesn't work on any newer version of Windows.
Whose fault? Microsoft, Simbin or Starforce? Anyway, they all took our money and haven't ever heard the word "customer satisfaction" :harumph:
Steam is a special issue, dont want to comment on this :hithead:
After some days of searching in the Web I found a (maybe illegal) solution for running GTL under Win 7.
But I am accustomed to troubles, I am running a Samsung :yikesss:

Edited by andpan, Jul 11 2014 - 02:42 PM.


#15 Stefan Roess

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Posted Jul 11 2014 - 03:59 PM

View Postandpan, on Jul 11 2014 - 02:18 PM, said:

After some days of searching in the Web I found a (maybe illegal) solution for running GTL under Win 7.

This one works for me to run GTL under Windows 7:

http://wiki.bierbude...GTLInstallation
-> you have to scroll down for the English text

Here you can get the "autoupdater" tool that tweaks GTL (in many ways) which is mentioned at the above link (bierbuden wiki):
http://www.altbierbu.../id,62/lang,en/

:)

Edited by Stefan Roess, Jul 11 2014 - 04:02 PM.





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