Backing Up My Games

Nathan Edwards

My question regards backing up games using tools like ImgBurn and Daemon Tools. I use ImgBurn to create the ISO from a disk and Daemon Tools to mount the ISO. But for some reason, with half of my games I get the message “Please insert the original disk” when I try to run the game from the ISO. My method works with older games but not newer ones. I understand that some of these games might have some kind of protection on them preventing me from running them off an ISO, but I paid for these games and I should be able to create backups of them. Do you know how I can back up my games so they actually work?
—Sgt. Christopher Basquit

Your question opens up a bucket of worms, Christopher. The technical answer is easy: Developers include protection mechanisms like SafeDisc and SecuROM on their game CDs to prevent consumers from making copies of the discs. The legal answer is trickier: Although you’re well within your rights as a consumer to make archival or backup copies of your games for personal use, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act does not make allowances for bypassing copy protection to do so.

Given the nature of disc protection, the only way you can make a backup is to create an image of the CD with an application that allows for data positioning measurement. This replicates the various copy-protection technologies involved in the original disc’s creation. From there, you have to use a disc emulation application to mount your image alongside a concealing application that hides this very act of disc mounting from the protection mechanisms. And that’s where you break the law.

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