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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Molitor » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:42 pm

Done what I should have done almost 4 years ago: rewritten every post in proper English.
If anyone knowledgeable on CD/DVD protections would like to add bits, feel free to post here or edit the post. I'm not really used to the technique and fall short when it comes to writing anything on it.
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Shattered » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:42 pm

Thanks Molitor.

I've added a remark for beginners to make sure to use the latest version of WinRAR/7-zip to extract the downloads below the "NOTE ABOUT CORRUPTED FILES :".
I've also added a note regarding passwords under "Posting on LW".

I'll add the copy protection part tomorrow.
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Molitor » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:29 pm

Shattered, thanks in advance for anything you may add. Wise addition about file corruption: I was considering making a reminder in the Broken Downloads subforum, thing that I'll probably write in the next days.
I have become more and more interested in Usenet binaries downloading/posting, hence the mention in the guide. I now believe it could be viable as a place to host our files (cf. your POP3D posts); but to convince potential downloaders to use NZB instead of DDL, we need to get rid of the most repellent aspect of Usenet: paying subscriptions and configuring a newsreader. However, with services like Free-Usenet, there's an opportunity to write a "100% free" tutorial! Which is what I'm doing.
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Meddle » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:35 pm

I never found it that tough to configure a newsreader. :P
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Shattered » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:07 pm

I'm almost done writing the part about copy protections. I'll add it as a separate post.
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Shattered » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:13 am

Backing up copy protected discs

There are several tools available that can backup copy protected discs. Before you start it's important to know what the tools can do and what kind of protection you want to backup.


Determining the copy protection

In most cases the copy protection is located both on the disc and inside the main executable or other files (dll). ProtectionID is a good tool to check for a protection.

1. Download ProtectionID and unrar the file to a folder:

Code: Select all
http://pid.gamecopyworld.com/


2. Install the game (if applicable, perform a full install to make sure the disc(s) is/are in order);
3. Use ProtectionID to scan the installation folder (in most cases the executable will do);
4. Use ProtectionID to scan the files on the disc(s);
5. If nothing is found, do a sector scan of the disc(s) (there may be bad sectors present as a means to prevent the disc(s) from being copied);
6. If again nothing is found or the result is CD/DVD-Checks: use any tool to backup the disc(s) (preferably the BIN/CUE format for CDs);
7. If a certain protection is found: use one of the tools below to backup the disc(s).


CD/DVD imaging tools:

Alcohol 120%:

Features:

- Native image format: MDF/MDS
- Can copy/emulate most protections (SafeDisc / SecuROM / StarForce / LaserLock / ProtectCD/DVD)
- Supports virtual SCSI drives (requires the 3rd party SPTD driver to be installed (included in the setup))
- Includes profiles for backing up different protections
- Includes the ACID wizard for SafeDisc 4/SecuROM 7 emulation (prevents the virtual drive from being blacklisted)
- Includes separate emulation options for SecuROM/SafeDisc/LaserLock protections
- Uses RMPS emulation which allows several protections to run from a burned copy
- Includes a built-in Data-Type Analyzer to scan discs for copy protections

Alcohol 52%:

- same features as Alcohol 120%, except for the burning engine and Xtra Wizard (to create CD/DVD image compilation from files or folders on HDD)
- freeware (caution: webinstaller with 3rd party offers).

Please note:

- The SPTD driver needs to be installed in order to use the virtual drive and emulation functions in Alcohol
- Cannot backup TAGES protected discs

Blindwrite:

Features:

- Native image format: BWI/BWT - B5I/B5T - B6I/B6T
- Can backup SafeDisc 4 and lower, SecuROM 7 and lower and several older protections (like LaserLock)
- Includes a few general profiles (not protection specific)
- Uses the EZ-Play driver which allows several protections to run from a burned copy

Please note:

- No virtual drive function
- Cannot backup StarForce protected discs
- Alcohol or DAEMON Tools are needed for emulation of SafeDisc 4 / SecuROM 7 backups created with Blindwrite
- The EZ-Play driver may need to be uninstalled in order to successfully emulate the SecuROM 7 protection

You can download a zip file with 5 preconfigured Blindwrite profiles for some protections in the thread below:

Code: Select all
http://forums.vso-software.fr/blindwrite-profiles-t5078.html


The profiles can be used with Blindwrite 5/6/7.

CloneCD:

- Native image format: CCD/IMG/SUB
- Can backup a lot of older protections: SafeDisc 3 and lower, SecuROM 4.67 and lower, old versions of LaserLock, etc.
- Includes a few general profiles (not protection specific)
- Includes a "Hide CDR Media" option to allow burned copies of SafeDisc 2/3 to work
- Can save the settings used to create an image in a profile

Please note:

- No virtual drive function
- Cannot backup copy protections which rely on topology data (SafeDisc 4, StarForce and SecuROM 5/7 protections)
- May conflict with specific versions of SecuROM v7

You can download a ZIP file with 22 preconfigured CloneCD profiles for several protections in the thread below:

Code: Select all
http://web.archive.org/web/20160518013929/https://club.myce.com/f59/clonecd-4-profiles-download-46470/


The profiles can be used with CloneCD 4/5.

DAEMON Tools Pro Advanced / Lite Personal / Ultra:

- Native image format: MDF/MDS - MDX
- Can copy/emulate most protections (SafeDisc / SecuROM / StarForce / TAGES)
- Can emulate DT/SCSI/IDE drives (emulating SCSI/IDE drives require the 3rd party SPTD driver to be installed (included in the setup))
- Includes profiles for backing up different protections
- Supports virtual IDE drives for advanced emulation
- Supports the ability to attach virtual drives to physical drives for advanced emulation
- Uses RMPS emulation which allows several protections to run from a burned copy

Please note:

- Virtual DT drives work without the need of the SPTD driver, but cannot be used to emulate copy protections
- The freeware version of DT Lite doesn't support virtual IDE drives and attachment of virtual drives to physical drives
- Caution: the installers are bundled with OpenCandy!

Comparison of the different DAEMON Tools products:

Code: Select all
http://www.daemon-tools.cc/products/compare


Virtual CD:

- Native image format: VC4
- Can copy/emulate quite a lot of protections (SafeDisc / SecuROM / TAGES)
- Includes a few general profiles (not protection specific)
- Supports the ability to insert virtual CDs in physical drives for advanced emulation
- Can save the settings used to create an image in a profile

Please note:

- The program is big in comparison to the other software mentioned above
- The Virtual CD image format is not compatible with other software


Suggested software per protection:

Bad Sectors:
CloneCD, Alcohol, Blindwrite, DAEMON Tools --> use "Bad Sectors" profile or "Ignore Read Errors" / "Fast Error Skip" options

CD/DVD-Checks:
any software

Illegal TOC/Dummy files:
any software, read in RAW mode

Laserlock:
CloneCD, Alcohol, Blindwrite --> use Laserlock profile

ProtectCD/DVD:
Alcohol, DAEMON Tools --> use ProtectCD/DVD profile

SafeDisc 3 and lower:
CloneCD, Blindwrite, Alcohol, DAEMON Tools --> use SafeDisc profile

SafeDisc 4.x:
Alcohol, DAEMON Tools --> use SafeDisc profile, DPM (Data Position Measurement) has to be selected
Blindwrite --> topology data should be extracted from the disc (topologyread=1 in profile ini-file)
Virtual CD --> use "CD Geometry copy" profile, the "Read CD geometry data" option has to be selected

SecuROM v4.67 and lower:
CloneCD, Blindwrite, Alcohol 120%, DAEMON Tools --> use SecuROM profile, the "Read Subchannel Data" option has to be selected

SecuROM higher than v4.67:
Alcohol, DAEMON Tools --> use "New SecuROM" or "SecuROM *NEW (4/5/7)" profile, DPM (Data Position Measurement) has to be selected
Blindwrite --> topology data should be extracted from the disc (topologyread=1 in profile ini-file)
Virtual CD --> use "CD Geometry copy" profile, the "Read CD geometry data" option has to be selected

StarForce:
Alcohol, DAEMON Tools --> use StarForce profile

TAGES/Solidshield:
DAEMON Tools --> use TAGES profile
Virtual CD --> use "Exact copy" profile, the "Verify each sector" option has to be selected


Extra notes:

Important:

- The ISO format is not suitable for backing up copy protected discs and CDs with audio tracks. Make sure to use the native image format of the tool to backup the protected disc(s) and NOT the ISO format!
- Creating a backup could take hours depending on the protection, drive, tool and settings, so be patient!
- In some cases a successful backup depends on the hardware and settings used (think of: (DPM) extraction speed, Fast Error Skip, Read Subchannel Data) and results may vary from one PC configuration to another. You may need more than one attempt to create a working backup!

Some other sites of interest:

An online database with copy protected games:

Code: Select all
http://web.archive.org/web/20170222085203/https://forum.daemon-tools.cc/gamedb.php?letter=all


General information about copy protections:

Code: Select all
http://cdmediaworld.com/hardware/cdrom/cd_protections.shtml
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby zobraks » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:22 am

Great post!
:thanks:
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Shattered » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:01 am

I have updated my post with links from the Wayback Machine to the CloneCD profiles file and DAEMON Tools Game Database site.
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Kroagnon » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:58 am

I'm trying to image some titles to provide for you folks here, but am having great difficulty with CDs that contain both data and audio. What would be the recommended software to use for this (and any particular settings) if I want a 1:1 copy (or as close as possible) in a format that others can use?

I have tried CloneCD but none of the profiles I've tried resulted in an image that I could mount and see as I do the original CD. The images show only the audio tracks, while the original CD only shows the data (but plays the audio in a CD player just fine).

Advice, help or just a pointer to another thread (here or elsewhere) is appreciated!
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Molitor » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:47 pm

What software do you use to mount the image? You can also use the MDF/MDS format for the image, using Alcohol 120% or DT Pro (Mixed Mode CD or CD-Extra profile).
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Kroagnon » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:36 pm

I've used CloneCD to create the image (tried using both 'CD Extra' and 'Mixed Media' profiles); it refuses to create a cue because it's multisession. Fair enough. Results in ccd, img and sub files.

I have then mounted it with CloneDrive (ccd) where it only shows up as an audio cd (no data is visible). Audio tracks play fine.

Other mounting attempts have been with WinCDEmu (says it's corrupted and shows nothing) and ImDisk (as a CD, which just gives "an error occured while mounting").

I also created an image using ImgBurn (resulted in cue, ccd and img) which gives the exact same results as above when mounted (i.e. either audio tracks only or corrupted).

I don't have Alcohol or DaemonTools installed (Alcohol was my go-to program many years ago, though), but might give those a try and will report back!

Worst case, I know I can make two disc images - one of the demo data, one of the audio - since it's not a game needing CD audio, but a "combo" soundtrack and demo, but I'd ideally like a true image of the full thing to share if possible.

EDIT:
Made an image with Alcohol and same results as above. However, Alcohol's virtual drive mounts it correctly; that is, I can see the data files in Explorer on the mounted disc, and WMP can play it as an audio CD! Tried mounting my previous CloneCD and ImgBurn images and they all work too... so it seems that the issue was with finicky mounting software rather than the images!

As a result, I've switched from CloneDrive to Alcohol (nostalgia!) for my image mounting now, since it's clearly more capable than CloneDrive or WinCDEmu.

My only remaining question is: is there a preference for a format of image to share here? Is CloneCD (with sub data) the "truest"? Is Alcohol's format better? Or the image created in Imgburn, given it produces a cue as well (so can be mounted in DOSBox)?
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Molitor » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:36 am

Glad you figured out where the issue came from! To answer your question about the preference, I don't think that any format is truer than another as long as it reproduces the whole content of the original media. The choice of software/format is especially important when you want to copy games with physical or sector-based protections, but most 1990s/early 2000s games will be handled fine with CloneCD (when there is a protection) or any program capable of producing bin/cue images (where there is no protection). All in all, a MDF/MDS copy is not that different from a CloneCD one, because the sub data and the audio tracks are stored as well, albeit no cue file is produced. It is true that the CloneCD is often privileged over Alcohol for DOS games because img and cue files are natively handled by DOSBox while mdf and mds are not, so if you want to copy games with ease of mounting in mind, then CloneCD is the way to go.
The only formats you should avoid are the plain .iso, as well as the proprietary formats that are supported by very few programs (.uif on top of my mind, what a weird thing it is).
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Re: Beginner's guide to LW (How-Tos)

Postby Kroagnon » Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:13 pm

Thanks! I might stick with CloneCD in that case.

I will say that the image I made with Alcohol of the QFG Collection Disc 2 (QFG5 demo+soundtrack) won't mount in DOSBox via the IMG (as I said, no CUE is created apparently because "it's a multi-session disc")... it only seems to mount under Alcohol's virtual drive (possibly DT as well, though I don't have that installed. I might test to see if I can get it to mount in a Vitualbox VM though as well before uploading it, since the disc is for Win 9x anyway (and Mac, apparently, though I can't test that)...

Should this discussion be moved to another thread, do you think? Happy to discuss it here but don't want to clog the tutorial thread with my specific concerns/attempts! :)
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