List of difficult to copy disks

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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby JimDrew » Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:40 am

Well, the data written compares identical to the image that was made, so the copy is at least as good as the original disk. As long as the original works, then so should the copy.

I got Kick Off 2 in today. That has a variety of protection schemes, including some strongbits areas that are ~7.5ms long.
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby dlfrsilver » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:50 am

JimDrew wrote:Well, the data written compares identical to the image that was made, so the copy is at least as good as the original disk. As long as the original works, then so should the copy.

I got Kick Off 2 in today. That has a variety of protection schemes, including some strongbits areas that are ~7.5ms long.


Here is a game called Albedo (amiga version), which use a very nasty protection scheme in SCP format :

https://app.box.com/s/yhctdw23zeshn6rncmjq

i have been unable to copy this disk back to a fresh one (the original disk work faithfully on my A500).

can you check and tell me why SCP can't reproduce the disk via the image made ?
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby JimDrew » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:55 am

Sorry, I just saw this post. I will grab the file in the morning from my office.

I did get a response from 16/32 stating that they sold the last Crown of Creation 3D years ago.
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:02 pm

I have just received an image to look at.
here is the description

Code: Select all

"Eco" by Ocean, the disk do work on my ST but only with a certain disk drive (epson 380), so i tried to make an image and check it out with SCP software ...

First the quality of the disk does not seems very good but the DPLL can recover the data ...

But if the image is correct track 70 to 79 are the weirdest tracks I have ever seen. 8O

For example track 70 starts with an unformatted area and at about the middle of the track we have fluxes all spaced around 8.5 µs (look at the histogram). This gives us a cell clok at 4.2 (10% above normal but well handled by the FDC DPLL). If we look at the buffer has it would be read by a read track command we have in this region a long segment of 0x00 (could have been detected as 0xFF) then around 140ms we go back to unfromatted area!
eco-70.0.JPG

eco-70.0-buffer.JPG

and in track 77 and 79 we have a unique sector preceded by and followed by unformatted areas. These two sectors also contains No Flux areas which are not yet handled correctly by SCP (neeed firmware update)
eco-77.JPG


I do not know how the game check these protections but this looks to me one of the most difficult to reproduce FD!
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby JimDrew » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:08 pm

Looks pretty normal to me for many Amiga protections. The start of the track contains a pattern (sometimes usable data) and the rest is weakbits.
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:23 pm

This has been presented to me as an st game!
But If this is for Amiga then I know nothing about Amiga but looks weird to me ;)

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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby Stefan jL » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:34 pm

If you convert it to STX does it work in STEEM then?
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:32 pm

Stefan jL wrote:If you convert it to STX does it work in STEEM then?

I have used Aufit and guess what the conversion from scp to Pasti seems to work on this game :)
eco.rar
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby Stefan jL » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:44 pm

Yes seems to work fine in STEEM :)
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:36 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:
Stefan jL wrote:If you convert it to STX does it work in STEEM then?

I have used Aufit and guess what the conversion from scp to Pasti seems to work on this game :)
eco.rar


mhh there is something strange : with the hxc software the sectors headers crc are marked as bad. i don't have this issue with others stx files.

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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:57 pm

Jeff_HxC2001 wrote:
DrCoolZic wrote:
Stefan jL wrote:If you convert it to STX does it work in STEEM then?

I have used Aufit and guess what the conversion from scp to Pasti seems to work on this game :)
eco.rar


mhh there is something strange : with the hxc software the sectors headers crc are marked as bad. i don't have this issue with others stx files.


I do not understand? sector header crc of which track ? sector ?

The input image is not clean and most probably convertion is therefore not clean either

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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby JimDrew » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:10 pm

It could be that the game manufacturer uses the same protection for both the Amiga and St versions, and the Amiga version was used. Dungeon Master for the Amiga is the exact same protection as the ST version, in fact the protection track *is* the exact same Atari ST formatted track on the Amiga disk!
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby JimDrew » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:01 am

Well.... add Turrican, Ghostbusters II, and KickOff2 to the list of programs we can copy. I just finished the strongbits (no flux area) support in the SCP firmware. I believe that was the last piece of the puzzle as far as the hardware is concerned. I will be making a new flasher program to update the SCP's firmware to v0.6. v.99 already has support for this firmware.

I need to make a better routine for non-blind copying, as Turrican won't copy automatically (yet). I used the analyzer and copied it track by track manually to test the new firmware, and that works perfectly. So, the next phase is to eliminate the blind/non-blind and use new functions "DOS", "SPLICE", and "INDEX" for copying modes. These are the names that I came up with back in the day, and they are fitting still. DOS will check each track and frame the data (keeping the index reference) as DOS track. If the track is not DOS, then the track will be copied using the SPLICE method. INDEX is still the #1 most common way to backup a disk because 99.9% of everything made for just about every computer system was created this way.

So, the project is coming along nicely. At this point, I do not believe there is anything that we can not duplicate for the ST (or any other computer).
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby dlfrsilver » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:36 am

JimDrew wrote:Well.... add Turrican, Ghostbusters II, and KickOff2 to the list of programs we can copy. I just finished the strongbits (no flux area) support in the SCP firmware. I believe that was the last piece of the puzzle as far as the hardware is concerned. I will be making a new flasher program to update the SCP's firmware to v0.6. v.99 already has support for this firmware.

I need to make a better routine for non-blind copying, as Turrican won't copy automatically (yet). I used the analyzer and copied it track by track manually to test the new firmware, and that works perfectly. So, the next phase is to eliminate the blind/non-blind and use new functions "DOS", "SPLICE", and "INDEX" for copying modes. These are the names that I came up with back in the day, and they are fitting still. DOS will check each track and frame the data (keeping the index reference) as DOS track. If the track is not DOS, then the track will be copied using the SPLICE method. INDEX is still the #1 most common way to backup a disk because 99.9% of everything made for just about every computer system was created this way.

So, the project is coming along nicely. At this point, I do not believe there is anything that we can not duplicate for the ST (or any other computer).


Albedo maybe ? lool
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby JimDrew » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:23 am

Does someone have an image file they can provide of that program? I don't believe at this point there is nothing we can not duplicate with the hardware.
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:20 am

JimDrew wrote:Well.... add Turrican, Ghostbusters II, and KickOff2 to the list of programs we can copy. I just finished the strongbits (no flux area) support in the SCP firmware. I believe that was the last piece of the puzzle as far as the hardware is concerned. I will be making a new flasher program to update the SCP's firmware to v0.6. v.99 already has support for this firmware.

Excellent! Great news! :cheers:
Hopefully the latest version of Aufit should also work with No Flux / strongnits :)

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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby AtariZoll » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:49 am

DrCoolZic wrote:I have just received an image to look at.
here is the description

Code: Select all

"Eco" by Ocean, the disk do work on my ST but only with a certain disk drive (epson 380), so i tried to make an image and check it out with SCP software ...

First the quality of the disk does not seems very good but the DPLL can recover the data ...
I do not know how the game check these protections but this looks to me one of the most difficult to reproduce FD!


I looked how game checks - and it was as expected after seeing that on tracks 77 and 79 we have only 1 sector - #2. Similar protections are not rare. Game uses simple XBIOS floppy read and write calls , so TOS functions. It checks for sector #1 on track 77, and if it is present freezes. Then try to write on sector #2 - if it fails freezes , same on track 79, etc. Actually, this can be copied on Atari self with some better copy SW, like Acopy Pro. STT format should be good too.
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:03 am

AtariZoll wrote:I looked how game checks - and it was as expected after seeing that on tracks 77 and 79 we have only 1 sector - #2. Similar protections are not rare. Game uses simple XBIOS floppy read and write calls , so TOS functions. It checks for sector #1 on track 77, and if it is present freezes. Then try to write on sector #2 - if it fails freezes , same on track 79, etc. Actually, this can be copied on Atari self with some better copy SW, like Acopy Pro. STT format should be good too.

Sector 77 and 79 have indeed sector 2 in middle of what looks unformated areas. Seems like there is also probably a No Flux Area (not yet captured correctly by SCP) somewhere as the tract is shorter than normal
eco.JPG

Would be interested to get a new image file after new firmware version of SCP that support NFA is available.
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby dlfrsilver » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:11 pm

JimDrew wrote:Does someone have an image file they can provide of that program? I don't believe at this point there is nothing we can not duplicate with the hardware.


I have already provided this program to you in SCP format. And no, SCP cannot copy this game and/or replicate it.
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:55 pm

dlfrsilver wrote:
JimDrew wrote:Does someone have an image file they can provide of that program? I don't believe at this point there is nothing we can not duplicate with the hardware.


I have already provided this program to you in SCP format. And no, SCP cannot copy this game and/or replicate it.


Yes I know you provided an scp file. But if you look at the graph there a piece missing at end of track. This is because SCP does not yet handle the NFA. According to Jim the fixed version should come soon.
So when SCP firmware will be fixed I would be interested to get "fixed" images.

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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby Brume » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:41 pm

Yes, agree with DrCoolZic: on my side, I've stopped to image disks with SCP, unless Jim asks for a particular title.
Waiting for the final release of the software + the update of the firmware. Then, let's begin the big batch of imaging process will begin :)

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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:23 pm

Brume wrote:Yes, agree with DrCoolZic: on my side, I've stopped to image disks with SCP, unless Jim asks for a particular title.
Waiting for the final release of the software + the update of the firmware. Then, let's begin the big batch of imaging process will begin :)

Yes for your information your SCP images of Airborne Ranger are bad.

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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby JimDrew » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:32 am

I changed the SCP firmware so it can capture strongbits (no flux area) and write it back. There were only a few programs for the Amiga that used this protection, which the Amiga could duplicate with a standard software copier so it was not popular. Apparently there were many more programs that use this protection for the Atari ST.

I am testing the flasher right now. I had to make some significant changes to the bootloader so the interrupt tables could be changed. So, extensive testing has to be done to make sure we don't brick the board during the update. I expect it to be available shortly.

I needed to do this at some point so I can add other apps to the core code. Right now, there is only 6.7% of the available code space being used.
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby JimDrew » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:55 pm

The new firmware is available. I started a firmware thread here since there wasn't one.

After updating your firmware you will be able to copy Ghostbusters II, KickOff2, etc. that use the no flux areas. KickOff2 requires you copy with blind mode turned off.

So, try imaging/copying Albedo now and running through Aufit to see if there are in fact any no flux areas.
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Re: List of difficult to copy disks

Postby Brume » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:55 pm

Great! Firmware flashed: it works perfectly for me.
I've made various tests with Airborne Ranger (one of the game I wasn't able to copy correcty) :different revolutions (4, then 3, then 2) + blind test. Then AUFIT converted them into STX.
Result: all the images seem to work fine!
Thank you Jim, now we are really ready to preserve ST disks 8)


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