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First post, by Dracolich

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Hi guys, I just ran into a copy protection situation. I've been replaying my Mechwarrior games in 98se - finished all the 2 and 3 series - all using bin/cue images mounted in DaemonTools 3.47. Today I just tried Vengeance and whenever I try to start from the bin/cue it gives the error to insert the correct CD. But if I use my original disc in the CD-RW drive it works.

A little Googling reveals the game uses Safedisc copy protection and it can tell when the disc is a copy. DT has options to emulate Safedisc (and a few other) methods, but when I try that it still does the same. The last thing I tried was reinstalling from DT letting it rewrite the files. I noticed it did not pop the EULA at the end which, according to Microsoft's KB, is another symptom of the failed CD verification.

If I remember correctly I used UltraISO on my main PC to rip my discs to bin/cue. Is there anything else I can do to run from DT? Do I need to rerip the discs as a different format or using a different tool?

Thanks

Reply 1 of 11, by firage

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The program and its read settings can make a difference, but BIN + CUE just doesn't replicate advanced copy protection schemes such as Safedisc past a certain version. DT 3.47 supports the CloneCD (CCD + IMG + SUB) and Alcohol 120% (MDF + MDS v1) image formats that were the most popular for replicating all such discs.

My big-red-switch 486

Reply 2 of 11, by Dracolich

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Thanks, firage, for the info. I got the Alcohol 120% 2.0 from Phil's Computer Lab, installed it on my main win7 PC, and ripped the 2 CDs for MW4. After transferring the new images to the Win98 PC DaemonTools can't read them.
I quickly found that the last Alcohol for Win98 is a 1.9.5.x, so I found a copy and put it on the Win98 PC, but the PC froze in the middle of ripping. I think that's a separate issue related to usb and/or the mobo.
I might try using a PCem virtual machine but that will take a while. Is there a way to create a backward compatible image with recent software? Would a CloneCD imge be more backward compatible?

Last edited by Dracolich on 2021-11-22, 02:23. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 4 of 11, by chinny22

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The other option is to find No CD cracks. I do this with the majority of my games so I don't need to load up the iso at all.

Reply 5 of 11, by Dracolich

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Thanks, chinny22. I thought of that and I've used no-cd cracks in the past for games that only use the CD for verification or music. I only use them as a last resort now, especially for multi-disc games (ex: Myst II and III) since those usually involve dumping the CD files on the hard drive. With a lot of games that can get messy, and with a small hard drive it can get full fast.

Reply 6 of 11, by firage

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Dracolich wrote on 2021-11-22, 01:07:

Thanks, firage, for the info. I got the Alcohol 120% 2.0 from Phil's Computer Lab, installed it on my main win7 PC, and ripped the 2 CDs for MW4. After transferring the new images to the Win98 PC DaemonTools can't read them.
I quickly found that the last Alcohol for Win98 is a 1.9.5.x, so I found a copy and put it on the Win98 PC, but the PC froze in the middle of ripping. I think that's a separate issue related to usb and/or the mobo.
I might try using a PCem virtual machine but that will take a while. Is there a way to create a backward compatible image with recent software? Would a CloneCD imge be more backward compatible?

The MDF/MDS specification changed with Alcohol 120% version 1.9.6 1.9.7, which was way back in 2006 2008, unfortunately. The last version before that was 1.9.5.4521 1.9.6.5429, and indeed the final version supporting 98/ME is 1.9.5.3105. It can be a bit of a PITA.

Last edited by firage on 2021-11-24, 16:08. Edited 1 time in total.

My big-red-switch 486

Reply 9 of 11, by firage

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Seems promising. Virtual CloneDrive might be a freeware alternative to DT if you're creating images on modern systems. Appears they dropped pre-XP support in 5.5.1.0? Will have to check out how it works sometime.

My big-red-switch 486

Reply 10 of 11, by DosFreak

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These are the versions for the last time I tested. Currently in the process of setting up VMs for all Windows OS for testing like this since all my VMs are old.

95 - SetupVirtualCloneDrive5440
98-ME-NT4 - SetupVirtualCloneDrive5450
Windows 2000 - SetupVCD5500

Can't provide any input on emulating copy protection since I was disgusted with it in 2003 or so said to hell with it and went crack only.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 11 of 11, by firage

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Thanks, very good to know!

I've tested more builds of Alcohol 120% today and it seems I have to correct myself on where it lost compatibility with DT 3.47. Version 1.9.6.5429 still works (under XP). The first version producing MDS files that wouldn't mount was 1.9.7.

My big-red-switch 486