There are currently two ways to duplicate a CD, either using a disk at once method, or a track at once method. We will cover the track at once method first.
I recommend that we do all the reading on a proper cdrom drive that is capable of reading digital audio (DA) since many games have standard CD-DA tracks. Drives capable of doing this include
Reading the audio is best accomplished by using the CDDA utility included in Corel Scsi 2.0 and up. Notice that reading CD-DA is not a very trivial process. Since DA is stored with no header data, you cannot guarantee that when you seek to a certain sector, you will arrive on the proper spot. Many times, you can end up arriving within 1 or 2 bits of the proper target. Some software uses a trick called jitter reduction to improve accuracy using a two pass technique, but it is very slow. The moral of this story is reading DA does not guarantee you a bit to bit accurate copy of the DA track. The accuracy varies from brand to brand. NEC drives seem to have a higher rate of errors, as do all IDE drives. We highly recommend the use of SCSI drives for reading DA regardless of your software. Also, some drives only support reading of DA at single speed, even if its data speed is double or quad (Toshiba). That can greatly hinder your duplication. I personally have
no experience with the Sony drives, but I have heard that they work.
After this, we can read the data tracks. On the Sega, the data track is mode 1 and unprotected so any drive can read it. On the Sony, however, the track is mode-2 and it also has the protected sectors. Drives capable of reading these protected sectors include
When using CDDA to read audio, simply shorten the length of the read by 2 frames. When using the program CD Grab Professional, please shorten the length by 152 sectors. When using CDCP, version 1.1, the length is correct. When using CDCP Version 1.2 and later, shorten the length by 152. Some software seems to give you control of whether the data file includes the 2 orange book sectors, and will not create a oversize track. Note, on some software, the track will be the minimum sector size. In that case, it will become necc. to shorten that track by 2 sectors. Luckily, this would mean the track has to be an audio track, and so the loss of 2/75 of a second is no big deal.
During production, some companies use some shortcuts to speed up production. One good trick is to use direct sector access to audio tracks. It allows quicker access to audio tracks, but requires that the exact sector be provided. Usually, the audio track appears immediately after the data track, so the exact position of the audio track is unknown until after the data track is finalized in production. The shortcut is to place the audio tracks at a predetermined location, say, at the 100 megabyte point and require that the data track be 99 megs or less. In this case, when the data track is finished, there maybe a unformatted region between the actual end of the data track and the audio track. However, reading the table of contents will reveal an improper length for the data track that spans all the way to the audio track, including the unformatted region. This will cause an error when you are trying to read the data track; the cd will suddenly stop
reading when it reaches that point. The solution is to pad the data track file with empty sectors. For example, a 2048 byte file of zeros will do for sega, and 2336 byte file for sony. Pad the file until it is the same number of sectors as what the software reports as the length of the data track.
The disk at once method is suitable for disks that do not do padding. However, your CDR and cdrom must also support DAO writing. Disk at once reads the disk sectors in raw mode and write them to the target disk, ignoring the format. I have been told that this works with sony and Yamaha CDRs. Sourcing is supposedly possible using the Plextor 6x drive. I have not verified this myself. The recommended software for this is the Incat EZ-CD pro MM series software. Of course, disks that use padding have unformatted sectors between the data and audio tracks, causing the system to fail during reading. DAO recording supposedly does not require a buffer drive, and is very fast.
One report is that the highly regarded Corel CD Maker doesn't allow the writing of disk images without a plugin. What a crock! Get EZ-CD pro instead, it will be cheaper than Corel to get this working. EZ-CD is bundled with Pinnacle and Ricoh CDRs, among others. Corel does allow you to directly copy audio tracks from a cdrom to a cd-r, while ez-cd allows you to directly copy mode 1 tracks from a cdrom to a cd-r. Note that direct copying means you don't need a buffer file on the hard drive, and can save 50% off your copying time.
To play the game, you have to use one of the swap techniques. On the PSX, you insert the original disk, and swap when you see the ps logo while holding down the "drive closed" button. If you don't trust this, go into cd player. Insert original disk. press the drive close button, old, insert copy, and go to exit (Still holding down the close button). Note, that doing it this way, the ps reads the table of contents from the original disk. For games from Namco and Bandai, this information is used to determine the length of audio tracks. Always use the original disk to start the copy for these games if you want properly working audio. Of course, since you have the original game, this would never be a problem, unless you are trying to play a Japanese game on a US system. In that case, you're somewhat screwed. To play a Japanese game on a US system, the original disk has to be a US disk, but the copy disk can be any country. In this situation,
the track size on the original determines the length of the track on the playback, and if you use the US demo disk to start, say, ridge racer, the short audio tracks on the demo disk will cause problems. Get a copy of Tekken for your US PSX if you want a generally good start disk to play Japanese games.
On the Saturn, however, things are easier in some ways, harder in others. To begin with, it requires a double swap technique. First, you insert the copy. start the machine, and it reads in the TOC. When you hear it seek to the special track (And slow down), swap to the original. When it seeks back, pop back in the copy. Of course, to do this, you will have to trigger it so that it thinks the drive door is always closed. To do this, open up the Saturn. There is a wire that runs from the drive door to a plug on the left side of the CD mechanism. Unplug the plug, and short out the two pins in the jack. You can do this by applying some solder to it, shoving a screw in there and taping it down, or some other creative trick. Because it reads the TOC from the copy, you can insert any original disk (such as the US Saturn's sample disk) so you can keep your precious originals safe.