I came across these fantastic instructions when I was having issues with punkbuster.  Evenbalance has stopped supporting RTCW, so getting punkbuster to work properly is an issue (among others) when you're trying to re-install RTCW (again).

Anyways, starting from the instructions above, I've elaborated here and there and included some extra bits to complete the process end to end…  So, use the following to revive that dusty old RTCW CD.

  1. Install game

    1. I opted to install the game into C:\Games\RTCW.  (The "Program Files(x86)" directory has known issues with some legacy software).
  2. Install 1.4 (full) patch (download here – mirror).

    1. It should auto-detect your install path.  But double check this to be sure.  And the same goes for all the other patches below.
  3. Install GOTY Mappack (download here – mirror) Note: not required if you have the GOTY edition of RTCW
  4. Install 1.41 patch (download here – mirror)
  5. Install 1.41b patch (download here – mirror) Note: This patch is optional.
  6. Delete the pb folder inside your "Return to Castle Wolfenstein" folder.
  7. Download the RTCW Punkbuster files:

    1. – (mirror)
    2. Unzip this file and place the pb folder inside your "Return to Castle Wolfenstein" install folder.
  8. Download PBSVC.

    1. http://www.evenbalance.com/downloads/pbsvc/pbsvc.exe – (mirror)
    2. Right-click on exe and choose 'Run As Administrator'
    3. Click Next a few times until the prompts go away and you see a successful message.
  9. Right click on the icon for wolfenstein multiplayer. Choose 'Run As Administrator'

    1. At this point, you may get a firewall notice in the background.  ALT+Enter to enter Windows mode.  IF you see a firewall dialogue box,  ensure RTCW has access to all your networks (i.e. check Public and Private).  Select RTCW window, and ALT+Enter to return to Full Screen mode.
  10. Select Multiplayer and then select Punkbuster Disabled (to toggle it to ENABLED).

    1. Alternatively, you can edit this cvar in your wolfconfig_mp.cfg file manually with Notepad.  Just add seta cl_punkbuster "1" near the top of the file.
  11. Quit out of game. Double click on wolf icon again and go to multiplayer menu. Make sure it says punkbuster is enabled.  Exit the game.
  12. Install the following patch to ensure the game's server browser works (using updated master servers).

    1. See this post for details:  rtcw-master-server-list (updated Jan 2013)
  13. Done.  Launch RTCW MP and Connect to a server.