Author Topic: Converting disks to HDF  (Read 6200 times)

Offline ssj

  • SmallMember
  • **
  • Posts: 8
Converting disks to HDF
« on: January 27, 2012, 10:10:58 am »
Hi,

I'm trying to convert multiple disk games into a single bootable HDF file (1 HDF per game). There are some available on the web like SSF2, Akumajou Dracula, etc.
I thought this would just be a matter of creating an empty hdf file and then use disk explorer to extract the files from each of the disks and import them into the blank hdf, probably it's not so easy. I tried doing that and the games usually boot, but after a little bit they hang with some message on screen, since I can't read japanese I have no idea on what it says. Maybe some sort of copy protection?
I tried searching about this, but couldn't find much about the subject on another forum someone mentions autoexec.bat needs to be edited, but doesn't explain exactly what needs to be done. If someone could give me some hints I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks

Offline eidis

  • ThrobbingMember
  • *****
  • Posts: 1200
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2012, 01:08:25 am »
 Hi SSJ and welcome to our forum !

First you will need to create SASI hard disk image with XM6. Click on Tools -> Make a new SASI Fixed Disk. Select the appropriate size for the disk image and make sure that check box "Do Logical Formatting" is enabled.

 Then go to Tools -> Options -> SASI. Increase "Drives" parameter to "1". Cick on the No.1 drive and select the newly created HD image. Make sure that you unmount any, if mounted, SxSI and SCSI images so that they won't interfere.

 Right now the X68000 is unable to boot from it, because there are no system files. COMMAND.X and HUMAN.SYS are mandatory for X68000 to boot into command prompt. It is not advisable to copy them from different images by hand because IMHO HUMAN.SYS is somehow linked to the sector where it resides.

 You will need to download Human 3.02 floppy image file. Get it here:
http://retropc.net/x68000/software/sharp/human302/HUMN302I.LZH

After booting from human302.xdf into command prompt type:

sys c:
copy command.x c:\command.x

Eject the XDF file and reboot. If everything worked, you hould be greeted with the following message:

http://foto2.inbox.lv/eidis/X68000/SASI.png

After that you can import files in the newly created image but be sure not to overwrite HUMAN.SYS and COMMAND.X. Upon booting X68000 executes config.sys file which usually loads drivers into memory and autoexec.bat which loads DOS programs. Take a look inside the famous HD image and after some tinkering you will be able to write them like a pro.

Download the image here:
http://nfggames.com/X68000/Games/X68000v2.zip

More info on installing games to hard drive:
http://www.gamesx.com/wiki/doku.php?id=x68000:installing_games_to_hard_drive

Best of luck and feel free to ask any questions !
Eidis

P.S. It could be that those games that you are trying to install are already present in the image ;)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 01:12:58 am by eidis »
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline ssj

  • SmallMember
  • **
  • Posts: 8
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2012, 07:35:13 am »
Thanks eidis!

I'm aware of your hard drive image project, fantastic work you are doing there looking forward to see v3  :)
I use your image all the time, but what I wanted right now was to create standalone hdf files for some of the games so I can use them seamlessly on XM6 through a frontend, which would be something really hard to do using your image since I need to navigate through a few menus until I reach the desired game.

I was simply copying all the files from the floppy and not getting anything from the Human disk so that might be what was causing the problems, I can only test within some hours when I get home, I'll tell you if that did the trick.
Just one more question, if I want the games to automatically start after booting the machine I don't need to rename autoexec.bat to !start.bat right?

Thanks again for your help, I hope I'll be able to get these going tonight.

Offline eidis

  • ThrobbingMember
  • *****
  • Posts: 1200
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2012, 11:01:26 am »
 Hi !

 Please note that Caius was the main inspiration and driving force behind HD image v2  and he already has contributed many awesome hd installed games for the upcoming v3 so the image is a joint effort. Thanks again Caius for your contributions and sorry for the big delay. I have some special plans in mind for v3 to take it to the next level ;)

 Autoexec.bat file is the same as any other bat file except for the fact that it is executed upon each reboot automatically. You will need to learn some basic DOS commands to feel more comfortable with editing it. Here are a few of the most often used ones:

CD
DIR
COPY
FORMAT
MKDIR
DEL
SUBST (the best)
MEM
VER
SWITCH (very important. aka BIOS setup)

You can use these reference manuals with a grain of salt:
http://www.sophos.com/support/knowledgebase/article/13195.html

http://www.lsi.upc.edu/~robert/teaching/foninf/doshelp.html

 Many games rely on being executed from floppy disks so they need to be fooled with the "subst" command which basically maps directory to a device letter. This method is very popular with two floppy games. Check out Example 2 in the tutorial which link I mentioned in my previous post.

 For the most stubborn ones there is the 2HDBOOT method which loads floppy image file into RAM and boots it from there. I'm not a real fan of this method because it requires at least 2 or 3 MB for a single floppy game which would otherwise run fine with 1MB. Check out the guide here:

http://nfggames.com/forum2/index.php?action=printpage;topic=2081.0

You can copy games from the HD image file to your custom image files, just make sure that paths in bat file are correct and that all mentioned files are present. Sometimes the files will be executed from "path" which is defined in autoexec.bat. Most of the times "path" files reside in "BIN" directory. Every game on floppy, except some rare ones, has config.sys and autoexec.bat files. View them in text editor to get a better understanding of how they are being executed. Once again, a good understanding of how MS-DOS works will come a long way.

P.S. You can use Abby Finereader to extract error messages in written form and then make friends with translate.google.com ;)

Best of luck !
Eidis
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 11:24:22 am by eidis »
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline ssj

  • SmallMember
  • **
  • Posts: 8
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2012, 04:04:33 pm »
Thanks again for helping me out eidis, I'm old school so I have good knowledge of MS Dos, I'm new to Human OS though and the first thing that surprised me was actually how similar to DOS it was.
Looking forward to see that v3, I'm sure it will be something and thanks to Caius as well for helping in such a great project.

I think after your tips I'm getting somewhere, I managed to get a few of the easier 1 disk games to run like Arkanoid or A-Jax. 2 disk games, the ones that require usage of SUBST are giving me issues.  Lets take After Burner 2 for example, your !Start.bat begins with:
SUBST B: A:\GAMES\AFTERBURNER2
SUBST A: A:\GAMES\AFTERBURNER2

I understand why, but on my hdf file since I have everything at the root I don't know what I should use instead of these, I tried:
SUBST B: A:
SUBST A: A:

Or just
SUBST B: A:

And the game does boot and I see the main title screen, but after that the music keeps playing and all I get is a black screen and I can see on XM6 that the FDD is being accessed even though I don't have anything there. Any idea on how the mapping should be done on this case?

The 2HD method worked like a treat for the same After Burner 2 though, so thanks for pointing that! I understand RAM might be an issue on real hardware, but since I'm running it through XM6 I'm setting the memory to 12MB so I suppose I won't have any problems with that.
Still, would be nice to get it running without 2HD as well.

At least thanks to your valuable tips I'm much better than I was a couple of days ago :)

Offline eidis

  • ThrobbingMember
  • *****
  • Posts: 1200
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2012, 02:16:03 am »
  Hi !

 You need to subst only B: if the game files are in root. Please note that for best compatibility you will need to make sure that your custom images load the same files from config.sys which are present in the root config.sys of master HD image.

 I'll make it real simple for you. In your case config.sys file should look like this:

Code: [Select]
FILES     = 30
BUFFERS   = 20 1024
LASTDRIVE = Z:
USKCG     = USKCG.SYS
DEVICE    = FLOAT2.X

Copy USKCG.SYS and FLOAT2.X from "SYS" and SUBST.X from "BIN" to root.

 The autoexec.bat for Afterburner2 should look like this:

Code: [Select]
SUBST B: A:\
ABIPL.X
ABRAM.X

Quote
And the game does boot and I see the main title screen, but after that the music keeps playing and all I get is a black screen and I can see on XM6 that the FDD is being accessed even though I don't have anything there. Any idea on how the mapping should be done on this case?

 This is a fine example what happens when the path has been incorrectly mapped or the protection kicks in.

Best of luck and keep us posted !
Eidis

« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 02:18:19 am by eidis »
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline ssj

  • SmallMember
  • **
  • Posts: 8
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 11:24:22 am »
You're the best Eidis!
That worked great, even though After Burner 2 hangs just a bit after the game starts, but the exact same thing happens if I run it from your HDD image so I'm guessing this has something to do with the RAM and CPU model I'm using on XM6. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.

I hate to keep bothering you, but I came across even another different scenario, After Burner 2 has no config.sys on his dir so I could just use the main one, right. So I was trying to convert Arcus Odyssey now and this one does have a config.sys on his dir, so what should my config.sys look like?
If I leave the main one and simply ignore the one on the game folder, the game boots, but it's missing some sprites right on the title screen. If I use the one from the game folder it won't boot at all, I also tried combining both, but no luck.
Here's the example:

Code: (My root dir. Config.sys) [Select]
FILES     = 30
BUFFERS   = 20 1024
LASTDRIVE = Z:
USKCG     = \SYS\USKCG.SYS
DEVICE    = \SYS\FLOAT2.X

Note that I ended up creating a SYS directory on my image root instead of pulling everything into the root, looks cleaner this way. So USKCG.SYS and FLOAT2.X are on the SYS directory.
SUSBT.X is on the root though.

Code: (Game Config.sys (not used??)) [Select]
FILES=15
BUFFERS=20 1024
USKCG=OP_GAIJI
ENVSET=512
SHELL=COMMAND.X

And my autoexec.bat looks like this:
Code: [Select]
SUBST B: A:\
NuHO OFF
M_DRV
IPL
OPENING_LOOP
OP4
ARCUS_O
ED1

Thanks!

Offline eidis

  • ThrobbingMember
  • *****
  • Posts: 1200
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 11:40:49 pm »
 Hi !

 I have come up with even cleaner and simpler way to accomplish your goal.

http://foto2.inbox.lv/eidis/X68000/ArcusOdyssey.png

config.sys
Code: [Select]
FILES     = 30
BUFFERS   = 20 1024
LASTDRIVE = Z:
USKCG     = \SYS\USKCG.SYS
DEVICE    = \SYS\FLOAT2.X

autoexec.bat
Code: [Select]
ECHO OFF
PATH A:\;A:\SYS;A:\BIN
CD ArcusOdyssey
di

 Substitute "di" with "!start.bat" for other games.

ArcusOdyssey !Start.bat
Code: [Select]
SUBST B: A:\ArcusOdyssey
SUBST A: A:\ArcusOdyssey
NuHO OFF
M_DRV
IPL
OPENING_LOOP
OP4
ARCUS_O
ED1

 As you stated, there are corrupted graphics during the intro sequence. The graphics are fine if the game is launched through DI. Surely it's not as sexy as booting straight into the game but this is a minor inconvenience.

Best of luck !
Eidis
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 11:50:02 pm by eidis »
X68000 personal computer is called, "X68K" or "no good good" is called, is the PC that are loved by many people today.

Offline ssj

  • SmallMember
  • **
  • Posts: 8
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 09:30:33 am »
Thanks once again  :)

I like that file organization better as well, cleaner indeed I'll use it from now on. Your solution does work, just don't understand why I get corrupted sprites the other way, actually you don't need to run di to get the correct sprites, this will work as well:

Code: (autoexec.bat) [Select]
ECHO OFF
PATH A:\;A:\SYS;A:\BIN
CD ArcusOdyssey

And then I just type !Start.bat at the command prompt and the game starts correctly, I have no idea why this happens as for me adding !Start.bat to the last line of autoexec.bat would be the exact same thing or am I missing something?
Using 2HD worked fine for this one as well so I'll use 2HD for it as my idea would be to have all games to start automatically, still would be interested on understanding why those corrupted sprites appear.

Thanks to your help I've been doing some nice progress, and for those stubborn games 2HD has been working like a treat since on an emulator I don't have any RAM constraints this is a really good option to deal with those cases.

Offline caius

  • ThrobbingMember
  • *****
  • Posts: 598
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2012, 05:28:09 am »
Hi !

Please note that Caius was the main inspiration and driving force behind HD image v2  and he already has contributed many awesome hd installed games for the upcoming v3 so the image is a joint effort. Thanks again Caius for your contributions and sorry for the big delay. I have some special plans in mind for v3 to take it to the next level ;)

 

Hi Eidis and pardon for my absence but there is aso a REAL life (job, mainly...) besides the virtual one.... ;)
Thanks very much for your beautiful words!By the way, could you tell me what was the last contribution (the name of the installed games) I sent you?I want to start again from where I finished :D

P.S.

Do you know other good games that we never tried to installed?


Offline ssj

  • SmallMember
  • **
  • Posts: 8
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2012, 05:33:42 am »
Do you guys know if there's any list with all x68k games ever released? I know it can be hard with all the doujin games, but would be nice to have a list with at least all commercial games. So far I've been using TOSEC as my base list, but I'm sure there are some more nice games I might be missing.

Offline caius

  • ThrobbingMember
  • *****
  • Posts: 598
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2012, 06:56:39 pm »
Do you guys know if there's any list with all x68k games ever released? I know it can be hard with all the doujin games, but would be nice to have a list with at least all commercial games. So far I've been using TOSEC as my base list, but I'm sure there are some more nice games I might be missing.


Hi,I know this list:
http://www20.atpages.jp/tkhr000/x68softlist/x68soft.htm

but I don't know if it's complete.

Offline ssj

  • SmallMember
  • **
  • Posts: 8
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2012, 09:04:01 am »
Thanks, that's a great site! Too bad it's all in japanese, but google translator will help  :)
Great thing it also has screenshots so I can check if a game looks promising from those.

Do you happen to know any sites that have good quality scans of the boxart as well?

Offline alestemsx

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2016, 07:53:25 am »
Hi eidis i need your help in two things, first one is possible to make naious for use via cf card? i try but dont work. Second i need galseed2 in xdf or dim to use on my Xbox emulator for play in my crt 29 tv, but i dont find in any place, is possible to help me?
thanks, regards

Alestemsx

Offline SuperDeadite

  • MassiveMember
  • ****
  • Posts: 367
Re: Converting disks to HDF
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2016, 11:54:49 am »
Due to the way the game accesses the disks, Naious will only boot correctly off of floppies.