Ben and Razor's guide to copying SecuROM (up to v7) *with a PlexWriter Premium*

This guide shall provide all information you need to successfully copy a SecuROM protected PC Game. This method works even with the latest version of SecuROM (v7). This method only works for SecuROM protected CDs, not DVDs.

This guide will only work for those who own and use the Plextor Premium CDRW with firmware version 1.03 or newer. It is recommended that you update your drive’s firmware to the latest one available to avoid trouble. At the time of writing this guide this is v1.06.

To use this guide you will need BlindWrite Suite and a recent version of Alcohol 120%. This guide was written using Alcohol, and so it is recommended you use that or a newer version.

Now, enough said - let’s start!

  1. First start the BlindWrite Suite, and then start up BlindRead.

  2. Insert the SecuROM protected original CD-ROM into your Plextor Premium drive.

  3. As we first have to change the program’s settings, click on “General settings”, then “Next”.

  4. Make sure all options are unchecked, as seen on the screenshot below. After this, click on “Next”.

  5. Now you are back on BlindRead’s starting page. This time you click on “Dump the image of a CDROM”, and then “Next”.

  6. Set the reading device to your Plextor Premium drive and set all the options like seen on the screenshot. Change the location of where you want to save the image (to somewhere that has at least 1GB free space). Then click on “Next”.

  7. As the extraction method check “1 – Nibble”. Select the “Adapt speed” setting and set the minimum to 1x and the maximum to 4x. These slow speeds are important as newer versions of SecuROM also include 1 or 2 bad sectors on the CDs, which have to be read really accurate. The only way to achieve accurate reading results is on the slow speeds. Also make sure that “Eject disc at completion” is not checked, as we need to use the CD again to read some data. Now, click on the “Read” button. A complete CD will take up to 20 minutes to read, so be patient.

  8. After the reading-process has finished, this window will appear. Just answer the question “Do you want to extract Physical media layout (BWA file)?” with “No”, because BlindWrite’s own “BWA Builder” does not deliver accurate results on many systems meaning that the copies don’t always work.

  9. Now quit all applications that are still running and start Alcohol 120%. Once in Alcohol start the “Image Making Wizard”.

  10. Select the Plextor Premium as the reading device. Then you select “Securom *NEW (4.x/5.x)” as the datatype. Then click on “Next”.

  11. In the next step you will see a screen like the one below. Here you can select the “Image location”, which should be the same as the one you selected when reading the CD with BlindRead. It is important that the image name you choose is identical to the one you chose when reading with BlindRead. Once done click “Start”.

  12. You then have to select the measuring speed. For the best results select 1x. Then click “OK” to start the read.

  13. While DPM Measuring is running, the screen will look like this.

  14. When the DPM Measuring has successfully completed and the “Data Dumping procedure” has begun click on “Cancel”.

  15. Confirm the cancel by clicking “Yes” in this box.

  16. After this you will be asked if you want to delete the files, click on “No”.

  17. You can read the Log if you want. When you are ready to go on, press “Finish”.

  18. Eject the original game media from your drive and exit Alcohol 120%.

  19. Now fire up the “Physical CD characteristic dumper”, which can be found in your Start-Menu under “BlindWrite Suite”. To view the .mds file (the file containing the DPM info) you just created with Alcohol, click on “File” and then “Load BWA / MDS”. Then open up the MDS.

  20. Browse to the folder in which you saved the Image, and open the .mds file you created before. This step is not needed for a successful copy, but without opening the .mds file you could not see if its quality is good enough for a good burn. It is important that the graph looks similar to the one shown here. If it has so called “spikes”, which means big jumps in the red line, it’s not usable and you should consider making a new .mds file as described before, maybe with another drive as the reader and/or with a different speed setting.

  21. If the graph looks good, click on “File” then “Convert MDS -> BWA”, and “Open” the .mds file you created with Alcohol 120% before.

  22. After that you’ll see a message informing you about the successful converting. You can close it by clicking “OK”.

  23. Exit the “Physical CD characteristic dumper”.

  24. Out of my own experience I recommend you restart your system now. This is not a must, but a reboot will clean up your system cache, RAM and will reset the Plextor Premium drive in case it is “locked”.

  25. You will now need to burn the image back to the drive. First go to the place where you saved all the image files, check that all 6 are there like this.

  26. You will then need to launch BlindWrite. Start BlindWrite Suite, and then start BlindWrite.

  27. First go to the “Blindwrite configuration” window.

  28. Make sure all the settings are unchecked except for “Write cache size (in sectors)” set to “Automatic”. And “Eject when finished” checked as shown. Then click “Next” to go back to the main window.

  29. Click “Start CD writing wizard” and then click next.

  30. Select the Plexor Premium drive from the list at the top. Once done click the “Advanced” tab at the top.

  31. Uncheck all of the writing modes except “Dao PW”. Then click “Save the changes”.

  32. When this window comes up click “Yes”.

  33. Click “Next”.

  34. Click on the “Select Cd Image file” button, and then browse for your .BWT file. Remember that all the files must have the same name (not extension) for example PLAY.BWI, PLAY.BWS, PLAY.BWT, and PLAY.BWA. If they do not have the same name then the backup will not work.

  35. Once you have selected your file click “Next”.

  36. Click “Start” to verify your CD image. If all is as shown click “Next”.

  37. Select the “DAO Pw” write mode, then select “4x” write speed. Then hit “Go!” to start the burn.

  38. When it asks you if you wish to include the BWA info click “Yes”.

  39. Select “Delete Image” (if you do not wish to burn another copy) and then click “Quit”.

  40. Now launch Alcohol again. On the main window then click the “Emulation” tab.

  41. On the emulation options make sure only “Ignore media type” is checked. Then click “OK”.

  42. Exit Alcohol 120%.

  43. Now you can try and play your game from the backup, as it is a 1:1 copy it should work in any drive as long as you have the “Ignore media type” on. It should work in any CD-reader (not writer) without “Ignore media type” on. With SecuROM versions 5 and over you no longer need to have “Ignore media type” on even if you are playing from a burner (as the ATIP check was removed).

Feel free to E-Mail/PM one of us if you have any problems. Good luck backing up your SecuROM protected games.

Ben & Razor

Perfect guide Ben and Razor… I just found one typo they removed the ATIP check not the Aspi Driver.

Nice guide guys. :slight_smile:

Just a minor point or two before I copy it to the tutorial section.

In paragraph 20 you say that if the .bwa file is no good you should consider making one with another drive or at lower speed.

However, since you’ve advised that the dpm should be done at 1x it isn’t possible to reduce the speed further.

[In any event, whilst I don’t own a plex premium so can’t really comment, in my experience, 1x for dpm doesn’t necessarily produce the best results. E.g. my old Ltd-163 produces horrible bwa files at 1x but absolutely flawless ones at 12x. Results obviously vary from drive to drive and some experimentation is often needed to find the best speed for any particular drive.]

You’ve also “overlooked” the possibility of downloading a .bwa file from Bulk’s or Portmac’s sites if you have continuing problems in making a good .bwa file.

[Let me know what changes, if any, you want to make before I transfer a copy.]

Nice guide guys. :iagree: :clap:

Two little comments.

Point 25: “check that all 5 are there like this” should be “check that all 6 are there like this”

Point 26: “You will then need to launch BlindRead.” should be “You will then need to launch BlindWrite.”

A reference to Bulk’s or Portmac’s site should be implemented. :iagree:

right… 43 should be:

  1. Now you can try and play your game from the backup, as it is a 1:1 copy it should work in any drive as long as you have the “Ignore media type” on. It should work in any CD-reader (not writer) without “Ignore media type” on. With SecuROM versions 5 and over you no longer need to have “Ignore media type” on even if you are playing from a burner (as the ATIP check was removed).

point 25: :iagree:

point 26: :iagree:

reference: sure - if a mod could do so?! :wink:

right, this comes from when i wrote this i suggested using 8x speed, but we reduced it to 1x - and i simply forgot to change the text… :o

a better solution for the text:

…it’s not usable and you should consider making a new .mds file as described before, maybe with another drive as the reader and / or with different speed setting.

No amount of proof reading seems to get rid of all the mistakes…

When you have a Premium the write speed (Blindwrite) can set to maximum, with the right firmware it only writes at 4 speed ;o)))

sure, but to minimize all everntually possible error-sources even for anyone who never did that before it is mentioned that the write speed should be set to 4x - this way no “beginner” will aks himself “hey, i set write-speed to max, why does it only burn 4x?”


Yes Razor, you’re right, but what i think, people who buy a Plextor Premium knows the qualities for Securom.
I don’t think there are people who want’s to buy an ordinary cd burner, choose for the Premium :wink: They choose another one that is less expensive, don’t you think???

no i don’t think so - if this would be the case, nobody would ever have asked “how do i make SR backups with my Premium?” - this guide would be useless then.

if you believe it or not - there are many people just buying it, because it’s from Plextor and because it’s titled as “Premium”… :wink:

how did namoh say?

Amendments other than references to Bulk’s and Portmac’s sites now made. Will attend to that later today.

I have seen many people with Plextor drives that simply buy them because of there high price, and so they assume quality, Plextor has a general repuation of being the best make of burners you can buy. The other major market for PlexWriter Premiums is the audio market (for both burning and extracting audio). Many people interested in making high quality audio backups choose the PlexWriter Premium. They are often recommended by users on audio forums that would not mention its SecuROM potential. I bet it is a minority of owners of the PlexWriter Premium that understand its SecuRom backup potential.

I bought my Plextor Premium for 129 U$ when it came out, and I had no idea what exactly it did besides a 8mb buffer and giga-rec and great audio extraction. (I owned a Plextor 12x10x32a before that) Once I sunk my teeth into cdfreaks, the untapped potential for backing up all of my SR games with the drive became a daily routine.

Can somebody please put the original post (just the guide) in the guides seciton? I think all the mistakes have been done by philamber. I think people can pick minor holes in a guide for ever, but I think now all the major errors have been removed there should not be a problem.

Done. :slight_smile:

Cheers :slight_smile: