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P L A Y S T A T I O N   /   P S - O N E
PSX CD-Info
PSX CD Differences
Sony, the makers of Playstation, has risen from obscurity in the video game market to one of, if not the best console machine on the market today.

Playstation CD's look very similar to ordinary CD's with only one difference:

Original Playstation CD's have a black (actually dark blue) bottom as compared to normal (silver) pressed CD's and the gold/green/blue CD-R/CD-RW media's. This black color is not a copy protection but it will identify that it is a original PSX cd.

If someone is selling PSX CD's other then the black colored ones then they are illegal copies of the original game! The most common sold copies are called HKs (Hong Kong silvers), the have a silver bottom and are pressed in China.

PSX CD Protections
There are two different copy protections within the Playstation hardware
  • Bad Blocks
    The original PSX CD's are created with special recorders which are able to create bad blocks (segments of data on the CD which have been marked as invalid). These blocks normally are not wanted because any data that is located in a bad block is lost. Because of this, nearly all consumer CD recorders are designed to correct bad blocks when they read them before writing them to new CD's. Unless you work with Sony's special development recorders, (These recorders are only leased to companies that have a interest in keeping the protection intact, they are NOT available to end-users).
  • Country-Code Lockout
    This protection prevents games from certain regions (US, JAP & PAL) to be played on playstations from a different region.
    The Country-Code Lockout protection compares the first 5 sectors on a CD with the PSX Country-Code. If these codes match the game will continue. This protection is used to discourage importing games.  Then using the below methods for copying WILL allow you to fully copy all data successfully onto a blank Cdr.

Usually the current available CD-R software is not able, using the default settings, to make a working backup.

To be able to play PSX backups the PSX needs to me changed so it will by-pass these protections. There are three ways to do this:

  • Using the Swap-Trick by first booting with an original PSX CD and then replacing it with the backup. This ONLY works in the earlier versions of the Playstation.
  • Install a MODified Boot Chip (ModChip) inside the Playstation (this can only be done by an experienced technician). The ModChip is a small electronic integrated circuit that "tricks" the PlayStation so it thinks the inserted CD contains the right Country-Code & Bad Blocks.
  • Use a Cardridge (like the Game Enhancer) which plugs into the expansion slot. The advantage of this cartridge is that no modifications needs to be performed on the inside of the Playstation and it leaves the PSX warranty intact.

Advanced: Details on the actual Bad Blocks: (Written by Icepic)

Sectors 12 through 15 contain a zeroised EDC/ECC checksum (impossible) so if the PSX reads and doesn't see an invalid EDC/ECC then it knows that the CD in the drive is a copy. (The EDC is simply a CRC type hash that is used as a checksum to determine if the sector was read correctly. The ECC is used to recreate the sector data). The entire range of sectors is written in a RAW format (2352 bytes) and is completely zeroed, even the XA sub-header and EDC/ECC are zeroed. When it is copied on a CD-R, these sectors are exact, except for the EDC/ECC code that is (correctly) written as 0x3F13B0BC.

With a modified bios is should be possible to make an exact backup without the need to modify the Playstation. This way it would not automatically 'correct' what it thinks to be corrupt sectors with invalid EDC/ECC codes and using a copy method of writing the first track in RAW mode (2352 byte sectors, CD-DA) and then force the table of contents to report the track as a CD-XA track.

PSX CD Layout Example
Blocks Description  
000000-000015 Data track boot blocks (see NOTE 1)
000016-024520 Data track program area (see NOTE 2)
024521-024670 Postgap for data track (see NOTE 3)
024671-024820 Pregap for first audio track (see NOTE 4)
024821-048326 Audio track #1  
048327-048476 Pregap for second audio track (see NOTE 5)
048477-072485 Audio track #2  
          .    
          .    
          .    
191281-191430 Pregap for ninth audio track  
191431-214349 Audio track #9  
214350-?????? Leadout track (see NOTE 6)
     
     
NOTE 1: The first sixteen blocks of a PSX disc are the "boot" blocks.
They contain some territory information, but it is not known if this is the actual data that is used by the "territory lockout" code.
NOTE 2: The rest of the data track is where the actual program (game) is stored. The track is encoded in CDROM-XA format using both Form-1 and Form-2 sectors. The file system is in ISO9660 format.
NOTE 3: When any data track is followed by an audio track, it must
end with a postgap of at least 150 sectors. On all of the PSX discs that have been analyzed, this postgap is comprised of 150 sectors of zeroed data. The purpose of the postgap is to provide a "buffer zone" between the real data in the track and the subsequent audio track. This buffer is used because some CD readers can't read the last few blocks of a track if they are followed by audio sectors.
NOTE 4: When an audio track follows a data track, it must start with
a pregap of at least 150 sectors. On the PSX discs that were analyzed, pregaps of both 150 (2 seconds) and 300 sectors (4 seconds) were seen. This pregap serves the same purpose as the data postgap... to physically separate the data and audio sectors to avoid reading errors (data and
audio sectors are usually read with separate commands and each command can only read a specific sector type).
NOTE 5: The pre-gap for all audio tracks after track #1 seems to be
either 0 or 150 sectors for all PSX discs. PSXCOPY.EXE will copy these gaps, but it doesn't bother to encode them as gaps in the subcode.
NOTE 6: The LEADOUT track is written by the recorder automatically
(except for the Philips) and is not under user control. It is not
possible to read this area of the disc with a normal CDROM reader or recorder.
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