Most of you by now will have heard of the website Giveaway of the Day and how it operates. For those that don’t know, this long running website gives out a free piece of shareware or commercial software every day completely free of charge. You have to download the program’s zip file from their website and run a setup.exe inside which contacts their server and then lets you run the installer. The major catch is the zip file has to be downloaded and the setup file executed within the 24 hour period of it being released, once outside this time the software can no longer be installed. In the past though, there have been ways to get around this.
The setup and activation procedure did have a major shortcoming which was the original installer extracted itself from the setup.exe wrapper after successfully contacting the server within the 24 hour period. The installer stored itself in the Windows Temp folder and could easily be copied, then you had the real installer ready to use any time you wanted to. To make things easier a couple of utilities were released called Giveaway Forever and GAOTD Setup Keeper which helped to automate the whole process.
Unfortunately these tools currently don’t work because in mid 2012, Giveaway of the Day changed its wrapper and now the original installer file doesn’t get stored in your Temp folder anymore. This new wrapper is more secure to stop you keeping the software for future installs and is also quite controversial because it’s based on Themida which is similar to the technology used in rootkits. This put a lot of people off GAOTD, partly because of Themida and partly because they couldn’t keep the installers anymore, and also there are newer competitors around like Glarysoft’s daily giveaways. There are still users who would like to keep some GAOTD giveaways if only there was a way around this new protection…
Reading the GAOTD Setup Keeper website led us to another 3rd party tool that claims to unwrap the latest files you get from Giveaway of the Day and allow you to keep the original setup installer for later use like before. Maximus, a member of the cracking group REVENGE Crew has written a tiny portable executable, created in December 2012, to save the setup file from the new wrapper.
The tool is simply called UnWrapper GOTD, 181KB in size and is about as easy to use as you could wish to get. Firstly, you need to download the Giveaway of the Day software and extract the downloaded zip file to a folder. There will be a Readme.txt which will contain any activation names or serial numbers, a Setup.exe and a Setup.gcd. Run the UnWrapper GOTD executable and it will popup a file requester dialog which will ask you where the extracted Setup.exe file is, simply locate and double click on the file.
The setup procedure will then be pretty much the same as it always has been for Giveaway of the Day, an Activating window will show while the server is being contacted, then you should receive a popup box to tell you the original installer has been saved in the same folder as the GAOTD setup executable.
Any subsequent windows after you’ve seen this box are irrelevant and can be closed or canceled if you don’t want to install the software right now. Go back to the original folder and your new setup installer file should be there. If it is, the old setup.exe and setup.gcd files can be deleted. The text file can be removed only if it doesn’t contain a serial number etc.
We’ve tried this tool over the last week or so and it’s behaved perfectly and extracted the original setup file every time. Some giveaways such as Ashampoo products don’t usually come with a wrapper and can be saved without using this tool. Some giveaways come with an Activate.exe instead of a Setup.exe and don’t extract the installer file but other data to activate the software such as a .REG file. The process is the same as above apart from you choose the Activate.exe when asked.
Note: Like the other tools that worked previously, this will only work on software that is still within the 24 hour giveaway period because the Giveaway of the Day server still needs to be contacted, and will say anything run outside this time frame has expired. This UnWrapper GOTD tool is still in development where future version promises to include the ability in extracting setup file without connecting to the GAOTD activation server.