Friday, 21 June 2002

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How can I backup my PlayStation games?

Like PC games, PlayStation games are copy protected so in order to copy them you will have to find a way of bypassing this protection. Two methods of doing this are detailed below. By far the simplest of these is to use Clone CD to dump an image of the game you wish to copy onto your hard drive and then burn it to a CD-R. I'm not going to go into all the ins and outs of this procedure again here since it has already been covered in detail in the disk images tutorial. I would suggest you read around the subject there if you want to go down this route.

The second option is much more complicated and involves applying a patch to your game CD before being able to make a successful duplicate. The idea is that you create a CD image of the game you wish to copy using the 'raw' option of CD-R Win, apply a patch to remove any copy protection and then burn the image to a blank CD. Again, I'm not going to rehash what has already been said about this essential program here. If you're new to CD-R Win make sure you check out my advice in the disk images tutorial before reading any further.

PlayStation games are patched in one of two ways. You can either run a stand-alone executable file in the same directory as your image file, or use the PPF Patch Engine to apply a patch file with a pff extension. Stand-alone executables, as the name suggests, need no further tools to apply them and can be found in many of the same places where you would search for main exe replacements for PC games. GameCopyWorld for example.

Remember, the same rules which apply to the removal of PC game copyright protection also apply to PlayStation games, so make sure you get the correct patch version for the game you wish to copy, otherwise it won't work. For PlayStation games this means checking that the PAL or NTSC version of the patch matches that of the game.

If you have a more recent patch it is likely to be in pff format. Again, these files must reside in the same location as your CD image file to function correctly. Note that sometimes the patcher will be included in the same directory as your patch so you won't need to search for it elsewhere.

Once you have created your CD image file using CD-R Win, open the DOS console and enter the directory where your image is stored. Now type 'applyppf' followed by the name of your bin file, followed by the name of the ppf patch file. The correct command should look something like this: 'applyppf mybinfile.bin mypatch.ppf'. Providing the encouraging 'patch successful' message is displayed you can proceed to burn the image to a blank CD and subsequently play-test the game.