Broken CD FAQ - Diablo Wiki

Broken CD FAQ

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This guide/FAQ covers the technical, legal, ethical, and practical aspects of maintaining your Diablo II game disks and the CD-keys that enable you to log onto and play on battle.net.

Strategy guide info:

  • Version: v1.01+
  • Game type: All
  • Character: All
  • Author: Stompwampa (Source.)

Stompwampa's Ultimate Guide to lost CD-Keys and Broken Play Discs[edit]

There have been quite a few threads that have popped up lately revolving around these very topics. Inevitably, these threads mostly end up degenerating into an “I’m right, you’re wrong” battle of semantics and legalities. While it seems there is a lot of information out there on these topics, people still tend to argue over them.

I’ve decided to do some research into these matters and bring to you several conclusions regarding lost CD-Keys and Broken Play Discs. A lot of what you are going to read has been posted various times in several threads. My intention is to mainly bring all this information together to one convenient spot and to also, perhaps shed some new lights onto a couple of these topics.

These two topics have intrigued me and that is why I am writing this guide. There are a lot of legal details involved with these topics and quite frankly I’m not even really sure where the law stands on this. To help me out, I corresponded with Peter N. on the Blizzard Support team to answer a few of my questions. I also took some time to read the EULA and the TOS to familiarize myself with their contents. I am in no way considering myself an expert on these topics. I’m just doing my research and publishing my results. If you have anything to add, by all means feel free to let me know and I’ll tack it on to the guide. Alright, let’s get started.

Scenario 1:[edit]

You were playing your favorite D2 character last night, when all the sudden you heard this wretched crack screech from the bowels of your CD-ROM drive! “Oh no!” You think. The worst has happened: Your Diablo 2 LOD play disc now has a giant cosmetic mishap through the entire disc. A crack.

What in the world do you do now!? Well, first let’s take a look at your options and then examine them from there:

  1. Use the burned copy that you made for safe keeping when you bought the game.
  2. Borrow your best bud’s disc and make a copy for yourself.
  3. Just simply borrow his disc.
  4. Purchase a new game
  5. Contact Blizzard and have them send you a new play disc.

There are probably more options, but these five are the ones that naturally come up in discussion and would naturally seem to be the most rationale choices. So let’s examine our choices and decide which course of action would be the best to take:

Use the burned copy that you made for safe keeping when you bought the game.[edit]

This is allowed. The EULA allows for one personal backup of the game CD’s. However, Blizzard does not support non-original CD’s. So if you have a problem and call their tech-support to troubleshoot, they will not help you if they know you are using your burned copy of the game.

In my correspondence with Peter N. from Blizzard, he said the following:

Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne use a form of copy protection that will usually prevent the copying of our game. You are within your rights to make one copy for archive purposes. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer support regarding CD-R software or recordable media. If you experience difficulties, feel free to contact the manufacturer of the software you are using for your CD-R.
Please note: Blizzard Entertainment does not support backup copies of Blizzard games. Please use the original CDs for troubleshooting.


Borrow your best bud’s disc and make a copy for yourself.[edit]

This is not allowed. While technically, no harm is done, this is prohibited. As stated above, you are within your rights to make a single copy for your own archive purposes. This excludes making a copy of your friend’s disc. This also means that you cannot use your friend’s archived copy as your own.


Just simply borrow his disc.[edit]

As is, this is not allowed. You may only borrow your friend’s game as long as he uninstalls it from his system, and gives you all plays discs, install discs, CD-Keys and backup copies. This is found in the EULA in two places:

B. the Program is licensed to you as a single product. Its component parts may not be separated for use on more than one computer.
4. Program Transfer. You may permanently transfer all of your rights under this License, provided the recipient agrees to the terms of this License and you agree to remove the Program from you home or portable computer.

That said, your friend essentially “permanently” transfers his right to the game onto you. In the event that you get a new disc to play with, or that you purchase a new copy of the game, you may transfer your friends old game back to him. You must give him all of the things he gave to you to start with.


Purchase a new game[edit]

Obviously, this is allowed. This will save you from any hassles and legalities. However, it is the most expensive option of those listed so far.


Contact Blizzard and have them send you a new play disc.[edit]

This is also allowed, obviously. This also happens to be the best course of action as well. This method will cost you ten dollars to replace your CD, but this ensures that you follow the appropriate avenues so you don’t run into any problems. From Blizzard.com:

Damaged or broken CD:
You will need to mail in the damaged or broken disk(s), and a $10 US dollar money order (per game) to the P.O. box listed below to cover shipping and handling costs. No personal check or cash will be accepted.
Please send all necessary materials to the following address:
Blizzard Entertainment
P.O. Box 18979
Irvine, CA 92623
If it has been less than 90 days since you have purchased the game and you include a copy of the sales receipt showing the purchase date within 90 days, the $10 fee for that game will be waived.


To recap, you have five basic options. From best to worst, here they are:[edit]

  1. Use the burned copy you made for safe keeping when you first purchased the game. You would be wise to get a new disc from Blizzard, though.
  2. Contact Blizzard and have them send you a new play disc
  3. Purchase a new game
  4. Borrow your friend’s play disc
  5. Borrow your best bud’s disc and make a copy for yourself


Scenario 2[edit]

You’ve just got home from a busy semester at college. You’ve been away from D2 for almost a year and you get the itch. Not the “I have to go potty” itch. The other itch. So you head down to your parents computer to boot up the game, only to realize that they un-installed it while you were of gallivanting around campus. No problem, you kept all the install discs in your CD folder for safe keeping. You spin up the disc and you see those dreaded words: “Please type in the CD-Key that was packaged with your game.” You search high and low and find nothing. It turns out that Mom threw away game box you had stashed in the desk drawer…along with the CD-Key.

Now, let’s see what our available options would be in this situation:

  1. Purchase a new copy of the game
  2. Borrow your buddy’s CD-Key, even though he still plays the game
  3. Borrow your buddy’s CD-Key because he hates the game and will never play again
  4. Download a CD-Key generator and generate a new CD-Key
  5. Contact Blizzard and have them send you a replacement CD-Key.
  6. Download a program to read a CD-Key off the install you have on your other computer (or a friends computer…either or)

Once again, we could probably think of a few more ideas here, but these are the most logical choices one would come up with. So let’s examine these choices and see what course of action would be the best to take.

Purchase a new copy of the game[edit]

Again, obviously, this is totally allowed. However, this isn’t entirely necessary and this is your most expensive option.


Borrow your buddy’s CD-Key, even though he still plays the game[edit]

Not allowed. I don’t think I really need to explain this one, but I’m going to anyways. Purchasing a copy of the game grants one license to use one copy of the game. If you and your buddy are using the same CD-Key, you are no longer using one license for one game. You are now using one license for two games. The first clause in the EULA states:

1. Limited Use License. Blizzard Entertainment ("the Licensor") hereby grants, and by installing the Program you thereby accept, a limited, non-exclusive license and right to install and use one (1) copy of the Program for your use on either a home or portable computer. You may not network the Program or otherwise install it or use it on more than one computer at a time, except if expressly authorized otherwise in the applicable documentation which you should refer to if…


Borrow your buddy’s CD-Key because he hates the game and will never play again[edit]

This one is also not allowed, technically. However, as stated above, as long as he gives you not only the CD-Key, but all play discs, install discs and game literature, he then permanently transfers his right of the game onto you. By accepting and installing his copy of the game, you agree to the User End License Agreement.


Download a CD-Key generator and generate a new CD-Key[edit]

NO! I think this one is so obvious, that it isn’t even worth an explanation. So don’t do it! If/when Blizzard finds out that you are using an ill-legitimate CD-Key they will ban the CD-Key and possibly the account.


Contact Blizzard and have them send you a replacement CD-Key[edit]

This is also allowed and probably the wisest course of action. This method will cost you ten dollars to replace your CD-Key, but this ensures that you follow the appropriate avenues so you don’t run into any problems. From Blizzard.com:

CD-Key missing or damaged:
You will need to mail in the CD case for the missing CD-Key to the P.O. Box listed below. If the CD case is also missing please send in the manual in its place (NOTE: Manual will not work for World of Warcraft replacement). A $10 US dollar money order (per game) is required to cover shipping and handling costs, no personal check or cash will be accepted.
Please send all necessary materials to the following address:
Blizzard Entertainment
P.O. Box 18979
Irvine, CA 92623
If it has been less than 90 days since you have purchased the game and you include a copy of the sales receipt showing the purchase date within 90 days, the $10 fee for that game will be waived.


Download a program to read a CD-Key off the install you have on your other computer (or a friends computer... either or)[edit]

Let’s assume that you installed two copies of your game... one on a PC and the other on your laptop. Now you wish to reinstall on your PC but no longer have the CD-Key. You could download a program to get it off your laptop. This, technically, does no harm, however, it is not allowed. (see below) Now, if you wanted to get the CD key from your friends computer, this is obviously not allowed. The EULA prohibits the use of third party programs (3PP’s) or any other method to do the following:

3. Responsibilities of End User.
A. Subject to the Grant of License herein above, you may not, in whole or in part, copy, photocopy, reproduce, translate, reverse engineer, derive source code, modify, disassemble, decompile, create derivative works based on the Program, or remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Program without the prior consent, in writing, of the Licensor.

To recap, you have five basic options. From best to worst, here they are:[edit]

  1. Contact Blizzard and have them send you a replacement CD-Key.
  2. Purchase a new copy of the game.
  3. Borrow your buddy’s CD-Key because he hates the game and will never play again...so long as you also receive all of his other game materials.
  4. Borrow your buddy’s CD-Key, even though he still plays the game
  5. Download a CD-Key generator and generate a new CD-Key
  6. Download a program to retrieve a CD-Key from a different install.

NOTE: ONLY steps 1-3 are actually allowed...don't do the rest!!

Conclusion[edit]

So there you have it. The best way to overcome these problems is to prevent them in the first place. Think ahead! When you buy your game, burn a copy for your own personal archives (if your burning software is capable of doing so). Also write down your CD-Keys and store them in a place separate from the game. It would also be wise to type the CD-Keys into a text file and save it onto your system.

I would like to point out that promoting burning a copy of the CD’s makes me a little uneasy. However, in my research I have found that this is allowed so long as you only use the copies for personal archives and nothing else! Had I not been able to support this claim, I would not have included it in this guide.

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