Copy Protection was Re: Defining Disk Image Dump Standard

From: Technoid Mutant <>
Date: Thu Jun 1 20:13:09 2000

Oh God. The Atari 8-bit was probably king of disk copy protection and the
means to break/duplicate that protection. There were long sectors, short
sectors , fuzzy sectors, long tracks, short tracks, error sectors, holes
in the disk burned by a laser, phantom sectors, crc error sectors, and
only HE knows how many others.

Some sectors gave different errors at different times, some only appeared
at certain times. It was an unbelievably complex, babylon back then.
There were hardware mods such as the Happy and the Archiver chipset
replacements which would duplicate these difficult disks, software such as
the 'black patch' which would remove the protection by patching the
maker's code. It was a bloody war. I guess we won for about ten years
but protection is back on cd's and we are expected to be willing to buy
crippled cd writers which will obey the protection marks.

Yea right. Hey Bob Puff! Are you listening? I bet you can come up with
a circuit to defeat the code embedded in these drives if anyone can.

Directly in answer to the below quote, I have run into software on hard
disk that could not be moved from it's spot, or 'ghosted' to another
drive. I think this hard drive-based protection scheme went out when
operating systems no longer allowed primitive disk access (OS/2, Unix,
Windos NT, etcetera).

John Wilson wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 01, 2000 at 07:52:18PM -0400, Bill Yakowenko wrote:
> >AFAIK, nobody wrote quarter-tracks on hard disks, or tried to copy-
> >protect software by making bad sectors, or any similarly-goofy stuff.
> I've never seen anything like that in person either, but I've heard
> of PDP-11 software (for an MRI machine I think?) which did do copy
> protection using bad sectors on a DP: (-emulating) hard disk. Weird...
> John Wilson
> D Bit
Received on Thu Jun 01 2000 - 20:13:09 BST

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