Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Game Launcher in Windows Vista won't launch

A little over a week ago I purchased a game via MSN games for the PC for my partner. She played for several hours when we first got it. She played the next day as well. I played it a little and then ignored. She went back to it last night and it didn't work.

This morning, while tracking down a separate problem with a different program, I noticed an entry in the Windows Vista error log for the game. I promptly ignored it and hoped that she had gotten to play. Alas she reported to me this morning that it wouldn't work under her login nor mine.

I attempted to launch the game and got an error message indicating that the Game Launcher would not launch and was closing. Hm...I Googled the problem and noted that a lot of other people were reporting the same problem, but did not have a solution. I sent an email off to MSN and to the game's manufacturer asking for a solution or a clue to find it.

I tried an uninstall and noticed that it had a repair function. Cool, I thought, I'll do that. All that did was give me a window to find the install package. I pointed to the directory with the install package and I got another error saying that it couldn't find the package. It asked for another directory. For kicks, I tried the programs directory. That didn't work either. Finally I decided to just uninstall and reinstall. Both completed successfully, but I still got the error message regarding the Game Launcher.

Then I recalled that in order to correct the other program's problem I had changed a setting in Windows Vista that may have caused this problem. So, I've got Windows Vista Ultimate and this worked for me. It may work for you. Go to Start>Computer and right click to Properties. Click Advanced System Settings and when the dialog box pops up asking for permissions to run the program click "Continue". Click the "Advanced" tab. Under the Performance heading click settings. Go to the tab labeled Data Execution Prevention. Make certain that the radial button for the following heading is on: "Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only". If it is not, then click that on and click Apply. This will require a system reboot to apply the changes. After that, my program worked fine except for one thing: it won't fire from inside the Games menu. I created a shortcut and left it on the desktop as clicking the executable file works fine. Probably another uninstall reinstall will fix that. In any case, the program works fine now.

Also of note: Simply clicking "Run this program as administrator" did not resolve the issue. Only following the steps above did the trick. Now, how did I get DEP turned on for all programs? I did it myself while trying to track down the problem with Ad-Aware 2007 (still haven't found that problem yet, but I'm pretty sure it's within the program). The result of turning DEP on for all programs was that my error log was reporting that several different programs were failing to run as expected. So, tracked that down...now back to Ad-Aware which is hanging whenever it gets to the GUID scan of the registry. Hm, perhaps running it in XP compatible mode would do the trick? Reminder: if it doesn't reset the control back to the way it was before moving on to the next "solution".

Now playing: Rufus R. Jones - Boogie Man
via FoxyTunes


Anonymous said...

you made my day and I thank you very much!I thought I would go mad with the VISTA game error. You are my new hero!

averismom1009 said...

that is a great help, thank you very much. now i have another problem. I bought an all in one printer two months before i got vista and now that won't work either. after i have contacted the printer company many, many times I still cannot use it. any help?

Cheryllynn said...

you rock!! you are better than the ppl at hp support center!

Gill said...

Thank you so much! This problem has been driving me nuts for months as it only affected new game downloads - my existing games worked fine. Now, thanks to you, I can play some new ones. Gill

LJS/Chainz2 Relinked said...

Been there, done that...still doesn't work. Any other suggestions? L)