CDs and DVDs may be copy protected, using a security software package. Currently, there are two methods used to secure a copy protected CD or DVD. The first method involves creating a physical mark (watermark) on the CD or DVD during the burning process. The second method involves encrypting the CD or DVD data in a "pre-master" version of the resulting disc. Copy protection software may use one of these methods, or may combine methods for added security. Some low cost options include CDShield and CrypKey. Both of these packages encrypt the CD or DVD data to prevent copying. Both offer trial versions for evaluation. Additionally, certain CD and DVD writers such as HexaLock systems, when used with compatible software and media, provide disc copy protection during the burning process.
Install the CD or DVD copy protection software. Reboot the computer, if necessary.
Prepare the CD or DVD data pre-master. Using Windows Explorer, create a new folder and name according to CD or DVD project.
Copy all files to reside on the CD or DVD into the new folder.
Select all files to be transferred to the disc. Right-click on the selected files.
Select the archiving program from the context menu. Using an archiving application like WinZip, create the executable (EXE) file. The executable file will be one zipped file containing all files to be transferred to the CD or DVD.
Delete all files from the pre-master folder, except for the executable file created in the previous step.
Open the copy protection software application.
Click the "Selection Files" or "Add Files" button to add the executable file to the copy protection program interface.
Select Level of Protection from the Options menu. Select Stealth, Message Error on Copy or CD Key Request. If CD Key Request is selected, a key or passcode will be required to open the data. If Message Error is selected, the user attempting to copy the data will receive an error during the copy process. The Stealth method just kills the CD or DVD recording process with no warning or error.
Click the "Secure Process" or "OK" button to begin the encryption process, depending on the software you are using.
Burn the encrypted executable file to the CD or DVD. The data has now been encrypted and copy protected.