Protected Game CDs?

Piyono

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Is it possible that some of my old game CDs (Ultima IX, Unreal Tournament) have some kind of protection that allows them to be read but not ripped to disk images?
I've tried imaging them from two different optical drives using both Daemon Tools Lite and IMGBurn but am getting errors.
1681089921034.png
Other CDs image just fine.
 

Piyono

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If not then it might just be these old drives and I'll pick up a new one.
Any recommendations for a bullet-proof optical drive that'll read just about anything?
I remember some LG and Lite-On models were really good back in the day, as was a Plextor I had, but that was a long time ago.
 
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Mercutio

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There is currently a gold standard for optical drives, which are actually older BD-RW drives or units that support flashing back to older firmware, since most newer drives refuse to make bit-perfect copies of 4k BDs. "White book" CDs usually didn't have the screwy structural issues that are used to prevent ripping that are on movie titles, but there might be something resident on the computer itself to stop it.

You might try copying the same discs after booting into Linux just to see if that's the case.
 

Piyono

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There is currently a gold standard for optical drives, which are actually older BD-RW drives or units that support flashing back to older firmware...
How old are we talking?
Any models in particular to put on my watch list?
 

Mercutio

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Piyono

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sedrosken

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I, er. Don't have much experience with ripping originals, not for software. I grew up poor and my dad knew how to use a bittorrent client. As far as UT goes, I've ripped an original of the Unreal expansion (Return to Na Pali) and I had no issues, though I'm not sure how relevant that is since ostensibly UT is a little newer than that. I actually wasn't aware that anyone here actually still played UT! I keep it around on my PIII for impromptu online matches with my friends.

I can, however, say that I've never had any of my myriad ISOs and BIN/CUE rips fail to burn in any way that wasn't obviously my fault. I'm using an LG WH14NS40, which is notable for being able to read/rip PS3 games which is apparently weirdly difficult. I have no shortage of machines to burn from, between my main, XP build and the PIII which has a CD-RW drive for writing really, really slowly for my PS1 since it freaks out with CD-Rs burnt at anything over 4x.
 

Handruin

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For whatever it's worth I bought an LG WH14NS40 that I firmware flashed to an Asus firmware via the utilities described somewhere in the makemkv thread and I've had good luck with ripping all my 4K UHD discs
 

Piyono

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Truth is I'm entirely disinterested in ripping and burning Blu-Ray discs. I just want to play my old games without needing the disc in the drive, or even a drive.
 

Mercutio

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You might want to check GoG.com. I know bought my favorites of the Ultimate games (4 - 6) for something like $5.
 

sedrosken

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GOG is fantastic from a preservation and porting standpoint, but I wish they'd offer an unaltered download for the original media or a ripped install thereof for the later Windows games they also sell. Not everything I'm trying to run these games on can run the installers (which, interestingly, work as far back as Windows 2000 last I knew) or run the patched executables. Their DOS titles are quite reasonably able to just be dragged and dropped onto a DOS install, though.
 

Mercutio

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There are several games I've gotten from GoG that don't seem to work on anything I have. I know that for example Vampire Bloolines needs a massive community patch before it will play on any new computer, and it's not very well documented which community or what patch the most correct way to play. Icewind Dale and Interstate 76 are two other games I was surprised to find did not just work.

Interstate 76 in particular annoys me. I bought it when it came out originally and I couldn't make it run then, either. After going through weeks of support rigmarole, it turned out that the game had a specific incompatibility with SCSI optical drives and that impacted such a tiny number of people that they didn't bother to fix it. I don't know why it doesn't run now, but I mostly can't be bothered to figure it out since I have a couple dozen other games I could play instead, as if I'd ever bother with anything other than Master of Magic, Alpha Centauri or UT2003.
 

sedrosken

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Interstate 76 is one of those games that are notoriously finicky and not a single config I had could properly run it either. I could get in-game, but everything was way too fast and the physics were busted -- this on a Pentium III. I also seem to recall VTMB to be similarly finicky.

Icewind Dale is surprising to hear. I think I did get the CD version of that working, or was that Planescape Torment? I think it may have been the latter now that I really think about it.

I've heard of people preferring UT2004, though I disagree, over UT99 -- can you give me any particular reason you like 2003 over them? I do remember playing the demo for 2003 back when it was current. This on my Mom's then-shiny-new P4 build with its GeForce2MX that could, render games and stuff my P200MMX simply couldn't dream of, though that I do believe came with a copy of Master of Magic installed on the hard drive, from my brother.
 

Mercutio

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UT2003 is just because that's the game media *I* ripped a zillion years ago and keep on hand. I love modified game modes, especially low gravity play, and vertically, oriented maps.
 

Handruin

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@Mercutio you might like Factorio if you like modifying games. You can buy the game direct from them versus other launcher platforms. They have a free demo to try before buying.
 

Mercutio

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I have Stellaris, which I haven't started yet, and Rifts, a turn based RPG that ran on the Ngage and was never ported to anything else, that I've been playing on my tablet.

I'm really waiting for Baldur's Gate 3. I paid full price for it and I'm trying to avoid spoilers, but it's had a very long public beta test and everything I have heard only makes me more interested.
 

Piyono

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You might want to check GoG.com. I know bought my favorites of the Ultimate games (4 - 6) for something like $5.
Oh, cool. I hadn't heard of this before. I guess that's what happens when your interests shift away from gaming for a couple of decades. 😂
 

Mercutio

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GoG is owned by CD Projekt Red. It has licenses to distribute many games from the DOS/Windows 98 gaming era and also a decent sized selection of new titles from Indie studios. VERY few games on GoG have any sort of DRM or require any kind of external login to play, and it also refuses to allow any game that had a simultaneous mobile release, so it doesn't have the massive curation problems that other storefronts have. Some titles will never be made available, but there's enough on GoG that I don't feel like I need or want any other platform.

GoG also always makes all installation media available to end users and supports cloud saves for some titles. It also has an integrated game launcher app that can collect titles from other providers like Steam and Epic.
 

Handruin

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Another source to check out is humble bundle. They will often have bundles of games available that don't need a game launcher if that's something you care about. I've had some good luck with indie games and also killer deals on newer titles. I tend to prefer indie games over AAA titles anyway.
 

Mercutio

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There's also itch.io, which is focused on GAMING but not necessarily electronic sorts of gaming. It's very possible to get PC games, but it's also a place where free or low cost tabletop games can be obtained. It's where I got fun stuff like Honey Height and Thirsty Sword Lesbians.
 

Piyono

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Ah, good idea.
Yeah, so I tried in Ubuntu using the Disks control panel and while it didn't error out like IMGburn in Windows, it basically returned a long string of unreadable errors. The disc reads fine in Windows. I'm going to get a new (secondhand) drive and try again.
 
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