Pawel Debski – SW Development and other thoughts Java, Microsoft.Net C#, TIBCO, WebMethods, Oracle, Informatica

Making Unreal Tournament work under MS-Windows 7

My kids are grown-up, we had a guest today and idea arose to play some game in a team. The problem is that we have only one strong PC with a modern graphic card. Dead end? Suddenly “click” – Unreal Tournament has excellent playability and works with older hardware. Great! I’ve browsed my archives and found a copy of UT2004 that I played in 2005-2006.

Tried to launch it and then bdzionk, does not work under MS-Windows 7, namely cannot find CD-Key even though the correct one in the registry:

“Your CD key appears to be invalid. You will need to reinstall the game and enter your CD key to fix this problem.”

Googling, googling, no solution. Hmm, some people report that it in fact works under MS-Windows 7. What the heck?

I knew that MSW7 is doing strange things with registry and system directories to make older apps run as ordinary user – a technique similar to sandbox in some antivirus software. After browsing registry we found an interesting node:


Quick googling revealed a few interesting links: – Microsoft MSDN: 32-bit and 64-bit Application Data in the Registry – Microsoft Support article: How to view the system registry by using 64-bit versions of Windows

Oh yeah! That’s it! After modifying UT registry keys we made the game run:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Unreal Technology\Installed Apps\UT2004]
"CDKey"="<put your CD-Key here>"
"ADMIN_RIGHTS"="You need to run this program as an administrator, not as a guest or limited user account."
"NO_DISC"="No disc in drive. Please insert the disc labeled 'Unreal Tournament 2004 Play Disc' to continue."
"NO_DRIVE"="No CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive detected."
"TITLEBAR"="Unreal Tournament 2004"
"WRONG_DISC"="Wrong disc in drive. Please insert the disc labeled 'Unreal Tournament 2004 Play Disc' to continue."

Ok, runs. Even runs as an ordinary user, not Administrator. Great. Let’s play multi-player. Add exceptions to the Windows Firewall, create the game, join it… what’s the f.*

It has been determined that the Windows Firewall is enabled and that UT2004 is not yet authorized to connect to the internet. Authorization is required in order to use the online components of the game. Please refer to the README.TXT for more information.

When I run UT2004.exe as an Administrator it works nice, lets me create & host games, lets me join the games created by other, but I hate running programs as an administrator! Oh please, Unreal, do not be stupid, I’ve added exceptions for you, do not be such an a.*le.

This time Gugiel helped us:

Voila, adding the following lines at the end of UT2004.ini file helps:


Unreal Tournament 2004 run as a charm and we had a few exciting matches in 5 people team until my wife got enraged enough to threat us to cut power from the house altogether…

And finally a few useful links: – Unreal Tournament 2004 Game Description – Unreal Tournament Default Keyboard Layout

The solution is a collective work of Blazej Zielinski, Michal, Witek and Pawel Debski, and even Zosia helped to mobilize the gang by jumping and crying that she needs to play just now.

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