The Support Experience When 2FA Account Recovery fails

Despite better knowledge, I didn’t get around switching to Microsoft Authenticator which features cloud based backup and recovery. It happened that my iPhone12’s screen stopped working, and I had to send it to Apple for diagnose and repair.

I thought to myself, within a week at last I should have access to my 2FA protected accounts again. I was expecting that some services will give me some issues, as some don’t offer backup codes, alternative 2FA options if your App installation is no more, etc.

In this blog post I want to describe my experiences. In all cases, I contacted their English Support staff when help was needed to re-gain access to my account (and re-enable 2FA via Microsoft Authenticator on the repaired phone).

domaindiscount24

based on my last time when I switched iPhone models and before the Google Authenticator App support exporting and re-importing accounts, I knew that a “password reset” form has to be filled in which I declare and put my signature in a form that I am the legal owner of the account and I need to gain access again. I enclosed a letter that indeed I need 2FA to be reset as my iPhone broke.

Base Country: Germany
Duration: 7 days and I was informed about 2FA being deactivated from my account via email.

Wargaming.net

I managed to login and disable 2FA, but in order to re-enable 2FA via Authenticator App, I had to confirm a code sent via SMS (why?), but that code never arrived. Their Player Support answered within 12 hours, asking for the following:

  • Try using a different browser
  • Empty the cache and cookies of the browsers and try again
  • Switch to a different language setting on our website and ask for the message again
  • Check if your message inbox on the phone is not full
  • Contact your phone provider to check if premium services are enabled

Luckily, my mobile phone network provider O2 by Telefonica offers chat support, so it was easy to check back with them.

After I made sure everything is okay on my side, they sent me the code via email instead.

Base Country: Cyprus
Duration: 22 hours

Gameforge

Why I’d even have an account with them looking at what kind of games they offer?Well, they over Frogster and I had a support matter with one of the Frogster games years ago, since without an account one can’t send in a support question, I registered myself an account there. Since I got hacked from Turkey last year, I took the security of this account serious.

Re-enabling the GameForce 2FA Authenticator was however not possible due to “invalid username/password” or “invalid login” error messages.
I was accused of having used a 3rd party tool on my iPhone while setting up the 2FA Authenticator again to manipulate it, and this is against their TOS, the ability to re-enable 2FA is blocked and support won’t help me any further.

I replied by this not to be true and also virtually impossible on an non-jailbroken iPhone and sending them proof of my iPhone having been with Apple for repair, I received the next day an email that they had a 2nd look and found I was hacked again and therefore removed the block. (not true however, but easier for them to make something up than admitting their anti-fraud detection is BS).
I then was able to re-enable 2FA again.

Base Country: Germany
Duration: 2 days

Etsy

After successfully having logged into my account using Backup Codes, I noticed I cannot disable 2FA as it requires codes generated by the authenticator app installation that is no more (exactly same issue, as Trovo, which will follow later). Normally, one would expect that the backup codes would be seen as valid but I was mistaken.

Emailing support resulted in receiving a personal reply within 20 minutes, being asked the following questions:

  • What is your email address associated with your account?
  • What is your billing/shipping address?
  • What was the last item you purchased on Etsy?

    I shortly thereafter I received a reply that 2FA was removed in my account and that the feedback will be forwarded internally to improved the flawed 2FA Recovery procedure.

Base Country: USA
Duration: 5 Hours

Rockstar

They don’t have any recovery method of the 2FA system, no backup codes, just a support form, which will instantly answer you asking for you to reply to this email from your account’s email address and to state that you are the owner of this Rockstar account. Shortly after 2FA was removed from my account.

Base Country: USA
Duration: 7 Hours


Trovo.live

Trovo offers no backup codes in case you are locked out of your account. However, luckily, I could still reach settings of my Trovo account due to active session cookies in my browser. However, disabling 2FA requires entering a generated code. (same problem as with Etsy mentioned earlier).

For initial point of contact I used their “Contact Us” form that can be found on their Support Page.

Unfortunately, I never received a reply, so I did some googling and found that according to their faq reddit page, it normally takes 5-7 day to get replies. Hence I re-sent my inquiry to them via their support email address, which resulted in an auto-responder:

Dear trover,
We have received your message and we will answer in 3-7 days.
Best Regards,
Trovo Team 🙂

(that was on a Friday), the following Monday, I received a reply apologizing for not getting back to me earlier and asking for the following:

You need to provide

  • your trovo name,
  • phone number,
  • password, and
  • any legal information to prove your identity and that you are the owner of this account.

    The last in the list I covered by enclosing a letter which I signed stating that I am the legal owner of my account and a copy of my national ID.

Then, I was told that “other staff” has been informed and will take care of the case.
The next day I was sent a screenshot asking whether I tried disabling 2FA in my account myself. (Yes, I did and that it doesn’t work was the whole point of contacting them for help!) . After that, my emails no longer triggered the auto-responder and as I received no replies anymore, I went to LinkedIn, had a look for Trovo employees, found a community manager in the Netherlands and asking him for help, he got back to me telling me he has forwarded it to the “the security team to further assist.

another 7 days later, I received a customer support email reply stating that 2FA has been disabled for my account and they apologize for the experience.

Base Country: China
Duration: 3 weeks

My bumpy road to play the racer “Blur” in Windows 11 and how multiple instances played together nicely

The people who know me well, know, that I am not a completionist, I barely complete any game at all, even not racing games, despite I am a sucky gamer in general, racing games are my go-to and I am generally good at them. Recently, I posted about Need For Speed – The Run and the challenge of how EA shutdown the Autolog servers and how to get it to run nevertheless.

I have completed the game, yes, I really did and it was the most joyful Need For Speed Game I ever played and game I ever completed (the other moments I really cheered it was completing F-Zero on the SNES and Danger Freak on the C64).

I loved the action, the risk of dying in this game because of too much speed and bluntly crashing into something because of it and totally smash the car and the challenge against the AI racers and beating them all and ultimately the game.

I am also a fan of “Detroit: Become Human” and therefore loved the quick time events they put in “Need For Speed – The Run”, all in all a perfect game. Looking for similar games, I found Split/Second to be my current action racer to go to.

In the Discussion Forums of Split/Second on Steam, I found Blur as a similar action type racer to go to.

After my challenge with Driver: San Francisco, here came another one!

More info about the “Why”:

Challenge accepted!

(Just to make it clear, I am always trying to go the most legal route to play an EOL game, anybody can just download a crack and play it, that’s no challenge)

In general I prefer Steam (as they stated multiple times if the service ever shut down they will release a patch to make all purchased games still playable) and physical releases as I am a collector.

However unfortunately, even when buying the game sealed on PC DVD (Only the German version is left available as new and sealed on Amazon), we know that due to print or label glue and other chemical issues, the DVDs begin to rot (even if not visible to the naked eye) and barely readable by DVD / BluRay drives or not readable at all anymore) after the 10+ years those optical medias are old.

So trying to install my German version I bought sealed from Amazon I gave up after trying for over an hour!

(often, even if the discs are readable still, Windows 8.x and later do not support used copy protection anymore and since it’s a grey area or even illegal in many places of the world, I never link to no-CD patches) , so what I looked for was an ISO that I could download just for the sake of installing it on my Windows 11 (as it is delisted from Steam, getting a digital copy was no option either), and I found that archive.org has an ISO with a re-packed installer!

Getting it to run was easy, just compatibility mode set to Windows 7 and run as admin and you are good to go.

Then I was created with a dialog asking to create a new account and enter my serial key to register my game, I was almost certain, this could be the end.

Active and working Blur account activated via Activision servers!



I was mistaken!
The key was confirmed, my account created and logged in and now I can play the game on my PC in Windows 11, 12 years after it was created!

Thanks to the team who re-packed the game files, thanks for archive.org for offering it for download and thanks to Activation for caring about your customers and not shutting down servers for EOL products!

And I didn’t have to dip into grey areas for this one!

Let’s be cheerful for not all companies being mindless and making it impossible to play EOL games!

Getting your none-AirPrint print AirPrint worthy the easiest way in Windows

I have tried a loot of ways to get my Dell C1765nfw to print from my iPhone, unfortunately it is not AirPrint compatible.

Rather by accident, I still have Netgear’s Genie program installed on an old Windows 7 installation (from the time bedore I had a Fritz!Box), and just noticed by accident that it comes with an AirPrint functionality, which also works if your router isn’t a Netgear one.

Getting Need For Speed SHIFT & Need For Speed SHIFT 2 Unleashed working in the year 2022 in Windows 11

Getting Need For Speed SHIFT 1 and 2 to work in the year 2022 in Windows 11 is not easy. As my original DVDs no longer read properly, tried to get the game, digitally, but it has been both unlisted in Steam and removed from Origin in May 2021.

Anyway, after finally getting keys, how to solve the “error contacting the license server” problem for SHIFT, see here.

For SHIFT 2, if you use the Steam version check how to install the PhysX engine / repair installation when using the steam version.

In the Origin version, I found PhysX in this folder: EA Games\SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED__Installer\customcomponent\Game_CustomComponent

As it was already installed, just selecting “repair” copied in the DLL file that the game was missing.

How to play Colin McRae DiRT on Windows 11 with a Creative Labs Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer

It may surprise, but actually, the game runs in Windows 10 and 11 but as I still have a PCI Sound card (because the onboard sound of my 2010 Asus motherboard has a buzzing interference sound (common for those cheap on-board sound chips back in that era and before), once you have the game practically running, you will be created by a blue screen “Driver IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL”.

Here is what I have done using the original CD release: (In my case from France as it was the only one available but the game still can be switched to English)

  1. Install Patch 1.2
  2. Took care of the copy protection issue
  3. wrote a batch file with a warning to first switch the main audio device and communications device to anything else than the X-Fi Xtreme Gamer to avoid the bluescreening happening because I forgot to switch that before starting the game!
  4. I reported the bug in the Windows 11 Feedback hub, perhaps it will somehow being care of in the future just like Driver: San Francisco somehow suddenly works in Windows 11 🙂

    I am aware that the latest patch version has the copy protection removed (yes, they did that officially!) however I wanted to use a version reported to work in Windows 10 before.

How to play Screamer 2 in 3DFX mode on Windows 11

The game by default doesn’t give you an option for 3DFX om the first menu and hence will only run in software emulation mode and this still brutally slow in DOSBOX! So what is the workaround?

None of the ones I found on Steam boards helped. (It would just end in the option window closed)

So, here is how to do it:

1) Run nglide_config.exe, then selecting my native screen resolution and pick aspect ratio as 4:3.

2) Run the Game normally.
3) Select option 2 – Client
3) Want to change IP address? – No
4) Select option 1 – 3DFX

And voilla, you are in 3DFX mode without modifying any files of the game! 🙂

How to use the “Microsoft Office Word Add-in For MediaWiki” with Word 2021 in Windows 10 / 11

When I recently updated to Microsoft Office 2021 Professional, I wondered myself whether the “Microsoft Office Word Add-in For MediaWiki” published by Microsoft in 2010 still works.

Indeed it does, but the setup routine doesn’t detect Office 2013 and up.

I found instructions how to modify the registry so Mediawiki.txt filetype shows up in the “Save as” dialog window of Word 2013.

For Office 2021 (I am using its 64bit version), the following differences to above’s manual apply:

* path modifications mentioned have to be performed for the 32bit and the 64bit (Wow6432Node) section of the registry.
* The Office version’s path equals 16.0

The Limited Run Games’ release of Monkey Island Anthology

It arrived today and I spent hours with it already and as you all know I am using Windows 11. (But all I mention in this blog post is also valid for Windows 10 as well)

It is a good limited release, but it isn’t very good or even outstanding. Here is what I shared with their support department today:

May I be honest about it? From the physical standpoint, the product is awesome, from the software release side I am on the fence about it. On one hand I was pleasantly surprised to see 3.5″ and 5.25″ disk images of the PC releases and Mac and Amiga and even stream dumps of the data so people can re-create the original media. However if that was thought of, why not an ISO image of the PC releases containing CD Audio? It could have been either multi-data-type ISO images or even enclosing AND inlcuding them as physical versions in the DVD/CD box. What about Atari, Mega CD and FM Towns releases?

and Monkey Island 4 (AKA Escape From Monkey Island”) is an awful buggy release. Monkey Island 3 was at least packaged with ScummVM, but not even using the last version but the Runtime Environment from 2017!
Upon research I understood you just put the GOG releases on them, but Monkey Island 4’s GOG Release has a few major flaws:
No support of 16:9 widescreen and only at 640×480, and any secondary monitors have to be disabled
Also the game easily crashes in the middle a couple of times.
Why not bundling it yourself with the latest ScummVM? It supports the game as seen here: https://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php/Escape_from_Monkey_Island

I would fix it myself as I could but as the releases you put there are Install Shield bundles, I don’t have have hand on the original game data to put into ScummVM to play it in correct aspect ratios without the crashes and overlapping music in the game credit menu.

There as potential and good intent but lacking of execution at some places. Which is very unfortunate. Especially for an Anthology. I guess it is too late for that now, the only possible way to fix the problems would be offering downloads containing the following:

-Providing the game versions of missing computer and console platforms
-Offering ISO Images of the PC CD versions containig CD Audio
-Offering ISO Images of Monkey Island 4 AND/OR bundling them with ScummVM

While I perhaps can excuse some of that for missing licenses, it boggles my mind you just re-released the GOG version of Monkey Island 4 instead of using original game data and bundle them with ScummVM for a more stable, visually correct and more bug free experience as a release.

You surely had enough time to iron out those road blockers.

It is probably too late and doubt Limit Run Games will provide an Update as a download for missing conent/releases and fixed to work on current PC systems better, but I anyway didn’t want to hold back that you had the chance to make this Anthology outstanding and you missed it unfortunately.
And all those things I mentioned do not require any code bug fixing or anything, just re-bundling and using the original release data,

More details on Monkey Island 4 running in ScumVM can be found here:
https://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php/Escape_from_Monkey_Island

Thanks and sorry for the rant.

Running Driver: San Francisco in Windows 11

recent builds of Windows 10 broke compatibility with Driver: San Francisco. However latest app compatibility updates to Windows 11 and the Nvidia Game Ready drivers finally make it compatible! It also will work with latest Ubisoft Connect, however online function is broken and it will be put to your face right on startup, as I just wanted it to play in Story mode, I am fine with that!

There is a recent manual how to make it work using an old version when it was still named “UPlay”, however I personally wouldn’t risk to break it completely:

There is also a petition to bring the game back to the stores!

More about its story in this youtube video:

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