so throughout the ages in the EC forums there have been scattered complaints that people cannot make it past the login screen. Most of these threads have died with no hope or solution. this pretty much sums up most peoples threads: Since a lot of time has passed I figured i'd toss this out to the Uhallers and see if anyone has found a way to work it. I know some people have installed the EC and had no problems. I'm hoping for the best. My computer exploded yesterday and I upgraded to win7.... ISSUE RESOLVED: if anyone is playing this game and having this problem this may be why. You may have a motherboard with an Nvidia chipset. If you do, try to locate under add remove programs/drivers Nvidia ForceWare Network Access Manager Uninstall this and reboot. It's semi-hardware based (implemented inside the chipset) so it has some advantages over a software firewall. however, having multiple firewalls can sometimes cause problems. This solutions works 100% for me. I hope it helps you all and that this gives EA a bit of insight.