Very New Securerom New (securerom 4?) - Can it be copied?

Commencing with Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom it appears that a new and extremely effective version of securerom which, to date, has defied all attempts to copy it is being used on securerom protected titles.

(Other recently released games with this new version of securerom include: Virtual Resort: Spring Break, Empire Earth: Art of Conquest and Frontline Attack: War over Europe.) However, as Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom is the only one of these released so far downunder, it’s the only one I’ve had an opportunity to test.

Regrettably, my tests on Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom appear to show that (unlike all previous securerom protected cds up to and including The Thing - securerom version 4.77.00.0029) it cannot be copied successfully or, at least, cannot be copied with my hardware.

Attempts with clonecd, alcohol 120% and blindwrite have all failed, irrespective of profiles used (using clonecd, I have tried the game cd profile, the game cd profile with regen data checked, the forum’s securerom profile, the forum’s Lite-on securerom new profile and my own custom profile of read data subs + regen data with everything else unchecked).

I have tested the various profiles at various reading speeds (down to as low as 4x) and varied the burning settings so as to force a dao96 write (“Don’t repair subchannel data” in clonecd) or a dao16 write (“Repair subchannel data” in alcohol 120%).

I should also indicate that every setting or profile that I used would have created a working back-up with every previously released securerom protected cd irrespective of whether I used my dvd or my cdrw as the reader.

I have tested reading with both my Ltd-163 and my Ltr-24102b (mine is a peculiarly good sub-code reader unlike most of that model) but all attempts have failed. All back-up copies made when the dvd is used as reader will autorun but then quit to the desktop when attempting to start the game from the launcher screen. All copies made with my cdrw as reader will not even autorun but will display a starting error message to the effect that “The D:\MSVBVM60.dll file appears to be corrupt”.

Not only have all attempts to make a working back-up failed but no image made will run when mounted on a virtual drive whether or not securerom emulation is enabled.

I do not believe that this is a simple case of blacklisting as the original runs correctly from either of my drives irrespective of any background program running.

The cd has 318269 sectors of which alcohol 120% and cdrdao each report #318265 and 318266 as being bad. Clonecd and discdump, however, do not report any bad sectors. Blindread also records 2 bad sectors right at the end of the read (so I think it safe to assume that they are there though, of course, blindread doesn’t have a log file indicating the precise location of bad sectors encountered.

There definitely appears to be something new now being used in securerom protected cds (a working version of the NWN 1.21 version perhaps; i.e. it doesn’t wrongly detect originals as being copies).

If anyone has had success in copying any of the above titles or any other cd protected with securerom using version 4.77.00.0050 (that used on Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom) or later or even success in geeting an image to run from a virtual drive, with or without emulation, please post details of hardware and software used together with details of relevant settings and/or profiles.

Unfortunately, my rig appears to have met its match for the first time with a securerom protected cd. Hopefully though, this doesn’t mean that this protection can’t be copied at all (though, at present that seems to be the case) or that a solution won’t be found by olli et al.

Update: Unreal Tournament 2003 apparently also uses this new version of securom.

(Note: FP & GF, you might want to stick this thread for the time being. There have already been a number of threads started relating to titles protectedwith this new very, very nasty version of securerom.)

Hi philamber…i think you are very luckyly. Finally you have found a version of securom that you can’t backup. I have a lot of games with securom ( i think i own most of the securom versions available on the market [from two years ago]) and i found the first problem with this “type” of securom before summer with the spanish tittle Etherlords. The only thing i found that worked for this title was that still ran with D tools. But was a pretty coincidence…only a image from five to ten with differents programs worked…Jowood and its games were the testers and now there is a stronger securom that can’t be duplicated. As heard no remember where it seems that the “phisical patterns” of the discs cannot be stored into a standart .iso file nor .ccd, .bwt etc… Only into the .mds file can be stored that info but i heard too that it’s completely imposible ( by now) write this info into the cd.

Resuming…i have a lot of securom v3 ( as i prefer to call it) from before summer that can’t be duplicated and i can tell you what titles in Spain have this. i have a plex writer 24x and a toshiba dvd ( a wonderfull combination for duplicating and testing) and i had a lot of problems with “that” securom. i have also many friends readers to test and those securom were still useless to play. For what you are telling us i think you have found an “improved” version like the version we have here with emperor …,neverwinter (1.00 but with last version of securom) and so on. …no way to duplicate it…and i don’t consider isolated cases(one or two people that reported succeed) because this doesn’t help anyone…only confuses people. I was luckyly with starforce and could backup it perfectly but no luck with tages or that version of securom (only ONE time i succeed and partially ( one game - Etherlords). Other versions of securom like the warcraft one were asy to duplicate. I consider myself with a lot of experience in this and read in many forums with no info about that topic. We will need to wait for a working way for MOST users…not for a FEW ONES!

Update

I checked my registry for changes and found that this game installed a new set of registry keys as follows:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SecuROM\Keys\EC7D079C
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SecuROM\Keys\F3BCE8BB
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SecuROM\Keys\290D64AA
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SecuROM\Keys\6A556A7B
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SecuROM\Keys\ADD170EC
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\SecuROM\Keys

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Sierra\CDKeys

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Sierra\Emperor: Rise Of The Middle Kingdom\1.0.0.0
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Sierra\Emperor: Rise Of The Middle Kingdom

Of those, the final set specifically related to the game itself were to be expected. However, the other two sets were not.

In particular, I suspect that the new part of the protection is contained in or given effect to by the new set of SecuROM keys. Nothing remotely like this has ever previously been installed into the registry by any previous securerom protected cd.

this doesn’t mean that this protection can’t be copied at all (though, at present that seems to be the case) or that a solution won’t be found by olli et al.

Time for Olli and Sven to come back from Holidays, for the Next Version of Clone Maybe 4.01.11 ? LOL :wink:

I have tested the various profiles at various reading speeds (down to as low as 4x) and varied the burning settings so as to force a dao96 write (“Don’t repair subchannel data” in clonecd) or a dao16 write (“Repair subchannel data” in alcohol 120%).
:confused: Why is that necessarily a dao16 write? Repair subchannel data could also mean that the crc check sum is corrected by software, which would be something you could call “dao94”, which some older Acers do by hardware.

Please read the disc several times and do a binary compare on the images.

The cd has 318269 sectors of which alcohol 120% and cdrdao each report #318265 and 318266 as being bad. Clonecd and discdump, however, do not report any bad sectors. Blindread also records 2 bad sectors right at the end of the read (so I think it safe to assume that they are there though, of course, blindread doesn’t have a log file indicating the precise location of bad sectors encountered.
<THEORY>
If the timecode in the q subchannel doesn’t match the timecode in the sector header, some programs might report the sector being bad, while others might accept such “crap”-data.
</THEORY>
but no luck with tages
A clone software must be specially designed to be able to copy Tagès protected CDs.
. We will need to wait for a working way for MOST users…not for a FEW ONES!
If it works for a few, then we have good and bad images for comparison and might be able to find out how it works.

@ alexnoe

>Please read the disc several times and do a binary compare on the images.

With what tool? A hex editor, cdmage …?

You don’t know the windows command “FC”?

such as
FC “d:\image1*." "d:\image2*.” /b"

Works under Win 98 and Win 2000 :slight_smile:

I just did this with Neverwinter Nights: The subchannel data on it were read, to express it carefully, unreliably. 2300 bytes differed, 300-400 thereof were different in all 3 files (no, I didn’t test that with FC, I’ve created a program to do that with 3 files). Readers were Toshiba 1502 and LiteOn 40125W.
I think they’ve made something with the CD to cause unreliable subchannel reading.

Originally posted by alexnoe
[B]You don’t know the windows command “FC”?

such as
FC “d:\image1*." "d:\image2*.” /b"

Works under Win 98 and Win 2000 :slight_smile:
[/B]

Obviously not. :o

Anyway, I’ve now given the original back to it’s owner with regrets that I was unable to make a back-up for him.

I’ll run the test you suggest when the next one of these latest securom protected cds is released here. (Won’t be long as the Empire Earth expansion disc is due for release either this week or next.)

@Morglum007

I was luckyly with starforce and could backup it perfectly

Can I ask how you backup-ed the StarForce protection?
What program did you use, CloneCD, Blindwrite, CDRWin, …??

As far as I know/knew StarForce was uncopyable.

I still have to get a CD with StarForce on it to test it myself!!

Originally posted by alexnoe
I think they’ve made something with the CD to cause unreliable subchannel reading.
Yes, this is what Sven Rhode determined; Liteons are especially affected. Olli would have looked at this when Arx Fatalis first gave unreliable results a few (?) months ago. If he’s not working on another project, I’d bet he was working on a new version, eh?

For WC3, only LiteOns were affected. Now, even my Toshiba 1502 reads crap subchannel data.

At last others are now finding the new new new version of securom 4 ??? uncopyable and wont even run with alcohol 120% or dameon tools. I have brought this to the forums attention 4/5 weeks ago and its obviously taken time for the new titles to filter out across the globe.
Im in the fortunate position of testing most new titles either on release or just before so I get to try most titles out for their copy protection capabilities as soon as possible perhaps thats why I have come across so many of these newer titles so soon.
certainly well ahead of you aussie guys down under !!!
The interesting thing is it is so unpredictable for example" the thing"
is securom new but copies fine whereas disciples 2 no go!!!
since clony xxl has stopped being updated its not easy to know what version this newer securom is???
anybody know how to check the versions?
also most titles through clony state there is no copy protection but obviously there is but we cannot detect it !!
titles affected this way are most of the new jowood titles
industry giant 2
hotel giant
beachlife
the situation when copying using some of the other copy programs like cd copy and cd mate is 2/3 blocks at the end of the reading show as cannot be read by reader( no matter which reader I use ) somehow because of this inability to read these
Im sure this is what is preventing the 1:1 copy
unfortunately my computer programming skills lack the talent to solve this and the rest is over to elaborate bytes and oli !!
however Im happy to test most titles as they are released and feed back its copying capability and protection type.

For namoh:

okay i said it long ago but nobody trusted me so…i didn’t give it importance. I know it is starforce protected and so on…
I said i was very luckyly because i only succeed in doing an image once with cloneCD. For both drives i have and cloneCD, when the original were inserted nothing happened, but if i try to launch cloneCD and then reading an image…both drives hangs up my system ( typical windows blue screen about “an error happened when trying to access the unit …”)Only a time with my toshy dvd succeed in doing a working image, but it lasted about 2 hours in read the full contents of the cd ( a toshiba dvd reads a laserlock title in about 30 minutes in the worst case) Was a very strange thing…then burned with my plex 24x and works perfect ( till the end of the game) I suppose it’s a “light” version of starforce but it’s the working backup most difficult i have ever made.

Anything more?

Thx!

Originally posted by logicwatch
anybody know how to check the versions?
also most titles through clony state there is no copy protection but obviously there is but we cannot detect it !!

Version number of SecuROM can be found after AddD string in the protected executable. Last version capable of being copied successfully at present appears to be #version 4.77.00.0029 (The Thing). You should be able to copy any securom protected cd using that version # or below but will almost certainly fail if the version # is higher than that one.

If you suspect securom protection, don’t use clony (too unreliable). Use Yaps or Scout and scan the directory on your hard drive where the game is installed not just the cd. They’ll often miss it on the cd but usually detect it with a scan of the program directory after installion.

@Morglum007

Anything more?

Yes, which profile did you use, when you got lucky (reading and writing)!

After that one time, you never succeeded to make a (correct) image with the same reader?
Strange?

I’m gonna look if I can get my hands on a StarForce CD and I’m gonna read it a thousand times until I get an burnable image!

Thanks for the info.

I used a personal profile…not very important…FES, subchannel read ( both audio and data) and for writing a standart one.
And yes, it was very strange, only once i did a correct image. Actually, my system always hung up when trying to read with cloneCD. I don’t know if this helps u but this is my experience

Good luck!

I might have an idea how new securom could work…

When CloneCD reads subchannel there are always some errors in subchannel which will be then burned to backup disc.

So maybe new securom reads subchannel several times and compares results to get exactly the data that is on disc. (like EAC does to audio?) If the data differs from that what it should be the game won’t run.

Hm, not a bad idea :slight_smile:

I’ve tried burning “corrected” data (R-W set to 0), and it didn’t work. Don’t forget that the disc must still work if it has some scratches. Then, it would never find the “correct” subchannel data for some sectors.

My NWN CD3 seems to contain twin sectors. Someone should verify this.
See this thread

Supi may be on to something there.

Here is my experience with UT2003…

When I run off the original, my mouse cursor turns into a spinning CD-ROM image for a few seconds. During that time, there is activity on the CD drive. Then the game starts up.

When I run off a backup, the spinning CD-ROM cursor appears, but continues for much longer. It is also reading the CD, but after what appears to be multiple retries, the cursor reverts to normal and “nothing happens”. There is no error message, and the game does not start.

INTERESTING NOTE: I installed off a backup that was created with the CloneCD “Game CD” settings. I can run fine with the original. Hence,installing UT2003 from a backup does not seem to affect copy protection.

I have tried using the CloneCD “Liteon SecuROM New” config. I also tried a config generated by ClonyXXL. Both failed. :a

I have a Lite-on LTR-32123S converted to an LTR-40125S. I did the reads with the Litey, but after reading this forum that might be a problem. I’m gonna try reading with the generic CD-ROM that came in my Comcrap PC.