Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sony CDs Rootkit Your Windows PC

This is a good article to skim if you are not a techy, and to bookmark if you are at all interested in self-maintenance of your Windows PC.

The horror show is this: Sony DRM(digital rights management)-protected music CDs will royally screw up your machine, slow it down permanently, take over control of your CD drive, and make life miserable for you -- all without a mention in the EULA and with no way for you to remove the software. For all this joy, you pay $18.99 to Sony. Have a good day.

Makes me recall the time Sony's online music service took over one of my machines. It was a bear to get rid of!

Bottom line from me is:
  • Do not allow your CD-ROM drive to Autorun when loaded. It's too easy for automatically-loaded bad software to mess up your machine. To disable Autorun (default is enabled!) in Windows XP: Start->My Computer->right click on CD (and/or DVD) drive->Autoplay tab->Take No Action.
  • Don't buy DRM-protected music that requires you to listen to it on your PC. Instead, download the tracks from an online store like iTunes, or copy the mp3 files on an Apple Mac, where the DRM software is not installed.
  • If you do not heed the above, and bring your DRM-protected CD to work, make sure you have your resume up to date. Your IT department may be exceedingly displeased when your personal entertainment screws up corporate property.


  1. Gail, Jack and Peter, y'all ROCK! I was just checking the blog and I had just heard about the Sony DRM issue, on Todd Cochrane's podcast, website Geek News Central Revealing Links & Useful Technical Information. My question/concern, isn't bmg music part of sony too? I get CDs from them, and I always rip them, so I can burn a cd of favorite songs. I may never know, cause my mobo went south, it locks up and blue screens all the time, long story... but, I've ordered another mobo and AMD64 (eeek, I've gone to the "dark side" lol). My understanding of rootkits, is an OS install gets rid of them. But, I definitely plan on checking out the rootkit revealer in the sysinternals link. Thanks all for pointing out this potentially very ugly issue to us all!

  2. not only can you bookmark it, but they have an RSS FEED!! ;)


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