I'm looking for a way to add bad sectors into a video DVD (and it can still be playable on home DVD players), or a manual way using multiple softwares or using Hex editors etc.

I know a lot (not everything) about IFO, VOB and BUP files and the structure a video DVD can have. also about using Hex Editors and how to detect File Types, File Size, Start and End Location of Files on disks using Hex editors.

Note: I can copy almost all kind of disc protections so I know bad sectors and all other kind of protections can be bypassed easily. I don't want to protect my discs, just want to find a way to add bad sectors and leave a ring on disc so beginner computer users can not copy the contents. I also don't want to use a needle or sledgehammer.

Edit: I chose @Igb answer (comments section) as answer to my question because it set me on a good path, and somehow all of the answers were correct because there is no method to do bad sectors that anyone know of, and all methods are used in closed-source programs.


Basic error correction is implemented on hardware level. Most bad sectors, like the ones caused by a scratch, will be just corrected by ECC algorithms, both on a DVD player and on a PC. If you introduce too many of them, it will make the DVD unplayable in any device, not just computers.

What you are trying to achieve is not so easy as flipping some 1's and 0's, systems like sony ARccOS were using bad sectors BUT arranged on specific ways and in specific parts of the disc that are not usually accessed by home player, to confuse ripping software (in that time, the whole disk was usually read). Still, it caused lots of disk to be unplayable in a considerable number of home DVD players, and was easilly bypassed by software in a matter of months. If a player can read it, a computer can, aswell. More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARccOS_protection

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Simply put, you cant. Bad sectors are physical errors which cannot be created by CD/DVD/BD burners. This is the reason why it was used as copy protection on some consoles , such as the original PlayStation (albeit, ultimately ineffective).

PS: In case anyone was wondering what I am talking about, Sony used bad sectors as copy protection on their PS1 CDs. They intentionally pressed compact discs with bad sectors in them. The PS1 would look for these bad sectors and if it didnt find them, it knew the discs were invalid. CD copying software would just ignore the bad sectors. Since a burner couldnt make bad sectors, a copied CD would not work in the PS1, even if all the data was on the disc. It didnt take people long to figure this out, and mod chips (tiny microcontrollers) could be soldered into the PS1 and trick it into thinking the bad sectors were there.

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You can't produce bad sectors by editing any of the file types you've mentioned.

"Bad sectors" isn't a copy protection technique per se, it's the observable result / error message given due to a read error - when a sector cannot be read due to low-level corruption. It can be designed in (i.e: copy protection), or it can be due to excess damage.

This isn't something you can write to a disk with standard tools - it's typically a physically malformed area of the disk which your system is struggling / unable to read.

The data you're suggesting you can edit with a hex editor is far from the same as what is physically present on the optical medium - complex encoding and error correction techniques are used to provide a more reliable storage medium.

To be able to produce corrupt data on the medium, you will likely need to control the bitstream at a point much closer to the physical disc than you might have access to with consumer hardware.

It's possible that certain CD / DVD / BluRay burners paired with specialised authoring software will be able to do this, but as my opening line says - you won't be able to do this by simply editing the disk image.

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    well, it was a copy protection technique for consoles... a bad one. – Keltari Dec 17 '18 at 11:42

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