Sorry guys - Debuya is correct: the original NWN won’t work correctly on a number of drives. I too purchased NWN (Australian release) at the same time that I got WC3. I have two drives in my system:
Sony DDU1621 DVDROM
Liteon 24102B CDRW
NWN comes on three discs. AFAIK only disc 3 is protected (using the same version of SecuROM as WC3 I believe). Both disc 2 (unprotected) and disc 3 (SecuROM new) gave me ‘unable to read from disc’ errors during installation. We are talking original, pressed discs here.
The only way I got it installed in the end was by manually copying the contents of disc 2 to a folder on my HD (using my Sony DVDROM, yep the same one that refused to read the disc during the installation), and when asked for disc 2 to be inserted I pointed it to the HD folder. I also has to do a minimal install so that disc 3 wasn’t required during installation.
Once this was done and the game was installed on my HD I then followed a suggestion from the BioWare ‘self-help’ forums which said to manually copy certain directories from disc 3 to the NWN directory on the HD and then alter one of the .INI files to make NWN load the data from HD rather than disc 3 in the CD drive (ie faking a full installation of NWN). Easier said than done - neither of my drives were able to reliably read the necessary files from disc 3, so when I was copying them over (using Windows Explorer) it would error out on certain files with ‘unable to read from disc’ errors. I finally resorted to copying the files from my second PC over the network - this worked. This second PC has an Acer 12x8x32 CDRW (not sure of exact model, can find out if you want) which had no troubles reading the files from disc 3.
I’m lucky that I have the second PC to do this with - many people don’t and would be stuck with a totally unusable game if their drives couldn’t read it. As you can probably tell I’m not too happy with Infogrammes’ decision to use this new SecuROM for NWN. If it prevents people who have legitimately purchased the product from using it, it is broken as far as I’m concerned. Pity it’s such a good game
Given that disc 2 is not apparently protected and I still had problems with it it sort of seems like a faulty CD - but then the Acer wouldn’t have been able to read it. I can at least partly understand why disc 3 would fail on some burners (even though I don’t agree with it) if it is using SecuROM new. It could be that the SecuROM check routines that are run by the NWN installer are broken and fire up in the wrong places (ie when disc 2 is in the drive), causing the check to fail as disc 2 is not protected. This could explain why I can read the contents of disc 2 from the same drive using Explorer but not during the install itself. Someone has pointed out in the BioWare forums that the SecuROM protection routines in NWN may be broken and polling the CD drive at unexpected intervals during the game itself, causing the stuttering & jerking that many people are seeing ingame. If this is the case it could explain some of the above problems… of course it could all be totally cr*p, but I’ll reserve judgement until I hear more from others.
In the meantime you can work around the inability to install NWN by doing what I did, as long as you have easy access to a drive which can actually read disc 3. Let me know if you want further details of the procedure, or look it up in the BioWare forums (http://nwn.bioware.com/forums/).