Computer game query (disc ID?)

I have a legal copy of both Civilisation 3, and the extension (Play the World) installed on my home machine.
It works fine.

As I teach computer games at my school (yes, really!), I agree the budget to buy several copies, then lend my disc to our computer department, so they can quickly check there will be no compatability problems with our network.

While my disc is away, my mate brings his copy of Play the World round, so we can continue our saved game (on my machine).
But the game won’t load. :eek:
It just keeps repeating ‘disc not recognised - please insert correct CD’.

Is this because each disc of Play the World has some unique characteristic?
That would explain my problem - but why would the manufacturers (Firaxis games) go to all that trouble?
Does any Doper know?

Hey Glee are you the same computer game teacher that was on the Neverwinter Nights Forums a while back??

As for your quandary, it is likely that the game uses some sort of copy protection (SecureRom for example).

In order to defeat this type of copy protection you have to make a bit by bit copy of the game disk. I can fill you in on specifics just send me an email :wink:

I’m a firm believer in that after you pay for a game you should be allowed to make a backup copy of the master game disk. This is NOT illeagal, but it’s hard to do when companies use copy protection on their disks.

I don’t think that was me, but I’m easy to spot on the Web - I always use ‘glee’!
I’ve posted a fair bit on, and i know there are some other Dopers there too.
Also I’m a full-time chess teacher (ah, great job), who has computer games as a sideline (smug).

Thanks for the clarification!

I’m also grateful for your offer of help. Fortunately I will soon get my original disc back, plus one of my mates knows how to make security copies.

As you say, backup copies are legal (we got that confirmed from a game company that said “if you can break our copy protection, no problem with making one security backup, which you keep in a drawer - just don’t make any more, nor sell any!”. So that’s what we did.

As you obviously know this stuff, would you like to answer this one: because I thought the above might be the case, I reinstalled the game on my machine from my friend’s disc. Yet I still got the same error message. Why is that?

Hmm, strange. Although I don’t know the answer to why it’s not finding the disc, I can offer a solution. If you search - - - or - - - you can find a ‘crack’ or patch for the game. This usually modifies the main .exe file of the game so it’s best to backup the original before any modifications. I am pretty sure this is legal since the - - - website has been around for a long time. I think it’s similar to the idea that we are entitled to backup copies of our games, so we are allowed to modify the game so we don’t need to fish out a CD just to bypass a CD check every time we want to play the game.

autobulb, it is not legal to reverse engineer or crack the game in question. A clause to this effect is included in the End User Licence Agreement on the game CD.

Please do not offer information of this sort on these boards. Thank you.

General Questions Moderator

Xash, it is questionable if an EULA would actually hold up in court.

asterion, arguably so.

However, the Straight Dope Message Board does have stricter policies - at times - when it comes to grey areas of the law or copyright issues.

This is in the interest of protecting the boards from any perceivable lawsuits, among other reasons.

I appreciate that you understand.

General Questions Moderator

Sorry about that.

No problem, autobulb. It does take a little time to get used to things around here.

Thanks for your understanding and welcome to the boards.