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Why do demos that are free to download have copyright protection? On a paid for game sure, but demo.

I wondered the same thing about the King Kong demo being Starforce protected, so I did a little research.

Apparently, Starforce is not only copy protection, it's reverse engineering protection, so some companies are now using Starforce to encrypt their demo executables, to slow down cheat makers, who use the demo as a foundation for building cheat apps for the full release.

Guess that makes cense, Thanks for answering.

so king kong has online deathmatch or something? :blink:

i see im infected with starforce also. i have dvd/rw problems.... :wall:

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Wow checking the forums on the link I posted just above Cobblers, people are getting banned from the UBI forums and getting their threads closed for speaking out against Star Force, I'm sure they were breaking some forum rule though. I still can't figure out where I picked up SF from as I don't have any games on my computer other than BF2 :blush: (hey I gotta play something until GR:AW comes out)

I think of anyone wants to really get some insight into Star Force then that is the place to start.

Edited by Cutter
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I have SIX hits of SF while looking up like everyone else on the Device Manager.

I'm thinking of the games I've bought recently in the last few years, and I think Brothers In Arms, EIB is the one that has put this on my computer. I wondered why that game took forever and a day to load up sometimes, and sometimes, it didn't load up at all.

I recently read a scathing report about this online about another game I am really interested in buying, Silent Hunter III. This is complety rubbish, I won't be buying it again. I feel like such an idiot, thinking I know a lot about my home computer, apparently I need more education. :blink:

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@ Cutter, Yes it's true. They will lock you out or ban you as such. Kinda like china censoring "freedom" and the like. So it doesn't come to me as any suprise they lock threads that talk bad about thier games and so forth.

But it's probably pretty hard for them to get a real asessment(sp?) of how thier games are doing if they keep out negative comments. Thier games are not all roses. :yes:

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Moderators at Ubi are deleting threads from forums to which they do not normally moderate over this. Several came to the SHIII forums to debate TOS agreements and such with one poster even and had to be told to stay out of the SHIII forums which they refused to do. That thread completely disappeared.

Ubi may hurt themselves in the long run over Starforce as they pass the buck to SF and SF claims that it is not their fault that problems happen (do a search for Code 41 in Windows, it has to do with DMA settings and such). The SF challenge was a washout really and SF is trying to sue people for making false claims.

I do not mind a company protect their product, but when people have problems with a fresh install of Windows and the only thing they install after that is a game with SF and problems develop, something isn't right. It needs to be fixed.

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I've only purchased one game recently with SF on it which was Cross Championship Racing. I didn't know it had starforce on it nor did I know anything about it before my purchase.

Installing only 640 megs to my HD took at least 10-15 mins on my computer. Now this could have been that I used my slow DVD burner to install instead of my semi-slow 48x CD drive, but I know I installed HL2 with 4-5 CD's the other day in almost less time than this one CD with SF protection on it.

Anway after installing I had to go through the ordeal of LOADING which took a tremendous amount of time to load. SF sits and checks the CD for at least 2-3 mins just to *confirm* I have the correct disk.

So bam the game loads and guess what I have to configure in all my video settings but then RELOAD the game so now I have to wait again for the SF check not to if you have any crashes you might run into OR what about when you play multiplayer and it has to check each time when you join a server and BAM your kicked out of the server cause its full....back to SF check again (yeah right).

Maybe it is just my system (amd 2.0, win2k pro, 48x CD, 4x DVD) but the thing took WAY too long to load up each time plus a few times I got get a fail error and then it would go into enter your *serial key* which the game didn't come with one at all (I kid you not).

I felt like it was going into a three strikes type mode and if I failed I'd probably have to get on the phone and hunt down some tech support doof to get my game working again.

Since then I uninstalled Starforce and haven't even played the game yet, but coincidently at the same time I was having conflicts who knows what in another game so I didn't want to take the risk.

WHY did I uninstall SF? Or why do I not like SF?

Well because I personally get tired of installing and uninstalling my OS when some flukey driver is causing problems. Maybe some of you guys have that 30 min secret in re-setting up your system with ALL the programs you want when it crashes or your need to reinstall everything, but I know I personally have to spend a full day or more sometimes to get all my programs I need reinstalled and running again (all the service packs, hot fixes, firewalls setup, video drivers, sound drivers, direct X, virus checks, popup blockers, colors, joysticks, mouse, track IR, rudder peddles, blah..blah..blah).

Now if they could get the load times faster then I might not have a problem with SF, but with the possibility of some driver conflicts ontop of that looming in the air then I get even more discouraged to stay away from anything that uses SF...but I'm not going to give up gaming so I guess I'll just have to deal with it.

Sure I know I have a zillion other drivers already loaded that could cause device conflicts or other problems, but the point being I already have enough headaches to deal with when getting a new game....adding this SF driver just makes things even more complicated if something goes wrong!

Bottom line is that I think companies are just wasting money on this type of copy protection when I guarantee it WILL be cracked and it WILL be posted to some newsgroup 1-2 weeks even before release.

I bet GR3 will be no different if they use starforce. I guarantee there will be a copy posted somewhere like alt.binaries.ipwnstarforce 1-2 weeks before its released though those people won't have a valid serial key to play online.

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I do not mind a company protect their product, but when people have problems with a fresh install of Windows and the only thing they install after that is a game with SF and problems develop, something isn't right. It needs to be fixed.

Totally agree.

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The company has a ruined name. It causes problems and from the people who took up there challenge they were denied and given an unfair challenge replicating the problem on starforce's systems.

Lets face it its flawed. It gets cracked over and over from what I see, its pointless.

Its like putting a Lock on a gate with a finger print scanner that doesnt work all the time. People who go threw get locked out occassionaly. Then the hackers come by with A 1911 and just blow the lock off the gate.

Edited by Prozac360
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Seems like an awful lot of protection cracking talk not to have a  :censored: on its way.


The reason being is this is a legitimate discussion on copyright protection programs being used in games, specifically a game we wish to buy, GRAW. I will say it again though, GRAW is supposed to use a less intrusive version, but it remains to be seen.

As long as people keep to the discussion as is and do not attempt to tell how to bypass SF (though I may not object personally), I will allow this to stay open as will other members of staff.

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Well Splintercell:chaos theory use SF. I read the agreement and found no such language in the installment/license agreement when I installed.

Though, I have had no problems with starforce myself, I WILL just say that I am less than happy with the tactic they used to protect the game. c'mon, It's installed without my knowledge, and it's set to "hidden".

But this is just an opinion with what I'm about to say(got that SF?), With the debacle with SONY/BMG having rootkits on the PC's without the users knowledge, I feel violated just as those people who've found out about the rootkit scenario...ass raped!

kinda wierd isn't it? for years we've seen movies about big businesses going crazy and using technology to snoop on unsuspecting people like ourselves. These companies in the movies would control people on how they use Computers, thought, spoke.. Back then it was just a movie....

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StarForce Drivers RemovalThe famous protection solution developer, StarForce, has granted a sole right to distribute the StarForce Removal Tool utility to www.onlinesecurity-on.com. Thus, all users of licensed software protected by StarForce are welcome to freely download StarForce Removal Tool from www.onlinesecurity-on.com. Note though that all cases of unauthorized distribution of StarForce Removal Tool (sfdrvrem.exe) itself, be it .EXE file or the utility archive (.ZIP, .RAR, etc.), are considered as infringement of the copyright. For authorization, please contact StarForce at sales@star-force.com. As a web page owner, you are welcome to provide your visitors with a link to this page.

Please, note that the StarForce Removal Tool utility  (sfdrvrem.exe) is regularly updated to support the latest version of the StarForce protection drivers. You can find the latest version of the StarForce Removal Tool utility here.

The truth about StarForce drivers.It is obvious that all the rumors around StarForce hazards are spread by international piracy groups. Our recent contest has just proven that StarForce does not damage optical drives.

Now we would like to elaborate on the topic of StarForce drivers.

Some users of StarForce protected products have been curious about StarForce drivers.

Our support service received questions about the functionality of the drivers and whether there could be a security issue for the PC. At StarForce we care about our clients and our users. Most of all we care about your IT security and we would never use anything that could possibly question your system’s integrity.

The purpose of StarForce copy protection is to resist emulation, cracking and reverse engineering. These matters are usually salved by means of disc binding. Also to face these tasks StarForce installs four drivers that remain inactive until the protected product is run.

Besides StarForce software drivers at ring 0 are installed by many different programs such as emulators, anti-viruses, firewalls and etc. Here is how StarForce drivers work:

Driver sfsync02 serves the purpose of CD validity check and identification of different emulators.

Driver sfhlp02 + sfdrv01 – is in charge of functioning of the core, including anti-debugger tools.

Driver sfvfs02 – is essential for data protection and StarForce virtual file system.

The matter is that all of known emulators install ring 0 drivers. Obviously, the only way to prevent emulation is to work on the same level and that is the reason our copy protection installs drivers. Another most recent revelation about emulators is that they use rootkits. That could actually cause security problems for the OS.

This discovery made by Mark Russinovich should make any user at least cautious when using emulators.

To conclude, we must say that StarForce does not use rootkits, StarForce does not cause security issues and StarForce is not the only software developer that installs ring 0 drivers. We appreciate all the feedback from our clients and users and that is why StarForce drivers will be automatically uninstalled in the latest version of our copy protection system FrontLine 4.0. The official release with many other significant improvements will follow within days.

We do our best to help you feel protected!

If you have any questions about StarForce protected products, please contact:


You are also welcome to ask questions and share your experiences at our forum.

List of products that install ring 0 drivers (some examples):

Emulators: Daemon tools

Alcohol 120%







Process Guard

PC-CILLIN Interten Security





Microsoft Antivirus

H+BDV Antivirus

Sophos Anti-Virus

Anti-Trojans: BOClean







Kaspersky ÐntiHacker


Tiny Personal FireWall


Kerio Personal Firewall


Conseal Firewall

Visnetic Firewall

Sygate Personal Firewall

Symantec / Norton Firewall

McAfee Firewall


Conseal Desktop

Conseal PC FW

eSafe Desktop

Lockdown 2000

PrivateFirewall 2.0


SonicWall Firewall


OutPost Firewall

Zone Alarm

Other:Norton Password Manager 2004

Norton SystemWorks

Symantec pcAnywhere 11.5

WinFax PRO 10.0

Norton GoBack 4.0

Norton Ghost

DOWNLOAD StarForce Drivers Removal Tool

All users of StarForce protected applications (licensed games, etc) can purchase Safe’n’Sec Plus Anti-Spyware for only $10! Buy Now

To receive Safe'n'Sec Plus Anti-Spyware you need to enter the name of your StarForce protected application in the AOI box.

The offer is valid from Decemer 19th 2005 until March 19 2006.

Safe'n'Sec Plus Anti-Spyware is a complex solution including Safe’n’Sec reliable intrusion prevention, proactive protection of PCs against unknown viruses, Trojans, other malwares, and StarForce Anti-Spyware Module intended for scanning and deleting spyware modules.

Download Safe'n'Sec Plus Anti-Spyware

Why are drivers installed on my PC?

Some versions of StarForce Copy Protection will install dedicated drivers on your PC. Those drivers are necessary for the StarForce specific CD/DVD checking procedure, only. They do not include any hidden functionality. The drivers are active only at execution of the protected application. StarForce constantly improves their drivers to keep them compatible with the latest versions of Windows operating systems.

How to remove all StarForce components from your PC:

Sometimes the un-installation utility of the protected application does not uninstall all StarForce drivers. The following procedure will ensure that all StarForce related components are completely removed from your system.

Download the StarForce Removal Tool as a ZIP archive.

Extract and store sfdrvrem.exe anywhere on your hard disk.

Run sfdrvrem.exe.

If the protected application requires a StarForce driver, this driver will be re-installed as soon as you launch the application again. For further help, please contact the helpdesk of the application publisher.


Submit website to Security Software Product List



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Do I look or act like a pirate? Not everyone who has complaints about SF are pirates as SF claims people are. They do not want to face the fact that their product causes problems.

What you posted Colin appears to be nothing more than an ad for another of their products as seen below the lists of other Ring0 level software.

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i have owned chaos theory since it came out. i actually bought a dvdrom in anticipation of my new dvddrive coming in (that took a month, but that's another story-thanks newegg). when it came in i played with it a while and a few weeks later, i remembered i had chaos theory. so i go to to install it. it wouldn't take either key. there was one printed on the dvd jacket and one on the instruction booklet. just wondering if star force might have been the culprit or if it was something else. i have still never played the damn game.

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Just a follow on.

The end of rumors!

The dogs are barking but the caravan keeps going.

There have been a lot of rumors in the Internet concerning DVD/CD writers’ malfunction after installation and star-up of StarForce protected applications. Some have even mentioned that should such “malfunctioning†drive be placed in any other PC without StarForce protection installed it will fail to work as well.

Others came up with the idea that the StarForce drivers installed on your system, could grant any virus or trojan total control of the OS.

In the past year our staff and many of our clients tried restlessly to reproduce the matter based on these rumors. We had serious reasons to believe that such problems were pure fiction. Using our hardware collection we assembled systems alike, but such problems never took place.

Just to make sure, StarForce decided to have a worldwide contest among users of StarForce protected applications. We had an open invitation to visit our office in order to display the issue and receive $10.000 US in case the person would have proven the problem to exist. January 31st was the last day to apply for the contest which lasted for almost two months. The contest page was visited 48.000 times but we received 0 applications. No one showed up.

Therefore, we now have proof that such issues with StarForce protected applications are pure fiction and all of these rumors are false and probably initiated by frustrated pirates.

We are open to constructive cooperation and we do our best to work with any challanges that really exist, but just as well we are going to stand up for our rights using every legal opportunity.

We certainly are not going to silence the voices of all the biased people on the internet, but we hope that a little bit of common sense goes a long way.

Don’t believe rumors. Believe the facts.

If you do run into a problem – always at your service support@star-force.com

StarForce Technologies

This statment says it all really.

People who have a problem with type of security on disks, will be playing very old games.

Simple dont like, dont buy it.

I have never had any issue with this Software, like thousands of others.


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I have never had any issue with this Software, like thousands of others.

Include me on that list. I've got 2 PC's that have Starforce drivers installed on them and I haven't had any issues with either. :) Anything could happen when you have such a broad range of hardware and software combinations and for those honest PCer's who had issues with Starforce protection I don't blame you for being ticked off. :(
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Starforce has received criticism for installing its own device driver onto computers. The Starforce drivers are often linked to system instability and computer crashes. If these problems occur, the end-user would be unware as to the cause of the problem, and would be helpless to solve the problem.

For example, here's one of the common problems brought by Starforce: under Windows XP, if packets are lost during the reading or writing of a disk, XP interprets this as an error and steps the IDE speed down. Eventually it will revert to 16bit compatibility mode rendering a CD/DVD writer virtually unusable. In some circumstances certain drives cannot cope with this mode and it results in physical hardware failure (Most commonly in multiformat CD/DVD writer drives). A sure sign of this step down occurring is that the burn speeds will get slower and slower (no matter what speed you select to burn at). Starforce, on a regular basis, triggers this silent step down. Until it reaches the latter stages most people do not even realise it is happening.

SF has yet to explain any of these happenings. How many of you wondered why things were happening that didn't seem right? Check for SF.


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I checked that source.

They had this on it.

Complaints lits forum.

As you can see not many is there.

And the post dates look a bit suspicious too and the number of posts, per indevidual. mostly noobs.

Only 2 pages.

I would imagine that this site seeing how it is a focale point for ANTI Starforce

software would be crawling with negative posts about said software but its not.

A suspect site to be sure.


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Well so long as the amount of complaints are that small then I don't see a problem with it myself.  So it this Starforce thing isn't so bad afterall then?!

It's really hard to say.

Believe it or not, there are a great deal of people out there that don't even know what it is.

Their game or app may not run, but they don't know why, and may not have the inclination or know-how to pursue it and find out why, so they take it back, or throw it away.

This would be a topic that mostly enthusiasts and hardcore tech freaks would talk about.

Joe Public for the most part doesn't even realize that this could be the issue they are having.

The majority of folks don't really pursue boards like this, and spend hours reading up on this stuff.

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