DVD Cracking for Win98
How to get a region code free M$ DVDPlayer
by +Frog's Print
courtesy of reverser's pages of reverse engineering
(published at reverser's in September 1999)

Here is a quick explanation of the very lame Micro$oft protection for DVD region codes.
It has been said that you can change your DVD region code settings as many times as you want under Win95 but that you just cannot do the same under Win98 because it is set during the installation process.
It this true?
No.

During the installation, Win98 add the following Reg key:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion]
"DVD_Region"="x"

where "x" is your region code.
However, it's useless :(

To run M$ DVD player the 2 files you need are located in your windows directory but if they are not installed, you'll find them on the Win98 CD inside the file named DRIVER17.CAB:
- dvdplay.exe (the DVD player)
- dvdrgn.exe (undocumented DVD region code changer)

If you run Dvdrgn.exe, the program informs you that it cannot be ran without command line arguments. You must insert a DVD inside your DVD-Rom and type:

dvdrgn x

where x is your DVD-Rom drive letter.

Finally, you'll get a nice dialogbox which allows you to select and change your region codes. Of course it is mentionned that you cannot change your region settings more than 5 times.
All you need to reverse this little problem is RegMon.
Run it, and change your region settings with Dvdrgn.exe.
Checking your RegMon listing, you'll see that window$ will analyse your date and timezone informations to generate a new Reg key:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Gxxxxxxxx]

The 8 "x" are alphanumeric chars calculated depending on your computer configuration.
My key is "G166314S5".

If you have a look at the value of this key you'll see:
"a5a_"=hex:23,26,41,5c
Again your key will be different from this one.

What is it?
The first hex value (0x23) is the region code (Region 2 in the above example), the second value (0x26) is how many times you have changed your region code settings.
You should change several time your region code (with dvdrgn.exe) and analyse how your reg key is modified.
Other values are useless for our purpose.
On my computer, here are the different values:

First hex value:
-Region code 1=0x23
-Region code 2=0x20
-Region code 3=0x26
-Region code 4=0x2a
-Region code 5=0x32
-Region code 6=(I lost this hex value :-(

Second hex value
-Code changed 1 time  = 0x26
-Code changed 2 times = 0x21
-Code changed 3 times = 0x20
-Code changed 4 times = 0x23
-Code changed 5 times = 0x22 (last try)

Again don't forget that your values will be different from those ones!

As you can understand, you don't have anything to crack, all you have to do is to create some reg key files and put them on your desktop so you'll just click on them each time you want to change your region code.
For instance, using the above example we have:

Filename "Region_1.reg":
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\G166314S5]
"a5a_"=hex:23,26,41,5c

Filename "Region_2.reg":
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\G166314S5]
"a5a_"=hex:20,26,41,5c

And so on...

Note that there are not a lot of DVD softs which used this key. One of them is XingDVDPlayer, but it uses it's own keys as well ([HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Xing Technology Corp.\XingDVD Player]) very easy to bypass too.

Happy DVD watching ;-)
 

+Frog's Print
 

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