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DiscFree technology

StarForce DiscFree is an extra tool for improving a software publishers customer service. StarForce DiscFree makes it faster, easier and more reliable to launch protected applications. The technology provides a higher level of compatibility as compared to regular disk protections systems, thus helping reduce the publishers customer service related costs and efforts.

StarForce DiscFree enables users to run protected applications without original media in their optical drives by activating the applications online. In addition, the technology allows to create a fully operational backup copy of the original protected software disc.

StarForce DiscFree protected software allows the user to select a launch method on application startup. The user can choose online activation or opt for disk authentication when online access is unavailable. Online activation will eliminate the need to use the original protected software disk in future.

Offline and other activation options are available for users without online access.

An exclusive feature of the StarForce DiscFree technology provides a way to change protected software startup settings at any time. The user can run the purchased software under any circumstance.

The user can also protect the original software disk by creating a backup disk copy. The backup copy is activated with a unique serial number that can be supplied with protected software or provided separately at the users request.

Depending on the publishers distribution policy StarForce DiscFree can be implemented on one or multiple user machines.


StarForce DiscFree technology benefits:

  • Significantly reduces the number of copy protection related phone calls to the publishers customer service
    hotline 1.
  • Original protected software disc is not required to run the software. 
    StarForce carried out a series of surveys among software users with regards to their complaints about existing copy protection technologies. The surveys helped establish that:
    • 50% of gamers are annoyed that they have to insert the original disc into the optical drive to start a game every time
    • 30% of users are afraid of damaging the original software disk when using it on a regular basis.
  • Ensures long-term physical safety of the original media.
  • Driverless technology2. Using a backup copy of the original protected software disk to run the application obviates the need to use emulation protection with drivers.
  • Allows a licensed user to run a protected application on two computers simultaneously, such as at home and in the office.
  • Ensures compliance with legal requirements in many countries providing a licensed user with the right to create and own backup copies of purchased software3.

StarForce DiscFree can be supplied as part of the disk protection technology implemented in FrontlLine Disc and FrontLine Universal products and as such used for distribution of protected applications on CD/DVD and CD-R/DVD-R discs.


Tips for software publishers on using StarForce DiscFree:

Publishers should provide StarForce unique serial numbers to users who want to activate their protected software online. The provided serial numbers will be used as proofs of purchase.

Distributed software can be activated with license keys issued by software developers or publishers. In this case StarForce unique serial numbers are not required.

Serial number issuing policy as applied to StarForce DiskFree is defined by the publisher. Serial numbers can be bundled with distributed protected software or provided at the users request.

Publishers can track software activations by using the personal web office feature. In addition, this feature allows publishers to change serial number issuing policies, enable or disable serial numbers and perform many other functions.

The StarForce DiskFree Users Guide is included as part of the software protection system. Upon launching their protected software users can read though a concise version of the Guide.


Users may want to activate StarForce DiscFree:

  • in case of disk check failure or other issue related to using optical media (such as CD/DVD, CD-R/DVD-R) to run the protected application. In this case an automatic on-screen notification will ask the user to activate StarForce DiscFree. 
  • in case a user prefers to refrain from using the original software disk after installing the application. In this case the original disk will be used for software installation only.
    Under normal conditions, the need to insert the original software disk in the optical drive every time a user wants to run the software becomes an annoying factor for the user. In addition, frequent use of the original disk and regular disk checks by the protected software may accelerate disk and optical drive wear leading to technical issues and poor user experience. The StarForce DiscFree technology allows the user to create a backup disk copy by pressing Ctrl or Shift key when launching the protected software.
  • in case the original software disk is damaged and cannot be used to reinstall the software. The user is then able to reinstall the software from a backup copy of the original disk. Creating a backup disk copy and obtaining a unique serial number makes it possible for the user to legally reinstall and run the purchased software. However, this option is not included by default and therefore must be enabled by the software publisher.


1 Statistically, 80% of copy protection issues occur during authentication of a protected software disk inserted by the user in the optical drive.

2 Protection strategy involving drivers is criticized by many users who dislike the idea of installing unnecessary drivers on their computers. StarForce protection drivers are implemented in software distributed on optical discs exclusively to prevent licensed media emulation.

3 In countries with low software piracy levels user complaints are mostly related to users inability to exercise their legal rights of creating backup copies of legally purchased software.