Can we try burning protection again (after ripping via swap trick) for self-boots?


Ban Hammered
Was tempted to post this in the Dev forum but anyway...

Tried ripping Saturn ring data myself several years ago (2004-2005 ish) using truman's cd tool under windows. This tool is amazing because it allowed burning outside the TOC to specific sectors and you could burn onto a CDR that was already used.

Got results in the past reading the ring data after trying different software (tried CloneCD and some others using raw formats); but never successfully burned it properly to read on Saturn hardware (couldn't burn properly after truman's tool added a lead-in to the specified range; data might not have been in the right format either).

You can rip the copy protection data like a Dreamcast game. You open up your cd-rom drive hardware to expose the internals, put in a cdr-rw with no data and a large TOC with proper data format specified (table of contents can specify 700mb for Saturn games or over one GB for ripping Dreamcast games; make sure data format matches ring (which I'm not sure about) or whatever data being targetted), wait for drive to load the disc, then swap the CD-RW with a real Saturn game without ejecting your cd-rom drive. Without ejecting your cd-rom drive, replacing the cdrw with a real saturn game fools the drive into thinking the original (fake cdrw) disc with the large TOC is still loaded, allowing you to read beyond the real Saturn game's TOC.

You can start ripping the protection, usually around sector 297683 up to 328348 (think some games went up to 350000 but can't remember for sure). You could probably start around 315150 like a mod-chip instead but I'd start as early as possible; a thread around here mentions modchips starting at 315150.

Swapping is easy on drives that use a magnetic cap to keep the disc in place, which may be most internal cd-rom drives (it's probably easiest with internal drives vs slim drives). You should use a 32x or slower cd-drive, or flash your firmware to that speed (or slower); 40x or faster drives use high rpm's and can explode discs (very easily if chipped or cracked), or launch them in your face if mis-handled :frown2:.

If you stop by the flea market or second hand store, you might find an older used cd-rom drive that's 32x or slower; you could use an external usb to IDE cable (don't think any sata optical drives are slow enough), and have an exposed external drive for swapping and other experimental ripping.

I'm bringing this up because I had no idea about the program readom for Linux (and probably Windows; if not maybe it can with a cross-compiler) and the simplicity of .TOC files over .CUE, .CCD, .MDS and others. You can also specify the range of sectors to be read using 'readom sectors=xxxx' like truman's tool. With .TOC files you can easily add copy protection data to Saturn backups. And you should only need one copy of protection data for all games (should be similar to a mod-chip).

As a reminder I haven't successfully burned a self-boot Saturn game yet but doing so with .TOC files looks promising.

TOC files are also really great since you can use cdrdao in conjunction with ruby ripper (command line or gui) and make perfect backup clones using correct drive offset on audio, audio image ripping like EAC's secure mode (or better) with ruby ripper (does take a while), and raw reading. Beats the snot out of CUE ISO files anyday (especially mp3; why oh why have people backed up Sega CD and Saturn game audio to mp3?). Already made a script to automate parts of this. Only downside is it's Linux only.

Making perfect backups can be done on Windows too but it's less automated. It can be done with EAC in conjunction with magecd, and clonecd or alcohol 120%; and you can still have a .sub file (subchannel data) left over. Only problem is this isn't automated and would require a front-end to be so (which is why I like Linux; most programs are command line and scripts are basically front-ends to them. Then again the same could be done with .BAT files in Windows if the Linux software is cross-compiled for Windows).

Using a cd-rom drive with perfect C2 error correction would also be best for perfect ripping and archival of Saturn games (or any cd-rom games). Drive has to have proper C2 error report however, which many drives lack!

Think one of these backup methods should be used for perfect archival of Saturn games. Would be nice to have a database containing checksums and what not to ensure integrity of personal game backups; similar to accurate rip results. (Think something similar was done for PCE cd games; not sure how the audio was extracted though).

Only problem is burning protection data to an already burned cdr, but that can be avoided by editing the .TOC file of a game before-hand. Or you can use trumans tool if you run Windows or don't mind dual booting (haven't tried via Wine or Virtual Box but maybe you can); don't know of anything else besides truman's tool for writing over burned cdr's.

Haven't tried burning protection yet after all these years and it was really just a simple mistake that I didn't know how to control about the lead-in; but I also could've read the protection in the wrong format.

TOC files (literally nameofgame.TOC) are very easy to handle and add data to. I was dealing with .ccd files in the past and never figured them out, but after using Linux over the years it's obvious .TOC files are way simpler to edit and deal with. Am going to try later but hope someone here is willing to.

Heres a link to an old thread with some mention of this and old posts by me :scatter::

Another way to add protection to a backup, would be to pad the space between the end of the data and the location of the ring data. Burning the resulting image would warn you about data being larger than the TOC but you can still burn it that way. This would only work for bin/cue backups, or games that only contain data.

Overall, dealing with Sega Saturn protection seems very similar to Dreamcast backups.

This has nothing to do with the Saturn Logo either (it's true there is a Saturn Logo but there's copy protection data elsewhere).