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The BUG of Encyclopaedia Universalis

problems of compatibility with Windows XP


The author of this page is a simple purchaser of EU8. He does not have any bond with the companies Encyclopaedia Universalis, the Club du Livre Français, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Macrovision or IDM. Its remarks cannot be interpreted like provocation or slandering because they refer to real and noted facts. When it acts of a personal interpretation, the opinion of the author is always explicitly formulated with the first personn. Moreover, the daily updates of this page could cause confusion between various contradictory paragraphs. Thank you to contact the author in case of doubt.

Abbreviations used

HD: hard disk
PID: personal disc of identification
EU8: Encyclopaedia Universalis 8

Configuration of the author

laptop computer GERICOM
RAM 256 Mo
processor celeron 1.7 GHz
OS Windows XP

Why this page?

I received the Encyclopaedia Universalis v.8 edition DVD/PC for Christmas 2002. In spring 2003 I still could not use EU8 correctly and durably. I defer here the troubles which I met and answers brought by the engineering departments of EU.

Today, my computer is unusable because the out-of-date version of C-DILLA provided by EU wrote information on risky zone the hard drive. Windows ignites on a message of Serious error type and then crashes after a few minutes violently dies out on a blue screen heading PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA . The solution to use my computer again would be a formatting of low level (not DOS) of the hard disk or more radically the purchase of a new DD. The two cases involve the total and irremediable loss information present on the hard disk.

The goal of this page is double

Activation by "personal disc of identification"
an eternal probation period 45 days

On the packing of EU8 one can read
"PROTECTION CD/DVD: Protection counters the hacking by means of a disc of identification sent later on without expenses. The use is possible without protection during 45 days as from the first installation on your computer "

First of all the delivery period of the DIP exceeds the eight days indicated on the coupon to reach 19 days in my case.

More seriously, a precision is essential concerning the management of activation. Indeed, the DIP authorizes the use unlimited in time of EU8 under certain conditions. The reading of this disc by your computer authorizes a use for 45 days moreover, in other words the DIP only authorizes you to renew the initial period of evaluation.

Disfonctionnements techniques

Shockwave induces problems

After a few days of use the error message according to posts and blocks the launching of EU
"Impossible to charge control ' ' Shockwave Flash ' starting from Flash.ocx. Your version of Flash.ocx is perhaps obsolete. To check that you use the version of control provided with your application."

This problem of noncompatible Shockwave component is not an isolated case. If you encounter this problem here the response of the technical aid of  EUwhich consists with désinstaller - to download version 8.5 - to reinstall.

C-DILLA induces problems

After the "printing key" of versions 1-4 (also called dongle ), EU chooses a "key hard drive", this key associates a licence of EU the DD of the user. EU8 uses for this activation a software named C-DILLA - from now on SafeCast- marketed by the Macrovision company. The advertisement of Macrovision/EU collaboration goes back to December 2000 and will be implemented starting from version 5 of EU.
At the time of the installation of EU, a first message wakes up mistrust. At the time of the introduction of the Personal Disc of Identification received by mail,  the user when with the modification of the clock of HIS computer informs openly. EU indicates that "All modifications of the clock can have very serious consequences on the operation of the computer".

After installation, repertory C:\C_DILLA is visible if you activate the option "to post the hidden files" of your explorer. The repertory hidden C:\C_DILLA does not disappear at the time of the desinstallation of EU8. With each new operation of the installation/desinstallation type, new entries are created in the Base of Register of Windows indicating the dates and hours of the operations.

C-DILLA functions in the following way: it writes a code relating to activation on a zone of the DD located between the end of Master Boot Record and before the first sector of the first partition (sector 0). This area of the DD is an extremely delicate zone because it is not copied at the time of a safeguard or a software restoration which it is not erased by a traditional/software formatting/high niveaudu DD (called by the C:\format order in MS-DOS mode).

That does not pose a problem in normal time because the space of sector 0 is used neither by Master Boot Record, nor by the operating system, because FDISK (the program which creates the various partitions) always begins the first partition on a new sector. On the other hand, it is possible that the partition starts with semi-sector, directly after Master Boot Record and without any open space: EU8 thus crushes information what proves to be catastrophic for the operation of the computer "host"!

Consequences: a major dysfunction of Windows which crash landing after a few minutes of use. These Windows errors appear by various blue screens, at the time of the crash landing or after restarting. Since the passage to the summer-time the situation was clearly degraded. Here the errors which I meet each day

These errors are of type stop error 0x50. Explanations of Microsoft and .

Does the problem come then from the partition to semi-sector of the disc or the change at the summer-time? No communication on behalf of EU.

With the new dernères, the component c-dilla 3.24 provided with EU7 and EU8 would not be compatible with Windows XP. Here a copy of a very instructive exchange on the forum of Sciences & Micro Life.

the response of the technical aid
invoiced 0.34?/min by telephone

Which help brings EU to the user deprived in the event of similar dysfunction?

answer: not large thing in technical terms in any case. I personally contacted twice the technical aid by telephone, here their answers.

1st conversation
The employee advises me initially whole désinstaller then all reinstalls. He indicating that I already made this constraining operation and this, without result, it advises me to format my DD. I indicate to him that my computer contains invaluable information which I do not want especially to lose because my engraver does not function any more (my portable goes back to November 2002). With course of idea the employee indicates that it transmits my file to the service development, that I cannot speak to the employees about this service because itself never saw them.

2nd conversation - one week later
Always without response of the service development I again decide to contact the technical aid in spite of the prohibitory cost of invoicing. I think that this service is a source of income for EU. The new employee does not find the trace of my request near the service development, I concluded from it that the file is always in transit. The employee stresses that this service receives many requests concerning the problems of activation and that I am not the first to suffer from it.
There will be no 3rd conversation.

I also contacted the technical aid by e-mail. The response of the technical aid is of the type "désinstaller very then to reinstall all". I then wrote a new talk of the situation which did not receive any answer. Since April 18, 2003 I still did not receive a response to my problem in spite of my revivals quasi daily at .
25 days were passed since, always without any answer of EU. Why? One can think that the problem is quite simply insoluble. For my part I think that EU is a defective product, not bars.

Other testimonys of users going back to 2001 are visible on . One can conclude from it that the problems encountered by the users are transmitted version in version.

EU is developed by the French company IDM which proposes the data protection . Following the mail addressed to Mr. Philipe CLIMENT, director of IDM, it is well the company EU which gére the integration of c-dilla to the multi-media encyclopaedia in a strict sense. After having contacted Mr. Sylvain Rodet, technical person in charge at EU, by telephone Friday May 16, 2003, this one ensured me a response in the afternoon. Force is to note that its remarks remain without continuation today.


and the certainty never not to install more one unspecified edition of Encyclopaedia Universalis.