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Thread: ECM And APE Guide

  1. #1
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    Default ECM And APE Guide

    ECM And APE Guide

    Note This guide is for PC users only, but MasJ has kindly added Mac Ecm tools in the next post, to help cover more users

    Needed Files (All of these are free tools and you do not need to pay for any of them)
    • 7-zip Extract *.7z and *.rar
    • ecm tools extracting and creating *.ecm
    • Monkey's Audio *.ape to *.wav software optional just for disc images using ape files
    • wav to bin.7z optional just for disc images using ape files
    • ISObuster generating a single bin+cue (free version is all that is needed) optional just for disc images using ape files
    • ePSXe & Shark Enhanced for ePSXe 1.8.0 for emulating optional for those wanting to play on a PC
    • DAEMON Tools Lite virtual CD drive optional for use with older versions of ePSXe (1.6.0 and older)
    • ImgBurn for burning optional for those burning to CD-R and play on real hardware

    • Cue's and Sbi's for any games missing cue sheets, sbi's can be used to aid ePSXe bypass protection

    This guide will cover all the above software used and point to downloads of the software but you may already have the software installed on your machine so just skip the download and install parts

    Dealing with 7z and rar files

    • Go to the 7-zip site and download and run the version designed for your OS.
    • Once installed you can then right click on rar and 7z files and select extract here or extract files if you wish to choose your own output folder
    • Note that some of these contain 7z files inside of rar files, both of these will need extracting
    • Do this now with your downloaded game (do one game disc at a time)

    ecm tools
    Dealing with ecm files

    • Download ecm tools and extract this into the same folder that you extracted the above, you can use the same right click method and choose extract files then choose the same folder as the game you extracted.
    • Now you should have extra files with your game files including unecm, you can now drag your ecm file and drop it on unecm.
    • Unecm should now run automatically, this can take a small amount of time so just wait for it to complete.
    • once fully unecmed you should either have a *.bin file or a *.img file, at this point you may delete the old ecm file.

    Monkey's Audio
    Dealing with ape files

    NOTE:- you may skip this totally if your game does not have ape files

    • Download and install Monkey's Audio (MAC)
    • Run it, now you will see on the left there is a big monkey head that says compress under it
    • Hit the down arrow button on the right of the monkey head and hit Decompress, the Monkey head should change into what looks like a box with arrows pointing away from it
    • Now drap and drop all ape files into the big space under "File Name"
    • Now you can hit that Decompress button (picture of a box with arrows pointing away from it), just wait for it to complete
    • Now not only should you have ape files in the folder but now there should be a wav version of every ape file you ran through the program
    • the ape's can be removed now and you can close the software.
    • Download "WAV to" or the "wav to bin.7z" and extract this to the same folder containing the game files
    • run "WAV to BIN.exe" or "wav to bin.bat", this does exactly what is says, it should change the file extension of all the wav files to bin
    • The above will make them work with the cue file (if one was provided)

    Cue Missing
    Dealing with games that have no cue or ccd file included.

    • Download Cue's and Sbi's and open with 7-zip (do not extract this file yet)
    • From there you can find the folder that matches your game, you are best off sorting by name in 7-zip.
    • Once you find the folder just double click it like you would with any other folder in that folder you should find the missing cue file and maybe an sbi file.
    • Drag and drop the cue file to the same folder the other game files are in.
    • You can close 7-zip now.

    Multi bin files plus cue file to a single bin file plus cue file
    Just for those games with CDDA tracks

    NOTE:- you may skip this totally if your game did not have ape files

    • download and install ISObuster
    • Run ISO buster
    • Hit File then Open Image File
    • Select the cue file (or ccd file)
    • This should now show a list of tracks on the left
    • Hit File then CD then Extract CD <Image> then RAW (*.bin *.iso)
    • Change the Save Type from *.iso to *.bin
    • In the File Name: text box, rename the output file (do not forget to change .iso to .bin on the end of it)
    • Change the destination folder if you like then hit Save
    • After this has completed you will then be asked to save a cue file, just hit Save

    Now your disc image is prepared for use, it can either for burned to CDR for real console users or for use on a PC via emulation

    Emulation with ePSXe notes
    ePSXe with CDDA sound support

    • ePSXe as of version 1.7.0 has disabled CDDA playback for all external plugins so only the internal ePSXe Core will work with CDDA
    • There is however a patch called Shark Enhanced that re-enabled CDDA playback for all external plugins for version 1.8.0 of ePSXe.
    • Older versions of ePSXe (1.6.0 back over) can use any plugin for CDDA games but games with CDDA must be mounted or burned for ePSXe to read the CDDA tracks

    Faking CD hardware (for use with ePSXe 1.6.0 and older only)
    Make your computer think you have a new CD/DVD/HD-Rom drive with a disc inserted

    • Download DAEMON Tools Lite and install it
    • (you may need to reset for this software during the install but the software will tell you if you need to do this)
    • During the install you are asked to install 3rd party software (say no to this) you will also be asked to install SPTD drivers these are required so say yes
    • Once fully installed there should be a small icon on the right of your task bar a round icon with a single lightning bolt going through it, if not run it manually the first time
    • Right click on the Daemon Tools Lite icon on the task bar and move your mouse to Virtual CD/DVD-ROM
    • Now move the mouse again to Device 0: [Drive letter] No Media, move the mouse once more to Mount Image and left click on it.
    • Now find the folder you have extracted and converted everything in and select the cue or ccd file and click on Open

    (Note the above may be slightly out of date now at least for the operation of the software)

    ePSXe 1.6.0 and older setting up the CD-Rom

    • Run ePSXe, Hit Config, Cdrom then Configure.
    • On this screen make sure the drive letter is the same as the virtual drives, default is FirstCDRom but that should be your actual CD-Rom Drive not the Virtual one.
    • Once you have this setup just click OK till your back on the main program, now to run the disc you have mounted, in ePSXe you just need to hit File then Run CDROM

    Burning to CD-R
    For modded console users only

    • Download and install ImgBurn then run it
    • Click Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source hit the folder icon with the spy glass at the end and choose your new cue file and hit Open.
    • Under Destination make sure your burning drive is selected, this should be selected by default though.
    • Under Settings change Write Speed to 1x, this will make the software burn at the slowest speed, though this will almost always be faster than 1x.
    • Time to hit that big green play button
    • You are given extra options while this burns, I'll leave that up to you to choose what you want the software to do after it completes it's burn.
    • Once done just hit the big OK and quit the software if you didn't tell it to do so automatically.

    Thats all for the guide, for now, hope this helps.
    Last edited by Zorlon; 15th-January-2017 at 09:43. Reason: typo :(

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  2. #2
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    I'm just going to add a small update here. For Mac users, the ECM Tools hosted on the Mac App Store are no longer free. This is a huge pain because most people do not want to pay $0.99 just to unECM a file or two.

    ECM is free software. So I've compiled a version which works well on Mac OS. It's available for download here:

    All you have to do is unzip the archive and then in the terminal, go to the directory with your .bin.ecm file and you can:
    ~/Desktop/ECM/unecm /Path/to/MyPSXISO.bin.ecm /Path/to/MyPSXISO.bin

    Of course, replace ~/Desktop/ECM/ and /Path/to/ with the right directory names for your situation.

    If you want to install ECM yourself or if the above binaries do not work on your platform, you can do so using brew.
    If you have brew:
    brew install ecm

    Will work for you!

    Spoiler warning:
    Last edited by Zorlon; 8th-March-2015 at 08:49.

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