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What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!!

 
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What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 12:48:57 AM   
sztomcat

 

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----Below is the email I sent to support@matrixgames.com yesterday but hadn't got any reponse:

"Today I tried to play TOAW3 (haven't played it for a while), only to get this message "There is an error with your serial number as entered. Please contact support@matrixgames.com for assistance. Error Code 0

What's wrong? I just wanted to play the game I paid for & I never shared my serial number with any body. I don't know what kind of anti-piracy system you implement, but you should never ever prevent a customer to play the game he paid & installed into his OWN computer.

This is ridiculous and I demand this to be solved ASAP"


-----Below is something more I found after I sent the email above, unfortunately, I sent the second email to matrixgames@digitalriver.com

"I just reported that my paid TOAW3 game suddenly said "serial number error" and refused to load. Then I also found that my WITP (War in The Pacific) & GGAWD (Gary Grisby's World At War: a World Divided) also had the same "serial number error" issue & all refused to load!! For WITP, it gave my "error 998", for GGAWD, it gave me "error 800".

I don't know what is going on, but it must be st. wrong on your side. I know computer very well, I don't think there could be any virus/spyware/computer issue causing this problem. Besides, all 3 games I played well months ago, which means the serial numbers just work fine then.

If this issue happened just to one of those 3 games, I would say maybe it's st. wrong in your online authentication database & it's somewhat excusable (though I don't think you have right to suddenly disable my game after I paid & installed it on MY own had drive through your online infringing and manipulating). But now sb. suddenly, secretly disabled 3 of my paid games without even notifying me, this is just too offending and it's the worst I experienced in gaming.

I also seriously concern about my computer security now: recently my computer became slower but no antibirus/anti-spyware could find any problem. If sb. could secretly disable all my games on my hard drive like this, they basically could do anything harmful to my computer.

Now I not only ask you make all my games working as before, I also need a good explanation: why and how sb. suddenly disable all my paid games?! I didn't share any of those serial numbers with anybody, so there's no chance they used my serials and caught your attention.

I paid about $200 for that 3 games ( I paid you >$300 in all) and it's bad enough for me to ... If others realize that being your paid customer could mean being robbed off secretly what is alrelay paid for, probably through intruding user's owncomputer, they would definately think twice about paying you in the future."

-----After I sent those 2 emails, I uninstalled GGAWD completely from my computer & reinstall it using the digital downloaded installation file. I didn't install any updates. I even disconnected my computer from internet so there's no chance it would go through a hidden online authentication (I bought legal copy of course, but who knows what happened on Matrix system?)...but still got the exactly same "serial numbe error, please contact support@matrixgames.com for help" message!! This almost is a proof that st. had been done to my own computer to prevent me even install & play the very original copy.

I wrote this new information to support@matrixgames.com this morning, still no reponse whatsoever from them. This is WAY TOO RIDICULOUS. I hate to complain this publicaly but I have no other choice if my 3 paid games were all non-playable & my computer security is threatened.

Post #: 1
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 12:59:30 AM   
LarryP


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Their serial numbers do not require anything online for authentication. It is entirely self contained in the software you bought or downloaded, and requires no Internet connection to work.

Since your PC has been going slower, maybe you should scan it with a different program for virus\trojans. I had three trojans a couple months ago and the weird things that my PC did was like it was on LSD.

(in reply to sztomcat)
Post #: 2
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 1:11:12 AM   
rogueusmc


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If it is the same install files you used the first time...the problem isn't with your games, it is with your computer...

I've had three of Matrix's games on two different machines for 5+ years and their games have never done anything to either one of them.

Semper Fi,
Lee

_____________________________

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.

Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


(in reply to sztomcat)
Post #: 3
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 1:13:09 AM   
rogueusmc


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Thinking back, the only time I had a serial number problem was when I tried to copy and paste my serial. The computer was puting a space at the end and the serial wasn't recognized. Are you typing the serials in or pasting them in?

Lee

_____________________________

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.

Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


(in reply to rogueusmc)
Post #: 4
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 1:30:42 AM   
MarcA


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You should also consider doing a scan disc to detect if your disc is picking up bad sectors and corrupting things.

_____________________________


(in reply to rogueusmc)
Post #: 5
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 1:45:51 AM   
sztomcat

 

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Thank you all for your kind reply & advice. However, I do have reasons to believe it's st. Matrix Games should take responsibility.

First, the error message is clear: "serial number error, please contact support@matrixgames.com"

Second, it's had to imagine a kind of virus/spyware/trojan just designed to disable your Matrix games and generate similar errors releated to incorrect serial number. In order for a virus/spyware/trojan to work that way, it must be designed specially against Matrix games, and the designer must be very farmiliar with Matrix Games software architechture in order to retrieve the "serial number" error.

Third, I am very sure those are correct serial numbers since when I installed them or even applied recent patch, the installation all let me go through. That error only happened then the program started to load and this never ever happened before. I actually didn't touch those games for months and the last time they all worked fine.

Fourth, I uninstalled/reinstalled one game from original installation file but it still refused me, which means even after I completely uninstalled this game, still st. was left on my computer to cause trouble. This of course COULD be some kind of trojan, but it must be specifically designed to wreck havoc on Matrix games. I don't think it's a reasonable doubt even. It's probably st. not completely uninstalled (a registry key or so) so this problem could not be solved by uninstalling/reinstalling.

Fifth, even if it's not Matrix's fault, their support should already give me respponse by now. You guys are not from Matrix, but see how much information/advice you offered me? All these years I paid Matrix hundreds of dollars, and they didn't even think my serious complaint should be replied within a working day?


Actually I think this issue is caused by Matrix Games secret anti-piracy practice. Probably they designed st. thing to trace & disable games they thought were piracy copies. Or (worse) one of their developers designed some special hidden codes to try to catch pirated copies. But as I said, I never ever shared my serial numbers with anybody and I am legal owner of all 3 matrix titles. Above all, I don't think any game company has the right to disable st. on other's computers . Of course they can refuse to authenticate a bad license key only if the game is designed to work after authentication that way, but that's all they are supposed to do. Even if later they found a license key is spread all over the wolrd, they still should not go into other's computers to prevent all games using the same license key from running, unless online license key authentication is required before every playing (which means you have to have internet connection before playing).

(in reply to rogueusmc)
Post #: 6
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 1:47:47 AM   
rtrapasso


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Can't help you with the other 2 games, but WITP's serial number can be retrieved by the utility listed on the main WITP forum sticky section:

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=849402

You can download this and check the serial number with what you've recorded...

(in reply to sztomcat)
Post #: 7
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 2:01:00 AM   
rogueusmc


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Dude, go have you computer checked out by a technician. Matrix doesn't spend money on secret anti-piracy stuff...

_____________________________

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.

Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


(in reply to sztomcat)
Post #: 8
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 2:11:14 AM   
sztomcat

 

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Thank you very much. All my serial numbers are from purchase confirmation emails I received from Matrix Games.

Anyway, there's not much chance that suddenly all my 3 Matrix games' serial numbers became bad, while all my other programs/games works fine. Computer issues (like disk error) would never cause this super-high coincidence (the 3 games were not even installed on the same hard disk!).

The only reasonable explanation beyond Matrix fault is some kind of funcky trojan, hidden from Norton/eTrust/Avast/Karpersky Antivirus scanning, designed just against Matrix Games, and was able to retrieve "serial number error" message from different games installed at different time on different hard drives.:)

(in reply to rtrapasso)
Post #: 9
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 2:20:16 AM   
rogueusmc


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Now where are you retrieving your serial from?...if it is the numbers on the disk that you are using, that isn't your serial. You have the e-mails that Digital River sent you with your serial numbers?

_____________________________

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.

Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


(in reply to sztomcat)
Post #: 10
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 2:27:52 AM   
sztomcat

 

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From: Ottawa, ON Canada
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I myself is a computer technician. But since this issue is specifically related to 3 different matrix games. I think it's 100% reasonable to ask Matrix for help. Maybe there's a hidden trojan designed to damage Matrix games, but then Matrix should be better informed on this issue than us customers.

Of course Matrix didn't spend money on "secret anti-piracy stuff", but the truth is: Matrix definately spend some money to write that "serial numbe rerror, please contact support@matrixgames.com" code (they were game errors, not online pop-up)! If Matrix programmers wrote that code, they must know exactly when & why that message could be triggered. Even if it's a trojan brought them up, at lease they could know how the trojan made it.

So the bottomline is clear here: only Matrix games affected, Matrix error message shown, Matrix support needed.





quote:

ORIGINAL: rogueusmc

Dude, go have you computer checked out by a technician. Matrix doesn't spend money on secret anti-piracy stuff...


(in reply to rogueusmc)
Post #: 11
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 2:29:13 AM   
sztomcat

 

Posts: 31
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From: Ottawa, ON Canada
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Below is one example:


Thank you for shopping at the Matrix Games Online Store. We have received your order.
Please keep this as your proof of purchase.

Please look for the following on your credit card statement: Look for DR *Matrix Games as the merchant on your credit card statement

YOUR ORDER AND BILLING INFORMATION

Order Number: 1616518207
Order Date: 06-JUN-06


Product Name Qty Ordered Platform Price
The Operational Art of War III 1 Digital Download PC Can$ 44.99


Sub Total: Can$ 44.99
Total: Can$ 44.99


Note: There may be a slight discrepency between the amount shown on your credit card statement and the amount shown in the total box due to internal rounding calculations.

Additional Information: The Operational Art of War III Digital River
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SERIAL NUMBER: 9156-9461-xxxx-xxxx


quote:

ORIGINAL: rogueusmc

Now where are you retrieving your serial from?...if it is the numbers on the disk that you are using, that isn't your serial. You have the e-mails that Digital River sent you with your serial numbers?


(in reply to rogueusmc)
Post #: 12
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 2:44:53 AM   
jwilkerson


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From: San Jose, CA
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quote:

Orig: sztomcat
----Below is the email I sent to support@matrixgames.com yesterday but hadn't got any reponse:


sztomcat,

You sent your query to the correct location - support@matrixgames.com - however you picked the one week of the year where pretty much the whole staff are out of pocket. Each year Matrix staff spends this week attending a big convention in USA called "Origins" and many folks are enroute at this time. Emails will be checked and things responded to - but responses will be slower this week and may carry into next week.

So bottom line your issues will be addressed and your patience is appreciated!


_____________________________

AE Project Lead

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Post #: 13
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/3/2007 5:44:32 PM   
Charbroiled


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This probably isn't related to your serial number problem, but it may be related to your "slow down" problem.

A couple of months ago, microsoft put out one of their incremental "updates" for Windows XP. This "update" actually caused problems with the automatic updates feature on Windows XP. The problem is that when your computer boots up, a process called svchost.exe (not to be confused with scvhost.exe...the virus) utilizes 100% of your CPU. There may be more then one process called svchost.exe running on your computer and these are neccesary processes. At the moment, the easiest way to fix the problem is to turn off the automatic update feature for Windows XP. Windows knows that there is a problem, but as far as I know they have not fixed it.....but then I have automatic updates turn off so I wouldn't get the fix unless I did did in manually.

As for your other problem....it sound like you have a virus. One that attacked your registary.

Or you installed a spyware blocker that for some reason identified Matrix serial numbers as spyware and is blocking access to them.

There can be a thousands of reason for your problem...most of them not related to Matrix. I really don't expect that Matrix will be able to help you much. It sounds like a hardware or virus problem more then anything else.

< Message edited by Charbroiled -- 7/3/2007 5:45:29 PM >

(in reply to sztomcat)
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RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/4/2007 1:12:02 AM   
sztomcat

 

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From: Ottawa, ON Canada
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Below is the 3 emails I wrote to Erik last night, I think they actually pointed to st. on your end, which is explained here (also what I thought)
 
 
Dear Sir:
 
I just tried to shutdown Avast Protection (I don't use firewall except Windows Firewall), but still got the same thing. But I did start to use Avast Home Edition recently (Norton gave me too much trouble), so it might cause trouble.
 
I would try this myself: intalling one of the 3 games in my Windows Vista, which also uses Avast now. Probably it would work and it would eliminate the possibility that my serial numbers were on a "black list" as one suggested in Matrix forum.
 
Recently my computer got extremely slow (could not find anything though) after running a while, so I did disable some autoload things.Could you tell me if any Windows startup process/driver/service was needed by your game?
 
My UV still works (it's a boxed version), but WITP got error (just error number, no mention about serial number though) right after I click "play xxxxx", the same as TOAW3. For AWD things are somewhat different, I have to wait until the opening movie is over & then game loading bar reached the end to get the same error message (different error number though) as in TOAW3.
 
Anyway, I will try some things myself according to your advice.
 
 
Thank you for your kind help.
 
 
 
 

Hi Erik
 
Good and bad news:
 
I tried to uninstall TOAW3 completely, clean registry & reinstall it, stopped my Avast protection. And it worked!!
 
However, then I apply the recent patch, still stopped Avast, this time the same error appeared.
 
I am about to try WitP now, I strongly feel it would work after I install the original copy but would fail after I installed the recent update.
 
However, for AWD, even the first installation would not work
 
What would this tell us if that's the case? I would say it's probably an issue related to your recent-changed serial checking system. Since TOAW3 is out about middle last year, but AWD is later than that, so I would guess you changed the serial checking system and use it on TOAW3 updates as well as new games like AWD. If anything is affecting that mechanism, it only affect recet one.
 
Later I would try this on my Vista partition, that would give us more useful information.
 
 
 
 
As I predicted, The original Witp works now after uninstall/reinstall (this time I didn't bother to clean registry)
 
But, right after I applied the dec 2006 update, the issue happened again.

(in reply to Charbroiled)
Post #: 15
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/4/2007 2:35:50 AM   
rogueusmc


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So you changed to Vista during that time too?...that just added a whole bunch more possibles.

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Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


(in reply to sztomcat)
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RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/4/2007 12:53:46 PM   
sztomcat

 

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No, I just installed Vista as a DUAL BOOT on my computer (the first day when Vista's out), but I seldom use Vista (not that compatible with programs) & didn't even bother to install Matrix games there.

Even after I installed Vista, I was still able to open those 3 games in Win XP. So this is definately not caused by Vista installation. No other program had issue in Win XP after DUAL BOOT installation either.

I am still waiting for Matrix games to reply to my recent emails. I still think this issue can only be solved with their help.

quote:

ORIGINAL: rogueusmc

So you changed to Vista during that time too?...that just added a whole bunch more possibles.


(in reply to rogueusmc)
Post #: 17
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/4/2007 3:48:15 PM   
michaelm75au


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When you applied the patch, what patch did you use?
You mention Dec2006, but what patch version was it?

From memory, there was some change done around the patch to 1.8.0.2 (?) in regard to security..there were a few reported issues on the forum after people updated their WITP.
I know this because recently I had installed a new copy of WITP on my laptop from the original release, patched it to 1.6 and then tried to patched it to 1.8.0.6.
The patch worked but the game would not run until I re-installed, patched to 1.6, then to 1802 and then patched to 1.8.0.6.
Of course, I was using incremental patches.
I expect the comprehensive one to have all applicable patch files in it.


_____________________________

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(in reply to sztomcat)
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RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/4/2007 5:07:32 PM   
rogueusmc


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You definately need to do 1.802 comprehensive, then the 1.806...

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There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.

Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


(in reply to michaelm75au)
Post #: 19
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/4/2007 5:18:40 PM   
rtrapasso


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogueusmc

You definately need to do 1.802 comprehensive, then the 1.806...



i think you meant 1.804 comprehensive, then 1.806 (revised) (NOT 1.806 hotfix)

(in reply to rogueusmc)
Post #: 20
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 7/4/2007 6:16:30 PM   
rogueusmc


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From: Texas...what country are YOU from?
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quote:

ORIGINAL: rtrapasso


quote:

ORIGINAL: rogueusmc

You definately need to do 1.802 comprehensive, then the 1.806...



i think you meant 1.804 comprehensive, then 1.806 (revised) (NOT 1.806 hotfix)

What he said...

_____________________________

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.

Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


(in reply to rtrapasso)
Post #: 21
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 3/28/2008 5:33:41 PM   
Thesix

 

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Sorry to retrieve this old post but it's always disapointing to not have the final solution of a problem discussed like this one. Somebody on another forum has a similar 998 error message after applying patch. Could you tell us how did you solve your problem? (if there was any solution )
Thanks

< Message edited by Thesix -- 3/28/2008 5:34:23 PM >

(in reply to rogueusmc)
Post #: 22
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 3/28/2008 8:24:29 PM   
rtrapasso


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Thesix

Sorry to retrieve this old post but it's always disapointing to not have the final solution of a problem discussed like this one. Somebody on another forum has a similar 998 error message after applying patch. Could you tell us how did you solve your problem? (if there was any solution )
Thanks


Deinstall - then reinstall... make sure you have the right serial number (one guy had 2 copies, and got similar problem after he used the serial number from his other disk).

(in reply to Thesix)
Post #: 23
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 3/29/2008 8:04:27 PM   
Thesix

 

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Thank you rtrapasso.
Finally, in our case, the fatal error 998 problem came from an anti malware software which silently put in quarantine the file Wiprec.exe, which is a new file with 1.802 (???), when applying the patch.
Now it works. I hope it can help.
Thanks again


(in reply to rtrapasso)
Post #: 24
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 3/29/2008 11:23:48 PM   
rtrapasso


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Thesix

Thank you rtrapasso.
Finally, in our case, the fatal error 998 problem came from an anti malware software which silently put in quarantine the file Wiprec.exe, which is a new file with 1.802 (???), when applying the patch.
Now it works. I hope it can help.
Thanks again



Which one did this?

There were some problems with AVG Antivirus some months back, but they fixed the problem quickly.

(in reply to Thesix)
Post #: 25
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 3/30/2008 1:40:18 AM   
LarryP


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rtrapasso

There were some problems with AVG Antivirus some months back, but they fixed the problem quickly.


Every once in a while after an update, AVG will flag an old file as a Trojan or virus. I wait until the next morning and do another update, and it checks it as OK. Just a mistake on their part thank goodness.

_____________________________


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Post #: 26
RE: What happened to 3 of my paid matrix games??!! - 3/30/2008 5:28:01 PM   
Thesix

 

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From: Paris, France
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quote:

ORIGINAL: rtrapasso
quote:

ORIGINAL: Thesix
Thank you rtrapasso.
Finally, in our case, the fatal error 998 problem came from an anti malware software which silently put in quarantine the file Wiprec.exe, which is a new file with 1.802 (???), when applying the patch.
Now it works. I hope it can help.
Thanks again

Which one did this?

There were some problems with AVG Antivirus some months back, but they fixed the problem quickly.

I just asked and here is the answer:

a-squared Anti-Malware 3.1, up-to-date. (this is not a-squared free)

I don't know it myself





< Message edited by Thesix -- 3/30/2008 5:29:56 PM >

(in reply to rtrapasso)
Post #: 27
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