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Olivia Benson

Oh, Furbsnizzle!! SecuROM Ate My Computer's Innards! My Game Is FUBAR! What NOW?

If you wandered into the EA Sims 2 BBS lately (why?!), you may or may not have seen a bajillion posts with ALLCAPS and lots of exclamation marks bemoaning the fact that Sony's crappy copy protection program, SecuROM, was installed with Bon Voyage. Actually, H&M, Celebrations, Sims 2 Deluxe and (I believe) Pet Stories also had SecuROM, but SecuROM was hiding, lurking, sneaking around minding its own business until Bon Voyage.

And that's a problem, because you did not agree to install SecuROM when you installed your game.

Or, you may NOT see those posts, because non-Maxis BBS moderators as well as Maxoids are scrambling to cover EA's butt, and are deleting threads and banning forum posters let and right.

And that's been a problem, because people are worried and asking for help and are getting the run-around or being censored and silenced.

SecuROM has prevented Sims players from using LEGAL software on their machines, mainly anti-virus programs and CD/DVD functions. This is unacceptable. Even more fun, SecuROM behaves like a rootkit, and doesn't want to be removed. EA is waffling about the problem (no surprise there). Maxis, now owned by EA, has to wait for EA to make a statement and actually DO something about the problem. Sony, perpetrators of SecuROM, are already being sued into oblivion due to a prior shitty rootkit issue, and they are pretending that they know nothing 'bout no SecuROM problems and are again blaming a third party vendor.

NOTE: Uninstalling games with SecuROM can cause other games to stop working, including non-Sims games. Bioshock players have had similar SecuROM problems.

Enough is enough.

Here are some guidelines you can follow to keep BV and SecuROM from destroying the functionality of your machine and software.

Determine whether or not you actually have any Compu-cooties before panicking.

Step 1: Find Securom on your system.

"I am not sure if I have SecuROM on my system or not. How do I check? - Run Sysinternals RootkitRevealer. Look for anything with SecuROM in it."

Go here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/Security/RootkitRevealer.mspx

Oh, arse fez**! I have SecuROM. Bumgrapes**! How do I remove it so my crap doesn't stop working?

From Zazazu at MATY:

Ok, kids. The instructions are in bits and pieces in the EA official admission/excuse thread, but it's getting long and understandably hard to find. These instructions have worked for several posters, myself included:

1. Follow the guidelines below ripped from Tom's Hardware:

Step 2: Remove the Securom registry entries.

The Securom registry entries are deliberately made non-removable by default. (BASTARDS!) In order to remove them download the RegDelNull registry editing utility from Microsoft and install it on your C partition.


Run the following two commands from a Windows command prompt: "C:\regdelnull HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SecuROM -s" and "C:\regdelnull HKEY_USERS\<Computer specific key>\Software\SecuROM -s" where "<Computer specific key>" can be determined by searching the registry for the "Securom" directory key.

This "<Computer specific key>" typically has a form like "S-1-5-21-2052111302-1757341266-724545543-500". Once these two RegDelNull commands have been successfully issued the registry should be checked to confirm that these two keys have been deleted.

If they are still present they will now be removable due to the action of the RegDelNull utility.
 
Step 3: Removal of the Securom service and related utilities.

Open a Windows command prompt and change directory to "c:\windows\system32". Type "uaservice7 /remove". This will stop the Securom user access service, and clean up its relevant registry entries.

On the Windows command prompt type "regsvr32 /u cmdlineext.dll".

Reboot and then manually delete the files "uaservice7.exe" and "cmdlineext.dll" from "c:\windows\system32".
Note: Both of these files are Securom installed files which can be verified by checking their file properties (Right click - Properties).
 
Step 4: Removal of Securom files under "C:\Documents and Settings".

Securom installs a hidden directory with 6 files under "C:\Documents and Settings\<Your Administrator name>\Application Data\Securom".

The first 4 ordinary text files can simply be manually deleted once Windows explorer has been configured to show hidden files and folders. The two remaining malformed nominally unremoveable files require a special method to delete: Invoke a Windows command prompt with full Administrator privileges by typing the following into a Windows command prompt: "at <your current time + 1 minute> /interactive %systemroot%\system32\cmd.exe" e.g. "at 9:02pm /interactive %systemroot%\system32\cmd.exe".

This will open a new Administrator command line when the time set has been attained. In this new command prompt change directory into the Securom folder e.g. "cd C:\Documents and Settings\<Your Administrator name>\Application Data\Securom".

Issue the following command to show the two remaining hidden malformed files: "dir /A". To delete the two remaining hidden malformed files issue the following command: "del /F /AH *". Confirm "yes" for each of the two file deletions of the malformed files.

Finally, the directory "C:\Documents and Settings\<Your Administrator name>\Application Data\Securom" can be deleted as per normal practice from within Windows explorer.

2. Double check your registry files. Still see any keys under HKEY_CURRENT_USER---Software---Securom? Just delete the suckers. Won't blow up.

3. If that damned SecuRom folder still can't be deleted, even after correctly following the instructions above, download DelinvFile from http://www.purgeie.com/delinv/dldelinv.htm . Run the executable and find the C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR NAME HERE\Application Data\Securom folder and open the sub-folder. (Sorry, mine's gone, but I believe it was named "User Data"). On the right, choose each malformed file and delete. Go back into My Computer and delete that SecuRom folder for once and all.

4. To not get it again, you need to start loading from a no-CD crack. I recommend the Fairlight version from http://www.gamecopyworld.com/."C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\TSBin" and change the name of the current Sims2EP6.exe to Sims2EP6.bak.

Then place the crack* in the same folder.

Make a shortcut to this on your desktop, and run the game from this new shortcut.

A poll at MATY revealed that most people were not pirating and had no interest in pirating prior to experiencing issues with SecuROM, but that they were suddenly more amenable to the concept.


* We at Sims 2 Snapshots do not endorse actual piracy. That is naughty, bad and wrong. However, if you have purchased a legal copy of a software title and wish to avoid SecuROM and other issues (such as games "phoning home" without your permission via the Internet, or conflicting with your anti-virus software or CD burner), and if you wish to make one legal backup copy of your legally purchased software, you can try the following steps (also from MATY):

How To Play A Legally Backed Up copy of The Sims 2 (and EPs):

Step 1: Get yourself an ISO, or BIN and CUE files of the EP you wish to play.

Step 2: Download DAEMON Tools. Do a scan for spyware after installing.

Step 3: Mount the ISO/CUE file in DAEMON Tools.

Step 3a: If you haven't already, you will be prompted to install the game. This may require mounting multiple ISO/CUE files, depending on what you've "backed up".

Step 4: Game won't run? Download the SecuROM loader (The MATY member who wrote this says he uses version 1.2; the offending SecuROM program above is v7.x+), and extract it to the directory of your choice.

Step 5: Now modify your "Sims 2 (EP/SP name)" shortcut to the following: "(path to asr.exe) -r "(path to SIMS2(EP/SP whatever).exe"".

Hit "Change Icon" and locate the "SIMS2(EP/SP whatever).exe" file to restore the icon back to its former glory.

    * FOR EXAMPLE: My TS2 install is located at "J:\Games\The Sims 2\The Sims 2\TSBin\SIMS2.EXE", and asr.exe is located at "J:\Games\asr.exe". So the shortcut I use is ""J:\Games\asr.exe" -r "J:\Games\The Sims 2\The Sims 2\TSBin\SIMS2.exe"".

Normal command line options can be added after the SIMS2(EP/SP number).exe, such as "-w -r800x600" for a game in windowed mode, with a screen resolution of 800x600.

Step 6: Run the game!


WARNING: I'm only moderately technical, but have not had time to play the BV EP, much less install it and then deal with SecuROM removal hassles and making a no-cd link. If you are intimidated by these instructions, get a geeky buddy to help you. I can't walk anyone through it until I do it myself, and I'd probably just parrot the instructions above back to you anyway.

NOTE: I offer you these guidelines only to those customers of EA who are having serious SecuROM-related issues and to customers with legal copies of the Bon Voyage EP (and other effected EPs) who do not plan to abuse the information to bypass EA's copyrights. If you already have a legal copy of the BV EP and are not able to play it thanks to SecuROM, however, this advice may keep you from having to return your legally purchased game, and returning the game would mean less money for EA. If you plan on playing the EP, this will help you do so without dealing with damage to your other legal software.

Hope this helps.

P.S. Some Sims players are considering a class action lawsuit, thanks to the time and money they have had to spend fixing the damage SecuROM has wrought upon their machines. If you are interested, keep on the lookout for more information on that.

** Colorful expletives courtesy of Weebl and Bob.

Comments

Thanks for posting this. I haven't had time to read all the threads, but I know that people are being difficult on the Sims 2 site. I was appalled at the behaviors exhibited by the mods there.

I haven't had trouble so far, but having ANY crap from Sony on my computer pisses me off to no end. Sony is evil beyond evil, and I refuse to use their products. Thus, PS2, PS3, PSP, etc, not to mention SONY artists are all banned from my house. Until they can clean up their act, and stop treating us like crimminals, they don't deserve my money.

/rant.
This has happened before, believe it or not (Not too difficult really)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Sony_BMG_CD_copy_protection_scandal
Through good luck & good management, I have avoided infesting my computer with securom! (insert happy shimmy of joy here)

How I did it:

Install bv. Do not load the game. remove disc from drive & store it somewhere saqfe - like the freezer.

download cd-free hack. follow instructions that come with it.

delete current bv desktop icon thingy. create new shortcut from the exe.

frack around with the shortcut so it now goes to windowed mode (I don't know if this made a difference, but fuck, if it did you should know)

And this is how I stand before you, proudly scurom-free. For now. :D

I hate my keyboard.
Milla Harper

March 2008

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