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A Windows XP game needs the original disc to boot, disc image file will not work
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Author:  SlyCooperReloadCoded [ Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:34 am ]
Post subject:  A Windows XP game needs the original disc to boot, disc image file will not work

I recently purchased an old Windows XP game made by Telltale Games (RIP) with a very interesting but also very infuriating quirk - it needs the original, physical disc in a physical drive to boot. If you make a disc image file out of it then mount that, the game will claim that the disc is not inserted and will not boot. There aren't any no-cd patches for this game either, so I can't go that route.

Is there a way around this? Discs of this game are getting rarer and rarer making it so much harder to preserve. If you want to see what I mean or take a closer look at the code, I've preserved it and put it on the Internet Archive:

https://archive.org/details/cover_20211007

Can someone take a look at this game and figure out how it can tell the difference between ISO and actual disc, and maybe find a way to patch the check out? It installs all the data it needs to the hard drive, it seems to only use the disc for some kind of check.

Edit: Burning the disc image to a blank CD and inserting that into a physical drive doesn't work either, it's able to tell the difference still. I should also mention that this game isn't for sale anywhere anymore.

Edit 2: After lots of experimentation and the realization that it can tell that a 1:1 copy that has identical byte count, identical CRC-32 hashes, identical SHA1 hashes, and identical filesize isn't the original disc, someone I talked to mentioned that it could be checking the media type and the disc check is failing because it's not the original disc's media type. An alternate way of solving this problem could be an ISO mounter software that lets you set what media type it reports to the software.

Edit 3: I've found a No-CD patch for the game which solves my issues, although solving this would be a good thing to do as well.

Author:  maraakate [ Fri Oct 15, 2021 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Windows XP game needs the original disc to boot, disc image file will not work

You can probably use something like Alcohol 120% to make a proper image of this. A simple ISO file will not work. Has to be MDF format (or maybe BIN/CUE as well? Unsure, haven't had to do this in years). Daemon Tools has an emulator for the different types of securom/starforce/etc protection. Turning this on in addition to your MDF rip of the game should probably allow it to work.

You will have to purchase Daemon Tools, but the price is fairly minimal.

Hope this helps.

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