Windows 7 and PunkBuster

When you resort to tactics within the realm malice, are your actions still benevolent? Even Balance should consider this question while working on PunkBuster. While hackers/cheaters are an annoying, when the tools that keep them out operate maliciously the tool maker has gone too far. PunkBuster’s behavior is absolutely uncalled for.

There is absolutely no reason for a legitimate piece of software to download itself from a remote site and reinstall/restart every 15 seconds to 5 minutes. This is how PunkBuster works right now with its PnkBstrA.exe and PnkBstrB.exe services. PnkBstrA.exe will redownload, reinstall, and restart PnkBsterB.exe periodically while in a game “protected” by PunkBuster. If anything goes wrong PnkBstrA.exe will kick the user from a server and give a error in the 13xxxxxx range. PnkBstrB.exe is what actually looks for hackers/cheaters and kicks them. PunkBuster also looks for unknown APIs and will kick you if it finds any, this is the issue it has with Windows 7.

“Why are you playing games on a beta OS?” What’s the point of a beta OS? To test things, that’s the point of beta releases. By playing, or rather try to play, a game I’m testing Windows 7. Since I built a new (for me) computer that is running Windows 7 (64bit), there really is no going back to XP (I do not have Win XP 64bit edition). My gaming is limited to offline games, any Valve title, or Test Drive Unlimited. Basically, anything that doesn’t depend on the horribly broken PunkBuster.

The real shame is that Even Balance has not made any visible effort towards supporting Windows 7. The beta is very solid, a release candidate should be out soon, and at that time the Windows 7 “API” will be “locked” and Punk Buster should be able to be updated to work with Windows 7. If, upon public release of Windows 7, PunkBuster still does not work properly, I’d like to see a someone bring a class action lawsuit against Even Balance for negligence (yes, PunkBuster has angered me to that point).

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]


  1. Pingback: Why do I get kicked out of servers in Crysis? | games answers

27 thoughts on “Windows 7 and PunkBuster

    • Battlefield 2142 is the one being a bugger, but any EA game that you play on line has the issue. I’ve been playing Test Drive Unlimited on my 24″ monitor instead, which is a great game (they mapped then entire large island of Hawaii). It’s only problem is it crashes occasionally, probably due to me having my processor over clocked (Celeron 430 @ 2.4Ghz, I have a E8500 coming to round out my “newish system” on a budget).

      I really wish PunkBuster would work, I haven’t played Battlefield 2142 for quite some time.

      -John Havlik

  1. hi:
    if you guys have a minute to spare would you mind signin this petition to enable full PunkBuster support on Windows 7 beta (build 7000 and up) and upcoming versions, due to high stability and compatibility with previous Windows (Vista) version.

    • The thing about the petition is that it will not compel EvenBalence to make PunkBuster operate in a less malicious manner. That is the underlying problem, and why it is incompatible with Windows 7. EvenBalence will eventually patch PunkBuster to support Windows 7, but they will not actually fix their poor practices. Another example of “fix the symptoms not the cause” ideology.

      -John Havlik

  2. After few hours of trying to find diffrent fixes for CoD 4 and punk buster, I’ve given up.

    The problem with Even balance is, that we aren’t their customers – it’s the game companies. Game companies buy PunkBuster, as it’s seen as cost effective way of providing anti-cheat without actually coding the feature in themselves.

    Telling your game company how much you hate PB, might make the reconsider alternatives for the next titles.

  3. evenbalance/PB has a lot of problems but their lack of support for Windows 7 takes the cake

    there is absolutely no reason not to support Windows 7. their “beta OS” excuse is bullshit because there are more people already on windows 7 than there are using Mac OS X, yet they support OS X, and because all they do is detect the kernel for their cheat prevention. it’s not like they have to rewrite the program, all they have to do is profile the kernel and they are basically done. and windows 7 isn’t much different from vista anyway.

    i never cared much for them, and i don’t think they even do much to stop cheaters but this windows 7 thing has me ready to boycott all evenbalance/punkbuster products forever.

    what a shitty company.

  4. Windows 7 is fantastic, going from vista to windows 7 is like waking up from a nightmare, all may expensive new hardware is finally working as it should. World at war runs smoother , the hard drive does not seem to be getting thrashed for no apparent reason as in vista, the game loads and quits MUCH MUCH faster.

    I want to stay on 7 and will happily buy it when released if the price is fair, just one problem I can’t play games I have bought and own because punk buster does not work with windows 7. Listening to the chatter even balance sound like a bunch of wankers not even bothering to release a compatible punk buster so it can be tested before 7 is released it makes no sense at all anf they come off looking like a bunch of fools. Punk buster is useful and by all means kick cheats, but using windows 7 is not cheating……

  5. Couldn’t agree more with most of these posts

    if evenbalance want to be taken seriously they should develope pb for windows 7

  6. A solution has been found kinda, i am using an intel processor and am looking for a solution to my deilema but if you have an AMD processor go download AMD Fusion and it turns off unneeded API functions and more stuff for Windows 7, therefore fixing problem with BF2142.

    Hope it helps someone =)

    P.S. Careful once you go into advanced it may start turning off virus protection and firewall.

  7. You guys need to start supporting updates for windows 7. There are many users already on the OS and many comapnies like nvidia already have drivers for the new OS on the website. Get off your lazy asses and do your job the right way. Beta is for testing not production. It seems like you guys have a bunch of noobs over there. Get with the program because alot of people are upset and rightfully so……..


    Thats our problem.
    “AS IS” I agree they are a bunch of wankers. no doubt.
    But they dont have to do anything becaus they are covered. The ones who has to do something is the game makers.
    I mean. FFS. My view of this sutuation. Is easy I bought COD4. I should have the right to play it on any windows I want. And now they dont suport win 7 and like someone said beta = testing. Punk buster doesnt get testted so when win 7 comes out it wont be ready.
    I dont get it but they are amitures.
    And I dont c why game designers make use of them.
    I say boycoting them would be the best thing the world could do. get games to desing their own cheat systems.

    :D excuse my spelling. I speak eng very deliciously :D

    • I agree with what is being said i am gonna post a complaint to evenbalance and i suggest everyone else doed too….. Hasie r u Australian ??? u seem 2 speak Aussie lol

    • I think the avenue that anyone who wants to sue EvenBalance/PunkBuster should be is to file a federal complaint against defective advertising. Consider this. Punkbuster isn’t listed on any game box for ANY game it’s bundled with that you basically have to use to play online. To play online say in BF2 in 64 player mode on literally ANY public server you HAVE to instal PB. yet, they don’t tell you this is a requirement on the box. It’s evasive software that’s ALWAYS running in the background that sends who knows what information to who knows who. Now, that being said I filed a small claims case against PB a few years back because my Id had been hacked and basically I had the same problem everyone else did, they didn’t care. Within 3 days I received a box of 20 EA games, all new and still wrapped, 3 of which were BF2, ie the game in which my key was stolen. My total out of pocket expense, $30 , and less than an hour of paperwork in small claims court. — Food for thought.

  9. You would think they would get the hint by the fact that the only bad things being said on the net about Win 7 is punkbuster. All OS’s are being patched constantly. This makes them just as hard to PB as Win 7. Evenbalance are just A-holes.

  10. I’ve had it with PB… it doesnt want to deal with a heartbeat problem in cod4. maybe it’s me having wireless.. I dont care. The problem is that it blows. I’m not buying anything that is associated with EB… it’s a shoddy product that just interferes with my ability to have fun. l4d doesnt have these issues. or rampant cheating.
    if they ever fix PB right, i might re-consider it.. but as it is, I have a $60 game that has been “upgraded” to a place where it is out of order. I’m not dealing with that again.

    • As of June 12th, PunkBuster works on all of the PB enabled games that I have, they all happen to be EA games so that may have something to do with it. Try running a manual update, others have reported COD4 working perfectly after doing a manual PB update.

      -John Havlik

  11. The RTM is out and PB still doesn’t work. I’ve tried countless workarounds and none work. I guess no gaming for me and the rest of us until October 22, assuming they get off their lazy butts and do something.

    • Andrew,

      Uh, PunkBuster works on my 64bit install of RC1. Maybe you need to try a manual update of PunkBuster, or get Battlefield Heroes which distributes a version of PunkBuster that works in Windows 7 (which is what actually got it working for me).

      -John Havlik

  12. I’m not using the RC. I’ve tried manually updating it and doing countless compatibility workarounds. I’ve read that the RC is the best build to get PB working, but even then you have to do manual workarounds and also the RC is an old build considering the RTM is out. They should release an official fix so we don’t have to try all these pointless workarounds. Unless they have no idea what they’re doing they could probably release an update that would fix all of this in no time. And now they have no excuse that Windows 7 is “beta” it’s not. It’s too bad all my favorite games use PB or I’d drop it so fast and boycott it.

    • Andrew,

      Not to be preachy, but, technically only OEMs, Microsoft employees, and a select few others are legally allowed to have anything newer than Build 7100 at this time. Don’t complain if you are not legally using a newer build of Windows 7.

      None of the workarounds have ever worked. As far as I know, only the updated PunkBuster client that was distributed with Battlefield Heroes works in Windows 7. That’s how it magically stated working for me, though it has been a month since I’ve played a PB game, so it may be broken again (which would not surprise me at all).

      -John Havlik

  13. I tried all the solutions on google, it still doensn’t works, i hope pb will take his arms on that issue and fix that annoying problem!

    • I just played Battlefield Heroes, PunkBuster protected game, for fifteen minutes without a kick. So I assume PunkBuster still works in Windows 7 RC. There’s not way for them to guarantee it to work on later builds that they don’t have access to and you guys are getting illegitimately. Hold off on the torrenting and use the publicly available RC until you can pick up Windows 7 from a store.

      -John Havlik

  14. I just have to say that iv been having problems with PunkBuster in Battlefield 2 too. Its causing my ping to go from 30/50 (when in xfire) to 600+ when in-game. Punkbuster then kicks me out for high ping!

    Strange thing is that when i use CMD to ping the server im trying to play on, i get a nice response of about 40ms.. so it MUST be PunkBuster!

    Im running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 7600 , Quad Core 2.82Ghz / 4GB RAM / Radeon X1600 and my connection is roughly 6mb which should be fine.

    Tonight im going to try some more tweaks with the PnkBstrA/PnkBstrB services but it seems we need some sort of patch to be created to keep it running smoothly.

    Anyone else have the same problem with ping as me ?

    • J2O: Im running Windows 7 Ultimate x64 7600

      Well there’s your problem right there. You are running a not publicly available build of Windows 7, which can’t be supported for many reasons. Just wait a month and a half for the retail release, then the newer builds should work fine.

      -John Havlik

Comments are closed.