Can someone rerun a trial by downloading it again? (SOLVED)

If you set up a trial of a book giving (say) 3 days. What’s to stop anyone deleting the book then downloading it and repeating the 3-day trial as often as they want?

I have not tested this feature as yet but I have thought about the possibilities. Tech Support can clarify any portions of my response.

Keep in mind, if you want it really protected, you will need to do something’s yourself with scripting. Again, since I have not tested this myself as yet, I am not sure where or in what file this is stored. I agree, you don’t want the user to uninstall and reinstall to start the 3 day trial again.

I would suggest using an installation package to install your program. This will give you more flexibility but is not required. This would let the user uninstall and you can clear most of the settings, from the uninstaller and/or your EXE with the exception of the flags left to prevent the program running in the 3 day mode trial again.

Keep in mind, in a script, you can read and write to the registry and/or you can create and read text files that could be used for the flags. On the first run of your EXE, set the flags, if not already set. Each time your EXE is ran, first, check to see if it is registered, if it’s not registered, then do your custom checks to see if it was already installed, by verifying the flags. If it has been already been installed, show a message that they need to register to view the data.

You can be creative in setting your flags. Be sure your flags won’t interfere with each other, if you have more than one publication that needs to be registered separately.

Again, Tech Support will clarify my response.


When the trial has expired, redownloading the file does not remove the expiration state, so the ebook won’t work again.
It works the way HawkeyeTX described, however, you don’t have to do it yourself (scripting, registry…): HTML Executable takes care of everything.

Thanks for both your replies. My next concen applies to both comments. What if, after uninstalling the trial book, the customer simply runs regedit and deletes all the registry keys relating to the trial book? Won’t a reload of the trial then run as if it was a first-time installation?

Well, we cannot tell you how the publication stores its trial data on the end user’s computer for obvious reasons, but:

  • the end user has first to find out which registry key is used (which requires some additional program).
  • the publication may not store trial data only in registry.
    Of course, some advanced users or crackers can always find out how to reset a trial (this is true for any other trial software or ebook compiler). But it is a matter of balance: how many of your potential customers do you think want to rip you off? If someone isn’t going to buy your software anyway, it doesn’t really matter to you financially whether they can reset the period; only potential customers really matter.

If you worry about customers using your software illegally, you can use software activation and online validation (features provided by HTML Executable): end users can’t run the software if a remote server (that you control) doesn’t give them the authorization.
For instance, I would ask end users to register the ebook to get a 3-day trial. A simple form that emails the customer an activation key and stores data on the remote server.
With the key, the customer unlocks the ebook (or only some pages I can choose thanks to the Security Profiles in HTML Executable): the ebook checks the key by contacting the remote server. It does this each time it is run. When the 3-day trial period is over, the program stops working because the remote server doesn’t deliver the authorization anymore.

Good answer! I’m happy with that, thanks.

I also agree with the answer from Tech Support. When searching for the right program, I did not find anything with the capabilities that HTML Exec had, concerning security, especially with the online activation and deactivation. I plan on utilizing that feature as I get closer to a final product.

One of the future features, which to me is invaluable, is the adding of programs to be monitored. There are new programs every day and and to be able to add to this list immediately will be great. Add the program to be monitored, recompile and upload to the server. Done.

[quote=“gdgsupport”]Thank you for your report.

“One other concern that I have, is it possible to have some one using a screen capture program or screen scraping app with scrolling capabilities get the full page or is this something that can included when detecting debuggers?”

This feature is scheduled for a future update: you’ll be able to define which programs should be monitored while the ebook is running so when a screen capture program is detected, an error message is displayed and the ebook closes.[/quote]
If I find anything that may be a concern, I will notify Tech Support with the program any why it may be a threat to a compiled EXE file.

To explain a little more when I was discussing an installer, besides the security settings. I will have at least one small external EXE packaged with my installation that can expand files, documents and samples after it is registered. There may be another one that they can download separately, which will be available only to registered users and it can only be accessed by the original EXE. Another reason, I want an uninstaller as well, I for one, do not like any software that leaves so much stuff behind, both on the hard drive and in the registry. After all, they built the installer routine and they know exactly what they have left.

As a side note, not long ago, I uninstalled a program which it corrupted the scripting features of the OS. Fortunately, I seen the issue immediately after the mandatory reboot and fixed the problem.