How To Use a Crack/Patch/Serial/Keygen
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  1. #1

    Default How To Use a Crack/Patch/Serial/Keygen

    Thanks to a guy called GuidoZ for this tutorial. I had to remove some content (which took hours)from the original article to fit in the alloted space.

    There are four different types of ways to "fix" a software program that you'll run into. "Fixing" a software program means bypassing the means it uses to keep it from being freely copied and distributed. This can include anything from removing trial limitations or nag screens to allowing a retail release to function. All four can be labeled as a "release"



    Crack
    Patch
    Serial
    Keygen

    Keygens are the best
    Cracks are more crude

    CRACK - A crack is a modified version of a file that has been "pre-hacked" by the cracker. Frequently this is the actual EXE of the main program, but in modified form. It could also be a DLL or a key file that the program uses to register itself or check an online activation server. A cracked file has such checks removed. A drawback of a crack is it can be big since it's just a modified version of the original file. Frequently, updating a program that has been cracked will overwrite the crack, causing the program to return to it's "pre-cracked" state.

    PATCH - A patch is a little nicer then a crack. It's smaller and usually contains information on what it is. A patch is a separate program that is applied to an installed application to make a cracked file (EXE, DLL, etc). With a patch, u can make a crack. When you start up a patch, frequently you'll be greeted with information such as the release group's name, the cracker who made it, information on the "target file" (more on that later), and so on. In most cases, it has all the same drawbacks as a crack does, except for the file size.

    SERIAL - Most people are aware what a serial is and how to use it. Frequently a provided serial will register the software program, however it will register it with the name of the cracker or website that distributed it. Sometimes a serial can be used with any information (such as your own name), and sometimes it is vital to use the information provided with it (name, email, company, etc). The biggest drawback to serials is a term called "blacklisting", which will be discussed later.

    KEYGEN - A keygen is short for "Key Generator". A keygen, is the "best" or most sought after form of a fix. A keygen allows you to generate the correct registration data for a program using any info you like (name, email, company, etc) without modifying anything in the actual program (similar to a serial, but always just for you). Sometimes a keygen will generate a serial for you that you can use, other times it might generate a license file that needs to be imported into the program. Keygens can have multiple uses as well. For software that requires activation, frequently a keygen will provide the means to use the "Phone Activation" method in a program. (All programs that requires activation allows you to do so via the Internet or over the phone. The keygen simply mimics what a person at the software company would do for you). Most the pitfalls of cracks, patches and serials do not hold true with a keygen; hence why it is considered the best!

    It's VERY important to read any NFO files that come along with the fix/release. The DIZ files just contain file version information not needed in "fixing" a software application.

    NFO and DIZ files are simple text files, so you could simply view them with any simple text editor and get the info you needed. However, they were designed to be viewed with an NFO viewer. It makes them easier to read and look pretty. Use google to find one.

    PLEASE BE AWARE THAT CRACKS, PATCHES, SERIALS AND KEYGENS CAN AND OFTEN DO CARRY TROJANS/VIRUSES/SPYWARE/MALWARE. HOWEVER YOU CAN ALSO GET FALSE POSITIVES!!!! IF YOU ARE NOT %100 SURE AND DO NOT HAVE ADEQUATE PROTECTION, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE ANY OF THEM. ALWAYS BACK UP EVERYTHING.

    How to use the four fixes

    Remember to follow the directions in the NFO files! This is only a general guide and could be incomplete in some cases. Always remember to back up the target file.

    CRACK

    To use a crack, in most cases you need to first install the program from a trial setup or from a provided retail install. After installation, you need to copy the cracked file into the installation directory of the program. Be sure the program is not running anywhere before "cracking" it! (Check the System Tray by the clock and do a CTRL+ALT+DEL and look for the executables.) For example, if you install an MP3 ripping program into the directory "C: - Program Files - MP3 Ripper", you need to navigate to that directory through Windows Explorer (My Computer -> C: -> Program Files -> MP3 Ripper) until you see the files that program uses to run. Now copy the crack file(s) into this directory. You will usually be prompted with something to the effect of "This file already exists, do you want to continue and overwrite it?" Click on YES. A crack overwrites the existing file or files that the program installed. Always back up. After replacing these files, frequently the program will now be registered the next time you start it up, allow you to register it with any information you like, or simply make it not care if it's registered or not. Cracks will usually remove any trial limitations, nag screens, etc. A crack is ONLY good for one version of a program. You can't use a crack to "crack" a newer version without downgrading that version after the crack is used.

    PATCH

    To use a patch, you start out the same as a crack. (READ THE NFO). First install the program from a trial install or retail install. Once installed, again navigate to the installed program's directory like in the "MP3 Ripper" example above. Copy the patch into that directory, however this time you shouldn't be prompted to overwrite anything. A patch, as described previously, is used to create a cracked EXE/DLL/etc. Run the patch you just copied into the program's directory by simply double-clicking it. Frequently there will be a button that says something to the effect of "Crack" or "Patch it". Clicking this button will instruct the patch to locate the file it needs to modify, double-check to make sure it's the correct file, then modify it however the patch was programed to do so. Some patches will perform multiple functions, such as patching a program and adding a Registry entry for licensing. After you have patched a program, you can delete the patch you copied into the folder. If you can backup before patching, do so. Backups are usually stored as FILENAME.BAK - renaming the .BAK extension to EXE or DLL (whatever it was originally) will restore the backup - just be sure to delete the patched file first or else you'll get an error from Windows for having two files with the same name in the same folder. Just like a crack, a patch is only good for a certain version of a program. Some patches are "generic" and will work for a limited number of versions, such as all v3.x (v3.1, v3.2, v3.3, etc). Read the NFO to see if that's the case!

    SERIAL

    When asked for registration details by the program, enter the information provided. A serial could be included in a simple text file, or sometimes it's in the NFO/DIZ file. Read the NFO if it's included. If the program doesn't prompt you for any registration information when it first starts up, look under the Help menu (or Help -> About). You should see a "Registration" or "Activate" or "Unlock" option. A drawback of a serial, is even though registered, it may not be registered to you. Sometimes this can show up if the program creates output files of any type. Frequently it doesn't cause any problems. Another large problem when it comes to serials - blacklisting. A "blacklisted" serial is a serial that has been programmed specifically not to work by the program author because it is known to be public. (A number of cracks simply remove such blacklisted serials.) If a program needs to do online updates (such an an antivirus or antispyware program), frequently a blacklisted serial will cause such updates to not work anymore. Finally, like a crack and a patch, serials may only work for a single version, but frequently work for all minor versions of the same major version (like in the v3.x example described above).

    KEYGEN

    The BEST of warez. This allows you to register a program without modifying it at all AND using any information you like. Using a keygen is a lot like using a serial, however it creates the information to type in when prompted for the registration information instead of simply having a specific set of details given to you. There is usually no need to move the keygen to anywhere special. Just double-click the keygen and you'll frequently see what to do. (Type in your name or any other requested information.) Sometimes you have to click a "Generate" button to create the licensing information you need. If the program requires activation, then the keygen will usually allow you to generate the information you need if you go through the program's "Phone Activation" method. Many programs will generate a hardware ID or some kind of reference number that you are supposed to read to the person on the other end of the phone at the software company. Instead, type the provided number or details into the appropriate spot in the keygen to generate the required "answer" to it. You then need to type the "answer" into the program where indicated. Usually documented in the NFO file. Like the other three releases, keygens may only work for a certain version (or a series of version like the v3.x example).

    If it doesn't work, it's possible it was a "bad release" (aka nuked). That means that it may work for some people and not for others. Just try to find another one.

    ALWAYS REMEMBER TO:
    Back up
    Read the NFO files
    Mac users use "little snitch" before registration
    Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday...


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  3. #2

    Default

    very nice tut, especially for those who are not that aware of the different types of file protection schemes and that whole scene,

    there is only one discrepancy that i have, and thats where u stated that KEYGENS are the best of warez, well i do have to agree that using a keygens provides a cleaner install along with a better chance of not getting weird errors like "general protection faults" and what not, however in certain cases, especially more often nowadays it is impossible to JUST have a keygen to make a proggie work due to the newer types of file protection/encryption.

    for example if you a have a SecuROM protected game, yes you could use a keygen to do the install but in order for the game to run properly or run at all you may (most likely) will have to replace a .DLL or a .DAT or .EXE with an Un-Packed (Stripped) version which does not include the SeucROM protection.

    only point i was trying to make is that in most cases nowadays it is almost necessary to replace a file with a patched one in order for it to run, but that does not make it better than a proggie that ONLY requires a keygen.

    again, thanks for your insight

  4. #3

    Default

    Hey,You just helped others by adding to my post.Thanx. Thats the whole point of these forums is to learn from,add to, and share ideas with other peers in this community.
    Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday...

  5. #4

    Default

    just tryin to help out where i can, i have alot of knowledge in the keygenning,cracking scene itself so if anyone had any questions about how copy schemes,protection,packers and all that great stuff id be glad to assist.

  6. #5

    Default

    Keygens are definitely the best. Run them under virtualization, use the generated code, and wipe your hands clean...

    What percent of cracks/patches/keygens from private trackers would you guys estimate have viruses?

    From public ones (TPB) I would say probably 70%, from private I would say 15%. If there's demand for it, I'll write a follow-up on what more you can do to protect yourself.

    Nice tutorial.

  7. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ck1 View Post
    Keygens are definitely the best. Run them under virtualization, use the generated code, and wipe your hands clean...

    What percent of cracks/patches/keygens from private trackers would you guys estimate have viruses?

    From public ones (TPB) I would say probably 70%, from private I would say 15%. If there's demand for it, I'll write a follow-up on what more you can do to protect yourself.

    Nice tutorial.

    yes keygens are great but a keygen alone is not gunna do anything against a SecuROM / Starforce protected app.

  8. #7

    Default

    Yes ck1, considering the percentage of viruses out there in this stuff, it probably would be a good idea to create a useful thread on how people can protect themselves and avoid countless hours of aggravation.
    Last edited by Openroads; May 28th, 2009 at 04:21 AM.
    Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday...

  9. #8

    Default

    Thanks... And must agree, I fancy a keygen above anything else.

    Some tips to avoid non-working or infected cracks, patches, serials or keygens messing up your PC:
    1) Avoid downloading from open torrent sites or private torrent sites where everybody can upload. Instead get it from private trackers with upload crew as they have tight rules and controls in place.
    2) Look for releases of groups that are well respected as they are most likely to deliver high quality.
    3) Before downloading read the comments already posted. This will give you a good sense whether it works or not. Even if initially a serial or keygen may work, serials may get blacklisted.
    4) As CK1 stated, trying the software in a virtual environment (VMWare) is a good way to perform your own test.
    5) Last but not least, be patient! Sooner or later a good release will come by.

  10. #9

    Default

    instead of going through all the trouble of setting up a virtualized environment, you could also run it in a sandbox (ex. Sandboxie)

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