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One of the most common forms of software copy protection requires that software be “authorized” to operate on a particular system. This is usually accomplished by writing a special, hidden key or authorization file to the main hard drive that the program looks for when it boots up. The process of authorizing a drive to run a particular application usually involves either the creation of the special file from a “key disk” or by the program itself once the proper serial number or other authorization code has been entered. The little key file cannot be easily copied or moved to another drive (without damaging it so it doesn’t work) so authorizations are considered to be an effective form of copy protection.

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