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Launching “HALO 2 for Windows Vista” on Windows 7

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Published on: 20/01/2013

My son got XBOX before Christmas and I couldn’t resist trying it. So, now I have some rest from my electronics hobby. Apart of this I’m building my hobby working place instead of the messy temporary one that I’ve used. I’ll do a post about it as well when it is done.

So, after I enjoyed the redesigned version of the first Halo – “Halo: Combat Evolved – Anniversary”, which came with the console, I wanted to try the second part as well. Unfortunately, there is no special XBOX 360 version of this game. The choice is between the original XBOX game and a game for PC. The graphics in PC version are greatly improved, so I went to the nearest video game shop and bought it there for $19. On Amazon it is even cheaper: 

Also, I’ve bought a wired XBOX controller there, because it can be connected to a PC as well, while the wireless one requires a special adapter. This game is designed for the controller, so playing it on PC with the controller feels like playing on XBOX. It is good to have the second controller anyway, so we can play with my son together in some games. Amazon also sells such controllers: 

The PC version of the game is called “Halo 2 for Windows Vista” while I have Windows 7 installed on my computer which caused an error when I tried to start the game: “LIVE Gaming on Windows failed to initialize. This may be because another LIVE Gaming on Windows application (such as the Halo 2 dedicated server) is running on the same machine. Otherwise, reinstalling the game may fix this problem”

It was quite easy to solve this issue. I needed to install the latest version of “Games LIVE”, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Internet site. Also, it has an update for the game there which I recommend to download as well, because it fixes some problems with XBOX controllers. If this measure wasn’t enough, you can check this site for another solution.

After that the game was launched but I wasn’t able to play because it required a connection to my “Games LIVE” profile (which is the same as “XBOX LIVE” profile). It said that my product key was invalid, despite that it fit perfectly for the program activation during its installation: “Can’t sign in because your product key is not valid”.

It happened because Microsoft already turned off the servers for the game. I spent about an hour on Microsoft support telephone line. Half of this time they tried to convince me that this game is impossible to launch on Windows 7 (yeah-yeah…) and that this game doesn’t have customer support any more. Finally, they gave up and connected me with a guy from Xbox LIVE support which was the most helpful to resolve the problem. To save you some time I decided to share the recipe with you. On the first “Games LIVE” screen a “Create New Profile” option need to be chosen. On the following screen you need to scroll the text to its bottom and find a “create local profile” link in it. Just click on it and follow the instructions to create a local profile. It will allow playing the game, but multiplayer and achievements won’t be available. It shouldn’t be a problem, because the servers are turned off anyway.

Hope it was helpful. Enjoy!

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