Unformatted tracks

This was a simple method of protection employed by some software houses.

A single, unformatted track, usually at the start of the disc was an effective deterrent to casual copying. This defeated *BACKUP but would not defeat *COPY *.* on its own.

Later examples of this technique involved only formatting those tracks needed to store the data. For example, a 40 track disk may only have the first 20 tracks formatted.

Used by itself this is an uncommon method of protection but is found used in conjunction with other methods.

DEFEATING
The usual way to defeat this is to *COPY the files to a newly formatted disk. However, there may be a file on the disc which checks to see if a particular track is unformatted so that *COPY alone will not work. The checking file must be edited to miss out the check for unformatted tracks.

Sometimes this is very difficult because the program is written in a way to defeat editing. In this case a partial re-write may be necessary.

 

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