UPDATE: I am changing this to a tentative positive because I got it working. I followed these steps from someone's comments in another review:
"Goto C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Freespace 2\data
Click on FS2.REG. It'll ask if you want to add it to the registry. Click yes. Play Freespace 2"
I actually don't know if the game itself warrents a positive review, but it is working. I will update again once I have put in enough hours. Thanks.
It is an initial positive review because the fix did not require any third party software like so many users reccomend.
I want to play this game. I want to like it. It seems like my type of game, but it won't play! I am getting the same error:"Freespace2/Fred2 cannot be run from a root drive directory"
I have tried to get it to work by going to forums, but no such luck. I have tried Vista and 8.1.
Selling a game with this much feedback that it doesn't even work seems borderline criminal. They need to fix it or Steam needs to refund, block the developer, and possibly take action.
Odd...it says I need to play the game for 5 minutes before I can post a review, but it won't let me play. So I am trying to leave it on the error. If it works you will see this review.