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Old 11 October 2020, 17:35   #1
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Supercars Mayhem UK Crack

I have in my possession a copy of Supercars which has a cracktro on it by Mayhem UK. I have had this version since 1990 on floppy disk and its very unusual in the fact that the disks are protected. I can only copy the disks to other floppies using Nibble Copy on Xcopy otherwise each sector shows up as a red "2" error. I also cannot copy it to a regular ADF file for the same reason but I have managed to create custom ADF files 1.9mb each disk which do boot and run fine in WinUAE.


If anyone wants to look at this I am more than happy to upload to the zone as it doesn't seem to be in TOSEC.


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Old 11 October 2020, 17:44   #2
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probably just a nibble copy of the original with some protection removed or even no protection removed but cracktro added.

What do you want to be done about it?
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Old 11 October 2020, 17:48   #3
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I figured it would be a nice addition to TOSEC but I don't think it will be able to be added in its current state as its extended ADF.

I'll zone it anyway so anyone can take a look.
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Old 11 October 2020, 18:27   #4
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So, the Shaun Southern MFM format that Gremlin uses can be nibble copied.

What Mayhem have done is remove the track check at the start of the game, they've not touched the MFM part, knowing that it can be nibble copied, but the track protection couldn't.

They had barely enough room for their cracktro.

Bit of an odd way of doing it considering the way the MFM format of this game is very easy to either dumb read the disks and write them back out again, or simply to crack it to files.
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Old 11 October 2020, 18:40   #5
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okay but the MFM format is $1800 bytes long, so writing back to $1600 requires remapping, compressing or whatever. If the disk is fully packed that means 3 disks instead of 2.

However I remember the cracked version of that one and also the Zool crack (same format IIRC) used 2 disks.

So it's a lazy way of doing it... I remember a "crack" of Unreal being only nibbleable (maybe the gap had been shortened because I'm not sure original disks were directly nibble-copiable).

Considering how tricky the protection was, it was probably the easiest way to spread it.
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Old 11 October 2020, 19:12   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotd View Post
okay but the MFM format is $1800 bytes long, so writing back to $1600 requires remapping, compressing or whatever. If the disk is fully packed that means 3 disks instead of 2.

However I remember the cracked version of that one and also the Zool crack (same format IIRC) used 2 disks.

So it's a lazy way of doing it... I remember a "crack" of Unreal being only nibbleable (maybe the gap had been shortened because I'm not sure original disks were directly nibble-copiable).

Considering how tricky the protection was, it was probably the easiest way to spread it.
An Amiga drive can write back $1800 length tracks depending on the composition of the format no problems at all, no need to piss around trying to get the size down to $1600.

The decoding length in this crack is not $1600 its still $1800 and Supercars is a 2 disk original and a 2 disk crack done properly by Paranoimia
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Old 11 October 2020, 21:04   #7
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stupid question: When you use nibble copy, do you have to manually change the SYNC value or does the copy program do it by itself?

I always wondered if you could back up MFM based games if you just changed the SYNC marker in the Copy program.

Thanks
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Old 11 October 2020, 21:11   #8
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well xcopy can clone a track even without the sync. You need the sync only to decode data.

And even with the sync, if the track is a long track (code 7 in xcopy) then you cannot copy the whole data, unless you're using a hardware piece that slows down motor when writing.

Longtrack is a protection, the other is special track like copylock that is destroyed with blind copy (because of gaps? not the best expert here). Such protections need to be removed manually if you don't have a hardware copier (cyclone can clone copylocks and even displays a smiley when it finds one)
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Old 11 October 2020, 22:45   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redblade View Post
stupid question: When you use nibble copy, do you have to manually change the SYNC value or does the copy program do it by itself?

I always wondered if you could back up MFM based games if you just changed the SYNC marker in the Copy program.

Thanks
Supercars uses a standard $4489 sync mark which im sure is key to a successful nibble copy as it can correctly get to the start of the track data.
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Old 12 October 2020, 21:03   #10
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Quote:
An Amiga drive can write back $1800 length tracks depending on the composition of the format no problems at all, no need to piss around trying to get the size down to $1600.
yes (for instance RN PDOS is $1800 bytes long too but when reducing the gap, it can be written back and it works properly), but a disk that's not standard DOS track isn't a "proper" crack. I mean I rarely saw such cracks. 99% of the cracks convert to standard DOS $1600 byte track format.
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Old 12 October 2020, 22:20   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotd View Post
yes (for instance RN PDOS is $1800 bytes long too but when reducing the gap, it can be written back and it works properly), but a disk that's not standard DOS track isn't a "proper" crack. I mean I rarely saw such cracks. 99% of the cracks convert to standard DOS $1600 byte track format.
Yeah, its not a "proper" crack but technically they've done enough to get it in a condition that it can be copied.

I wouldn't say this method was ever popular, but in the early days it was more regular, but Super Cars was 1990, and by then it was something that was hardly done.

It comes to something that the Mayhem UK crack I never saw before, I got the Paranoimia crack which got to me quicker from Germany than the Mayhem version from London.

At least when I did it, you could easily copy the disk used to create the copy, but then again I put quite a bit more effort into what I did than Mayhem did lol
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Old 13 October 2020, 00:45   #12
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Thanks JOTD/Galahad for the info
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT View Post
Yeah, its not a "proper" crack but technically they've done enough to get it in a condition that it can be copied.

I wouldn't say this method was ever popular, but in the early days it was more regular, but Super Cars was 1990, and by then it was something that was hardly done.
Do you have a list of groups who released cracks this way? It also must of been quite difficult to write your cracktro back on to the disk this way? Or do you just disable multitasking when you write back the cracktro to the disk?
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Old 13 October 2020, 08:52   #13
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writing a track on a disk doesn't write other tracks. It's safe even with multitasking.

Leave the disk being NDOS-detected, then write your boot track.
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Old 13 October 2020, 09:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redblade View Post
Thanks JOTD/Galahad for the info

Do you have a list of groups who released cracks this way? It also must of been quite difficult to write your cracktro back on to the disk this way? Or do you just disable multitasking when you write back the cracktro to the disk?
A crscktro such as the one Mayhem used is tiny, and there was a tiny bit of room left on track 0 to get it on there.

A normal disk writing until could write it to the disk, even one that multitasking, you would just need to cancel any disk requester popping up saying the disk is broken and then write to the only AmigaDOS portion.

You dont need to shut off multitasking to do it, you just need a utility that won't refuse to deal with the disk because of the format.

I couldn't name many that did this, I know Trilogy did Dragons Breath in a similar way, they didnt know how to break the 2 Speedlock protections so distributed a warped copy of the protection track so it could be written to disk.
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Old 13 October 2020, 19:59   #15
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Accumulators & TSK Crew did this for their Silkworm release, which I transferred to extended ADF. I was never able to nibble warp that image -- I wonder if it was originally spread via the postal system?
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Old 13 October 2020, 21:04   #16
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a crack that you can't nibblewarp isn't really a crack
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Old 14 October 2020, 07:03   #17
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Quote:
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a crack that you can't nibblewarp isn't really a crack

That's what I'm saying Their boot block said it was "pseudo-cracked".
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Old 14 October 2020, 15:05   #18
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Blizzard did this with Giana sisters. They even had a disk copy function in their cracktro to read and write the protected tracks
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