Mysteries Of The CDRW and Back Ups Revealed

Copy Protection...What Protection? Continued

Macrovision's Safedisc is currently the most popular protection scheme used on commercial data CDs. The Safedisc technology is primarily a software-based solution that does not require any changes to standard PC or CD-ROM hardware. It has both an authenticating digital signature embedded on the disc, as well as a multi-layered, encrypted wrapper that secures the CD-ROM content. The digital signature, which cannot be copied by CD recorders or mastering equipment, is embedded by the laser beam recorder at the time the CD-ROM is mastered at the replication facility. However, many drives that support RAW reading and RAW writing can backup discs that use this protection scheme.

Safedisc 2.0 includes disc burning prevention technology that includes the introduction of additional digital signatures for improved resistance against copying. It also offers "fail-safe manufacturing" to ensure that Safedisc masters will be mastered only on Safedisc-enabled production lines, which should improve quality control and help reduce compatibility problems. Some drives that are able to do RAW reading and RAW writing can back up the CDs that use the 2.0 version of Safedisc. The newest 2.51 version of Safedisc, however, is a totally different story. The 2.51 version of Safedisc includes the use of a new "weak sector technology" that is very difficult to back up. These weak sectors cause synchronization problems with many CD-writers, which results in unusable back ups and the creation of CD "coasters" for your coffee table. Currently the number of CDRW drives that can successfully back up titles protected with Safedisc 2.51 is quite limited, and, due to this fact, the use of Safedisc 2.51 continues to gain popularity.

We used Clony XXL to locate a disc that was protected with Safedisc 2.51 for use as test disc 2.