June 2nd, 2010

Go By Train

Partial Victory over Atari

My thanks to those of you suggesting DaemonTools as a solution to the key-disk problem. I didn't realize that I also needed something to create an ISO image of the CD itself, but that was only a minor setback and easily rectifiable. However, it turns out that the program must be looking for something on the original CD, as neither a virtual CD-ROM nor a copy of the original CD worked. However, a bit more searching found a site -- no, I'm not going to point at it; if you're interested, Google will find it relatively quickly -- that will basically crack the key disk protection. You still need a valid installation key to install the software in the first place, but you can then run it without the key disk. This does indeed avoid the anti-piracy measures in the software, but in this case I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. We own seven or eight licenses for Locomotion, they are installed on fewer machines than that, and our real problem here is medium failure -- my CD-ROM cracked, and Atari refuses to replace broken CDs.

We'd like to do the same thing with a couple of other CD-ROM-based games, but there it gets more complicated, because the program requires the CD not so much for the key but because it constantly accesses the CD during the game and won't recognize copies. However, there are also doctored versions of the programs out there that will let you use copies of the original CDs, which accomplishes what we want: to be able to use our licensed copies without fretting over the CDs physically failing, which they do if used long enough.