7 August 2004

Disk Formats and Copy Protection Support


  • Protec variant on BAT, named Prolance by the game.


A new command has been added -f which means find/list formats as defined in the analyser and for which it needs access to the formdesc.dat file, which contains all the format descriptors. This was done for several reasons.

  • To find IPX files with deleted formats (IPX files basically contain the details of the analysation process and are created for each preserved IPF file).
  • If a format needs to be changed, find all files affected.
  • Finding any games that use format “X” so it is easy to see what needs to be re-tested if something that may change behaviour is introduced.

Basically all this can be put down to one thing; the vast number of game and formats that are supported and the many more that will be supported in the future mean that it is now more advisable to track them programmatically rather than relying on our own notes.

The command-f or -fl, list all defined formats with names and ID.

The command -fa <filepattern1...N> or -f <filepattern1...N> list all formats per track using the analyser data in an IPX file. The text <unused> means unused track and <ignored> is a track ignored during analysation. Both are unformatted in an IPF file, but the information can be recovered from the IPF so there no reason to not listing their original definition. The text <deleted> means a format that is definitely not a format, that is, no longer valid for the actual formdesc.dat.

The command -fu <filepattern1...N> is the same as “list all” but ignored and unused tracks are not listed.

The command -f[format code] <filepattern1...N> lists only tracks that have the same format specified.

Directory Parsing wild Wildcards

As usual, wildcard use is only valid for the file specification part of the file given. If any wildcards are used the name is automatically used as a file name pattern. It is best not to use wildcards if only one specific file is to be used. It is enabled for the “test” and “format” commands only, you can use as many file names/patterns in one command as you like.


  • Specifying c:\cta\batman* would mean searching the specified path and all directories below for “batman*”.
  • Using a directory specifier like c:\cta means c:\cta\*.
  • Queries like *.ipf, *.raw, dragonflight*.ipx, etc., can also be specified.

Starting the path with a “:” means disable directory parsing, e.g. :c:\cta\batman* will only search the specified path, and no subdirectories.

Unlike previously where CTT had simple DOS wrappers (which were slow and unreliable), this one is very fast, works with any filename/pattern including characters like spaces and the output is properly sorted.