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bugman2112
February 25th, 2008, 03:15 AM
I have recently obtained an original version of Elite. I would like to break the copy protection so I can archive it better. I've tried all the old tutorials, but I think I would need some additional hardware.

Is there anyone out there that would like to de-protect this disk? I can make a working .nib image, or two salitne disk images.

Thanks,

BT

david__schmidt
February 25th, 2008, 04:48 AM
Have you tried softkeys from Computist? I haven't, but it might be worth a look:
http://victa.jamtronix.com/display/page/1543
http://victa.jamtronix.com/display/page/1912
http://victa.jamtronix.com/display/page/3065

bugman2112
February 25th, 2008, 06:40 AM
Thanks, this is great information!! I only have enhanced //e's, so I will still need a way to break into the monitor. But I might be able to do something with an emualtor. If anyone has a ][+ and a memory card, and would like to give this a shot, let me know.

-Brian

barythrin
February 25th, 2008, 08:56 AM
I haven't looked into this much but couldn't you just find a disk image of Elite from an Apple II collection and restore that? I would guess it's likely cracked or atleast copyable. I'm not 100% how to get into the monitor once a game has started unless you can break out of the game and then do call-151 in basic

I guess if you read a few more Apple II cracking materials you might find out what people used to load either an interrupt/keystroke to end the game/application when it's running or how to modify and load the code via the monitor application (having monitor do a load from disk and run it).

Sounds like a fun project though.

- John

bugman2112
February 25th, 2008, 09:32 AM
You are correct, I have a cracked version. The one I purchased has some subtle differences. Someone who worked for the company confirmed that there was at least two versions to fix some bugs. So, that is why I would like to preserve this version. It can be cracked fairly easily using the instructions that david_schmidt posted. The problem is that the software has ways of preventing you from entering the monitor in order to do these bad things. An apple ][+ and older ROM versions were known to be hacker friendly because you could break into the monitor from just about anywhere, anytime. I do not own an APPLE ][+, but I have an emulator which uses a
][+ROM and I believe it even breaks into the monitor when hitting reset. Although I wasn't able to remove the copy protection, I was able to make a working .NIB image. So, I'm going to try to use the emulator to de-protect tonight. If that fails, I will have to continue to look into a way to get into the monitor. Darn, just might have to supplement my out of control collection with a ][+. Unfortuneately, the price of a decent one has been rising lately.

Druid6900
February 25th, 2008, 12:31 PM
Well, I have a ][+ sitting on my "for sale" shelf, but, I don't have a working memory card for it. I'll have to fix one. It does have a soft card, (thanks T) but, I don't think that's going to help much.

Terry Yager
February 25th, 2008, 04:44 PM
D,

Got another memory card. I'll toss it into the package I'm building-up for ya. (I might even have an 80-column card, if I can find it).

--T

Druid6900
February 25th, 2008, 06:40 PM
D,

Got another memory card. I'll toss it into the package I'm building-up for ya. (I might even have an 80-column card, if I can find it).

--T

Thanks T,

All donations gratefully accepted :)

Hell, by the time you send me all the "Oh, by the way...." stuff, it'll be too nice to sell LOL

bugman2112
February 26th, 2008, 04:43 AM
As usual, this little project has become more difficult than I originally thought. The good news is that I was able to de-protect the disk using the above soft keys. The bad news is there are several files, one of which is an intricate loading program. It checks specific locations on the disk. So, I can create working copies. But the drive grinds a couple of times. And, I need to be very careful of how the disks are copied, otherwise, it won't work at all. Not exactly ideal for archival purposes.

But there is a ray of light. By some miracle, there is a full, dis-assembled listing of this loader file! It looks original, but I can't beleive the company would accidentally leave such a file there? But it is complete with comments and dated 1985 (year of release). Anyway, with a few more late nights, I should be able to change the listing and re-assemble using Merlin. My hopes is that this will elviate all protection once and for all.

Yzzerdd
February 26th, 2008, 04:59 AM
Sounds like you need a program that can make an exact replica of your disk, AKA clone it. Use dskimage 1.0 from Mike Brutman. It can be found in the first paragraph here. (http://vintageibm.net/5150_software) It's a little tricky to figure out without reading README.TXT which is attached. Still just a little tricky from there, but you'll get the hang of it. Post here if you have any questions, or ask the mighty moderator Mbrutman for more help, seems he did create it.

--Ryan

david__schmidt
February 26th, 2008, 07:03 AM
But there is a ray of light. By some miracle, there is a full, dis-assembled listing of this loader file! It looks original, but I can't beleive the company would accidentally leave such a file there? But it is complete with comments and dated 1985 (year of release).
Fascinating! Can you post a listing of it, if it's not too long? Or maybe via PM if it is? I'd love to see it.

bugman2112
February 27th, 2008, 05:37 PM
Well, I think I've reached an end point. This disk is unprotected and I can make copies. I'm not totally happy with the loading program becasue it can be finicky. But afer looking at the code, I think it is working as intended and the grinding I get during loading is simply a seek routine and not code damage. I'll try and post the dissassembled code (never done that before on a forum)