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Failure to Launch mystery

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Both CMSF and CMA used to work fine. Then I stopped playing them when CMBN came out. Now I want to go back and play these games again... But I find neither will launch now.

Note that to avoid UAC problems and the "saved files to the ADMIN folder" issue, I installed (or copied - I forget which) both games to a C:/SIMS directory rather than the default "Program Files (x86)" directory over a year ago.

However, both games worked fine up until I started playing CMBN exclusively when it was released.

Is there something in the BF license system that expires if not regularly activated from the (x86) folder or something like that?

Will I need to unlicense and reinstall both games? Or, is there something else I can try?


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CMBN uses a different copy-protection system from CMSF and CMA, which use eLicense. Installing and playing CMBN should NOT affect CMSF and CMA in any way that I'm aware of.

What exactly happens when you attempt to launch CMSF and CMA ? Has anything changed significantly about your system since you last played either game ? Certain hardware and operating system changes could 'invalidate' the activation for the games, such as changing the motherboard, CPU or possibly the video card. Reinstalling your OS could possibly cause problems with the registry settings for eLicense and also invalidate the activation.

eLicense games do NOT need to remain in contact with a license server or be played every-so-often for the license activation to remain valid. You DO need to contact the license server when initially activating and when unlicensing, but not at any time in-between to my knowledge.

If you go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services and look for the 'LicCtrl Service', is this 'Started' ? If not, right-click on the name and select 'Start'.

Has anything changed about your security software ? If you've changed security software or possibly added something since last running CMSF and CMA, then you may need to make changes to your security software (setting exceptions or possibly changing/disabling some features).

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Am not aware of any such changes I consciously made... I will check when I get back to the desktop in a couple of days.

But, currently when I try to start the .exe apps for either game, absolutely nothing happens, no error messages or anything.

It is possible that the problem arose because I merely copied (as opposed to reinstalled) CMSF and CMA to my C:/SIMS folder and subsequently (maybe around the time CMBN came out) deleted the original installs that were in the default Program Files (x86) directory? (I know the games don't interfere with each other, I am simply using the CMBN release as a time frame whn I recall making changes like deleting the old installs that were in the "Program Files x86" directory.)

I did do installs of CMA and CMBN (not CMSF yet) to a C:/SIMS folder in my laptop and both those games are running fine.

It's no biggy. I will attempt to reinstall and relicense when I get back. Was simply curious re the effect of copying the games from one folder to another, as opposed to installing.

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To my knowledge the game should remain "licensed" when you move them from one folder to another. Did you copy/move ALL of the files in their respective directories ?

Reinstalling them should get them going (CMA & CMSF) if the move caused some sort of problem. The games, to my knowledge, shouldn't need to be reactivated since eLicense should recognize them as already being activated. If there were major registry changes (such as when you reinstall an OS), then it is possible that the game may not recognize as being activated (requiring another activation).

If you do a reinstall, follow this order, which is geared towards individual modules. If you have 'bundles', then some things will get installed together and some steps may not be necessary:

1. Install CMSF. If you had licensed the base game separately, then you can launch CMSF and check its version. If you get an activation request, then you may not have activated it separately in the last install.

2. Install the 1.10 patch for CMSF. Launch CMSF IF you had separately licensed it, otherwise just go to Step 3.

3. Install the Marines module. Launch CMSF and see if you can see the Marines icon in the lower left of the main menu and that you're at version 1.10 or 1.11.

4. Install British Forces. Launch CMSF and confirm that you are at version 1.20 and that you can see the British icon in the lower left.

5. Install the 1.21 patch and make sure to select all of the appropriate modules you have (so that they all get patch). If a module disappears after this patch, then reinstall it and make the correct selections.

6. Install the NATO module. Launch CMSF and confirm that you are at version 1.30 and that you can see the NATO icon in the lower left.

7. Install the 1.31 patch and make the correct selections. Launch CMSF and confirm that you are at version 1.31 and that you can see all of the appropriate modules. Reinstall and make the correct selections if a module has disappeared.

Hopefully you don't get a license activation request with any of the installs. If you do, that indicates that the system (your computer) doesn't recognize that the license was activated, which means that you may have 'lost' an activation since it wasn't unlicensed beforehand (which I wouldn't assume would be necessary with moving the programs on the same hard drive and OS).

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I did not do an OS reinstall, or anything else that I am aware of. The games were working fine up to the time I stopped playing them (when CMBN came out). So, I presume that I did the COPY ok (well over a year ago).

I wonder if when I deleted the original installs made to the default "Program Files (x86)" directory (which I may have done to save HD space around the time CMBN came out) that I also deleted my CMSF and CMA elicense stuff? Or, are those safe in a completely different folder elsewhere?

I will simply attempt to unlicense and reinstall and relicense both CMSF and CMA and keep my fingers crossed. I bought the games and modules individually as they were released, so I presume that means I do not have "bundles".

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