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bmburke1@comcast.net

BAT won't install, says SC4 deluxe version not installed

15 posts in this topic

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

I've seen this topic here and elsewhere without a solution.  I'm hoping I just missed it.

I was able to install and use the SC4 lot editor and thought I'd try to use the building editor (BAT).  I downloaded and installed GMAX but when installing BAT I get the the following error message

"Simcity 4 Deluxe does not appear to be installed.  You will need to install Simcity 4 Deluxe in order to use the Building Architect Tools"

 

I don't have installation disks as I downloaded Simcity 4 Deluxe from Origin.  It is installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition.

I tried copying the "SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition" game directory to C:\Program Files\Maxis and to C:\Program Files(x86)Maxis and to C:\Programs\Maxis hoping that the BAT installer was just looking for the SC4 app there but I get the same error message.

I searched the registry (I'm running Windows 10) for "Simcity 4" and found numerous references but the only one with an entry like "Install Dir" was located in \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Maxis\Simcity 4.  I don't want to start messing around with the registry not knowing if this entry is important or what I should change it to.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Your problem is Origin. The version of SC4 that they supply has been modified, as such the BAT installer which was not updated to reflect this and thus can not validate the Origin modified copy of the main .exe.

The only solution is to install a non-messed with version, like the original CDs. You have to uninstall the Origin version first. Use that to validate the BAT installation, then you can switch back to the Origin version once more (uninstall CD version first).

Sucks a bit, but since Origin deny the very existence of the BAT tool, that's what you gotta do.

T Wrecks likes this

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I think so, but I have no direct experience of using either. Since the problem is down to modification of the SC4.exe, I don't know what if anything GoG or the other DRM free vendors did there. Assuming it's just the regular patched or unpatched .exe without further modifications, then the checksum should validate.

Origin further modified the .exe to add in the DRM, I don't see how the Steam version would be any different. It's that action that causes the .exe to fail the check. It's a 2-minute update to the installer to add the information that would allow the BAT installer to validate. But I think without the sort of pressure Alex managed to put on EA with the unpatched .exe problem, little will happen here. Since so few people care about using the BAT, I doubt the required support could be garnered for such.

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Bombardiere mentioned in a thread within the past week that the GOG version worked fine, with no problems installing BAT, et. al.

As one of the shrinking number of BATters that uses little old gmax, it makes me kind of sad.  But that's what I get for hanging on to such an antiquated program...

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Yes, GOG is fine. I have Lot editor, Maxis PIM and GMAX / SC4Bat tool running without any extra work. I can't remember did I have to install any updates, probably not. But Lot editor, PIM and Bat tool are not included in GOG download package. I had to get those separately.

My guess is that the Steam is same than GOG. Its DRM is via Steam launcher. But I can't confirm it first hand.

Madhatter, don't worry about the GMAX. We all need to install it as 3DS MAX scrib needs it for the render progress. :party: Anyway, you have proven that GMAX is still a valid tool in right hands. :D 3DS MAX is better in many ways, but no tool alone makes the master. :)

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Thanks for the responses RSC204, T Wrecks, and madhatter106.  I hoped the BAT installer was just looking for the existence of the SC4.exe file in a Simcity4 Deluxe folder in a specific location and not the internals of the app.   I guess I'll buy a copy of SC4 Deluxe from eBay.  It's selling for under $10.

RSC204, is there a reason you think I should save then restoreand use my current Origin install after installing the CD version to get the BAT installer to work?  I thought I'd just save my regions and plugins folders and copy them into the new CD installation.

Thanks again.

Edit: Cr@p.  Forgot about NAM.  I should probably do what you suggested.


  Edited by bmburke1@comcast.net

New Info

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Well you might find the CD version no longer works. Fully patched versions of Windows Vista - 8.1 will all fail to run the CD. Windows 10 will fail to run it, patched or otherwise. This is because MS removed the drivers for the DRM system on the disk, preventing the game from validating it's genuine. You can force your way around it, but really the CD's are just a work-around for installing the BAT. If you are spending cash, try to get a refund from Origin and get a digital version that will both work and allow the BAT installer to work. DRM free versions will never end up broken in the way these other systems are now, hence they are a better future proof way of buying software.

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rsc204: Thanks for the response.  You reminded me of the fiasco I encountered with missing DRM drivers that prevented me from using Simcity 3000 which is now shelfware.  Origin/EA was clueless.  I'm going to have to think this through about whether BAT is worth all of this.  My wife already (nicely) complains that I spend too much time on Simcity 4.  Given that and the potential for really screwing up what works well, I may just leave well enough alone.  Thanks again.

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There is no potential for calamity here :)

Just to be clear, uninstalling and reinstalling the application won't affect your Regions or Plugins. It will ask during uninstallation if you also want to remove user files or something like that, simply don't do this and all will remain in place as before. Personally, I don't rely on such things, in which case simply moving the contents of the SimCity 4 folder in My Documents somewhere else before you begin, will ensure these files remain safe and backed up.

As for the BAT, that's certainly something you'll end up sinking a lot of time into if you want to make anything of quality or simply get familiar with it.

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The digital copy I purchased years ago at Amazon also work with GMAX and BAT and every other tool. It is fully patched to level 1.1.641.1
 

Kind regards!

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rsc204: My fear of screwing things up is a reaction to the many times I've tried to do something seemingly simple on a pc only to have it trigger a slippery slope of ever worsening problems.  I recall a time I tried to back up a hard drive only for the process to discover bad blocks in some system file which hadn't cause previous problems.   It started a cascade of other problems that resulted in buying a new drive and starting over because the transfer software that came with the new drive (and other similar utilities I found) failed because - wait for it! - the source drive had bad blocks!  Go figure that someone with a faulty hard drive would buy a new one to transfer their software to.   (In another scenario, I started fixing a dripping faucet and before I was done I ended up completely remodeling the bathroom.)

In this instance, I worry about uninstall programs not completely removing registry entries and similar problems and the two versions of the program, even with the other removed, not playing nice with each other.  After all, we are dealing with Origin and Microsoft, the fine folks who made sure that software we've bought and paid for won't work because they only want their software to work for people who bought and paid for it.  I have to think about the risk/reward tradeoff and once (often) burned / twice shy.  That so many such as yourself seem to have come out ok is reassuring.

Thanks again.

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markussaage: I'm glad your setup works for you but I'm not sure why.  In researching my problem I've come across many who are experiencing the same thing.  Many of us have found SC4 utilities won't work with the Origin version of the program.  And the original SC4 program on disk won't work because the DRM (digital rights media - copy protection) is no longer supported by Microsoft (according to  rsc204 which I believe because the same thing happened to me with SimCity 3000.)  Somehow, you got a download that mimics the original SC4 install without the DRM problem.

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Well I deal with such problems a lot, and yes sometimes the seemingly trivial thing goes wrong and that's a headache. MS aren't evil, a computer is after all not like any other appliance that was ever made. Two people will buy an identical computer, but within hours they will be anything but. Supporting every possible configuration of things is no easy task. My general experience is that each new iteration of Windows brings major benefits in terms of how things work together. Long gone are the days when it would take hours to get a new piece of software configured to work.

When an uninstaller fails, that's usually because either it was badly written or the installation has been modified. Like broken links on the internet, the uninstaller doesn't know where to find everything if something is not where it was originally, causing an error. Corruption of files can also cause this, but that really is a case of a fault somewhere. For example a hard drive with bad sectors may simply not be able to recover your data. This isn't an error of the new HDD or transfer software, the original part is faulty/broken.

Anyhow, I've not had an issue with the SC4 installer/uninstaller. But before doing anything, go to "System Restore" in Windows and make a backup/restore point. That way, if the worst happens, you just tell Windows to return everything to how it was before you started. Note this is for the Operating System/Software, it does not cover personal files/data.

As for the Amazon edition, I think many of the digital versions you can buy are just a carbon copy of the original files on the CD. It was the CD itself that needed to be "unlocked" by validating it. So these files not on a disc, would not be subject to the same DRM checks. Indeed this problem does not affect just SC4, but thousands of games that relied on this DRM. The problem was, it was such a soft form of DRM, everybody let it go and never refused to buy it. But, as has occurred with MS removing safedisc support (they claim for security reasons, I personally don't buy that). Even so called soft-DRM is bad. You wouldn't accept having to re-purchase your light bulbs every few years because they were no longer compatible? Yet with computers, we've all allowed such DRM to become the norm :(.

The problem is that both Origin and Steam have further modified the code, to add new DRM systems used by them. For example, if you don't ever log Steam into the internet, eventually you can no longer play SC4 or other games bought through the service. This kind of DRM is seriously harmful when it goes wrong, people may laugh, but if Steam went bankrupt, what do you think would happen to the games you bought and paid for? The answer is "poof" and they'd be gone for good. Just like with MS removing safedisc support, one day, no doubt something will stop these downloads from working. <hint> I kid you not, they are trying to do this now with lightbulbs, tying them to your smartphone/tablet to turn them on/off. Upgrade your phone, software not compatible, you'll need new bulbs!!!

GoG, Gamersgate, Amazon and a number of other retailers are not bothered about adding DRM to old games. Therefore, so long as you don't loose the file - even then you can re-download it - You should never have to worry about buying another copy of SC4 again. It has the added benefit here that because the code wasn't modified, the BAT installer will recognise your install as genuine. All EA/Origin would have to do to fix this, is update the BAT installer to recognise the changes they made to SC4 for Origin. That's literally a tiny amount of effort, but you only have to look here to see how much fuss it took for Origin to distribute a patched version of SC4. The reason it was un-patchable? The same as your problem with the BAT, the patches we're not updated to validate the modified files.

Jasoncw likes this

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Thanks rsc204.  I understand your points but my frustration with the transfer software was that it wouldn't transfer anything even though it was able to read 99.9% of the disk.  I was able to copy much of it manually by buying an external USB enclosure.  And as for System Restore, it is incredibly unreliable and often fails by simply telling you it was unable to do the restore without even so much as an error code.  (It may have improved since I last used it.)  There's probably some info available in the Computer Admin logs but that usually requires a lot of research to decipher with the inevitable rabbit holes to wander down.

I'm pretty familiar with this stuff.  I was a software engineer back in the DOS/Windows 3.1/95 days and remained in technology positions until just recently.  You're absolutely right that users and the changes they (we!) make to their systems have a lot to do with the complexity of uninstall programs.  But I've seen first hand how lazy some business analysts' and programmers' thinking can be.

Thanks for the info on why the Amazon downloads could work and still be identical to the disk.  I'm wishing I bought a copy there last week rather than on disk via eBay.  Knowing myself, I'll probably take the risk and save my regions and plugins (just in case), create a restore point, uninstall my Origin SC4, load the disk version I bought on eBay so I can install BAT, uninstall the disk version and reinstall the Origin version, reinstall NAM then copy in my plugins and regions.  It will give me a chance to clean some things up.  And BAT intrigues me.

I hadn't heard about the internet "enabled" lightbulbs but am not surprised in the slightest.  Everything is going "smart."  It will probably kill some of us.  Robert Heinlein wrote a short story where the hero saved the day after the ship's navigation system failed because he studied the ancient and obscure art of mathematics and could calculate a course using the equivalent of pencil and paper.

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