Hardware How close are we to true reproduction discs?

ZoomerZame

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Hello all, recently I've made some ventures into creating my own Wii applications that run on actual discs, as of right now I've been running them off dvd backup discs on my modded wii.
However, some day I'd like to be able to run a custom application off a disc on a non-modded wii.
Being able to just make a disc, put it in a vanilla wii, and have it run.
What progress has been made to making functional reproduction discs? Or where could I get started?
Any help is appreciated, thank you
 
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ZoomerZame

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I am so sorry this got posted 3 times, the website was acting really slow and when I made the create thread button nothing happened and then it made 3.

The real post is gonna be here
 
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WiiMiiSwitch

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ZoomerZame

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WiiMiiSwitch

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See, this is what i've been doing, but I wanted to know if there is a possible way (or at least one being worked on)
To be able to play a custom made disc on a non-modded wii (hardmodded or softmodded).

Like if I made a game for wii, and wanted to take it to a friend's house and play it on their non-modded wii.
As of now nothing should help
 

ZoomerZame

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Welp, I guess I might as start doing my own fancy research then. Maybe I'll be the first, pfft- I doubt it though but it's worth a shot. Maybe it's as easy as modifying a cheap dvd burner or something. Any resources you think would be a good place to start?
 

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Welp, I guess I might as start doing my own fancy research then. Maybe I'll be the first, pfft- I doubt it though but it's worth a shot. Maybe it's as easy as modifying a cheap dvd burner or something. Any resources you think would be a good place to start?
From what I heard it needs some special encryption or something like that
It'll be very difficult
 

KleinesSinchen

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Hello all, recently I've made some ventures into creating my own Wii applications that run on actual discs, as of right now I've been running them off dvd backup discs on my modded wii.
However, some day I'd like to be able to run a custom application off a disc on a non-modded wii.
Being able to just make a disc, put it in a vanilla wii, and have it run.
What progress has been made to making functional reproduction discs? Or where could I get started?
Any help is appreciated, thank you
Yeah! I like these topics (and spent the last few weeks searching for information about all kinds of protected CDs/DVDs). First of all: Sadly not looking good.

There was some discussion involving a modified a consumer DVD burner for GC discs (without success)
https://www.obscuregamers.com/threads/creating-bootable-mini-dvds-possible.291/

I guess the task becomes even harder when talking about Wii DVDs as not only the drive (firmware) has to be satisfied with the disc (copy protection), but an unmodifed Wii wants software to be signed. Sure, when modifying a Wii, we can reintroduce the Trucha bug and do all sorts of things – including USB loading which is arguably superior for everyday usage – but you were talking about completely unmodified Wii consoles. Ironically pirated Wii game discs would actually be "easier" (it is not an easy thing at all) to achieve than homebrew discs: If you could produce the markings, a 1:1 copy of a commercial Wii game is properly signed so that is not an issue.

When talking about Nintendo optical discs, this does automatically call for this link, which contains great information (sadly the announced part2 and 3 have never been written):
https://debugmo.de/2008/11/anatomy-of-an-optical-medium-authentication/

Also well known is the fact, that Datel found a way to produce discs that were accepted as valid:
https://hackaday.com/2019/02/04/how-one-company-cracked-the-gamecube-disc-protection/
(They also succeeded in producing the correct markings/wobble/tracking error for PlayStation 1 and 2)
===============================

With all the links out of the way, my own opinion on this: It is easy to say that something is impossible and never will happen¹. I don't have the expertise to say something fully educated in this regard. What I know:
  • GC/Wii discs are not standard DVDs (see debugmo.de link above)
  • Consumer writers for optical discs have no RAW mode² for reading/writing DVD (and BD)
  • Datel used mastering/pressing equipment which can do more than a simple burner. I guess this one is also a pressed disc.
– and as far as I know–​
  • Nobody succeeded in writing a self-booting disc for PlayStation³, GameCube or Wii with a simple burner.
The interest in optical discs has faded greatly in the last years (and I can understand this, the drives are slow and error prone with the lasers and all the moving parts). This makes it even more unlikely that talented people will do any research on these topics. Many end users just want piracy and this is possible in so many convenient ways on the Wii that self-booting discs on unmodified console aren't that interesting. I personally consider self-booting discs not requiring any hard and/or softmod to be some kind of "Holy Grail" shattering console security to pieces. I like having something to touch and put on a shelf more than just a file on a USB drive.



I know this was a long text without any real help. The prospects aren't very good. Whoever wants to achieve this will need exceptional skills and a lot of time.


____________________
¹ Sony claimed SecuRom New discs to be absolutely not reproducible with consumer burners. At least for CDs (RAW read/write available) there exist approximations that can fool the protection module on some drives a 100% of the time
Similar for the infamous Tagès protection. Once figured out how it works, dumpers became available for getting the full data. Burning a working backup on CD-R is easier (standard procedure) than creating the image.
² Maybe the programs RawDump and FriiDump that are able to dump GC/Wii discs with certain, mostly LG, drives via debug commands reading out the drive RAM can be considered RAW reading. But this is a crude hack, exceptionally slow and only reading. Those drives aren't even burners (at least the one that I have is a reader only).
³ There are rumors about a modified SCSI Plextor writer creating working backups for PlayStation 1, claimed by Modern Vintage Gamer in his video about PS1 security as well as a comment in the hackaday article about the same topic. However, nobody actually showed off such a backup disc. If some pirate groups had access to a burner model creating copies which work without modchip… that would have been a significant advantage for them and such bootlegs would most likely have been sold in great quantity. I won't say they don't exist, but I haven't found any proof for such claims.
 
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KleinesSinchen had many of the same links I would have had up.

That said even the crack smokers that gave us CSS encryption on DVDs (a rather weak encryption that anybody vaguely competent would have seen cracked in short order, never mind the further genius that went for the separately treated stuff aimed at film reviewers/awards reviewer) could see that giving consumers burners capable of making 1:1 copies of discs would be a bad plan, to that end they held a few things back from consumer gear.
I have been following things here since DVD was a thing on the horizon and I am not aware of any time when a model of burner (and associated media) has been so software driven that a firmware hack to them can make things burn commercial equivalent DVDs. Readers have had a few things done this way, and there was the burnermax stuff for the 360 ( https://gbatemp.net/threads/burnermax-payload-tool-0-15-xgd3-360-format-on-many-more-drives.339524/ ) as well as the stuff preceding that for given drive models. Handful of drives also saw custom firmwares to make them if not region free then unlimited swaps for DVD. There have also been a few attempts at getting PC drives working on consoles before -- way back when there was talk of some rare drive model that was only shipped with some whole dell computers (or was it HP) being tweaked to work in a console instead.
Similarly despite custom full board replacement and whatever else went down for the 360 I have not seen anything similar to that for DVD writers to allow them to do their own thing. I imagine part of this is people were generally content with what they could get from stock stuff for most purposes, and everybody generally accepted you would need a mod chip or similar since the PS1.
Similarly never seen anything interesting come out of China like we saw with region DVD free players, HDMI switches that so happened to lose HDCP encryption along the way, any number of nice things that might just breach protocols... Most things I ever see are some DVD pressing firm goes pop, or maybe does a ghost shift, and someone nefarious ends up with the kit to press more DVDs, so does either with some masters they have from somewhere else that maybe did not dispose of them the best or something they get made (which itself is not an easy thing*). It would also be my chosen path of attack if I were to want to make discs that pass checks on compatible devices.
There have been rumours but never seen hard evidence of the device or the resulting product.

*video detailing master making because why not
That is also not the sort of thing I would want to try to replicate in my home lab (might do CVD/PVD rather than control electrolysis to the degree I imagine is necessary with that) and I am already fairly well versed in several of the technologies on display there. Price of a somewhat luxury car (which is what a decent start at a machine shop costs, and many have those in their garage, or a decent electronics setup, or a decent audio studio, or a decent biology lab setup, or a decent chemistry setup) and I can do many interesting things as far as building stuff you would not expect out of a house but trying to think of a path to that gives me pause (even a cleanroom of suitable size is going to be a right pain to pull off).
On the other hand I did see
Which gives me some ideas about some aspects.
Do be careful buying high precision centrifuges and means to modify controllers as well -- that is facebag, fast car ride and dark room territory depending upon what goes for that one.
I also don't know what sort of info we don't necessarily have that would be necessary to make those masters, never mind the BCA extra security that appeared at one point.

As far as holy grail of modding then maybe on earlier consoles, with the wii being among the last device to adopt signed code though then 1:1 is nice enough but as almost every sky3ds user or 360 DVD mod user will tell you then having nice homebrew code, region free, cheats, modded games, downloadable games and more is pretty sweet and something to want.


There have been some earlier devices that saw things pressed and made (translations and repros and difficulty in telling things apart for a game I can't remember offhand but saw a nice writeup of the history of), and the Datel link above is another nice thing that Datel managed to pull off on more than one occasions.

There is also the side method. The 360 will read your burned dvd full of its code in the form of arcade demos. The earlier DVD hacks for the Wii revolved around using the hidden DVD read mode. GBA slot flash carts redirecting reads for DS code to the GBA slot would be another example, and even on the 3ds the earlier file replacement methods of loading whole games arguably counts as something in this realm. The bait and switch stuff seen for the PS3 earlier hacks, the PSP first directory based hacks, the DSi/3ds bypass ( https://hackmii.com/2010/02/lawsuit-coming-in-3-2-1/ , I will count the Dreamcast Utopia disc stuff too) also falling somewhere in this. If you can make a disc that uses one of these methods and bypasses some protections then that might be a way in whilst not strictly replicating things here.

All that said Wiis are still almost next to nothing so just do it https://sites.google.com/site/completesg/
 
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ZoomerZame

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Thank you two very much for the in-depth answers.
I've run into the signing issue myself, I'm 100 bytes away from having a completely legal to distribute homebrew application (The damn ticket signature, I don't think its very legal to copy and paste the signature's hex bytes. But otherwise everything else is completely legal, even the apploader.)

I'm in the same boat as KleinesSinchen, in terms that something physical on my shelf means a whole lot more than a file on a hard drive next to my Wii.
I long for the day that Wii Disc protection gets cracked for unmodded consoles along with a new fakesigning method, then all the sweaty nerds like me can run free, making their own games for their favorite console.
I guess until then, if I really wanted to make custom homebrew apps and give them to friends, I could always ask for their mac addresses and just give them custom SD cards with the boot file changed.
 
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