Carl's blog

Overcoming CopyControl protection of old 16-bit applications with the help of XXCOPY.

by on Dec.11, 2010, under Computer Stuff

Old hard drive is E: (mounted through USB to IDE adapter)

New system is C:

C:

cd \

mkdir Application

xxcopy e:\Application c:\Application /clone /TC

Since CopyControl relies on the created/modified/accessed timestamps of the files within the hidden/system control directory of the application, the above will preserve them and CopyControl won’t be aware that the application has been copied to a new computer.

The /TC flag to XXCOPY causes it to preserve the file created, modified, and accessed timestamps, to the exact second. Whilst transferring Recruit to a new server late one evening a couple of years ago, I experimented and discovered that this was how the protection scheme (CopyControl) detected tampering/copying. At that time I used a tool called 12Ghosts FileDate or something, but XXCOPY does all this for us now. I am in the process of migrating five computers in a leasing company and am using this quick and easy procedure for transfering the DOS based quoting system which also uses CopyControl.

Some example applications: Oxford Software’s Recruit, LeasePlan / Network Lease’s Ultinet quoting system.

You can tell the application uses CopyControl because there is either a local or network folder which contains a hidden/system folder named something.NNN where NNN is some numbers, e.g. 489. Within that folder are some more files, one called something.CCC and also a file called CCONTROL.

This CopyControl is not the same as the one used by the music business on audio CDs.


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