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.