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.)