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Red Alert 3 Serial Number Issues (Updated)


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#1 Saracen

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Posted Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 03:31 PM

While some of you may have run into these problems already, there are a couple of issues with the Serial numbers for Red Alert 3.

Firstly some people have been getting an "Invalid Serial Number" message while trying to connect online. While no-one is sure how widespread the problem is, it has been mirrored already in this EA Forums Thread quite a lot now. Apoc posted the following message:

QUOTE
Everyone please chill =) I am looking in to this immedietly.

Thanks,
APOC

I will tell you guys first hand here, that the same problem occurred with the release of Spore. Believe me, I was in those official Spore community forums a couple of months ago, ranting my head off as well. The problem is that authentication servers often cannot handle the load, and it will quite probably be a few days before EA can iron it out. It's just a waiting game. Your Serial number is 99.9% unlikely to be invalid, so don't panic.

The second problem is more of a printing issue. Some of the numbers that have been published are incomplete. So intead of having a full 20 digit code, you will have a 19 digit code with the end Digit left off. So you will either have to guess that missing digit, or phone tech support. But in my opinion it's best that you guess, and then write it in for future reference.

In both cases this is becoming more of a common issue with EA games. Spore had both problems respectively.. True, all these problems should have been ironed out after the issues with Spore's release. But all I can really say as advice is wait and guess.

UPDATE: Apoc has been busy, he has issued this update:

QUOTE
Hey everyone,

Too many multiple threads for me to reply in, so here is the official word on BOTH serial key issues right now.

SERIAL KEY ISSUE #1 - My key says it is invalid and I cannot get online

There were a small amount of keys in the early distribution which were not pre-loaded in to our backend, thus that is why it's tell you it is invalid. This is a similar issue we experienced during the Beta Test. This will be resolved by the end of day TODAY. By tonight, or at latest tomorrow morning, anyone experiencing this particular issue should be able to get online without a problem. Many of you may not even experience this.

SERIAL KEY ISSUE #2 - My manual has 19 digits instead of 20 for the serial key

To our misfortune, another small set of the first run of manuals misprinted the serial keys, leaving one digit off. Our Customer Support team will be posting a simple FAQ proces at help.commandandconquer.com where you can contact them and they will quickly help you fix your key.

However, there is a quick workaround if you do not want to go through that process.

The last digit of your serial key will either be a number from 0 - 9 or a letter from A - Z. Using a quick proces of elimination, simply type a number or letter at the end of the serial key until it activates. There is a maximum of 36 possible entries, so it's likely you'll hit the correct number or letter before then. It's not the most glamorous workaround, but its quick and painless and will save you some time from contacting Customer Support if you don't wish to do that.

We apologize for these two serial key issues. Both were absolutely out of our hands and while seemingly unacceptable, we hope you can understand. For most of you, this should not be an issue by tomorrow, especially when everyone starts getting online. Any more updates on critical issues or any of the above, I'll keep you posted.

-APOC

Well at least the online issue has been addressed quickly. As for the misprinted key on the manual... at least it's a nice Real Time Strategy mini-game eh? OK, maybe not, but at least it's not going to cost you a call to Tech Support.
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#2 Tank

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Posted Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 05:00 PM

yeesh, this will suck when i get the game this weekend and the one digit is missing. gonna be fun to wait for EA customer torture again...
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#3 Lion

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Posted Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 06:14 PM

I can understand the problems with the issue of connectiing online, but that issue with the missing letter/number is a whole different story. Not everyone who buys the game will know that it's missing a certain letter/number, and they have to guess it in order to install their game. Do you know how ridiculous that is? I can now say that after more than 10 years of being in the C&C community, I have seen it all.
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#4 ORCaLoVeR

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Posted Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 06:58 PM

So we have to "Guess" the last digit.


But we only had 5 installs right?

Im having the same damn issue.This is stupid.No way im gonna contact customer support for this, let EA solve this.

Edited by ORCaLoVeR, Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 07:00 PM.

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#5 G0NE2W4R

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Posted Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 08:14 PM

Feel sorry for all those people who don't visit EA forums or C&C community forums because they have no clue what's going. They will demand money back rolleyes.gif
Plus these serial number issues. All we can do is wait and see what EA can do.
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#6 ORCaLoVeR

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Posted Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 08:20 PM

I have a 20 digit serial, and it also doesnt work for me.So i guess its a diffrent cause of the problem


But i dont mind.The campaign aint bad.The acting is very good (Especialy Gemma atkinson, my GOD.Rawr!)

Edited by ORCaLoVeR, Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 08:21 PM.

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#7 Saracen

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Posted Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 08:20 PM

I have updated the news page to reflect Apoc's most recent findings, so have a look at the 2nd half for the official word on this issue.
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#8 Koen

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Posted Wednesday, 29 October 2008 - 10:48 PM

I got the game. Does anyone else have incredibly slow installs? It took 35 minutes to go through the installation... Does it really have to take that long to copy 9GB to my harddisk? And no, it wasn't the virus scanner taking up the CPU - the system was only loaded 2-3% while copying.
If you have any crashes when starting the game: restart your machine after installation. Fixed it for me... don't know why it was crashing in the first place.
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#9 rEdaSbLood

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 01:52 AM

a bit unprofessional, but understandable.
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#10 sith_wampa

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 02:18 AM

My installation took over an hour. My friend and I watched some of the extra features while we waited. But once I installed it, it took me over two hours to get the patch to work. Then I found out that our serial keys are invalid and had to play skirmish over Hamachi...

This better be fixed by tomorrow..... rolleyes.gif
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#11 Sonic

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 04:17 AM

QUOTE (Lion @ Thursday 30th October 2008 7:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can understand the problems with the issue of connectiing online, but that issue with the missing letter/number is a whole different story. Not everyone who buys the game will know that it's missing a certain letter/number, and they have to guess it in order to install their game. Do you know how ridiculous that is? I can now say that after more than 10 years of being in the C&C community, I have seen it all.

It is ridiculous, what passes for quality control during manufacturing these days? As Saracen said, similar problems happened with SPORE so maybe its time EA look at the people responsible when it comes to the manufacturing and duplication of their games.

Oh yeah, a rare post from the Lion on our forums smile.gif

QUOTE (Koen @ Thursday 30th October 2008 11:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I got the game. Does anyone else have incredibly slow installs? It took 35 minutes to go through the installation... Does it really have to take that long to copy 9GB to my harddisk? And no, it wasn't the virus scanner taking up the CPU - the system was only loaded 2-3% while copying.
If you have any crashes when starting the game: restart your machine after installation. Fixed it for me... don't know why it was crashing in the first place.

The Kane's Wrath installer was like this for me. It took for ever on my old PC and even my new one. It just sits for ages grinding away on the DVD disc. Sometimes it looks like its doing nothing. Looks like I can expect the same thing when I get my RA3 next week.
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#12 BioBen

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 05:11 AM

Oh so it was the real "Lion" cool tongue.gif
I don't think my comp is quick enough to play ra3 atm, so by the time I've upgraded these problems should be fixed
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#13 ORCaLoVeR

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 08:35 AM

QUOTE (Sonic @ Thursday 30th October 2008 5:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It is ridiculous, what passes for quality control during manufacturing these days? As Saracen said, similar problems happened with SPORE so maybe its time EA look at the people responsible when it comes to the manufacturing and duplication of their games.

Oh yeah, a rare post from the Lion on our forums smile.gif


The Kane's Wrath installer was like this for me. It took for ever on my old PC and even my new one. It just sits for ages grinding away on the DVD disc. Sometimes it looks like its doing nothing. Looks like I can expect the same thing when I get my RA3 next week.

For me, it took around 20 min.with a 3.00Gigahertz Processor.For some reason, it takes long.
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#14 Saracen

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 08:50 AM

It must be this DRM protection lark you know.... I know I keep saying it, but the long install time was another thing Spore did. I believe Spore took a good 35-40 minutes at least. It was lucky I had to go to the shop that day to grab something to eat in the evening. As I got back it was just finishing, tongue.gif
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#15 BioBen

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 10:14 AM

Maybe it is cos the first time i installed it took forever, this second time on the same computer it took 5 mins max.
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#16 ORCaLoVeR

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 11:37 AM

I was able to connect online.Guess they solved the problem
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#17 Nyerguds

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 12:20 PM

QUOTE (ORCaLoVeR @ Wednesday 29th October 2008 7:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So we have to "Guess" the last digit.

But we only had 5 installs right?

Game validation only happens the first time you launch the game, after the installation. It has nothing to do with the number of times you try to enter a valid key.

Edited by Nyerguds, Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 12:25 PM.

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#18 Koen

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Posted Thursday, 30 October 2008 - 02:24 PM

A 2nd install will be faster, because it won't copy the files that are already there. But I can tell you, it isn't the DRM which is causing the slow install. Because there is no protection in terms of DVD-checks anymore, only in the game executable itself.
I've tried copying the files from the DVD manually, and that also takes ~30 minutes. Somehow, the read speed is limited to 3.96MB/s - exactly equal to being a 3x speed DVD drive, instead of a 12x speed. Looks to me like something went wrong in producing the disks? Somehow my drive is refusing to spin it any faster...
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