Copy Protection details

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Copy Protection details

Postby sarnau » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:01 am

FYI: I've started adding a collection of copy protection schemes, that were used on the Atari ST on my website http://www.sarnau.info/ with the source code and explanation what is tested and how.
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:13 am

sarnau wrote:FYI: I've started adding a collection of copy protection schemes, that were used on the Atari ST on my website http://www.sarnau.info/ with the source code and explanation what is tested and how.

This is quite interesting for me as I have been looking at this topic for many years :( see viewtopic.php?f=47&t=9012&start=0 started in 2006 :?

I have also a page (work in progress) on the subject here http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/protection.php
but mainly a complete document on key disk protection http://info-coach.fr/atari/documents/my ... n-V0.9.pdf

For the test I am using a program (still in development) running on ST and supposed to detect most (all?) protection automatically.
I also have another program running on PC to further analyze the fuzzy bits (aka weak bits) by processing output of the discovery cartridge bit flux mode.

If there is interest I may publish the programs, but I feel they are not yet ready!

Anyway I will look in detail at the information on your site. BTW I already looked at your Pasti format description. Quite nice information. I am still working on it also and I will get back to you if I find new information. Did you get the info from Ijor or is it reverse engineering?
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby sarnau » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:53 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:I have also a page (work in progress) on the subject here http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/protection.php
but mainly a complete document on key disk protection http://info-coach.fr/atari/documents/my ... n-V0.9.pdf


Oh, I know your work, however it comes from the hardware side, not the actual software implementation side (= how the app tests for the copy protection)


DrCoolZic wrote:Anyway I will look in detail at the information on your site. BTW I already looked at your Pasti format description. Quite nice information. I am still working on it also and I will get back to you if I find new information. Did you get the info from Ijor or is it reverse engineering?


Reverse engineering... Many people asked for information, but never got a reply, so I looked at the code for Pasti...
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:52 pm

sarnau wrote:Reverse engineering... Many people asked for information, but never got a reply, so I looked at the code for Pasti...

Very nice. It looks like you are pretty good at analyzing code - I guess when you say looked at the code you mean the pasti.dll?
This is a very interesting approach. So far I only looked at dump of stx file and could guess some of the fields.
By any chance did you also tried to find out about the dll interface?
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby sarnau » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:25 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:
sarnau wrote:Reverse engineering... Many people asked for information, but never got a reply, so I looked at the code for Pasti...

Very nice. It looks like you are pretty good at analyzing code


I just added a few more. Whenever I have time and am interested in that, I'll add more...


DrCoolZic wrote:I guess when you say looked at the code you mean the pasti.dll?
This is a very interesting approach. So far I only looked at dump of stx file and could guess some of the fields.
By any chance did you also tried to find out about the dll interface?


No, I've looked at PASTI.PRG on the Atari ST side. I am much better at 68k than Intel DLL, especially because I only work on a Mac.
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby sarnau » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:33 pm

I've added details to a later version of "Copylock ST (c)1988-90 Rob Northen Computing, U.K.". The FDC check is actually much simpler than I would have expected it.

http://www.sarnau.info/atari:protection_mighty_bombjack

I've also added Turrican http://www.sarnau.info/atari:protection_turrican. That is an interesting protection with long tracks and different sector sizes on each track and sectors within sectors.
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby DrCoolZic » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:14 am

Thanks very much for this information. :)
This is quite interesting for me because I can see how the physical protections on the FD are used.
In my document when I talk about detection of the protection this is only a guess of how it could be done.
A very good example is with short/long sectors: To test this information you "normally" needs to have a routine to measure reading time of a sector and this is a little bit tricky :wink: But a consequence of short/long sector is obviously sort/long track and it is quite easy to measure the number of bytes of a track. From your description this seems to be used by several games.

On another thread I have discussed a protection witch uses sector within sector. This allow to have tracks with 12 sectors and if used on all tracks this gives a FD with about 950K! Of course not all of the data are "real" (not possible to fit). A preservation program would just read and store these 12 tracks but of course it is difficult to write them back on a floppy (duplication program).
Therefore I would be interested if you can have a look at this kind of protection. Based on information from SofiST viewtopic.php?f=28&t=18893&start=150#p174409 the program Maupiti Island uses this technique and from my tests Theme Mystery Park (from Image Works) uses this technique. Would you have such a game (12 sect/trk on all tracks) and be able to analyze it?

Now a question on the RN Copylock:
the first sector has to be equal to ”(11 + (track % 5) * -2) % 10”.
Can you be more explicit :?
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby nativ » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:59 am

I have Power Blitz Turbo copier. Which is a Printer port Controller bypass. I can upload the supplied disk. the 'hardware' is a 25 pin Printer with a male and female connector.

One of the Medway Boys menus features an 'Auto Cracker' Which checks for Rob Northern protection and copies the disk any how !! The only one I tried was Chase HQ which worked a treat!

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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby sarnau » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:13 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:Based on information from SofiST viewtopic.php?f=28&t=18893&start=150#p174409 the program Maupiti Island uses this technique and from my tests Theme Mystery Park (from Image Works) uses this technique. Would you have such a game (12 sect/trk on all tracks) and be able to analyze it?


Done: http://www.sarnau.info/atari:protection_maupiti_island. Fun one, no sectors at all, but in track 0, side 1, disk A and track 79, side 2, disk B.


DrCoolZic wrote:Now a question on the RN Copylock:
the first sector has to be equal to ”(11 + (track % 5) * -2) % 10”.
Can you be more explicit :?


"track number" modulo 5, multiplied by minus 2, add 11, modulo 10 has to be the number of the first sector in that track.
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby DrCoolZic » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:43 pm

sarnau wrote:
DrCoolZic wrote:Based on information from SofiST viewtopic.php?f=28&t=18893&start=150#p174409 the program Maupiti Island uses this technique and from my tests Theme Mystery Park (from Image Works) uses this technique. Would you have such a game (12 sect/trk on all tracks) and be able to analyze it?


Done: http://www.sarnau.info/atari:protection_maupiti_island. Fun one, no sectors at all, but in track 0, side 1, disk A and track 79, side 2, disk B.


DrCoolZic wrote:Now a question on the RN Copylock:
the first sector has to be equal to ”(11 + (track % 5) * -2) % 10”.
Can you be more explicit :?


"track number" modulo 5, multiplied by minus 2, add 11, modulo 10 has to be the number of the first sector in that track.

Thanks this is indeed quite interesting!!! As I do not have the game I have been working under steem on the stt file provided. I have run my protection analyzer and could not find any sectors (this did not matched the expected 12 sectors / track)!!! I thought my program was not working correctly under steem or stt image was not correct but now I understand why.

I will try to do further test with the image as this is a protection I did not now about. :wink:
By any chance do you own a Discovery cartridge ?
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby sarnau » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:18 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:I will try to do further test with the image as this is a protection I did not now about. :wink:


Let me know, if you have an interesting game... (as a PASTI image)


DrCoolZic wrote:By any chance do you own a Discovery cartridge ?


No, i've searched but it isn't available anywhere.


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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby SofiST » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:23 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:... As I do not have the game I have been working under steem on the stt file provided. I have run my protection analyzer and could not find any sectors (this did not matched the expected 12 sectors / track)!!! I thought my program was not working correctly under steem or stt image was not correct but now I understand why.


It has indeed 12 sectors/track. You can prove it if run Steem's Disk Imager (what creates STT images) or with my Floppy Imager - just click on square button STT - it will create TXT file with STT sector/track list for selected image.
I think that this crack is interesting only because his 'impossible to write' format. Author find a way to write games tight packed track data in some kind of regular way (but obviously not much usable with real HW). Other cracks went different, and used packing and regular 10 sect/track.
Btw. other crack with same 12 s/tr is F29 Retaliator - STT variant.
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:57 pm

I have tried again to read the stt image running under steem. And what I read is pretty stange ???

Track 0 is normal 9 sect/trk
On a track 1 see 6 sectors of 1024 (6152) with number 250 through 255 (not in this order but all of them) + a sector number 7 with no data ???
Order seems to be the same on all tracks 255-250-7-253-251-254-252
However as I said above I have never tried my program under Stem + I do not know how accurate are stt files and therefore I cannot tell what is really on the original FD ?

Markus can you make an stx image of the floppy so I can check under Steem to see if stx image is what you describe?
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby sarnau » Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:48 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:Markus can you make an stx image of the floppy so I can check under Steem to see if stx image is what you describe?


Ehm, of what game?

The french version of Maupiti Island is track based, no sectors (despite that at least one really weird sector is reported at the beginning of the track: that is not a sector, but the FDC seeing the address mark, but the header is different - hence the CRC error in the header)
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Oct 06, 2010 6:47 pm

sarnau wrote:
DrCoolZic wrote:Markus can you make an stx image of the floppy so I can check under Steem to see if stx image is what you describe?


Ehm, of what game?

The french version of Maupiti Island is track based, no sectors (despite that at least one really weird sector is reported at the beginning of the track: that is not a sector, but the FDC seeing the address mark, but the header is different - hence the CRC error in the header)

Would be nice to get stx images of Maupiti Island (2 disks).
Thanks - Jean
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby sarnau » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:02 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:Would be nice to get stx images of Maupiti Island (2 disks).


I found the images online, but I don't remember where, they were named "maupiti_island_fr.zip"
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby Hippy Dave » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:08 pm

I made a Google search for "maupiti_island_fr.zip" and got:
http://psic.free.fr/abandonwares/
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:52 pm

Ok thanks I got them :?
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby SofiST » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:37 am

Yes, French version STX images can find on couple places. But not English.
I'm thinking about something: would it be possible to write original Maupiti Island 100% copy with PC ?
It may work using write track command of FDRAWcmd . Or maybe with writing long sector of 8K, interrupting at end. Of course, first must have all tracks imaged in usable form. It should be in Pasti somehow ?
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby dlfrsilver » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:46 pm

Here is Maupiti Islands atari ST french in pasti format !
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
I'm going to rebuild an atari ST collection, but not as big as before :)
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby snoopy » Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:16 pm

I hope this is not off-topic... I've been having problems pastiing Power Pack 4... always the same error on 2 identical Power Pack4 4s. Some people suggested this could be an unsolved/not yet implemented copy protection error...
See the thread... viewtopic.php?f=47&t=19069
Maybe this could interest you or maybe you know more about this particular problem...
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:06 pm

snoopy wrote:I hope this is not off-topic... I've been having problems pastiing Power Pack 4... always the same error on 2 identical Power Pack4 4s. Some people suggested this could be an unsolved/not yet implemented copy protection error...
See the thread... viewtopic.php?f=47&t=19069
Maybe this could interest you or maybe you know more about this particular problem...

Would be interesting to look at protection if Sarnau have the disk ???
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby snoopy » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:32 pm

Sounds great. Well, I still have the 2 packs sitting on a shelf. The problem is that they are not mine but borrowed from 2 childhood friends... So I would have to do the dumping. I have a PC with a 3,5 drive and several Sts: 2 Stes, 1Stfm and 1 Stf-, but no ST with an HDD.
The problem is that pasti in transfer mode will not let me save what I have until the error in sector 79 occurs but instead it terminates the whole process. I end up with no image at all. Is there a way to get something analyzable for Sarnau and you?
I can try to produce images in different formats (*.St etc.).
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:44 pm

snoopy wrote:Sounds great. Well, I still have the 2 packs sitting on a shelf. The problem is that they are not mine but borrowed from 2 childhood friends... So I would have to do the dumping. I have a PC with a 3,5 drive and several Sts: 2 Stes, 1Stfm and 1 Stf-, but no ST with an HDD.
The problem is that pasti in transfer mode will not let me save what I have until the error in sector 79 occurs but instead it terminates the whole process. I end up with no image at all. Is there a way to get something analyzable for Sarnau and you?
I can try to produce images in different formats (*.St etc.).

You do not have access to a Discovery Cartridge ?
This would be great as you could do just a dump in flux mode of track 79 :?
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Re: Copy Protection details

Postby snoopy » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:27 pm

Unfortunately not... :-S
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