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I want to burn the CD or DVD for one-time use, that is -

  1. CD or DVD copy protection, like CD to CD or CD to hard disc copy protection.

  2. The CD has a setup. After setup process is finished the setup file will destroy automatically or disable the CD contents.

How to create like this.

Please give me some ideas

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migrated from Nov 17 '09 at 0:54

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Why, why do I read this? – Secko Nov 17 '09 at 0:53
Sounds a bit like mission impossible... – ricbax Nov 17 '09 at 1:07
that sounds very much like MI2 – AskaGamer Nov 17 '09 at 2:24
hooray for movie-plot technology. good luck in your SFX career. now, back to the real world, where this just won't work.... – quack quixote Nov 17 '09 at 5:12
This is very much possible, but the consequences could be bad. You would need to write a virus that infects the machine once the CD/DVD is put in. Prevent any copy and paste commands. Self destruct the virus once the media is ejected. – kobaltz Nov 28 '13 at 14:30

You could install a small explosive device on the disc that is activated once it reaches a certain speed. This explosive will be activated while the disc is in use. Set it to detonate 10 seconds after it reaches 0 velocity (think "Speed" and Keaneau Reeves). The user will have to be quick enough to remove it from the tray and then throw it before it detonates, but I think it's doable.

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This is simply not possible.

You really need to look at DRM instead, where you can activate online and authenticate each installation.

Think like the Windows install - protected by a key, individual code, username / password e.t.c. and then authenticate against an online server.

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This isn't possible unless you're using a rewritable disc.

You could in theory write something in your windows registry and a monitoring piece of software that intercepts a particular cd rom with a particular file.

But don't. People will find a way to bypass your security and all your efforts would be wasted. Try to find a competitive price and a wonderful software instead of this approach.

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even if a rewritable disc is used for distribution, there's no way to guarantee it'll be used in a write-capable drive. – quack quixote Nov 17 '09 at 4:27
The rewritable suggestion is to tell that "destroy automatically or disable the CD contents" is not possible in a cdr. I wasn't saying to use that approach. The registry option have flaws too, the user could open the cd in another machine, etc. The point here is that in theory you could do a lot of things, but in the end it's not worth the effort (and money) spent. – GmonC Nov 17 '09 at 14:20

I think Wal-Mart experimented with some DVDs that degraded over time for "renting" movies. It failed, but I don't know if this is because the theory itself didn't work or if people didn't like the idea of paying for something that became useless over time (yet we still buy computers!)

Regardless, I doubt there's a lot of consumer-level products for this. You'll have to fight piracy the old fashioned way: good product at reasonable price.

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you're probably thinking of DIVX (Digital Video Express, not the video codec DivX), marketed by Circuit City: .. not exactly DVDs, but tried to be DVD-like. – quack quixote Nov 17 '09 at 4:34
That was one way but that required the phone-home method. There were for a while DVDs that slowly oxidized. You opened the package, you had 48 hours until it oxidized so much it was unreadable... – Broam Mar 23 '10 at 14:14

Related to MarkM's answer (a CDR disk is a small explosive device):

A few years back the R/W speed of CDROM drives was increasing faster than the makers of blank CDs could manage, and CDR disks were exploding under the strain of being made to spin above their design speeds.

So ... distribute software on really cheap CDRs and somehow contrive to spin up the disk until it explodes.

EDIT: OK, let's avoid damaging the drive.

How about a chemical which doesn't corrode the disk surface (as detj suggests) but a photosensitive coating which becomes opaque after exposure to the laser used to read it the first time?

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cause nothing says "we don't care about our customers' hardware" like causing internal drive damage... – quack quixote Nov 17 '09 at 4:29
Couldn't agree more, but I thought MarkM's answer and the upvotes he got were tacit approval of this approach. You are going to leave the same comment on his answer too, aren't you?? – pavium Nov 17 '09 at 4:42
no, but you're welcome to if you like – quack quixote Nov 17 '09 at 5:01
My answer was sarcastic. The point was that DRM is on its way out in a lot of fronts because it harms the end user much more than it helps the content owner. – MDMarra Nov 17 '09 at 12:15
@MarkM, I realised your 'solution' was meant ironically, and I thought I'd join in the fun. – pavium Nov 17 '09 at 20:39

What stops an user from creating an ISO of the CD and making tons of copies before running anything even if somehow the setup program destroyed the CD?

The only way I can see this being possible is burning a specific identifier into each disc. When the setup program is ran, it communicates with a server somewhere. It sends the unique identifier and the server flags it as used. The server then returns a cryptographic key along with binary data that is necessary to run the setup. If someone tries to run the setup again off the same CD it will once again contact the server with the identifier and receive a response that it is flagged and no longer usable.

The problem with this is that the person installing it has to have an internet connection. Someone would probably crack it anyway and just have it skip the server check. Anytime you receive data and it is on your computer, there is a way to dump it for later use. Someone could disable the check and just inject the server response. You also have to run a verification server which would be expensive.

What are you trying to protect like this anyway?

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Use a copy-protection similar to the one Codemasters use. Have some physical errors on the disc deliberately, even if anyone copies the disc the physical errors are not transferred and hence becomes an easily identifiable copied CD. Normally, reading programs ignore the physical errors, but in this case presence of physical errors would authenticate the CD.

As of destroying the CD upon use, coat the CD with some chemical which corrodes the surface when the chemical comes into contact with the Laser. But, of course, the corrosion should have a lag time which is enough for the drive to read the data (if the CD is authentic).

hey...just a theory!!

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You could possibly do some research on this one. I don't personally know how to do this. You probably have enough room on the disk to have a program that will copy itself into memory, and force a write of 1s to the CD even though it's not blank anymore, and then force a write of 0s to the CD after all 1s has completed. It would probably require some driver programming, and wouldn't necessarily work on all computers depending on what type of driver it's using? (maybe? not sure about this). Tricky part would be to trick the computer into writing onto the disk when it's not empty. Even though it's not a rewritable, I think if you do it enough times, you should be able to corrupt the data.

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So let's say he implements this (hard at best, impossible at worst.) I put the CD in a drive that can't write. Game over. – OwenP Nov 17 '09 at 3:39
Do those even exist anymore? – Sakamoto Kazuma Nov 17 '09 at 4:22
wierdly enough, yes. i still have a read only cd rom drive lying around for emergencies ;p – Journeyman Geek Dec 27 '09 at 10:05

This would be possible with a disc that hadn't been finalized but appeared to be finalized by the os. The setup program could shred or encrypt the contents after installation of the software and finalize or corrupt the disc (providing the user is using a dvd/cd burner to install the software).

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