70 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2010
I posted the below as a reply to someone and thought many others were probably having the same issue so I reposted it here:
I would consider changing my star rating after you try what I am about to suggest :-)
I had the same exact problem and was super upset because I have a top of the line gaming laptop (i7, gtx 460, 8 gigs ram, etc)
I found that the issue is with the 64 bit nature of windows 7. If you find the installation .exe file that you run to install the game and instead of double clicking it, you right click on the file and click on "troubleshoot compatibility", windows will then suggest running it in Windows XP SP2 mode or somtthing like that, and VIOALA! It will work. I could not find this simple fix anywhere on the internet and forgot that my win 7 was running in 64 bit mode so I figured that must be the problem (almost all programs are the older 32 bit versions and have to be run in compatibility mode). If you still have trouble, just try running it in compatibility mode for Windows XP. Hope this helps. The game is AWESOME by the way, I like it way better on my pc than on my xbox. amazing graphics. Good luck.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2011
First of all, it works fine in Windows 7, even 64-bit. Run the setup.exe located in the GTAIV directory instead of the autorun.exe in the root download directory, if you do it this way, it does not install the Rockstar Social Club. When you run setup.exe, it will tell you "Your system is not compatible with Grand Theft Auto IV. Please follow the link below for more information. If you click the link, it takes you to a Microsoft support article on how to download and install Windows XP Service Pack 3. It shouldn't take a genius to figure out that you need to run the setup in Windows XP Service Pack 3 mode. Right click on the setup.exe, go to the compatibility tab, check the "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" and select Windows XP (Service Pack 3) from the drop down list. Run setup.exe again and it will install.
As for the other complaints about having to install or sign up with the Rockstar Social club and Games for Windows Live, if you read the directions right in front of you, it tells you that the Rockstar Social Club is optional, and you can create an offline GFWL account and never have to be online to play the game. You only have to create those accounts if you want to play multiplayer over the internet.
I bought the game on disk when it was released, but my DVD drive malfunctioned and ejected the disk while it was spinning full speed. I checked the disk and it would not read data2.cab. I would not be able to use it to re-install the game, but it would still recognize it and let me launch the game. I figured I would just have to buy it again when the time came to re-install, and hoped that when that time came the price would come down.
I built a new gaming computer earlier this year. By then the Episode From Liberty City came out on PC, so I bought that and forgot all about GTA: IV while I was busy playing EFLC.
Recently I was itching to go back and play the original GTA: IV, but I couldn't re-install with my bad disk. Lucky for me Amazon had a 75% off end of the year sale, so I decided to give the $5 digital download version a try rather than pay $20 for another disk version. It downloads the contents of what is on the retail DVDs, it installs and runs just like it's a retail disk version, but without the need for a disk.
You still have to activate with SecuROM (I forgot about that part), but after that it runs without the need to find and put in a disk or connect to a digital service. As long as all Amazon Digital Download games work this way, I will be buying games this way from now on.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
Ok here is my experience with starting this game:
1) Download ~13 GB
2) Try to install --> then it says its incompatible with my system (Windows 7)
3) Find the folder and install in XP compatibility mode sp3 --> the installs yay!
4) Run the game and a command window opens saying its missing the rockstar DRM file. Go to Rockstars website and download it.
5) Game starts and crashes at logo screen
6) Run in a different XP SP2 compatibility mode --> immediate crash
7) Turn off XP compatibility mode and run in Windows 7 --> it runs yay! (So the game won't install in Win 7 but only runs in Win 7...lovely)
8) Now set up your Rockstar account
9) Now set up your Games for Windows live account
10) Windows Live says I need to update the game
11) Windows Live update fails
12) Go to Rockstars support page and download the update manually and install
13) Yay now the game finally runs!
14) Oh Crap...now that the game is running it suffers from poor performance--constant stuttering.
So yeah this game is not even worth it being free with a $5 coupon. Not even worth the effort to set it up.
Nice job Rockstar! I bet the pirates enjoyed their cracked version of this game, whereas your paying customers have to go hell just to get it to run.
This is without a doubt the worst DRM/Compatibility/performance experience I have ever had in 30+ years of gaming.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2011
After FINALLY getting the Amazon software to download the file (why do I need to install software to download a file?), I was able to install the game only to have it throw errors each time I tried to run it. On the bright side, Amazon customer support was helpful and is giving me a refund.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
Game installed, bloatware installed, SecuRom DRM installed... GFWL asking for product key - Invalid. Search the internet and find out I need to register the key on xbox.com .. Do so, code is marked redeemed, no product key provided. Call M$ support, they tell me the code registered as a 360 download, can't help me, told it will be escalated. 4 days later, recieve email from support saying they will contact us again in a week. Unacceptable. Amazon was nice enough to give me a refund for this order. Amazon 5 stars - Microsoft - 0 stars.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
So this is a decent game. In my opinion, not as good as the other GTA games though.
I have this on PS3, and was ok for my game library.
I then bought this to have a PC version (especially as there are mods to be able to play San Andreas or Vice City, with the GTA4 graphics engine).
Unfortunately, this game is not updated to run on Windows 7 or 8 very well, or at all.
I'm a techie and still having trouble getting it to run, even using compatibility modes for installation and playing.
Apparently, it doesn't like certain versions of the Games for Windows client, or the versions of the .net framework.
I'm disappointed I still can't run this at all on my PC (which is running Windows 8).
though I've found a new walk-through on how to install and get it working. So if that works I'll update and edit my review.
Again, the game is decent...... but troublesome to run on Windows 7/8.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2013
This is another awesome classic towards the Grand Theft Auto genre and an update will get you the complete set including The Ballad of Gay Tony and The Lost and Damned sets. Even though the game itself is awesome, the difficulty of install lead to a 4/5 review. You have to register for a Windows Games account, download Windows Games itself, and submit the code you receive through amazon through THAT program and not the game itself. Then you will get ANOTHER code which you will use to register the game. There was a lot of confusion about this and Amazon didn't have any instructions upon downloading.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2012
I should have listened to the reviewers. I am running a pretty good system:
i5-2500k overclocked to 4.5 ghz
CrossfireX HD 6950's, shader unlocked, and overclocked to 930/1375.
I have the settings on the best possible, with the viewing distance down to 10, and while the game is beautful, any time I move the camera, I get insane choppiness and my FPS drops to the teens.
Don't buy this game.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2011
I bought this games without reading the reviews, and turns out, that was a huge mistake. Please read my review as well as others. The game has serious performance issues and is clearly not optimized for the PC. And yes, I have a very high end spec'd PC. If you have a console, I would just invest the extra dollars in that version of the game, but please don't waste your time (long download time) and money on this game for the PC. Total garbage. Rockstar needs to do a better job optimizing their software to be less of a resource hog.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2014
Honestly, I thought I was getting an incredible bargain for $6 but, to sum it up right away, I just got $6 stolen from me.
If you have a Windows 8 computer and want to play GTAIV, I'll give you a piece of advice: don't. Personally, I thought getting Fallout 3 to run on a Windows 7 PC was a fairly daunting task, but getting GTAIV to work on a Windows 8 computer feels like a science project with a bit of voodoo magic thrown in. Here's how it went down:
Downloaded the game on and off for a few days.
Was unable to do anything because I needed to run it in compatibility mode.
Get the thing to install after a few hours of trial-and-error.
Attempt to launch the game.
SecuLauncher: failed to start application. 
Found out I had to run it in compatibility mode AGAIN for the installed version.
The ordinal 42 could not be located in the dynamic link library C:\windows\SYSTEM32\xlive.dll
I've had it with this game, honestly. I shudder to think what game-breaking problems this game will have when I run it, so I'll write this off as a learning experience about how you should pay attention to customer reviews. If you managed to get this game to work, then good for you. For me: I'm just going to play something that works - preferably without requiring me to spend hours upon hours jumping through an infinite number of hoops to get the thing to run.