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Windows 2000/XP Region Information

The Latest information (Oct 14th, 2001)

This information was gathered from various sources around the net, either by eMail or various IRC channels and discussion forums. Any information written in this document may be changed by Microsoft without prior notification. It may not even work with any current version of windows and may actually cause damage.

Do not eMail me with any questions regarding this, as I have no more information than what is written here.

This information may or may not work, and if it does, it will only work with unlocked region-free (RPC-1) drives. Use this information at your own peril.


Information #1:
It appears that the multi-hash techniques initially designed for Windows 2000 may not have been implemented due to some other issues. If you have a region free drive, then the following is true :

When you install clean Win2k Pro you have region 1 set and one change left...After one change - that's it... locked.

However, load REGEDT32 and go to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft]. You should see a strange looking random letter key (for example "`dv:=/") as the first entry... Delete the entire key. Reboot the machine and... the first disc you'll use will be set as the new region, with one change left... Works every time... try it and see.

Versions 3.75 and later of DVD Genie should be able to find this key for you and allow you to backup and erase the key with ease.

This method has been confirmed to be working with Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 and Windows-XP!.


Information #2:
Using the information above, instead of erasing the key, you can see that it has one REG_QWORD entry. What you can do is completely blank out the 'Value Data' field and then reboot your machine.

After the boot, Windows should report your region as unselected and programs requesting the region should see this as "Region 0". The problem with "Region 0" is that it won't work on all titles, especially MGM and the new RCE titles (such as The Patriot).


Reset the region without Reboot:
Use the steps above to erase the registry key then go to device manager:

  1. Right click "My Computer".
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Select the "Hardware" tab.
  4. Press on the "Device Manager" button.
  5. Open the "DVD/CD-ROM drives" sub-key.
You should now see a list of your CD and DVD drives. Right-Click the DVD Drive and select "Disable", you will be prompted by a dialog saying that it will make the drive stop working. Press "OK". A red "X" should appear on the drive after 2-3 seconds. Now right-click the drive again and select "Enable".

The windows code should now be reset without requiring a boot.


Additional Insight:
You can always export these registry entry and have them loaded automatically at boot time by creating a short cut that will run the registry file ("regedit.exe /s filename.reg") within the startup directory. This should be especially useful with the "Region 0" setting.