Mac doesn’t auto-sleep anymore, hard disks too

Lately, my Mac was having two weird problems.
First, it didn’t go to sleep after the amount of time set in Energy Manager anymore. In fact, it only went to sleep if either I pressed the sleep button on the case or selected the sleep menu entry in the top left Apple-icon menu.

The second problem was that unused hard disks didn’t go to sleep anymore. If I manually ejected an unused hard disk it only went to sleep for a short time. After about 30 seconds I could hear the disk spin up again. Well, obviously something I installed on the Mac was preventing it from going to sleep properly.

After doing some digging I found a suspiciously named process called Nalpeirond6 in Activity Monitor. Once I killed that process I was able to manually eject unused hard disks without spinning up again after a few seconds. So obviously I was on the right track. Some more investigation revealed that it was loaded at launch time from /Library/StartupItems/ProTec6.
Without further ado I typed in sudo rm -rf /Library/StartupItems/ProTec6 to get rid of it. After a reboot auto-sleep was working again!

The remaining questions are: what is ProTec6 and which software makes us of it?

PRO-Tector 6 from Nalpeiron is an anti-piracy software which is bundled with several software products for Mac OS X. On my Mac it seems to have been installed with a trial version of a Photoshop plug-in called FocalPoint 2 from onOne software. So thank you, onOne, for f****** up up my system! I guess Nalpeiron ProTec6 comes with every other onOne software like PhotoTools and Mask Pro as well. After the ProTec6 folder is gone, their software won’t run anymore. My advice: stay away from every software company which sneaks (poorly programmed) anti-piracy software onto your computer. I’ll certainly never buy any “award-winning” onOne plug-in, that’s for sure.

Unfortunately, Nik Software started to use Nalpeiron ProTec6 as well. I just installed their 64-bit Demo of Viveza 2 for Aperture 3 and ProTec6 got installed again. That’s quite a downer because Nik Software used to sell some great plug-ins for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture.

While I understand that software companies have a need to protect their assets I absolutely do not understand why this protection has to come in form of a background process on my Mac. What makes things even worse is that Nalpeiron ProTec6 is a poorly written background daemon process that consumes system resources even when not using any of the mentioned products and messes with my Mac’s energy saving settings.

12 thoughts on “Mac doesn’t auto-sleep anymore, hard disks too

  1. Oddly enough, I found the best solution to this problem is to used pirated software. The malware daemon is stripped from the cracked versions of Onone’s photo suite.

    Obviously any pirated software is a security risk but if one is rigorous about taking before and after snapshots of the file system it is possible to check for any sneaky files.

  2. Has anyone had the ProTec6 sleep problem on a MacPro after installing Nik Silver Efex Pro 2? And if so, were you able to fix it?

  3. This Uninstaller from OnOne is a crap.
    When you make a search with EasyFind (by far better than Spotlight and for free!!), you will find 19 ! more files from OnOne, which haven´t been uninstalled by their so called Uninstaller.

    EasyFind: http://www.devon-technologies.com
    Since i have this App, i stopped Spotlight completely to work, because it takes much more resources than EasyFind and doesn´t find half of the Files.
    Greetings from Germany, Oliver

  4. @Mike I ended up just getting a refund. The trouble wasn’t worth the product.

    Someone emailed me recently informing me that drop.io has been purchased for their assets and has gone out of service (so my link doesn’t work anymore.)

    To get app that I made, you can now use this link (http://goo.gl/zUy7g) which is hosted with CloudApp. Additionally, for those who want to completely uninstall all onOne software and related files (ProTec), you can use this link (http://goo.gl/vKAyd) which has uninstall software provided to my by onOne after my complaints to them.

  5. Jesse, thanks for the workaround for this problem; it works very well.

    However, I was P.O.’d with the situation anyway, so I emailed onOne software regarding the sleep problem with PhotoTools 2.5.4 on my Mac Pro (2010 8-core). They responded and told me to update to PhotoTools 2.5.5, which would solve the problem.

    Skeptically, I tried the update, and it actually appears to work!! My Mac Pro sleeps correctly now, and I don’t have to use the workaround mentioned above.

    Hopefully, there are updates to other onOne software products that will help other users, too.

    Mike

  6. It’s not only a mac problem. I had that issue with Vivesa2 and Kaspersky on my Vista. After trial period has expired Nalperion Licensing System remains active on my system and after a while I start to recieve alert for a threat from my AV about hidden object in C:\Windows:nlsPreferences (which object actualy is called Rootkit). After so called desinfection by kaspersky I was forsed to rastart my system and…the same threat is active again because of the Nalperion-their service is starting with OS. What this is mean…if someone can hack that licensing system he can ensure resistant of his software or just to use Nalperian’s behaviour like camouflage. And if it is some kind of Rootkit….you’ll have a realy big security and privacy issue. The only solution that i found is to format my entire hard drive and never again to use vivesa. I’m only glad that I found this before purchasing the software. I don’t like that kind of vulnerabilities

  7. This is a rant. I feel I deserve to voice my opinion.

    I got this junk daemon (version 6.1.0) with a fully licensed Photoshop plugin from OnOne software. I contacted OnOne about it, but they didn’t respond (way to treat your customers!). What’s really getting to me is that this crap brings no advantage for the customer, yet I am supposed to tolerate that it stops my system from functioning properly. I should bill them for the power they’ve used. If that had been a laptop, I would have thought my battery was broken.

    According to the nalpeiron web site (http://www.internetactivation.com/HelpDocs/NalpeironDocumentation/default.aspx?pageid=release_note_for_mac_components), version 6.1.2 is supposed to fix the insomnia. But where does one get this update? Not from OnOne software.

    I spend a lot on software. But I doubt I’ll get anything from these clowns again.

  8. I just checked services. Msc and found the ‘NLS service’ (Nalpeiron Licensing Service) set to Automatic and Started.

    It appears to relate to some kind of digital rights management but I can’t find if it’s good or bad via Google.

    Can anyone advise please? I’ve now disabled it.

  9. I have created a workaround for this as an app that starts or stops the “Nalpeirond6” process after following the steps below. See http://drop.io/protec6 for the zipped file.

    First, to disable the auto-startup of ProTec6:

    1. Navigate to /Library/StartupItems/ProTec6/ and delete StartupParameters.plist. (This will require administrative privileges.)

    2. Then rename /Library/StartupItems/ProTec6/ProTec6 to aProTec6. This is a bit more tricky, because you’ll have to use the terminal.

    Open the terminal and type the following (without the dollar signs):

    $ cd /Library/StartupItems/ProTec6

    $ sudo mv ProTec6 aProTec6

    That last one will require that you type your password to rename the file.

    3. If you’ve gotten this far, you should now have the following files in your /Library/StartupItems/ProTec6 folder:

    aProTec6
    DemoOver
    Nalpeirond6

    4. Now (unless you update your plug-in software) your Mac can sleep! But now you can’t use the plug-in within Photoshop because it can’t find the Nalpeirond6 activation process (which is triggered by ProTec6). That’s where the first app I mentioned comes in. If you unzip and run the app, it prompts you to “Start or Stop ProTec?” If you want to start it and use the plug-in, then click “Start”. (You’ll have to enter your admin password here because ProTec6 requires administrative permissions. If you don’t trust the app I made, you can open it in AppleScript Editor to see the contents of it before running it.)

    Keep in mind that if you click start, then you’ll be able to use the plug-in but your Mac won’t sleep, so don’t forget to run the app again when you finish using the plug-in and click “Stop” to stop ProTec6 again and let your Mac sleep when it’s supposed to.

    Good luck and hopefully if enough people complain to the folks at Nalpeiron then they’ll get this properly fixed for us.

    • thanks for solution, but your file is no more on place.
      Could you, please, send the source code directly here or provide again the file ?

  10. Hey, thanks a bunch for pointing this out. I was having the same problem on my Mac Pro as well. I paid for a full license for Viveza and still got “infected” with this background thing. But obviously it now comes down to either having no sneaky background processes and proper energy management OR be able to use Viveza :( This is bad!

    — Sandy

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