One of SafeDisc 2.8 copy protection methods

vbimport

#1

Do NOT ask where i got this from. Take it or leave it.

One of SafeDisc 2.8’s methods of copy protection is with invalid data in the first pre-gap.

The first pre-gap is blocks -150 to 0 before track 1.

When using a writing method like emulation to backup SafeDisc 2.8 titles, the pre-gap are is just emulated.

The resulting backup disc can be used, but the pre-gap data is not the original data. It is a little different.
In this mode, the same emulated pre-gap information will be provided. This fake information can lead to a shortfall in the program as the fake information can be voided by Macrovision’s methods.

It seems only a limited number of drives can do this.
All drives featuring MediaTek chipsets, which include Lite-On drives (over 12x writing and higher) and the new LG DVD Multi writer.
Also the Plextor PX-820 and PX-4220 can read this information, but the latest Plextor drives don’t include any support for this.

Any ideas ? :slight_smile:


#2

I’ve looked into MMC4-1d… assuming that invalid pregap data is indeed used:

Assuming that indeed only a few drives can read it RAW: Then, only reading the data as verification cannot be performed. The invalid pregap must cause side effects.

What would happen if MIN, SEC, FRAME, TNO or INDEX field of the first pre gap were invalid? What is the contents of the sector headers in the mainchannel in the pre gap? Same as in the Q subchannel?


#3

“It seems only a limited number of drives can do this.
All drives featuring MediaTek chipsets, which include Lite-On drives”

What point there is in that protection scheme then? If it doesn’t affect MediaTek chipsets which are the only (I think) that can write SD2.51 weak sectors correctly? :confused:


#4

Originally posted by Supi Suomalaine
[B]“It seems only a limited number of drives can do this.
All drives featuring MediaTek chipsets, which include Lite-On drives”

What point there is in that protection scheme then? If it doesn’t affect MediaTek chipsets which are the only (I think) that can write SD2.51 weak sectors correctly? :confused: [/B]

Copy protection makers get desperate, I guess :smiley:
They come up with variable density, we give them Twinpeak…
They come up with data in pregap, we give them LiteOn drives…
As of now, there is practically nothing on the market that can’t be copied or emulated. Except for new Starforce Professional and DVD-Cops, but that’s just a matter of time, as always.
And if Starforce Professional really comes with own Ring-0 driver stuff, they’ll encounter tons of compatibility problems :smiley:
Probably first time ever that the copy protection has worse quality than the crappy game that it’s protecting :bigsmile:

Hmm, nah, I think we already had such cases :smiley:


#5

ring - 0 driver? elaborate, please - im a bit ignorant on this one…


#6

He means a driver using a CPL of 0 (which would have hardware access rights as the windows kernel itself).

Look into a description of low level protected mode programming of your choice :slight_smile:


#7

"He means a driver using a CPL of 0 (which would have hardware access rights as the windows kernel itself). "

But is that really necessary for Star-Force to do its checks?


#8

It could bypass any emulation layer.


#9

ahhh, im enlightened :smiley:

too consumed with learning the programming for school in order to become engrossed with that one. i have a course next semester on assembly programming for the i86, intro course, though. any possibility that is the kind of thing you are talking about prays


#10

If it is an “intro”: No…

Philamber found something on SD2.80. Hope he’s going to post it here, too :slight_smile:


#11

intro as the goal is to program some kind of video game totally in assembler. i plan on buying a sleeping bag over xmas, so i can sleep in the computer lab >.<


#12

Hi people, I’m kind-of new to the scene but I saw on CDFreaks some time ago Venom said that he had emulated an early version of Star-Force. Surely then it wasn’t using a CPL of 0. Also, if it was this simple, wouldn’t SecuROM and Sony already have done that?


#13

If Safedisc 2.8 checks informations in the pre-gap, the virtual
drive just have to pretend that it cannot read this region and
the copy will run without problem… not a big threat to emulation
really.

About ring0, Starforce does not use it to “bypass emulation”
(which would not make any sense anyway), but to mess with
system debuggers. But better not talk about this here, as this
is not related to optical storage and too complicated for
most readers anyway.


#14

Maybe they could not think of anything better to come up with :confused: This could hardly be called a “protection”…


#15

I read this before and gave up because I didn’t understand it. But I think I understand the pregap issue now.

Basically, what you’re saying is that their pregap has invalid data? Alcohol etc don’t actually write this invalid data in the pregap but just write something else? However, only a few drives can read the pregap (e.g. many LiteOn writers) so this protection doesn’t work for the rest (since they can’t verify if the pregap is correct or wrong)? If it can’t be read I assume it must be ignored.

I can think of two points here. Firstly don’t use your burner for reading :slight_smile: One of the reasons I used to recommend this is because of the low MTBF but given the price of CDRW drives now this isn’t really important. But still, I personally think it is better to have and use a seperate reader whenever possible.

But when you think about it, I suppose it makes sense for them to include it if it works. Since the burners which can make backups of SD2.8 are the ones which can detect the invalid pregap, then it is logical to assume many people with backups have these drives.

However, shouldn’t it be possible to just make something which convinces the drive not to report proper pregap? You usually already need something extra because of the issues with burners which can report CDRs due to the APIT.

Finally, does anyone know how many CD drivers are there which claim to read the pregap but don’t? Because it’s possible some drivers may claim to read it but can’t really. If the data they report is the same as the emulated pregap then there will be a big problem. The only way around it will be to actually implement drive specific functions so if it detects you have a LiteOn or whatever only then will it try to read the pregap…

IMHO, this issue isn’t really important but it may cause a few problems for some if it is implemented…


#16

Am I the only person who is feeling Amiiga deja-vu all over again?

cough originals that don’t work in new drives, …just the drives made around that time cough.

Some of you may remember games that did not run on the Amiga 3000, unless they were cracked, because the copy protections had gotten so insane that they were literally married to the hardware of an A500… :frowning:

A public outroar is near…

Just look at what is going on in the game community right now. Bioware had to REMOVE Securom protection in NWN 1.22 because the new protection broke originals…(but sure didn’t hurt the pirates). Croteam removed SD2 in Serious Sam 2 1.07 because too many users had problems with their drives bombing out with 1.05. Of course, some companies remove the protection after a game has been out for a long time, and the protection is rather stupid at that point (Quake 3 Arena Cd key checking, Sacrifice Safedisc protection, etc…)


#17

Er the Amiga was before my time (which was perhaps 1991 or something) but from what you are saying, the current situation sounds a little different. The problem isn’t that they don’t work in new drives, simply that they don’t work in a lot of hardware. Basically the users became beta testers. E.g. with NWN clearly they had the basics of the new SecureROM ready since they made the CDs but they weren’t quite sure of the implementation yet. Finally they tried it out but it failed badly. They users didn’t like being beta testers for a new copy protection. So they abandoned it. I think the trouble is because the way CD-Roms are made, making a copy protection system which can be detected in all drives yet can’t be copied is very difficult. If CD-Roms were made to detect some special copy protection code on the disc, it would be very different. But they aren’t so they have to rely on obscure methods to detect rather simple IMHO copy protections…

Public outcry, I don’t know. As long as the copy protection is compatible it will stay in IMHO whether we like it or not. However. I think the software houses are going to be a little smarter then let the copy protection sellers con therm into beta testing new copy protections system tho…

Whether it’s worth (for the software houses) it I’m not really sure. While reducing prices may be smarter assuming they are not willing to do so, then we have to look at things differently. Compare how much they gain compared to how much they lose. The know all too well that the “hard-core/professinal” piracy market is a lost cause (even if they deny it). Most of these markets are in fairly poor areas where people will never be able to afford all the new software and games. The more recent Internet market is not to their liking but they know they can’t deal with that one with copy protection. So not surprisingly, what they are very worried about is the not so hard-core. Especially the end user copying. You must realise there are still a lot of stupid people out there copying. What they want to do is to make is complex and difficult enough that these people will be discouraged from doing it. Many of these people are from fairly rich countries and in general, if they cannot do it, they will buy another copy. This is the market they are concentrating on. They really don’t care (although they may pretend this is not true some of the time) about the professional and hardcore markets (e.g. P2P, IRC, FTP) as these people will rely on cracks if worse comes to worse. In fact, many of these markets use cracks most of the time even for the rather simple old copy protections (old SafeDiscs etc). They just need something a bit more then a CD label/size/etc check and these markets tend to ignore the other options most of the time and go straight for cracks. They have different stratergies for those areas (e.g. CD-keys, lawsuits etc).


#18

I found this thread on the internet. I have a few phillips cdrw drives and a Toshiba DVD player. I was under the impression with a phillips drive and cloneCD I could copy anything. You guys seem to know what you are talking about here, can you shed any light on my situation. I am trying to back-up CNC Generals which is protected with safedisc 2.8. Please help, I have tried everything I can think of.

:bow: :bow: :bow:


#19

Did this:search!
and got this:this!


#20

but do you know, why the hell e.g. a copy of splinter cell (with 2.8) works, if burnt on RW and with same configuration it doesn’t work when burnt on R?

Originally posted by spath
[B]If Safedisc 2.8 checks informations in the pre-gap, the virtual
drive just have to pretend that it cannot read this region and
the copy will run without problem… not a big threat to emulation
really.

About ring0, Starforce does not use it to “bypass emulation”
(which would not make any sense anyway), but to mess with
system debuggers. But better not talk about this here, as this
is not related to optical storage and too complicated for
most readers anyway. [/B]