Following our report last month highlighting the fact that SafeDisc and SecuROM DRM support was completely removed in Windows 10 - meaning older games from the noughties could no longer be played in the new OS - Microsoft has now gone ahead and disabled it in Windows Vista, 7 and 8 too, by means of an update.
The update responsible is MS15-097 and is a "security update for the graphics component in Windows". Microsoft says the update "addresses a defence-in-depth update for the secdrv.sys driver, a third-party driver. The update turns off the service for the secdrv.sys driver." In addition, the document also helpfully points out that "This may affect the ability to run some older games."
However, even if you have installed this update, unlike in Windows 10, there is a workaround to get it working again. Since Microsoft does not actually remove the secdrv.sys file, the service can be enabled (and disabled) manually in a command prompt, to start the service:
sc start secdrv
And after you have finished playing your DRM protected game, you can stop the service with the following command:
sc stop secdrv
Although Microsoft does publish this workaround along with the details for the MS15-097 security update, the company warns users that it "may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses."
This is just another example of the negative effects DRM has on the consumer, and aside from having to buy the game a second time digitally (if you can find it) it certainly shows how technology, even in software, can artificially shorten the shelf life of said product.
Or, as we said before, there's always the NoCD patch route that (might) be available.