Fix: CD Games won’t play in Windows 10

By: Milan Stanojevic
4 minute read

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Many game developers are using all sorts of copy protection methods in order to protect their products. Although such protection is necessary, it seems that Windows 10 users are having some problems with it. Users report that CD games won’t play on Windows 10, but fortunately, there’s a way to fix this.

What to do if CD games won’t play in Windows 10

Table of contents:

  1. Check the developer’s website for latest patches
  2. Use dual-boot
  3. Use a virtual machine
  4. Buy a digital version of the game
  5. Add SafeDisc driver manually

Fix: Can’t play CD games in Windows 10

SafeDisc and SecuROM are copy protection programs used by game developers in order to prevent any unauthorized copying of their games. These tools were used heavily in the past decade, and now only older games tend to use SafeDisc and SecuROM. According to Microsoft, SafeDisc and SecuROM aren’t supported by Windows 10, therefore, many users won’t be able to run their favorite older games.

According to Microsoft, both SafeDisc and SecuRom are deeply embedded in the operating system, therefore they are a potential security threat. In fact, in November 2007 there was a security vulnerability discovered in SafeDisc that allowed hackers to take complete control of your PC. In order to protect its users, Microsoft decided to completely remove any support for SafeDisc and SecuROM in Windows 10.

Without support for SecuROM and SafeDisc in Windows 10, you won’t be able to play any older games, but there are few ways to circumvent this limitation.

Solution 1 – Check the developer’s website for latest patches

Many developers updated their games so they don’t require SafeDisc or SecuROM in order to work, and if you can’t run a specific game on Windows 10, make sure to visit the developer’s website and download the latest update. Bear in mind that not all older games had been patched, and certain number of games still requires SecuROM or SafeDisc in order to run properly.

Solution 2 – Use dual-boot

If you want to play older games on your PC, perhaps you should install older version of Windows alongside Windows 10. In order to do that, you’ll need to create a new partition using Disk Manager and install previous version of Windows on it. After installing older version of Windows, you can use that version to run any older games without problems. This might be the best solution if you have enough hard drive space for two versions of Windows.

Solution 3 – Use a virtual machine

If you don’t want to use dual-boot on your computer, you can run older version of Windows from a virtual machine. Just download tools such as VirtualBox and follow the instructions to create a virtual machine. We have to point out that virtual machine will run from Windows 10, thus requiring a lot of hardware power to work properly. If you’re planning to run virtual machine on Windows 10, make sure you have enough hard drive space and RAM.

Solution 4 – Buy a digital version of the game

If you want to run a specific older game on Windows 10 but you don’t want to use dual-boot or virtual machine, you might have to buy the digital version of that game. Many old games are available on Steam or GOG, so make sure to check them out. It has been confirmed that older games from GOG will work with Windows 10, so you might want to head over to GOG and download digital version of the games that won’t run on Windows 10.

Solution 5 – Add SafeDisc driver manually

We have to mention this solution can cause system instability and potential security issues, so use it at your own risk. To add SafeDisc driver manually follow these steps:

  1. Download Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider tool from here.
  2. Download SECDRV.SYS file or copy it from any older version of Windows. In older versions of Windows this file can be located in C:\windows\system32\drivers folder.
  3. Move SECDRV.SYS file to C:\windows\system32\drivers folder on your Windows 10 computer.
  4. Right click Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider and choose Run as administrator.
  5. Choose Enable Test Mode and click Next.
  6. Select Sign a System File, navigate to C:\windows\system32\drivers and select SECDRV.SYS file.
  7. Click OK and restart your computer.
  8. When your computer restarts, start Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider again and turn on Test Mode. After you’ve done that, you should be able to run old games once again on Windows 10.

Problems with CD games that won’t play on Windows 10 are caused by the lack of support for SecuROM and SafeDisc, but you can easily fix these problems by using some of our solutions. We also did a guide on how to play old games on Windows 10, so feel free to check it out if you need more information.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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