I have problems protecting my installer. What can I do?

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I have problems protecting my installer. What can I do?

Installers are very special applications. Basically an installer compress all files and create a single file (like a ZIP file). When the installer is launched, it decompress all files in runtime (like a ZIP decompressor). Before the files are decompressed, the installer normally checks for the integrity (CRC) of the whole file, to know if it has been manipulated and it will fail to run if the file has been modified.


When an installer file is protected, the protection modifies the original installer application, so it will fail on the CRC check performed by the installer runtime code.


It does not make much sense to protect an installer, as the cracker will focus on the main extracted (installed) application to crack/attack it, not the installer itself. Also, as the main file is already compressed inside the installer file, the protection does not have the chance to apply protection on your main (installed) application.


The normal procedure would be the following:


1) Compile your application


2) Protect it with our protection


3) Create the final installer (including the protected application and all required files for the installer)