Backing-up PSX, Saturn and NeoGeo Games
Backing-up games is the same for Saturn, PSX and NeoGeoCD.
For newer NeoGeoCD and PSX games you’ll need cracks/patches before burning the CD, see below.
Backing-up games under Windows 95/98/NT4/ME/2000
I use CDRWIN or WinOnCD to make backups, other people use Adaptec’s EasyCD, Nero and some other utilities, but I prefer CDRWIN and WinOnCD myself as they will backup most CD’s first time without any coasters. CDRWIN does not backup games with more than one data track, or CD’s with a data track after an audio track whereas WinOnCD does! CDRWIN is much more configurable than WinOnCD (e.g. drive read/write speeds and other useful settings) but WinOnCD will copy CD’s that CDRWIN won’t.
There are plenty of programs that will copy CD’s these days, the most popular ones seem to be CDRWIN, FireBurner, Nero, Prassi, WinOnCD, Adaptec EasyCD, ImgBurn, BlindRead and many others.
Most CD copying software will say in it’s docs that it can’t make backups of PS-X CD’s. What it means is that it doesn’t copy the copy protected part of the CD. (That’s why you need to use a modchip or swaptrick).
Backing up games using CDRWIN
These instructions are for CDRWIN 3.8a. They’ll probably be the same for most new versions too.
Install it, enter the reg. code. (To re-register it, select maximise from the context sensitive menu that appears when you right click it from the task bar.)
Put your game disk in the drive you are going to use to read the disk. (This is the writer if you’ve only got one SCSI CD-ROM Device)
Click the “COPY DISK” button. (Picture of Two CD’s with an arrow)
Select “Copy to Image and Record”. This is the best mode to use, as you can use slower computers and read errors on the source CD won’t give you a coaster!)
In the “Devices” section, select your fastest hard disk with the most free space as the drive to store the image file on. (Preferably a nice SCSI drive on a different SCSI card to the recorder for Maximum performance, though an old 850MB IDE drive will do nicely!) Make sure your hard disk is defragmented, failing to do so can cause buffer underruns, this cause of buffer underruns is often overlooked.
- Make sure the “CD Reader” is set to the drive you put the game disk in.
- Make sure the CD-ROM Recorder is set to the correct device.
If you are reading the game disk from a device other than your writer, put a blank in the writer now. Always make sure there’s no dust or other marks on the both CD’s.
- Make sure the “Subcode analysis…” is set to “Auto”
- Make sure the “Jitter correction…” is set to “Auto”
- I use a “Read Retry Count” of “30”.
- Make sure “Copy…” has “Raw Sectors” ticked.
- Set “Error recovery” to “Abort”.
- Set the reading speeds to “2x”. Increase these when you know it works at 2x speed. leave all the other settings alone.
Save the settings.
It’ll then read in the CD, store it on your hard disk. Note: Audio and Data are read in RAW mode which can take up more than 650MB of hard disk space, if the CD is full, this is normal.
When it’s read it you’ll be asked to put a blank CD in the writer if there’s not one there already. The image will then be written to the CD.
Voila! Your CD is now copied.
Using game backups
To play a PSX copy (or original CD from a different country than your PSX comes from) you can use one of these methods:
By far the best method is to get yourself a MOD chip. A mod chip is a chip that needs to be soldered to your PSX’s motherboard that by-passes the copy protection schemes so you can play copied games or games from other countries just as if they were originals. Mod chips can be had at very cheap prices now. See below for where to get them from.
Some old mod chips can be detected by some more recent software, e.g. Final Fantasy 8. This problem can be fixed by either a) buying a newer stealth mod-chip. or b) by getting the offending game cracked. See below.
You can also get a PlugMod, which plugs into the back of the PS-X in the user port, newer PSX’s (9000 and later models) do not have the port on the back, so they’re only of use if you have a 75xx or previous model. A PlugMod does not invalidate your PSX’s warranty, but as all 75xx and previous models will now be out of warranty, because they’re too old, this is not really a consideration anymore. You can also use them in your mate’s playstation too.
To do this turn on your PSX-x with no CD in the drive.
Go to the Audio menu.
Insert an original CD.
Don’t close the lid.
behind and to the right of the CD near the hinge you’ll see a small round bit of plastic. this is connected to a switch inside the PSX-x.
get something to keep this pressed down (or solder a switch to the PSX’s motherboard to do the same thing)
The CD will spin up and the track listing will be displayed.
When the CD stops spinning take the CD out of the drive and put your copied game in.
Exit the audio menu and the game will boot.
Note: this only works if the original CD has more or equal amounts of audio tracks to the copy. This only works on really old playstations, it does not work on any new PSX’s. (Sony got wise to this method). Most audio tracks that are played don’t start at the start of each track because the PSX is using the table of contents from the original and not the copied game.
Also, old 100x model PSX’s don’t read copied CD’s very well, see below for more info.
If you ask me it’s more hassle than it’s worth. Get a MOD chip fitted and do it NOW.
New PSX Games need cracks/patches!
Most big release PSX games need cracks to bypass various sorts of protection methods that have been used by publishers, You can download patches for these games from the internet. Try searching for “ISO” or “psx patch archive” in your favourite search engine, or visit the excellent www.GameCopyWorld.com site.
Patching involves reading the PSX game from the CD to an image file on your hard disk, then applying a patch to this image file, then writing the patched/cracked version of the image file to a blank CD.
If you want, you can use a PSX emulator (like Bleem) to make sure the patched image file still works by using a blank CDRW or mouting the iso in a tool like Daemon tools first!
Skipping Sound/FMV on your PSX ? Gold CD’s won’t boot ?
DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. DO IT WRONG AND YOU’LL PROBABLY HAVE A USELESS PLAYSTATION. YOUR WARRANTY WILL ALSO BE INVALIDATED
There is a little potentiometer that you can adjust, it’s located on the gold/brown ribbon cable that links the CD lens/motor unit to the Playstation motherboard. It’s on a little piece of white plastic. Open up your Playstation and turn the pot a tiny bit (1/16 of a turn) clockwise and see if your problem clears up. You can try different adjustments but:
- 1. Make a note of where it started so that you can put it back there if you still can’t get it to work
- 2. NEVER turn it more than 90 degrees because on some PSX’s the pot will come off its endstops and you’ll have a big problem.
- 3. Turn it gently, in small amounts and then test it before you move it again.
- 4. Once you’re happy that it boots one game and the FMV doesn’t skip anymore, boot another game up and see if that’s ok too.
What you’ll find is that one setting works best for one game and another setting for another game so you have to find a happy medium. Also try using a few different makes of CDR’s and Black CD’s to find the right spot.
I found the above information on a web site somewhere but I updated it myself, if you’re the person that wrote it originally then please let me know so I can credit you on this page.