Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Getting old DOS games working on modern hardware. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby markot » 2015-10-28 @ 11:19

Hello,

I used to use different copy protection removal software for DOS games during the 1990s. There were some libraries where you could find the game name and the patch for removing the copy protection. I just don't remember anymore the names of these copy protection removal programs. If someone knows good ones, please let me know.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby Great Hierophant » 2015-10-31 @ 17:22

http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/ - Nerdly Pleasures - My Retro Gaming, Computing & Tech Blog
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby acp » 2015-11-08 @ 12:22

I would say that SoftIce for DOS was one of the best tools available, but it required a bit of assembly language knowledge. However thanks to 386+ hardware breakpoints functionality removing / bypassing many schemes of copy protection was just too easy.

As a side note, since products by REM Software are already mentioned in above link, I'm looking for other product by the same company: Infinity Machine - a generic cheat engine similar to Game Wizard. I've lost my disk long time ago and back in a day I really liked it.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby JayCeeBee64 » 2015-11-08 @ 17:29

acp wrote:As a side note, since products by REM Software are already mentioned in above link, I'm looking for other product by the same company: Infinity Machine - a generic cheat engine similar to Game Wizard. I've lost my disk long time ago and back in a day I really liked it.


I still have my copy of The Infinity Machine (and still use it as well ^^).

Image

Image

It's not for sale however - and I had to close my PM box due to real life issues I'm having at present, so I have no idea how to proceed from here.

OT: I also have my original copy of Locksmith version 2.0, probably used it 2 or 3 times at most.
Ooohh, the pain......
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby acp » 2015-11-08 @ 20:53

I still remember using /X option with Doom. thanks for pictures but let's not hijack this thread. If only I could "persuade" you somehow to share disk images... ;)
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby saturn » 2015-11-20 @ 17:16

markot wrote:Hello,

I used to use different copy protection removal software for DOS games during the 1990s. There were some libraries where you could find the game name and the patch for removing the copy protection. I just don't remember anymore the names of these copy protection removal programs. If someone knows good ones, please let me know.

don't copy that floppy :cool:
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby Beegle » 2015-11-20 @ 17:24

saturn wrote:don't copy that floppy :cool:

I've used Neverlock on games that I own, more than once.
Especially when I'm recording music and need to restart the game a few times with different sound cards, copy protection becomes annoying very quickly.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby saturn » 2015-11-23 @ 15:11

Beegle wrote:
saturn wrote:don't copy that floppy :cool:

I've used Neverlock on games that I own, more than once.
Especially when I'm recording music and need to restart the game a few times with different sound cards, copy protection becomes annoying very quickly.

Are you sure you own the game? and not just the right to use it? I don't know about you, but were I live braking copy protection in anyway is the same as piracy. I know it crazy, but it's better safe then sorry when walking down this path.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby gerwin » 2015-11-26 @ 16:30

saturn wrote: were I live braking copy protection in anyway is the same as piracy.

Where is that? AFAIK supplying a no-CD fix/patch, without any part of the targetted software, is legal.
Actually DosBox is just as good as the DOS tool 'FakeCD' in bypassing the CD check, by giving a false positive, using a virtual CD instead.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby MiniMax » 2015-11-28 @ 01:48

If we are going to nitpick, I think it is unlikely anyone owns a game. At most, you have a license to use the copy that has been provided to you.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby gdjacobs » 2015-11-28 @ 04:52

It is made available to you under the terms of Copyright.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby Dominus » 2015-11-28 @ 06:40

MiniMax wrote:If we are going to nitpick, I think it is unlikely anyone owns a game. At most, you have a license to use the copy that has been provided to you.

If we are going to nitpick... I'm sure Jeff Vogel owns a game ;)
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby acp » 2018-10-28 @ 20:57

JayCeeBee64 wrote:I still have my copy of The Infinity Machine (and still use it as well ^^).


Sorry for bring back this old topic but I do wonder if anyone actually broke IM copy protection scheme? Secondly JCB64 how can I contact you those days? Long time we haven't spoken, but I am glad I still see you posting here :)
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby kjliew » 2018-10-30 @ 20:43

acp wrote: I do wonder if anyone actually broke IM copy protection scheme?

I don't mean to encourage piracy, I did break IM copy protection ~20 years ago when I was still a high school lad, using just the DEBUG.COM from MS-DOS on my 486. I still use IM today, it can even be used in DOSBox to accelerate my limited time of finishing old games that I enjoy replaying in different ways. :blush: I did it for a friend who bought the copy-protected floppy from the store. And since the copy protection was broken, I got to keep a copy for myself. :happy:

I can summarize the challenges of breaking the copy protection:
1. The INFINITY.COM is encrypted, a very standard defense against disassembly.
2. You can't modify the .COM even after it is decrypted. It has another layer of runtime integrity check.
3. It uses INFINITY.HDN as a unique hardware profile to prevent others from copying it out from the machine that it was installed.

Addressing #1 was a must. Once the clear format of .COM was obtained, one could choose to defeat the integrity check (#2) OR generate a legit INFINITY.HDN (#3). It turned out that generating a legit INFINITY.HDN was very simple from the clear format of .COM because it was comparing the binary data un-obfuscated. So saving the binary data from destination pointer into INFINITY.HDN and yeah, you got a legit INFINITY.HDN that can be used by the original encrypted INFINITY.COM.

I hope I won't be banned from this forum. Moderator, please feel free to delete this post if deemed necessary.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby acp » 2018-10-31 @ 08:51

kjliew wrote:I don't mean to encourage piracy, I did break IM copy protection ~20 years ago


I was suspecting that back in a day somebody broke the protection. That was the only info I've been looking for out of curiosity. Thanks.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby FabulousFurlough » 2019-7-28 @ 16:24

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I have some experience removing copy protection from DOS games. If you guys really NEED something that doesn't involve Sierra On-Line's SCI interpreter, just let me know. Also, if you check the manual for IM, there should be a thanks to me in there. IIRC.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby Akuma » 2019-7-31 @ 20:14

If you are looking for a swan song, I have one for you if you are interested.
I would have sent you a PM but it seems I have not posted enough *sigh*

Where can I sent you a link ?
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby FabulousFurlough » 2019-7-31 @ 22:24

You can definitely still send me a PM. I just can't reply. So, go ahead! Someone else sent me a PM about old Sierra stuff. And prepare for a shock.

During the THG days, I didn't have a PC at home. I cracked all the games at work on my company provided IBM PS/2 55SX. That being the case, I didn't keep ANY of the games that I cracked. I'd download the protected versions from Candyland, crack them, package them up for release, upload that to Candyland, and then delete it off my local computer. (As I needed the space for work!). So, no. I don't have any of the old stuff. That being said. If you DO come across the Space Quest 4 Beta that we released, it has the Sierra SCI debugger built in it! That could be a great tool for anyone looking to tinker around with those games.
Last edited by FabulousFurlough on 2019-8-01 @ 20:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Copy protection removal software for DOS games

Postby keropi » 2019-7-31 @ 23:50

^ oh that's too bad to hear... it is always interesting to get archives of old "warez" even if they can be frowned upon. It's part of history and I have to say warez is the reason some games are still playable today even if someone has bought the original back in the day... :)
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