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All currently supported Windows operating systems have the SafeDisc copy protection drivers disabled due to the fact that it is no longer developed and Microsoft claims to have security holes. Many retail versions of games, particularly from the late 1990s and early 2000s, are unable to run without this driver enabled. Players are left with three options: purchase digital releases of their games (if individual games even have them), seek out no-disc cracks (which is legally dubious and often risky), or find a workaround to re-enable the SafeDisc driver.
Among the affected games are the retail versions of following Command & Conquer titles: Tiberian Sun, Firestorm, Red Alert 2, Yuri’s Revenge, Renegade, Generals, and Zero Hour. The First Decade and The Ultimate Collection releases of these titles, as well as freeware distributions of Tiberian Sun and Firestorm are not affected by this.
Re-enabling SafeDisc on Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1
These Windows operating systems still have the necessary driver, but an update created in 2015 disabled it. Luckily, this is easily reversible.
- Go to the Control Panel. Choose Windows Update, then Installed Updates.
- In the list of updates, search for the one that has the number KB3086255.
- Right-click on it and remove it.
- Restart your computer.
- Go back to the Control Panel, then Windows Update. Manually check for updates.
- When the list of pending updates appears, choose Important Updates.
- Right-click on the KB3086255 update and click “Hide This Update”.
- Exit the Control Panel.
Re-enabling SafeDisc on Windows 10
Windows 10 shipped with the SafeDisc driver (a file named secdrv.sys) removed entirely. It is not difficult to restore the driver to the proper location (C:\Windows\System32\drivers) from an earlier operating system, but Windows 10 refuses to run drivers that are not digitally signed for security reasons. While a comprehensive solution has yet to be released at the time of writing this guide, those more technically competent can check out an open-source PowerShell script called PsSecDrv.