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punkbuster "marked for deletion" "pnkbstrB.exe initialization error"

    Question

  • I've done a fresh install of win7x64 on Mar-26, since that install, an anticheat service, Punkbuster by evenbalance.com, does not work.  When joining multiplayer games like Battlefield Bad Company 2 or Call of Duty 4, I get kicked within a couple of minutes with the message: "[playername] kicked: pnkbstrB.exe initialization error"......  Important notes:

    • Punkbuster runs as two services installed in \syswow64: pnkbstrA.exe and pnkbstrB.exe, these services are apparently being disabled by win7 and 'marked for deletion' per: http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/6835/servicesnapin.jpg
    • In pre RTM versions of win7 this or a very very similar problem existed which I believe was due to punkbuster being specifically disabled by windows
    • I've done fresh installs on win7 numerous times since RTM from both Technet image and Retail DVD and punkbuster ran fine
    • my last install that ran correctly was Mar-4

    I have taken many steps including:

    1. clean reinstall of OS (x3), drivers, windows update, game, punkbuster, correct update of punkbuster
    2. manual installation of punkbuster with file by file check for version and correct location
    3. new COD4 via Steam for automatic install and punkbuster
    4. Windows Defender exclusion of punkbuster and the entire game folder
    5. open ticket with evenbalance.com, they've got no idea
    6. install of winxp mode / virtual pc, punkbuster runs fine in virtual mode, but you can't run full screen directx from virtual pc

    so I'm looking for ideas.... a fresh install of win7 changed in some very significant way during March

     

     

    multiple edits to reflect steps to date

     

    • Edited by ANUoldman Monday, April 19, 2010 9:29 PM
    Friday, April 02, 2010 9:59 PM

Answers

  • problem found:

    for those concerned, if you are using Punkbuster with any game in Windows 7 including Call of Duty 4 (COD4) and Battlefield Bad Company 2 (BC2), and you are getting:
    -"[playername] kicked: pnkbstrB.exe initialization error" or
    -"losing key packets" or
    -when using Punkbuster, the pnkbstrB.exe service is 'Disabled' and "Marked for deletion'

    I found that a common Microsoft tool software: Process Explorer by System Internals conflicts with Punkbuster causing the service to be stopped.
    This problem started when Process Explorer 12.xx was released in late March 2010 and is still broken. 
    All you have to do is run an earlier version, the most recent proved to be working correctly is 11.33

    This brings up the important point that using ANY other software than the OS itself can lead to compatibility problems with PB

    finally fixed

    • Marked as answer by ANUoldman Monday, April 19, 2010 9:27 PM
    Monday, April 19, 2010 9:27 PM

All replies

  • yep...   win7x64 ran fine with it until a fresh install / update... this is with new installs....

    and punkbuster is still a relevant issue... Battlefield Bad Company 2 was a major title just released with it.

    Saturday, April 03, 2010 3:02 AM
  • per the first post... two clean os installs then steam ... bc2 and cod4 are on steam...  worked fine on new installs prior to 30 days ago.... everything else on the machine works fine... the pb services are no longer allowed...  they get 'marked for deletion'
    Saturday, April 03, 2010 3:56 AM
  • windows is killing their service... they've got no answer... had a ticket going for a week now... win7 is marking it for deletion just like in the RC's
    Saturday, April 03, 2010 4:19 AM
  • I use MSSE also and these are clean installs

    Saturday, April 03, 2010 2:56 PM
  • only hapenned to me after a fresh reinstall... was working fine with a fresh install on 3/4 then on 3/26 I reinstall and dead...  this installl no security essentials... still happens
    Saturday, April 03, 2010 3:45 PM
  • the spyware thing was interesting but didn't pan out, I:

    - in defender, excluded \steam and \syswow64\pnkbstrA.exe and pnkbstrB.exe

    - reboot

    - ran pbsetup and pbsvc with successful tests

    -verified both services were running in the service snap in

    - started cod4 and got kicked with pnkbstrB.exe initialization failure

    - checked services: pnkbstrB.exe disabled and 'marked for deletion'

     

    it's like the pre RTM service ban of punkbuster has been reintroduced by some update that is coming down to only newly installed machines since 3/4

    Saturday, April 03, 2010 4:07 PM
  • nope, we are talking completely clean as snow OS installs.. this current one doesn't even have security essentials...

    I don't know a lot about third party services, but my feeling would be that there would be some serious system security to prevent an app from marking a service for deletion

    Saturday, April 03, 2010 4:24 PM
  • happens the same way with BadCompany 2... any pb game

    the only way I think you would recreate is a clean OS install.. if you do.... do it on a different partition / machine if you expect to play online anytime soon

    Saturday, April 03, 2010 4:31 PM
  • I havent taken screenshots

    - in COD4 or BC2  "[playername] kicked: pnkbstrB.exe initialization error"

    - in the services snap in, pnkbstrB.exe is disabled... when attempting to change status you get a dialouge that says: "the specified service has been marked for deletion"

     

    Saturday, April 03, 2010 9:49 PM
  • http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/6835/servicesnapin.jpg

    the BC2 and COD4 disconnects are not easily snipable as they are full screen apps.... "[playername] kicked: pnkbstrB.exe initialization error"

    I installed winxp mode / vrtual pc and PB works fine there.... I don't think we will solve this... I'd bet it's a disallowed service problem with win7 itself on new installs since Mar 4....

     

    Sunday, April 04, 2010 8:29 PM
  • you cant change any property of a service that's been disabled and marked for deletion... you get the "the specified service has been marked for deletion" dialoge

    the screenshot of the PB kick message is moot... it says exactly what I posted previously  "[playername] kicked: pnkbstrB.exe initialization error"

    Sunday, April 04, 2010 9:20 PM
  • bump... major re-edit of OP to better communicate the issue
    Sunday, April 04, 2010 11:12 PM
  • the administrative console calls the services snap-in, which is what I'm using
    Sunday, April 04, 2010 11:59 PM
  • Check and see if there are any game patches available. I know BC2 has updated a few times already.

     

     

     


    Vote if answered or helpful, I am running for Office (joke)! IT/Developer, Windows/Linux/Mainframe RaidMax Smilodon, 680W, Asus M2NBP-VM CSM, AMD X2 4200+, 2GB DDR2-800, HD2400 Pro, more details on my site, need a new boot disk, existing one is 5 years old
    Monday, April 05, 2010 12:09 AM
  • BC2 patches automatically via Steam, COD4 has been patched up for a year....
    Monday, April 05, 2010 12:17 AM
  • to the point... they are both patched... but they aren't the issue... punkbuster isn't running
    Monday, April 05, 2010 12:52 AM
  • On Mon, 5 Apr 2010 00:56:00 +0000, Vegan Fanatic wrote:


    > I have a registry cleaner tool I use called beclean, but its not for beginners as it can mess up a system.


    My advice is, beginner or not, avoid all registry cleaners. Here's my
    standard post on this subject:

    Registry cleaning programs are *all* snake oil. Cleaning of the
    registry isn't needed and is dangerous. Leave the registry alone and
    don't use any registry cleaner. Despite what many people think, and
    what vendors of registry cleaning software try to convince you of,
    having unused registry entries doesn't really hurt you.

    The risk of a serious problem caused by a registry cleaner erroneously
    removing an entry you need is far greater than any potential benefit
    it may have.

    Read http://www.edbott.com/weblog/archives/000643.html
    Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP (Windows Desktop Experience) since 2003

    Ken Blake
    Monday, April 05, 2010 1:15 AM
  • I agree Ken... registry cleaning is a practice I don't follow...

    not pertinent in this problem also, as it's a fresh OS.... nothings been installed other than the apps in question.

    Monday, April 05, 2010 2:15 AM
  • problem found:

    for those concerned, if you are using Punkbuster with any game in Windows 7 including Call of Duty 4 (COD4) and Battlefield Bad Company 2 (BC2), and you are getting:
    -"[playername] kicked: pnkbstrB.exe initialization error" or
    -"losing key packets" or
    -when using Punkbuster, the pnkbstrB.exe service is 'Disabled' and "Marked for deletion'

    I found that a common Microsoft tool software: Process Explorer by System Internals conflicts with Punkbuster causing the service to be stopped.
    This problem started when Process Explorer 12.xx was released in late March 2010 and is still broken. 
    All you have to do is run an earlier version, the most recent proved to be working correctly is 11.33

    This brings up the important point that using ANY other software than the OS itself can lead to compatibility problems with PB

    finally fixed

    • Marked as answer by ANUoldman Monday, April 19, 2010 9:27 PM
    Monday, April 19, 2010 9:27 PM
  • I second that. It was Process Explorer. version 14.x. But upgraded to the current version, 15.02, and no problems with pubkuster.
    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:18 AM
  • I have done the same thing, but it did not fix the problem. instead of "Marked for deletion" it now says

    "Windows was unable to open service PnkBstrB for reading on local computer. Error 1060 the specified service does not exist as an installed service"

    Sunday, September 18, 2011 3:55 PM
  • problem found:

    for those concerned, if you are using Punkbuster with any game in Windows 7 including Call of Duty 4 (COD4) and Battlefield Bad Company 2 (BC2), and you are getting:
    -"[playername] kicked: pnkbstrB.exe initialization error" or
    -"losing key packets" or
    -when using Punkbuster, the pnkbstrB.exe service is 'Disabled' and "Marked for deletion'

    I found that a common Microsoft tool software: Process Explorer by System Internals conflicts with Punkbuster causing the service to be stopped.
    This problem started when Process Explorer 12.xx was released in late March 2010 and is still broken. 
    All you have to do is run an earlier version, the most recent proved to be working correctly is 11.33

    This brings up the important point that using ANY other software than the OS itself can lead to compatibility problems with PB

    finally fixed

    Thank you :) I found this post through ea answers forum. When I killed Process Explorer.exe, Punkbuster services test successfully completed. If Process Explorer.exe is running in another user profile too (for example when you got this error message, you didn't restart your pc) then you need to kill that process in that user account) otherwise PunkbusterB still cannot run. Now I am going to try to play BFBC2
    Saturday, November 01, 2014 5:59 AM