« Part 2 of a 7-part series on Advanced Searching for Copyrighted Content »
Part 2. Search for a ‘Crack/Keygen’ for it.
There are only so many ways in which you can exhaust all avenues in the search for a tiny computer program that charges $50 to register it. You’ve checked BitTorrent - no, not there. IRC? maybe - but the IRC websites aren’t giving any hits. Limewire? - fahgettaboutit. The newsgroups? - very likely, but not everyone has Usenet access.
One solution to this problem is to download the original release from the official software publisher’s website. Haha, almost got you there!! No, but seriously folks - download the original …and then apply a ‘crack, patch or keygen’ to it.
The trick is, though, is to make sure you have the crack, serial or keygen FIRST before deciding which legal software you need to use. There’s not much point in downloading the software beforehand and then search for the crack afterwards (you may not find it). The good thing about software development is that it’s extremely competitive - so you’ll likely find 5 different similar programs all created to do the same job. This tip can be applied from a couple of different angles.
First, do some research on what type of software you need, and see if there are available substitutions to suit your needs. If the software is something totally specific, such as “RSS Submit v2.36″ then this will also work - but it helps if you have a second (or third) similar option in case you can’t find a ‘crack’ for the first one. And an older version of the same software does count as another option - you’ll likely run into this scenario some time down the line if you practice this tip often enough.
Why this ‘Crack’ tip/method?
Q:Why use this tip to find pirated software, instead of other less complicated methods such as BitTorrent, P2P programs or IRC?
A:The main reason is for availability. Looking at it from a ‘crack website’ standpoint - it’s fairly easy on server resources to keep a database of 100,000 or more small ZIP files. If you can’t find something on any of the file sharing protocols or networks, you’ll likely find a crack for it and be able to do it yourself. In fact, we recommend this method above any other when it concerns smaller applications.
The other reason is that the differing qualities between a ‘fully registered’ version and a ‘trial’ version are usually negligible in most smaller applications. The only difference is usually just a few key features being ‘unlocked’ to registered versions. And the ‘crack’ solves those little nuances quite handily.
Why ‘Crack’ Sites?
Why use ‘crack’ sites when you can just find a serial number somewhere? Simple - because you’re looking for something that has been released by a proper Release Group. The best crack sites (we prefer cracknews.com) will not only supply a crack or serial number - they will give you the entire official ‘crack’ package which will include either a crack, or a serial number/registration code, or a keygen. And it will always include an official *.NFO file that contains the installation and cracking procedures/instructions specific to that software release. The NFO was put there by the same release group who put out the software, cracked it and made it available.
As with ALL pirated releases, the .NFO file is the most important part
Most crack websites won’t include the actual software with the release package (because of legality issues), which is why you need the *.NFO file. The NFO file will (in most cases) supply a link to the software publisher’s website - where you’ll usually be able to download the program. Such said ‘package’ will also include a crack or keygen (or other similar ‘patch’ type file). And if they aren’t found, then it means the software likely only requires some simple registration data to input into the program after installation. The NFO file will stipulate exactly what needs to be done to get it working exactly as a fully paid, retail version.
The Complete ‘Crack’ Process
Moving right along, assuming you have something picked out - for our example “RSS Submit 2.36″ is as good as any. Visit a reputable ‘crack’ website listed below and conduct a search for it. If it’s not listed on one, try another.
(You can also use ’serials’ sites as well, in case something can’t be found on the above sites, or the software only requires ‘registration’ info. NOTE: Avoid the “crack” search links on the site listed below - some are undesirable):
For our example, we searched for “RSS Submit” at cracknews.com (the best ‘crack’ site by far). Shown below is the “Site Search” bar at cracknews (which will only show results from their site, and not elsewhere - recommended. Use ‘external’ searching at your own risk). NOTE: You can also change your search parameters for alternative results - not all sites process searching in the same manner. Search for “RSS” and “Submit” separately to broaden the query.
And here are the “Site Results”. Cracknews found 9 results for RSS Submit, and one of them matches exactly to v2.36. Click the link.
You’ll need to enter the 4-digit code to separate you from computer bots, and then click download:
As mentioned above, you’ll be downloading the entire release package. For the above “RSS Submit” example, the file name is RSS.Submit.v2.36.Cracked-F4CG.zip. Open it with your favorite ZIP program (WinRAR is best). In this case, contained within the zip file are 3 files. Extract the entire contents to a folder on your computer.
The first thing to notice is the .NFO file - notably “f4cg.nfo” in the above screenshot. The “file_id.diz” file is included with proper pirated releases to denote the validity of the release itself and serves no other purpose, so disregard it. And the ‘crack.zip’ file is of importance (obviously) but it is the NFO that explains the procedure. Most NFO files follow a similar format - you’ll be able to find a link to the official version, you’ll find information about the software, and you’ll be given some installation instructions. Here’s the one from above:
In the above example, we are instructed to visit www.dummysoftware.com. More often than not, you’ll need to browse around or even conduct a search for the specific software. Once found, download it. As the ‘Installation Instructions’ stipulate, install the software, and after installation, unzip the ‘crack.zip’ file into your installed directory (usually somewhere in “C:\Program Files\”). It will probably overwrite an existing file, select YES to replace it with the ‘cracked’ version. Voila! A fully registered working version is now yours!
NOTE: You may need to ‘register’ the filetype .NFO so that you can view it. If you’re prompted to “OPEN WITH…” - select Notepad as the program.
Additional ‘Crack’ Solutions
OK, you’ve been browsing around and found a cool application that you want, (i.e. “RSS Submit v2.36″). So you visited cracknews.com and searched for it, only to find that the ‘crack’ that is being offered is for version 2.34, and it’s the only one listed. So you went back to the first site and tried to find the 2.34 version, but are stymied since it’s not anywhere to be found. (This is because many/most software vendors remove these older software versions from their websites).
Sometimes you can actually ‘patch’ a newer version with an older crack - this will work occasionally. But before you resort to drastic measures, first check to see if you can find an older version of it, and patch the proper one. Here’s a list of software sites that offer older versions of software, but you’re more likely to have success by just doing an old-fashioned Google-search for it (be sure to include the old version number when searching).
Related Articles: * • [Dupecheck / NFO Websites
»](../../../02/01/advanced-searching-for-copyrighted-content-part-iii-nfo-websites/) * • Using Cracks, Keygens, Serials » * • Proper Pirate ‘Tags’ » * • Advanced ‘DDL’ Searching » * • Find ‘Free’ Expensive Software »
www.tucows.com - a
good starting point for older titles.
www.filehippo.com - another great site for all versions of software.
www.oldversion.com - a repository of older software, but the selection is slim.
www.oldapps.com - same as above
www.oldware.org - same.
If you DO find it, you’ll be able to properly patch the old one, and even possibly do an ‘in-program’ update to the latest version.
Crack sites bring us to our next tip - How to validate if a ‘release’ is official or not with “Dupecheck / NFO websites”.