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Adobe CS3 / Macrovision DRM residue

This is a genuine request to the very best of the best to join me in solving
the TECHNICAL aspects of this problem.

It has nothing to do with illegal software piracy, and everything to do with the sanctity of our person and our property from illegal violation under the 4th amendment of the US constitution. Politics, however, is not the
topic of this request.

Failed legitimate installation of Adobe CS3 demo-ware:
Premiere and After Effects, downloaded from the Adobe
web-site on July 15, 2008.

has left DRM / Macrovision Flexnet residue on my system, which not only
prevents the demo-ware from being re-installed, but it has destabilized
other legitimate licenses on my machine.

1) Adobe is aware of this problem, thousands of customers are affected,
but Adobe is unable and/or unwilling to fix it.

Their tech support staff claim it is only a recent "WEB-site problem"
which only affects "some" computers and it is "no big deal"

2) The new Macrovission DRM introduced with CS3 is extremely aggressive
and predatory, far worse than the infamous SONY root-kit of two years
ago, as my personal research seems to indicate.

I think criminal prosecution of Adobe, like SONY is strongly indicated
but that is another topic. All I want to do is remove this repugnant ****
from (my!!!!) machine, and gain the ability to help other victims to do
the same.

3) The CS3 installation program crashes and exits without any messages,
but it does place uninstall hooks into the registry which do not work.

The lame Windows "add-remove programs" starts the CS3 unisnstaller,
which promptly crashes and terminates. (as expected)

4) The Adobe cleanup script run at levels 1,2,3,4 fails to fully remove CS3.

5) Popular third party cleaner tools remove more garbage, but not all of it.

6) Manual registry and directory tear-out, finds a few small minor hooks
but not all: Adobe, CS3, Flexnet, LMService, Macrovision, Safe-cast,

I am very good at this, but obviously not good enough (yet!)

I also searched for embedded nulls in registry keys, invalid chars
in file names and other common root-kit critters, like NTFS
alternate data streams attached to temp directories, ... etc.

but so far, No dice

7) I have read that the Macrovision anchors will survive disk re-formatting,
but not low level format (this is hardly a desirable step, however)

The vermin at Macrovision actually brag about this and refer to a
mutating polymorphic anchor engine on their web-site.

Can you spell V-I-R-U-S ?!

8) The anchors survived OS and Application partition restoration,
partition resizing and sliding.

They also survive bad sector scanning, re-testing and repair.

9) I am determined to defeat this sub-scumbag terrorist filth and for
ever purge their garbage products from civilized society.

Let's face it no company with any finite number of employees
can survive to concentrated attack of angry customer on the
global internet

I am willing to do some of the work, with your help and genius.

I am an engineer, not a hacker, so perhaps I am approaching this
from the wrong angle, your help is very much appreciated.

Thank you,


Posted by on

  • 1 more comment 
  • Martin J Stadler
    Martin J Stadler Jul 20, 2008


    I have found the probable reason why the original installation
    fails (both the DEMO and the PAID version). It turns out the
    idiots at ADOBE can't even write a correct installation script:
    See Tim Anderson’s solution/ work around:

    I have also found that the net is teaming with DLL cracks,
    that do not disable nor remove Macrovision, they simply modify
    Adobe products to ignore it, making product activation totally

    (I DO find this hillarious ....)

    After the experience I have had with Adobe CS3, I would not
    want this junk on my machine even if they paid me, and I
    sure as **** don't have any desire to pirate it (and never did)

    The question remains: How do I remove the rest of the CS3
    demo and clean my machine of this infestation.

    The one thing I have not yet tried is to purge the empty space
    and file slack on my machine, and then again scrub my
    hard disks to re-test any sectors marked as bad, and then
    restore windows from a hidden backup partition one more time.
    This will take a while on a 6.5 Terra byte computer.

    After that I am at wits end.

    If that does not work, I think I'll drown my machine in LYSOL
    and "personally" deliver the scum bags at Adobe my bill.



  • Martin J Stadler
    Martin J Stadler Aug 17, 2008

    Still waiting for some tips on completely removing the @#$@#!!!
    macro vision filth related to Adobe CS-3 from my machine.

    Any experts out there ?


  • Martin J Stadler
    Martin J Stadler Aug 22, 2008

    Thank for your help, I will setup a sacrificial machine and test the
    uninstaller (although I would not be surprised if it does not

    I suspect Macrovision is below the Windows API and beyond
    the registry, because I have multiple OS partitions on my machine, some of which are marked hidden and inaccessable
    from Windows, yet the single Macrovision installation affects
    ALL the OS partitions, including the hidden ones.

    Also, many protection schemes such as Macrovision
    or Starforce actually detect popular activity monitoring software,
    interrupt traps and virtual machines to disable them and
    punish you by instantly marking the protected product expired.

    1) I have used Norton's Clean Sweep before, and I have found
    it to be quite lame in deliberately NOT detecting protection
    scheme tags during installation.

    2) SysInternals Regmon and Filemon are now detected by most
    protection schemes, and the protected program will simply
    not install if Regmon is running.

    3) The same is true for virtual machine an run time debuggers
    such as SoftIce.

    I suspect Macrovision uses a multi-pronged (beehive)
    approach, where individual protection components detect
    and repair each other faster than you can remove them.
    If you miss one item, the others are repaired during the next
    installation attempt.

    There are two problems with installation tracers:

    1) Dynamic installation monitors need to intercept windows
    (API or low level Kernel) calls. This activity is easily detected
    by the installation routine by probing the system with
    deliberate API errors, or by setting timers and watching for
    excessive API processing delays. If such a routine is
    detected by the DRM malware it will disable the monitor
    or crash the installation without any explanation, to "induce"
    you to call tech support.

    2) Static (before and after) comparison monitors are overwhelmed
    by the huge volume of changes caused by the installation
    software, which are mixed with hundreds of legitimate
    Windows calls every second, so that you get a 200 page
    report of system changes when the installation is done.

    Since not all of these changes are related to the installation
    or the protection scheme, any non-discriminant attempt at
    reversing all of them will probably kill Windows.

    Also, static monitors will most often fail to detect system
    changes CLOAKED by root-kit technology, such as
    embedded nulls in null terminated strings, or hacked
    Kernel functions.

    Finally I suspect that Macrovision uses physical disk markers
    far below the Windows API, Kernel or even BIOS, within the
    IDE layer, such as:

    1) Phoney bad sectors
    2) Host protected area
    3) Physical sectors beyond the reported disk geometry
    4) Deliberate disk errors

    and/or within the BIOS layer:

    1) MBR, PBR, Partition table irregularities.

    Of course, these secrets methods are only good until detected
    and analyzed and totally useless once uncovered.

    As indicated earlier, I think the only approach (unless somebody
    knows the answer already, like a disgruntled Macrovision
    employee) is to setup a victim machine and analyze it with
    and external computer.




2 Answers

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  • 1 Answer

I had a similar license problem with 3ds max in the past,it just didn't give me chance to renew installation, because I have installed it before. I remember using a 'uninstall' program to bypass that, where the program scans your disk structure, registry etc whatsoever, before and after the installation and through using that program you can uninstall the program without leaving any traces since it is even erasing all registry entries done through the installation. Possibly it would also work for Adobe. I did a little search and seems that symantec cleansweep has similar functionality.
Maybe, since you have already installed it on to your system, you can try installation on a similar system using that utility, and use the data generated there on your 'infected' computer(keeping installation places same etc. )

Posted on Aug 21, 2008

  • spammo Aug 21, 2008

    yet another program like that:
    "The Installation Monitor included in the program can watch all the
    actions that a program performs on your computer while it installs.
    Advanced Uninstaller PRO remembers these changes so later you can
    completely uninstall that program, making sure nothing is left behind.
    This tool can remove any program without a trace."
    But I think you would need an installation on different computer than yours, since some macrovision keys are already there and they will remain unchanges. Let me know if that works


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  • Expert
  • 162 Answers

Another thing you can try is to download a program by MICROSOFT called: Windows installer cleanup utility

Does a great job.

Another program you may want to try would be Uniblue Registry booster which also does a great job removing rogue programs.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008


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