AfterDawn: Tech news

Vista-only games cracked to play on XP

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 26 Jun 2007 15:50 User comments (47)

Vista-only games cracked to play on XP Shadowrun and Halo 2, the latest "Vista exclusive" games, have already been cracked by hacking groups that have released patches that will allow both games to function perfectly on computers using the Windows XP operating system.
In May, Falling Leaf Systems boldly claimed that they would be able to crack both games within months and they have delivered.

When the claim was made, CEO Brian Thomason added, "First [Microsoft] claim that it was impossible to implement DirectX 10 compatibility atop Windows XP, and now they also want us to believe that they couldn’t successfully launch two DirectX 9 based titles on XP either. We plan to expose both theories as patently false."

The classic cracker group Razor 1911 has also supposedly cracked Shadowrun to play on XP by simply replacing a few files although its effect on online play is yet to be determined.

You can read more about it here

Sources:
Dailytech
GI.biz

Previous Next  

47 user comments

126.6.2007 15:58

Simply Amazing. too bad none of those games intrest me let alone Vista which i might add doesn't display 1360x768 (only 1280x768) on my HDTV that i use a monitor.

like the old saying. if its man made it can be modified.

226.6.2007 17:07

I've already got Shadowrun installed on my Vista and XP portions, and it runs alot better on XP than Vista.

326.6.2007 17:22

I also have Halo 2 running. 30~40% boosted performance in everything combined. I can finally set graphics detail to high at 50fps instead of 30fps, and everything loads so much more faster.



426.6.2007 17:26

Yeah, I noticed the same thing with shadowrun. Is Halo 2 hard to install on XP? Shadowrun was easy, I just copied some files. Is Halo 2 similar?

526.6.2007 17:42

Halo 2 was more difficult. Only because some people get errors like 'Insert original DVD" just out of the blue when playing the game and some can't even get the game to run.

To install is basically the same. Run the loader and add the path to Startup.exe then install without playing and install two files on the H2 cd and then add two files to your H2 dir and then run the game from loader again this time pointing to Halo2.exe in it's root dir.

I myself had no trouble installing it and getting it to run, but I'm having a problem almost everyone is having, where at the level Gravemind, I get and error saying to insert the original disc even though it is.

And no I didn't pirate, I got the orig disc from EB Games. So it's just an error with MF.dll that's causing this mess up.

626.6.2007 18:11

Oh, ok well thanks for the info. That sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth right now. I'll just keep playing it on Vista I guess. I just thought since Shadowrun was so easy Halo 2 might have been too.

726.6.2007 18:34

Brilliant.

Nice to see stuff like this.

826.6.2007 18:49

Nelson to Microsoft:

Ha Ha!

926.6.2007 18:58

Oh yea. Bout time. But speaking of Vista, how is the gameplay and the graphics? I've heard that graphics and gameplay details on Vista is still subpar.

I'm just wondering because in my mind the jury is still out on whether or not I should by a Vista or XP machine.

1026.6.2007 19:14

Quote:
Oh yea. Bout time. But speaking of Vista, how is the gameplay and the graphics? I've heard that graphics and gameplay details on Vista is still subpar.

I'm just wondering because in my mind the jury is still out on whether or not I should by a Vista or XP machine.
Well I can tell you in about 2 words, "it sucks".

After playing games like Shadowrun on both my XP and Vista portions, I will say XP kills Vista, in gaming as with anything else you try to do on a PC. I played Shadowrun on Vista first and got most high settings at 1280 x 1024 with some lag. Later I got the patch for XP and installed and it. I was able to run it in XP with everything on max and 1440 x 900 with no lag at all.

As for the graphics difference between DX9 vs DX10 (using vista). I don't know how you could tell without top of the line components. In my opinion it looked alot better in XP just because I was able to play with everything turned up so much higher, and because it played so much smoother. I don't have a DX10 card so I can't truely say what the difference in that would be.

1126.6.2007 19:48

For the love of God...I wish there was a fund to donate cause I would totally donate...lol...this is awesome!

You gotta love hackers...well at least the good ones that bring countless joy to the masses.

:)

1227.6.2007 1:30

All i have to say is well done hackers that cracked this :)

1327.6.2007 5:46

Can you even by a XP machine anymore from the store? I thought that all MS OS's were replaced with Vista as of January.

1427.6.2007 8:14

You can certainly get XP on a new machine when you order online.There's one weird thing that I've noted though. If your ordering online and you want XP over Vista, they charge you more. WTF....

1527.6.2007 8:19

I love it when someone busts a big companies lie, like this.

1627.6.2007 12:59

Goddammit, that blew my project out the window...

1727.6.2007 13:41

Originally posted by Unfocused:
Can you even by a XP machine anymore from the store? I thought that all MS OS's were replaced with Vista as of January.

one word-->bittorrent.


hahahha jk;...but really you can get it from places when you pre-order a desktop from sites like Alienware and Cyberpower.

1827.6.2007 16:17
davidrose
Inactive

I keep hearing xp xp I have had no lag with vista as yet but I know it's a hog just candy coated crap.. liked playing Halo 2 vista I already played it on vista but will look at it on xp just for looksee..

1927.6.2007 20:31
BIGnewb
Inactive

its all over the torrent websites now.im currently getting it myself.i wonder if it'll work online though because u need a legit key probably.

2027.6.2007 20:38

It doesn't work online. Just campaign mode. And when you get to one level it ask to insert the original disk.

2127.6.2007 20:39
BIGnewb
Inactive

are you kidding me?does that happened to everyone?


AMD Athlon 64 3000+,1.74 GHZ,1GB DDR PC3200,LG GSA-4163B,500Watts,ATI Radeon x600

PS2 v.SCPH-39001 w/ Swap Magic 3.6+FlipTop & LaunchELF Independence Exploit

Playstation 3 80GB NTSC
(got it free :D)

2227.6.2007 21:36

Quote:
Not got to Gravemind yet, but I suppose you could always do the cheat which got you past levels when you didn't own the game, rename the level files etc.
I guess thats a solution, I haven't tried it.

Quote:
Halo 2 was more difficult. Only because some people get errors like 'Insert original DVD" just out of the blue when playing the game and some can't even get the game to run.

To install is basically the same. Run the loader and add the path to Startup.exe then install without playing and install two files on the H2 cd and then add two files to your H2 dir and then run the game from loader again this time pointing to Halo2.exe in it's root dir.

I myself had no trouble installing it and getting it to run, but I'm having a problem almost everyone is having, where at the level Gravemind, I get and error saying to insert the original disc even though it is.

And no I didn't pirate, I got the orig disc from EB Games. So it's just an error with MF.dll that's causing this mess up.
I guess thats the problem their having.

2328.6.2007 20:27

GOOD. Unless it's absolutely necessary for Vista to be needed, they shouldn't try to force sales of an OS by grabbing anticipated titles, and preventing them from running in XP.

2428.6.2007 23:28

Originally posted by GambitRox:
GOOD. Unless it's absolutely necessary for Vista to be needed, they shouldn't try to force sales of an OS by grabbing anticipated titles, and preventing them from running in XP.
That's what I was thinking lol. Don't you just love it when they pretend to know what they're talking about? :P

Didn't MS claim that Vista is more secure than Linux and OS X? And I'm sure they claimed that Win2K was more secure than 98 at one time hahaha

2529.6.2007 6:50
xanthony
Inactive

Ok, I know I'm a total noob when it comes to the gaming arena, so can anyone point me in a real direction to getting this patch; as I have a loud mouth braggart that needs me to own his tail in Halo 2?
Thanx so much!

2629.6.2007 7:27

Quote:

Well I can tell you in about 2 words, "it sucks".

After playing games like Shadowrun on both my XP and Vista portions, I will say XP kills Vista, in gaming as with anything else you try to do on a PC.

i got to agree on the point that gaming on vista sux (for now), but the rest is just fine - sure it runs slower but so did xp compared to older OS,
first of all wista just sreams for a dual-core with all the stuff that it's doing in the background (just check the logs the thing logs well EVERYTING). But I can tell you one thing Vistas memory manager is WAY better than xp - i'm speaking from first hand expereince especialy with lots of multitasking. (also love aero, search engine and network connection managment).
What does sux on vista is the new driver model: the way I understand Vista doesn't have a DX9
it has a dx9l so dx9 calls are go not directly to driver but are transformed to dx10 calls dx9 call -> dx9l->dx10-> gpu driver.
aslo to my frustration (MY GOD I'm dying for asus sonar) no EAX for audigy 4 (bought a year ago - thought "its a long term investment") and older cards as well as no directsound (actually just recently creative managed to release a driver allows OpenAL hw acceleration) So for old games the combination of dx9l overhead + no sound hw acc could be the coulprit, although I have no idea how well a pure dx10 engine preforms with a dx10 gpu, i assume better

2729.6.2007 12:32

I just love when Microsux gets things shoven down their throats. My new laptop came with Vista, and I couldn't stand it for more than two weeks. I went back to XP where everything runs fine.

2829.6.2007 12:44

Speaking of laptops, my Mom just got a new Toshiba Sattelite w/ Vista and I've been installing progs and getting the wireless set up for her. It's not too bad, but I prefer XP anyday lol. Actually, my one and only favorite thing about Vista is that you can use USB Flash sticks as an extra memory resource.

2929.6.2007 18:14

That's THE great feature Vista has that's better than XP, but I solved the problem. I bought my laptop with 2 Gigs of RAM, and it's XP so I don't really need the RAM boost.

3029.6.2007 21:10

Originally posted by hermes_vb:
That's THE great feature Vista has that's better than XP, but I solved the problem. I bought my laptop with 2 Gigs of RAM, and it's XP so I don't really need the RAM boost.
When was there ever a problem? All I know is that when I get a laptop, it's going to have XP :D

3129.6.2007 23:59

Originally posted by Unfocused:
Can you even by a XP machine anymore from the store? I thought that all MS OS's were replaced with Vista as of January.
January 2008

3230.6.2007 0:45

It's in Bill Gates best interests to phase out XP ASAP. Bad thing for him is that Linux, especially Ubuntu, is very close to making it to the mainstream. I just started playing with it. My laptop is currently XP/Ubuntu (with Automatix), and so far, I'm very impressed by it.

3330.6.2007 11:27

Quote:
When was there ever a problem? All I know is that when I get a laptop, it's going to have XP :D
what a stupid statment - unleass you hurry you wont have a choice ( 2008 january is hte deadline).
And supose you will get a laptop 3 years from now.
i dont get you ppl - sure Vista is not a perfect next step but new os is allways buggy - as far as i understand ppl dont like vista primarily because it has higher requirements .... hello Xp also had a biger footprint than w2000 - why aren't you no longer whining about that? Or me/98/95 for that matter?

Situation about 5 years ago:
some1 "Xp sux - its slow"
...
...
Me "What you only have 128 ram?"

3430.6.2007 13:41

Maybe Vista will get better...or maybe not. You are kinda right though. All OS (or should I say the user) experience growing pains until it reaches maturity. I would have liked to wait until MS released Vista with SP1 before moving to it. I'm not a fan of new OS's. They are always too buggy at the beginning. One thing still worries me about Vista. It's been developed to avoid Hollywood's tantrums. It's gonna be interesting to see what the new OS will allow the user to do.

3530.6.2007 14:57

Quote:
what a stupid statment
There's no need to be rude.

Quote:
i dont get you ppl - why aren't you no longer whining about that? Or me/98/95 for that matter?
There's nothing to get, simply because you instantly categorized me into a group a people who complain about new OS's, let alone even considering past OS's and the process they went through. Boy, that sure is a stupid thing to do, now isn't it? :P

Quote:
sure Vista is not a perfect next step but new os is allways buggy - as far as i understand ppl dont like vista primarily because it has higher requirements .... hello Xp also had a biger footprint than w2000
Of course, it is only normal for a new OS to be buggy, same goes for new game consoles, I wasn't saying it that it wasn't. When Vista gets more mature, I'm sure it will run great and have some awesome features. I myself like Windows XP, probably because I'm more familiar with it, but it's still my choice. Who knows, maybe I'll get Vista later, but I sure won't be getting it anytime soon, it's too buggy.


And hermes_vb, you are referring to the DRM measures, correct? That worries me as well, I sure hope they get rid of that.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Jun 2007 @ 15:02


3630.6.2007 18:20

I 100% agree with hermes_vb on Linux.

1. It's free or at least most of the good ones are.
2. It's literally bug free in a sense where the average idiot could fix any problem and/or it's getting much easier.
3. You CAN run Windows apps/games but it's limited but never the less works.

I have XP and Ubuntu as well with Acronis OS Selector. The whole setup is perfect and Ubuntu not only run smoother, but has a heap of more visual features than XP. I have Beryl setup with a Vista theme and out of the 1gig of memory I have, only 200mb is being used on average (startup files + Firefox + beryl).

And I just got Cedega 1 month ago, and now have around 4 games that I usually play on Windows running perfectly on Linux. I'm getting to the point where I just might remove XP and make Linux (preferably Ubuntu) my main OS.



371.7.2007 8:20

@Ofnir1

Yeah, DRM is what I meant, but I think as long as companies like Slysoft are still around, we'll be able to do the things we want with our system.

@rvinkebob

I tried Acronis, but for some reason it didn't work for me. Don't know why. I ended up installing Ubuntu the easy way. In other words letting it install and configure GRUB. I later read a little and configured GRUB to my liking.

The reason I installed Ubuntu was primarily security. I do file sharing and other gray area stuff so I had to tweak XP a little bit for performance, but that makes it less secure. I mostly boot Ubuntu to do internet banking, ebay, buying stuff and check my "serious" email account. All that with Firefox's No Script plugin. With Ubuntu I operate at DEFCON 1. LOL. So I guess I've turned my laptop into a Jekyll and Hyde.



If I always hear voices surrounding me, does it mean Im crazy or that I hear in Dolby 5.1?

381.7.2007 17:46

Speaking about GRUB, just this morning I got the error 17. I've had it before and just re-installed Linux as a whole because I really didn't have anything to lose data-wise. This time I have a ton of bookmarks and files, so do you know how to re-install GRUB or any boot loader for that matter?



393.7.2007 8:54

I'm a newbie to double booting and related matters. I don't understand why you need GRUB when you have Acronis. Anyway I think that's a ? for the forums (or linux forums).


If I always hear voices surrounding me, does it mean Im crazy or that I hear in Dolby 5.1?

403.7.2007 10:06

Acronis isn't really a boot loader at all. It just shows all the OS' you have from MBR. So when I try to boot Linux it doesn't boot straight into it, it reads the MBR which in my case is GRUB. I've searched all over for an install but the best I found was to go into Linux and install from there but I can't. I'm searching everywhere for an HDD so I can install GRUB the easy way.



413.7.2007 11:48
heartliss
Inactive

Hi guys, I'm pretty noob when it comes to this sort of thing, but I've acquired the patch for Halo 2 to run it on XP, have followed the instructions to install the game but keep on brick walling against a few things.

1. I understand that in order to run the loader.exe program you must be logged on as an Administrator. I've tried to run the 'runas' but it says that the account I use has limited or no access to run the program, even after inputting the correct password for the Administrator account.

2. I actually logged on as Administrator at the Windows start up and ran the loader.exe program from there, but found that it doesn't work when I double click on it. Is there something I'm missing here?

Please help me cos when I actually bought Halo 2 I didn't notice that it was for Vista only, and from what I've read and heard, it ain't that shit hot. Thanks

423.7.2007 17:43

... Did you read the instructions? You do not double-click the loader.exe. Here's a simple command in CMD. To get to CMD first press Start then Run then type cmd and you'll get a black box (usually black). Then type:

x:\{the path to Loader.exe}\Loader.exe y:\Startup.exe

Replace the X with the letter of your partition that contains the Loader.exe which is usually C on a normal system. Then for the path just place it on you're Desktop so all you have to type is

C:\Documents and Settings\{you're user name}\Desktop\Loader.exe

Then replace the Y with the drive letter which has Halo 2 disc inserted in it which again on a normal system is D. Then voila, you should see the H2 install screen. Follow instruction from there and you should be fine. To get it to start type the path to Loader.exe again but after the space type the path to Halo2.exe instead of Startup.exe which should be located in you're Halo 2 dir.

C:\Documents and Settings\My Name\Desktop\Loader.exe C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo 2\halo2.exe which is the default install directory. Ask if you have any other problems.



433.7.2007 23:46
heartliss
Inactive

Many thanks rvinkebob after following your instructions I was able to install Halo 2 onto my xp os. However after doing so and following the rest of the instructions:

'Install XLiveRedist1.0.6027.msi and vcredist.msi from the \redists dir on the Halo 2 DVD.'
'Copy the following files into the directory you installed Halo 2: dwmapi.dll, mf.dll, MFPlat.dll'

And then using the cmd to run the program via the loader, after inputting all necessary variables:

C:\Documents and Settings\Case>Desktop\Loader.exe C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo 2\halo2.exe

I hit 'enter' and get a 'ERROR: Failed to load the executable C ["]' and no Halo 2!!!

Please help! Thank you!!


I - This fractal illusion, burning away all structure towards the obscene. I - To cleanse, to purge, to breathe eternity and smother all life. Blind - These mortal men of clay, devine and dying in their harrassed form. I - This furnace of limitless hate, bestial, pure. The pendumlum swings, semi attatched to the center of all. I - Drug these minds into ruin and contempt, the acid smoke of burning souls

444.7.2007 10:53

When you start cmd it should be at DaS\user name (C:\Documents and Settings\user name\. Type:

cd Desktop

Then type out "Loader.exe C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo 2\halo2.exe" without the qm. So it should look like this:

C:\Documents and Settings\My Name\Desktop\Loader.exe C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo 2\halo2.exe.

Where the text is bold is what you type all together. So to get to Desktop first just type "cd Desktop". Or give me the EXACT locations of you're Loader.exe and Halo2.exe files so I can make a quick easy shortcut you can double click to play h2. That's only if what I described above doesn't work.



454.7.2007 23:52
heartliss
Inactive

Thanks again man, I followed the instructions above but I'm still getting the same 'ERROR: Failed to load the executable: C ["]".

The exact location of my Loader.exe application is on my Desktop along with all the other files that came with the Halo 2 xp patch bundle. They're just about the only thing apart from my Recycling Bin that are on my Desktop cos I use an Object Dock for all my icons.

The exact location for Halo 2 is it's default location C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Halo 2\. I have Halo 1 in the same Microsoft Games folder, would that effect anything? I've tried running other apps from the Halo 2 folder only to get the same 'ERROR' message, I really am stumped as to how I can get this game up and running. If you can help me that would be much appreciated!


I - This fractal illusion, burning away all structure towards the obscene. I - To cleanse, to purge, to breathe eternity and smother all life. Blind - These mortal men of clay, devine and dying in their harrassed form. I - This furnace of limitless hate, bestial, pure. The pendumlum swings, semi attatched to the center of all. I - Drug these minds into ruin and contempt, the acid smoke of burning souls

468.7.2007 0:05

Regarding Linux and a bit of DRM, this article elaborates on why upgrading to Vista isn't such a wise decision.

Another reason why I'm sticking with XP on my laptop.



4722.10.2007 15:00

I seem to be gettin an error many get

ERROR: Failed to load the executable: E ["]

as i look at the task manager i see a process going by the executable name i entered before, ie Startup.exe

the command i used was

Loader.exe E:\Startup.exe

what might be going bad i wonder?

ok i'll be real with it, i got my halo 2 as an image file from a certain site. As my defense i'll say that it was to see if i could get it to run on my XP machine, cos i have no intention whatsoever of installing Vista on my comp. I might even go buy it if i like it enough.

So, i wonder, has anyone got a version like mine to work?

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive