Looks as if SecuROM and EA’s DRM screws the normal players once again!  This time, it’s with Command & Conquer 3:  Red Alert.  What’s the problem, you ask?  Well, for those who bought the game, the game’s manual contains a misprint that only has 19 letters of the 20 keys you are suppose to enter to install the game.  So what’s EA’s answer to correct this issue?  Simple – waste your time and guess the letter/number!

What can I do if my Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 install code is 19 characters instead of 20?

If you are trying to install Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 and the code is only 19 characters long, then it is missing the last letter or number. This was due to a misprint on a small number or manuals and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

There is currently a work around that may allow you to bypass this issue. Since you have the first 19 characters of the code already, you can basically try “guessing” the last character. To do this, simply enter your existing code, and then for the last character, try the letters A-Z, and then the numbers 0-9. You should eventually get the right combination, and be able to play the game. If this does not work, you can follow the instructions below.

In order to get a replacement code, please click the “Contact Us” link on the left side of the page, and attach an image of your code to the incident.

If you do not have access to a digital camera or scanner, you can fax us a copy of the back of your instruction booklet, along with a copy of your receipt, to (512)-949-4994. Please include with your fax your First and Last name as well as your incident number.

If you would like, once you have created your incident, you can also contact us by phone using the number found on page 28 of your manual.

Holy crap, EA…Proofread and double-check (hell, triple-check in your case) your junk before you cram it into boxes to try to make a quick buck…

Source:  EA’s C&C Help Page