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Zelda_fan
08-26-05, 10:18 AM
As you may or may not know, there is a copy protection called starforce which basically installs stealth drivers to your CD or DVD drive. These stealth drivers have been known to cause a lot of problems with system, and I don't know about you, but I don't want any stealth drivers on my system to begin with.

Now if you don't like starforce, there are a few solutions. One, don't buy any starforce games. Two, if you already have starforce on your system, there is a removal tool released by starforce themselves.

Here is a link to the removal tool:
http://www.onlinesecurity-on.com/protect.phtml?c=55

Here is a list of games that use starforce. I recommend you don't get these games, but if you have to have them, use the starforce removal tool when you are done playing them. If you have any of these games and don't play them anymore, I would recommend useing the removal tool ASAP.

-modern games with starforce-
Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory
FlatOut
Colin McRae Rally 2005
WORMS 4
Silent Hunter III
DTM Race Driver 2
X2: The Threat (though egosoft has a patch that removes starforce from the game completly)
Cossacks 2
Etherlords 2

-older games with starforce-
Ace Saga
American Conquest (Russian)
Anstoss 4
Army Men (Russian)
Bandits Phoenix Rising
Beyond Divinity
Black Mirror
Blitzkrieg - Rolling Thunder
Codename: Outbreak [12-10-2001]
Cossacks: Back to War (Russian)
Cossacks: European War (Russian)
Cycling Manager 3
Demonic Speedway (Poland)
Etherlords
HOMM 4 (Russian)
Horse Race Manager
Icewind Dale 2: Heart of Winter
IL-2 Sturmovik (Russian)
Magna Carte (Korean)
Magnamedia (Russian)
Might & Magic 9: Writ of Faith (Russian)
Narsillion (Russian)
Rally Championship Xtreme
Rendezvous 3 (Russian)
Seventh Seal (Asian)
Shtyrlits 3: USSR Agent (Russian)
Siege of Avalon (Russian)
Silkolene Honda Motocross GP
Sniper (Poland)
Tennis Masters Series: Battleground of Champions (Asian)
The Heroes of Three Kingdoms (Asian)
The I Of The Dragon (Russian)
Xuan-Yuan Sword 4 (Asian)

If you have any additions to this list please post them.

stncttr908
08-26-05, 11:41 AM
Soldiers: Heroes of WWII

|MaguS|
08-26-05, 11:42 AM
So much <3 for Starforce!

Good thread to make people aware of software titles that have it included since so many hate it. But please people don't turn this into a flamefest about the copy protection. Just keep to listing titles.

PSI-Ops has Starforce, Just checked it.

OWA
08-26-05, 11:57 AM
GTR
GT Legends demo

Edit: Also, I don't think FlatOut uses StarForce. I think it uses SafeDisc.

saturnotaku
08-26-05, 01:22 PM
I posted this in the other thread, but I think it needs to be listed here in the sticky. The CD Freaks forums (http://club.cdfreaks.com) are an excellent resource for doing research on all forms of copy protection, not just StarForce.

CaptNKILL
08-26-05, 01:50 PM
Didnt someone say the FEAR Demo used Starforce for some reason? I thought I heard that on the forums here...

Ninjaman09
08-26-05, 01:59 PM
Didnt someone say the FEAR Demo used Starforce for some reason? I thought I heard that on the forums here...
I heard that too. I can't imagine why it would though, but apparently it does and so do the GTR demos. Weird.

agentkay
08-26-05, 02:05 PM
I heard that too. I can't imagine why it would though, but apparently it does and so do the GTR demos. Weird.

Fear Demo is using Securom 7 and GTR and the upcoming GT Legends are using Starforce (the demo already does). I think its pretty crazy that demos already use "copy protections".

toxikneedle
08-26-05, 02:28 PM
I dunno, I got Splinter Cell installed and I haven't really had any problems using Alcohol or Daemon tools since I got it in march. I read about starforce messing with your system thing too but I personally havent noticed any of that.

Ninjaman09
08-26-05, 02:31 PM
I dunno, I got Splinter Cell installed and I haven't really had any problems using Alcohol or Daemon tools since I got it in march. I read about starforce messing with your system thing too but I personally havent noticed any of that.
Heh neither have I, it really only bothers me out of principle.

Nutty
08-26-05, 02:36 PM
The last project I worked on used StarForce. I like StarForce because it works. I dont wanna hear bull**** about not working with Alcohol or Daemon tools either, cos thats bull. Works fine with those programs installed at home and work for me and the other programmer who implemented StarForce onto our products. To this day the game remains uncracked. Unfortunately it got "released" another way, oh well... heh

Edge
08-26-05, 10:05 PM
Hmm, haven't installed any of those games on my computer since my last format, so I don't think I have to worry about the stealth drivers. Although I do have X2 and was planning on playing it sometime soon...if I install the game but then patch it to the non-Starforced version, will it still install the stealth driver?


The last project I worked on used StarForce. I like StarForce because it works. I dont wanna hear bull**** about not working with Alcohol or Daemon tools either, cos thats bull. Works fine with those programs installed at home and work for me and the other programmer who implemented StarForce onto our products. To this day the game remains uncracked. Unfortunately it got "released" another way, oh well... heh
If the project you worked on is Sudeki, I think the main reason the game remaines uncracked is because of a lack of interest more than anything :p

agentkay
08-27-05, 03:53 AM
Hmm, haven't installed any of those games on my computer since my last format, so I don't think I have to worry about the stealth drivers. Although I do have X2 and was planning on playing it sometime soon...if I install the game but then patch it to the non-Starforced version, will it still install the stealth driver?


The drivers get only installed if you are asked to reboot your machine. So if you install the game and in the same instance install the patch (w/o SF), then you are SF-free. If you have doubts, just double click on the SF-remover tool, it does no harm even if you donīt have SF drivers installed.



If the project you worked on is Sudeki, I think the main reason the game remaines uncracked is because of a lack of interest more than anything :p



Looks cracked to me, but yes I agree, unfortuntely the game wasnīt very interesting to me. :( And Nutty, just because a Starforced game doesnīt get cracked, doesnīt mean that its a perfect copy protection because it has 3 loopholes (or was it 4?) which allow working backup copies. So Starforced games donīt even "need" to be cracked and some of these loopholes exist ever since the first version of Starforce and I have major doubts that they will "fix" all of them any time soon.

But you guys have all rights to pick whatever copy protection you want and think is best for you, after all its your property and money that you need to protect. I surely would hate to see the PC games industry going to doom just by the simply fact that I donīt like console gaming much. :(

Nutty
08-27-05, 08:27 PM
If the project you worked on is Sudeki, I think the main reason the game remaines uncracked is because of a lack of interest more than anything
No theres been plenty interest in foreign countries. We're still converting it to more languages would you believe for more countries :D Actually it is crackable, but you need a special DVD drive which costs slightly more than the game, so its pointless ;)

Pretty much all games get cracked onto the scene, regardless of popularity.

Looks cracked to me
No, not sure how much I can say, but it seems our publisher decided to sell a pre-star-force alpha copy of the game to a polish magazine, which was bodged n hacked to fit on a cd. Problem is the build was soo old its buggy as hell and the patch will only work with the official DVD release. :/ (I dont know officially, this is just what I've heard on the grape-vine..)

But you guys have all rights to pick whatever copy protection you want and think is best for you, after all its your property and money that you need to protect. I surely would hate to see the PC games industry going to doom just by the simply fact that I donīt like console gaming much.
It wasn't upto us, it's the publishers decision usually on what copy protection method is employed. But I agree, piracy is soo rife in games. Most ppl here buy their games which is great, but theres millions of ppl that dont, and its because of them we have to use systems such as Star-Force. Star-Force was only invented because of pirates.

Subtestube
08-27-05, 08:35 PM
Just so you know, you're missing "Trackmania: Sunrise" from the modern games w/ starforce. It's the single reason I won't get rid of starforce - I like TM:S too much, *Sigh*

S.I.N
08-28-05, 07:08 PM
if there going to use protection like these in games the least they can do is make it possible for games to load without the damn cd.

Nutty
08-28-05, 07:28 PM
if there going to use protection like these in games the least they can do is make it possible for games to load without the damn cd.

Er.. thats kinda how copy protections systems work. By ensuring you have a valid disc when you want to play. Take that away and you have no copy protection.

seeker010
08-29-05, 05:42 AM
I'm sorry but copy protection as it is today is bullsh*t. installing drivers as ring 0, not adhering to strict cd-rom specs, blacklisting programs... basically it's up to the publisher to decide what the user can run on his/her system. It's like renting a car, and then having to sign a contract that says you have to park the car 7 meters in front of your house, and to allow them to install security camers in front of your house to monitor that you're following the contract to the letter. And if you buy a bike, you automatically forfeit your right to drive the car, but you still have to pay for the remainder of the lease.

And for what? It doesn't even stop the downpour of no-cd cracks. Sure it's a bit of a hassle to wait for a few days for it to come out, but the fact is the more intrusive copy protections get, the more I hear people just giving up and pirating the game anyway. If you want to stop casual piracy, most of the earlier protection schemes are more than sufficient; if you want to stop the dedicated pirates, of which there is a growing number due to more intrusive copy protection schemes, you might as well just give up and not make the game in the first place.

|MaguS|
08-29-05, 05:57 AM
yay let the thread derailing begin! Thanks noob :mad:

Parts
09-01-05, 02:43 PM
Just so you know, you're missing "Trackmania: Sunrise" from the modern games w/ starforce. It's the single reason I won't get rid of starforce - I like TM:S too much, *Sigh*

Funny, thats the single reason why I wont get the game :(

SH64
09-03-05, 11:11 PM
Bet on Solider demo uses SF .. just a heads up!

madmossy
09-04-05, 06:50 AM
I'm sorry but copy protection as it is today is bullsh*t. installing drivers as ring 0, not adhering to strict cd-rom specs, blacklisting programs... basically it's up to the publisher to decide what the user can run on his/her system. It's like renting a car, and then having to sign a contract that says you have to park the car 7 meters in front of your house, and to allow them to install security camers in front of your house to monitor that you're following the contract to the letter. And if you buy a bike, you automatically forfeit your right to drive the car, but you still have to pay for the remainder of the lease.

And for what? It doesn't even stop the downpour of no-cd cracks. Sure it's a bit of a hassle to wait for a few days for it to come out, but the fact is the more intrusive copy protections get, the more I hear people just giving up and pirating the game anyway. If you want to stop casual piracy, most of the earlier protection schemes are more than sufficient; if you want to stop the dedicated pirates, of which there is a growing number due to more intrusive copy protection schemes, you might as well just give up and not make the game in the first place.

Couldn't agree more, been an avid gamer for close to 2 decades now and copy protection has allways p*ssed me off, now adays when i buy games the first thing i do is check for a no-cd crack because i hate having to swap discs around just to play damn games.

Rakeesh
09-04-05, 12:26 PM
I can't use starforce myself as I absolutely depend on daemon-tools. I don't play very many games lately though (other than PSO, CS:S, and NS which don't require a CD to play anyways) so it isn't much of an issue for me anyways.

Nutty: I don't know about your game in particular, but I think every A title listed (I didn't look through them all, but rather about 5 or so) in this thread has been cracked, many without even having to patch the executable or even tinker with the starforce drivers. There's a rather public website that tracks all of this.

The thing is, no matter how elaborate a copy protection is, somebody can still find a way around it. Steam is probably the most elaborate one I have seen to date, and even it has seen successful cracks. (kind of different too actually, because it seems that a "dark" community has surfaced where people continually work together to build update packages for non legit copies of steam games, since these guys are unable to receive normal steam updates)

Nutty
09-04-05, 12:41 PM
I can't use starforce myself as I absolutely depend on daemon-tools.
Again, utter twoddle. I have had daemon tools and alcohol installed, and it doesn't cause problems with StarForce.

Nutty: I don't know about your game in particular, but I think every A title listed (I didn't look through them all, but rather about 5 or so) in this thread has been cracked
Quite probably caused by internal leaks then. We've been tracking the leak status of our game, and it has never been properly cracked, even tho many have tried. The version circulating at the moment, is a hacked up copy the publisher sold to a magazine.

The thing is, no matter how elaborate a copy protection is, somebody can still find a way around it.
Its true. You can get around Sudeki's encryption, but it requires that you own a special DVD-ROM, which is then pointless cos its costs more than the game.

Its not about being completely uncrackable, just making it difficult enough to stop the average wannabe hacker, which StarForce does.

You dont have to tell me copy protection systems are a pain. I've sent music CD's back because they wont play on my pc, and then just download it instead. But its not upto us, its always the publishers decision.

Rakeesh
09-04-05, 04:14 PM
Again, utter twoddle. I have had daemon tools and alcohol installed, and it doesn't cause problems with StarForce.

Well, starforce intentionally blacklists these programs. Your game may use an older version of starforce that doesn't blacklist the latest versions of these programs. Everytime these programs are updated, they circumvent these blacklists, and everytime the starforce stuff is updated, it re-blacklists the new versions. This keeps going on perpetually. See below for why this is done...

Quite probably caused by internal leaks then. We've been tracking the leak status of our game, and it has never been properly cracked, even tho many have tried. The version circulating at the moment, is a hacked up copy the publisher sold to a magazine.

Actually, in one title I happened to look at (splinter cell 3) it looks like you download a 3kb MGS image file that contains a bunch of dummy information to simulate the original legitimate cdrom, and you mount this file with either alcohol or daemon. The starforce program is then fooled into believing that it is reading from the original cdrom when it does its checks. You wouldn't need to get a leak in order to get this, as you could merely rip it from the CD itself. AFAIK this is a pretty new game, so this means even the latest starforce protections have been circumvented. Historically, the starforce program can only get around this by blacklisting the software in its newer versions.

Its true. You can get around Sudeki's encryption, but it requires that you own a special DVD-ROM, which is then pointless cos its costs more than the game.

I would say that is probably due to this game not being as popular as e.g. splinter cell 3.

The thing is, there are some people out there who even if they couldn't get ahold of certain games illegaly, they still wouldn't buy it anyways. For everybody else who just does it to save a buck, I think the best thing to do to get them to buy any game is to make most of the fun of the game depend on multiplayer capability.

Then you can just relie on game keys that have a two part auth check. One weak client side auth check that can probably be reverse engineered since the algorithm for verifying it exists in the clients binary, and one very strong server side auth check where there can be no reverse engineering done by crackers. The prior weeds out the casual copiers, and the later weeding out the "save money" copiers.