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PR:BF2 Support Help and support regarding PR:BF2 installation and in-game issues

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Old 06-24-2008, 02:12 PM   #1
Retired PR Developer
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Default Punkbuster Error: MD5Tool Mismatch Solution

These steps may only work for XP.

The long fool proof way to fix most BF2 and PR mod Errors

Check to make certain you have installed and are running PR correctly.

Go here for a full installation guide:

NOTE: Make sure you allow new desktop shortcut during installation.

If you suspect that a virus or other Malware programs is effecting the files:

Get your favorite Anti-Virus or Malware software, update the definitions and do a full scan from Safe Mode. You can get to Safe Mode by pressing F8 leisurely during the initial boot up of Windows.
If you suspect that corrupt install files may be the cause:
Double check the integrity of the install file by using this method: HERE

If you suspect that a bad HDD (Hard Drive) may be affecting the files:
Do the following steps:
  1. Go to My Computer -> (Right Click) C:\ Drive -> Properties -> Tools Tab
  2. Click on Check Now in the Error Checking section.
  3. Check on the option to, "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors"
  4. Then click Start and let it run through it's entire scan.

If your getting seemingly random MD5 kicks
  1. Download memtest86 .iso for your particular OS. You can get that application from the following website: - Memory Diagnostic
  2. Burn the file to a CD as an ISO or copy it to a Flash Drive.
  3. Boot from this media and it will auto start the memtest86 application. Make sure you let it run through at least 2 passes on your memory.
  4. If it finds an error or hangs for a long time (minimum 10 minutes on the exact same thing) testing one part of it then you may have an issue with your memory.
  5. To find out which memory stick is bad or if a DIMM slot on your motherboard is bad you will have to do a few things. Make sure you have a can compressed air to blow out any dust particles. Do not do this in a dirty environment and make certain you have discharged any static electricity you have by touching something grounded.
  7. Take out all your memory and then use the compressed air to blow out the DIMM slots. Then test each stick individually by placing one stick in the first DIMM slot. Then replug in your PC and run the memtest86 again. Do at least two passes on each memory stick making certain you do the power discharge I put in caps above each time. Once you have tested all your memory in this way and if each one passes the test then you have eliminated memory as an issue and must then test out the DIMM slots on your motherboard.
  8. First plug in the first two memory slots. Most motherboards have dual channel memory and so you will have to test slot 1 and 3 or slot 1 and 2 depending on your motherboard. You must read the documentation on your motherboard to know which ones are dual channel. If the first two slots pass the memtest86 then you plug in the 3rd slot. Run the test again. Finally the 4th slot and run the test again. You should know by then which slot is broken and plan accordingly. If they all pass for some reason after all memory sticks are plugged in then it may be that you simply had dust in the slot that was effecting memory access. Try to run the game again and see if you get any errors.
  9. If you do find a bad slot, then you may need to buy new memory in order to get the same amount of memory that you had before. For my issue I had all 4 DIMM slots taken up by DDR400 512mb sticks. DIMM slot 4 on my motherboard was broken. So I ended up buying 2 DDR400 1GB sticks and putting them in Slots 1 and 3. Slots 2 and 4 (the broken one) are not used.


If you are still having unexplained issues then you need to do a clean install of BF2 and PR. This is the most guaranteed solution if your having problems with a PB error saying "MD5Tool Mismatch".

First try just reinstalling the PR core files only. If your still having issues, you will need to:
  1. Uninstall all PR files
  2. Uninstall BF2 and any expansion packs
  3. Manually navigate to C:\Program Files\Battlefield 2 and delete the folder
  4. Manually navigate to C:\My Documents\Battlefield 2 and delete the folder
  5. Restart your computer
  6. Defragment your hard drive - this is important because MD5 checks need very fast response times.
  7. Install BF2
  8. Apply BF2 1.41 patch
  9. Install PR - first core files, then the levels

Make certain you list in your post your Operating System, Computer Specs and your directory Path for BF2.

If you have any other issues with the MD5 tool mismatch please visit this thread:
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Last edited by Eddiereyes909; 07-17-2011 at 03:48 PM..
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:51 PM   #2

Edward's Avatar
Default Re: PB Error: MD5Tool Mismatch Solution

Kilroy's thread was a help for me. Although a clunky fix, it lets me play. The 'duct tape' fix is described at

To use the fix and play both BF2 and PR (or any other mod or extra I suppose). I have to go back to the mod file and swap between the BF2 and PR shader_client. No, that doesn't help you actually complete the fix, you need to read Kilroy's post for more detail.

Also-for those uninterested in the rest of Kilroy0097's thread and other fix options, the bit that worked for me is pasted here:
Are you gettings a mismatch error?

There is an easy duct tape fix for this. It may or may not work for you. To do this fix do the following:

1. Delete the cache data folder for PR. You can find this folder usually by going to
C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\Battlefield 2\mods\bf2\cache\
and deleting whatever folder is there. This will force re-optimization for the game when you load into a map again.

2. Make a backup of the following file by renaming the file adding .bak to the end of it.
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2\mods\bf2\

3. Then COPY C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2\mods\pr\ to the previous folder in Step 2.

4. Restart Game and the problem may be solved.
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:38 PM   #3
Retired PR Developer
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Default Problems with Punkbuster? Solutions here.

Punkbuster Problems

Punkbuster can cause problems for a huge range of reasons. If you have certain programs installed punkbuster will kick you for using them.

If you get any message that says ""disallowed program/drive", google the error code number or message and that will be a good indication of telling you whats wrong.

A (mostly) foolproof way to fix your pb issues that aren't related to having disallowed external programs is below:


Punkbuster Installation (fixes most PB problems)

Important Note: pbsvc installs the punk buster 'engines' or applications. PBsetup installs the files/gas the 'engines run.

1. Download pbsvc (a tool that updates/installs the Punkbuster Services).

2. Start pbsvc installer, you should see options for install, uninstall, test.

3. Run the Uninstaller in pbsvc, this removes all Punkbuster Services from your computer

4. Once the pbsvc Uninstaller completes, navigate to your Battlefield 2 installation directory (default is C:\Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 2) and delete the pb folder to remove any leftover files.

4. Restart your computer.

5. Run pbsvc again and Re-Install all Punkbuster Serivces, pay attention to any messages that come up during the installation. ( if your using Vista DO NOT set compatibility to XP, run as admin ok)

6. After pcsvc installs, click the "test" option to check the punk buster install you just did.

5. Make sure it comes back "all green"

6. Download pbsetup (this is separate from pbsvc, it's a tool that automatically updates your Punkbuster BF2 file).). If your using Vista DO NOT set compatibility to XP, run as admin.

7.Create a pbsvc installer shortcut AND pbsetup program shortcut on your desktop.

8. Run pbsetup (from the shortcut on your desktop) and Add Battlefield 2 if its not already listed, then click on update and let it update the BF2 files, pay attention to any messages that come up during the installation.

9. You should now be fully updated and working, if you still are getting kicked, post your error in this thread.

10. If all that didnt work, some advanced additional steps can be followed here:

Check Punkbuster B is set to auto re-start.

->Open your Control Panel -> Go to Administrative Services -> Click on Services while PR is running.
->Select Punkbuster B, right click, select properties -> select the recovery tab and make sure they all say "Restart the service" for all three dropdowns.
->You can do the same for PB A, but majority of times, it's the B client that stops responding.
** Any time you update PB, you may need to re-do this step.

Firewall not set up (open) for BF2 and punk buster

Make sure your firewall has permission for:

(search for your location)

or (not 100% sure but for 32 bit O/S I think it's)C:\WINDOWS\SYSWOW32\PNKBSTRA.EXE
"C:\Users\"your user name here"\AppData\Roaming\PnkBstrB.exe"
Don't forget to open for BF2VoipServer as well:
C/Program Files/EA Games/Battlefield 2/BF2VoipServer.exe

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Last edited by fuzzhead; 02-23-2010 at 01:34 PM..
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Problems with Punkbuster? Solutions Here

Common PB Problems:

Windows XP Firewall Blocking Punkbuster
WinXP firewall could be blocking your punkbuster service from running properly. If you suspect this is whats happening, do the following steps:

1)go to Start>Settings>control pannel>fire wall (for windows xp)

2) then go to the firewall list of programs which are allowed to have access on the internet, there will be a list of programs which can access your computer through the web.

3) If punk buster is not on this list, add it by pressing add/browse and go to my computer > C:\program files\EA GAMES\Battlefield 2\pb and there should be something called pnkbstrb.exe

4) This should allow punkbuster to run with windows firewall, try to connect to a PR server now.


PB Error: "Restriction: Disallowed Program/Driver (125083)"

This kick is usually caused by one of the following programs running. Disabling/Closing them should stop the kick.
  • Ventrilo Chat Overlay
  • Team Speak Overlay
  • DxTweaker
  • ATI Tray Tools (depends on version)
  • Game Accelerator (uninstall, then reboot)
  • Mumble Overlay
  • EVGA Precision tool
  • Steam Overlay

If your running Steam Overlay, follow these steps:

* Open Steam
* Go to File > Settings > Ingame tab
* Uncheck the "Enable Steam Community In-Game" checkbox
* Press OK
* Restart Steam

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Last edited by fuzzhead; 02-07-2010 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:56 PM   #5
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PR Server License Administrator

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Default MD5Tool Mismatch: RendDX9x2.dll & vtuneapi.dll

If you happen to be getting the following error on BF2 v1.5 and PR:

Then please place the following file in your root battlefield 2 folder:
(ie: C:\Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield 2)

Note, this will only help people who are getting errors on that specific file.


If you get a similar issue on BF2 v1.5 and PR, but the file is instead vtuneapi.dll, download the following file and place it in the same directory as above:

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Last edited by [R-DEV]AncientMan; 07-17-2011 at 02:08 AM..
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:42 PM   #6

HMARS's Avatar
Default Re: Problems with Punkbuster?

I, too, am having the pnkbstrB heartbeat problem. I have tried everything that has been suggested and then some, and have yet to find a solution. Even playing with firewall and all antivirus off doesn't help. Reinstalling doesn't help. Updating doesn't help. I get approximately 75 seconds of playtime and then am dumped back to the server browser with the aforementioned kick message.
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Old 01-31-2010, 09:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Problems with Punkbuster?

Originally Posted by ApaD View Post
So now I have Windows 7 and I get kicked by pnkbstrB.exe Heartbeat stopped.

I'm under the impression that you should check so that pnkbstrA.exe is running before BF2 is started, and that pnkbstrA.exe starts pnkbstrB.exe.

So to the question: How do you get pnkbstrA.exe to start before BF2, starting the .exe alone doesn't hold it up. I've tried pbsvc.exe (+ tests without errors) and pbsetup.exe updated to date.
I am Having the same problem .. It also sort of started when i upgraded to Windows 7 and found out that my video card wasnt compatable ( SO i upgraded to EVGA 512mb DDR5....
When i started playing PR my game would lagg out and then get a punk buster kick for one of sevral warnings...

the first what is Quoted above.. the 2nd loosing key packets, 3. pnkbstrB.exe initalization Failed. 4communication faulure pnkbstrB.exe and thats it ... thats a substancial amount of warnings if i would say so my self ^_^ ....

it COULD deffinatly be the issue that PR or Punkbuster is non compatable to Windows 7 .. even though i ran them through compatability mode :P...... i feel sorta in a hole at the moment trying to pick away at trying to get the programs working correctly...

One thing i pick up on is During my Quest was .... when i install pnkbstr svc .. when it goes through the checklist saying .. PnkbstrB.exe and A.exe exceptionaly allowed it says in blue writing . NO .. from what i have seen it is suposed to say YES .. so im debaiting copying a PnkbstrA.exe and B.exe .Dll file into the system32 folder.. by running everything through the system 32 folder i am not sure if it will all communicate correctly... so i am still testing it out. Right now i am feeling like i am In big trouble getting Punkbuster working right.. i Might just Install a 2nd OS (XP) Back in to my computer and split the harddrive so when ever i wanna play PR all i have to do is Switch to XP mode and play ...then switch back to 7 mode when i am doing everthing else...... ( Ghetto rigged to its max)

SO if anyone has windows 7 and has project reality working correctly please send me a message and respond to this issue

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Last edited by Redamare; 02-04-2010 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:47 PM   #8
Default Re: Problems with Punkbuster?

Well I'm also having the same problems as most of you are, I get the
" Restriction: Disallowed Program/Driver (125083)" I installed the latest punkbuster, i have no problem playing BF2, it's only on PR, and i really wanna play this mod, it looks amazing but i get kicked within a minute, i have no idea what can be causing this problem, i checked my firewall and it's on allow BF2, Im running windows 7 Ultimate x64, has anyone found a solution to this problem, or may have some helpful info that might lead up to a solution please message me...
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:27 PM   #9
Retired PR Developer
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Default Re: Problems with Punkbuster? Solution.

Punkbuster is kicking you for having Steam overlay(shift+tab) most likely. Could also be some other program that is running "on top" of Battlefield. There is no way of actually finding out what 125083 means since punkbuster aren't sharing their error codes with anyone. I am guessing you haven't been kicked before because the server you have played on before haven't had punkbuster enabled

On steam, go to file > settings > ingame tab > untick enable steam community in-game.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Problems with Punkbuster? Solutions here.

I often get kicked for "Punkbuster heartbeat stopped".

Usually it happens like this:
Loading map.
Joining the game - no lag at all so far.
Selecting spawnpoint and spawning -> Extreme Lag!! 1-2 minutes! picture freezes nearly -> Menu Screen with warning "kicked because of PB heartbeat stopped".

Joining server again and then working fine - lag again when spawning but no kick usually.

When is PB sending the clientinfo (or when I am "checked" by the server if my PB is running correctly)?
Is there a way to send that info before spawning?

Looks like this "kick" is somehow connected to my system being too much loading PR stuff while spawning and sending my PB info?

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