Standard FMT HDD image V1

Started by Cyothevile, July 07, 2021, 12:42:00 PM

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Cyothevile

July 07, 2021, 12:42:00 PM Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 12:44:40 PM by Cyothevile
7/6/2021    V1  -   Initial Release





So you just got an FM Towns and you want to play games.  However you don't know how to go about it other than popping some CDs in.  Luckily for you I've made a hard drive image with pre-installed games.


The image file is 16gb since I used a 16gb SD card.  However only SCSI Device 0 with 10 partitions which equal 2GB roughly are being utilized.  The following image file has been tested on physical hardware with SCSI2SD hard drive emulators and in Tsugaru emulator which is the best FM Towns emulator. Zip file has the DAT file required for Tsugaru CMOS settings if you just want to stick to emulators.

To launch software you will need to have the CD rom in the CD tray if it's for hard drive installed games such as Super Street Fighter 2 or Strike Commander.  The doujin software doesn't require a floppy/cd rom drive.  Also just because a game is installed on the hard drive doesn't eliminate the need of a user disk/floppy for the applicable game.  The EXP file in TownsOS are executable files for games.  If the EXP file doesn't work or isnt present click the BAT file.

First of all change the CMOS batteries since they're dead. Now the SCSI2SD must be configured as: Device 0, 2GB maximum. The SD card at minimum must be 16GB. Use win32imager to write the image to SD card. Now place SD card into the SCSI2SD and specifically place a TOWNSOS CD into the CD rom drive.  Now configure the hard drive settings by adding all 10 partitions into CMOS.  G Partition must be selected as your boot partition as that has TownsOS on it.

I have zero experience with other hard drive emulators specifically those CF card types.  If you get it working please post your findings and what you did.


There are 10 partitions mapped out on the hard drive. 

F Partition is currently empty.

G Partition is your boot partition.  By default I have modified the TBIOS.INI file to perform internal conversion to 31khz.  It will only affect applicable desktop models such as MX/ME/MA type desktops and beyond. TownsOS V2.1 L40 is installed.

At the end of the INI file should read "/S" .   To revert to stock and NOT perform internal conversion, open the TBIOS.INI file for editing and switch it to "/D".

H Partition is filled to the brim with doujinsoftware.  Doujinsoft1. The software often has an abbreviated folder name. Everything should run on a base FMT computer minus Alltynex which requires a 486 and additional RAM.



I'll list the individual software names and folder abbreviations at a later time.


I Partition is filled with doujinsoftware.


I'll list the individual software names and folder abbreviations at a later time.



J Partition is filled with pre-installed Towns game software. Most of it still requires the standard CD rom but you launch the EXP or BAT file from the hard drive. Cameltry, Columns and Doom won't require a CD.

Alone in the Dark 2    installed! J Partition  indark2
Ring Out!!! installed! J Partition RING
The Horde installed! J partition horde
Elfish installed! J partition fmelfish
gakuen king installed! J partition ali_gaku
Strike Commander Plus installed! J partition  EAV_SC
Branmarker     BRAN
Columns  (floppy game I cracked)
Cameltry (floppy game I cracked)
DOOM V1.1 L10 with freeware WAD programmed by BCC  *****requires a DX2, 8MB RAM and forced FAST mode to be playable. Runs like shit on 486SX desktop******


K Partition is filled with pre-installed Towns game software.  Most of it still requires the standard CD rom but you launch the EXP or BAT file from the hard drive.


Wing Commander II and Special Operations K Partition   WC2
Cyberia  isntalled!  K Partition    Cyberia
Mugen Houyou  installed! K partition  ALICE_MU
Golf Links 386 Pro  installed! K Partition  cybelle/links386
Toushin Toshi II - Soshite, Sorekara installed! K Partition  ali_t2sp
Rance 4.1 - Okusuri Koujou o Sukue! K partition ALI_R41
Rance 4.2 - Angel-gumi  K partition  ALI_R42
Strike Commander K Partition EAV_SC
Lesser Mern K Partition  LM
Wing Commander Armada K Partition   ArmadaJ
Alice no Yakata III K Partition  ALICE_3

L Partition is filled with pre-installed Towns game software. Most of it still requires the standard CD rom but you launch the EXP or BAT file from the hard drive.

Might and Magic V   L Partition  XEEN
SSF2     L partion  SSF2
Bacta 1&2   L Partition    BACTAFM
Branmarker 2 BM2
Only You - Seikimatsu no Juliet-tachi  ALI_ONLY
Ultima Underworld II UW2TOWNS
Strike Commander - EAV_SC

M Partition is empty but reserved for game installation.

N Partition I have reserved for software development with the High C Compiler, Basic 386 interpreter and Assembler pre-installed.  The C libraries are also installed for developers.

O Partition is reserved for apps.

CXCACHE folder.
Enables the Cache on systems with a Cyrix or Texas Instruments 486 processor. Note enabling cache can break a lot of software.  Some software does show signs of improvement and some break. Most of them break.  The effects aren't as important in an emulator as physical hardware has the most radical improvements in performance or breaks in performance. Software untested on other 486 branded processors.

TownsMusic placed there for developing some PCM and FM sound. I hope some musicians consider playing around with it :)
EXP files located in sound folder.
PaintII executable is located in Paint2 folder.
Museim Towns executable is in the root M4Main.exp.  I believe this has MIDI composition capability.



Software I have trouble installing to hard drive and are not installed:

DPS Zenbu   trouble installing
Aeternam trouble installing
Angel Halo?  not possible?
burai?  trouble installing
Abel?  crashes in tsugaru / not possible?
Genocide 1&2 trouble installing
Cyber Motion V1.0 trouble installing
Gadget - Invention, Travel, & Adventure  trouble installing
Menzoberranzan - Yami no Monshou trouble installing
Moeru Asoko no Paipai Yuugi - Fukkatsu! Mahjong Oukoku - crashes loading in tsugaru?
Return to Zork trouble installing
Theme Park (not dumped anywhere?)
Wing Commander - The Secret Missions & The Secret Missions 2 - Crusade
Lunatic Dawn II (I think) wont load or install
Magic and Might 4


Feedback is welcome.  If I wasn't so boomer-esk I would upload photos within the thread.


https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1hnWOka_71_RTvqvwYF2xBpCsuuRvuGuJ?usp=sharing

SuperDeadite

I don't have a way of testing your image, I still use a stanard scsi hdd on my Fresh.  But, a lot of games like Genocide Squared, Mahou Daisakusen, must boot from CD and then can be installed to partition D: only.

Alone in the Dark 1 and Sim City 2000 should be easy to install in TownsOS.  (Game CD is required to launch though.)

Syndicate should be very easy to add, you simply install and run off HDD.  No CD is required to play.  But,it (and a lot of the western DOS ports) must be installed and launched from the command line prompt.  They do not support the TownsOS GUI at all.

Cyothevile

Quote from: SuperDeadite on July 09, 2021, 09:34:19 PMI don't have a way of testing your image, I still use a stanard scsi hdd on my Fresh.  But, a lot of games like Genocide Squared, Mahou Daisakusen, must boot from CD and then can be installed to partition D: only.

Alone in the Dark 1 and Sim City 2000 should be easy to install in TownsOS.  (Game CD is required to launch though.)

Syndicate should be very easy to add, you simply install and run off HDD.  No CD is required to play.  But,it (and a lot of the western DOS ports) must be installed and launched from the command line prompt.  They do not support the TownsOS GUI at all.

I suspected I had to use MSDOS 6.2 to install the ones I had trouble with along with the EU ported software. Haven't tried yet. Also part of reason why I left Partition D empty with nothing there; some titles are hard-headed and want to go there only.

Also thank you for letting me know those two titles. I'll get around to adding them one day.  I bought a 2GB SD card yesterday so hopefully no insane 16gb image.

SuperDeadite

Afaik, you only need to install DOS if you want to install Windows.  I only have TownsOS 2.51 L30 installed on my machine, to install and play syndicate I just let TownsOS boot up, then quit out to the prompt.

incrediblehark

Thanks for this and the very detailed write up! I plan on trying this out soon, waiting to get my wizard preorder and change out my batteries.

fidelware

hello, i'm new to fm towns, first of all, thank you very much for your contribution.  I am following the instructions to mount the SCSI2SD, I have burned the Standard FMT HDD image V1.  and in townos the partitions appear like this.  that's how it is?  or do I do something wrong?
 url=https://subefotos.com/ver/?db95c53c8a1b12b5795130324286af20o.jpg][/url]

fidelware

Quote from: fidelware on September 03, 2021, 06:20:08 AMhello, i'm new to fm towns, first of all, thank you very much for your contribution.  I am following the instructions to mount the SCSI2SD, I have burned the Standard FMT HDD image V1.  and in townos the partitions appear like this.  that's how it is?  or do I do something wrong?
 url=https://subefotos.com/ver/?db95c53c8a1b12b5795130324286af20o.jpg][/url]
DO NOT WORRY, I HAVE ALREADY GOT IT

Cyothevile

I can confirm I was able to get this hard drive image working using the cheapest hard drive emulator I've ever seen, blue SCSI. You will also require SCSI50 to IDC50 cable. You don't need to provide 5V to hard drive emulator as it gets power from pull-up resistor array.

I purchased the DIY assembly kit on eBay. What is critical is the file name or the computer won't detect HDD.

I will edit the post after I get HDD file name that I used. Very critical.

Also I had to use two different sandisk SD cards. Very odd. They're both authentic and totally fine. The white sandisk 16GB card didn't work but I had a 400GB orange/red card and that worked. Obviously I won't use 400GB card long term

paran01d

I'm building one this weekend from a kit, looking forward to testing it out

fidelware

Quote from: Cyothevile on September 23, 2021, 01:48:43 AMI can confirm I was able to get this hard drive image working using the cheapest hard drive emulator I've ever seen, blue SCSI. You will also require SCSI50 to IDC50 cable. You don't need to provide 5V to hard drive emulator as it gets power from pull-up resistor array.

I purchased the DIY assembly kit on eBay. What is critical is the file name or the computer won't detect HDD.

I will edit the post after I get HDD file name that I used. Very critical.

Also I had to use two different sandisk SD cards. Very odd. They're both authentic and totally fine. The white sandisk 16GB card didn't work but I had a 400GB orange/red card and that worked. Obviously I won't use 400GB card long term
Great information thanks, I think the image needs to be renamed to HD01_512.hda

paran01d

Quote from: Cyothevile on September 23, 2021, 01:48:43 AMWhat is critical is the file name or the computer won't detect HDD.

I will edit the post after I get HDD file name that I used. Very critical.

Ok I built my BlueSCSI and created a simple 1gb image file at a file called HD00_512.hda. I installed it internally in my Towns MFII via the empty caddy that came with it.

BlueSCSI seems to recognize the sd card as evidenced by the log file on the card, when I attempt to boot towns os from the cd or from floppy it starts to boot a HDD option light comes on and it crashes. If i play around with the terminator jumps and removing the terminator from my external SCSI port I can get it to boot without the HDD option light coming on but I cant access any drives (from SETUP2.EXE) to partition them.

Is the sector size not 512 and i need a different filename for it ? Different device number ?

thanks

Cyothevile

Quote from: paran01d on October 05, 2021, 03:40:51 PM
Quote from: Cyothevile on September 23, 2021, 01:48:43 AMWhat is critical is the file name or the computer won't detect HDD.

I will edit the post after I get HDD file name that I used. Very critical.

Ok I built my BlueSCSI and created a simple 1gb image file at a file called HD00_512.hda. I installed it internally in my Towns MFII via the empty caddy that came with it.

BlueSCSI seems to recognize the sd card as evidenced by the log file on the card, when I attempt to boot towns os from the cd or from floppy it starts to boot a HDD option light comes on and it crashes. If i play around with the terminator jumps and removing the terminator from my external SCSI port I can get it to boot without the HDD option light coming on but I cant access any drives (from SETUP2.EXE) to partition them.

Is the sector size not 512 and i need a different filename for it ? Different device number ?

thanks

Are you sure the positions of terminating resistors are correct? Because it seems like you cant even view the files.

paran01d

Quote from: Cyothevile on October 05, 2021, 08:35:28 PM
Quote from: paran01d on October 05, 2021, 03:40:51 PM
Quote from: Cyothevile on September 23, 2021, 01:48:43 AMWhat is critical is the file name or the computer won't detect HDD.

I will edit the post after I get HDD file name that I used. Very critical.

Ok I built my BlueSCSI and created a simple 1gb image file at a file called HD00_512.hda. I installed it internally in my Towns MFII via the empty caddy that came with it.

BlueSCSI seems to recognize the sd card as evidenced by the log file on the card, when I attempt to boot towns os from the cd or from floppy it starts to boot a HDD option light comes on and it crashes. If i play around with the terminator jumps and removing the terminator from my external SCSI port I can get it to boot without the HDD option light coming on but I cant access any drives (from SETUP2.EXE) to partition them.

Is the sector size not 512 and i need a different filename for it ? Different device number ?

thanks

Are you sure the positions of terminating resistors are correct? Because it seems like you cant even view the files.

Ok the external terminator is not the issue, it just changes whether I need to have the power molex connected to the BlueSCSI or not.

* If the power molex is connected and external terminator is not I get green HDD option and crash
* If the power molex is not connected and external terminator is connected I get green HDD option and crash
* If the power molex is not connected and external terminator is not I can boot but no drives are seen

I tried with a few different file names all with the same effect:
* HD00_512.hda
* HD01_512.hda
* HD10_512.hda
* HD20_512.hda
* HD30_512.hda
* HD40_512.hda

Once I got to device 5 HD50_512.hda no HDD option light and no devices. Which I guess is expected.

paran01d

Also I am not sure this is expected but if I unplug the cd drive, I don't get the green HDD option light but the towns halts in the same way.

Cyothevile

Quote from: paran01d on October 05, 2021, 10:31:52 PM
Quote from: Cyothevile on October 05, 2021, 08:35:28 PM
Quote from: paran01d on October 05, 2021, 03:40:51 PM
Quote from: Cyothevile on September 23, 2021, 01:48:43 AMWhat is critical is the file name or the computer won't detect HDD.

I will edit the post after I get HDD file name that I used. Very critical.

Ok I built my BlueSCSI and created a simple 1gb image file at a file called HD00_512.hda. I installed it internally in my Towns MFII via the empty caddy that came with it.

BlueSCSI seems to recognize the sd card as evidenced by the log file on the card, when I attempt to boot towns os from the cd or from floppy it starts to boot a HDD option light comes on and it crashes. If i play around with the terminator jumps and removing the terminator from my external SCSI port I can get it to boot without the HDD option light coming on but I cant access any drives (from SETUP2.EXE) to partition them.

Is the sector size not 512 and i need a different filename for it ? Different device number ?

thanks

Are you sure the positions of terminating resistors are correct? Because it seems like you cant even view the files.

Ok the external terminator is not the issue, it just changes whether I need to have the power molex connected to the BlueSCSI or not.

* If the power molex is connected and external terminator is not I get green HDD option and crash
* If the power molex is not connected and external terminator is connected I get green HDD option and crash
* If the power molex is not connected and external terminator is not I can boot but no drives are seen

I tried with a few different file names all with the same effect:
* HD00_512.hda
* HD01_512.hda
* HD10_512.hda
* HD20_512.hda
* HD30_512.hda
* HD40_512.hda

Once I got to device 5 HD50_512.hda no HDD option light and no devices. Which I guess is expected.

I  did have an SD card just not want to play with my bluescsi before and I had to try a different one and it worked.  It could be the same for your situation.  I tried a 64gb orange color Sandisk card and 400GB and they work very well.  The white 16gb one 'wasn't detected' by the bluescsi according to the LED blinking.  If you need some more help with bluescsi there is a discord server you can ask for help.

If you self-assembled the only thing that could be trouble is the position of your terminating resistors or the pins for micro SD slot. Otherwise I think it's the SD card.  This doesn't mean you need to light SD card on fire since winter is coming soon.  Just try a different one.  I wish there was a list of known-good models.


HD00_512.hda   is the file name I used to set it to SCSI drive 0.  Unrelated to Towns but I actually use that file name for using V4 image in X68000 computer too and it worked for my compact. 

paran01d

Quote from: Cyothevile on October 06, 2021, 02:10:45 AM
Quote from: paran01d on October 05, 2021, 10:31:52 PM
Quote from: Cyothevile on October 05, 2021, 08:35:28 PM
Quote from: paran01d on October 05, 2021, 03:40:51 PM
Quote from: Cyothevile on September 23, 2021, 01:48:43 AMWhat is critical is the file name or the computer won't detect HDD.

I will edit the post after I get HDD file name that I used. Very critical.

Ok I built my BlueSCSI and created a simple 1gb image file at a file called HD00_512.hda. I installed it internally in my Towns MFII via the empty caddy that came with it.

BlueSCSI seems to recognize the sd card as evidenced by the log file on the card, when I attempt to boot towns os from the cd or from floppy it starts to boot a HDD option light comes on and it crashes. If i play around with the terminator jumps and removing the terminator from my external SCSI port I can get it to boot without the HDD option light coming on but I cant access any drives (from SETUP2.EXE) to partition them.

Is the sector size not 512 and i need a different filename for it ? Different device number ?

thanks

Are you sure the positions of terminating resistors are correct? Because it seems like you cant even view the files.

Ok the external terminator is not the issue, it just changes whether I need to have the power molex connected to the BlueSCSI or not.

* If the power molex is connected and external terminator is not I get green HDD option and crash
* If the power molex is not connected and external terminator is connected I get green HDD option and crash
* If the power molex is not connected and external terminator is not I can boot but no drives are seen

I tried with a few different file names all with the same effect:
* HD00_512.hda
* HD01_512.hda
* HD10_512.hda
* HD20_512.hda
* HD30_512.hda
* HD40_512.hda

Once I got to device 5 HD50_512.hda no HDD option light and no devices. Which I guess is expected.

I  did have an SD card just not want to play with my bluescsi before and I had to try a different one and it worked.  It could be the same for your situation.  I tried a 64gb orange color Sandisk card and 400GB and they work very well.  The white 16gb one 'wasn't detected' by the bluescsi according to the LED blinking.  If you need some more help with bluescsi there is a discord server you can ask for help.

If you self-assembled the only thing that could be trouble is the position of your terminating resistors or the pins for micro SD slot. Otherwise I think it's the SD card.  This doesn't mean you need to light SD card on fire since winter is coming soon.  Just try a different one.  I wish there was a list of known-good models.


HD00_512.hda   is the file name I used to set it to SCSI drive 0.  Unrelated to Towns but I actually use that file name for using V4 image in X68000 computer too and it worked for my compact. 

According to the BlueSCSI its ok with the card, no flashing lights and the log file seems to suggest its working. Ive tried the one other type of card I have and no luck either. I don't have the right cables to try it on my X68000. Ill ask for some help from the BlueSCSI teams them..

thanks for your help so far.

Cyothevile

One more thing. 

I noticed you made your own image?

Can you try the image I posted but rename it to HD00_512.HDA?

paran01d

Quote from: Cyothevile on October 06, 2021, 07:56:55 AMOne more thing. 

I noticed you made your own image?

Can you try the image I posted but rename it to HD00_512.HDA?

I just tried this again to make sure, and yep same issue. The file is actually too big to fit on a 16gb sdcard (as its not got a file system) but that shouldn't matter as there is only 2gb of data in it anyway.

I also decided to try my scsi2sd in external mode just to rule out anything with the towns and this works as expected. Ive got an adapter on the way so I can try it internally and also try it out with my X68000.

Cyothevile

Quote from: paran01d on October 08, 2021, 07:15:04 PM
Quote from: Cyothevile on October 06, 2021, 07:56:55 AMOne more thing. 

I noticed you made your own image?

Can you try the image I posted but rename it to HD00_512.HDA?

I just tried this again to make sure, and yep same issue. The file is actually too big to fit on a 16gb sdcard (as its not got a file system) but that shouldn't matter as there is only 2gb of data in it anyway.

I also decided to try my scsi2sd in external mode just to rule out anything with the towns and this works as expected. Ive got an adapter on the way so I can try it internally and also try it out with my X68000.

I understand.

I have been meaning to try to make a smaller file size but I'm uncertain how to do so.

I'm assuming it's some data-type manipulation. If there is a way to generate a 2GB empty file in an emulator I will be able to make smaller file

paran01d

Quote from: Cyothevile on October 08, 2021, 10:41:18 PMI understand.

I have been meaning to try to make a smaller file size but I'm uncertain how to do so.

I'm assuming it's some data-type manipulation. If there is a way to generate a 2GB empty file in an emulator I will be able to make smaller file

Ok I just used dd on linux to copy out 2gb from your image file into another file. I tested it on my towns with my scsi2sd.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oZXg0NKmyC6IKN9d1s8qlwYONiNTs1XQ/view?usp=sharing

I used the following command (the count is the number of 512byte blocks to copy from if to of):
$> dd if=~/fmtowns/TownsHDD_V1.HDM of=/fmtowns/TownsHDD_V1_small.hdm bs=512 count=3911680 status=progress

I was not able to test it fully as I still don't have a mouse, but towns os booted up and I could see all the partitions.

Cyothevile

Thank you for making it smaller :)

Now people can use any 1-2gb cards floating around