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No-CD Hacks: Another casualty of the shift to consoles??

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Anonymous
April 15, 2005 1:35:59 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

......or maybe protection software is actually defeating hackers?

Is it my imagination or are no-cd cracks, especially updated ones for
patched games, becoming scarcer? There are no updated hacks in the usual
places (GCW, MG, GBW, etc.) for two of the four games I'm currently playing,
which has got me playing "swap the CD." Is it possible this is another
effect of the shift to consoles.....or is protection just getting a whole
lot better? Yeah, I know: install Alcohol or learn to hack. I don't care
that much, but I am curious if this is the beginning of yet another trend.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 1:36:00 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 21:35:59 GMT, "DocScorpio"
<DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote:

>Yeah, I know: install Alcohol or learn to hack. I don't care
>that much, but I am curious if this is the beginning of yet another trend.
>

Some games won't even install if you have Alcohol120% on your system.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 2:04:25 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"DocScorpio" <DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote in
news:3nB7e.3511$716.2351@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com:

> .....or maybe protection software is actually defeating hackers?
>
> Is it my imagination or are no-cd cracks, especially updated ones for
> patched games, becoming scarcer? There are no updated hacks in the
> usual places (GCW, MG, GBW, etc.) for two of the four games I'm
> currently playing, which has got me playing "swap the CD." Is it
> possible this is another effect of the shift to consoles.....or is
> protection just getting a whole lot better? Yeah, I know: install
> Alcohol or learn to hack. I don't care that much, but I am curious if
> this is the beginning of yet another trend.

Are you suggesting that hackers are too busy playing console games to
bother hacking the latest PC patch? lol.

One problem is GCW et. al. are too well known, so you get game companies
that regularly send C&D letters to them so GCW ends up removing the NCD
stuff for that game.

BTW, what games?

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com
Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 2:38:16 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"knight37" <knight37m@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:Xns9638ADAE7613Dknight37m@130.133.1.4...
> "DocScorpio" <DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote in
> news:3nB7e.3511$716.2351@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com:
>
>> .....or maybe protection software is actually defeating hackers?
>>
>> Is it my imagination or are no-cd cracks, especially updated ones for
>> patched games, becoming scarcer? There are no updated hacks in the
>> usual places (GCW, MG, GBW, etc.) for two of the four games I'm
>> currently playing, which has got me playing "swap the CD." Is it
>> possible this is another effect of the shift to consoles.....or is
>> protection just getting a whole lot better? Yeah, I know: install
>> Alcohol or learn to hack. I don't care that much, but I am curious if
>> this is the beginning of yet another trend.
>
> Are you suggesting that hackers are too busy playing console games to
> bother hacking the latest PC patch? lol.
>
> One problem is GCW et. al. are too well known, so you get game companies
> that regularly send C&D letters to them so GCW ends up removing the NCD
> stuff for that game.
>
> BTW, what games?
>
> --
>
> Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com
> Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.

Re your first question: I've always assumed the hacker's motivation (beyond
outright theft) was two-fold: (1) the challenge, (2) he's playing the game,
himself. Heh, heh, maybe hackers HAVE switched to consoles. I guess
there's no reason to hack an Xbox executable.

The two games are: KOW v. 1.2.3 (latest hack is only for 1.1.5) and SHIII
v. 1.2 (latest hack is only for v. 1.0). To be fair, the SHIII patch has
only been out for a week or so.

You're probably right about legal pressure on the more well-known hack
sites. That was something I hadn't thought about. What about difficulty?
From what I've read, KOW is not easy to hack (took at least a couple of
tries to get an executable that actually worked right for each version so
far cracked) and this Starforce DVD protection on SHIII is supposed to be
hard to defeat too. Say there were a hundred hackers able to hack most
games a couple of years ago, but now only 10 of those have the skills to
defeat the latest protection. Fewer games are going to get hacked....and
probably only the top A-list games with huge player bases.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 2:38:17 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On 14 Apr 2005 23:03:56 GMT, knight37 <knight37m@gmail.com> wrote:

>"DocScorpio" <DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote in
>news:shC7e.2069$HK6.1224@newssvr33.news.prodigy.com:

>Not familiar with KOW, I assume SHIII is Silent Hill 3? Not familiar
>really with that either. If it were a game I had I would help you look
>for it or might even have it but I guess I can't.

SHIII is Silent Hunter 3, which uses Starforce. It has already been
cracked but only v1.0, the game has already been patched to v1.2 with
another patch in the pipeline so the crack is of no use to me.
April 15, 2005 3:11:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"DocScorpio" <DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote in message
news:3nB7e.3511$716.2351@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...
> .....or maybe protection software is actually defeating hackers?
>
> Is it my imagination or are no-cd cracks, especially updated ones for
> patched games, becoming scarcer? There are no updated hacks in the usual
> places (GCW, MG, GBW, etc.) for two of the four games I'm currently
> playing, which has got me playing "swap the CD." Is it possible this is
> another effect of the shift to consoles.....or is protection just getting
> a whole lot better? Yeah, I know: install Alcohol or learn to hack. I
> don't care that much, but I am curious if this is the beginning of yet
> another trend.

Partly due to that, yea. I don't think PC gaming has as strong a teenaged
base as it did ten years ago.

Also, I simply think that the amount of people who like to "tinker" and do
stuff like develop nocd hacks (for free) is dropping. People who are
teenagers now have grown up with computers that largely work. There's no
need to really "know anything" like we all did ten / fifteen / twenty years
ago (or more), so the basis for "tinkering" just isn't there. And once you
get married / have a family / etc, doing things like being involved in
making no cd hacks becomes yesterday's activity.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 4:51:14 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

JWB wrote:

> "DocScorpio" <DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote in message
> news:3nB7e.3511$716.2351@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...
>
>>.....or maybe protection software is actually defeating hackers?
>>
>>Is it my imagination or are no-cd cracks, especially updated ones for
>>patched games, becoming scarcer? There are no updated hacks in the usual
>>places (GCW, MG, GBW, etc.) for two of the four games I'm currently
>>playing, which has got me playing "swap the CD." Is it possible this is
>>another effect of the shift to consoles.....or is protection just getting
>>a whole lot better? Yeah, I know: install Alcohol or learn to hack. I
>>don't care that much, but I am curious if this is the beginning of yet
>>another trend.
>
>
> Partly due to that, yea. I don't think PC gaming has as strong a teenaged
> base as it did ten years ago.
>
> Also, I simply think that the amount of people who like to "tinker" and do
> stuff like develop nocd hacks (for free) is dropping. People who are
> teenagers now have grown up with computers that largely work. There's no
> need to really "know anything" like we all did ten / fifteen / twenty years
> ago (or more), so the basis for "tinkering" just isn't there. And once you
> get married / have a family / etc, doing things like being involved in
> making no cd hacks becomes yesterday's activity.

I donno. I've seen some really bright kids that are hackers through and
through...they just don't know it yet...I think the next generation of
hackers is coming along, but it is a little slower process (because of
what you described)
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 5:05:30 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Aldwyn Edain" <ae@invalid.email> wrote in message
news:r8vt515tr0jc409tnp5jhnmv5ia0f1v389@4ax.com...
> On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 21:35:59 GMT, "DocScorpio"
> <DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote:
>
>>Yeah, I know: install Alcohol or learn to hack. I don't care
>>that much, but I am curious if this is the beginning of yet another trend.
>>
>
> Some games won't even install if you have Alcohol120% on your system.

Isn't that the case with Starforce? I thought I read in the naval ng that
some people with Alcohol120% had trouble installing SHIII. Could be
mistaken tho'.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 9:38:54 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 22:38:16 GMT, "DocScorpio"
<DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote:

>You're probably right about legal pressure on the more well-known hack
>sites. That was something I hadn't thought about. What about difficulty?
>From what I've read, KOW is not easy to hack (took at least a couple of
>tries to get an executable that actually worked right for each version so
>far cracked) and this Starforce DVD protection on SHIII is supposed to be
>hard to defeat too.

To be fair, starforce is pretty new. The first Starforce game took
about 3 months to crack, there was a SH3 crack within a couple of days
of release (no telling how long they were working on ie) and there are
other checks all through the program that just cause the game to screw
up. That's why one of the two initial No-CD cracks for SH3 1.0 didn't
actually work.

Given how fast the SH3 patches are coming out, they might be waiting
for the game to stabilize a bit before they spend the time and effort
to release a No-CD crack rather than have to do it several times in
the space of a month.

--
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability
of the human mind to correlate all its contents." - H.P. Lovecraft
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 12:54:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 22:38:16 GMT, "DocScorpio"
<DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote:

>
>The two games are: KOW v. 1.2.3 (latest hack is only for 1.1.5) and SHIII
>v. 1.2 (latest hack is only for v. 1.0). To be fair, the SHIII patch has
>only been out for a week or so.

The NO-CD cracks only appear for the latest versions of games that are
mainstream and popular. In these kinds of cases, KOW and SH:III entered a
smaller scale and as a result, the crackers have moved onto another game.

Of course, the games that would keep receiving NO-CD cracks are the ones
where the developers removed it due to popular demand.

>You're probably right about legal pressure on the more well-known hack
>sites. That was something I hadn't thought about.

If the legal pressure was working, these well-known sites wouldn't be
lasting for very long. I'm no lawyer, but I suspect that their angle of
defence claims that the copy-protection is faulty (e.g. SecuROM issues,
where the CD doesn't get recognized in some drives), is invalid (e.g.
program won't run if CD-burning software is detected), or relies on
obsolete components (e.g. must be written in a certain pattern on a 5 1/4"
floppy.) Of these three angles, only two have a real chance of surviving in
court - and it really depends on who runs out of money first.

>Say there were a hundred hackers able to hack most
>games a couple of years ago, but now only 10 of those have the skills to
>defeat the latest protection. Fewer games are going to get hacked....and
>probably only the top A-list games with huge player bases.

That's only one part of the problem. Other portions are:
- As games become more and more complex, it takes longer to find FADE or
other in-code style of protections. Crackers need to pour over tons of
disassembly to find things that remotly look like copy-protection
(especially if things aren't immediatly obvious until late-game.)
- I haven't seen many tools that allow debugging a full-scale DirectX
application with ease.
- For some multiplayer games that rely only on CD-keys, it's considered a
"don't-even-bother" as any attempt to crack the game would have a
negligable result (as most other players don't even touch the cracks as
they aren't necessairy.)
- Keeping up with the patches requires full-time dedication. If crackers
want to survive on this, they would have to ask for donations and/or money
or throw away their personal time that they would like to spend on other
stuff - which makes them a bigger target for companies that issue legal
threats.
- And finally, cracks are becoming obsolete since emulation is possible on
a modern computer. Just intercept the API calls made to the CD-Drive and
return "expected" values.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 2:30:28 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Fri, 15 Apr 2005 01:05:30 GMT, "DocScorpio"
<DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote:


>Isn't that the case with Starforce? I thought I read in the naval ng that
>some people with Alcohol120% had trouble installing SHIII. Could be
>mistaken tho'.
>

The SHIII box says it may itnterfere with some cd emulation software,
it also says it may not work on some DVD drives - lovely. Starforce
has stopped some versions of Nero from copying cd's too. But I was
talking about EA games, all their recent games won't even install if
they detect CloneCD or Alcohol120% installed on your system until you
remove them. And I think they scan your registry for evidence of the
program and not the HDD so even if you changed the directory name the
registry will still read CloneCD or Alcohol120%.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 5:38:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Fri, 15 Apr 2005 17:48:42 +0100, Gerry Quinn wrote:

<snip>
> What, like putting the CD in the drive and using a machine that's not
> stuffed with piracy software?
>
> - Gerry Quinn

My Alcohol120 is paid for and registered. As are all the ISO's I have. What
use is a 200 GB drive if you can't stuff it full of stuff (I *guess* I
could always get some porn for it ;)  )
--
RJB
4/15/2005 1:36:04 PM

"The difference between a smart person and a wise person is that a smart
person knows what to say and a wise person knows whether or not to say it."
-- Quote found on the wall of a recreation center office in Berkeley,
California.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 5:46:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

bk039@ncf.ca (Raymond Martineau) wrote in
news:o 5ev51ln0nh7105c0v3c70j5hqc5atsg03@4ax.com:

>>You're probably right about legal pressure on the more well-known hack
>>sites. That was something I hadn't thought about.
>
> If the legal pressure was working, these well-known sites wouldn't be
> lasting for very long. I'm no lawyer, but I suspect that their angle
> of defence claims that the copy-protection is faulty (e.g. SecuROM
> issues, where the CD doesn't get recognized in some drives), is
> invalid (e.g. program won't run if CD-burning software is detected),
> or relies on obsolete components (e.g. must be written in a certain
> pattern on a 5 1/4" floppy.) Of these three angles, only two have a
> real chance of surviving in court - and it really depends on who runs
> out of money first.

But most of these sites are not willing to go to court. There have
DEFINITELY been cases where GCW has once had patches but then they were
mysteriously removed later. So I can only assume the reason for this was
a letter from the game maker.

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com
Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 6:18:37 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

DocScorpio wrote:
> .....or maybe protection software is actually defeating hackers?
>
> Is it my imagination or are no-cd cracks, especially updated ones for
> patched games, becoming scarcer? There are no updated hacks in the usual
> places (GCW, MG, GBW, etc.) for two of the four games I'm currently playing,
> which has got me playing "swap the CD." Is it possible this is another
> effect of the shift to consoles.....or is protection just getting a whole
> lot better? Yeah, I know: install Alcohol or learn to hack. I don't care
> that much, but I am curious if this is the beginning of yet another trend.

In my experience, cracks for patches have always been harder to come by
than cracks for the release version, particularly for obscure games. I
suspect this is primarily because release-cracks are a by-product of
warezing the game, whereas patch-cracks are the equivalent of
maintenance. A cracking group's reputation hangs mostly on getting
warezed games out before anyone else, hence there's a high motivation to
crack new releases. However, there's far fewer points to be scored for
cracking patches for games, especially those that have been out for
months and/or are obscure.

I don't imagine that this bothers your average warezer too much, as
their game-turnover rate is much higher than we mere mortals, and they
probably stop playing most games after a few months anyway.

Personally, I have become fed up with the (increasingly irksome)
shenanigans these so-called 'copy protection' schemes get up to, and
only buy games that happily co-exist with, and can be imaged and run via
Alcohol or Daemon Tools.

--
Remove the mess to reply.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 6:18:38 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Cataleptic <cat.the.mess@ihug.co.nz> wrote in news:1wF7e.18919
$1S4.1880114@news.xtra.co.nz:

> I don't imagine that this bothers your average warezer too much, as
> their game-turnover rate is much higher than we mere mortals, and they
> probably stop playing most games after a few months anyway.

Actually they probably don't even play the games much at all. The fun is
in cracking the game, and distributing it, and once that's done there's
always the next "challenge."

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com
Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 10:38:46 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Aldwyn Edain <ae@invalid.email> wrote in
news:n7uv511kgkfdagv4rcg9qnfvoclqj3otom@4ax.com:

> But I was
> talking about EA games, all their recent games won't even install if
> they detect CloneCD or Alcohol120% installed on your system until you
> remove them. And I think they scan your registry for evidence of the
> program and not the HDD so even if you changed the directory name the
> registry will still read CloneCD or Alcohol120%.
>

What EA games specifically? Sounds like yet another reason to hate EA, a
company I already despise. The really sad thing is, back in the 80's they
were probably one of the best gamer-oriented companies around. <sigh>

The last EA game I bought (at a friend's request) was BF1942. Seems like
maybe I might also have bought Medal of Honor something or other
expansion pack which I think is EA too. I wish someone else owned their
WW2 titles, and then I could safely ignore everything they do.

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com
Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 10:59:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Raymond Martineau" <bk039@ncf.ca> wrote in message
news:o 5ev51ln0nh7105c0v3c70j5hqc5atsg03@4ax.com...
> On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 22:38:16 GMT, "DocScorpio"
> <DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote:
>
>>
>>The two games are: KOW v. 1.2.3 (latest hack is only for 1.1.5) and SHIII
>>v. 1.2 (latest hack is only for v. 1.0). To be fair, the SHIII patch has
>>only been out for a week or so.
>
> The NO-CD cracks only appear for the latest versions of games that are
> mainstream and popular. In these kinds of cases, KOW and SH:III entered a
> smaller scale and as a result, the crackers have moved onto another game.
>
> Of course, the games that would keep receiving NO-CD cracks are the ones
> where the developers removed it due to popular demand.
>
>>You're probably right about legal pressure on the more well-known hack
>>sites. That was something I hadn't thought about.
>
> If the legal pressure was working, these well-known sites wouldn't be
> lasting for very long. I'm no lawyer, but I suspect that their angle of
> defence claims that the copy-protection is faulty (e.g. SecuROM issues,
> where the CD doesn't get recognized in some drives), is invalid (e.g.
> program won't run if CD-burning software is detected), or relies on
> obsolete components (e.g. must be written in a certain pattern on a 5 1/4"
> floppy.) Of these three angles, only two have a real chance of surviving
> in
> court - and it really depends on who runs out of money first.
>
>>Say there were a hundred hackers able to hack most
>>games a couple of years ago, but now only 10 of those have the skills to
>>defeat the latest protection. Fewer games are going to get hacked....and
>>probably only the top A-list games with huge player bases.
>
> That's only one part of the problem. Other portions are:
> - As games become more and more complex, it takes longer to find FADE or
> other in-code style of protections. Crackers need to pour over tons of
> disassembly to find things that remotly look like copy-protection
> (especially if things aren't immediatly obvious until late-game.)
> - I haven't seen many tools that allow debugging a full-scale DirectX
> application with ease.
> - For some multiplayer games that rely only on CD-keys, it's considered a
> "don't-even-bother" as any attempt to crack the game would have a
> negligable result (as most other players don't even touch the cracks as
> they aren't necessairy.)
> - Keeping up with the patches requires full-time dedication. If crackers
> want to survive on this, they would have to ask for donations and/or money
> or throw away their personal time that they would like to spend on other
> stuff - which makes them a bigger target for companies that issue legal
> threats.
> - And finally, cracks are becoming obsolete since emulation is possible on
> a modern computer. Just intercept the API calls made to the CD-Drive and
> return "expected" values.

Hmmm, a lot more complicated than when all I had to do was search for text
passwords with my hex-editor (as in X-Wing) and zero them out.

This whole thread is based on my experience with only a couple of games, so
in reality maybe nothing is happening here. However, if something is
happening, it probably results from the combination of factors that you and
other posters mentioned: (1) Complex protection turns cracking into a
full-time job (hence, fewer updated hacks for patched games), (2)
potentially fewer hackers coming up because hardware and programs don't have
to tweaked as much as in DOS-days....so the skills/interest never develop,
(3) legal challenges to prevent the obvious, big sites from posting the
cracks.

I don't know if you can argue there are fewer pc gamers now than in the
'80's and 90's. I mean pc ownership has ballooned since the mid-90's. A
huge number of new gamers may be console gamers only, but overall there are
a lot more pc users now than then, so the number of potential pc gamers
should be higher overall than back then. OTOH, the number of new pc games
available each month doesn't seem to support this argument. There was a
time when I bought 4-6 games a month......now I'm lucky to buy that many in
6 months. Course it might be me rather than the gaming market.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 11:21:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Gerry Quinn <gerryq@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote in
news:MPG.1cca00c573af6231989ff7@news.indigo.ie:

> What, like putting the CD in the drive and using a machine that's not
> stuffed with piracy software?

Sorry but CD-emulation programs and CD-backup software is not "piracy
software" even if it can be used for such. There's a lot of legimate uses
for it, like actually using it to back up things, or using a disc image
so you do not have to swap CD's out all the time to play a handful of
games. Got kids? If you did you'd realize the dangers involved in letting
them handle the single source of media for a game over and over as they
have to reinsert the discs to play games.

A program has NO BUSINESS telling people what other software they can run
on their computer. Do you deny it?

If they are going to do this, they at the very least should have to put
it ON THE BOX that they are "completely incompatible with the following
software residing on the same computer" and list the programs they refuse
to work with. Then gamers could decide if they want to support a program
that tells them what they can run or not on their own computer.

Instead they want to take your money and then refuse to work, and they
don't even tell you why. Pretty underhanded and shady if you ask me.

This is a basic consumers rights issue, this type of protection is a
blatant violation, and gamers shouldn't sit still for it.

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com
Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 15, 2005 11:31:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Gerry Quinn wrote:
>
> What, like putting the CD in the drive and using a machine that's not
> stuffed with piracy software?
>
> - Gerry Quinn


StarForce doesn't work properly with all drives. I have one
where it worked only 2/3 of the time. The rest of the time
it would freeze the computer when I tried to start the game,
usually requiring a hard reboot.
StarForce wouldn't work with the other drive at all.
The computer had no copying software of any type on it - it
was only for games.

Someone in another newsgroup/forum posted that he had two
games on his hard drive. One used StarForce and the
other used Safedisk. The Safedisk game wouldn't work
when the StarForce drivers were installed. The StarForce
game wouldn't work without the StarForce drivers. Can
you see where this is leading?
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:36:02 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

knight37 wrote:

> Aldwyn Edain <ae@invalid.email> wrote:
>
>>But I was
>>talking about EA games, all their recent games won't even install if
>>they detect CloneCD or Alcohol120% installed on your system until you
>>remove them. And I think they scan your registry for evidence of the
>>program and not the HDD so even if you changed the directory name the
>>registry will still read CloneCD or Alcohol120%.
>
> What EA games specifically? Sounds like yet another reason to hate EA, a
> company I already despise. The really sad thing is, back in the 80's they
> were probably one of the best gamer-oriented companies around. <sigh>

Dunno if this is related, but i have (a localized version of) EA's 'Lord
of the Ring: The Return of the King'. Just checked and it has a
Macrovision SECURITY Driver 'SECDRV.SYS' at the base of the first CD. I
remember having some problems installing it this fall, from a CD-RW
Drive, but got it to work somehow and played ca one level but didn't
have time then so i uninstalled it.

Since then i've changed the CD-RW Drive for a DVD Writer and when i
tried to install a week or so ago, the exe on the install-disc starts
but almost immediatly quits again without any kind of error message. By
the way WinXP has been freshly installed since then, so no leftovers
since last time and no trace of any optical disc burn or emulation software.

Thinking about putting in a CD-ROM Drive as a slave to try to install
from. If it is the DVD Drive that is the problem, would that help or
would the exe detect this enumerated DVD Drive in the registry and still
refuse i wonder?

--
Please followup in newsgroup.
E-mail address is invalid due to spam-control.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:37:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On 15 Apr 2005 18:38:46 GMT, knight37 <knight37m@gmail.com> wrote:


>What EA games specifically?

Nascar Sim Racing, Sims2 (I believe), any of their recent sports
games.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 7:46:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Knight37 wrote:

>>Agreed, although SOME games will run, but generally not FPS or high
>>end games (like Morrowind or Gothic)
>
> Maybe. If you have the right driver. Or the right (not wrong) disc drive.
> Or if the game plays over the web. I hear web poker is hot.

LOL. More than you know. New Mexico is starting to get into the "let's
legislate online gambling and get a cut" mode. Part of the problem is
that casinos claim they are losing money because of online gambling (ya
right)

>>We have these damn Geforce 4 MX cards at work. I hate the damn
>>things...they are so low end they have a hard time with simple window
>>animations ;-)
>
> I only WISH I had a GF4mx at work. We're talking a non-3D-accelerated video
> card, period. And this machine is < 3 years old. Why should corporations
> pay anything extra for video cards you absolutely DO NOT NEED to run office
> apps and compilers. Hell, we're mostly going "webby" at my work, the only
> thing you need is IE6. Of course, for the developers, we could use a bit
> more umph (esp. RAM) but if the code takes 20 minutes to do a full build, I
> can probably work on something else on a different app, like documenting
> something or responding to emails, log into unix and work on a script,
> whatever.

True. Our computers generally only have 128mb RAM and smallish HDDs.
The main problem is that we have both Dell and Compac computers. The
Dells are decent (with the Geforce4mx), but the compacs need some
serious help...

>>You could probably play Warcraft 3 on most of the PCs out there, but I
>>think you would have a hard time playing games that really pushed out
>>pixles...
>
> WC3 requires at least a GF2 or ATI Radeon (lower end) to not run like ass.
> The min spec is TNT, Voodoo3, or Rage 128. I'm interpreting "Min" here as
> "barely makes it through the tutorial before encountering serious lag".

LOL. I got it running on my laptop (1ghz, 128mb RAM, 16mb geforce2go)
and it ran pretty well (unless there were a ton of mobs on the screen).
I would image a pretty low end 3d card could do it, but I have no idea
for sure.

> A LOT of PCs, especially corporate PC's, which is a large percentage of the
> machines in service, don't even have that good of spec on the video card.

Or that good of a spec for much for that matter ;-) At one place I
worked at the standard was still 15" CRTs. That was brutal.

Where I work now it is pretty nice as far as getting decent
multi-function rigs, but I wish corps would think about the small things
like better mice and ergro keyboards....

> The days of booting up the latest shooter after hours on the work LAN are
> pretty much over, dude. ;) 

Sad but true...the office lan party is no more :-(
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 9:46:54 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

.... et al. wrote:
>
> Dunno if this is related, but i have (a localized version of) EA's 'Lord
> of the Ring: The Return of the King'. Just checked and it has a
> Macrovision SECURITY Driver 'SECDRV.SYS' at the base of the first CD.


According to gamecopyworld, Return of the King uses Safedisk v.3.


> I remember having some problems installing it this fall, from a CD-RW
> Drive, but got it to work somehow and played ca one level but didn't
> have time then so i uninstalled it.
>
> Since then i've changed the CD-RW Drive for a DVD Writer and when I
> tried to install a week or so ago, the exe on the install-disc starts
> but almost immediatly quits again without any kind of error message.
> By the way WinXP has been freshly installed since then, so no leftovers
> since last time and no trace of any optical disc burn or emulation
> software.
>
> Thinking about putting in a CD-ROM Drive as a slave to try to install
> from. If it is the DVD Drive that is the problem, would that help or
> would the exe detect this enumerated DVD Drive in the registry and still
> refuse i wonder?


I think it would help. I'm guessing the DVD writer was blacklisted
and that's why it isn't working. But as far as I know, just having
the DVD drive in the computer wouldn't prevent an install as long
as you weren't trying to install from it.

If the game still refused to install, you could always disconnect
the DVD writer temporarily while you install from the CD drive
and reconnect it afterwards. Once the game is installed you
can download a crack if you have problems.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 12:09:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

mrlg <nospam@nospam.com> once tried to test me with:

> I think it would help. I'm guessing the DVD writer was blacklisted
> and that's why it isn't working. But as far as I know, just having
> the DVD drive in the computer wouldn't prevent an install as long
> as you weren't trying to install from it.
>
> If the game still refused to install, you could always disconnect
> the DVD writer temporarily while you install from the CD drive
> and reconnect it afterwards. Once the game is installed you
> can download a crack if you have problems.
>

I've never actually encountered a game that doesn't even INSTALL for
certain drives. I've seen a bunch that won't actually play the game when
you try to run them, though. Are you sure Safedisc v.3 outright blacklists
certain DVD-writers? Is there any way of using some kind of stealth program
that would hide the DVD-writer when you played the game (or even better,
make Safedisc think it's some other non-blacklisted drive, so it would
work) and then unhide it when you wanted to actually use that drive?

To et. al. - do you have CloneCD, Alchohol 120%, or any popular cd-cloning
software installed? Daemon-Tools or other disc image software?

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com

Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 12:11:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Aldwyn Edain <ae@invalid.email> once tried to test me with:

> On 15 Apr 2005 18:38:46 GMT, knight37 <knight37m@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>What EA games specifically?
>
> Nascar Sim Racing, Sims2 (I believe), any of their recent sports
> games.

Are they using a specific software protection vendor, or something in-
house? Anyone know?

Not that I care, that much, I couldn't care less about those titles, but
it's just another reason to drive away casual gamers when their games
mysteriously don't work.

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com

Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 12:45:07 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Knight37 <knight37m@email.com> once tried to test me with:

> Myth was a fluke. It happened because a kazillion people thought they
> needed a multimedia PC with Windows on it and oh yeah, if you buy the
> MM PC you get Myth. A whole generation of casual gamers are born. But
> I bet most of them quit long before the "death of the adventure game"
> (whenever that's supposed to happen).

Erk, I meant Myst, obviously. Always screwing those game names up. ;) 

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com

Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:02:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 21:35:59 GMT, "DocScorpio"
<DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote:

>.....or maybe protection software is actually defeating hackers?
>
>Is it my imagination or are no-cd cracks, especially updated ones for
>patched games, becoming scarcer? There are no updated hacks in the usual
>places (GCW, MG, GBW, etc.) for two of the four games I'm currently playing,
>which has got me playing "swap the CD." Is it possible this is another
>effect of the shift to consoles.....or is protection just getting a whole
>lot better? Yeah, I know: install Alcohol or learn to hack. I don't care
>that much, but I am curious if this is the beginning of yet another trend.
>

I think it's due more to publishers becoming more aggresive about
No-CD's and threatening leading sites with legal action rather than
people not developing hacks. GCW went from a site posting files and
instructions on how to copy a disc to a No-CD warehouse to a refferal
site for Megagames. Nowadays you have to take your chances with warez
and carckz sites.

Lynley
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:02:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Lynley James wrote:

>Nowadays you have to take your chances with warez
>and carckz sites.
>
>

That has always been a major concern. It doesn't need to be. The
cracks could be distributed as source code that compiles into a patch,
and thus "relatively easily" examined to determine that it doesn't do
nasty things. It has always amazed me that they don't do it that way
since DLing a cracked whole file is so much more time/trouble than
getting a few k of source code. But then users would actually have to
learn how to run a compiler/linker and apply a patch. Oh well.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:02:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 18:45:47 -0700, Quaestor <no_spam@my.place> wrote:

>Aldwyn Edain wrote:
>
>>On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 21:35:59 GMT, "DocScorpio"
>><DocScorpio@stupra-spammeros.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>Yeah, I know: install Alcohol or learn to hack. I don't care
>>>that much, but I am curious if this is the beginning of yet another trend.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>Some games won't even install if you have Alcohol120% on your system.
>>
>>
>
>Seems like that should be easy for the developers to circumvent. When
>installing Alcohol120%, the user should be prompted for their own unique
>idea for a program name, and all folders, files, reg entries,
>everything, should be named that instead of anything that others can
>scan for. So when some jerk game program starts looking for Alcohol120%
>it doesn't find it even if it is there.
>
>Will these games that don't install if you have it on there work if you
>install them first, then Alcohol120%?
>

Nope. IIRC, it scans every time you run the game.

Lynley
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:14:40 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <Xns96399202B7C8Aknight37m@130.133.1.4>, knight37m@gmail.com
says...
> Gerry Quinn <gerryq@DELETETHISindigo.ie> wrote in
> news:MPG.1cca00c573af6231989ff7@news.indigo.ie:
>
> > What, like putting the CD in the drive and using a machine that's not
> > stuffed with piracy software?
>
> Sorry but CD-emulation programs and CD-backup software is not "piracy
> software" even if it can be used for such. There's a lot of legimate uses
> for it, like actually using it to back up things, or using a disc image
> so you do not have to swap CD's out all the time to play a handful of
> games. Got kids? If you did you'd realize the dangers involved in letting
> them handle the single source of media for a game over and over as they
> have to reinsert the discs to play games.
>
> A program has NO BUSINESS telling people what other software they can run
> on their computer. Do you deny it?

It doesn't tell you what to install. It just takes on different
functionality depending on the software environment ;-)

> If they are going to do this, they at the very least should have to put
> it ON THE BOX that they are "completely incompatible with the following
> software residing on the same computer" and list the programs they refuse
> to work with. Then gamers could decide if they want to support a program
> that tells them what they can run or not on their own computer.

That does seem a reasonable request.

- Gerry Quinn
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:20:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 05:46:54 GMT, mrlg <nospam@nospam.com> wrote:

>... et al. wrote:
>>
>> Dunno if this is related, but i have (a localized version of) EA's 'Lord
>> of the Ring: The Return of the King'. Just checked and it has a
>> Macrovision SECURITY Driver 'SECDRV.SYS' at the base of the first CD.
>
>
>According to gamecopyworld, Return of the King uses Safedisk v.3.
>
>
>> I remember having some problems installing it this fall, from a CD-RW
>> Drive, but got it to work somehow and played ca one level but didn't
>> have time then so i uninstalled it.
>>
>> Since then i've changed the CD-RW Drive for a DVD Writer and when I
>> tried to install a week or so ago, the exe on the install-disc starts
>> but almost immediatly quits again without any kind of error message.
>> By the way WinXP has been freshly installed since then, so no leftovers
>> since last time and no trace of any optical disc burn or emulation
>> software.
>>
>> Thinking about putting in a CD-ROM Drive as a slave to try to install
>> from. If it is the DVD Drive that is the problem, would that help or
>> would the exe detect this enumerated DVD Drive in the registry and still
>> refuse i wonder?
>
>
>I think it would help. I'm guessing the DVD writer was blacklisted
>and that's why it isn't working. But as far as I know, just having
>the DVD drive in the computer wouldn't prevent an install as long
>as you weren't trying to install from it.
>
>If the game still refused to install, you could always disconnect
>the DVD writer temporarily while you install from the CD drive
>and reconnect it afterwards. Once the game is installed you
>can download a crack if you have problems.


This is the very thing that is pissing off most gamers. Because of
crazy copyprots gamers now have to know exactly what hardware might
cause a problem and then jump through flaming hoops to get the damn
thing working. In the end you just reduce the market for your product
as most gamers walk away.

Lynley
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:20:40 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Lynley James <lynley.james@gmail.com> once tried to test me with:

> This is the very thing that is pissing off most gamers. Because of
> crazy copyprots gamers now have to know exactly what hardware might
> cause a problem and then jump through flaming hoops to get the damn
> thing working. In the end you just reduce the market for your product
> as most gamers walk away.

/AGREE. I think copy protection bullshit has done more to hurt the gaming
industry than piracy. Guy walks into store. Sees game he might want to
play. Maybe even reads the box and does some figuring in his head and
thinks, yeah, maybe this will run on my PC, but I'm not sure what video
card I have. Takes the game home. Double clicks install. Maybe the game
installs ok. Double clicks icon. "Please insert disc 1". WTF. Checks and
makes sure disc 1 is in. "Please insert disc 1". Tries to take game back to
store. Store refuses to take it back. Guy throws game in garbage in disgust
and decides to buy a Playstation 2.

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com

Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 2:20:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Knight37 wrote:

> Lynley James <lynley.james@gmail.com> once tried to test me with:
>
>
>>This is the very thing that is pissing off most gamers. Because of
>>crazy copyprots gamers now have to know exactly what hardware might
>>cause a problem and then jump through flaming hoops to get the damn
>>thing working. In the end you just reduce the market for your product
>>as most gamers walk away.
>
>
> /AGREE. I think copy protection bullshit has done more to hurt the gaming
> industry than piracy. Guy walks into store. Sees game he might want to
> play. Maybe even reads the box and does some figuring in his head and
> thinks, yeah, maybe this will run on my PC, but I'm not sure what video
> card I have. Takes the game home. Double clicks install. Maybe the game
> installs ok. Double clicks icon. "Please insert disc 1". WTF. Checks and
> makes sure disc 1 is in. "Please insert disc 1". Tries to take game back to
> store. Store refuses to take it back. Guy throws game in garbage in disgust
> and decides to buy a Playstation 2.

Yup. Plus I haven't see a computer that doesn't have a CDR, CDRW, DVDR,
etc, yet these "security" measures break the game because you have a
CDRW...what a crock.

The worst part is the industry doesn't get it. Safedisk, Starforce, et
al don't really do anything but annoy the legitimate consumer.
April 16, 2005 6:44:35 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

["Followup-To:" header set to comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic.]
On 2005-04-16, Quaestor <no_spam@my.place> wrote:
> Lynley James wrote:
>
>>Nowadays you have to take your chances with warez
>>and carckz sites.
>>
>>
>
> That has always been a major concern. It doesn't need to be. The
> cracks could be distributed as source code that compiles into a patch,
> and thus "relatively easily" examined to determine that it doesn't do
> nasty things. It has always amazed me that they don't do it that way
> since DLing a cracked whole file is so much more time/trouble than
> getting a few k of source code. But then users would actually have to
> learn how to run a compiler/linker and apply a patch. Oh well.

Usually cracks are a matter of taking the original executable or
the dynamic libraries (dll) and replacing all the machine
instructions that runs the protection code with a NOOP.

There's rarely any source code involved in the first place.

Of course there is nothing stopping people from putting a trojan
in as well.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 7:07:14 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 08:11:41 GMT, Knight37 <knight37m@email.com>
wrote:


>Are they using a specific software protection vendor, or something in-
>house? Anyone know?
>
>Not that I care, that much, I couldn't care less about those titles, but
>it's just another reason to drive away casual gamers when their games
>mysteriously don't work.

The games work they just won't install if the install detects programs
like CloneCD and Alcohol on your PC.
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 7:31:24 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Quaestor wrote:

> Lynley James wrote:
>
>> Nowadays you have to take your chances with warez
>> and carckz sites.
>>
>>
>
> That has always been a major concern. It doesn't need to be. The
> cracks could be distributed as source code that compiles into a patch,
> and thus "relatively easily" examined to determine that it doesn't do
> nasty things. It has always amazed me that they don't do it that way
> since DLing a cracked whole file is so much more time/trouble than
> getting a few k of source code. But then users would actually have to
> learn how to run a compiler/linker and apply a patch. Oh well.

god forbid ;-)
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 11:14:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Quoth The Raven "Knight37"<knight37m@email.com> in
Xns963A202F1C74Eknight37m@24.93.43.121
> mrlg <nospam@nospam.com> once tried to test me with:
>
>> I think it would help. I'm guessing the DVD writer was blacklisted
>> and that's why it isn't working. But as far as I know, just having
>> the DVD drive in the computer wouldn't prevent an install as long
>> as you weren't trying to install from it.
>>
>> If the game still refused to install, you could always disconnect
>> the DVD writer temporarily while you install from the CD drive
>> and reconnect it afterwards. Once the game is installed you
>> can download a crack if you have problems.
>>
>
> I've never actually encountered a game that doesn't even INSTALL for
> certain drives. I've seen a bunch that won't actually play the game
> when you try to run them, though. Are you sure Safedisc v.3 outright
> blacklists certain DVD-writers? Is there any way of using some kind
> of stealth program that would hide the DVD-writer when you played the
> game (or even better, make Safedisc think it's some other
> non-blacklisted drive, so it would work) and then unhide it when you
> wanted to actually use that drive?
>
> To et. al. - do you have CloneCD, Alchohol 120%, or any popular
> cd-cloning software installed? Daemon-Tools or other disc image
> software?

I think the hardware blacklist (certain DVD and cd writers) cause the game
to not install/work because the writers are capable of ripping the game
perfectly, including copying the copy-protection software.

--
I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and
give the wrong answers. - A Bit of Fry and Laurie

Take out the _CURSEING to reply to me
Anonymous
April 16, 2005 11:14:03 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Highlandish wrote:

> Quoth The Raven "Knight37"<knight37m@email.com> in
> Xns963A202F1C74Eknight37m@24.93.43.121
>
>>mrlg <nospam@nospam.com> once tried to test me with:
>>
>>
>>>I think it would help. I'm guessing the DVD writer was blacklisted
>>>and that's why it isn't working. But as far as I know, just having
>>>the DVD drive in the computer wouldn't prevent an install as long
>>>as you weren't trying to install from it.
>>>
>>>If the game still refused to install, you could always disconnect
>>>the DVD writer temporarily while you install from the CD drive
>>>and reconnect it afterwards. Once the game is installed you
>>>can download a crack if you have problems.
>>>
>>
>>I've never actually encountered a game that doesn't even INSTALL for
>>certain drives. I've seen a bunch that won't actually play the game
>>when you try to run them, though. Are you sure Safedisc v.3 outright
>>blacklists certain DVD-writers? Is there any way of using some kind
>>of stealth program that would hide the DVD-writer when you played the
>>game (or even better, make Safedisc think it's some other
>>non-blacklisted drive, so it would work) and then unhide it when you
>>wanted to actually use that drive?
>>
>>To et. al. - do you have CloneCD, Alchohol 120%, or any popular
>>cd-cloning software installed? Daemon-Tools or other disc image
>>software?
>
>
> I think the hardware blacklist (certain DVD and cd writers) cause the game
> to not install/work because the writers are capable of ripping the game
> perfectly, including copying the copy-protection software.

Why shouldn't I be able to play the game though?
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 3:47:34 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 09:54:16 -0700, Quaestor <no_spam@my.place> wrote:

>Lynley James wrote:
>
>>Nowadays you have to take your chances with warez
>>and carckz sites.
>>
>>
>
>That has always been a major concern. It doesn't need to be. The
>cracks could be distributed as source code that compiles into a patch,
>and thus "relatively easily" examined to determine that it doesn't do
>nasty things. It has always amazed me that they don't do it that way
>since DLing a cracked whole file is so much more time/trouble than
>getting a few k of source code. But then users would actually have to
>learn how to run a compiler/linker and apply a patch. Oh well.

That's the thing. Most people out there, even those with the
knowledge to use cracks, have little to no idea how to use something
more advanced than simply double clicking on an .exe. SInce Windows
made it easier to use PCs the need to learn to tweak and fiddle, and
thus learn about programs and programming, has gone.

Lynley
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 5:20:03 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Quaestor <no_spam@my.place> once tried to test me with:

> Lynley James wrote:
>
>>Nowadays you have to take your chances with warez
>>and carckz sites.
>>
>>
>
> That has always been a major concern. It doesn't need to be. The
> cracks could be distributed as source code that compiles into a patch,
> and thus "relatively easily" examined to determine that it doesn't do
> nasty things. It has always amazed me that they don't do it that way
> since DLing a cracked whole file is so much more time/trouble than

LOL, this is just hilarious. I'm hoping you're joking.

> getting a few k of source code. But then users would actually have to
> learn how to run a compiler/linker and apply a patch. Oh well.

Yeah, and non-coders wouldn't have a clue about what the source code did.
Think about how much fun malicious crackers could have then. Besides that,
even coders aren't going to arse themselves to go over source code every
time they want to install a game crack. Sure, it would be FUN, the first 20
or 30 times. And educational. But everyone gets lazy some day. :) 

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com

Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 5:21:58 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Lynley James <lynley.james@gmail.com> once tried to test me with:

> That's the thing. Most people out there, even those with the
> knowledge to use cracks, have little to no idea how to use something
> more advanced than simply double clicking on an .exe. SInce Windows
> made it easier to use PCs the need to learn to tweak and fiddle, and
> thus learn about programs and programming, has gone.

/sigh, some times I wish we were back in the good old days of 1984. ;) 

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com

Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 5:23:53 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

Aldwyn Edain <ae@invalid.email> once tried to test me with:

> On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 08:11:41 GMT, Knight37 <knight37m@email.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>>Are they using a specific software protection vendor, or something in-
>>house? Anyone know?
>>
>>Not that I care, that much, I couldn't care less about those titles, but
>>it's just another reason to drive away casual gamers when their games
>>mysteriously don't work.
>
> The games work they just won't install if the install detects programs
> like CloneCD and Alcohol on your PC.

But do they say that when they refuse to run? Do they say, "We have
detected that you have CloneCD or Alchohol 120% on your PC. Please
uninstall those applications if you want to use our software."

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com

Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 5:58:49 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

James Garvin wrote:

> Highlandish wrote:
>
>> Quoth The Raven "Knight37"<knight37m@email.com> wrote:
>>
>>> mrlg <nospam@nospam.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> I think it would help. I'm guessing the DVD writer was blacklisted
>>>> and that's why it isn't working. But as far as I know, just having
>>>> the DVD drive in the computer wouldn't prevent an install as long
>>>> as you weren't trying to install from it.
>>>>
>>>> If the game still refused to install, you could always disconnect
>>>> the DVD writer temporarily while you install from the CD drive
>>>> and reconnect it afterwards. Once the game is installed you
>>>> can download a crack if you have problems.
>>>
>>> I've never actually encountered a game that doesn't even INSTALL for
>>> certain drives. I've seen a bunch that won't actually play the game
>>> when you try to run them, though. Are you sure Safedisc v.3 outright
>>> blacklists certain DVD-writers? Is there any way of using some kind
>>> of stealth program that would hide the DVD-writer when you played the
>>> game (or even better, make Safedisc think it's some other
>>> non-blacklisted drive, so it would work) and then unhide it when you
>>> wanted to actually use that drive?
>>>
>>> To et. al. - do you have CloneCD, Alchohol 120%, or any popular
>>> cd-cloning software installed? Daemon-Tools or other disc image
>>> software?

Like i said in my first post:
"By the way WinXP has been freshly installed since then, so no leftovers
since last time and no trace of any optical disc burn or emulation
software."

>> I think the hardware blacklist (certain DVD and cd writers) cause the
>> game to not install/work because the writers are capable of ripping
>> the game perfectly, including copying the copy-protection software.
>
> Why shouldn't I be able to play the game though?

Ok, don't i feel ashamed for having to write this ..
But first trying to to point the finger at EA, in the manual under
installing the game it says (translated to English):
"If you wish to install the LotR-RotK you insert the CD-disc in your
CD-ROM/DVD-reader and wait for the autostartmenu to open. ..."
They do not specify which CD. LotR-RotK is 3 CDs with two tucked away in
paper-covers marked 'Disc 2' & 'Disc 3'.

Now, i've installed other multi CD games before and AFAIR i've always
started with the 1st one. But after the responses to my post i tried
again and discovered, like i must have done when i installed it last
fall that 'Disc 2' equals 'Install Disc 1'. Installing via the DVD
writer went problemfree after discovering that. (Blush) .. Again.

Can't believe i'm the only one that has been fooled by this. Sure would
have been nice to get a little dialogwindow after loading 'Disc 1'
saying "You must install the game first starting with Install Disc 1
(located in the Disc 2 cover)" or something similar.

So in this case no blacklists.

And back to the hack&slash-fest between cutscenes for me then, from what
it seemed the little i played it the first time.

--
Please followup in newsgroup.
E-mail address is invalid due to spam-control.
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 10:10:08 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

James Garvin wrote:

> The Dells seem to have a better hardware config for Win2k/XP, plus out
> of the box they come with decent hardware (although the onboard sound
> is funky)


Or you can learn something about hardware, buy the best parts, and build
a far better machine for less money, something you can change as things
progress, something you won't need to throw away in 12 months.
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 10:14:37 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

shadows wrote:

>["Followup-To:" header set to comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic.]
>On 2005-04-16, Quaestor <no_spam@my.place> wrote:
>
>
>>That has always been a major concern. It doesn't need to be. The
>>cracks could be distributed as source code that compiles into a patch,
>>and thus "relatively easily" examined to determine that it doesn't do
>>nasty things. It has always amazed me that they don't do it that way
>>since DLing a cracked whole file is so much more time/trouble than
>>getting a few k of source code. But then users would actually have to
>>learn how to run a compiler/linker and apply a patch. Oh well.
>>
>>
>
>Usually cracks are a matter of taking the original executable or
>the dynamic libraries (dll) and replacing all the machine
>instructions that runs the protection code with a NOOP.
>
>There's rarely any source code involved in the first place.
>
>Of course there is nothing stopping people from putting a trojan
>in as well.
>

I believe the way to do this type of crack would be to have a simple
program, distributed as source code, that reads from a data file of
addresses and puts NOP's in the file to be altered at each of those
addresses. Then to distribute a new crack you just distribute a file of
addresses. This way everyone can see what is being done, and "cracks"
would be very small, probably less than a k each. The fact that the
program cannot do anything but insert NOP's means that malicious cracks
are almost impossible.
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 11:34:13 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

In article <Xns963ACEDA698C5knight37m@130.133.1.4>, knight37m@email.com
says...
> Quaestor <no_spam@my.place> once tried to test me with:

> > That has always been a major concern. It doesn't need to be. The
> > cracks could be distributed as source code that compiles into a patch,
> > and thus "relatively easily" examined to determine that it doesn't do
> > nasty things. It has always amazed me that they don't do it that way
> > since DLing a cracked whole file is so much more time/trouble than

> Yeah, and non-coders wouldn't have a clue about what the source code did.
> Think about how much fun malicious crackers could have then. Besides that,
> even coders aren't going to arse themselves to go over source code every
> time they want to install a game crack. Sure, it would be FUN, the first 20
> or 30 times. And educational. But everyone gets lazy some day. :) 

Also, if the crack modifies executable code - and EVEN if it just
inserts NOPs - you really don't know whether it's a trojan unless you
completely disassemble and reverse-engineer what it modifies.

- Gerry Quinn
April 17, 2005 1:03:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On 2005-04-17, Quaestor <no_spam@my.place> wrote:

> I believe the way to do this type of crack would be to have a simple
> program, distributed as source code, that reads from a data file of
> addresses and puts NOP's in the file to be altered at each of those
> addresses. Then to distribute a new crack you just distribute a file of
> addresses. This way everyone can see what is being done, and "cracks"
> would be very small, probably less than a k each. The fact that the
> program cannot do anything but insert NOP's means that malicious cracks
> are almost impossible.

I believe this used to be done during the days of 8-bit
computers. Where you would release a series of C64 PEEK and POKES
to enable cheats. Also there were cartridges you could buy that
would allow you to edit memory and the exact offsets of important
variables for various games were released.

That kind of stuff. Only it was _easier_ to do this because no
one had Internet. Bandwidth for trainers and cracks came in
computer magazines and BBS postings.

BTW, what you're describing would be illegal under the DMCA since
it is reverse engineering for the purposes of violating
copyright.
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 7:51:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On 17 Apr 2005 01:23:53 GMT, Knight37 <knight37m@email.com> wrote:

>Aldwyn Edain <ae@invalid.email> once tried to test me with:
>
>> On Sat, 16 Apr 2005 08:11:41 GMT, Knight37 <knight37m@email.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Are they using a specific software protection vendor, or something in-
>>>house? Anyone know?
>>>
>>>Not that I care, that much, I couldn't care less about those titles, but
>>>it's just another reason to drive away casual gamers when their games
>>>mysteriously don't work.
>>
>> The games work they just won't install if the install detects programs
>> like CloneCD and Alcohol on your PC.
>
>But do they say that when they refuse to run? Do they say, "We have
>detected that you have CloneCD or Alchohol 120% on your PC. Please
>uninstall those applications if you want to use our software."


They don't specify a program, rather a dialogue box pops up with a
message along the lines of, " This program has detected CD emulation
software on your PC, please uninstall before attempting another
install of this program." AT least that's what FarCry gave me.

Lynley
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 7:51:08 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

On 17 Apr 2005 01:21:58 GMT, Knight37 <knight37m@email.com> wrote:

>Lynley James <lynley.james@gmail.com> once tried to test me with:
>
>> That's the thing. Most people out there, even those with the
>> knowledge to use cracks, have little to no idea how to use something
>> more advanced than simply double clicking on an .exe. SInce Windows
>> made it easier to use PCs the need to learn to tweak and fiddle, and
>> thus learn about programs and programming, has gone.
>
>/sigh, some times I wish we were back in the good old days of 1984. ;) 

AS much as I comlained about DOS back in the day, I do actually miss
it. Having to config sound drivers was just so much fun.

Lynley :o )
Anonymous
April 17, 2005 9:04:16 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.rpg,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic (More info?)

"Lynley James" <lynley.james@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:p 6q461l54e4ff7625rinmll8u0bio3ma1l@4ax.com...

> AS much as I comlained about DOS back in the day, I do actually miss
> it. Having to config sound drivers was just so much fun.
>
> Lynley :o )

I too used dos back in the day, and to be honest still have a couple of
machines here that run it, just for the old games.

The only sound config I recall at the worst was select soundblaster, port
220, irq 7 and dma 1. Took all of 10 seconds.

Current shooters that autotest for compatibility take longer than that. Even
D2/LOD takes longer for its video test, and for every computer except the
one with a voodoo 3 installed it still recommends using 2d instead of 3d.
!