Viva Pinata on Windows 7: Please Help! Can't Save Game!

So my wife finally got a PC that can run Viva Pinata, which she hasn't been able to play since her old laptop died. But the problem now is that we have windows 7, and Viva Pinata runs fine but won't let her save her game.

It says to press the "Home" key to create an account to save, but pressing the home key does exactly nothing.

A couple of things we've tried:

1) We tried a fix found on various forums that involved the command line "net stop cryptsvc" and removing a bunch of files with OEM in the name. Everyone said that worked, but for us it didn't.

2) We attempted to run the Windows 7 compatibility wizard, but it couldn't even find Viva Pinata at all. In fact, we can't find the .exe file for Viva Pinata at all in explorer.

I'm an old hand a XP, but neither my wife nor I have much experience with Windows 7, which from my wife's experience is wonderful until you try to do something that was simple in XP, in which case it becomes a lumbering idiot wondering why anyone would want to know a file extension.

Has anyone been able to get Viva Pinata, or any of those old Games for Windows games, running in windows 7? Are we pretty much stuck without ever being able to play Viva Pinata again because Microsoft "improved" everything?

Any help would be much appreciated.

It does work, or at least the downloaded GFWL for $0.99 version worked. I've "finished" the game on Win 7 x64.

I believe compatibility mode was required, along with "run as adminitrator". If you can't find the executable -- do a properties on the shortcut you use to launch it. The path should be there, generally along with an "Open File Location" button.

You might also try reinstalling GFWL, as that's the part that's messing up. GFWL problems are quite common, although not something I've experienced. Someone else can probably weigh in here.

I don't have it installed right now, but I can re-download it if need be ....

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

until you try to do something that was simple in XP, in which case it becomes a lumbering idiot wondering why anyone would want to know a file extension.

That's a pet peeve, so just in case: Click on Start. In the search box type 'Folder Options'. Switch to the view tab. Uncheck Hide Extensions for known file types. Become a better person. Fight crime.

Has anyone been able to get Viva Pinata, or any of those old Games for Windows games, running in windows 7?

Yes. Windows 7 64 bit.

LilCodger wrote:

You might also try reinstalling GFWL, as that's the part that's messing up. GFWL problems are quite common, although not something I've experienced. Someone else can probably weigh in here.

All my issues with the game went away once I got logged into GFWL properly. I didn't have to do any permissions or compatibility tweaking.
Link to the GFWL Marketplace client. Log into that, then try starting the game. Worked for me, it might work you you! (as long as deleting cryptic OEM files didn't lobotomize your system)

It's probably trying to save files into the program files directory and failing. Try running it as an administrator; if it then works, that's the problem.

If you don't want to run as administrator all the time, you can get around the problem by installing it to a different directory, and giving yourself permissions there. I put programs that I expect to patch a lot into C:\Progs, and set that directory for Full Permissions for my user account. All new programs that get installed there are automatically write-enabled.

This is less secure... Win7's default protection is safer. It makes it difficult or impossible for programs to be hacked and overwritten easily -- a remote exploit can't dump a DLL into Program Files unless you're running as an adminstrator. If you run under a different directory, then that leaves you open to that kind of exploit. But it's a lot more convenient.

I figured this out on my old computer. It was a couple of files that doesn't exist in Win 7 that you had to install or something. It affected some other games, too.

I'll dig for it here tomorrow. I think I have a thread where I posted this exact problem that I think I posted the fix in, too.

LilCodger wrote:

It does work, or at least the downloaded GFWL for $0.99 version worked. I've "finished" the game on Win 7 x64.

I believe compatibility mode was required, along with "run as adminitrator". If you can't find the executable -- do a properties on the shortcut you use to launch it. The path should be there, generally along with an "Open File Location" button.

You might also try reinstalling GFWL, as that's the part that's messing up. GFWL problems are quite common, although not something I've experienced. Someone else can probably weigh in here.

I don't have it installed right now, but I can re-download it if need be ....

We have the on-disc version.

We were finally able to find the actual executable, located in Programs (x86), and set the compatibility to Windows XP SP2, which the box says the game is compatible with. We then checked the box that said run as administrator. The game still runs, but the home key doesn't work and we can't save the game, which makes it useless.

There are no patches to make it work that we've been able to find. Any thoughts?

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

There are no patches to make it work that we've been able to find. Any thoughts?

It is very likely that the patch you need is called Games For Windows Live. I repeat it because you haven't mentioned it anywhere in your action report. The Viva Pinata game, to my knowledge, REQUIRES an active GFWL account to be logged in for saved games. The GFWL overlay is what comes up in GFWL games (like Viva Pinata) when you press the Home key.

Make sure your GFWL client is up to date, running, and logged in with the Live account you want the cheevies to go to before running the game.

Again, that solved my problems and I hope it solves yours too.

EDIT: And just in case my story isn't enough: http://pinataisland.info/forum/showt...

Yeah, I don't think you have a Viva Pinata issue, you have a GFWL issue. That's what the home button brings up.

Rezzy's posts bear reading.

LilCodger wrote:

Rezzy's posts bear reading.

That's going in the scrapbook and will be quoted out of context for years to come. Thanks!

Rezzy wrote:
LilCodger wrote:

Rezzy's posts: bear reading.

That's going in the scrapbook and will be quoted out of context for years to come. Thanks!

Oh, I forgot some punctuation!

IMAGE(http://www.huckaby.us/Files/bear_reading_in_wild.jpg)

Here's the post I made in the deals thread back when I bought it. I assume the links fixed it for me.

Viva Pinata is broken on Win 7. You can't hit "Home" or the Xbox button on a controller to bring up the GFWL overlay to allow you to log on to your gamertag, so you can't save.

Apparently has a similar issue to Halo 2. There is a supposed fix posted here. Didn't work for me yet, but I haven't rebooted.

Gah I hate to reboot.

But try Rezzy's "just update the client" thing first.

Well we got it working.

It meant buying a new GFWL copy and reinstalling it, but it works now.

Not sure why the disc copy wouldn't cooperate. I suspect a problem with the netcode.

Thanks to all for your help.