YAHDI (yet another hard disk image)

Started by kobushi, August 10, 2014, 12:37:17 AM

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kobushi

August 10, 2014, 12:37:17 AM Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 04:36:02 PM by kobushi
I heard you were making a PC-9801 hard disk image, so I decided to clean up mine and share it. This is a Windows-readable PC-9801 disk image that includes many essential utilities and provides a stable, versatile DOS environment for playing games and other stuff.

http://nfggames.com/PC98/HDDimages/PC98HDD.7z

There are no specific system requirements, but the configuration assumes that you have:
1) a 386 or better CPU
2) at least 1.6MB of RAM
3) an OPNA-equivalent sound source (either built-in, or a sound board such as the PC-9801-86)

I can't guarantee compatibility with every system out there, but I have tested and used this disk image in the following environments:
=Real hardware=
PC-9821Ap
PC-9821As
PC-9821Ce2
PC-9821V20
PC-9821Na12
PC-9821Nw150
=Emulators=
Anex86
T98-Next
np2fmgen (np2sxnt.exe/np21nt.exe)


Disk Image
First, the disk image itself. This is a 542MB raw (headerless) disk image. Why 542MB? Because that's just under the maximum allowed hard drive size imposed by a limitation in the PC98 disk BIOS. Later models have higher size limits, but 542MB is best for maximum compatibility.

542MB HD parameters:
cylinders: 8162
heads: 8
sectors per track: 17
sector length: 512
8162*8*17*512=568,336,384 bytes

To open this image in Disk Explorer, select manual HD and enter 17 sectors, 512 sector length, 8 heads, 98 format (you don't have to enter the cylinders, because Disk Explorer doesn't check that value).


To save yourself some time, you can also add this definition to types.ini in the Disk Explorer folder:
[Raw PC-9801 HD]
Extension   = ".IMG"
ProfileType = 3
HDDType     = 0
DiskStart   = 0
Sectors     = 17
Heads       = 8
Cylinders   = 0
SecLen      = 512

To use this image in an emulator, I recommend converting it to NHD format. NHD is recognized natively in Disk Explorer, T98-Next, and Neko Project II. I do not recommend using the HDI format and Anex86, because Anex86 is a dead emulator with a number of problems that will never be fixed. If you really really need to use Anex86, you can use the NHC utility to convert the raw image to HDI. Otherwise, just use NHD.

The NHD format is simple and well-understood. There's a 512-byte header, followed by the raw data in CHS order. This is the header format:
char  szFileID[15];                 // ID "T98HDDIMAGE.R0"
char  Reserve1[1];                  // reserved (value 00)
char  szComment[0x100];             // image comment (ASCIIz)
DWORD dwHeadSize;                   // header size
DWORD dwCylinder;                   // no. of cylinders
WORD  wHead;                        // no. of heads
WORD  wSect;                        // no. of sectors per track
WORD  wSectLen;                     // sector length
char  Reserve2[2];                  // reserved (value 00)
char  Reserve3[0xe0];               // reserved (value 00)

The correct NHD header for the raw disk image is already included, just add it to the beginning of the .IMG file with a file merge utility or hex editor. The resulting nhd file should be 568,336,896 bytes, with the T98HDDIMAGE header at the beginning, and the raw disk image starting at hex address 0x200 with the values EB 0A 90 90.

I'm also including the nhdgen utility, which can automatically generate a nhd header for a raw PC-9801 hard disk image.

Syntax:
nhdgen [/auto] [/merge] input_file.img output_file.nhd
/auto - automatically detects the HD parameters. Omit to specify parameters manually.
/merge - by default, nhdgen just generates a separate 512-byte nhd header file. By using the /merge option, nhdgen will create the full nhd disk image.


There's another cool thing about this image: it has a hybrid partition table created with the CONV98AT utility, which means it can be accessed directly on both a PC-9801 and a modern PC. You can either mount the image in Windows as a virtual disk, or write it to an SD/CF card and browse it like an ordinary flash drive. This makes it much easier to transfer files between your PC98 and modern PC. CONV98AT is included, so you can convert other PC98 hard disks in the same way.

To mount the image as a virtual disk, install the ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver.

To mount raw IMG file,
- Use right-click menu on IMG file, or open ImDisk in Control Panel and click Mount new.
- Disk size and offset (136 blocks) are detected automatically.
- Check "removable media".
- For image file access, select direct access. (If you work with a memory copy and try to save it later, ImDisk will leave out the PC98 MBR and break the image.)


To mount NHD file,
- Same procedure as IMG file, but manually specify an offset of 137 blocks, not 136.


To use this image on a real PC98, you need to write out the raw image to disk. In my case, I use Win32DiskImager to write out to an SD card, which plugs into an IDE-SD adapter connected to a PC-9821. Compact Flash cards also work great. It should even be possible to write out to a real IDE or SCSI hard drive if you want.

You can also do the reverse and back up the disk to a new image file. But if you use a 2GB flash card, for example, the 542MB backup image will also include an extra 1.5GB of empty data, so you should split the file at 568,336,384 bytes and just keep the actual disk data at the beginning. If you're using a hex editor, delete everything after (but not including) 0x21E01FFF.

BONUS: I'm also throwing in a 128MB hard disk image with a clean install of MS-DOS 3.3D. DOS3 is required by certain games, such as early Falcom titles.

DOS3 only supports FAT12, so unfortunately CONV98AT does not work and the image is not directly readable or mountable in Windows. But you can still open it with Disk Explorer, convert it to NHD, and use it in emulators.

128MB HD parameters:
cylinders: 1927
heads: 8
sectors per track: 17
sector length: 512
1927*8*17*512=134,180,864 bytes


Contents of this disk
- MS-DOS 6.20
- MS-DOS 5.00A-H
- file manager
- batch menu/program launcher
- heavy-duty text editors
- rom/disk dumping tools
- every major PC-98 CD-ROM driver
- FM synth drivers and playback software
- image viewers and converters
- game compatibility tools
- various other utilities

The core suite of OS and tools takes up about 24MB total, leaving over 512MB for games and other data.

The memory configuration is optimized as much as possible while remaining broadly compatible with most models. The default configuration provides 610K conventional memory + EMS up to your total RAM, with a largest free UMB block of 34K-48K (depending on the computer model) for additional drivers.


Ideally you'll have some extra RAM, but this disk image will happily run on 1.6MB or 64MB of memory, and everything in between.

The config.sys/autoexec.bat files are annotated, so feel free to adjust the setup as needed.

Overview of software
- MS-DOS 6.20. Standard install, used as the default OS.

- MS-DOS 5.00A-H. Installed to \DOS5 directory, available by rebooting using HSB (see below). Included for compatibility.

- Filmtn file manager. A nice and easy-to-use file manager, with convenient features like directory copy. Hold down Grph or press F2 to bring up a programmable macro menu. I already predefined some macros, so for example, pressing Grph+H will reboot via HSB, and pressing Grph+W will set a selected .MAG file as a "wallpaper" image.


- BM. A batch menu/program launcher with mouse support. BM presents a library of up to 200 menu items across 10 pages. Each menu item can be defined as a little batch file (press Xfer to edit), so you can run almost any kind of game or programmable utility from the BM GUI. You can also define a menu item to open a completely new library file, so there's essentially no limit to how many menus you can create. I created a main library with many common actions defined, and also a separate game library.


- SE3/MIFES/Vz. Text editors that are much more powerful than the SEDIT utility included with DOS. SE3 is a nice little freeware editor, while MIFES and Vz are commercial text editors with many heavy-duty features. MIFES is set up as the default editor.

- HSB. A flexible soft-boot manager that enables Ctrl-Grph-Del reset on the PC98. It can also be used to easily manage multiple boot configurations by using a config.sys and autoexec.bat (and even IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS) located in a non-root directory. Extremely useful for multi-booting among different DOS versions, and managing different game configurations.
Basic usage:
HSB - reboots using the default configuration (config.sys/autoexec.bat in the root A:\ directory)
HSB A:FOO - reboots using config.FOO and autoexec.FOO in the root directory
HSB A:GAMES\FOO\ - reboots using the config.sys/autoexec.bat files located in A:\GAMES\FOO
Note: don't put a backslash after A:


- ERCACHE. A virtual 8086 mode monitor that can be used to control almost every aspect of the machine state and trick older software into running on newer PC-9821 models. It's a very powerful and complex program, but making games work with ERCACHE is a tedious trial-and-error process, and settings that work on one computer may not work at all on another machine. Also, since none of the current PC98 emulators handle protected mode well enough, ERCACHE is only usable on real hardware. Don't bother trying it in an emulator, it will just crash or lock up. ERCACHE is pointless in an emulator anyway, because it's much simpler and more reliable to just re-configure the emulator as an older PC-9801 model.

- ERCVFD. A virtual floppy module for ERCACHE. Again, real hardware only. Useful in some cases, but you have to manually save any changes to the virtual floppy by doing a special Ctrl+Grph+Ins reset and writing out a new disk image from the memory copy (ERCVFD.EXE /VFDSAVE?). Personally, I find it easier to just write out disk images to real floppies, or use an HxC.

Music-related
- I've included the major FM synth drivers that were popular on the PC-9801 (FMP, MDX, and PMD), along with some sample music files. I've registered some command-line players with the appropriate file extensions in Filmtn, so after loading the appropriate driver set, you can simply browse in Filmtn and press Enter to play songs.
- There's also the MSDP music player, which supports playback of all three formats. Unfortunately you still have to load an appropriate music driver set ahead of time, and it's not possible to have two different driver sets active at the same time. Still, you can use the on/off utilities in each music subdirectory to quickly toggle drivers, and then browse a particular subdirectory in MDSP.

- The MIMPIV4 and GMPV4 players support various other formats.
- CDP is a simple command-line CD player.
- All of the music-related files and drivers are located in a separate MUSIC directory, so if you're not interested you can safely delete the entire directory to reclaim disk space.

Image-related
- Included are the MAG and TEAM image viewers for MAG files, the most popular image format back in the PC98 days. The .mag file extension is registered in Filmtn, so you can view images directly from the file manager. You can also press Grph-W in Filmtn to designate a MAG file as a background "wallpaper" that will stay active until another program uses the graphics plane.
- Some sample images are included in the MAG directory. It's a mishmash of game CG, amateur artwork, and images from old BBS ads.


Dumping/imaging tools
Note: Perform a clean boot (reset and hold shift) before running the rom dumping tools.
- Mahalito. A fast way to dump or write back floppy images to disk.
- nfdmake. The best floppy dumping utility. Creates .nfd files.
- Make_hd. The name is a little confusing, but this is for dumping floppy disks to D88 format.
- mkfdd. Floppy dumping tool from the Virtual98 emulator. Creates .fdd files.
- getbios - ROM dumping utility (BIOS, FONT, SOUND) from the np2 emulator.
- rommake - ROM dumping utility (BIOS, FONT, SOUND) from the T98-Next emulator.
- mkbios - BIOS rom dumping utility (BIOS, ITF, SOUND) from the Virtual98 emulator.
- mkfont - Font rom dumping utility from the Virtual98 emulator.

Other tools:
- 86vol. A handy volume control hotkey utility. Hold down Grph and then use the numpad to adjust volume levels. Type 86VOL V1 on the command line to bring up a visual volume meter.
GRPH+ FM PCM LINE CD-DA
(mute) 7 8 9 *
(up) 4 5 6 +
(down) 1 2 3 =
Note: On later PC-9821 models that use the YMF288 (OPN3) chip (X series, V series, and notebook models), all sound output is piped to PCM out, so the volume control only works as a master control using the CD-DA meter.
Note 2: For real hardware only. This tool does not work in emulators.


- Clip. Registers a Shift+F12 hotkey that grabs any text on the current screen and saves it to a regular text file. Useful for troubleshooting error messages.

- Disk. This is actually a combination of two utilities, df and dr. df presents a list of all logical drives and their current status, while df shows a graph of hard disk usage for all files and subdirectories in the current path.


- MGC. A graphics controller and screen capture utility. Adds the following global hotkeys:
Grph+Ins Display graphics plane
Grph+Del Hide graphics plane
Grph+Rollup Display text plane
Grph+Rolldn Hide text plane
Grph+arrows Scroll graphics plane
Grph+F1 Toggle 16/256 color mode (PC-9821 only)
Grph+F2 Switch front/back VRAM
Grph+F10 Toggle beep sound during screen capture
Grph+VF1 Screen capture of graphics plane
Grph+Home Wipe graphics plane
Grph+Stop Reset (don't use this, HSB is better)

Screen captures taken with Grph+VF1 are saved to the mag folder as CAPxxx.BLK files. This should work in most games, so you can easily grab screenshots. You can view captures with BLKLOAD, or convert them to another format using MG.EXE.

- JON/JOFF. Simple batch files to toggle Japanese input drivers on/off when needed. After running JON, press Ctrl+Xfer to switch to Japanese input. Run JOFF when you're done to reclaim memory.

First boot
When you first boot up this hard disk image, you're 90% likely to get a screen like this:


Don't panic, this is normal. In order for the HSB boot controller to work, it needs to detect and record information about the hardware setup. Press W to update the configuration. This step only needs to be performed once, after a hardware change.

The BM program launcher is configured to launch by default. You can change this behavior by editing the lines at the end of autoexec.bat.

To get to the DOS prompt, just press Esc.

The next step is optional but recommended. At the DOS prompt, type:
cd\tools
del esound.com
mksound
esound

This will delete and recreate the esound.com utility based on your specific sound hardware. This shouldn't be necessary in most cases, but you may as well do it. You only need to do this once.

I've included a couple of games just to demonstrate how the BM launcher, HSB, and ERCACHE work. Take a look at the config.sys, autoexec.bat, and boot.bat files in each game folder.

That's it! Now go party like it's 1993.


caius

Thank you very much for this.I'll try to add more games through ERCVFD.

acridAxid

Nice work, kobushi!  This is an excellent resource.

SkyeWelse

Thanks very much for posting this here Kobushi. Can't wait to try it once I get my CF card and IDE adapter soon. Maybe next week if it all arrives on time.  :D

-Thomas

kobushi

Quote from: AnnaWu on August 10, 2014, 05:09:48 AM
Nice to see you here, kobushi. : )
Thanks. :) That reminds me, I've got some new PC-8801 roms for the MESS gang. I'll send them to you soon.

Quote from: caius on August 10, 2014, 07:09:04 AM
Thank you very much for this.I'll try to add more games through ERCVFD.
No problem. Generally you can just copy the config.sys/autoexec.bat/boot.bat files from the game folders and modify them as needed.
I tried to fix the speed issues in Hell Ogre, Wings, and Xenon 2. They're calibrated to a PC-9821Ce2 (486SX 25MHz), so they might still be too fast on other machines.
Try adjusting the /CPUWAIT and /TRAPGDCG options. CPUWAIT goes up to a maximum of 127, but TRAPGDCG doesn't have an upper limit.

PS - Arrow Gunner Ex has a built-in speed setting on the pause menu ;)

AnnaWu

QuoteThat reminds me, I've got some new PC-8801 roms for the MESS gang. I'll send them to you soon.

Sounds good. The "j80" support ROMs which are still missing. : )

H68k

Wait a minute.. There's an MDX music driver for the PC98?!

Hmm.. I guess it would be possible to play them back on a PC98 with a YM2608.. as both the YM2151 and the 2608's FM section are 4 operator a channel. but my question is.. how would they get around the 2 missing FM channels that the 2608 does not have? that the YM2151 does..

kobushi

By default, the MDX driver uses SSG channels to play back any missing FM channels, but you can make more FM channels available by installing another sound board.
If you download the full MDX driver package from the Vector library (http://www.vector.co.jp/soft/dos/art/se003454.html), you can also use the MXDS.COM tool to reassign which sound device and channel is used to play back each FM part.

SkyeWelse

August 12, 2014, 02:14:03 AM #9 Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 02:17:40 AM by SkyeWelse
Kobushi, would there be a process that you know of for installing some older PC-98 games that were on multiple disks to the HDD that did not have install files included with them? Just wondering if there might be a method for getting rid of the need of having a floppy disk or FDD emulator altogether and simply control everything from the HDD itself. I would imagine that saving games to Userdisks may still require a disk, but perhaps even that could be done virtually as well. I know that least in the MSX scene, the continued evolution of MSX-Dos, Nextor has a new version coming out that would allow for a virtual disk to be used so that you can read and write to it.

-Thomas

caius

Quote from: SkyeWelse on August 12, 2014, 02:14:03 AM
Kobushi, would there be a process that you know of for installing some older PC-98 games that were on multiple disks to the HDD that did not have install files included with them? Just wondering if there might be a method for getting rid of the need of having a floppy disk or FDD emulator altogether and simply control everything from the HDD itself. I would imagine that saving games to Userdisks may still require a disk, but perhaps even that could be done virtually as well. I know that least in the MSX scene, the continued evolution of MSX-Dos, Nextor has a new version coming out that would allow for a virtual disk to be used so that you can read and write to it.

-Thomas

Yes, there is a process and it's a trial and error one.Like X68000 you have to extract all the contents of disk images into a folder and then create a batch files that executes system and game specific files.It may not work for all games but most of time it does.

SkyeWelse

Quote from: caius on August 12, 2014, 05:54:36 AM
Yes, there is a process and it's a trial and error one.Like X68000 you have to extract all the contents of disk images into a folder and then create a batch files that executes system and game specific files.It may not work for all games but most of time it does.

Hi Caius, that's good enough for me. If I could learn the process for how it is done on a few games that do work (Is there a previous thread about that or could one be started?) I'd definitely be willing to try putting together some disk based games that I think would be worth having on a HDD image and testing them.

-Thomas

caius

I forgot..Kobushi, can I upload your HDD image to the PC-98 NFG FTP?Thanks.

kobushi

Please do! I trust NFG more than the ad-infested file hosting services.

RobIvy64

"Console Mods" lurker

caius


kobushi

Thanks caius, I replaced the links in the original post.

H68k

August 15, 2014, 04:12:54 AM #17 Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 04:15:07 AM by H68k
Well.. interesting use of the PSG channels of the YM2608 to make up for the missing FM channels it doesn't have over the YM2151, though as I expected.. it didn't sound very good. :)

You can get it to sound a little better if you add a soundboard with a YM2203 and set the extra FM channels to use it in MSDP in the PC98 emulator of your choice (if it supports it) but there where a few times when it sound off.. or not quite right. I guess it's something to do with the YM2203 only being a 2 OP per channel chip versus the 4 OP of the YM 2608 and 2151.

kobushi

It's better to use two YM2608 sources ;)
But you're right, it won't sound exactly the same as an X68000, because the detune function of the YM2151 also has to be emulated by the MDX driver.

The FMP/PMD songs on the other hand are designed specifically for the PC-9801. 6FM+3SSG+6 rhythm ADPCM+multiple PCM channels is nothing to sneeze at. There's a lot of interesting music written for those drivers.

caius


H68k

QuoteIt's better to use two YM2608 sources ;)
But you're right, it won't sound exactly the same as an X68000, because the detune function of the YM2151 also has to be emulated by the MDX driver.

The FMP/PMD songs on the other hand are designed specifically for the PC-9801. 6FM+3SSG+6 rhythm ADPCM+multiple PCM channels is nothing to sneeze at. There's a lot of interesting music written for those drivers.


I don't suppose you know of a PC98 emulator that will allow dual 86 sound boards? I'd like to give the dual YM2608 thing ago, if it's possible.

The YM2151 also has a noise feature, witch is used by some MDX music and some X68k games to mimic the sound of a PSG. I guess you could use the the PSG channels of the 2608 to do the same. if the music driver was "smart" enough to work it it or had a feature to use an external config file to pre configure it in advance.

Yes.. the 8 channel PCM chip of the 86 soundboard is also rather nifty.. makes me wish the X68k had something similar..  (There are drivers that give you 8 virtual ADPCM channels all done via software mixing.. but it can be CPU intensive on older, slower models)

I've managed to find a zip file with a bunch of music files for the FMD and PMD music drivers. I'll give these a listen when I get some free time.

kobushi

You can try the np2s emulator for dual-2608 sound. Binaries are available here, under 私家版ねこープロジェクトII: http://www.vesta.dti.ne.jp/~tsato/soft_s98v3.html
The binaries are dated from 2011, but it looks like the author has made some updates to the source code on github: https://github.com/rururutan/np2s

I haven't compiled the latest source code, but the 2011 binaries are apparently using an older CPU core, and I can't get EMS memory working on them, so the hard drive image in this thread will crash. To fix this, you'll need to edit the config.sys to only load himem.sys, and REM out emm386.exe and all the VEM486-related stuff.

After that, set the sampling rate to 44kHz and the sound device to Otomi x 2, and then load the mdx driver (type MXDRV -M32 on the command line). It is not necessary to load a separate PCM driver. Now you should have playback on all 8 FM channels.

Besides Gradius and Genocide, the MDX sampler folder has some 8FM+8PCM tunes which are pretty cool.


H68k

Hmm.. after having a rummage through that github repository. I could not find any MAKE or Visual Studio project files.
the author must be using he's own preconfigured compiler suite to take care of the compiling of it.

I only have a rarely used copy of VS 2k8 on my daily workhorse box and some Linux distro that runs in a VM on my other PC for make file GCC stuff.

I could try and make a solution file with VS 2k8.. but it would take a few hours of trial and error and may not compile at all in the end.     

AnnaWu

@kobushi

Check the "np2-windows-170822.zip"
http://turboz.to/sandbox/   
This version support the AVI recording.
Select Other -> Wave record * while pressing SHIFT key *
ffdshow video codec tested and it is working > NP2_0000.avi

PS: Any news about the PC-8801 roms? :)

kobushi

Quote from: AnnaWu on August 22, 2014, 04:45:31 PM
Check the "np2-windows-170822.zip"
http://turboz.to/sandbox/   
This version support the AVI recording.
Select Other -> Wave record * while pressing SHIFT key *
ffdshow video codec tested and it is working > NP2_0000.avi
Neat!  :)

caius

September 04, 2014, 07:26:16 AM #26 Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 07:35:48 AM by caius
Finally today I  received from Japan (after two exact months of waiting) my PC-9821AP2/U8W, it came with a keyboard and  45 MB of extended RAM (it has also a SCSI and a LAN card).All was working fine except for the HDD, a Western Digital Caviar 2340 (341.2 MB of capacity). machine doesn't boot from it netiher I was able to create an image of it using a IDE to USB converter, probably it's faulty.Anyway I replaced it with a IDE to CF or a IDE to SD and I was able to restore the Kobushi HDD image, most of software works except for some games.Now I have only a issue : when I power ON the machine I got a black screen and nothing more, I have to press the RESET switch to initialize it and  boot from HDD or FDD.Does anyone know why?

P.S.
I also bought the needed parts to make this keypad:

http://www.geocities.jp/wp_gopher/pc/98/keypad.html

but I have a doubt : how to map the 'Z' and 'X' key (which are needed in all games as action buttons) to the PC-Engine pad if the ELECOM 10 keyboard doesn't have it???

kobushi

Quote from: caius on September 04, 2014, 07:26:16 AM
Now I have only a issue : when I power ON the machine I got a black screen and nothing more, I have to press the RESET switch to initialize it and  boot from HDD or FDD.Does anyone know why?
Is the power supply stable? The A Mate power supply is failure-prone, especially the version manufactured by Sanken Electric.

Quote from: AnnaWu on August 22, 2014, 04:45:31 PM
PS: Any news about the PC-8801 roms? :)
I PM'd you last week. Did you get them?

AnnaWu

My apologies for the delay, kobushi.
I was very busy the last days ...
Thanks a lot for the ROMs, I got it! :)

Unfortunately, I am still looking for the real "2hdif.rom" dump (98DO) to use 1MB floppy disk images on MESS or ePC-98DO.

SkyeWelse

September 06, 2014, 05:35:48 AM #29 Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 05:55:49 AM by SkyeWelse
Now that both of my CF cards have come in, at long last I've finally gotten an opportunity to play around with both Harddrive images including the Dos 3.3D version. Thank you very much for putting this together Kobushi. I definitely have not mastered everything I want to know how to do with these images yet, but I've made some very good progress so far in regards to adding games and getting them to work properly on the HD. What makes this YAHDI image so nice is the ability to swap it in and out of a regular PC for transferring files. I wish the same could be done for the Dos 3.3D version as well, but I suppose because it's such an older format that it cannot be read by today's computers. If there is a work around for that, I'd love to know how.

I was able to get all of the games to work on my Ce2 that were already installed on this YAHDI image I especially like the Touhou games so far as they are very unique and Night Slave, which reminds me a lot of Assault Suits Valken/Cybernator and Metal Warriors (SNES)) which I loved playing in my younger years.

Caius, I too originally had some issues regarding getting some of the games to work correctly such as Night Slave which wanted to run the game in a strange resolution x 3, yes, 3 different screens on the same monitor... It wasn't until I tried running the boot.com file for the game Rusty (A very cool looking Castlevania clone) that it told me an error message that said to try running it with Dip Switch 2, 2-8 turned off. I believe the most important of these switches being changing 5Mhz to 2.5Mhz as I believe that most games require this setting to be 2.5Mhz. Once I did this changing all of my Dip Switch 2 switches 2-8 to off, I was able to run all of these games including Rusty.

Next I really appreciate the amount of tools that you put into this YAHDI image, Kobushi. I had some trouble at first getting the PC-98DO Dump disk that Anna provided to me when converted to Mahalito format to write correctly to a 2HD Formatted 5.25" Floppy Diskette. I would run the following command:

mahalito e dodump b: (which in my case was my 5.25" FDD drive hooked to my 1MZ-FDD C-BUS card directly using a Floppy Cable. It seemed to always fail around the 30% mark, so I tried the other drive and had just a bit more success with that drive, but when I decided to disconnect the fdd cable from the 1MZ-FDD CBUS card and instead connect the drive that was working better directly to the FDD slot at the top of the CBUS card module where my normal 3.5" floppy drives would plug in, I was finally able to write the Mahalito image with 100%. I then attempted to start the dumping process for the PC-98DO.

Anna, I believe I have now successfully dumped the Bios files for the PC-98DO. However, I'm not entirely sure if I needed to be in "88Mode" for you to be able to acquire the 88Mode roms. If you take a look at this diagram here you'll see that there are two main dip switches on the left before you get to the trip of smaller dip switches on the right. I'm not real sure what this first dip switch does, but the second one from what I can determine will run a game in 98Mode when this second switch is flipped to the left, and in 88Mode when flipped to the right. I was able to dump two sets of files for 98Mode both when the first dip switch was in the left position and a second set for when this first dip switch was in the right position. No idea if that changes anything, but you'll basically be getting dumps from the following:

Switch 1 -------------- Switch 2
LEFT       --------------  LEFT (98 MODE)
RIGHT     --------------  LEFT (98 MODE)

Attempting to run this dump disk in the PC98DO when Switch 2 flipped Right into (88 MODE) will not do anything. It'll just try to read the disk and hang.

Hopefully one of these sets will contain what you needed.

I also tried installing Popful Mail on the 3.3D Dos 128 MB CF Image copied to CF from original 5.25" disks and was able to successfully install it without any issues. I could then launch the game which brought up a system menu to select various items, however I was unable to actually start the game unless the game detected that I had the "Program Disk" inserted into the FDD drive slot. I wonder, is this for Copy Protection reasons that the game would require this disk to be inserted and if it is, what can we do to circumvent this procedure since not only is it a larger pain to deal with having an actual floppy disk on hand, but these original floppy disks will not last forever... Is there something that can be edited in one of the launch files or copied over from the Program File disk? I'm sure many other games are like this too.

I also attempted to try and see if I could create an AIZA HD folder containing a System Disk and 3 Scenario Disks worth of file content all in one folder and I can launch AIZA.exe without any issues, but once the game starts it's still looking for the first scenario disk and freezes. Caius said there might be a way or a process for making some disk based games into games that can be run from the harddrive with edits to autoexec.bat files and such, but I'd love to know what this process might be for some games that folks have gotten to work in the past so I can try my hand at getting AIZA, Falcom games in particular and the Xak series games to work directly from the Harddrive only if possible.

My next tests will be to see if I can use this Malahito tool to now copy an entire disk image from the 5.25" floppy over to my Harddrive.

Thanks again for sharing this image Kobushi!

Edit: Also Caius, regarding your post about creating a custom controller. Not sure if you saw my post here but this little programmable Joypad seems to be perfect since you can map any keys you want. When my friend Xalphenos gets his PC-98Ce I'm planning on mailing him this controller so that he can hopefully reproduce it. 

-Thomas


AnnaWu

Thanks a lot, SkyeWelse for your great help!   :-*
It seems, both (SW_LEFT/SW_RIGHT) are working for me.
I am now to able to load and run PC98 1MB FDD images on ePC-98DO.
Rude Breaker, Marble Madness and Dungeon Master tested.

Anna

SkyeWelse

September 06, 2014, 08:30:07 AM #31 Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 08:34:17 AM by SkyeWelse


Awesome. Great to hear!  :D

-Thomas

kobushi

September 06, 2014, 09:26:13 AM #32 Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 09:35:58 AM by kobushi
Quote from: SkyeWelse on September 06, 2014, 05:35:48 AM
If you take a look at this diagram here you'll see that there are two main dip switches on the left before you get to the trip of smaller dip switches on the right. I'm not real sure what this first dip switch does, but the second one from what I can determine will run a game in 98Mode when this second switch is flipped to the left, and in 88Mode when flipped to the right.
The switch on the left controls the processor speed. It switches between 8MHz and 4MHz in PC88 mode, and between 10MHz and 8MHz in PC98 mode.

Thanks for dumping the DO roms! These are very useful.

caius

September 06, 2014, 04:46:49 PM #33 Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 05:07:55 PM by caius
Quote from: kobushi on September 05, 2014, 10:57:38 AM

Is the power supply stable? The A Mate power supply is failure-prone, especially the version manufactured by Sanken Electric.

Hi, I'd say my PSU (manifactured by TAMURA, model PU729) is good since, as I said, system works well once you do a reset.The issue is only present when you power up the machine  fan spins but screen reamins black.Is there any BIOS settings I can change?I also replaced the original VL2330 battery with a CR2025 ( not rechargeable) but nothing to do.

P.S.
Are all BIOS settings documented?Sadly my japanese is bad...
Besides, I presume my PC-9821AP2/U8W has a  i486DX2(66MHz) CPU.Can I use, instead, a DX4ODP100 like this:

http://page10.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/m126890483

caius

September 06, 2014, 05:25:19 PM #34 Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 07:30:37 PM by caius
Quote from: SkyeWelse on September 06, 2014, 05:35:48 AM


Caius, I too originally had some issues regarding getting some of the games to work correctly such as Night Slave which wanted to run the game in a strange resolution x 3, yes, 3 different screens on the same monitor... It wasn't until I tried running the boot.com file for the game Rusty (A very cool looking Castlevania clone) that it told me an error message that said to try running it with Dip Switch 2, 2-8 turned off. I believe the most important of these switches being changing 5Mhz to 2.5Mhz as I believe that most games require this setting to be 2.5Mhz. Once I did this changing all of my Dip Switch 2 switches 2-8 to off, I was able to run all of these games including Rusty.

Yes, indeed, it's what I have done, I changed GDC from 5MHz to 2.5MHz and now all games works (execept one or two, I have to check again)
By the way, are BIOS settings documented somewhere?

QuoteCaius said there might be a way or a process for making some disk based games into games that can be run from the harddrive with edits to autoexec.bat files and such, but I'd love to know what this process might be for some games that folks have gotten to work in the past so I can try my hand at getting AIZA, Falcom games in particular and the Xak series games to work directly from the Harddrive only if possible.

Yes, I't's a trial and error process, like we do on X68000.You must extract all the files from disk images to HDD and then looking at autoexec.bat and config.sys  you have to write your custom starting batch including all the needed files and drivers.


QuoteAlso Caius, regarding your post about creating a custom controller. Not sure if you saw my post here but this little programmable Joypad seems to be perfect since you can map any keys you want. When my friend Xalphenos gets his PC-98Ce I'm planning on mailing him this controller so that he can hopefully reproduce it. 

Yes, I 've seen your post , I'd like to get this programmable joypad but sadly is very rare to find.I found there are similar devices, also almost impossible to get since we are talking of old stuff:

http://j02.nobody.jp/jto98/desk_joystick/jcb98.htm

http://j02.nobody.jp/jto98/desk_joystick/jcad2.htm

http://j02.nobody.jp/jto98/desk_joystick/jscb.htm

http://j02.nobody.jp/jto98/desk_joystick/spgi.htm

I'd ike to try the PC-Engine keypad modification as showed here:

http://www.geocities.jp/wp_gopher/pc/98/keypad.html

but there are no explanations on site on how to map button to 'Z' and 'X' keys.


AnnaWu

Quote from: kobushi on August 25, 2014, 10:34:52 PM
Quote from: AnnaWu on August 22, 2014, 04:45:31 PM
Check the "np2-windows-170822.zip"
http://turboz.to/sandbox/   
This version support the AVI recording.
Select Other -> Wave record * while pressing SHIFT key *
ffdshow video codec tested and it is working > NP2_0000.avi
Neat!  :)

YUI recommend to use the MSU-SCLC codec for old-school games.
http://www.compression.ru/video/ls-codec/screen_capture_codec_en.html
Unfortunately, VLC doesn't support the "SCLS" audio- or videoformat.
The KBMedia Player support it but I prefer to use VLC.

caius

I found these pages, they explains how to connect a joypad DB9 male connector directly to the YM2608 (or YM2203) chip on PC-9821 with built-in sound

http://www.amy.hi-ho.ne.jp/nakajima-jr/com/appendix/pin.htm

http://homepage1.nifty.com/junke/pc/msx_joy/

http://www.geocities.co.jp/Broadway/5004/pc98x1.htm

I'm wondering how is it safe this kind of modification (to connect wires directly to the chip).It would be interesting to  check how connection to joystick port is made in a PC-9801-86 card (I can see from pictures the presence of some LC filters) 

SkyeWelse

September 07, 2014, 12:36:13 PM #37 Last Edit: September 07, 2014, 02:03:30 PM by SkyeWelse
Quote from: caius on September 06, 2014, 05:25:19 PM
Yes, indeed, it's wat I have done, I changed GDC from 5MHz to 2.5MHz and now all games works (execept one or two, I have to check again)
By the way, are BIOS settings documented somewhere?

QuoteCaius said there might be a way or a process for making some disk based games into games that can be run from the harddrive with edits to autoexec.bat files and such, but I'd love to know what this process might be for some games that folks have gotten to work in the past so I can try my hand at getting AIZA, Falcom games in particular and the Xak series games to work directly from the Harddrive only if possible.

Yes, I't's a trial and error process, like we do on X68000.You must extract all the files from disk images to HDD and then looking at autoexec.bat and config.sys  you have to write your custom starting batch including all the needed files and drivers.

Hi Caius,

Not sure if they are documented per se, but I've taken photos of all of the main menu/submenus. The brightness of the photos was pretty bad to where a lot of the text was difficult to read so I edited them in photoshop to decrease the brightness. Makes the picture quality overall darker and worse to look at but the text more legible. If there was a specific area or option you wanted to know about, I'm sure you could just ask about it here and perhaps one of us can assist with translating it or identifying what exactly it is supposed to do.

I'd be very curious to know of a few games that have already been converted to be working on a harddrive, especially if they are for PC-98 in particular, that way I could compare the disks of the game with that of the finished and tested working game installed in the HDD if you know of a few.

Thanks!

-Thomas

Nana

Hey all!

I'm trying to get my PC98 (model xb10) set up with this image, as I finally got a CF to IDE adapter to get a proper OS and some games installed on my PC9821. I haven't had enough time to properly experiment with everything yet, but upon boot, it does the memory load and then just stops. Could it be that the later win95 models are just incompatible with this image? I added a few more games to the image, but upon testing the converted nhd file in Neko Project II, it works just fine. However, I shouldn't be trying to write the nhd image to my CF hard drive, should I?

I have a dead floppy drive, so for the time being, I can't just boot to a dos floppy disk and look at the hdd, unfortunately.

I've still got some experimentation to do, but perhaps this is a common problem that someone may recognize.

Thanks for your time, and nice to meet you all.

kobushi

Hello Nana,

Try holding down Shift during bootup. This will perform a clean boot in MS-DOS 6.20. If a clean boot works, the problem is with the hard disk image. If a clean boot does not work, the problem is hardware-related.

Also check the software dipswitches just in case. Hold the Help key during bootup, and in the setup menu, make sure that SW2-6 and SW2-8 are both OFF (up).

You should NOT write the nhd file to a CF card. NHD files have a header which needs to be removed first. Using a hex editor, delete the first 512 bytes from the nhd file. For example, in XVI32, go to address 511 decimal (1FF hex), then select Edit->Delete to cursor. The first bytes of the raw, headerless file should be EB 0A 90 90. Now write the raw image using Win32DiskImager, for example.