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Nero Essentials: DRM gone bad.

I was debugging a Windows application that makes use of DirectShow to render media - and for some strange reason, the application would terminate without warning when run under Visual Studio's debugger.

No error message, no exceptions, nothing. The application ran fine outside the debugger. I was able to debug the same code base several weeks ago without incident.

Poking around a bit, I isolated the line of code causing the silent termination: The DirectShow IGraphBuilder interface's Render method. Digging deeper, I find that the ultimate culprit is Ahead Nero 7 Essentials, which had been installed on my development system several weeks before. Apparently, Nero Essentials installs a variety of DirectShow filters on the target system, and, these filters actively prevent running under a debugger. In this case (on my development system), there was absolutely no error message or other indication of why - just a silent termination.

After I isolated the problem, I was able to determine that there is supposed to be a "Nero Protection Error" message box presented to the user, but it never appeared on my system, nor did the system event log contain any useful information. Feh.

The 'quick' solution: Unregister everything you find in the %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\ Ahead\DSFilter directory. Alternatively, rename the directory to something else (like DSFilter-disabled) - this will allow you to re-enable them later by renaming the directory back to DSFilter.

This gets my vote as one of the dumbest stunts I've ever seen. I am pretty sure there's nothing all that special about Nero's DirectShow filters, and, if someone really wants to reverse engineer them or break the protection/licensing, they will. This lame attempt does nothing more than encourage (force?) legitimate users to remove the Nero filters from their machines. Nice going. Did the developers or marketing geniuses stop to think about this use case?

Ahead Nero 7 Essentials just cost me an hour or more of productive time. Then there's the aggravation.

Lame. Stupid. Did I mention lame? And I used to *like* Nero software.

I can only hope that the same problem does not happen with Nero 8 and 9.

ImgBurn - Freeware, and it works!

Update: I've tried ImgBurn, a freeware CD/DVD image read/write utility, and so far, it looks good. UI is slightly wonky but it's a very good piece of free software - and, best of all, you can install it without Administrator rights. Give it a try!

Nero has become a bloatware

Nero has become a bloatware monster. It used to be good years ago, but now it's really horrible.

You should really take a look at the freeware alternatives, like ImgBurn (for data CDs and DVDs) and Burrrn (for audio CDs).

They work very well, and consume very little resources.


Tried ImgBurn. I like it!

Thanks for the tip on ImgBurn. I tried it, I like it, and I've updated the main post to reflect this fact.

That was my next step... freeware/open source

I've refused to purchase recent Nero editions for this very reason - the only reason I installed Nero 7 Essentials on my machine is because it was included with a DVD burner that was recently installed, and I needed to burn a DVD-ROM.

I won't make this mistake in the future.

DVD Burning softwarwe

I too just bought a burner that came with Nero 7 Essentials but I have not installed it.

Has anyone used DVD Cloner ? If so do you like it ?



I have a problem when it comes to my nero 7 essentials because if I try to remove it turns out that my shellmanager had been damaged how can I resolve that because I had lost my Cd please help me just mail it to my add..

Nero Clean Tool

Nero's site has a special Removal Tool. I wasn't able to uninstall all the files and programs with the uninstall tool that came wiyh the disc.

This tool cleared all the Nero Files left behind.


If you need more info, or the tool, let me know.


I too just bought and

I too just bought and installed a new lightscribe DVD/Rw burner. I told the sales man that i wanted to burn DVD's so he pointed out what i needed. After i got it installed and downloaded the Nero 7 essentials i spent 7 days 8 hours and more trying to burn a dvd and nothing would happen but alot of messages telling me the burn process was stoped and not complete. I finialy looked on google and found that i needed a nero burning rom. I uninstalled and reinstalled the nero 7 to read the agreement and in the agreement it says it includes a burning rom but clearly does not... I am very upset. I'm right back where i started.

Thanks for recommending ImgBurn -- it's GREAT!

I was having trouble writing files to my new Sony DVD drive with Nero 6 and Roxio. Roxio wouldn't even recognize the drive, and Nero would not only crash but take XP with it. I was contemplating installing Nero 7 Essentials, which came with the Sony drive, but did some googling to see what I was getting myself into ... and boy am I glad I found this site. I downloaded ImgBurn and it WORKED LIKE A CHARM! Sorry for the shouting, but I had wasted a couple of frustrating hours trying to get Roxio and Nero to work ... and then ImgBurn downloads AND burns the disk in the same amount of time I had been spending doing a forced restart after Nero crashed XP.

Thanks so much for the recommendation, Mike!

ImgBurn should be named ImgCharm.

Yes, it works like a CHARM! I've wasted so much time on stupid NERO 7.

Thank you so much!

Nero 7 Essentials

About one year ago my real Player Download`s CD-R burner stopped working. My Dell Dimension 3100 was "missing an essential component" I was told. "Buy a separate DVD burner". I bought HP DVD1040 Lightscribe at $80.00: supplied with Nero 7 Essentials "Bundle With Hardware Only".

Installed Nero 7 & my computer went haywire: Invaded by red coloured add-ons and unwanted extras. After some time (days) and with great patience could not burn any Real Downloads. Could not burn anything. I uninstalled Nero 7 & disconnected the DVD1040.

I am still not able to burn Real downloads & am hoping that my "Bad Disc" problem can be solved, but at least I can now use my computer. Any useful help for burning Real downloads onto CD-R or DVD-R would be appreciated. Thank you. Chris. A. Pirie.

Nero 7 Essentials HORRRRRRIBLE!!!!!

I really wish I had read this page before I installed the "Free" software that came with my lightscribe drive, all I wanted to do was label my orginal music CD's, and have them look a little more polished (I am a musician that produces my own stuff.) I had no problem installing the software, but appartenly "my license entitled me to options not installed, please update", so I figured what the Hell, it's free right??? After my download the machine said I needed to reboot, OK, no prob. On bootup...."windows cannont start due to missing or corrupt \windows\system32\config\system file" (or something like that) OUCH!!! 3 days and about 4 Billion curses later, I have managed to get my system running enough to get all my music (I regularly back up, but some of my most recent stuff not saved, I was FREAKIN' OUT!!!) anyway, thanks to Microsoft's guidance, and thankfully another computer to access the internet, and recover. All is well. Guess that serves me right for tryin to go LEGIT and not use cracked software. MyBad. Gonna try ImgBurn, hopefully it supports lightscribe labelling, cuz thats all I really need. 8)
Thanks for letting me Vent.

Nice, I've been trying to

Nice, I've been trying to rid myself of Nero for ages. Much appreciated.