For ME 1 to work on windows 7 you need the patch. Both work very well on my x64 win 7.
Yeah, I had the same issues with Vista. When I clicked to check online, that is what came up. Some kind of crazy copy protection scheme and you are also limited to the number of installs. I have played a little of ME2 and now ME after I got it running. Just wish I had them on the same OS. I am dual Booting Vista & Windows 7 and I have ME in Vista and ME2 in Windows 7.