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How to avoid the ATI 'ativmvxx.ax' file from getting replaced

Fellow ATI Macrovision hater reader Dave West sent this information to me as a way to avoid the ati 'ativmvxx.ax' file from getting replaced. Now these are his exact instructions and I have not verified if this works so if you have questions I can forward them to Dave for clarification, just click Here to contact me

  1. Reboot in safe mode, and be sure to log in as 'Administrator'.
  2. Search for and delete every copy of the original ati file (ativmvxx.ax). To do this, click 'start' then 'search' then 'for files or folders' and enter 'ativmvxx.ax' (without quotes). Under 'look in' click 'browse' then navigate to the 'windows' directory and click on it. Under advanced options, check 'search system folders' and 'search hidden files and folders' and 'search subfolders' then click 'search now'. Delete all of them except the one in 'windows\driver cache\i386\sp2.cab'. That one is a native microsoft file, you can tell by the date. It doesn't hurt to leave that one alone. My PC had 3 copies of ativmvxx.ax, one in windows\temp, one in windows\system32 and one in windows\system32\dllcache. Delete them.
  3. Copy the modified replacement (ativmvxx.ax) into the 'windows\system32' folder. Now navigate to this folder (system32) and scroll down until you see ativmvxx.ax. Make sure it is the correct file, the size should be 31k (31,263 bytes), the original ATI file is 23k. Now right click on ativmvxx.ax, under attributes, click 'Read Only'. Then click 'OK'. Right click on ativmvxx.ax again and click the 'Security' tab. You will see a list starting with 'Administrators'. Click on the 2nd item, the one under 'Administrators', it should be your user name. You will see two columns of boxes, under 'Allow' and 'Deny'. Now, under 'Deny' check the 'Write' box. Do this again for each of the other items under 'Administrators' (i.e. System, Users, etc.). When you're done, every item except 'Administrators' should have a check in the 'Write' box under 'Deny'. Then click 'OK' and reboot.

    That should do the trick. I haven't had any further problems capturing macro*vision encoded video. The video is now stable and colors appear normal. A big thanks to whoever created this modified driver. Shame on whoever created macro*vision, and too bad for them since it's now been defeated, at least for ATI video products.

    One possible issue may be the Catalyst driver version. I'm using Catalyst version 6.2. I haven't tested the patched file with the newer versions. You can still get the older driver, go to http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html and select your operating system and your ATI product. In my case Windows XP Home and the All-In-Wonder 9600 Series. Click 'Go'. The newest driver will appear, and under that some links. Click on 'Previous Drivers and Software'. Or to go to this page directly use this link: http://ati.amd.com/support/drivers/xp/aiwradeonxprevious-xp.html

    Now scroll down to the last item, it should be Catalyst 6.2. Open this page and download Display Driver, Catalyst Control Center , and WDM Integrated Driver , then click on ATI Multimedia Software and download DAO/MDAC, DVD/DTV Decoder, Encoder Package, and Multimedia Center. It is important to use the older Multimedia Center (MMC) with the older Catalyst driver since newer MMC versions won't work with older Catalyst versions. The MMC version on this site is 9.13 and I have used this version without any problems. The only annoyance is that there is no way to turn off the DVR feature in this one or the newer versions. That's why I'm currently using MMC version 8.9 which works great for me, but I can no longer find this version of MMC (8.9) on the ATI/AMD web site, they may be taking down old drivers and software.

    I am curious as to whether the patched ativmvxx.ax driver file will work with newer ATI drivers. I suspect that it will work just fine, but I'm not ambitious enough to try it myself. I already spent one weekend screwing around with it and now it works great, so I'm leaving it alone. Anyway, that should clear up the procedure. Thanks biline for posting that patch, and I hope many others will be able to use it to defeat macro*vision.

Phil wrote in to add this information:
A little more thorough touch to make the modified ativmvxx.ax stay put: Boot in safe mode as described, but also copy the modded file to windows\system32\dllcache\, in addition to copying to windows\system32\. Also still can do the permissions and read-only tricks. Windows attempts to replace bogus/damaged/missing files from this dllcache repository-directory. If it ever succeeds, it will only replace the modded file with itself.


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