HOWTO: Use Origin Battlefield 1942 to play on EA117

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HOWTO: Use Origin Battlefield 1942 to play on EA117

Post by Trench » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:56 pm

HOW TO: Use an Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game to play on the EA117 server.

As of February 2014, the EA117 Desert Combat server is running a modified Origin-based server which will accept both CD-based Battlefield 1942 v1.61b game clients and also Origin-based Battlefield 1942 v1.612 game clients. The following information describes the steps needed for someone to install and use the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game client to successfully play on the EA117 Desert Combat server. These instructions also include the fix necessary to mitigate the GameSpy master server shutdown that occurred in July 2014. If your Battlefield 1942 installation is actually a CD-ROM-based game, you must use the information in HOW TO: Use the CD-based Battlefield 1942 game to play on the EA117 server instead.

NOTE: As of June 2014, Electronic Arts has removed Battlefield 1942 from the Origin online store. If you had previously "purchased" the free Battlefield 1942 game from Origin such that the game is already listed in the "My Games" section of your account, you will be able to continue downloading and playing Battlefield 1942 from Origin. But any new Origin accounts, or Origin accounts which had not previously "purchased" Battlefield 1942 prior to June 2014, will not be able to download or play the game from Origin.

Summary of the required steps:
  1. Enable DirectPlay on Windows 10.
  2. Login with your Origin account and download the Origin client software.
  3. Use Origin to download and install the Battlefield 1942 game.
  4. Install the Desert Combat .7 mod. (Be sure to use Origin-specific path instead of default.)
  5. Install the Desert Combat Final .8 mod. (Be sure to use Origin-specific path instead of default.)
  6. Install PunkBuster core services and/or Battlefield 1942 PunkBuster modules.
    1. Install the "Punkbuster core services". (Because Battlefield 1942 is your first or only PunkBuster-enabled game.)
    2. Install the "Battlefield 1942-specific PunkBuster files". (Always required.)
  7. Install the GameSpy master server shutdown fix.
Summary of optional steps:
  1. Update a desktop shortcut to launch Desert Combat and skip the intro movie and/or connect immediately to the EA117 server.
  2. Update Battlefield 1942 shortcut to launch BF1942.EXE using legacy Windows compatibility mode and 'Run as Administrator'.
  3. Use a legacy CD-based license key for your Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game.
  4. View your Origin-issued Battlefield 1942 license key.
  5. Check your Microsoft Windows Firewall or third-party firewall rules.
ImageImage Note: The following descriptions are written from the primary perspective of a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or later. If you are actually running a 32-bit version of Windows, or if you are running Windows XP, look for additional notes in each section for the different folder path, different registry path or different requirement that might be necessary for those versions of Windows. To determine which version of Windows you are running, press the Windows key + Pause key to bring up the "System" control panel applet and refer to the "Windows edition" and "System type" sections.


Required Steps

1. Enable DirectPlay. (Windows 10 systems only)

Battlefield 1942 works great with Windows 10. But the Windows 10 platforms come with the legacy DirectX "DirectPlay" support disabled by default. Windows will attempt to prompt you to enable DirectPlay if you try to launch Battlefield 1942 without enabling DirectPlay first, but when the game is attempting to launch in full-screen mode you may or may not ever actually see this prompt.

So it is safest to enable the Windows 10 "DirectPlay" functionality first, before installing or launching the Battlefield 1942 game. To enable the DirectPlay feature, start by right-clicking (not a normal left-click) on the Windows "Start" menu icon:

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Select "Control Panel" from the menu that appears, and in the Control Panel select the link for "Uninstall a program" in the "Programs" section. Select the link "Turn Windows features on or off" in the "Programs and Features" page, and then scroll down to find "Legacy Components". Expand "Legacy Components" and select the checkbox beside "DirectPlay" in that list. Press OK to save, and Windows will confirm successfully enabling the feature.

2. Login with your Origin account and download the Origin client software.

Login using your Origin account on the Electronic Arts Origin site, and then download the Origin client software which enables downloading and playing games from Origin.

3. Use Origin to download and install the Battlefield 1942 game.

From the "My Games" section of the Origin client, select to download and install the Battlefield 1942 game. Elect the option during installation to create a desktop shortcut for the Origin-provided Battlefield 1942 game.

4. Install the Desert Combat .7 mod.

Download the Desert Combat .7 installer package (desertcombat0.7fullinstall.zip) from the EA117 server downloads page.

Open the .ZIP file to extract and execute the contained "desertcombat0.7fullinstall.exe" installer program. Launch the program normally, and Windows itself will detect that this is an application installer and will automatically require "Run as Administrator" actions.

After agreeing to the end user license agreement, the installer will default to "C:\Program Files (x86)\EA GAMES\Battlefield 1942", but this IS NOT the correct directory for the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game. Change the target directory to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942" as shown in this screen shot:

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ImageImage Note: "Program Files (x86)" is the correct directory for 32-bit applications running on a 64-bit version of Windows. If you are actually running on a 32-bit version of Windows, then the correct directory is just "Program Files" and the correct destination path for the Origin-installed Battlefield 1942 game is "C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942".

5. Install the Desert Combat Final .8 mod.

Download the Desert Combat Final .8 installer package (dc_final_client.zip) from the EA117 server downloads page.

Open the .ZIP file to extract and execute the contained "dc_final_client.exe" installer program. Launch the program normally, and Windows itself will detect that this is an application installer and will automatically require "Run as Administrator" actions.

After agreeing to the end user license agreement, the installer will default to a blank/empty path. (Unless you also have the non-Origin CD-based Battlefield 1942 installed, in which case it will default to "C:\Program Files (x86)\EA GAMES\Battlefield 1942", but this IS NOT the correct directory for the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game.) Change the target directory to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942" as shown in this screen shot:

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ImageImage Note: "Program Files (x86)" is the correct directory for 32-bit applications running on a 64-bit version of Windows. If you are actually running on a 32-bit version of Windows, then the correct directory is just "Program Files" and the correct destination path for the Origin-installed Battlefield 1942 game is "C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942".

After completing the installation, Windows may come up with a "This program might not have installed correctly" warning, as shown in the following screen shot. You can simply select "This program installed correctly" in response to this prompt:

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6. Install PunkBuster core services and/or Battlefield 1942 PunkBuster modules.

Unlike the CD-based installations of Battlefield 1942 and the CD-based 1.6 updates, the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game DOES NOT include PunkBuster. Note in addition to this, Evenbalance's PunkBuster stopped supporting Battlefield 1942 several years ago, so there is not any "official PunkBuster download for Battlefield 1942" available from evenbalance.com any more.

There are two components involved in achieving PunkBuster support for the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game: The "Punkbuster core services" such as PnkBstrA.exe and PnkBstrB.exe which are installed as Windows services, and the "Battlefield 1942-specific PunkBuster files" which exist under the "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942\pb\" directory. (Note the additional "pb" subdirectory at the end of this path.)

The "Punkbuster core services" may already exist on your machine, if you have installed another PunkBuster-enabled game which is still supported by EvenBalance, such as Battlefield 3 or Battlefield 4. In this case, all you need to obtain are the "Battlefield 1942-specific PunkBuster files" using the instructions in 5b. Otherwise, you need to obtain and install both the "Punkbuster core services" and the "Battlefield 1942-specific PunkBuster files" using the instructions in 5a and 5b.


6a. Install the "Punkbuster core services":

Download the modified PBSetup for Battlefield 1942 (PBSetup42.zip) from Monkey on Moongamers. Extract the contained files and directories to your desktop, so that you can execute the contained PBSVC.EXE. Launch the program normally, and Windows itself will detect that this is an application installer and will automatically require "Run as Administrator" actions.

Running PBSVC.EXE first installs the core Punkbuster services, and also performs various tests and adds exceptions to the Windows Firewall for the PnkBstrA.exe and PnkBstrB.exe services. At the end of the installation, PBSVC.EXE will confirm "Tests completed successfully without error" as shown in the following screen shot:

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6b. Install the "Battlefield 1942-specific PunkBuster files":

Download the Tank's PB Update ("TankPanZeR's BF1942 PunkBuster Update 2.0", TanksPBupdate.zip) from the EA117 server downloads page.

Open the .ZIP file to extract and execute the contained "TanksPBupdate.exe" installer program. Launch the program normally, and Windows itself will detect that this is an application installer and will automatically require "Run as Administrator" actions.

After viewing the readme information and installation instructions, the installer will default to "C:\Program Files (x86)\EA GAMES\Battlefield 1942\pb", but this IS NOT the correct directory for the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game. Change the target directory to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942\pb" as shown in this screen shot, making note of the "pb" subdirectory which is being specified at the end of this path:

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ImageImage Note: "Program Files (x86)" is the correct directory for 32-bit applications running on a 64-bit version of Windows. If you are actually running on a 32-bit version of Windows, then the correct directory is just "Program Files" and the correct destination path for the Origin-installed Battlefield 1942 game is "C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942\pb".

Be sure to leave the "Launch TankPanZeR's BF1942 Punkbuster Update" checkbox enabled when pressing "Finish" at the completion of the install:

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7. Install the GameSpy shutdown fix.

Download and execute the "Battlefield 1942 GameSpy patch v1.61" installer ("Battlefield 1942 GameSpy patch v1.61.exe") from the Team-SiMPLE downloads page.

After the initial language selection and welcome screen, the installer "may" default to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942", unless you also have the CD-based Battlefield 1942 installed on the same Windows machine.

Verify the target directory, and change the path to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942" as shown in this screen shot, if needed:

Image

ImageImage Note: "Program Files (x86)" is the correct directory for 32-bit applications running on a 64-bit version of Windows. If you are actually running on a 32-bit version of Windows, then the correct directory is just "Program Files" and the correct destination path for the Origin-installed Battlefield 1942 game is "C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942".

Note: The "Battlefield 1942 GameSpy patch v1.61" installer automatically applies a BF1942.EXE compatible with 1.612-based servers like EA117, when you are running the installer for an Origin-based Battlefield 1942 game. So unlike the retail CD-based installation, there are no additional steps required in order to successfully connect to 1.612-based servers like EA117.

The "Battlefield 1942 GameSpy patch" installs a modified BF1942.EXE for the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game, which provides several required and desirable enhancements:
  • Fixes the hang that occurs accessing the "Internet" menu, if the master server Battlefield 1942 is using happens to be temporarily inaccessible.
  • Changes the master server used by Battlefield 1942 to "master.b1942.sk", instead of the "master.gamespy.com" server which is now permanently shut down.
  • Full widescreen support, including being able to list all supported resolutions of your video card from the in-game Battlefield 1942 "Video" configuration menu. The desired resolution can simply be selected normally, without having to manually edit the video.con file, without having to mark the file read-only, etc.
  • Bypass the requirement that the main Origin client software must be running before being able to launch the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game.
More information regarding the "Battlefield 1942 GameSpy patch" can be found in the Team-SiMPLE forums. If desired, alternatives to using a modified BF1942.EXE to solve the GameSpy shutdown hang are discussed in the EA117 GameSpy shutdown information page.




Optional Steps

A. Update a desktop shortcut to launch Desert Combat and skip the intro movie and/or connect immediately to the EA117 server.

For whichever shortcut you prefer to use for launching the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game, it can be helpful to add the "+restart 1" option to the shortcut in order to skip the introduction movie, rather than having to wait and cancel out of it every time you start the Battlefield 1942 game.

Right-click on your desktop shortcut and select "Properties", and then on the "Shortcut" tab find the "Target:" edit field which contains the full path and command line to be executed by the shortcut. You do not want to remove any options which are already present, and simply want to add a space and the "+restart 1" option to the end of whatever command line is already being executed.

For example, on the shortcut created by the Desert Combat .7 modification installer, there would already be a "+game DesertCombat" option specified at the end of the existing "Target:" command line. You simply want to add the restart option in addition to that, so that the specified options are now "+game DesertCombat +restart 1".

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Note that this change only applies to the shortcut you right-clicked and selected "Properties" on, so if you use multiple different shortcuts for launching Battlefield 1942, you will need to make the same modification to all of them.

Similarly, if you wanted to modify a Battlefield 1942 shortcut to connect immediately to the EA117 server upon launching, you can add a space and "+joinServer 108.61.17.59:14567" to the command line specified in the "Target:" field of the shortcut.

B. Update Battlefield 1942 shortcut to launch BF1942.EXE using legacy Windows compatibility mode and 'Run as Administrator'.

If you used the "Battlefield 1942 GameSpy patch v1.61" installer from Step 7, this change has already been automatically performed for you.

Note that for some players, setting the Windows compatibility mode to "Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5)" instead of "Windows XP (Service Pack 3)" avoids crashes that occur when Battlefield 1942 is loading maps. However, Windows 8 and later actually removed the "Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5)" option, so "Windows XP (Service Pack 3)" might still be your only choice unless you have Windows 7.

To manually verify or change these settings, right-click the desktop shortcut created for Battlefield 1942, and on the "Compatibility" tab select the option "Run this program in compatibility mode" and select "Windows XP (Service Pack 3)" (or "Windows NT 4.0 (Service Pack 5)", if available). Also select the option "Run this program as an administrator".

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ImageImage Note this configuration is only necessary and available on Windows 7 and later; for Windows XP this step is not required. Also note that Windows saves this change "for BF1942.EXE" and not as part of the shortcut itself. Meaning once you have updated the "Compatibility" tab on this shortcut, all the other shortcuts to this same BF1942.EXE in this same directory will also run with Windows XP SP3 compatibility and 'Run as Administrator', without having to update each individual shortcut.

C. Use a legacy CD-based license key for your Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game.

If you previously owned a CD-ROM-based version of Battlefield 1942 and want to continue using your legacy CD-based license key when playing the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game instead of using the new Origin-issued license key, you can achieve this by setting your CD-based license key into two Origin-specific "EGRC" registry keys in place of the existing Origin-issued license key.

Primarily you might wish to do this in order to continue accumulating usage or score statistics against your current CD-based license key, instead of "starting over" with a separate Origin-issued license key. For server administrators, this can be required in order to continue connecting with the proper admin authorization which was assigned to your CD-based license key. In more rare cases, attempting to connect to a CD-ROM-based Battlefield 1942 server locally or on the Internet may report "Invalid CD Key" because it doesn't know how to validate the Origin-issued license key, and switching to a legacy CD-based license key will be required to connect.

To set your CD-based license key for use by the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game, use the Windows key and 'R' key (Windows+R) to invoke the Windows "Run" dialog, and type in "RegEDIT" as the program to run. Note that editing the registry incorrectly can result in problems which cannot easily be undone without reinstalling Windows, so read Microsoft's cautions and recommendations for how to back up information before editing the registry, and then follow these steps closely:

In RegEDIT, first expand out the path under "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE", then "Software", now "Wow6432Node", now "Electronic Arts", etc., until you have reached the full registry path of "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Electronic Arts\Origin\Battlefield 1942\ergc".

ImageImage Note that the "Wow6432Node" subkey only exists if you have 64-bit Windows; if you are running 32-bit Windows, just ignore "Wow6432Node" and proceed to looking for the "Electronic Arts" subkey instead.

Inside the "ERGC" subkey you will see a unnamed "(Default)" value of type REG_SZ, which is set to your current Origin-issued Battlefield 1942 license key value. You want to right-click where you see the name "(Default)" and select "Modify", and then replace the existing license key string with your legacy CD-based license key without spaces and one long number.

In the following screen shot, the license key is being replaced with an example CD-based key value of "111111111111111111111", as though the CD key printed on the back of the CD-ROM case had been "1111-1111111-1111111-1111" before removing the dashes:

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You can find additional information relevant to these registry locations and modifications in the Electronic Arts EA Help article "I can´t play ‘Battlefield 1942 free’ in Multiplayer mode – CD Key not valid".

D. View your Origin-issued Battlefield 1942 license key.

If you ever need to restore your Origin-issued Battlefield 1942 license key to be the original Origin-issued key value, or if you ever simply need to know what your Origin-issued license key value is, you can view this information easily from within the Origin client. For example, you might need to know your Origin-issued key value in order to enter that value into BFHasher, to generate the key hash value necessary for appealing a ban.

Open your "My Games" section in the Origin client, and move your mouse over the Battlefield 1942 game. Select the ‘i’ button that appears for displaying the game information section. In the game information window, the Origin-issued Battlefield 1942 license key will be displayed as the "Product Code". You can copy and paste the key value just like it is, without spaces or dashes, into either BFHasher or into RegEDIT.

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You can find additional information relevant to viewing your Origin-issued key information in the Electronic Arts EA Help article "I can´t play ‘Battlefield 1942 free’ in Multiplayer mode – CD Key not valid".

E. Check your Microsoft Windows Firewall or third-party firewall rules.

When Battlefield 1942 is downloaded and installed from Origin, typically Origin will have already created a Microsoft Windows Firewall rule entry for the Battlefield 1942 game itself (BF1942.EXE). And if you downloaded the PunkBuster core services as part of another Origin-provided game such as Battlefield 3 or Battlefield 4, Origin will have also already created Microsoft Windows Firewall rule entry for the PunkBuster core services "PnkBstrA.exe" and "PnkBstrB.exe".

But if you had to install PunkBuster core services a different way, it may be necessary to verify that Microsoft Windows Firewall rules for the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 (BF1942.EXE) program and the PunkBuster core services ("PnkBstrA.exe" and "PnkBstrB.exe") were indeed created.

You can view the current Microsoft Windows Firewall rules by opening the "Network and Sharing Center" from the Windows Control Panel, and then using the "Windows Firewall" link on that page to bring up the Windows Firewall configuration page. Invoke the "Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall" link to see the current list of programs for which a rule has been created.

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If entries for "Battlefield 1942" or "PnkBstrA.exe" and "PnkBstrB.exe" do not already exist, use the "Change settings" button to enable making changes to the current allowed programs. To add an entry for the Origin-downloaded Battlefield 1942 game, use the "Allow another program" button to browse to the "C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942" directory and select BF1942.EXE. (Or simply the "C:\Program Files\Origin Games\Battlefield 1942" directory, if running a 32-bit version of Windows.)

For "PnkBstrA.exe" and "PnkBstrB.exe", on 64-bit versions of Windows you must use the "Allow another program" button to browse to the "C:\Windows\SysWOW64" directory (not SYSTEM32) because the PunkBuster services are 32-bit programs and are not kept in the SYSTEM32 directory on 64-bit Windows machines. On 32-bit versions of Windows, you will browse to "C:\Windows\SYSTEM32" to find "PnkBstrA.exe" and "PnkBstrB.exe". You must add each program separately as its own Windows Firewall rule.

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If your Windows computer has some other third-party firewall installed instead of Microsoft Windows Firewall (for example, McAfee, Symantec, ESET, etc.), you will of course have to use whatever configuration dialogs and methods the third-party firewall software provides, instead of the Microsoft Windows Firewall-specific examples shown above.
Last edited by Trench on Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Use Origin Battlefield 1942 to play on the EA117 server

Post by Trench » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:43 am


Updated August 13, 2014:
  • Added "Battlefield 1942 GameSpy patch v1.61" installer ("Battlefield 1942 GameSpy patch v1.61.exe") from Team-SiMPLE as a required step, so that following these steps will include the recommended fix for the GameSpy shutdown issue.
  • Added confirmation that Electronic Arts has removed "Battlefield 1942" from the Origin online store, which means the only players who can use these steps are players who had previously "purchased" the free Battlefield 1942 game from Origin prior to June 2014.

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Re: Use Origin Battlefield 1942 to play on the EA117 server

Post by Trench » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:13 pm


Updated March 29, 2017:
  • Added "Enable DirectPlay (Windows 10 systems only)" as a required step, to help those re-building Windows 10-based gaming systems.
  • Removed instructions for executing "PBSetup.exe" as a method of obtaining the Battlefield 1942-specific PunkBuster files. Evenbalance has removed files from their web site that were allowing this method to continue succeeding, even though Evenbalance ceased support for Battlefield 1942 long ago. So now you must obtain the Battlefield 1942-specific PunkBuster files from TanksPBUpdate, and the PBSetup.exe method no longer works.

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