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First post, by andre_6

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Hello everyone,

I have had a PSX since 1999 and from about 2015 forwards I've never managed to stabilise in a sure fire burning method. I even tried to get older CDs as opposed to the modern Verbatims, but I was never able to burn backups as successfully as I used to as a kid in the old days, I used ImgBurn at various speeds, DiscJuggler and even went back to Alcohol 120% with the Playstation 1 data mode selected and Nero.

Recently I got a Dreamcast and a Saturn, burning the backups with DiscJuggler and ImgBurn respectively and I never had a single coaster, the games always read at first try and run without FMV lag of any sort, all totally fluid.

Back to PSX, I remember even in the old days that it was common for successfully burned and working backups to not boot at first try (hanging on the PSX logo screen), so are Sony's optical drives just worse quality than Sega's in these instances?

And more to the point, could you please share your methods for burning PSX backups so I can finally stop burning coasters? Media used / program / burning speed? Thanks in advance

Last edited by andre_6 on 2022-05-11, 22:07. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 12, by Sombrero

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I think it was something about the way copy protection was implemented on the PS1, it checked for something else than the data when booting the disk that it then passed or not. No idea how to burn perfect backup copies that don't need any kind of modchip though, I only use original disks in hopes that will prolong the life of the laser. I have zero confidence on those chinese laser replacements they sell.

DOS/Win98SE (1990-1999): Pentium III 650MHz / Voodoo 3 3000 / Sound Blaster Audigy 2 / Orpheus
WinXP (2000-2006): Pentium 4 HT 651 3.4GHz (65W) / 9800 GTX+ / Sound Blaster X-Fi
Win7/10 (2007-2016): Xeon E3-1230 v3 / GTX 1660 Ti / Sound Blaster Z

Reply 3 of 12, by andre_6

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2022-05-11, 19:50:

I do the same thing I do with all CD media - taiyo yuden blanks burned at 10x in imgburn

Sombrero wrote on 2022-05-11, 20:28:

I think it was something about the way copy protection was implemented on the PS1, it checked for something else than the data when booting the disk that it then passed or not. No idea how to burn perfect backup copies that don't need any kind of modchip though, I only use original disks in hopes that will prolong the life of the laser. I have zero confidence on those chinese laser replacements they sell.

The more combinations of media / program / burning speed I get from everyone the better I'll be able to circle around a method that works best for me. If I'm to burn some coasters let it be towards solutions that are proven to work for others, thanks

Reply 4 of 12, by Sombrero

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If you can't find a way there's other options too, like softmodding: https://www.retrorgb.com/playstation-1-tonyha … d-released.html

Not as convenient as just loading from a disc, but no need for modchip. There's also ODE's, I hear XStation is good while PSIO can be a bit finicky and the seller is apparently kind of a dick. The PS1 core for mister is also looking to shape up great, I expect to migrate to that myself sooner or later.

DOS/Win98SE (1990-1999): Pentium III 650MHz / Voodoo 3 3000 / Sound Blaster Audigy 2 / Orpheus
WinXP (2000-2006): Pentium 4 HT 651 3.4GHz (65W) / 9800 GTX+ / Sound Blaster X-Fi
Win7/10 (2007-2016): Xeon E3-1230 v3 / GTX 1660 Ti / Sound Blaster Z

Reply 6 of 12, by andre_6

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Sombrero wrote on 2022-05-12, 04:36:

If you can't find a way there's other options too, like softmodding: https://www.retrorgb.com/playstation-1-tonyha … d-released.html

Not as convenient as just loading from a disc, but no need for modchip. There's also ODE's, I hear XStation is good while PSIO can be a bit finicky and the seller is apparently kind of a dick. The PS1 core for mister is also looking to shape up great, I expect to migrate to that myself sooner or later.

maxtherabbit wrote on 2022-05-12, 11:06:

installing a modchip for the playstation 1 is incredibly easy, it's like 5 wires

Of course, my PSX has had a modchip for more than 20 years! I never did any kind of swap trick. I'd like to keep the console as it is if possible, but those are good solutions it has to be said.

But even backups at the time didn't always boot first time for me. I always found the PSX incredibly picky comparing to SEGA's CD consoles for example.

My problem is that nowadays I can't seem to find a sure method to burn CDs that boot first time, or that work at least 75% of the time. If I boot an old backup CD from the 2000s it works fine, but if I burn a fresh backup today like I said, either it works 1 out of 5 times on average, or doesn't work at all (the most common result). Hence why I tried to get older CDs from the 2000s and tried all the programs and methods I described, but the problem remained.

The backup ROMs are from redump so I'm sure they are well made. I'd like to hear about combinations between media / program / burning speed to see if I can find a method that works for me, my 20 year old backups won't last forever and I'd like to know I can burn good copies if need be

Reply 7 of 12, by andre_6

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Shame there weren't more replies with burning methods, however after experimenting I found a more successful method, here it is for people who have modchips installed that may have similar problems in the future:

1. I bought Verbatim Extra Protection CDs. AZO CDs weren't available for me but the difference from what it seems is only in the type of dye used, so to have 40 year old lasting CDs or 100 year old ones is not that important in this matter.

2. The burning method is important but wasn't the difference maker for me. Most tutorials I found said to burn either at MAX, AWS (which is MAX really) or half speed (which normally ends up being 24x, at half of 48x normally), but I also found that the true on the fly speed of 48X or MAX is much closer to 30/35x than the MAX speed indicated. From all programs and burning speeds I tried I finally settled on 4x speed in ImgBurn, which worked more times getting past the boot screen and was also able reproduce FMVs without hiccups.

Sombrero wrote on 2022-05-11, 20:28:

I think it was something about the way copy protection was implemented on the PS1, it checked for something else than the data when booting the disk that it then passed or not. No idea how to burn perfect backup copies that don't need any kind of modchip though, I only use original disks in hopes that will prolong the life of the laser. I have zero confidence on those chinese laser replacements they sell.

3. Listening to the console trying to "fight" past the boot screen I thought that if I opened it up and re-greased the optical drive the console might have a better chance of booting successfully, and so it was. The percentage of success increased and even some of the coasters I made earlier were now booting from once to everytime in a case by case basis.

I still believe that Sony used optical drives of a lower quality than SEGA's, as any CD console by SEGA boots every single time if you burn the games correctly, even with a dirty CD. The picky nature of the PSX remains, but to be able to increase the boot up success rate is a nice win after the frustration. Hope this helps someone in the future, thanks for the replies and help as always

Reply 8 of 12, by Joseph_Joestar

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andre_6 wrote on 2022-05-21, 18:19:

From all programs and burning speeds I tried I finally settled on 4x speed in ImgBurn, which worked more times getting past the boot screen and was also able reproduce FMVs without hiccups

Using 4x is fine as long as both your CD burning hardware and your CD-R media support that speed. But if either of them don't, then there's some risk of making a coaster. I usually go with 8x, since that's the lowest supported speed for most run-of-the-mill Verbatim CDs.

BTW, I found that PS1 cutscene skipping issues have less to do with the burn quality and more with the general state of its CD drive. Case in point, my SCPH-5502 had FMV skipping issues with both my original copy of Tomb Raider as well as my burned backup, and in the exact same spots. Applying some electric motor grease to the gears of the CD drive fixed the problem for me.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 9 of 12, by maxtherabbit

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With respect to choosing a burning speed:
It's trial and error depending on your specific drive and discs. Slower is sometimes better, but not always

Reply 10 of 12, by andre_6

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2022-05-21, 19:46:

With respect to choosing a burning speed:
It's trial and error depending on your specific drive and discs. Slower is sometimes better, but not always

I imagine so, still I'll always be on the lookout for new methods. But for now I think this is one is stable enough, I won't get them to boot 100% of the times but I'll take my chances as they are now.

Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-05-21, 18:52:
andre_6 wrote on 2022-05-21, 18:19:

From all programs and burning speeds I tried I finally settled on 4x speed in ImgBurn, which worked more times getting past the boot screen and was also able reproduce FMVs without hiccups

Using 4x is fine as long as both your CD burning hardware and your CD-R media support that speed. But if either of them don't, then there's some risk of making a coaster. I usually go with 8x, since that's the lowest supported speed for most run-of-the-mill Verbatim CDs.

BTW, I found that PS1 cutscene skipping issues have less to do with the burn quality and more with the general state of its CD drive. Case in point, my SCPH-5502 had FMV skipping issues with both my original copy of Tomb Raider as well as my burned backup, and in the exact same spots. Applying some electric motor grease to the gears of the CD drive fixed the problem for me.

Interesting about the FMVs, today I found another little trick, I wasn't able to boot 3 different games in a row, trying each one multiple times, like almost 10 times each. Put an original game in, let it past the boot screen, turn off the console and tried the same 3 backups and all worked first time! Does anyone have a clue as to why this happens?

Reply 11 of 12, by Joseph_Joestar

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andre_6 wrote on 2022-05-21, 21:16:

Interesting about the FMVs, today I found another little trick, I wasn't able to boot 3 different games in a row, trying each one multiple times, like almost 10 times each. Put an original game in, let it past the boot screen, turn off the console and tried the same 3 backups and all worked first time! Does anyone have a clue as to why this happens?

Not sure, I never had that kind of an issue. In my case, the drive was equally bad at reading originals and backups, due to the grease having dried out on the gears.

Back when I last researched this (about 5 years ago) I did read about some CD drives needing to have their laser strength adjusted using a potentiometer. I never had to do this personally, so I'm not sure whether it works or not. If you search "PS1 CD drive repair" on YouTube you'll find a ton of videos which show all kinds of problems that can occur and how to solve them.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 12 of 12, by andre_6

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2022-05-21, 22:39:
andre_6 wrote on 2022-05-21, 21:16:

Interesting about the FMVs, today I found another little trick, I wasn't able to boot 3 different games in a row, trying each one multiple times, like almost 10 times each. Put an original game in, let it past the boot screen, turn off the console and tried the same 3 backups and all worked first time! Does anyone have a clue as to why this happens?

Not sure, I never had that kind of an issue. In my case, the drive was equally bad at reading originals and backups, due to the grease having dried out on the gears.

Back when I last researched this (about 5 years ago) I did read about some CD drives needing to have their laser strength adjusted using a potentiometer. I never had to do this personally, so I'm not sure whether it works or not. If you search "PS1 CD drive repair" on YouTube you'll find a ton of videos which show all kinds of problems that can occur and how to solve them.

Thanks, I bought a new laser so I can test it out, I don't want to stress the original laser even further adjusting the potentiometer with higher voltages, plus it actually does make sense that it's on its way out now that I think about it, as it read more backups than originals through its lifespan, wearing it out faster as it struggled more to read the burned discs than the original pressed discs. But as an absolute last resort for someone who doesn't care about that it absolutely works for any laser pickup, it will just die even faster, that's all