If you own a retail copy of CD/DVD of both original and expansion pack, you can simply let the DVD of expansion pack stay in the optical tray and run the game from the installation directory on your hard drive.It will prompt you to enter the DVD key for original Company of Heroes in order to incorporate it with the expansion pack you've just installed.But, the problem here is that unless you have original Co H neither you won't be able to play the missions of original Co H nor use the factions from the original game although you would be able to see the deactivated portion of Normandy mission of original Co H while playing Co H: OF.The basic intention of making these expansion packs standalone is to promote sales by not having the buyer rely on the base pack but can simply continue playing the forward missions in the absence of base pack.Step 2: After having upgrade the game with manual patching in alignment to the same version of no-CD/DVD exe image fix available to you, you simply need to follow the instructions for applying this fix.Step 3: While running the game as of custom the message will appear again " Could not verify media" but what you all need to do is simply click on "Continue" and the message will disappear from the game screen letting you play the game in old fashion.Therefore, not to mention, the standalone expansion packs of this game series will already contain this effect whether or not one tries to avoid patch upgrade to them.
This tight protection method of CD/DVD key verification incorporated with usable media verification system comes into effect via the patching upgrade beyond patch version of 1.71.0 to Company of Heroes Original game.
Step 2: Now, install any of the expansion packs either Co H: OF or Co H: To V.
A warning message will display before installation that a previous version copy of Company of Heroes exists and it will delete in the process of installing the expansion pack; however, be ready with the CD key of original Co H if you want the missions of original version too. However, in custom settings of game installation you can better remove the check mark for launching the game automatically after installation finishes.
The knowledge of retail version of each game in this series is really essential when one wants to know from what point of patch version they should begin manually patching it otherwise one would simply get stuck on the messages from installation wizard displaying Step 1: Install the standalone expansion pack either Company of Heroes - Opposing Fronts or Company of Heroes - Tales of Valor using the game image (. FLT, etc.) you own via virtual drive emulator (such as Daemon Tools, Alcohol, etc.) or using a burnt CD/DVD containing the game image. Step 3: Go to "Data" folder and extract a copy of "Relic Co H.exe_NEW_FILE_xxxxxxxxxxxxx" (where xxxxxxxxxxx is denoted as some alphanumerical value in the file), and paste it somewhere on your hard drive.
NOTE: For Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, you can sequentially patch it until 2.301.0 and then apply the no-CD/DVD exe image fix (if you have lost the original retail CD/DVD or backed-and-packed up your CD/DVD).