Author Topic: [Tutorial] Protect your game discs - remove the need for them  (Read 12228 times)

Alzatar

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Note to admin/mods: Although this is not a game mod I think it is important for all the Final Fantasy fans to know how to protect their precious game! I was surprised at how many people didn't actually know how to do this, just within my own circle of friends. Possibly may be worth a sticky? Dependant upon interest and your opinions. And, apologies if this is in the wrong place, wasn't too sure
Note to community: I have gained alot from this forum and the community. I feel it only right that I share what knowledge I have as a thank-you to you all :)


This is a quick step-by-step guide on how to create a 'disc image'. This removes the need for you to put a disc into your CD drive to play your game. The obvious benefit to this is that you can keep your CDs safe from general wear and tear, making them last much longer.

NOTE: You must install your game to your computer using the discs first


Tut.


Installation

1./ Install disc imaging software. I recommend the freeware 'DEAMON tools lite' - http://www.disc-tools.com/download/daemon - this guide is based on this program.

2./ Click the link above and scroll down the page to 'Download'. It is tricky to find so please look at the image below.



3./ Once downloaded run the installer and save to a path of your choice (i.e. 'C:\Program Files(x86)\DEAMONtoolslite') - Make sure to tick 'create desktop icons' as well as 'taskbar icons' for ease of access and use.


Creating Disc Image

4./ Insert the disc you wish to back-up into your CD drive. Should it begin running, close anything it opens so that it is idol in your CD drive.

5./ Open 'DEAMON tools lite' and click the 'Make Disc Image' icon.



6./ In the new window that opens, select your CD drive (in my case the '(D:)' drive) from the drop down menu under 'Device:' -> Select the destination path of the disc image under 'Destination Image File' (i.e. C:\Users\Username\Desktop\Test) -> Make sure that 'Compress Image Data' is unticked and that 'Delete Image on Failure' and 'Add to Image Catalog' are ticked. Create a password for access to your disc image if you wish. NOTE: Your game disc images will be in the format of either .iso or .mdf (it doesn't matter either way) for this tutorial I used an audio CD, hence why my file extension is neither of these, so don't panic! ;D



7./ Click 'Start'. This will close the previous window and open another. Wait until the process has finished and then click 'close'. (This may take a while depending on your computer, so please be patient if yours is pants :wink: )



8./ You can now remove your CD from the CD drive as it is no longer needed. HOWEVER we are not finished yet! Proceed to step 9 to make your game playable without the disc through using the disc image you just created! NOTE: If your game has multiple CD's then repeat steps 4 - 7 for each of them.


Mounting Disc Image

In order to play your games without their CDs you need to do what is known as 'mounting a disc image'. This is, in laymen terms, 'tricking your computer into thinking the CD is in the CD drive'. So far you have created a disc image, now to mount it...

9./ Highlight the disc image you just created in the main DEAMON tools lite window under 'Image Catalog' and click the little green arrow 'play' symbol, also known as 'mount'. A small window will open stating that it is 'Mounting Image' and will then disappear.



10./ Now go to 'My Computer' and you will see that a second 'CD drive' has appeared. Mine is labelled '(F:)'. If this is the case then you have done everything correctly and you may now launch your game without a CD. (i.e. double click the shortcut that you most likely have on your desktop lol) NOTE: If your game has multiple CDs (like FFVII) then when the game asks you to change to the next disc then you must repeat steps 9 & 10 to mount the successive disc image that you created.




WOHOOOO! That's everything ^_^ ... If anyone needs any further assistance then please ask away! I hope this is useful for everyone who didn't know how. I've broken, scratched, cracked far too many of my games in my time so think this is a much better option. And i'l sign off with...

''All this from a newbie...  :-o ... lol''
« Last Edit: 2011-11-17 10:17:56 by Alzatar »

Vgr

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There is also another way to do it... Kranmer made something to allow us to use any CD to launch the game.

Alzatar

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There are a few ways, but I personally prefer this way as it removes the need for anything other than your computer

Vgr

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Kranmer's AnyCD DO need the original CD, so you don't need to change them during playing.

Alzatar

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Sorry Vgr but I don't fully understand your last comment.

If you're talking about the patch that removes the need for disc changing then yes i've already heard of it by the author you mentioned.

The difference with my version is it is completely separate from your FF7 folder and will work with ANY game. Not just FF7. Therefore, I think this information is beneficial.

NFITC1

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I prefer the No-CD patch I made. Unfortunately I lost it and don't remember how to make it.

Vgr

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It would also be illegal, so it's a big no-no :P

NFITC1

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It would also be illegal, so it's a big no-no :P

Which is why I won't tell anyone else how to do it. ;)

Alzatar

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I guess they both do the same thing lol. But as I said the biggest benefit is that this will work for not just any game but any disc you could run on your computer. I've just written the guide in such a way to keep on topic with this forum  :-)

sen

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Wow nicely explained good job although i done mine following a youtube video before but this way is more simpler than the way i did it

PitBrat

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Using an image created with this method and AnyCd allows you to both save disk space (only need 1 disc) and eliminate the need to mount additional discs.

Alzatar

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Wow nicely explained good job although i done mine following a youtube video before but this way is more simpler than the way i did it

Thanks :) I hope it helps someone.

Using an image created with this method and AnyCd allows you to both save disk space (only need 1 disc) and eliminate the need to mount additional discs.


I havent heard of this 'AnyCd' thing PitBrat? Would you be able to link me to it as I might update the guide or make a 'Part 2' just for gamers with multipule CDs

Slade

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Alzatar

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Hmm. Looks interesting. I may just provide a link to it at the bottom of this tutorial, as right clicking and selecting 'mount' is a lot less effort in my mind than going through that 1 disc tut. But then again thats just me ^_^

Vgr

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With AnyCD you mount one CD and never mount any other.

sithlord48

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for linux/mac users you can do the same thing just use the mount command something similar to
Code: [Select]
mount -o loop <iso> <place to mount it>
also to make the iso..
Code: [Select]
dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/path/to/cdcopy.isothe infile (if) should be the /dev path of your optical drive. and the out file (of) is the palce you want to store the iso.

DO NOT USE THE DD COMMAND LIGHTLY!

is there not an included iso mount utility for windows?

Covarr

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My method of choice? SlySoft Game Jackal Pro, combined with kranmer's AnyCD.

What Game Jackal Pro does is, it figures out what sort of copy protection the game uses, takes over your disc drive while it's running, and fakes the necessary copy protection. It requires the original disc when setting up a profile, so it can't easily be used for piracy, but no disc is ever needed again,  and it's as simple as double-clicking a shortcut.

Alzatar

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...and it's as simple as double-clicking a shortcut.

That sounds exactly the same as my method. And if you mix this with Kranmars as well it is as simple as double clicking the shortcut also :P ... anyway, as I said, this is only something for people who want a very simple explanation on how to save copies of their discs and remove the need for them.

for linux/mac users you can do the same thing just use the mount command something similar to
Code: [Select]
mount -o loop <iso> <place to mount it>
also to make the iso..
Code: [Select]
dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/path/to/cdcopy.isothe infile (if) should be the /dev path of your optical drive. and the out file (of) is the palce you want to store the iso.

DO NOT USE THE DD COMMAND LIGHTLY!

is there not an included iso mount utility for windows?

Unfortunately no windows does not, as far as i'm aware. Would you be okay if I added that information into the guide sithlord? Obviously credit would be placed where it's due :)

Covarr

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That sounds exactly the same as my method. And if you mix this with Kranmars as well it is as simple as double clicking the shortcut also
Another advantage is that it's much smaller; since it doesn't need the entire disc image, it is closer to 1MB. Great if you use the software for a lot of different gmaes.

Alzatar

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Another advantage is that it's much smaller; since it doesn't need the entire disc image, it is closer to 1MB. Great if you use the software for a lot of different gmaes.

Dam that is good! Then I guess that's the best method, so it would seem, for games. I guess i'l throw this one out there then, that use the method I have detailed for backing up discs if they are not games, and covarr's if they are lol

sithlord48

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Would you be okay if I added that information into the guide sithlord? Obviously credit would be placed where it's due :)
i have no problem with you adding it.

Kranmer

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Nice work on the guide, i also use Daemon Tools Lite (have done for a long time), i much prefer it to game "Game Jackal Pro" since its Freeware.
I am aware Game Jackal Pro can create small profiles for CD/DVDs but Daemon tools can use something called mini-images which is pretty much the same thing (a 1MB image so that you don't need to keep the whole ISO on your hardrive taking up space)
And for FF7 i just rename my C Drive to FF7DISC1 then use my AnyCd or like NFITC1 i just use my own NoCd (which i also won't give out so don't ask).

sen

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I am aware Game Jackal Pro can create small profiles for CD/DVDs but Daemon tools can use something called mini-images which is pretty much the same thing (a 1MB image so that you don't need to keep the whole ISO on your hardrive taking up space)

hmm cant seem to find the mini image so if i did that i just mount that and it will work? i just back upped all my discs which is wasting all the essential space i need (5gb left :/)

Kranmer

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hmm cant seem to find the mini image so if i did that i just mount that and it will work? i just back upped all my discs which is wasting all the essential space i need (5gb left :/)

To create a mini image off FF7 is easy, just grab any ISO creation tool and name the ISO FF7DISC1 (then do the same for discs 2 and 3), you don't need to put any files into the ISO's just make sure they have the right volume name then save the ISO and mount it (FF7 only checks the Volume name so if it see's FF7DISC1 it thinks that is FF7 disc1), more modern games require more then this due to better protections so you will need to create a proper mini image (the best way to make one is to grab a program to make mini images or hex edit the full image and cut it down as much as you can and keep testing it to see if it works)

sen

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aha thanks alot Kranmer just saved me a lot of space ^.^