How PS1 security works.


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59 Responses

  1. hgoel0974 says:

    cool article
    nice to have something off topic once in a while
    oh and continuing the tradition, first 😉

  2. BakaOsaka says:

    Ah, god times. Care to document some game antipiracy, such as Spyo soon?

  3. samstrand says:

    Great story Acid_Snake. Remember like it was yesterday doing the swap trick at such a young age.
    Crash Bandicoot 2 is the game that comes to mind thinking back to the PS1 days.

  4. Kiz says:

    haha I remember doing the swap trick too.. Used the old gameshark method with a spring to hold the button down that fooled the ps1 to thinking the lid was closed. For the ps2 I used the cog-swap method.. once again another gameshark, and a nail filer taped to a broken plastic spoon to pull to the left/right to eject the ps2 tray. Good times

  5. Good article, but I have one question – how come these kind of methods don’t work today? I have a general idea, but was hoping for the “and why those methods don’t work today” part of the article to fill the gaps in my knowledge.

    • hgoel0974 says:

      mainly because there are other more secure methods implemented.

      Those days, you didn’t have much processing power for complex security, nowadays it is different, there are all of these encrypted signatures which would take AGES to crack, think of it as trying to calculate every single move possible in chess, the only reason there isn’t a move using which you will always win in chess is because there are too many combinations, that is only 64 boxes with 32 pieces, now compare it to the 255 characters there are in modern signatures and that we don’t know how many of them are checked!

    • me says:

      Physical security still exists on all the disk based consoles. The wobble used on the PS1 was also used on the PS2, at least for CD based games (DVDs can’t use that copy protection method). The XBOX and XBOX360 use a encrypted second volume on the DVD for security. Gamecube and Wii disks are fully encrypted and can’t be read in regular DVD-rom drives at all. I’m not sure how the PS2 DVD or PS3 Blu-ray physical security works.

    • Acid_Snake says:

      as others have told you, better methods have been found, for example, on the ps2 you can’t just inject data into the live stream as you do with ps1, you have to modify functions of the bios, etc
      for consoles like the gamecube the disc is basically physically damaged so the TOC is unreadable (remember how the dreamcast had two TOCs? well the gamecube is similar, only the PC readable TOC is damaged intentionally so for a PC there is no disc inserted)

  6. me says:

    Similarly a burned disc does not have any mark on it because conventional CD drives can’t read that portion of the disc, so the system will also refuse to boot that.

    Huh? The problem was in cdrom lead-in wobble which calibrates the cdrom tracking and speed. On cd-r’s the wobble is pre-cut and not modifiable. On PS1 disks (and PS2 disks also), which are pressed. the wobble is modulated in such a way to encode the protection code. Therefore, CD writers can’t add the protecton code to burned disks.

  7. Leires says:

    Always interesting to read, thank you very much.~

  8. jrazorman says:

    cool.. I learned alot! thanks

  9. rafael707 says:

    keep it up snake, your blogs keep me entertained xD

  10. robert says:

    I don’t understand this.
    The way I have understood it, cd’s and dvd’s consist’s of lots of “blocks” that are either burned or not. These blocks then represents 1 (a burned block) or 0 (an untouched block).
    Why is it not possible to just simply copy the physical “combination of burned blocks” onto another disk and have an exact copy?

    • Acid_Snake says:

      as I said, PS1 CDs have a block unreadable by normal PC readers, this block contains the region information and since normal CD players can’t read this part then they can’t reproduce it

  11. CHINESEchocolateSauce says:

    Great times

  12. dimy93 says:

    I love those articles – I’ll take it a look tomorrow

  13. muhd says:

    can we just copy to the vita??no need exploit a game or what….make a converter….

  14. c-zero says:

    Interesting article, of course, this was YEARS too late for me lol.

    Actually, there is more to the original PS1 than meets the eye. If you’re lucky enough to own an original SCPH1001 PS1 (I got mine from a friend, since he already had one), then in addition to the AV Multi port, you also had component-out (RCA). This is unique only to the original models, and here’s the kicker:

    Apparently, the sound quality from those component-out connectors were so good, they were better than a $6000 dollar sound system, when you hook them up to some good old fashioned Hi-Fi speakers. Imagine, having something that rivals a Bose sound system, but built from second-hand electronics for a fraction of the price (or even free)!

    I love collecting old stuff and finding new uses for them, don’t you?

  15. notder says:

    knowledge article. Thanks

  16. BLACKkidWithBoogerRunningNOSE says:

    I werember when my uncle had 1 it was kool cuz I played smakdown wit him on it all da time now I play ps2 more den I playz ps3 bcuz is more fun and I like how it look.

  17. ??? says:

    good read!!!
    please do PS2 next

  18. Hex_cz says:

    haha, we’re needing some articles like that to refresh our head for a while xD
    nice article man

  19. 7thpandaren says:

    I love these articles, thanks for taking the time to write it. Read the dreamcast one and also the wii? one. Keep up the great work.

  20. gunblade says:

    psx mean i guess the music upgrade in the psone slim was thks to the psx getting jackedi also remeber the loop read in the psx we used to jump start the game with the disk cover opean ….or take time to wipe disk will it was still trying the play the game .miss umd dont no what sony doing with dis nintendo game cards…but a 120gb memory card for the vita would be cool..if anything.oooh jus think psp n vita umd streeam to the vita by usb? bluthooth? wifi? jus thinking…

  21. gunblade says:

    or is the acceceries port with the psp usb possible?

  22. gunblade says:

    (what i thought i do was i through a psp into a jet engine..)..

  23. vhblfans says:

    cool,i like ps1 games.

  24. gunblade says:

    so why dosent sony let the ps3 have backwords capability with psone n ps2 game unless they jus want to make money on download copy since used game probly dont get them that much dough game stop shelves be pack with old school games…

    • Acid_Snake says:

      any ps3 is backwards compatible with ps1 games, both cd and psn format

    • Viper2343 says:

      Gunblade The PS3 Has the capability with PS1 titles but not NTSC-J (Japan)but for the PS2 games you need a 80GB or 60GB PS3 to run them i have a first gen uncharted drake’s fortune Limited Edition 160GB PS3 and i can run PS1 titles but not Japan PS1 titles nor PS2 NTSC PS2 titles or NTSC-J Japan titles

  25. gunblade says:

    thought the choice was ps3 os or backwords play …man sony wont to do more with the ps3 then just download n play ps3 games…(more apps)free realm..

  26. Dev says:

    Interesting article
    Keep them coming!

  27. RUSSIANorthKOREAwillruleUSA says:

    Ps1 is beautiful we play it here more than ps3 and xbox better than vital too!

  28. Stranno says:

    I have my Breaker Pro disc but i usually play on PS2 so there is no need to have extra disc, just one original (with high TOC) and the program itself, pretty simple.

  29. quetz says:

    ahhh psx :) best console ever

  30. Johnny says:

    There is also FreeMCBoot, which is installed on the Memory Card, and it’s free as the name suggests. Google it.

  31. Johnny says:

    Scratch that, FreeMCBoot is PS2 only eheh. My bad.

  32. Byron says:

    yo se que no va esto aqui y que ya es muy tarde para lo que voy a pedir pero podrian hacer un sofware que podria reconocer el ps1 para correr juegos copias asi como lo hicieron con el ps2. yo tengo un ps1 y varios juegos del mismo descargados y me gustaria jugarlos en la misma consola.

    Espero respuesta de wololo


  33. darkcrows says:

    i remeber back in 1997 i got my first ps1..i buy a game shark to play pirate ps1 games..if original disk got a black disk

  34. bogusflow says:

    Back when I had a psx, I knew nothing of being able to modify a console, nor did I know anything about burned games. I remember when sony took that port for the gameshark out of the newer models. And to think, I always thought it was because they didn’t want people to cheat on their console. lol how small minded I was back then.

    Nice read by the way. Very interesting.

  35. wululu is muslim says:

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  36. Vicsidious says:

    Excellent text! I loved it, thanks.

  37. asmith906 says:

    Could you make a video/article showing how to install a modchip? That’d be pretty awesome.

  38. The Z says:

    I have the old little white PSOne with a modchip, as a kid it was the coolest to be able to play every game, even if it was from a different region.

    It was a nice and funny childhood 😀

  39. Chita says:

    I Can’t beleive it , i just got 3 working PSN Codes:

  40. IgnusArmagadan says:

    I used to do the swap trick all the time until I got my PS1, then I just backed up a lot of my PS1 collection to my PSP :) I still use Free McBoot though and even got component cables because I got a neat little app that runs pretty much every one of my PS2 games in HD. Of course not nearly as sharp as the HD remasters, but playing Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix +, Dragon Quest VIII, and Final Fantasy XII in HD from my PS2 is pretty awesome! 😀

  41. Hex_cz says:

    Well, i’ve sucessfully transfered my psp and ps1 saves from my psp ms to my vita. I think i can do the same thing with the games. Well, i’m thinking to upload my resident evil 3 backup folder to anyone with a backup folder in you pc to paste in it and tranfer to your vita just to see if works. Do you agree???

  42. Ahora si, Maestro, he ilumunado mi memoria ya que siempre utilice estos metodos pero desconocia la seguridad y la forma de hackearla. buen tema.

  43. Hi there,

    back in the days there where Modchips which claimed that they would only allow imports to be booted (so burned discs/gold discs still failed to boot with these multinorm chips).

    How did they work?

    My guess is that they took the SCEx string on the disc (so they actually checked that string or they did not bypass this check) and converted it into the string of the corresponding bios of the PS1?

    Does anybody know how exactly those multinorm chips works?

    PS: Which discs got the SCEW string? These discs would only boot on Net Yaroze consoles (and on chipped PS1s). The only disc I could think of is the Net Yaroze boot disc in the Net Yaroze dev kit? Are there any other Net Yaroze exclusive discs

  44. D4RKD3V1L says:

    The good old days of the ps1…..

  45. fatcaall says:

    Great article, just want to say you are an awesome writer, would love to read more like this.

  46. PSLover14 says:

    My Cousin had a PS1 with some blue thing in the back of it, and every time you booted it up, a screen would come up saying START and you had to press X on it.

  47. DGR says:

    You haven’t mentioned Libcrypt protection which was used on later PlayStation games.

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