Everybody with burner problems needs to check their systems for Starforce immediately–I would have saved money if I had.
I can whine all day about how some wacky chump company in Moscow broke my DVDRW drive, but that won’t get my $50 back. What I can do is refer everyone here to this thread, which will hopefully be stickied. After lurking a ton of posts, I’ve seen lots of people with the same problems that I’ve had that baffled me and whatever techsup and computer repair guys I know, until one mentioned “Starforce.” Follow this thread, and you will learn to kill Starforce like I did.
Starforce, for starters, is a malicious, insidious, clandestine program that stealthily (read: without your knowledge or consent) auto-installs itself on your computer with some games (older Ubisoft titles among them) and software packages. It is intended to be anti-piracy protection–but it “protects” data by changing how your computer works. Starforce interferes with the communication lines Windows and many burning programs use to communicate with your optical drives. Any time you do something it does not like, it will restart, blue screen you, freeze, or any number of other cra~zy f*ck-ups to prevent you from enjoying even legal software and often music CDs and DVD movies.
Starforce is also capable of permanently damaging your computer hardware, especially optical drives. It interferes when you try to burn a disc; whenever Windows XP detects packet loss during a burn, it will as a safety precaution slow down the DMA speed. Every. Time. You. Burn. So you may notice how slowly your opdrives are moving now–be afraid, because once it gets beneath 16-bit compatibility mode, real hard damage occurs that cannot be undone. My DVDRW drive will no longer read DVDs of any format, blank or game or movie, at all. Additionally, Windows will not recognize my new DVDRW drive as a DVDRW drive, but as a CD drive.
To detect Starforce:
- Right-click My Computer and select Properties.
- Select the Hardware tab and click on Device Manager.
- Click the View tab and select Show Hidden Devices.
- If any objects appear with the Starforce name, delete them and search your registry next by running REGEDIT.EXE, or follow the link provided here for further instructions and even utilities to kill Starforce for you.
Hopefully I will save some people from the nasty, nasty fate I suffered.