AnyDVD and Copy Protected PC-DVD Games

vbimport

#1

I got my copy of Deus EX:Invisible War delivered last night. In the UK it is released as a PC-DVD ROM rather than PC-CD ROM game. So no backing it up for me…

Anyway, I installed it fine and went to play my shiny new game to find that it hung authenticating the disk. The standard Spinning disk icon with a pointer appeared an stayed there. Task Manager showed no applications active, but the process dx2.exe and AnyDVD.exe were there working away.

After 15 minutes all was still the same so I [tried to] shut the machine down to be told that AnyDVD has stopped responding and needed to be quit. I clicked on ‘End Task’ and still nothing happened. After several more failed shutdown attempts I hit the reset button.

After the machine re-booted I quit AnyDVD before starding the game and it ran fine. Enable AnyDVD again and it failed in the same way. This time I decided to leave the machine to shutdown for longer than 15 minutes. After 3 hours it had got to the ‘Windows is shutting down’ screen [of XP Pro]. I suspect some sort of IDE conflict between the authentication request and AnyDVD.

I’ve used the SlySoft Contact form and await a reply but wondered if any one else had come up against this issue?


#2

Out of curiosity, two questions:

1.) Does the game run, if AnyDVD is disabled, but still running?

2.) Does this Game have a VIDEO_TS folder to show something on a regular DVD Players?


#3

Olli … I have also mentioned this on many occaisions to Slysoft (with no reply, maybe because I cannot obviously input a licence number in the required field?), and also mentioned it on this forum, very recently infact. I have noticed it for a while, hence not registering yet, but installing each trial version as it comes out to get another testing period.

The games always work when AnyDVD is disabled completely, have not tried it as disabled but still running. I will try that in a second with a few games I know constantly hang the system.

The games in question do not have a video_ts folder. (Chrome, Vietcong, SW KOTOR and Call of Duty to name a few off hand)

I have also noticed that it sometimes hangs when inserting DVD movies, the most recent that has done this with me personally was an R1 (US) Version of Training Day, and a (R2) UK version of Ferris Bueller. The DVD hangs do not happen as often as the game disc hangs, but I tend to play games a lot more.


#4

I can also replecaite this hanging If i try and play any games that I have backed up with Blindwrite and using autoplay emulation.

Yes the games do run, if AnyDVD is disabled, but still running.

Does the SecuRom 5 on Deus EX:Invisible also use a driver as part of the protecting that is causing this conflict ?

PeebZ


#5

Originally posted by Olli
1.) Does the game run, if AnyDVD is disabled, but still running?

Yes, it does. If the Fox is grey the game runs - if it’s red it doesn’t. My reply from SlySoft is quoted below;

Originally posted by Bernd Hartings - SlySoft, Inc.

AnyDVD is a program to decrypt movie DVDs on the fly. Before you insert a game DVD deactivate AnyDVD by right-clicking onto the fox symbol.

As I said in reply to this. AnyDVD seems to be able to tell the difference between a CD-ROM and a DVD-Video - as unlike others who have posted here - I have not had any issues authenticating game CDs. Why can’t it tell the difference between a DVD-ROM and a DVD-Video?

As a customer I would expect a device driver only to be activate when it was required and not interfere with other programs that run on the machine.

Originally posted by Olli
2.) Does this Game have a VIDEO_TS folder to show something on a regular DVD Players?

No.


#6

Dear Orinoco,

> Yes, it does. If the Fox is grey the game runs - if it’s red it doesn’t. My reply from SlySoft is quoted below;

As I said in reply to this. AnyDVD seems to be able to tell the difference between a CD-ROM and a DVD-Video - as unlike others who have posted here - I have not had any issues authenticating game CDs. Why can’t it tell the difference between a DVD-ROM and a DVD-Video? <

As a matter of fact, AnyDVD can very well tell the difference between a Video DVD, an Audio CD and something else (Game, etc.)

It needs to tell the difference between these types, because it handles different media types differently:

Video DVD: Do everything, remove user prohibitions, macrovision, css, etc.
Audio CD: Repair TOC, remove Data Sessions
Something Else: Do nothing (!)
As Olli has already hinted, the Video DVD detection is based on the existance of the VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.IFO file, while the Audio CD detection is based on the type of the first Track.
We do not investigate media types like CD/DVD for this step to be compatible with MiniDVDs or Virtual Drives.

It is hard to tell why the copy protection check of the game fails, either this is caused by a bug in AnyDVD (AnyDVD somehow thinks the inserted media is a VideoDVD or AudioCD) or some weird copy protection blacklist thing. Copy protections are sometime “overly protecting” or use own drivers.

> As a customer I would expect a device driver only to be activate when it was required and not interfere with other programs that run on the machine. <

What my collegues from the support department have suggested is actually the best workaround I can give you for the moment, but I will look into this problem. If we can find a way to solve this problem, we will.

If you like, you can try to:

1.) Switch off removal of AudioCD protection in AnyDVD
If the game works now, we need to change Audio CD detection

2.) Switch off all DVD patches.
If the game works now, we need to change Video DVD detection

3.) Run AnyDVD in SafeMode
If the game works now, the game installs a driver which conflicts with active AnyDVD

You would help us finding the problem if you take the time to try the above.

Thank you for bringing this up (again).

James


#7

Thank you James for a fuller answer. I agree that the workround suggested is the best for now, and had your post here have been the reply to my e-mail I would have been a lot happier. As you will have access to SlySoft e-mail you will see that my quote was the entire content of the e-mail baring the salutation and sign-off and is brief by anyone’s description.

I am more than willing to help resolve this issue and can say for certian now [at work] that I do not have the AudioCD protection removal of AnyDVD enabled, which eliminates that part of the equation. I will test the other options you suggest and report back as soon as I can, would you like an e-mail to support or should I post the results here?

Perhaps the others who have posted similar issues could do the same tests and post a report back here too, that would give you more examples to help track this issue down?


#8

Dear Orinoco,

> Thank you James for a fuller answer. I agree that the workround suggested is the best for now, and had your post here have been the reply to my e-mail I would have been a lot happier. As you will have access to SlySoft e-mail you will see that my quote was the entire content of the e-mail baring the salutation and sign-off and is brief by anyone’s description. <

Please understand that e-mail customer support is very time consuming and needs to be brief. I hope you are not too disappointed by our support team, but they do IMHO quite a good job. The support people are no engineers and often depend on what the egg heads like me tell them.

> I am more than willing to help resolve this issue and can say for certian now [at work] that I do not have the AudioCD protection removal of AnyDVD enabled, which eliminates that part of the equation. I will test the other options you suggest and report back as soon as I can, would you like an e-mail to support or should I post the results here? <

I believe this forum is a very good place to exchange this kind of information.

> Perhaps the others who have posted similar issues could do the same tests and post a report back here too, that would give you more examples to help track this issue down? <

Agreed! I will try to participate here more frequently to solve technical issues or to exchange valuable information.


#9

I am in a similar position to orinoco, in that I do not have the CD Digital Audio enabled. As mentioned last night I have tried playing without physically exiting the program but rather just disabling it from the systray menu, and that appears to work.

I will try the other options suggested, time permitting. But will be sometime today.


#10

Dear BeLGaRaTh,

> The games in question do not have a video_ts folder. (Chrome, Vietcong, SW KOTOR and Call of Duty to name a few off hand) <

Do you know what kind of copy protection these games have?
All the same or different?
Are these all CD games?
What operating system are you using?

>I have also noticed that it sometimes hangs when inserting DVD movies, the most recent that has done this with me personally was an R1 (US) Version of Training Day, and a (R2) UK version of Ferris Bueller. The DVD hangs do not happen as often as the game disc hangs, but I tend to play games a lot more. <

I believe your problem is different from the one Orinoco has. It looks like there is a problem with disc insertion and removal, when AnyDVD is enabled on your system.

I suspect some kind of driver or application to interfere with AnyDVDs operation. To understand this, you have to know, how AnyDVD propagates change of disc:

Let’s start with the state your drive is empty.
If you insert a disc now, AnyDVD will start to evaluate what it is. The driver will not pass any indication, that a disc is present upwards, so no other driver, application or the OS itself (Explorer, AutoInsert, …) shall see that new media has arrived. The little red fox will change its color.
AnyDVD will do its job (change virtual region of drive, crack CSS, repair TOC, analyse files to remove user prohibitions, or in case of a game cd, do nothing) The little red fox will change its color again.
Now AnyDVD will inform the system of the media arrival, AutoInsert Notification can do its job if you wish, PowerDVD can start up or your game can run.
It is important that this mechanism works, otherwise someone else can access the disc while AnyDVD “owns” it.

Does the “hang” happen while AnyDVD “owns” the media, or does it happen later?


#11

Originally posted by SlySoft
[B]Dear BeLGaRaTh,

> The games in question do not have a video_ts folder. (Chrome, Vietcong, SW KOTOR and Call of Duty to name a few off hand) <

Do you know what kind of copy protection these games have?
All the same or different?
Are these all CD games?
What operating system are you using?

>I have also noticed that it sometimes hangs when inserting DVD movies, the most recent that has done this with me personally was an R1 (US) Version of Training Day, and a (R2) UK version of Ferris Bueller. The DVD hangs do not happen as often as the game disc hangs, but I tend to play games a lot more. <

I believe your problem is different from the one Orinoco has. It looks like there is a problem with disc insertion and removal, when AnyDVD is enabled on your system.

I suspect some kind of driver or application to interfere with AnyDVDs operation. To understand this, you have to know, how AnyDVD propagates change of disc:

Let’s start with the state your drive is empty.
If you insert a disc now, AnyDVD will start to evaluate what it is. The driver will not pass any indication, that a disc is present upwards, so no other driver, application or the OS itself (Explorer, AutoInsert, …) shall see that new media has arrived. The little red fox will change its color.
AnyDVD will do its job (change virtual region of drive, crack CSS, repair TOC, analyse files to remove user prohibitions, or in case of a game cd, do nothing) The little red fox will change its color again.
Now AnyDVD will inform the system of the media arrival, AutoInsert Notification can do its job if you wish, PowerDVD can start up or your game can run.
It is important that this mechanism works, otherwise someone else can access the disc while AnyDVD “owns” it.

Does the “hang” happen while AnyDVD “owns” the media, or does it happen later? [/B]

Hi James, thanks for the reply.

Chrome has Securom 4.84.84.0044 according to A-Ray
Call Of Duty has Safedisc 3.10.020

I dont currently have KOTOR or Vietcong installed due to a recent format (which is another thing, the problem exists even after a format)

I do remember that Vietcong has Securom 5.00.03.0205 (I posted that on these forums in THIS THREAD

A scan of KOTOR discs (with A-Ray v.0.1.0.0) says TAGES, but that I cannot confirm as its not installed.

So basically all four are all on CD and all four have different copy protections.

Not entirely sure what you mean by ‘hang whilst anydvd owns the media or happen later’ All I can say is that when the game is about to start (by me pressing the ‘play chrome’ shortcut in the startbar etc) the system locks up (authenticating the disc stage the same as Orinoco). I have tried closing anydvd via taskmanager, and it just comes back as not responding or some such message, and no matter how many times I try it just comes back as not responding.

If you mean the owning media for DVDs I have tried a few times today make it lock up, with no joy, but thats a good thing :). However the DVD lock-up is only occaisional (sp?) so I will keep trying that one and post back.

Hope all that information helps, and as orinoco, I am more than willing to help resolve this problem as I find AnyDVD a very program, and when this issue is resolved I have no reservations at all with registering it :slight_smile:


#12

Originally posted by SlySoft
Please understand that e-mail customer support is very time consuming and needs to be brief. I hope you are not too disappointed by our support team, but they do IMHO quite a good job. The support people are no engineers and often depend on what the egg heads like me tell them.

I know how they feel, I spent many years as a first line support person myself. However their reply offered no hint of any further action being taken nor did it suggest that one of the ‘EggHeads’ would be in touch later to try to resolve this. In fact it read like a standard e-mail which made me see red at the time. Now we have this dialogue lets work towards a fix for all.

Further testing has been done and I have the following to report;

CD Prot removal OFF, DVD Patches ON, Normal Mode = Hang
CD Prot removal OFF, DVD Patches ON, Safe Mode = Success

Then things got interesting;

CD Prot removal OFF, DVD Patches OFF, Normal Mode = Error Message [See attachment]

Any further attempts [including repeating the other tests] with AnyDVD enabled generated the error message.

This makes me wonder 2 things, why is SecuROM upset by AnyDVD as I can’t see how it can help bypass the SecuROM 5.x copy protection? Is there a bug in the SecuROM guard module that gets upset by AnyDVD if it is enabled [or vice versa]. It seems it can’t always sucessfully identify what AnyDVD is and can’t recover from this indeterminate state?

Anyway I hope this helps you


#13

Oops forgot to attach the file, hopefully it’s here…



#14

Dear Orinoco,

> CD Prot removal OFF, DVD Patches ON, Safe Mode = Success <

I was afraid this would happen… it appears, that the protection uses a driver which manages to bypass AnyDVD in “Safe Mode”. Not a bad thing, you could safe mode to solve your problem, unless you need AnyDVD to work with InterVideo DVD Copy and Pinnacle InstantCopy.

> Then things got interesting;

CD Prot removal OFF, DVD Patches OFF, Normal Mode = Error Message [See attachment] <

It indeed is the protection check.

> Any further attempts [including repeating the other tests] with AnyDVD enabled generated the error message.

This makes me wonder 2 things, why is SecuROM upset by AnyDVD as I can’t see how it can help bypass the SecuROM 5.x copy protection? <

It can’t, but maybe SecuRom can’t tell what the AnyDVD.sys driver does. I assume they will throw this message whenever they discover a suspicious driver between the port driver and them.
It could be a driver from Blindwrite, CloneCD, DaemonTools or Alcohol to emulate the protection.

> Is there a bug in the SecuROM guard module that gets upset by AnyDVD if it is enabled [or vice versa]. <

I am very confident, that SecuROM refuses to work if anything suspicious is found.

> It seems it can’t always sucessfully identify what AnyDVD is and can’t recover from this indeterminate state? <

I am very confident, this is the case.

> Anyway I hope this helps you <

Actually, you’ve already solved it (at least for this version of SecuROM).

I am sorry, but if SecuROM detects the existance of a driver above the port driver, I can’t change anything. AnyDVD is designed to work like this.

However, “SafeMode” could be the solution for you. The difference between “SafeMode” and normal mode is, that in Safe Mode AnyDVD is just a normal filter driver. in “Normal Mode” it hooks the port driver.
“SafeMode” is as good as normal (speed-and featurewise), but some drivers manage to sneak around anydvd.sys.
In your case, the SecuROM driver manages to bypass AnyDVD, the “emulation detection” passes.
Unfortunately some SCSI layers bypass AnyDVD in safe mode (Pinnacle Instant Copy and InterVideo DVDCopy), so you can’t use these applications if AnyDVD is running in Safe Mode.

I will try Deus EX:Invisible War myself, but I believe there is not much I can do.


#15

Dear BeLGaRaTh,

what Operating System are you using?


#16

Sorry James, should have mentioned Windows XP, SP1 with all current patches/updates.

I too, after testing earlier, have found similar results to Orinoco, with the exception of CD Protect OFF, DVD Patches OFF, Normal mode. In that setup I do not get any error at all with that config, but have had one or two hangs.

Therefore the safest bet seems to be Safe Mode with CD Audio Protection off, and DVD Settngs all ON.

Could it be all protections getting confused with the AnyDVD, not just Securom?

I ask as I have had it occur on Securom (2 different versions), Safedisc and possibly Tages (though I wil need to install KOTOR to double check that it is indeed protected by Tages, I don’t recall it being?


#17

Dear BeLGaRaTh,

> Therefore the safest bet seems to be Safe Mode with CD Audio Protection off, and DVD Settngs all ON. <

You can switch on Audio Protection if you like, shouldn’t make any difference, as long you leave Safe Mode on.

> Could it be all protections getting confused with the AnyDVD, not just Securom? <

No, we have tested some (older) protections with AnyDVD. But it is possible, that a lot of newer versions have some “anti emulation driver” code which causes these problems.

I will investigate further, but I believe switching AnyDVD into SafeMode is the best solution. Remember, that AnyDVD will be invisible for InstantCopy and DVDCopy in SafeMode.


#18

Originally posted by SlySoft
I will investigate further, but I believe switching AnyDVD into SafeMode is the best solution. Remember, that AnyDVD will be invisible for InstantCopy and DVDCopy in SafeMode.

Thanks again for the feedback … It is appreciated, as I was slightly miffed that I never received a reply to any of the online support requests I made to Slysoft :frowning: I was putting it down to me not being able to provide a serial number where asked, but at least we’re getting somewhere now, and it is appreciated :slight_smile:

With regard to InstantCopy and DVDCopy I do not use those apps, but rather use DVDShrink and have used CloneDVD but am waiting for V2 before committing to that software, so as long as there are no conflicts with those apps I am happy :slight_smile:

One final question, in safe mode will I still be able to use my Software DVD player (PowerDVD v5 currently, but I may purchase WinDVD as I like a lot of its features) and have AnyDVD hide the region coding from it? I ask as my dvd collection is from a lot of different regions (R1/R2 and R4) and would hate to lose that functionality too :frowning:


#19

Good grief, you guys have been busy, I step out for a couple of hours to eat and already things have moved on. :smiley:

I did a bit more testing and have found that if I;

Boot machine, login.
Run game with AnyDVD in safe mode - game runs.
Make any change to AnyDVD config. I mean anything - simply changing a single check box is enough.
Run game again and get error. At this point the only way to get the game to run with AnyDVD enabled [safe mode or not] is to reboot.

I can change AnyDVD settings before I run the game for the first time but once the game runs any change causes the error to be generated.

So not using Safe mode initially seems to confuse the SecuROM guard module and cause the hangup, but the guard module - or part of it - must stay resident in memory once the game is exited otherwise it couldn’t detect the change in AnyDVD settings - could it?

The other thing to say is that I have only seen this problem with DX:IW, BeLGaRaTh’s list contained only one other game I have, and that is Call of Duty, which ran without issue for me.

I think I understand the problem now, and as I don’t have Pinnacle Instant Copy or InterVideo DVDCopy Safe Mode it is, as long as I don’t change AnyDVD after running the game.


#20

Originally posted by BeLGaRaTh
Thanks again for the feedback … It is appreciated,

I second that.

Originally posted by BeLGaRaTh
…rather use DVDShrink and have used CloneDVD but am waiting for V2 before committing to that software, so as long as there are no conflicts with those apps I am happy :slight_smile:

I’m running DVD Shrink 3.1.5 and CloneDVD 1.3.11.2 and have had no issues with either. I’ve not tried V2 yet, I think I’ll wait for a while before upgrading.