Invalid CD key cockup

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Invalid CD key cockup

Post by a nameless entity » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:46 pm

Earlier today I was playing a few rounds of UT2k4. As sometimes happens the game seemed to semi lock up during a map change on the server. When that happens you usually end up looking at the map loading screen for a while. This time I don't think I even got that far into the map change. Usually it eventually sorts itself out, although once that stupid hdd starts cranking away like that it can take quite a while before it settles down. This time it didn't settle down, and I got so exasperated that I forced a shut down of my PC.

(NO, minimizing the game and closing it does not work. Even when you can get the PC to obey the command to minimize the game, that's about all you can do with it. The game has the PC totally engrossed in spinning the hdd forever, and it might as well be a DOS machine, no other tasks can be done on the desk top.)

I decided to do a disk check after the reboot for I was sure shutting down during such mad hdd spinning must have fouled up something. I saw this message on the screen during the disk check:

Deleting corrupt attribute record (128 " ) from file segment 22664.

Then later in the process I saw:

Inserting data attribute into file 22664.

I've never ever seen that before during a disk check, by the way. So I guess it was a good idea to scan the disk and have it do the repairs it can do. Then I defragged the hard drive even though it supposedly didn't need it. For I disagree with windoze about how much file fragmentation is okay.

[nameless finally gets to the point! yay!!]:

However now when I try to start the game a little window opens up that says:

"Your cd key appears to be invalid. You will need to reinstall the game and enter your cd key to fix the problem." Trying to startup in UT safe mode does NOT work, sadly enough.

Is there something I can change in the game .ini file that might fix this problem? Reinstalling would be a pain in the a** so I'd like to avoid the hassle of reinstalling all my maps and mods.
I'm a man........but I can change........if I have to........I guess

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Re: Invalid CD key cockup

Post by Hermskii » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:59 pm

Doh! I just typed up a huge fix and then realized you're playing UT2004 and not UT99. Delete delete delete.

Do you not have the original key anymore?
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Re: Invalid CD key cockup

Post by a nameless entity » Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:17 am

Ah lol, sorry about that Herm. :oops:

Well this game although very cranky nowadays, has not seriously broken in so long that I was at a loss how to proceed. I keep forgetting how smart google is now, so I didn't think to search out a solution. I found the following advice in an old Beyond Unreal Forum post:
It sounds like your UT2004.ini file got corrupted.

Delete UT2004\System\UT2004.ini, and a valid version should be created when you start the game.
I did that, and the game is now playable again. Oddly, the fonts changed and so did the look and feel of the game's desktop. The view while in game seemed to be wider also, which I found weird. Weird too is the fact that I lost my server list under favourites, but kept my buddy list.

Most of my install of chaos ut2004 seems to still be usable, but I had to d/l a lot of files from your server. The bots included in the chaos mod have lost their unique looks, and now have a standard skin instead. Luckily I can still use the chaos weapon upgrades okay though.

So I'm going to have to go through the old ini file and the new one and try copying and pasting in what I think is missing. If the file goes bad I'll back up a step.
That's about all I can think to do at the moment. At least the game still runs.

EDIT: Well it seems I thoroughly trashed the UT2004.ini file that was in the system folder. It had almost nothing written in it, which would perhaps explain the cd key error problem. I discovered that I had a couple of backups in the root folder. Why I didn't name one as "backup" with its date of creation is beyond me. I went through them both and picked the best one and copied it over to the system folder. That fixed the look of the desktop, but curiously the fonts are still different, and I still do not have the chaos bot skins on those new characters you get with the mod. Another peek into the inards of the game is in order.
Oh btw, the game crashed during a map change a few minutes ago. So I'm almost completely back to "normal". :lol: :roll: :?

Edit #2: Bah! The game has somehow kept the names of the new characters you get with the chaos mod, but the skins are no longer available in the "choose character" window, which means the game can no longer see them, even though I'm sure they're still in the chaos mod's folder. I wonder how I fix that problem?
I'm a man........but I can change........if I have to........I guess

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Re: Invalid CD key cockup

Post by a nameless entity » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:08 pm

Well the fix was (almost) easy. I uninstalled the game. Actually no matter what I tried to do, I just could not give it all of the files it complained it needed to do a proper uninstall. So I just deleted it all (after backing it all up) and then cleaned the registry.

So now I get to do a reinstall some day. Let's hope that link to the Chaos mod still works. I lost my original copy of the installer when drive D failed.
I'm a man........but I can change........if I have to........I guess

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Re: Invalid CD key cockup

Post by Hermskii » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:15 am

Someday?
~Peace~

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Re: Invalid CD key cockup

Post by a nameless entity » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:33 pm

Yes, someday. Western Digital isn't making IDE ATA PATA drives any more, and the supply of new old stock ones around here dried up last Spring. I might find one somewhere I suppose. I'm not very enthusiastic about buying a used drive, but then I'm not too enthusiastic about sinking more money into an outdated PC either.

I just read about SATA to IDE adapters, and saw one large bulky solution and one more compact solution that promises you can go either from SATA to IDE or IDE to SATA.
But reading the reviews and the problems and solutions people found were so full of jargon that I had only a partial idea of what they were talking about.

All I want to do is make a SATA drive be a slave drive and take the place of the old standard sized drive that was my drive D, and somehow work in my DELL 8200 PC that is IDE ATA PATA.
I don't want to "clone" my C drive over to the SATA drive or anything fancy. I just want it to fit in the case, work properly, and be a storage drive that I can put my games onto.
I'm a man........but I can change........if I have to........I guess

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Re: Invalid CD key cockup

Post by Hermskii » Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:19 am

I may be able to help you here. Keep on me about this. I'll check my stock. I'm sure i have some good drives here. How big do you need it to be at least? Don't trouble yourself to upgrade to SATA drives on an old PC. It is pointless.

By the way, I sent you an email earlier today that someone else wanted me to forward to you. Did you get it?
~Peace~

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Re: Invalid CD key cockup

Post by a nameless entity » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:56 pm

Yes I got it, thanks. You should have my reply by now.

My old drive was 80 gb. Got anything around that size?

I have thought of a way to assuage my pride and accept your offer. So we can discuss all of the details via pm. :)
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Re: Invalid CD key cockup

Post by Hermskii » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:52 am

Cool. I actually just saw this. yes, I have a drive that size. We will talk!
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Re: Invalid CD key cockup

Post by Dr.Flay » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:56 am

All drives will age, and Windows scandisk is NOT your friend !
Its method of "fixing" (as you found) is to delete what it cannot read.

You need to run the drives own internal SMART tests.
Do a short test first, then an Extended test to fix the errors.
Western Digital
http://support.wdc.com/product/download ... =3&lang=en
http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/det ... V2l3YW0%3D

SMART Testing
http://hddguardian.codeplex.com (very good)
http://gsmartcontrol.sourceforge.net
(^ Those 2 are front-ends for http://www.smartmontools.org)
http://hddscan.com
http://www.passmark.com/products/diskcheckup.htm

Disk Fresh can "refresh" the tracks/blocks/cylinders. Using this several times a year will keep files from fading.
http://www.puransoftware.com/DiskFresh.html
http://alternativeto.net/software/diskfresh/ (compare to the alternatives)

:!: Over time the spindle and bearings wear, so the head position drifts and it cannot read or write within the boundary of the blocks.
A complete full format will re-write the track markers where the heads now position.
Tools like "DiskFresh" and "SpinRite" can shift the tracks without needing to empty and format the drive.

Monitoring
http://crystalmark.info/software/Crysta ... dex-e.html
http://www.acronis.com/en-gb/personal/h ... ve-health/

:!: You must find a SMART monitor you are happy to have sat in the background all the time.
The older your drives are, the more important this is.
Image
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