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

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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.
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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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