Launching “HALO 2 for Windows Vista” on Windows 7

My son got XBOX before Christmas, and I couldn’t resist trying it. So, now I have some rest from my electronics hobby. Apart from this, I’m building my hobby working place instead of the messy temporary one 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 also wanted to try the second part. Unfortunately, there is no particular XBOX 360 version of this game. The choice is between the original XBOX game and a game for PC. The graphics in the PC version are greatly improved, so I went to the nearest video game shop and bought it there for $19.

Also, I’ve bought a wired XBOX controller there because it can also be connected to a PC, 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 some with my son together in some games. Amazon also sells such controllers.

The game’s PC version 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 pretty easy to solve this issue. I needed to install the latest “Games LIVE” version, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Internet site. Also, it has an update for the game there, which I recommend downloading because it fixes some problems with XBOX controllers. You can check this site for another solution if this measure isn’t enough.

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 my “XBOX LIVE” profile). It said my product key was invalid, although 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 the 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 in resolving the problem. I decided to share the recipe with you to save you some time. On the first “Games LIVE” screen, a “Create New Profile” option need to be chosen. On the following screen, scroll the text to its bottom and find a “create local profile” link. 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.

I hope it was helpful. Enjoy!

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