Do you try to "fix" dumps of slightly damaged disks?

We do not “fix” or change disk image data unless we are 100% sure it is authentic to the original, that is, as it was on the master/gold disk.

If a dump is bad or modified after the original mastering, we do not introduce risks by trying to fix it. It is far better to wait for a good copy of the game to turn up. If we think this might be unlikely, we stick it on the wanted page. It is far better this way. We have even found many good dumps from games we thought we would never get a good dump. Games like:

  • Barbarian (Psygnosis) - this actually had an error created at the original mastering. We got tons of copies of that game dumped without success, but fortunately a good version from a different production run was found in the end.
  • The Great Giana Sisters - we had been hunting for this game for about four years, paying shocking money for various copies in the process. This game was sold for only a few weeks before being withdrawn due to legal threats. It also modifies its own disk when you first play it. Finding a good copy was nothing short of remarkable.

If a disk is damaged, it is a rare case when we can say we know what the original data was. However, there are some cases where we can in fact be 100% sure we can get the original data. An example of this is in the 2003-06-01 WIP with Copylock protection, where a whole Copylock track is generated from just 24 bits. For games such as Populous where the Copylock track was mastered with illegal MFM encoding 1), it is quite likely that there are no versions of the game that exist today that are fully readable. The dozens of dumps of this game we have had seem to confirm that.

1) This was in fact changed in later versions of Copylock since they obviously discovered it was a really bad idea