General help with copy protection



Edit, (maybe I should mention this first, these are pc games only)
I am trying to learn to backup copy protected games and was wondering, how do the copy protections generally work? Are most of them generally a bad sector thing where the bad sectors are not nessasary for the game to work, or weak sectors (and does it have to sucsesfully copy the weak sectors for the game to work or can a program just error skip the weak sectors)?

I haven’t had much of a problem with backing up (I tend to shy way from the latest, greatest games as they are too expensive), but it seems many games have them latlly and some of my favorites are getting a little scratched).

I am mainly just wondering about the first question because nero sucesfully copied the first problamatic game I tried but it had about a dozen unrecoverable errors (and still managed to verify the disk for some reason despite the errors). The game is dungeon siege legends of aranna. I did find this thread
which implied that the protection is smarte.
I have ran a-ray scanner and it did in fact find smarte on the first disk. I found a guide on smarte and it recomenended and gave instructions for using blind write, alcohol 120, or clone cd to copy.
So in other words, if nero managed to copy it, are the copys probably good or do I have to use one of these programs? Can I basically use whatever program manages to skip the errors, or is thier more to it than that?
Thanks for any help!!!


I guess I spoke too soon, nero couldn’t copy disk 3. I’ll have to try the recomended software. I’m still curious about how they work though. Are they generally just bad sectors?


Depends on the the specific protection. Most rely upon something to do with the physical structure of the disc; in the case of safedisc - bad and weak sectors; starforce or securom 4.8+ - special non-standard media with specific physical properties; Ring Protech (Pro Ring) - massive consecutive unreadable sectors caused by a visible ring being cut into the outer part of the disc, etc.

In addition, most copy protections have one or more of a few extra little nasties tossed in too. E.g atip checks, virtual drive and other emulation blacklistings, a pre-gap check, etc.


Thanks lots for the help. Sounds like they are really going out of thier way. I’ll just check the guides and stuff for any particular game to see the best approach and program to use then (thier was lots of good info here when I searched).