Nero Licensing Nightmares

There are a lot of versions of Nero for Windows. This is suppose to be an application to burn both CD-RW and DVD+R/-R discs, so using Nero it is possible to create everything from an audio disc to a DVD movie. Unfortunately, there are some stringent licensing requirements that you may be unaware of. Allow me to describe a typical scenario and the kinds of results you can expect.

Imagine if you purchase a CD-RW burner that includes Nero Express 5. After adding the new hardware to your computer, you reboot and install the Nero software. When this is complete, you test the CD burner and everything works fine.

A few years later you decide to upgrade the Sony CD burner to a AOpen DVD burner. With this new device, it should be possible to continue to author CD’s in addition to the DVD discs the new burner is capable of creating. Your DVD/+R/-R includes Nero 6 software to author DVD discs, so you simply install the new Nero and start using this software to author DVD discs. Fortunately, everything seems to work fine until you return to your Nero Express that you were using with the Sony CD/RW and try to make a CD data disc.

This does not work. In fact, you are unable to burn any kind of CD media with either your Nero Express 5 software or your new Nero 6 package. You then attempt to uninstall all of your Nero applications and start over; however, the Nero Express 5 refuses to uninstall because it claims to require an MSI installer that was not bundled on your original installation media.

What happened? Why is it now easier to boot Knoppix to burn my CD and DVD discs?

As it turns out, Nero distributions are licensed to the hardware they ship with. When your new AOpen burner includes Nero 6 this is really a version of Nero that will only work with burners of that exact make and model. Thus, after adding the new DVD burner to our system the Nero Express 5 will prevent us from burning CD discs since our CD hardware is no longer in this computer.

Do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes on the Nero website. In the Support section there are “Clean Tools” to remove old versions of Nero from your computer once the hardware has been upgraded. This is the only way your will be able to uninstall a Nero package once the hardware has been removed. Maybe this is something Nero can fix in a future release, it would be nice not to have this same problem after installing my new dual-layer dual-sided blu-ray DVD burner.