I’ve recently had some trouble with PunkBuster kicking me from Battlefield 4 after about 1.5 continuous rounds. Below is my error:
Game disconnected: you were kicked by PunkBuster. Stated reason: PunkBuster kicked player ‘Lostagent2’ (for 0 minutes) … RESTRICTION: Disallowed Program/Driver 
In utter frustration I had tried all of the following:
- Ignoring it and trying again
- Complaining loudly
- Google searching the error message (no results matching the error code)
- Updated by graphics card drivers, rebooted
- Upgraded the Origin client to the beta version in case it was out of date (somehow?), rebooted
- Updated Punkbuster
- Uninstalled Punkbuster
- Installed Punkbuster
- Uninstalled Punkbuster, rebooted
- Installed Punkbuster, rebooted
- Contacted EA support
- Attempted to email EA support about a Punkbuster issue but their contact form for email doesn’t allow you to submit at the time of writing.
- Contacted EA support via live chat
- Waited 55 minutes to talk to someone
- Connected to an agent. Emailed my problem and provided comprehensive logs. Was told I came to the wrong queue and was transferred.
- Connected to an agent. Emailed my problem and provided comprehensive logs. Was told I came to the wrong queue AGAIN and was transferred.
- Connected to an agent. Realised I had been transferred back to the first guy. Explained the problem to him again to which he replied “Oh that’s sad” – very helpful thank you…
- He ran me through his usual troubleshooting script:
- Checking the Windows firewall
- Making an exception
- Reinstalling Punkbuster (again, for the 4th time that night)
- Updating Punkbuster (again)
- We found that PnkBstrB was not installed, so we installed it. When I ran the test services in the wizard I saw the test process stop it and leave it stopped – so I assume it wasn’t necessary. Anyway.
- I was told “Restart the game and origin and see if it works now”. I didn’t trust that it would be that simple though, so I asked him “can I stay on this chat?” to which he agreed.
- I played 1.3 rounds of BF4 when he decided “I am sure the game is working now.” I insisted I had not yet proven that but he was keen to go.
- Less than 5 minutes later, I was kicked from the game by Punkbuster. Problem not resolved.
- Tried to join live chat again but queue time was > 1hr.
- Contacted EvenBalance.com (Punkbuster) via a support request
- Uninstalled Battlefield 4 from my computer, uninstalled Origin client
- Kicked off a fresh install of BF4 and went to bed
- Installed updates, played a game, 1.5 games later was kicked by Punkbuster.
As you can see, I went through a lot of time and frustration. Something miraculous finally happened though.
A whole 21 hours later I got this reply from EvenBalance support containing exactly the information I was after.
This kick is usually caused by one of the following programs running. Disabling them should stop the kick.
Auto Hot Key
Black Glass Enhanced
If you do not have any of these programs running, open this ticket back up and state what you do have running, especially anything that might be similar to the above.
Bingo! Weeks ago I had searched Google for a solution to quickly switch between my PC sound output (speakers and headset). In Windows 8.1, to change the playback output device, right mouse click on the sound icon, click Playback devices and change the default device and then the default communication device. Because I do this so often I looked to automate it. I found this solution recommend Auto Hot Key and a little script that mapped F6 and F7 to the switching function.
Anyone who knows me well can confirm that I hate people and the concepts of lying, cheating, deceiving and misleading. For this reason, it never crossed my mind at all that Auto Hot Key might be used to macro behaviour maliciously in Battlefield 4. I’ve since gone back to manually switching and uninstalled Auto Hot Key.