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Copy protected programs on SunPCi card.

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Dr. David Kirkby, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. I'm tring to install a bit of software on a SunPCi card. Much against
    my better judgement, I bought this piece of software which is
    protected by a product from Macrovision. The basic idea of the
    protection system is that you need to occassionly insert the original
    disk in the CD-ROM drive of the computer. (I assume you can't copy the
    original in a CD burner).

    The problem I'm having is that the installation program starts to run
    from the CD-ROM, but then asks me to insert the CD. Clearly the CD is
    inserterd, otherwise the install program would not run in the first

    Any suggestions? I've tried copying the CD contents to the Sun PCI's
    disk, then running that the installation from there, with the CD in
    the drive. That did not work. The CD functions fine with other
    software, but not this copy protected stuff that is protected by
    Macrovision's copy protection.

    The software I'm trying to install is a bit of games software
    (Chessmaster 9000), which fortunately was cheap, but I'd like to
    install it on the Sun.

    Dr. David Kirkby
    Dr. David Kirkby, Jun 23, 2004
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  2. Dr. David Kirkby

    Anders Lang Guest

    I answered this question the first time you asked it some months ago.
    Get the program "Alcohol 52%" from www.alcohol-soft.com . The program is
    free and what it does is that it creates an image of the cd and a virtual
    cd-drive to load it in. It also copes with any copy protection I've ever
    encountered. You never replied the previous time I posted this solution to
    your problem so I assume that you for some reason missed it.

    Yours Sincerely
    Anders Lang
    Anders Lang, Jun 23, 2004
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  3. Dr. David Kirkby

    CeeBee Guest

    Just FTR, it's not free, it's shareware - there's a trial period. Don't
    know if it's just the software expiring or the image. Guess the first
    and not the latter?


    EMH Mark I: "Stop breathing down my neck."
    EMH Mark II: "My breath is merely a simulation."
    EMH Mark I: "So is my neck. Stop it anyway."
    CeeBee, Jun 23, 2004
  4. Kirby thought you meant drink to drink a 1/5th of 104 Proof Vodka.

    It didn't solve his Chessmaster copy protection issue, but it did keep
    him off r.g.c.c for a few days.

    We appreciate it.
    Michael Byrne, Jun 24, 2004
  5. Dr. David Kirkby

    Robin KAY Guest

    CD copy protection systems, such as Macrovision, work by modulating some
    characteristic of the original disc which is difficult or at least not
    apparently necessary to duplicate. For example, sub-channel data.
    Assuming the CD-ROM drive in question is emulated rather than attached
    to IDE connectors on the board, the problem may be that the virtual
    drive isn't a detailed enough simulation to satisfy the installer that
    you have an original disc. As I see it you have two options:

    i) Use CD virtualising software (as mentioned elsewhere in this thread)
    to make an image of the disc and mount the image under Windows. Note
    that you will have to make the image on a (non-SunPCi) machine with a
    directly attached CD-ROM drive.

    ii) Find a crack for the Macrovision protection.
    Robin KAY, Jun 24, 2004
  6. Dr. David Kirkby

    Anders Lang Guest

    Actually the 52% is currently being given away free via several magazines
    (all you need to do is register on their website). The offer also includes a
    discount on the upgrade to 120%.
    I just assumed that you could download the free version from their site as


    Anders Lang
    Anders Lang, Jun 24, 2004
  7. Sorry, I missed your post, so did not try that software. I'll do as
    someone suggested and copy the CD image on another machine (a Windoze
    PC with an IDE CD-rewriter). Then I'll put the image on a tape, take
    it home, and try it on the Sun.

    The Sun does not have an IDE CD-drive, but uses the Sun's SCSI one.
    Dr. David Kirkby, Jun 25, 2004
  8. Yes, I suspect the virtual drive might not be okay. I was rather
    hoping Sun would have a patch, to improve this, but I guess running
    games software on a Sun workstation is not that typical. That said, I
    guess there are other programs that use copy protection systems, that
    might fail to work on the SunPCi card.
    I'll do that on a machine at work, with a IDE cd drive. The Sun's
    drive is SCSI. but more importantly it is emulated under Windoze.
    BTW, I have received no support from either Macrovision or Ubisoft on
    this, despite contacting both companies.

    Dr. David Kirkby.
    Dr. David Kirkby, Jun 25, 2004
  9. Why would you expect then to contact you. Their hardware
    requirements are stated on the box. Typically when a user decided to
    use something outside the requirements - , the user is on their own.
    Espcially when they are just one user out of how many (x,xxx,xxx) that
    are trying to run CM9K on a Sun.

    One attempt to help and they will have lost money on your purchase and
    any help provided would not be of any use to any (just about) other
    user. There resources are better dedicated to helping users that are
    having troubles that have hardware that meet the requirements.

    For you to expect to help you is selfish on your part and as a doctor
    you should know better Kirby. Helping you is like a doctor helping a
    100 year old man live one extra day while 10 new born babies go
    unattended and you are the 100 year old man screaming for medical
    attention when there is little they can do about it anyway.

    Take a hike.
    Michael Byrne, Jun 26, 2004
  10. Dr. David Kirkby

    Tim Guest

    And their website:

    * WindowsÒ 98/ME/XP
    (95 and 2000 are not supported)

    * PentiumÒ II 450 or AMD K6-3 500

    * 64 MB RAM for 98 & ME (128 Recommended)
    128 MB RAM for XP (256 Recommended)

    * DirectX 8.1 (included on disc)

    * Video Card (DirectX 8.1 compatible)

    * 300 MB Hard Drive Space

    * 3D Video Card optional

    * 56K modem for Internet play

    I don't have a SunPCi card, but offhand I don't see any requirements
    that it fails to meet. (excluding the modem, but I assume that's only
    required for internet play.)
    As far as I recall, David has a Ph.D., not an MD.

    Tim, Jun 26, 2004
  11. (Michael Byrne) wrote in message
    As somehas has said, the SunPCi card meets *all* the hardware
    requrements for chessmaster 9000. I normally run XP (which is not
    supported by Chessmaster 9000, but many say Chessmaster 9000 does work
    under XP). But with the SunPCi card it is easy to boot 98SE too (which
    is supported by Chessmater 9000, but won't work either).
    Well as I say, my hardware does meet the requirements.

    There is another issue here, which many don't appreciate (especially
    Windoze and Linux developers). Bugs that only appear on one operating
    system, but not on another, do usually show an underlying bug in the
    code which should be investigated. I've seen Linux developers say "it
    works under redhat, which is the most common linux distro, so that is
    good enough for me".

    I have written software


    which works fine on Solaris, fine under Windoze, fine under Linux on a
    PC and numerous other systems I could mention. But it sometimes fails
    to run perfectly under IBM's AIX operating system if support for
    multiple processors is enabled.

    Now I can take two attitudes.

    1) Ignore it, since few (in fact no) users have reported running the
    software under IBM's AIX operating system. I just happen to have an
    IBM RS/6000 here, so tested it myself and discovered it sometimes
    fails if multiple CPUs are used in parallel.

    2) Investigate why it fails under AIX.

    I chose (2), and found the bug was in my code, and it was more by luck
    than anything else that it failed to show up under all the more common
    operating systems. The bug was not a fault of IBM's AIX, buy my
    testing procedures had seen it under AIX.

    So I do feel there is often a point in investigating obscure/rare
    bugs. They usually indicate an underlying problem, which if not
    corrected, gets propogated from one version of the software to the

    I don't know how 'wine' works, which gives you a windoze enviroment
    under linux, but I suspect that might use emulated CD drives too.
    The name is Kirkby not Kirby (an easy mistake to make I would admit),
    and as someone else has pointed out, I have a Ph.D, with no medical
    qualifications at all.
    I'd rather play chess.

    Dr. David Kirkby.
    Dr. David Kirkby, Jun 26, 2004
  12. Interesting, it doesn't say "CD rom player to work with

    I'm running quite a few copyprotected[1] CDs from images
    because my kids have shown not to handle them with due
    care. I'm using CloneCD and daemontools; others will work
    fine too, I'm sure.


    [1] but legally owned, of course.
    Casper H.S. Dik, Jun 26, 2004

  13. Have a look at http://www.daemon-tools.cc/

    The emulated CD drives created by this free (as in beer) software can
    emulate various copy protection schemes.

    Also, I would like to add that as long as you own the game, there should
    be no problem with using cracks or defeating any copy-protection systems.
    I own all the games I play (bar one really old game from the 80s which I
    cant buy anywhere) and I regularly use cracks so I can play the games
    without messing around with the CDs.

    As for playing chessmaster on a Sun system, I would suggest using a
    combination of plex86 (http://plex86.sourceforge.net/) and wine
    (http://winehq.org/) or qemu (http://fabrice.bellard.free.fr/qemu/).

    If you must use your PCi card, then I would suggest a crack like daemon

    Under solaris, use dd from the shell to dump a RAW image of the CD, and
    use this image with daemon tools. That should be all you need to do. I
    would suggest using Windows 2000 under the virtual machine, as I have
    never used Windows 98 with daemon tools, but the Windows 2000 kernel makes
    things a lot easier to work with.

    You may also find its a lot easier to just find a real Windows computer
    somewhere, install it there, and simply VNS into it over an ssh tunnel, or
    use an RDP client or something, so you can use it from your solaris

    If none of the above options work, feel free to email me (I am using my
    real email address) with your hardware details, and maybe I could provide
    some other ideas or more details.

    Adrian Fletcher, Jun 26, 2004
  14. I only had a quick look, but it looks interesting.
    That is my view too. I own the game, have the CDs and manual, but
    can't use it on my SunPCi card.
    x86 emulation of a SPARC progcessor is likely to be pretty slow.
    I will take that approach.
    Good idea. I was going to take the CDs to work and copy them there,
    then dump the images to tape. But if dd will do it, then that would be
    far less hassle.

    I don't want to sound lazy, but it does rather annoy me that I need to
    go to these troubles to use a legal piece of software on a computer
    that has never had any problems running any other software.

    Clearly the copy protection is causing the problem.
    I just don't want any more noise and heat generated. Sure I could do
    it, but why should I have too?
    Cheers, I might take you up on that if I can't get it working.

    Dr. David Kirkby - email address at
    Dr. David Kirkby, Jun 29, 2004
  15. Dr. David Kirkby

    Robin KAY Guest

    Unlikely. The raw device contains only the contents of the ISO data
    track. The copy protection will most likely make use of other tracks or
    out-of-band data that can only be read with ioctls and/or USCSI commands.
    Robin KAY, Jun 29, 2004
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