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Halo 2: Any way to run on win 7 PC????

OP woodnuts120

Installing Halo 2 on my Windows 7 64 bit machine ends with the error "Live gaming on windows failed to initialize" etc. etc.
I have followed a whole bunch of suggestions on various site, but nothing works. Anybody have any ideas???
Take a look at this tutorial. Should also apply to Windows 7.

11/23/2017 Edit:
If you want to play multiplayer online on Halo 2 PC without GFWL, search up and download Project Cartographer.
In addition to what BlueChief117 said (Updating the GFWL client separately), make sure you have not used your 5 installs with the game.

Halo 2 Vista (PC) can only be installed 5 times per CD key. This includes your own PC. Got to re-install the game? Use 1 of your installs. Upgrade or need to clean install Windows? You will have to use another install etc.

If the game has been installed more than 5 times, you will not be able to install it. In addition, Halo 2 PC is not supported by Microsoft and was quickly brushed under the rug after the backlash from the community. You can still try to see if they'll help if the above is the case but who knows.

Hopefully this helps.
Thanks BlueChief117. Two links led to the downloading of XLiveLess file xlive.dll.
Once file copied to Halo 2 install folder, game worked immediately.
Take a look at this tutorial. Should also apply to Windows 7.
this link, is a good tutorial.
Why do all of the PC versions of Halo games have porting problems? I mean, Halo CE was improperly ported by Gearbox (who then made up for it to a degree with their release of the free Custom Edition software, which has allowed for some of the greatest single player mods ever known to mankind., and Halo 2 was designed for usage on a poorly received operating system (Vista, which needed a little bit more time in the oven before being released) when it was too late to save it after its reputation had all but demanded that it be replaced with something else. And while Halo 2 Vista did not have the problems of Halo PC, it still has compatibility issues and a strange desire to check for a version of Direct-X that it doesn't even use! Shame too, because Halo 2 Vista is actually not that bad of a port, all things considered. Shame there's no Custom Edition of it, though. Can you imagine what would be possible if a Custom Edition of the game were to be released? And I'm not just talking about the game's map editor, I'm talking about Halo CE custom edition type-software, but with more advanced tools and greater options. That... would be so amazing. Does anyone else think so?
Why do all of the PC versions of Halo games have porting problems? I mean, Halo CE was improperly ported by Gearbox (who then made up for it to a degree with their release of the free Custom Edition software, which has allowed for some of the greatest single player mods ever known to mankind., and Halo 2 was designed for usage on a poorly received operating system (Vista, which needed a little bit more time in the oven before being released) when it was too late to save it after its reputation had all but demanded that it be replaced with something else. And while Halo 2 Vista did not have the problems of Halo PC, it still has compatibility issues and a strange desire to check for a version of Direct-X that it doesn't even use! Shame too, because Halo 2 Vista is actually not that bad of a port, all things considered. Shame there's no Custom Edition of it, though. Can you imagine what would be possible if a Custom Edition of the game were to be released? And I'm not just talking about the game's map editor, I'm talking about Halo CE custom edition type-software, but with more advanced tools and greater options. That... would be so amazing. Does anyone else think so?
I really hope you are not implying Halo 2 Vista is better than Halo PC. Halo PC has its issues but all of them are fixable unlike H2V.

Halo PC:

- Can have Widescreen support forced
- Can have FOV increased
- Mod support
- Missing graphic effects on NVIDIA GPU's can be added back in through control panel
- Proper mouse and keyboard support
- Aim Assist still in code for controller users and can be activated through console
- Online multiplayer
- Required user to lead shots due to dial up support, the user can still learn to lead and play as normal. (fixed in Halo CE via SAPP, admittedly this is not the core Halo PC)

Halo 2 Vista:

- Gimped mouse and keyboard support (input lag, not removable). Controller was the only real way to play the game
- Does not work over 60fps and causes the game to be unplayable
- Can only be installed 5 times in its life before the game is unusable (e.g. if you have to reinstall the game, you have used up 1 of your 5 installs)
- Required Xbox Live Gold on PC (backlash forced MS to remove this requirement)
- Sluggish dedicated servers that had major hit reg issues and froze for a second whenever someone connected
- Broken AI (Elites no longer Dual Wield, a trait carried into MCC)
- The infamous Gravemind crash bug (Also in MCC)
- No ranked matches
- GFWL would cause serious errors for the game and offer no explanation (admittedly a client issue but still a part of the game)
- Mod support was non-existent. It was inferior to Halo PC (especially Halo Custom Edition) and was worse than even Halo 2 Xbox (tags were locked etc)
- Unstable. The game would crash out for no reason unlike Halo PC.
- Windows Vista requirement despite the game working perfectly fine on XP. Game may or may not work on later Windows versions and is dependent on the GFWL marketplace being installed and updated on modern systems

It was a terrible, terrible port compared to Halo PC. At least everything in Halo PC was fixable and the game was still a great way to enjoy the original Halo even before Custom Edition. Halo 2 Vista was unfixable, dropped instantly by Microsoft and they even barely acknowledge its existence. Look at Waypoint, it is the only game to not be tracked for Achievements despite having the distinction of being the first Halo game with achievements, beating even Halo 3 to this.

It's just a terrible port. WHEN it works, 60fps Halo 2 Vista's campaign was pretty good. But to make it really only playable with a controller when its predecessor worked so well and was actually a decent 'PC' game in its own right, it was a real slap in the face. PC gamers do want more Halo but we do not want more H2V.
I suppose... I was looking back at it through rose-tinted glasses, sadly. I never played multiplayer on it, just the campaign, and that was several years ago, so... I'm probably being too nice to it. That being said, the graphics at least looked better than the console version, for the most part.
I suppose... I was looking back at it through rose-tinted glasses, sadly. I never played multiplayer on it, just the campaign, and that was several years ago, so... I'm probably being too nice to it. That being said, the graphics at least looked better than the console version, for the most part.
Don't get me wrong, graphically it looks great and was a good way to experience the Halo 2 Campaign. Just the issues i mentioned before with the port caused a large number of people to avoid the game. I think what's most disappointing is that Halo 2 was still in its prime in 2007 and a PC release after the successful Halo PC/CE port made H2V an exciting prospect yet, Microsoft rushed and ruined it with greed. Halo 2 Vista is probably the reason there was no Halo 3 PC or any future Halo game from that point until recently.

It's not even acknowledged by Microsoft on any of the Halo related sites in the past till now. You know, what's sad to me is that looking back on it, all they had to do was port it with features on par to Halo PC/CE with H2 Xbox's ranked matchmaking and it probably would have done well. Just such a shame Hired Gun butchered it.

Sorry if I sounded a bit hostile in the original reply.
Why do all of the PC versions of Halo games have porting problems? I mean, Halo CE was improperly ported by Gearbox (who then made up for it to a degree with their release of the free Custom Edition software, which has allowed for some of the greatest single player mods ever known to mankind., and Halo 2 was designed for usage on a poorly received operating system (Vista, which needed a little bit more time in the oven before being released) when it was too late to save it after its reputation had all but demanded that it be replaced with something else. And while Halo 2 Vista did not have the problems of Halo PC, it still has compatibility issues and a strange desire to check for a version of Direct-X that it doesn't even use! Shame too, because Halo 2 Vista is actually not that bad of a port, all things considered. Shame there's no Custom Edition of it, though. Can you imagine what would be possible if a Custom Edition of the game were to be released? And I'm not just talking about the game's map editor, I'm talking about Halo CE custom edition type-software, but with more advanced tools and greater options. That... would be so amazing. Does anyone else think so?
- Broken AI (Elites no longer Dual Wield, a trait carried into MCC)
Actually, they do. In fact, it kinda fixed the bug of the Elites not dual-wielding anymore. When I play, the Elites wield and use 2 Plasma Rifles/Needlers.
Halo 2 in MCC is a port of the PC version so it bugs me as to why they don't do it anymore.
Why do all of the PC versions of Halo games have porting problems? I mean, Halo CE was improperly ported by Gearbox (who then made up for it to a degree with their release of the free Custom Edition software, which has allowed for some of the greatest single player mods ever known to mankind., and Halo 2 was designed for usage on a poorly received operating system (Vista, which needed a little bit more time in the oven before being released) when it was too late to save it after its reputation had all but demanded that it be replaced with something else. And while Halo 2 Vista did not have the problems of Halo PC, it still has compatibility issues and a strange desire to check for a version of Direct-X that it doesn't even use! Shame too, because Halo 2 Vista is actually not that bad of a port, all things considered. Shame there's no Custom Edition of it, though. Can you imagine what would be possible if a Custom Edition of the game were to be released? And I'm not just talking about the game's map editor, I'm talking about Halo CE custom edition type-software, but with more advanced tools and greater options. That... would be so amazing. Does anyone else think so?
- Broken AI (Elites no longer Dual Wield, a trait carried into MCC)
Actually, they do. In fact, it kinda fixed the bug of the Elites not dual-wielding anymore. When I play, the Elites wield and use 2 Plasma Rifles/Needlers.
Halo 2 in MCC is a port of the PC version so it bugs me as to why they don't do it anymore.
Yep, my mistake. It's been a very long time since I played H2V.

The rest of the points still stand and makes Halo 2 MCC look even worse if they somehow managed to break dual wielding from the PC version.