Old News from GD-ROM Stuff

Note: no guarantee is given that any of the URLs on this page will still function.

11/05/2007: Made a bunch of mostly technical changes to the CSS code (ditto for most of the other pages, there was loads of unused junk in there so I threw it out) and chucked a load of the old news onto a seperate page (ditto for the news on the front page). In case you didn't see the front page news update for the same day as this, I've given up on this page and pretty much every other project on the site - apologies to anyone whose e-mails won't get published or quoted on here, apologies to anybody else for the inconvenience, etcetera. Oh, there is one "real" update: the old Lite-ON firmware file has been converted to HTML from plain text.

18/07/2006: Tested a 50X Actima CD-ROM drive, with partial success - but for a mere £5 at the car boot sale, brand new and boxed, it certainly wasn't a bad buy - in fact, it's got a very solid construction, so I'll definitely be holding onto it as a spare. Come to think of it, I really should chuck it in one of my shed PCs, notably the one with the *horrible* Lite-ON CD drive (which makes the most terrifying sounds when you load / eject the tray). The seller also had an Artec 54X CD drive, also for £5, which I may try and get hold of next Sunday (or the one after that, maybe).

17/03/2006: Added some more utilities to the toolkit, this time a PVM unpacker, PRS decompressor, and PRS compressor, and updated the readme file inside the toolkit with some new info (check the section about PVR2BMP). I've also been able to dump the "strange" version of Ready 2 Rumble I have; the disc is numbered "830-0064-05", while my other version (already dumped) is numbered "830-0054-50". But, after running a lengthy comparison of the main file which holds all the game data (BOXING.RAT), absolutely no differences were found between the two versions. The CD audio is also the same, and every other data file is also the same, as the version I'd dumped before. Which leads me to the conclusion that the number really is the only difference between each version... strange indeed.

27/02/2006: I've written a rather big guide on making DC disc images with CD audio tracks (which WILL NOT FUNCTION IN CHANKAST) inside them, which you can read here. It might seem pointless bothering to mention it, but I thought some of the information in it might be interesting to someone out there.

24/02/2006: I meant to do this again, and again, and yet again, but never got around to it. Thankfully, I now have - in The Main Guide, there is now a short tutorial on how to dismantle a CD or DVD drive (it's section 2.0.9). Hopefully this will be of some help to those who don't know their fascias from their disc retention mechanisms. =P

19:51 PM: Whoa, two updates in two days? Surely some mistake... anyway, I looked at part of the guide to ripping CD audio tracks from within .BIN files in Other Essential Guides and noticed that it was certainly not up-to-date, so I've rectified this. The GD-ROM ripping kit has also been updated with some new tools.

13/02/2006: Updated the toolkit - ExoBoot has been re-added, but only on Hacking CulT - space is more limited here on ntl's default webspace package. Also made small changes to all three main documents (you know, the main guide, the other guides, and the results table), ranging from updating the copyright to fixing missing HTML tags. Yay!

06/02/2006: Updated the Second Drive Compatibility List with some new and apparently working drives, no associated model numbers though. Still, better than nothing =P

16/10/2005: Since it's been building up for a while, I've moved all the old news here.

In other matters, I've been revamping the CSS code on most of the HTML docs I have on this site (removing redundant entires, switching to web-safe colours, etc.), and earlier on I removed about 30kb of junk code from the "Drive Testing Results" page - that'll teach me to save a document as an HTML page using Ability Write ever again.

Finally, I've decided to move the guide to extracting CD audio tracks into "Other Essential Guides" as it's not quite important enough to be in "The Main Guide" (unless you're making a CD-R copy of your game and not a .CDI image, that is).

29/10/2005: More touching up of code on this page and just about every other HTML doc on my site. I've also chopped the counters out of most pages, leaving just the one on the front page. Also, I'm going to put the entire "Hacking Shed" site pages up on my old ISP's webspace, as the pages there are terribly outdated and disorganized (reason: I'm going home this weekend, so I'll have the chance to use the non-proxified Net access at home - might as well make the most of it! =P)

22/08/2005: Apart from the spiffing new site description in this index page, I am currently in the process of splitting up my current bloated guide into more manageable sections. They're not up yet, but for now you can see the split (and updated) results table here.

While this isn't exactly a super-duper enormous change, it's going to make management of all this much easier for myself, while ensuring that anybody new to this isn't going to look at the first document and suffer a heart attack because it's so long, and so increasing their chances of actually trying to read it through =P

23/08/2005: The new three-document layout has now been put into place. Updates are as follows; in The Main Guide, the "FAQ" is now split into two sections about preparing to carry out the ripping process, added some new stuff; in Other Essential Guides, nothing's new at all (I think I just made a few corrections here & there); in the Drive Testing Results I added results of two Plextor drives I've tested, and removed some long babbling bits in the footnotes; and finally, in the Second Drive Compatibility List, I have added an important note next to the Plextor Plex 12/20. If you have that drive, I recommend you read it.

If you still want the old-style guide, it's now in this folder, but I won't be updating it anymore, except maybe to fix any broken links. "omg u sux, ur a lzy bstrd!!!!11111111". (Note [12/11/2005] - I also updated the toolkit on this day, but I can't remember what I changed. Probably nothing important, though).

02/09/2005: Minor update today in Other Essential Guides; the link to ExoBoot has been updated, so it now goes to the correct page of the topic on EmuTalk with the download link. Drive Testing Results also updated with the correct model name of one of the Plextor drives I tested.

Ah yes, and one other thing; after the last testing with those Plextor drives, and some messing around with the 790-or-so megs dumped from the Plex 12/20, I've suddenly realised the bleeding obvious. Basically, if you have a CD-ROM drive, and you can dump some, but not all of, the outer sector of a GD-ROM disc with it, don't expect to be able to make a self-bootable CDI image, or a CD-R copy, out of it. The reason is that, even if a game only takes up a tiny portion of the outer sector, it's always going to be packed right to the edge of the disc, where most CD-ROM drives can't read up to.

I also just remembered that it so happens that the boot file the DC reads on startup of a game, 1ST_READ.BIN, is right at the end of the outer sector. Without this, there is no way in Hell you could ever turn your partially-dumped data into a working game. So in short; if you can't dump all of it, don't bother with it.

19/09/2005: Updated the Results Table with a new drive.

11/10/2005: Just some cosmetic changes; removed the silly lines and just replaced them with double-spaces instead. That's all =P

12/10/2005: Small grammar change in the topmost paragraph on this page; before it sounded rather strange.