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  • OT:Copy protect mechanism

    What is the mechanism for copy protection on software especially since it apparently can travel by email?If you copied your hard drive would the copy of the hard drive have a working copy of the software?I am changing computers-thanks.

  • #2
    You have asked one of those questions that can be worded in a single sentence but where the answer can fill an entire book. Do you have a concern about any particular title?
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    • #3
      It would probably work. If the hard drive was put into a non-identical computer, it may not work without fiddling. For example, if the software is configured to work on a monitor of a certain size, it may work badly or not at all on a computer with a monitor that's a different size.

      And some software 'phones home.' This makes it possible for the legal software owners to note that piracy may have occurred.

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      • #4
        Most current Microsoft titles use hardware serial numbers as part of the "activation" scheme the same as the system used to tie the OS to a particular machine. This also applies to various DRM systems now in use.

        It also depends on how the copy of the hard drive is made. For best results it should be "Ghosted" to the new drive. That still doesn't guarantee that all titles will still work as some software will store a hidden token in a specific track and sector on the drive.
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        • #5
          Not to mention all the crap in the registry if you're not talking about the "C" drive.

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          • #6
            You may want to review your software and what the requirements are for moving it.

            An example, Pro-Engineer 2000 was still using a coding that you had to call in to get. It was based on a number that the install would generate based on your network card id. If you kept the 500 character lock code that was generated for you and you put your old network card in the new system, you were fine. I think that they have moved to cpu id but I cant swear to it.

            On the opposite end, some dont need anything. At a minimum, a code printed on a cd case will activate the software. While I have never done it, I think ghosting a drive would work for this.

            While many software packages use different ways to protect them from copy, some are very complex. Therefore, it would be best to review each one and evaluate if you will need to find a receipt and call the vendor for advice.

            rock~
            Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

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            • #7
              If you are going to copy your old C drive as a new computer C Drive it probably won't work at all and if it does it will be clunky. The new computer will have different drivers ETC. and the registry entries will be different making it difficult to get working and after your fight with it and maybe get it to work it will probably crash a lot from conflicts between old crap and new freshly installed drivers etc. Better to do a fresh install.
              The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

              Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by loose nut
                If you are going to copy your old C drive as a new computer C Drive it probably won't work at all and if it does it will be clunky.
                Not only that, but like Evan mentioned, it probably won't pass Windows Activation, which does an encrypted hash of all your hardware ID's. Microsoft uses a weighting system, where the motherboard and CPU have the highest weights, the amount of RAM the least. So you can change a good bit of hardware without having to re-activate windows, but a completely new system will definitely trigger it.
                "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                • #9
                  One trick that isn't well known to get around Windows activation is to tell the system that it is a laptop. This greatly relaxs the activation system because of the changes that normally occur with a laptop when it is plugged into different docking systems.

                  My Computer>Properties>Hardware>Hardware Profiles>(current profile) Properties>check "Portable computer", dock ID unknown
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                  • #10
                    Microsoft office for Mac is an oddity. It is stored in a Mac object that is not quite a zip file, nor any common kind of archive file. But if you select the Office object in the Mac file manager (Finder) you can drag to to another attached computer, to a disk, or to a USB device. That copy can be run on another Mac as is. It isn't necessarily [s]illegal[/s] actionable, provided you remove the original from the source system.

                    I like software that is so easy to work with. No registry to fiddle with, no activation.
                    Last edited by dp; 02-28-2010, 01:12 PM.

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                    • #11
                      It isn't illegal to breach a licence agreement anyway. That is breach of contract which is a tort, not a crime.
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lazlo
                        Not only that, but like Evan mentioned, it probably won't pass Windows Activation, which does an encrypted hash of all your hardware ID's. Microsoft uses a weighting system, where the motherboard and CPU have the highest weights, the amount of RAM the least. So you can change a good bit of hardware without having to re-activate windows, but a completely new system will definitely trigger it.
                        If you just need to switch motherboards, a normally effective workaround with windows is to disable on-board components one at a time, and replace them with add in cards. Then disable everything on-board in the new motherboard and install all the old cards.

                        When you start the computer there normally won't be enough changes registered to kick in activation, so you just remove cards and activate the on-board components one at a time.
                        Essentially all the OS sees is a series of small changes, none of which is large enough to trigger activation.

                        It's not any quicker than re-installing the OS, but often helps when you have critical software you can't reinstall easiliy

                        Best way to avoid the problem is to install the software into a virtual machine, simply because the virtual machine is always the same. (no help for an existing installation though!)

                        Ken.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lazlo
                          Not only that, but like Evan mentioned, it probably won't pass Windows Activation, which does an encrypted hash of all your hardware ID's. Microsoft uses a weighting system, where the motherboard and CPU have the highest weights, the amount of RAM the least. So you can change a good bit of hardware without having to re-activate windows, but a completely new system will definitely trigger it.
                          Yet another excellent reason to use virtual machines. Changes to the underlying physical hardware are not presented to the OS running on the virtual machine. Even if you move the OS between virtual machines on various physical machines - they're portable.

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                          • #14
                            I just finished coping and replacing the "C:" drive on my XP based machine using Acronis True Image. No Problem. The drive was same size and manufacturer and only contained the operating system and about six applications. So, it can be done, but if you change drive size, or other major components, like processor, Mother Board, etc. and you are using XP or other Microsoft operating systems, you may need to "re-register" with Microsoft. Other application software will usually work, but don't be too surprised if you need to re-register it also. Big Brother does get a little excited if you "Pirate" software, but moving the software you own is probably O.K. Most licenses state the equivalent of; one copy only on one machine.

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                            • #15
                              I can now see this is not a simple problem.What brought this to a focus was some software (dxf 2gcode) from SWREG headquartered in Eden Prairie Minnesota.This was developed by a German fellow but is offered through SWREG a software seller.It works well on my home computer but it is acting up and my shop computer is not connected to the net.SWREG looks like an easy connect but their links don't work and they have no phone numbers I can find to talk to them.Thanks all for your input.

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