The latest Anastacia album (Sony Music) comes up with a next generation copy protection system which is not passively based upon bad sectors or TOCs anymore relying on the firmware weaknesses of the optical drives. The disc installs - without prompting for permission - a driver which interferes with the digital audio extraction causing awfully ripped tracks which have numerous drop-outs. In opposite to first generation audio copy protections like CactusDataShield, key2audio, DOC.loc, MediaCloq or Copy-X this new protection is working hardware-indenpendently.
The CD is a standard CD-Extra without any C2-errors (a scan with PlexWriter Premium and PlexTools 2.10 couldn't find any C2- or CU-errors). On the disc itself you can find the Compact Disc Digital Audio Text logo. Surprisingly, the cover does not have such a logo.
As this copy protection works like SunnComm's MediaMax CD3 system (e.g. Anthony Hamilton - Comin' From Where I'm From, US-market), it can be deactivated in the same way.
There are 3 scenarios:
I) Use an operating system which is resistant against the driver:
a) Windows NT4: The installer crashes ('script error') after CD autorun is done and no driver is installed.
b) Linux: As there is no binary compatibility with Windows software and there's no autorun, nothing will be installed.
II) The CD has never been inserted and the driver has not been installed, yet:
a) In order to avoid the installation of the driver, just hold down the SHIFT-key before you insert the disc and keep it held down until Windows has recognized the disc (20 seconds should be long enough). This suppresses Windows's autorun so that the installer will not be started.
b) Looking forward to forthcoming software driver protected audio CDs, I'd suggest to deactivate Windows' autorun in general:
Windows 98: Device Manager -> CD-ROM -> (name of the drive) -> Settings -> DISABLE auto insert notification -> Reboot.
Windows 2000 / XP: regedit -> HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM -> CurrentControlSet -> Services -> Cdrom -> set autorun = 0 -> Reboot.
c) Windows 2000 / XP: Log on as a user who neither has administrator nor power user priviledges. This makes the autorunning installer crash ('script error') so that there will be no driver installed on the system. Nevertheless, the driver file will be copied to the hidden directory %USERPROFILE%\Local settings\Temp but can be deleted without any problems.
d) Windows 98 / 2000 / XP: Insert the CD before Windows has finished booting. In that case the autorun will not be performed and nothing will be installed. NEVER run the program \BIN\WIN32\START.EXE on the CD. This is the installer.
III) The CD has been inserted, yet, and the interfering driver is installed and active
There are 2 symptoms: Awfully ripped tracks and an increased (by the factor 2) ripping speed. In that case you need to uninstall the driver manually:
a) Windows 98: You can find in C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\ the virtual device driver NSYSAUDM.VXD. As long as Windows is up and running, you cannot delete this file as it is in use. Because of this, restart the PC in MS-DOS mode and enter the following command line:
In case Windows is installed in another directory, enter the proper path instead. I haven't found out, yet, how the driver is loaded and started. Searching the registry for NSYSAUDM had no matches.
Alternatively, it is also possible to uninstall the driver with the help of the command line SCANREG /RESTORE. But make sure, that you have neither installed any other software nor changed any system settings after you inserted the CD the first time.
b) Windows 2000 / XP: The kernel-driver file is named cdrmkaun.sys and is saved in the hidden directory %USERPROFILE%\Local settings\Temp\ (e.g. C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local settings\Temp). You cannot simply delete the file because it is in use. In order to uninstall the driver you need administrator priviledges (maybe a poweruser is enough, too). Be careful following the steps below, as you edit the Windows registry!
1.) Start -> Run -> regedt32 (NOT regedit !!!)
2.) Change to window HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
3.) Navigate to key SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\cdrmkaun.
4.) Delete this key by pressing the DEL-key.
5.) Navigate to key SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root\LEGACY_CDRMKAUN.
6.) In menu Security choose Permissions.
7.) Give Everyone Full Control for this registry key.
8.) Now you can delete this registry key.
9.) Repeat the last steps for the cdrmkaun-key in CurrentControlSet1 and CurrentControlSet2 if existant.
10.) Reboot the Computer.
11.) Using Windows Explorer, navigate to %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp.
12.) Delete the following files: cdrmkaun.sys, CmdLineExt02.dll, SIntf16.dll, SIntf32.dll, SIntfIcn.ani und SIntfNT.dll.
After successfull uninstallation, don't forget to suppress Windows' autorun when inserting the CD again! Otherwise the driver will be installed again, ref. to chapter IIa or IIb.