DVDFab Platinum and Vista 64

vbimport

#1

DVDFab Platinum is without a doubt the best DVD backup solution on the market so not having this available on my Vista 64 system is a major pain. I would like to use this thread to capture information about DVDFab Platinum and Vista 64 with the goal of either finding a work-around or at least passing along whatever information is available to help the developers fix the Vista 64 problem(s).

I would like to skip the philosophical questions regarding Windows vs. Linux, Vista vs. XP and 32 bit vs. 64 bit that always seem to creep into threads like this and just focus on what is known about running DVDFab Platinum in Vista 64. I have looked into this for a while on my own system and it appears to me that the problem is likely to be a simple fix for the developers which is important to determine since Vista 64 probably isn’t widely enough adopted to justify a large, complex fix.

To start with, I have a question for Fengtao which is this; When you say DVDFab Platinum “supports Vista”, is it your intent to support both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Vista at this time? If you are not intending to support Vista 64 at this time, do you have a date estimate or a version number targeted for this support? Also, if you do not intend to support Vista 64 at this time, you should put an asterisk next to “Vista” on the product pages stating this so people don’t think that “Vista” in the supported systems section means Vista 64.

Ok, here is what I know about DVDFab Platinum on Vista 64.

  1. First of all, DVDFab Decrypter runs perfectly on Vista 64. I have never had a problem with DVDFab Decrypter on V64 even back with pre-release versions. I have probably been using DVDFab Decrypter for almost a year.

  2. The Patin-Couffin drivers appear to work fine on V64. I say “appear” because I can only use the simple menu-based functions to test them an don’t have any other product that uses them.

  3. DVDFab Platinum has had the same exact crash problem on V64 going back at least 5 or 6 versions (whatever version was current when V64 was released). I have now tested it up through version 3.0.9.0 Beta. Here is what I know about the V64 Crash:

> When DVDFab Platinum is installed clean (all DVDFab files removed plus all DVDFab entries removed from the registry), it will install without error messages and conclude by asking for a reboot.

> When it is run after the reboot, it will start up and ask for the purchase verification key. When you enter the key, it will restart DVDFab Platinum which will crash immediately after the restart.

> DVDFab Platinum is setup to install when run as an administrator or not. It stores the keys for each permission context in a separate registry location. This means you can run the installation without checking the “Run as an administrator” option and go through the key request process where it will then crash everytime you attempt to run it. You can then run the installation again with the “Run as an administrator” box checked and it will ask for the key again. Unfortunately, it will crash in that mode just as with the first mode.

> Looking at a trace without benefit of source or symbols, it appears that it may be crashing in an integer math section which could be the key hashing logic. Perhaps there is some dependency on 32 bit integers. Only a developer with access to the souce code will be able to run a debug session on a Vista 64 system to find out for sure.

> I get the exact same crash results on an Intel Pentium D (950) desktop computer and two laptops that both have Intel Core 2 processors with Vista 64 on them. I have a Desktop that is identical except that it’s running XP SP2 and DVD Platinum runs fine there (of course ;-). These computers are all fully stacked with 2 to 4 gigs of RAM, 500+ gigs of hard drive space, etc. I use Plextor and NEC DVD writers. I have tried

Questions:

  1. Has anyone been able to get a version of DVDFab Platinum to run on a Vista 64 installation? If so, please describe your system (Intel vs. AMD, etc.)and anything you did to get DVDFab Platinum to run.

  2. Does anyone have any additional information about DVDFab Platinum crashes on Vista 64? If so, please describe anything that might help others locate or reproduce the issues.

Thanks!


#2

A well thought out and written post that I hope will bring a response from Fengtao or someone with your OS and similar problems. As an XP user, I can offer only this suggestion: if you are entering the key manually or with copy/paste, try putting the keyfile on your desktop and just double clicking it (after a clean reinstall). The manual type entries have produced unexpected results for me once or twice; the double click has never failed.


#3

Did you try the 3.0.9.0Beta that came out last night?


#4

Hey Jimbo
See item 3 in his post.:slight_smile:
P.


#5

OLd age I guess must have forgot while reading his well put together post :rolleyes: Thanks P


#6

Yes, I’ve tried entering the key as the defined document type but you get the same results. I found both key locations in the registry and have verified that the keys are being stored correctly (in admin mode or otherwise).


#7

Ok, will Fab run without you entering your reg keys? Have you tried that? If it has anything to do with the way the keys are hashing, then we can narrow that down buy just running the “trial” version.


#8

Ok, will Fab run without you entering your reg keys? Have you tried that? If it has anything to do with the way the keys are hashing, then we can narrow that down buy just running the “trial” version.

That is a great suggestion and something I would like to try but I have not found the way to do so yet. I’m not sure why, but from the very first installation of DVDFab platinum, the key dialog stated that “The trial period has expired, you must enter your key to continue using DVDFab Platinum” (perhaps because I had been using DVDFab Decrypter for so long). Even after I removed all registry keys under “DVDFab” labels, this behavior has persisted.

Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks - D


#9

Hi Dilburt,

We have tested DVDFab on Vista 64 with AMD 64 CPU, and it works ok.

We will set up a Vista 64 with Intel CPU to see the result asap.

Best Regards,
Fengtao


#10

It occurs to me that an on-topic response to this question might compromise the security of the software, so if anyone knows how to do this, I hope they will refrain from posting it in the forum; send a PM instead. It’s obviously not in the interest of any paying user to have DVDFab become unsupported freeware.:slight_smile: In the meantime you might try this link for a really clean uninstall and try it again. The software knows the difference between Platinum and Decrypter, so I’m not sure why you are getting the prompt to register.


#11

Now that’s support.:clap: Thanks Fengtao.


#12

You know, I thought about saying that but ultimately decided that anyone clever enough to have that particular “suggestion” for me would also know enough to to send it privately :rolleyes: . But I appreciate your concern in pointing this out and as a licensed customer, I certainly agree with you. I wouldn’t want anyone to publicly post something that would compromise the developer’s ability to get paid for their hard work.

I thought I had done a complete clean install but after reviewing StormJumper’s tips I see a couple of small steps that I missed. I will run his clean install process later on and see if that could make a difference. I’ll post my results when complete. - D


#13

Great!:bigsmile: Will look forward to a good result. And it won’t hurt to have the developer looking into it on his end.:clap:


#14

Hi Dilburt,

We have tested DVDFab on Vista 64 with AMD 64 CPU, and it works ok.

We will set up a Vista 64 with Intel CPU to see the result asap.

Best Regards,
Fengtao

Thanks Fengtao, I really appreciate your quick response. By the way, my Vista 64 machines are dual processor Intels (Pentium D and Core 2). Let me know if I can get you any other information. - D


#15

Great! Will look forward to a good result. And it won’t hurt to have the developer looking into it on his end.

I was really hoping that the suggestions from signals and OutlawPro would take care of the crashes but unfortunately, it turned out exactly like every other approach I’ve tried. :doh: StormJumper’s clean install process had a few things in it that I hadn’t done but when I ran through everything it was mostly just due to the differences between XP and Vista (plus I think Fengtao has improved the uninstall since that clean install document was written since many things had already been cleaned up during the uninstall).

I’m really starting to think that the same thing that caused DVDFab Platinum to never work as a free trial on my Vista 64 systems could be related to my crashes. For example, the initial install may come pre-configured with a key that enables the 30-day free trial. When the system goes to verify the key it fails on an error condition but it’s interpreted as an expired key. Once a valid key is entered, it changes the situation further causing the crash.

I’m probably wrong but it’s an interesting coincidence.

Let me know if you have any suggestions.

… and thanks to everyone for the help! :slight_smile: - D


#16

Yippeee!!! :clap:

I just found the problem :cool: it was the hardware Data Execution Prevention (DEP) feature that is managed by the newer processors in concert with Vista and the later revisions of XP. DEP is designed to prevent certain exploits that take advantage of the ability to slip data pages into the system containing code that is then executed. DEP throws an exception if this condition is detected that immediately aborts execution of the current process. :cop:

While I was typing in my last post I recalled that certain encryption techniques also use a form of data execution so I turned off DEP for DVDFab Platinum, fed it the key and up it pops, ready to run. I haven’t burned anything yet but I’m betting it’s all going to be fine from here.

Fengtao - Normally, Windows presents a very specific error message when a process exits from a DEP exception so I’m not sure how or why DVDFab Platinum exits with a normal crash dialog. You should be able to easily reproduce this crash by turning on DEP in BIOS (requires a newer processor) and then also turning on DEP for “all programs and services except those I select” under the DEP tab in the advanced system settings section of the Vista “System” dialog (same one used for page files, system restore, etc.). Once you have the system setup like this, it should throw a DEP exception as soon as you enter the key. Once you enter DVDFab Platinum into the dialog for the programs you don’t want to use DEP, the crashes will stop.

AMD processors have a similar system called XD so you might get the same results if you enable that in BIOS/Vista 64 in the same way. As a matter of fact, this may even happen in Vista 32 if the DEP system is enabled the same way. Anyone out there with Vista 32 want to verify this?

Cheers - D


#17

This is also happening on Vista 32


#18

Then your problem is elsewhere. Please discribe your problem in more detail.:confused:


#19

Then your problem is elsewhere. Please discribe your problem in more detail.

Alan, I originally assumed this problem was related to Vista 64 but after detailed tracing and testing I isolated it to the DEP (Data Execution Prevention) feature that is available in Vista 64/32 and in XP SP2 onward. This feature is supported in hardware by the Intel XD (eXecute Disable) technology and AMD’s NX (No eXecute) technology only found on newer processors. I’ve verified that this will only happen on newer Intel processors with XD enabled and with DEP enabled for “all programs and services”.

I don’t have a Vista 32 system to test on but I would be willing to bet that you can produce this same crash on any Vista 32 or 64 bit system if you configure it as I’ve specified. DEP simply throws an exception if the processor trys to execute a page that has been marked as “data” instead of “program”. The “page” concept is the same on 64 and 32 bit processors so DEP should throw an exception on Vista 32 the same as on Vista 64.

Anyone who has a processor with the XD or NX feature should be using it along with the “all programs and services” mode because it provides a level of protection against exploits or misbehaved programs that is light years ahead of anything available previously. Invalid pointers can produce some of the most destructive crashes which is why Intel and Microsoft have added these features. Let me emphasize that the DEP exception that DVDFab Platinum throws IS NOT DESTRUCTIVE. It’s possible that Fengtao uses a sophisticated encryption technique or other software approach that uses self-modifying code but it’s also possible that the program has a bad pointer that just happens to point to nothing important. In either case, I found no evidence that it causes any problem on my computer.

However, I’ve been running my Vista 64 system this way since the day I installed it and DVDFab Platinum is the only program I have had to register so far to prevent a DEP exception. - D


#20

Just so nobody thinks I was suggesting some hack to bypass the reg key entry, what I meant was try to find some legit method to get back to a clean fresh install of DVDFab that starts the trial version. It didn’t occur to me at the time I posted that it might be considered a way of resetting the trial period. It would be nice to see if he has this same issue on a cleanly formatted Vista install. I purchased DVDFab and support it fully and would never suggest hacking it.