The problem is an interaction between Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 and and space siege. It seems to be related to the Kaspersky NDIS filter for their firewall. Once I disabled that function the I got the insert DVD mesasge. Removed my AV and replaced it with NOD32 by Eset no more problem.
Unfortunately this isn't necessarily the case. My anti virus software is Avast! which doesn't include a firewall function and I've had the same result. I'm running the 177.79 nVidia drivers and PhysX 8.08.18 on XP 64 sp2 and downloaded the game through Steam.
The error and event log messages are identical on my system so it would appear that the root cause is the same.
There does, however, appear to be a conflict with certain AV software as with Avast! running the game would not even launch, the executable crashed out immediately. After removing Avast! an error log is generated as well as a dxdiag text file but I have to manually end the process as I can't return to desktop until I do so.
I've removed the local files then restored from a Steam backup after driver updates with the same result. I'll try a fresh download at the weekend as well as seeing if I have the same result on a fresh install of Vista 64 bit unless any more information is forthcoming on the ticket I have open.
Glad to see Im not the only steam user thats having problems. As a matter of fact my system is almost the same as yours and I've tried everything I can think of to get the game working. Ive had a ticket in for about 3 weeks now and Ive had little help with the exception of being told to update me AMD processor drivers. I really dont understand why the tech people are being so quiet all of a sudden but its really becoming annoying.
I have never installed Kaspersky Anti-virus software on my machine so that is not the cause of my crash on startup.
I have Windows XP SP3 (just downloaded and installed today) I have Nvidia 6800 using the Sept 25, 2008 driver.
The launch pad appears after I insert the DVD, then I start the game the launch pad disappears. Then , the DVD light goes on and off again numerous times over about a 2 minute time span ... and eventually I get the Windows Error box asking me if I want to send the details to Microsoft, this happens with Safe Mode start as well.
The short summary of the crash is:
AppName: spacesiege.exe AppVer: 126.96.36.1993 ModName: ~df394b.tmp
ModVer: 0.0.0.0 Offset: 000b7d13
I have to admit that I'm getting a touch hacked off with this now. I'm in the same boat I was a month ago with no apparent fix on the horizon. My support ticket died a while back with the old "try updating your drivers" answer.
I've tried no anti virus, Avast! and AVG all with the same results so I really don't think that's it in this case. Latest WHQL drivers, beta drivers - you name it, I've probably tried it.
I've tried a fresh download of the game files through Steam and still no dice. I haven't even seen so much as a splash screen. The next step I suppose is a fresh OS install but I'm not exactly keen to do that as it works fine right now and it takes way too long to get it tweaked sweetly. I could try installing Vista on a separate drive but I have to admit that I'm loathe to do so as I REALLY don't like it!