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Question about copying software that has copy-protection.


Allan
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If a disk that was originally copy-protected is copied with something like a Happy upgrade, do you need a Happy drive to make another copy from the copy? I have a bunch of copied disks I'm trying to convert to ATRs but get errors when copying them. Is this the copy-protection that was copied over to the new disk by the Happy drive? Is there anyway to convert them to ATRs?

 

Allan

 

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If a disk that was originally copy-protected is copied with something like a Happy upgrade, do you need a Happy drive to make another copy from the copy? I have a bunch of copied disks I'm trying to convert to ATRs but get errors when copying them. Is this the copy-protection that was copied over to the new disk by the Happy drive? Is there anyway to convert them to ATRs?

 

 

Yes, if you copy a copy-protected disk with a Happy, the copy-protection is copied over - if it would not, the game would not run. A Happy does not magically remove copy protection, it can just copy disks native disk drives are not able to copy.

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A Happy copy tries to replicate the original to the best of it's ability, so attempting to copy it with a stock drive will be as fruitless as trying to copy the original.

 

You could create an ATR from a protected floppy, but it'd be no better than a standard drive copying the real floppy, ie it'd likely fail to load.

IIRC the ATX format was created to allow emulation to work with protected images. How comprehensive it is, not sure. There's so many ways for copy protection to work, from missing sectors to duplicate sectors, short sectors, CRC errors etc etc.

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Yes, if you copy a copy-protected disk with a Happy, the copy-protection is copied over - if it would not, the game would not run. A Happy does not magically remove copy protection, it can just copy disks native disk drives are not able to copy.

Thanks thorfdbg,

 

I assumed that but just wanted to make sure. I have hundreds of copied disks here that I want to convert to ATRs but some have not been cracked.

A lot are games that already have been copied but many are non-game programs that may not have been archived.

 

Allan

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There were some disks that had what were called perimeter files which would be written back to the disk to Deprotect it and then you can create an ATR from it

Kinda. If there was something the Happy couldn't write, you could sometimes put a special loader on the disk to program the Happy to emulate the sectors or track in question. The disk may not be completely unprotected though, and a Happy drive was required to load it from then on.

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Current versions of Atari800 also support ATX. The one notable emulator that doesn't is Atari800WinPlus 4.0. There is a modified version of it that has VAPI support, but it's buggy and hard to use (you can't boot ATX images and the open file dialog is a bit messed up). One limitation you'll run into with some emulators is that you may not be able to boot ATX protected disks successfully with SIO patch enabled, due to timing issues.

 

ATX is comprehensive with regard to protection types and pretty much any protection you find on a single density disk can be encoded successfully. It does not support medium or double density, however, and it does not have enough information to rewrite all such protections back to a physical disk. ATX is a superset of ATR for single density and so any ATX disk that turns out not to be protected can be converted to ATR without issue.

 

Besides KryoFlux, the SuperCard Pro device can also be used to image disks for conversion to ATX. I've compared results from the same disk imaged on both devices and they're equally good at ATR/ATX imaging. If you are dealing with disks in volume, I'd recommend using one of those devices because it can read disks much more quickly and in a single pass, and the resulting image is more detailed than you can get with an SIO-connected drive. That's an advantage when you're dealing with old disks that may not survive too much abuse.

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The problem with the ATX format is you need expensive equipment to make a disk in that format and there is only one emulator that reads them correctly. I'm sure eventually this will change but for now it's a problem.

 

Allan

 

Also, there is a VAPI imaging software (Atarimania guys have it) that only requires a Happy drive to make a ATX disk, so not expensive at all. The things you are talking about are more about complete preservation of the copy protected disk.

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You could try Black Patch and Chipmunk. You may find you have some software on their list. Use Copymate to make a sector copy of your disk first! Work from the copy!

 

Attached is what I have. Maybe some duplicates, not sure, but worth a try.

attachicon.gifDiskPatchers.zip

 

Have the manuals to these been scanned?

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Thanks guys for all your responses. I'm using a sector copier to copy them. My goal is just to get them to virtual disk form so everyone can use them. They are almost all copies so they may or may not have been altered. I just want to save the rare ones before they rot. I'll copy all the ones that I can and then see what I can do with the others after.

 

Allan

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