A Beginners Guide to using Ahead's Nero Burning ROM.

WARNING:  This tutorial contains 16 screen captures (a total of 361kb), be patient!

This tutorial is intended for people who want to copy a Playstation game and don't want to learn all the in's and outs of the process.  Over the last few years I have tried every single trick and method available to copy PSX CD's.  I have a PILE of stuffed up CD-R's that have been wasted trying all these methods.  You can save yourself all that irritation by following my tutorial.

If you follow these instructions perfectly, you should have a clone of your original (or copy) shortly.  Please note that this method is proven and tested on my system, and I have written over 200 copies using this exact method without fail.  This does NOT mean it will work for you on your equipment!

In this example, we will make a perfectly working copy of  (a copy of) Tekken 3.  

(Further notes at the bottom of this page.)


What you will need:

- Ahead's Nero Burning ROM software V4.0.0.7 (as used here) or later. (At the time of writing this V4.0.9.1 is current.)  [This can be found HERE.]

- A CD-Writer compatible with Nero. [You can check if your writer is compatible here.]  (HP7200i in this case.), and  at least 650megs free of Hard Drive space.

- You will also need a Playstation that has a MOD-CHIP installed already in order to play the copy.

- Of course you'll also need the CD you want to copy .. :-)



Step 1:  Download and install the software.  Make sure you register your software... :)  (You may need to visit here.)

- Make certain the your brand/model of CD Writer is supported by Nero.  (Many are, so your chances are good. Check here.)

- Make sure you have sufficient hard drive space free for the image file.  I would always recommend 650megs as a minimum free space requirement.


Step 2:  Choose your destination DIR and filename.

- Click on "CD-Copy", this will open the window you see above.  Notice the tab's at the top.  We will go through each one induvidualliy.

-In the "IMAGE" tab, you will specify where the image of the CD is to be stored before it is written back to your blank CD-R.  Make Certian you have enough space free!

- Note:  Notice the "Delete image file after CD Copy" should *NOT* be checked.


Step 3:  Choosing your copy options.

- If your CD-Writer is not selected by default, then choose it here.

- Set the read speed of the CD-Writer.  (Set this as high as you like, but if you have any crashes during the READ phase, drop this value down to an eventual 1x speed.

- Note on READ crashes:  95% can be rectified by removing the CD and giving it a good clean.  Re-insert the CD and restart the read process.  (I am not going to try to explain how to clean a CD, if you can't do that properly, you shouldn't even be reading this...!)


Step 4:  The "Read Options" screen requires certain settings.  Copy my selections as in the picture below:

- If you are still unable to READ from the "original" CD, se the "Number of retries before read error:"  to a higher value.

- Remeber, my settings make relieable copies for me.  The settings that are available here should be ajusted using your own discression.  This setup works 100% on my system.


Step 5:  Ready to start?  Set your final options here.

- If this is the first time you are doing this, or you have used Nero less than 10 times, I would recommend that tick "Simulation".  When you KNOW for a fact that your current setup can make proper copies, you might want to untick that option as it will speed up the copy process.  (Almost by half.)

- I also STRONGLY recommend using 2x as your recording speed.  In my experience it is the most reliable speed.


Step 6:  Let the process begin...

- Click on:  "CD Copy" and the read process will begin.  Make sure you have your source CD in the CD-Writer.  Make sure you have enough free space.  (Did I menation that before? ;)

- You should see the screen above as starts to rip an image of the CD to your hard drive.


Step 7   Time for a preventative step.

- When it's done it will ask you to inser a blank CD.  

- This is a very important step:  Click on the "CANCEL" button!

- Your image.nrg file will remain on the hard drive!  This is why we did not tick the "Delete image file after CD Copy" option in Step 2.


Step 8   Don't panic!  You will see the screen below once you click on "Cancel".  Don't worry about this , just click "OK".

- Click on "OK" and then shut down Nero completely!

- You should now be back to windows...


Step 9   Prevention is better than coasters...  Defreag the drive.

- You should now defrag the drive that contains the image.nrg file that Nero just created.  In this case it is D: drive.

- If you don't know how to do this, you shouldn't be trying to copy CD's, you should be learning to use windows.

- Be patient, depending on your drive size, this could take a while!


Step 10   Relead Nero and call up the disk image for burning...

- Now open Nero again.  When you are confronted with the screen that appears in Step 5, just click on cancel.  This will bring you to Nero's main screen.

- Now click on "File/ Burn Image"  (See pic above..)


Step 11   Browse to the disk image.

- Browse to the "image.nrg" image file that Nero created earlier...  (see pic)


Step 12   Check the info on the image.nrg file.

- On the "info" tab you will see a summary of the details found in the "image.nrg" file that Nero is about to write.  You can use this info to simply confirm you are burning the correct CD image.


Step 13   Last options before write.

- Check that all the settings here are as they should be.

- I strongly recommend  you have "Simulation" ticked if this is the first time you are doing this.  Feel free to remove it when you are confident that your system can make relieable copies.


Step 14   What to write to?

- Click on the "Write" button!

- Nero will prompt you for a blank CD.  Give it one.


Step 15   Let Nero write the CD.  

- Once you've inserted your blank CD, Nero will begin by doing a simulation of the write process (if ticked as in Step 13), followed by an actual write to the disk. (see pic above)

- This is a crucial step, let Nero work in peace.  Don't multitask, play MP3's or anything in the background.  This would be ASKING for trouble.


Step 16   Finally complete!

- If nothing goes wrong, you should see the above screen!  This is time for celebration as your CD is now successfully copied and you can go and shove it in your (chipped) Playstation.



Some notes on Nero/PSX Copying:  

- There are lots of opinions about copying PSX CD's but the bottom line is this:  PSX CD's *CAN* be copied.  Using the method described above, I have successfully copied in excess of 200 games without a problem.

- Using this method we are basically taking a "snapshot" of the CD, saving it to hard drive, then writing that snapshot back to a blank CD-R disk.  Forget about copying the tracks separately and later attempting to reassemble them.  That method is a load of crap and you'll be wasting your time.  (Talking from experience.)

- How PSX copy's work:

- All Playstation's are "zoned", ie it will only play CD's from it's OWN zone.  (For example, and Japanese Playstation will not accept an American CD.)

- When you copy a PSX game, the zone data is lost!  Therefore the Playstation will not accept the disk as it cannot determine what zone it belongs to.  (Apart from the absence of the zone code, the copy is *IDENTICAL*.)

- This is solved by installing a MOD-Chip into the Playstation.  What the chip (basically) does is constantly "inject" the Playstation's native zoning code.  The result of this is that when you insert a CD from another zone, it's zoning code is overridden because the MOD-Chip is constantly supplying the correct zoning code that the Playstation is expecting.

- A side-effect of this is that if you insert a copied game, the Playstation will accept the CD as it will THINK it's getting the correct zoning data, as supplied by the MOD-Chip.

- So as you can see, PSX copies are indeed simple once you understand the relationship between the (zone-code free) copied CD and the (zone-code providing) MOD-Chip.

There are other methods of copy protection that have been implimented to circumvent this, such as copy-protection and MOD-detecting games etc.  The MOD chip provided by me circumvents *ALL* known anti-copy schemes, click here for more info.  If you'd like more info on these other anti-copy methods, email me and perhaps I'll add another tutorial explaining it all.

- Games over 650meg?

- Yes, some games are more than the standard 650megs (or less) in size.  In cases like this you will need a larger capacity CD-R disk.  If you are familiar with copying CD's and the media involved, you will know that CD-R's come in two basic sizes: 650meg/74min or 700meg/80min (the latter being less common).

- The format that Nero uses to create it's "image.nrg" images, often creates an image which SEEMS way too large to be written back to any kind of CD-R media.  It is common to end up with an "image.nrg" file in EXCESS of 800megs!  However, you can write it successfully to a 650meg CD.  (If Nero cannot fit it to a standard 650meg CD, it will prompt you for a larger one.)

- It is *NOT* necessary to use a 700 meg CD if you notice that your 'image.nrg" file is 699megs (or larger) in size... Nero will fit on onto the CD,.. don't worry!

- Also note that your CD-Writer needs to be able to support "overburn", ie it writes to a disk in excess of 650megs in size..  MOST drives these days do support this.  (The HP7200i as used in the above example DOES support it.)  If your writer does not, there's nothing you can do apart from get a better writer..

That about cover's it for now,.. if I think of anything else you need to know I will add it later.  Happy copying... :)

ENJOY!  Any questions, email me.


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