September 8, 2008 7:34 PM   Subscribe

I just bought Spore on disc, forgetting completely that my disc drive is broken. The case has been opened and the game is now non-returnable. What are my options?

If I borrow an external disc drive can I just install the game and then play it without the disc, or is the disc always necessary? Can I sell the CD (it is opened but never been used, obviously) on Ebay or something for a couple bucks cheaper than I bought it for and then buy the download online? Argh! This was my birthday present and I was so excited!
posted by arcticwoman to Computers & Internet (22 answers total)
If you have an external hard drive, you can always use a friend's computer to turn the disk into an image and just mount it.

Or download it and use your key to install the game.

Or buy an external CD/DVD drive.
posted by DonSlice at 7:41 PM on September 8, 2008

You barely even need an external hard drive. Grab a friend's computer, make an ISO out of it, get daemon tools (if you're on windows) for your computer, and then use a usb key to transfer it. Or various file transfer sites - you could make the iso into a .rar and split it to a manageable size for internet transfer.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:08 PM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Or download it and use your key to install the game.

I'd just go with this. One may be morally opposed to downloading games off of BitTorrent (I know I am), but you've already purchased the game. Download it, install with your key and you'll be fine. After install you don't need the disc.
posted by Nelsormensch at 8:10 PM on September 8, 2008

Assuming you have a desktop, a decent CD drive costs like 20 bucks. Newegg (or any other online retailer) will have a plethora of them.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:13 PM on September 8, 2008

According to this review, "It's not necessary to have the disk in the DVD drive to play the game".
posted by Geppp at 8:24 PM on September 8, 2008

Where did you purchase it?

I have purchased disks at BestBuy before, opened them, then returned them. They won't give you money but they will give you the same disk unopened. Which you can then return the next day.
posted by travis08 at 8:26 PM on September 8, 2008 [3 favorites]

Geppp, he needs the drive to install it.
posted by DonSlice at 9:11 PM on September 8, 2008

It has Securom activation, so you can install and activate and then not have to play with the disk in anymore. I've been playing for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours on the Mac version with no disk inserted.

Normally I'm not Securom's biggest fan, but not having to take the disk along with the notebook is a nice touch.
posted by Addlepated at 9:13 PM on September 8, 2008

The easiest solution would probably be to get a DVD drive that connects via USB. You should be able to install and activate it that way. Then you can disconnect the drive and play just fine.

If you have a desktop computer, an internal DVD would be cheaper than a USB one.
posted by Malor at 9:29 PM on September 8, 2008

I say torrent it, it'll work fine. I pirated then decided to man up and pay for it via EA's site, all I had to do was reinstall the torrented version with a legit key. Enjoy!
posted by yellowbinder at 10:16 PM on September 8, 2008

Spore only lets you install three times ever. So you'll need the pirated version anyway if you want to keep playing after some OS reinstalls. I suggest you just download it now.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:08 AM on September 9, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, I'm downloading it now (>6000 seeds and 4 weeks to download!) and if this doesn't work I'll borrow an external drive. See you all in Spore in... October.
posted by arcticwoman at 4:18 AM on September 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

20 bucks for a CD drive? Ripoff. I have a stack four high of 'em. Perfectly fine, just surplus to requirements. If you lived near me, you could have one. Ask your computer geek friends.

Another alternative to a USB external drive is to network-share another computer's CD/DVD drive.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:05 AM on September 9, 2008

Response by poster: I guess I should have mentioned I have a laptop, not a desktop - I was told at the computer shop that replacing the CD drive would cost ~$300. Since I have no idea what I'm doing, I have no way of gauging how right/wrong that is.
posted by arcticwoman at 5:14 AM on September 9, 2008

Off the subject...but great game!

The ISO option is the best as Lemurrhea said. I have done this several times and it always works (on a Mac).
posted by TeachTheDead at 5:52 AM on September 9, 2008

That's a bit more than my shop would charge, but it still sounds about right. Generally, cd drives aren't too difficult to switch out, even in laptops, though, occasionally, the manufacturer buries the screws needed to pull the old drive out. Also, there's usually a very specific set of drive mounts/rails attached to the old drive.

Anyway, good luck with the download!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:55 AM on September 9, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all the help, everyone. My geekiest friend is out of town until tomorrow, so I'll give the download a chance to pick up and if it's not done by then I'll ask him to make an ISO for me. I will play Spore. I will!
posted by arcticwoman at 6:19 AM on September 9, 2008

Sort of surprized nobody mentioned this, but if you're DLing a copy of Spore over torrent w/o any protections in place and from an open tracker, you can damn well guarantee that the bitpolice are all over it, and you WILL get a cease and desist letter.

Even though you own the game and it's a theoretically legalish backup.
posted by TomMelee at 7:48 AM on September 9, 2008

you can damn well guarantee that the bitpolice are all over it, and you WILL get a cease and desist letter.

Is sending cease and desist letters to individual downloaders really that common? If so, it's the first I've heard of it. Besides, so what? All he would have to do is cease and desist.
posted by designbot at 10:06 AM on September 9, 2008

Response by poster: What sort of protections could I put in place... you know... hypothetically? Really, I know just enough to get myself in trouble.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:16 AM on September 9, 2008

Are they really that common? Hello?

You can download a lot without getting busted. BUT, you should never assume that you can download a new release w/o getting hit. What actually happens is that the copyright holder or the copyright holder's agent sends your ISP a notice requesting your information via your IP address. In the US, they don't usually comply w/o a subpoena, but your provider WILL generally do one or more of the following:
1.) Turn your shit off, forcing you to call in, where they connect you to ANTI-PIRACY COMPANY IT GUY.
2.) Send you a nasty email containing the transgression time/filename/etc, and telling you that they will comply with the subpoena if requested.
3.) Send you a piece of registered mail with the same infoz as #2. More often, you get all 3.
4.) Generally they drop you as a customer after 2 or 3 offenses.

Protections? In order of effectiveness:
1: Rent a proxy and use it for all torrent related downloading.
2. Tor/Privoxy for your torrent download and initial tracker connection. DO NOT USE TOR FOR ACTUAL DOWNLOADING, as it's bad for the network. When they snag your IP they snag all uploaders IP's from the tracker. Connecting to the tracker via proxy will protect you from this. (Theoretically.)
3. Use PeerGuardian 2. I do this exclusively, and haven't had an issue since I started to use it. Make sure you download PG2 from the official download site, PhoenixLabs.
4. Use a private tracker. Good luck getting in.

Regardless, downloading recent movies/games/music from a public tracker is a pretty much assured way to get a letter.

(The MPAA hasn't started suing, but they've issued a lot of letters. Individual software companies are suing, but not so often, and because it's not widespread or via the use of a collaborative (RIAA), you hear about it less.)
posted by TomMelee at 4:05 PM on September 9, 2008 [2 favorites]

If you have another computer on your network, you can share the working CD drive and the laptop can install it over the network. Not fast but it works in a pinch.
posted by rholly at 4:50 AM on September 10, 2008

« Older Can I take a Stafford loan without the help of my...   |   Bought a six pack of bottled beer, one of the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.