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Easy and quite interesting NO CD trick for MS Pandora's Box
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Posted 2017-07-05 2:47 AM (#793)
Subject: Easy and quite interesting NO CD trick for MS Pandora's Box

Fujitsu 186

Posts: 11
Hello all
I have been playing around with a notebook with Windows ME lately and I installed in it one of my favorite games, Pandora's Box from Microsoft.

The last time I've used this game, was around 2000 with a Pentium II machine.

When I tried the game in the notebook (which has a Celeron 650, coppermine) I got an error about DirectDraw. Looking this in Google I found out that I needed the updated v1.0a. I have to admit that I was using a NO-CD thing for the original CD release.
After aplying the update, the game ran, but I was forced to play with the CD.

Since I'm not fan of that, I came across a solution. It involves changing JUST ONE registry setting.

The key is located in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Games\Pandora's Box\1.0, named "CDROMDIR". Change that value to a dot. Yes, a single dot.

And after that, the game should run without a hitch.
The trick was not found anywhere in the net (neither a NO-CD patch), so I should claim the ownership of it haha.

And some background info:
This trick works since the .exe is trying to locate the file "pandora.exe" in the folder specified in CDROMDIR (i.e. checking for the existence of that file in the CD). In almost all file systems, the dot represents the "current directory" (or working directory), so, by forcing CDROMDIR to a dot, we're forcing to effectively check the existence of pandora.exe in the same place as where it runs. So it detects it, and runs.

Here is the contents of a .reg file, which applies the exposed trick directly:
(save this in a .reg file, and open it)


[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Games\Pandora's Box\1.0]

If this thing worked out, or if you find it interesting, please comment.
By the way, this is not an illegal thing. No software was patched, nor fraudulent keys were entered to enable the game. Just a single dot!

Note1: You need to install the base game, and then apply the v1.0a patch (or maybe not?)
Note2: Each time the autorun.exe from the CD is run, the registry setting gets erased and overwritten with the actual CD drive letter


Edited by cocus 2017-07-05 3:49 AM
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Posted 2020-12-17 4:38 PM (#2026 - in reply to #793)
Subject: Re: Easy and quite interesting NO CD trick for MS Pandora's Box

Slow 8088

Posts: 1
Just wanted to say thanks a lot, this worked perfectly - I'll have to try it for other older games that insist on the presence of a physical disc, like Black & White.

Thanks again!
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