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Thursday, September 24, 2015
Windows Patch Removes Support For Safedick and Securom Disc Protection Schemes

A security patch released by Microsoft recently removes support for copy protection programs Securom and Safedisc in Windows 8, 7, and Vista systems, potentially making some older games distributed on optical discs unplayble in the aformentioned OSes.

SecuROM is a CD/DVD copy protection and digital rights management (DRM) product developed by Sony DADC. Its purpose was to resist home media duplication devices. The method of disc protection in current versions is Data Position Measurement; this may or may not be used in conjunction with online DRM components.

SafeDisc is a copy protection program for Microsoft Windows applications and games that are distributed on optical disc.

According to Microsoft, the security update released for Windows 8, 7, and Vista systems addresses "a defense-in-depth update for the secdrv.sys driver," a third-party driver udes by SecuROM. The update turns off the service for the secdrv.sys driver and this may affect the ability to run some older games.

If you've accepted and installed the update and wish to play older games with SafeDisc or SecuROM DRM you will have to perhaps re-purchase the affected games, through one of the modern digital distribution platforms.

However, 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. Of course, this workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses.

To do this, type the following commands at an elevated command prompt.

  • 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

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