hidden program?

Computer tinkerers:

I am trying to install a program (Macromedia’s Flash 4- on a thirty day trial basis) on a system here at work. Apparently the previous user had used the trial already, but I couldn’t find any traces of the program anywhere. When I install (and I’ve tried downloading and a sample-CD install) I get a display that says my thirty days are up.

My question is: Did the original install hide a program somewhere that counts down the thirty days? Where would I go to find such a thing (and eradicate it?) I posed this question at Macromedia but no dice yet.

Any ideas?

This sort of thing is generally hidden in the system registry. They would likely use an innocuous sounding key name (probably a bunch of numbers) so you won’t be able to find it. The key stores the expiration date and Shockwave checks this date when you try to load it.

Only way around it is to completely reload windows (delete your registry first or it will be imported). The other thing you could do is set your system date back so that the program doesn’t know its expired - but they may have logic to help prevent this (e.g. another key that stores install date).

thanks, Cooper.

I got a reply from Macromedia: it seems they’re very concerned, understandably, about people futzing with the security features in order to use the trial software forever. Basically the answer is “tough noogies”. So no help from them.

I know someone who used the “set the clock back to keep using shareware” trick. All the emails I get from him nowadays are dated September, 1998.

Something you should definitely not do is download a cracking program. Although these programs are readily available on the Internet, they typically violate copyright laws, and so are completely illegal.

I assume this is irrelevant to your case but, as you did not specifically cover it, I’ll bring it up. You did just download the trial copy, right? It wasn’t already sitting on there but not installed, right?