AOE-II [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed)

Mar 13, 2010
3,368
1
0
33
Bor, Serbia
#1

With special thanks to bcn_246 from Club MyCE for showing how to make backup copies of original, protected discs.

If you have the original copy of "Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings" (AoK) and its expansion "Age of Empires II: The Conquerors" (AoC), I guess you thought of making a backup at least once for all these years. Discs may scratch or become unreadable over time, or may even get lost (we all have friends that tend to forget returning things :wink: ), forcing you to buy the game again. It`s pretty cheap, true, but there may be a better solution - a backup copy, and yes, it`s possible to copy your original CD so it stays original (no need for cracks) - it`s fine when you do it for your personal use, while sharing these copies may be considered software piracy and it`s against the law in many countries around the world.

Back on subject, if you own original AoK/AoC discs, and would like to make backup copies just in case (or you would like to avoid putting the CD in every time you want to play), here`s a way to do it.

Making local backup (image)

[span=left]
[/span] First, we`ll need a program called "Alcohol 120%" (15 day trial full version can be obtained from official site, here). Once you install it, it will make a new, virtual CD/DVD drive (which may be used to "mount" virtual CD/DVD, so called "image", so you don`t have to put it in your real CD/DVD player each time you want to play).

Next, you`ll need original AoK/AoC discs (you do need those if you want to back them up :wink: ). Put them in your CD/DVD player (one by one, please), and repeat these step for each one of them:

  • 1) Start "Alcohol 120%".
    2) Click "Image Making Wizard".
    3) Set all options like this:


Note: "CD/DVD Device" will be your CD/DVD device (it doesn`t have to be (F:smile: drive letter, it should be the letter of your CD/DVD device). "Read Speed" may be set to higher value (up to maximum), but slower speed usually means better copy (very important if we want to get exact copy of the original disc). Make sure "Datatype" is set to "SafeDisc".

  • 4) Click "Next", change any settings if needed, and click "Start".
Note: It may take (quite a lot) time to copy the disc (because of all the reading errors you`ll get - those are normal, and in fact represent the SafeDisc protection of original disc(s)).

Once the image making is over, you`ll end up with original copy of your AoK/AoC disc(s). Feel free to remove the disc from your real CD/DVD device.

You may now put your backups ("mount" them) into "Alcohol 120%" program using "File" > "Open", then selecting created image (.mds) files and clicking "Open". When they show up in the main program window list, just double click the desired disc (AOE2 or AGE2_X1, or whatever you named them) and it will be mounted in the virtual drive, starting the game (autorun). Because we made original copies along with SafeDisc protection, you won`t need any cracks to play the game as long as you have the correct disc inserted in "Alcohol 120%"`s virtual drive.

... you can finally put those CDs to rest a bit :wink:


But, what if something happens with backuped files on your hard drive, what if you want to write them to another CD and keep them that way? It is possible, too.

Burning backup dics(s)

To write another original CD (an exact backup copy of your original CD), put a blank CD in your CD/DVD writer and follow these steps (one blank CD per game disc, and one at a time, please):

  • 1) Start "Alcohol 120%".
    2) Click "Image Burning Wizard".
    3) Click "Browse" and choose the image (.mds file) you would like to burn to blank disc, click "Next".
    4) Make sure you set writing options like this:


Note: "CD/DVD Recorder" will be your CD/DVD device (it doesn`t have to be (F:smile: drive letter, it should be the letter of your CD/DVD device). "Write Speed" may be set to higher value (up to maximum), but slower speed usually means better copy (very important if we want to get exact copy of the original disc). Make sure "Write Method" is set to "RAW DAO", and "Datatype" to "SafeDisc".

  • 5) Click "Start".
Note: It may take (quite a lot) time to burn the disc (because of all the reading errors you`ll get - those are normal, and in fact represent the SafeDisc protection of original disc(s)).

When the program finishes, you`ll have a perfect 1:1 copy of your original AoK/AoC disc(s), which you may use in order to protect your original discs from damaging. Just remember, making backups for personal use is fine (as you do own original disc), but sharing copied CDs around is a software piracy... :wink:

Enjoy playing!
 

Unknownomega

New Member
Oct 10, 2008
1,285
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#3
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

it`s fine when you do it for your personal use, while sharing these copies may be considered software piracy and it`s against the law in many countries around the world.

It can't be piracy, AOC's copyright ran out years ago.
 

Unknownsuperesky

New Member
Nov 16, 2010
9
0
0
#7
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

Hmm... When I try to double click the mds files with alcohol, nothing happens. :frown: Am I doing something wrong?
 
Mar 13, 2010
3,368
1
0
33
Bor, Serbia
#8
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

Hm, and what are you trying to do, mount (insert) a virtual disc into a virtual drive? You can also right click the disc image in Alcohol main window file list and select Mount on Device.
 

UnknownSkimmey

New Member
Mar 16, 2012
3
0
0
#10
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

I followed the instructions to make a local backup (image). and burning backup disk(s) using Alcohol 120 and when i try to play the game form the disk it brings up the menu where you choose click to play and then it brings up the loading screen. after this an error message appears that states that i need to insert the correct CD-ROM.

I am not technologically inclined so i do not understand a lot of the lingo used.
The only parts of the instructions that confused me are the parts where it states to set "Datatype" to "SafeDisc".
i did not see this option.
Also on making a local backup step 3)
3) Set all options like this:

image is all i see there is no actual image.
the same thing occurs for step four on burning back up disks.
 

UnknownSkimmey

New Member
Mar 16, 2012
3
0
0
#12
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

Thank you the images work now. However when i start the conquerors with the back up disk it starts the loading screen but does not get any farther than that but the warning that says to enter the correct disk does not pop up so i guess it recognizes the disk but maybe i saved it wrong. It gave two options for the disk that i could use
(D:smile: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GT32N (0:1)
or
(E:smile: VCHQ 96FOHIF81 (1:0)
I chose the first option (D:smile: is that the correct one? also i doubt this matters but when i made the image i used 4X reading speed and when i burned the image the lowest option it gave was 10X.

Lastly the only other thing that i could think that could be a problem is that I only backed up the expansion i did not back up the original disk since it isn't needed to play the game on an computer that has already downloaded it.
 

UnknownSkimmey

New Member
Mar 16, 2012
3
0
0
#13
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

Another problem may be the disk im trying to burn it on. I am using a Memorex CD-R w/ 52X & 700MB is this an appropriate disk to use?
 
May 8, 2010
21
0
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65
#14
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

I have used this before, but IIRC you have to edit AoC's registry keys to point to the virtual drive you want to use.
 
Mar 13, 2010
3,368
1
0
33
Bor, Serbia
#15
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

lol, good point seejay1120, I completely forgot about that :o-o:ops:

Skimmey, just to confirm - you did install the game from the copied disc (drive), right? Or you installed it from some other disc (or virtual drive), and you`re just trying to run it from the copied disc?

In first case it should work, in second it won`t work - unless you change the registry entries as suggested, OR uninstall the game completely, then reinstall from the copy disc.
 

Unknownrmcoo

Active Member
Apr 13, 2012
2,029
2
38
Lithuania
#16
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

Why so much job...just go to thepirateboy.com and torren............OH NOooo FBI is in my house................R.I.P Rmcoo 2012.04.24 :cry:
 
Mar 13, 2010
3,368
1
0
33
Bor, Serbia
#17
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

This is not about software piracy and sharing illegal content, but about preserving data you already (rightfully) possess and preventing it from potential damages :wink:
 

UnknownHortenso

New Member
Jun 7, 2012
10
0
0
#18
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

Hello, I have a AOE Collector's Edition original DVD, and no way to make a backup with Alcohol 120%: ( Has Securom.
 
#19
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

So I just backed up my Conquerors disc using "Daemon Tools Advanced Edition." It took about 42 hours for it to copy the image to the computer. Used MDS/MDF image format, not iso, not sure if that's why it took so long. After I created the disc image burning it (also using Daemon Tools Advanced) only took a minute or two.

Thought I'd share my info :smile:

If you want to use Daemon Tools you need to have the Advanced Edition. Daemon Tools Lite will not work for this type of CD. You can get a 21 day trial of the Advanced Edition here: http://www.daemon-tools.cc/eng/products/dtproAdv

Options I used were:
Reading speed=24.x
Output format=MDS/MDF
Profile=Safedisc (under the device tab)

Nothing else was selected.

Happy duplicating.
 

UnknownKarlH

New Member
Mar 14, 2012
158
0
0
25
#22
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

Hey guys i am trying to do this with software called powerISO it only gives me the option to make a .bin file with this disk which is wierd, can this file type be used?
(maybe if anyone is familiar with powerISO they can tell me settings please)

I also tried the alcohol 120% tiral but with it came babylon toolbar and i have already suffered that parasite once in this lifetime so i cancelled installation. I would rather play using my disks than install babylon.

Hope someone can help. Thanks in advance.
 
#23
Re: [tutorial] Backup original AoK/AoC CDs (no cracks needed

You can usually uncheck installation options for extra stuff like that. Daemon tools has some extra toolbars and stuff that I just made sure to uncheck or click "don't agree" to terms of use on before I installed. I would check that.
 

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