Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

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rcamp48
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Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:20 am

Hi there all of you Atari Disk preservers out there, as you all know I have the manual scanned for the Atari ST Protection Techniques, but this is a special edition. What I mean is that I have enclosed a tutorial on how to use this program for not protecting programs, but using it for copying programs. If done right this program is very powerful, and as you all know I have been trying to crack ST Diagnostics disk as well. I enclose a detailed set of instructions, a non-working copy of the ST Diagnostics Disk, a disk with all of the ST Diagnostics Disk Tracks carefully reproduced by myself over a period of 36 hours. All disks are in ST format, I enclosed FloImage in zip form, all of the tools that you will need are in the zip file.

Note that with the Analyze tool of the protector disk you can check out the protection on any disk, Create Format will write a custom track for you, BUT you will need a PC with an internal floppy drive, and the most important item, a real working Atari Drive. If you don`t have a PC to make the Atari disks with, contact me in a PM and I will make up all of the disks for you on my Windows XP machine, totally compatable with the Atari ST, for that matter any disk on the Tosek list can be done this way, contact me again if there is something else you need on floppy and have no way of doing that. Russ Campbell.

https://mega.nz/#F!sclxnCaA!emBXJkA0xxDAPz2gllJaqQ

PS: I have given up on cracking the ST Diagnostics disk, am concentrating on making a working copy of it now, the thing is that the disk used must be totally erased and I am trying to figure out how to do that with The Protector. If all else fails, use a big magnet to bulk erase the disk before writing the protection, use Flo-image to copy just the first 40 tracks to the disk after protecting it all 26 tracks (I must tell you its a big project for anyone that wants to take it on, and believe me the program disk diagnostics is worth it, my original works now.

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby dlfrsilver » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:40 pm

do you have an STX file or a kryoflux dump of your disk for analysis ?
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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby Zippy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:04 pm

Interesting protection, never seen anything like it! This could be an example of the legendary "laser burnt" disc than Ijor has mentioned.

It checks the following:

1. That "DIAGNOST.PRG" file is present on drive A:
2. That track 45 on drive A: can be formatted without error (disk must be write enabled)
3. That track 76 on drive A: returns an error when formatting is attempted
4. If the track 76 format attempt didn't return an error then it attempts to format track 78 on drive A:, which must return an error

So if it can't format track 45, or can format tracks 76 and 78 then the protection fails. Sounds like the original disc may be physically modified to prevent formatting of the last few tracks.

Cracked version attached, has all checks removed so can be run from hard drive just with the 2 files. Only tested in Steem, not on a real ST.

Seems like a complex protection system for such a simple diagnostic utility.

diagnost.rar
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Last edited by Zippy on Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby ijor » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:36 pm

I don't have much time to analyze this right now. But yes, according to the protection check this would mean that the disk has (or at least that the protection expects) a physical alteration of the disk surface. This is not exactly a laser burnt. A laser burnt is very precise and it could be located at a specific sector, let alone at a specific track. This is probably just a cut, or at least a scratch, performed with some kind of home made punching device. We have seen this protection on the Databyte release of Boulder Dash Construction Kit. That should be very easy to see on the disk. I believe I posted a picture of that Boulder Dash CK disk long ago.

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby Zippy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:39 pm

It mentions that they also made a complex CAD and DTP system called "The Graphic Artist" for the ST, so possibly this protection system was made for that and since they had the modified disks already made they used the same protection for this diagnostic utility.

I'd never heard of that protection on Boulder dash construction kit, I only got my ST in '88 so I guess that was a bit before my time and I definitely never saw an original of it. Would love to see a pic of the modified disk or a link to the old thread if it's still around.

Rcamp48, if you still have the original disk of the Diagnostic util could you pull back the shutter and take a careful look at the disk surface while rotating it by hand (at the metal hub) to see if there are any physical cuts, holes or marks on it please? If so, could you post a pic? Thanks!

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby ijor » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:35 pm

Zippy wrote:I'd never heard of that protection on Boulder dash construction kit, I only got my ST in '88 so I guess that was a bit before my time and I definitely never saw an original of it. Would love to see a pic of the modified disk or a link to the old thread if it's still around.
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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby Zippy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:40 pm

Wow, that's awesome , thanks. Great to finally see what that form of protection actually looked like after all these years. :)

I wonder if the diagnostic disk original will look similar.

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:25 pm

I still have the original disk and it works, do you want it zippy ???

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby Zippy » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:36 pm

rcamp48 wrote:I still have the original disk and it works, do you want it zippy ???


Thanks for the offer! The only thing I could use it for would be to get a good quality picture of the physical modification of the disk, assuming it has one... did you find anything? Then I could add a section about that type of protection with an example picture (and maybe Ijor's pic too?) to the stuff I'm doing for Marco's book about the ST hacking scene (maybe that will appear after his volume III is done). Was just finishing up with a part about sync protection but could add a little about these 2 rare titles with this physical disk modification too.

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:36 pm

ST Diagnostic Disc Cracked.zip


Yes there are two dark rings on this disk, going all the way around, a picture in low light is hard to get but I will keep trying , an I have made up an ST file with the disk on it , i definitely works on a real Atari drive.

Picture has been made have a look at it , definitely not a scratch, am I looking at the right side of the disk? With it being single sided and on the bottom of the disk?

st prot.jpg


st prot 2.jpg
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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:02 pm

You want information about protection on the Atari ST? Then read the attached pdf in the file that I sent you a little while ago, it lists all of the protections available on the Atari ST that were available in the late 1980, quite extensive.

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby Greenious » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:19 pm

rcamp48 wrote:ST Diagnostic Disc Cracked.zip

Yes there are two dark rings on this disk, going all the way around, a picture in low light is hard to get but I will keep trying , an I have made up an ST file with the disk on it , i definitely works on a real Atari drive.


My personal opinion is that this is not a copy protection per se, rather a test/diagnostic pattern used to check the healt of the diskdrive,

There are similar media, for tape cassette etc, used to verify and/or align the read/write heads of the unit and afaik none of them are recreatable on a standard diskdrive/cassette player etc.

The ST diag kit also uses a special disk to verify the functions of the diskdrive, but I have yet to actually see one.

Edit:
I mean, imho, who on earth would otherwise spend that much effort on a copyprotection for an abvious low volume tool, if it also didn't fill another need or function?
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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:46 pm

I tested the disk and it is definitely is protected , it has a unique speed test for your floppy drive, where is the speed adjustment on a real Atari drive ? My drive is constantly running marginally slow an the program says the speed needs to be adjusted, I don't want to wreck it by adjusting the wrong screw. Russ

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:57 pm

There is a little hole near the back which I thought was a speed screw adjustment, but when I touche a screwdriver to it, there was a popping sound an the drive would no longer read disks is this the drive or the power supply?

I have a Gotek to test the power supply. Russ

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby Zippy » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:28 am

There are probably trim pots in the PSU and on the disk drive PCB but if you're not sure if a part is in the disk drive or the PSU then please don't put a screwdriver near it. If the drive is working OK I wouldn't worry about it being slightly over or under speed.

I'm not sure if those thick lines on the disk are anything to do with the protection... I'm sure I've seen marks like that on standard blank disks before, but maybe that was way back in the 5.25" disk days. Did you try rotating the disk fully around so you could view it all? Any physical damage may only be on a small part like the pic Ijor posted, rather than all the way around. I think side 0 would be the lower side but maybe Ijor could confirm?

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:53 am

This is the screw I tried to adjust, there is a hole for it in the case I used a metal screwdriver, that could have shorted it out , anyways I can get it fixed, and with the Gotek the graphics is perfect, but not with the drive so that suggests that there was always something wrong with it as I could not reliably format a disk with it .... I have a friend that can fix it as it is an Atari drive.....

adjuster.jpg
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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:50 am

This is what I get on the Atari drive , any suggestions , the motor run forever.....

screen.jpg
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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:52 am

I totally screwed up the controller board on my Atari ST 720 K drive, does someone have another one, maybe from a dead Atari ST drive that has a good floppy controller on it? I am not sure if the power supply went or the drive went but the drive spins forever and the drive light does not come on even without a disk in it. Russ

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby Zippy » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:11 pm

I don't see any screw in your pic . The one time I adjusted the drive speed was on an external ST drive when I was playing around with making a long track disk protection, and the trim pot looked like this, only white instead of yellow :

Image

If your drive is dead I'd just replace the whole drive with a good, used one, you probably won't be able to get a logic board without the mechanical part and a complete, tested unit would be better anyway.

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:55 pm

Does anyone know if the Atari ST protection disk will work with a modern drive that has been modified for the Atari ST?
I can get a drive for 2 dollars at the local pc repair shop or just use my gotek....

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby Zippy » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:48 pm

I think you can use a normal 3.5" DD floppy drive but you need to cut the case for the different eject button, but maybe someone else can confirm as it's been a long time since I was doing this stuff.

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:58 pm

I did use a normal 2.5 1.44 drive that I modified, and it works with the protector disk, good news for those of you who want to play around with the protector. I bought 2 Sony MPF 920s that were made in 2008, and it was a simple modification, all I had to do was remove the wire soldered across jumper ds1 and solder a new wire across jumper ds0, its a really quiet drive and very reliable. If someone wants the other one I have to test it first but I paid $5.00 Can each for them so and it was really easy to modify them so $5.00 US would be a fair price for me AND I can get more of them made in the same year. Russ

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby Zippy » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:15 pm

Cool, good to hear you got it working again.

Did you manage to find any other marks on that disk by manually rotating it fully around to view it all?

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Re: Atari ST Protection Techniques Special Edition

Postby rcamp48 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:35 am

Not yet have not had the time, I am back up and running with a drive that can write 11 sectors 86 tracks 2 sides and I have 3 more 2 ALPS and a 720 K Mitsumi


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