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.