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PICList Thread
'[PIC]:Code protect defeat on 16C5X'
2002\09\10@153459 by s.hutch

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Has anyone tried this procedure (below) ? If so, I could use a bit more detail
on how to do this. I have a customer that had an engineering company design a
board with a PIC16c57 on it and the company went under without giving him the
design. He has a populated working PCB and 50 bare boards he cannot build
without the PIC code. It seems the code protection bit is a "0".
piclist url:
www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/crack.htm
reads:

Craig Lee [spam_OUTcleeTakeThisOuTspamATTCANADA.NET] says

      I have found cracking procedure for the following chips:

      16c54,16c55,16c56,16c57,16c58,16c61,16c62,16c64,16c65,16c71,16c73,
      16c74,16c84

      The procedure supposedly gives you some bits of the instruction word
and you are left to select one of two possible instructions by context. Also,
the procedures seem
      to be generic and should work on all 12bit and 14bit chips.

The [older versions of the] Pic chip (PIC16C84) can in fact have it's program
and data memory read after the config fuses have been set to code protection
on. Try the following:

      Write some code to the chip with the code protection set to "ON".
      Read back to verify that the protection has indeed come on.
      Now set Vdd ( pin 14 ) to Vpp-0.5v, (Programming voltage less 0.5V).
      Set config fuse to "OFF" and reprogram config fuse. Ignore error
messages.
      Now set Vdd back to normal, +5v.
      Power off the programmer.
      Wait 10 to 20 sec to allow the charge on the cells to fall back to 5
volts.
      Power back on the programmer. (VDD at + 5V)
      Read the Pic....

and hey presto, data in unprotected format should now be available.

********************
any insight would be appreciated, I have a WARP-13 on order.

thanks,
hutch

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2002\09\10@200749 by Andrew Warren

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s.hutch@mindspring.com <.....s.hutchKILLspamspam@spam@mindspring.com> wrote:

> I have a customer that had an engineering company design a board with a
> PIC16c57 on it and the company went under without giving him the
> design. He has a populated working PCB and 50 bare boards he cannot
> build without the PIC code.
> ....
> [A procedure alluded to in an old PICLIST post] supposedly gives you
> some bits of the instruction word and you are left to select one of two
> possible instructions by context.
> ....
> any insight would be appreciated, I have a WARP-13 on order.

Hutch:

I don't recall a method of reading protected 16C5x chips that left you with a choice
between two possible instructions at each location, so either I'm less-informed/less-
clever than I thought (highly likely) or the procedure you mentioned doesn't
actually work (also highly likely).  Regardless, there ain't no way you're going to
reconstruct the code by selecting one of two instructions at each location "by
context", especially in a 2048-word 16C57.

If the code is extremely valuable to your client, the one working chip can be
decapped and the code read using specialized equipment.  However, most people who
have the equipment (semiconductor fabs, failure-analysis labs, custom-chip design
firms, etc.) won't perform the work that you want, and the people who WILL do it are
quite expensive.  Also, it's possible that they won't be able to read all the code
perfectly with just one chip to work with.

There are rumors of devices that will read protected 16C5x parts non-invasively; you
can try tracking them down if you feel like spending a lot of time doing that sort
of thing.  If it were me, though, I'd instead spend the time trying to track down
the person who wrote the code in the first place; he or she is sure to have a copy
of it SOMEWHERE.  Failing that, you could always just rewrite it from scratch if
it's worth enough to your client.

-Andy

P.S.  Although it isn't likely to be productive, it wouldn't do any harm to contact
the Microchip factory and tell them your tale of woe; I suppose there's a TINY
chance that they might help.

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2002\09\10@222506 by M. Adam Davis

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Most of the procedures I've read involve destructive voltages and are
effective only 50% or less of the time.  If you only have the one chip
you risk losing it as a comparison for future work.

I suggest that your time, money and effort are better put to use having
someone recreate the product for you.

Also, keep in mind that unless you actually purchased the code you do
not have a right to it and you can still be prosecuted by the eventual
owner if it does end up somewhere else.

In the future make sure you either buy the code outright (and make it
part of your contract to receive code at milestone events and/or upon
payment) or put a clause in the contract that if the company is sold or
otherwise unable to render the code at a future point in time then you
gain some copyright access to it.  Have them agree to hold the code in
escrow for such a future event.

-Adam

s.hutchspamKILLspamMINDSPRING.COM wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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