HDD image for FM-Towns

Started by amigo-mexicano, June 10, 2021, 10:46:22 AM

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amigo-mexicano

June 10, 2021, 10:46:22 AM Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 12:46:50 PM by amigo-mexicano
Hello everyone, I was wondering if HDD images to use on FM-Towns exists, the same way there are for X68000 and PC-98 computers. I've been looking for a while and haven't found any... Anyone has an image to dd on a cf or sd and have some fun with the FMT?

Thanks!
From Mexico City... Amigo-Mexicano!
Also known as: "compil3r" || video-juegos.com

amigo-mexicano

June 10, 2021, 04:26:15 PM #1 Last Edit: June 11, 2021, 09:12:53 AM by amigo-mexicano
[UPDATE]

Found something from caius posted on other forum. I'll post my findings here for reference.

It's an MS-DOS HDD image file for FM-Towns II, which includes some games in the D: drive.

The post also mention the image can be written to a CF card using Winimage. Will download and test.

Download the image from here: https://www.mediafire.com/file/elregv8jp5rkxa6/MS-DOS_6.2L10_bootable_HDD_CD-ROM_P.zip/file

Backup upload here: https://www49.zippyshare.com/v/4vQJZuxe/file.html
From Mexico City... Amigo-Mexicano!
Also known as: "compil3r" || video-juegos.com

Cyothevile

Very excellent contribution.

I planned to try to make an ultimate hard drive image for FM Towns with most the preinstalled software. Progress has been a bit slow since I wanted to use desktop to do it. I've concluded it would be ideal to have a hard drive image for 386 machines and then ones for desktop with DX2+.

By the way what CF hard drive option are you using?

amigo-mexicano

Quote from: Cyothevile on June 11, 2021, 08:56:30 AMVery excellent contribution.

I planned to try to make an ultimate hard drive image for FM Towns with most the preinstalled software. Progress has been a bit slow since I wanted to use desktop to do it. I've concluded it would be ideal to have a hard drive image for 386 machines and then ones for desktop with DX2+.

By the way what CF hard drive option are you using?

Nice! Please consider to share with us your HDD images, it would be fun to test on real machines.

Well, actually this installation will go in a friend's FM-Towns II, he's using an AztecMonster SCSI to CF adapter.

PD. @caius if you have an update to your hdd image, please let us know!
From Mexico City... Amigo-Mexicano!
Also known as: "compil3r" || video-juegos.com

amigo-mexicano

OMG look what I've found!


Source post, archived from a dead forum...

Too bad the download links are dead, these are great HDD images!

QuoteImage with SCSI CD ROM drivers (ID6)
https://www.file-upload.net/download-12922975/towns.vhd.html
- will not boot without SCSI CD ROM

Image with excluded SCSI CD ROM drivers
https://www.file-upload.net/download-12923067/townshdd.7z.html
- boots everywhere

I've tried to contact the author over twitter to see if he still have the hdd images and wish to re-share them, let's hope so!
From Mexico City... Amigo-Mexicano!
Also known as: "compil3r" || video-juegos.com

Cyothevile

Quote from: amigo-mexicano on June 11, 2021, 10:35:53 AMOMG look what I've found!


Source post, archived from a dead forum...

Too bad the download links are dead, these are great HDD images!

QuoteImage with SCSI CD ROM drivers (ID6)
https://www.file-upload.net/download-12922975/towns.vhd.html
- will not boot without SCSI CD ROM

Image with excluded SCSI CD ROM drivers
https://www.file-upload.net/download-12923067/townshdd.7z.html
- boots everywhere

I've tried to contact the author over twitter to see if he still have the hdd images and wish to re-share them, let's hope so!

Oh I know exactly who that is. I will ask him if he still has it.


amigo-mexicano

From Mexico City... Amigo-Mexicano!
Also known as: "compil3r" || video-juegos.com

Cyothevile

I didn't test this yet.

This is the one with a lot of pre-installed software like the photo?

amigo-mexicano

Quote from: Cyothevile on June 12, 2021, 02:38:19 AMI didn't test this yet.

This is the one with a lot of pre-installed software like the photo?

Yes it is. There's another hdd image that includes the SCSI drivers. The author replied on twitter sending me the exact link you posted here. I've asked him if he could share also the other hdd image... besides the drivers, both images are the same, with pre-installed software, nice!
From Mexico City... Amigo-Mexicano!
Also known as: "compil3r" || video-juegos.com

dankcomputing

June 21, 2021, 04:41:59 AM #10 Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 04:44:09 AM by dankcomputing
Took some doing to get this to work, but I'm a newbie so I didn't realize that you have to boot from a TownsOS 2.1 CD and add the drive letter to get the drive to boot. Otherwise the machine just gives a stuck beep when it tries to boot off the drive.

Had to add the translated setup2.exe as well. The image doesn't like the default extended memory settings (at least on my 2F), and that'll let you experiment with different settings until it stops complaining.

dankcomputing

I noticed that most of the CD-related stuff in the AUTOEXEC.BAT and/or CONFIG.SYS for the drive image is commented out. Likely because of that I can't get the CD drive to show up in TownsOS. Was this done for a reason or can I just uncomment those lines and get CDs back on the desktop?

Jehuty

The image expects a scsi drive with ID6 on the external scsi plug.

dankcomputing

How can I re-enable the built-in drive?

Cyothevile

Quote from: dankcomputing on June 21, 2021, 02:26:44 PMI noticed that most of the CD-related stuff in the AUTOEXEC.BAT and/or CONFIG.SYS for the drive image is commented out. Likely because of that I can't get the CD drive to show up in TownsOS. Was this done for a reason or can I just uncomment those lines and get CDs back on the desktop?

You can't view the Q drive in TownsOS?

Is the drive empty VERY SPECIFICALLY before entering TownsOS or is there software/CD in the drive?

dankcomputing

June 22, 2021, 01:55:31 PM #15 Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 09:21:25 AM by dankcomputing
There's no entry for the Q drive in TownsOS, no. Nothing appears if i leave a CD in it during bootup. If I put a disc in afterwards nothing happens either.

dankcomputing

Here is the AUTOEXEC.BAT that is on the image:

@ECHO OFF
rem \DOS\SMARTDRV.EXE /X
SET PATH=D:\;D:\;
SET TOMH=D:\HELP
SET ICN=D:\
LH \\MOUSE.COM
rem MSCDEX.EXE /D:CDROM /K /M:8 /L:Q > NUL

\HCOPY\COCO
IF ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO END
\SIDEWORK\SIDEWORK
IF ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO END
\SYSINIT\SYSINIT
IF ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO END
\HCOPY\COCO_MEM \HCOPY\FORRBIOS.NSD \NSDD\SMSG.NSD
IF ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO END
CONTROL -v -p -callbuf 32
:END


and here is the CONFIG.SYS:
DEVICE=\SYS\TOS.SYS

DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS /LIM:NEW /TESTMEM:OFF
DEVICE=EMM386.EXE ON RAM
DOS=HIGH,UMB

rem DEVICEHIGH=\\SETVER.EXE

DEVICE=\TBIOS\TBIOSLD.SYS
DEVICE=\TOWNS.SYS

REM DEVICEHIGH=\\CTL.SYS
REM DEVICEHIGH=\\KKCFUNC.SYS
REM DEVICE=\\OAK0.SYS
REM DEVICE=\\OAK1.SYS /S0 /H1 /K0 /R0 /M3 /B1 /O1
DEVICE=\SYS\T_KANJI.SYS
REM DEVICE=\\GDS.SYS

rem DEVICE=\CDSD.SYS /D:TOWNS_CD /I6
rem DEVICE=\CDISC2.SYS /D:TOWNS_CD /D:SCSI_CD /N:CDROM

BUFFERS=8
FILES=20
LASTDRIVE=R

Cyothevile

In AUTOEXEC:

Q drive is nulled out. After the Q drive is defined, remove the "> null" line.

You shouldnt have to define Q drive as IPL ROM should have it permanently defined as Q. Weird. But try it out.

dankcomputing

Figured it out. Had to change the CONFIG.SYS lines:

rem DEVICE=\CDSD.SYS /D:TOWNS_CD /I6
rem DEVICE=\CDISC2.SYS /D:TOWNS_CD /D:SCSI_CD /N:CDROM

to:

DEVICE=\DOS\CDDRV.SYS /D:TOWNS_CD /U0:0
DEVICE=\DOS\CDISC.SYS

and the AUTOEXEC.BAT line:

rem MSCDEX.EXE /D:CDROM /K /M:8 /L:Q > NUL
to:
MSCDEX.EXE /D:TOWNS_CD /K /M:8 /L:Q

incrediblehark

Awesome! Hope to try this out eventually

Cyothevile

How did you guys edit the image exactly? because diskexplorer and winimager won't open this file.

I'm trying to edit it in tsugaru emulator so I can get GUI interface with those files. I hate dos screens

Jehuty

I have installed the english version of Towns OS 1.1 on a 2nd partition. There is a texteditor included.

Cyothevile

Well for those that have this running where you click the partition and have files visible in townsOS and stock CD Rom work can you post the hard drive image? It will save me some time. I use ODE so I need access to CD Rom drive.

I would like to further add additional software specifically some floppy games. Columns and cameltry for example once cracked they are playable from hard drive.

Intent is to make a hard drive image just like X68000. Will take time of course. Some of the dumps that are appearing on archive.org, dumps from redump etc... Can be added.

BabaJeanmel

I actually did a conversion of this image for UNZ, and even extracted some of its content to run it on Tsugaru. I posted it on Tokugawa a few months ago.

If you want to use DiskEdit with FMT images, you need the fmimg plugin in the same directory as your executable. I don't remember where I found it, but here it is, along with all my homemade FMT stuff (including the aforementioned converted HDD image and a few conversions for Tsugaru) :

https://mega.nz/folder/vaJ2mZwI#Ft6MoiuLfYWzHcggIpGnYw

Feel free to dig in !

incrediblehark


dankcomputing

Didn't even know any games had been translated!

Cyothevile

So now that I know how to manipulate stuff in TownsOS, emulator etc I'm making a bigger image. Well, I'm including it with preinstalled games that require installation and all doujinsoft in folders. Originally I wanted to make this for me and a few friends. If anyone wants it I'll make it available.

You will need a hard drive emulator to use on original hardware. At least 16gb SD card or cf card depending on what you use.

fredohenriquez

Quote from: Cyothevile on July 05, 2021, 10:46:15 AMSo now that I know how to manipulate stuff in TownsOS, emulator etc I'm making a bigger image. Well, I'm including it with preinstalled games that require installation and all doujinsoft in folders. Originally I wanted to make this for me and a few friends. If anyone wants it I'll make it available.

You will need a hard drive emulator to use on original hardware. At least 16gb SD card or cf card depending on what you use.

I would like to have access to that new image you are working on. Could you share it when its done?

dankcomputing

July 06, 2021, 09:13:44 AM #28 Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 04:31:50 AM by dankcomputing
Did anyone ever devise a method of getting around TownsOS's 128MB partition size limit? I know there's also a 2GB total drive size limit.

Cyothevile

My image is quite close to being done.

Incorporates all doujin software on the hard drive and all of it loads fine. I'll probably make a totally seperate thread for it. I'm having severe difficulty getting certain software to install.
For example I cannot for the god damn life of me get Return To Zork to install to HDD! I own the physical CD also and have trouble! There's like 15ish other titles I've had severe trouble with. If it won't install in Tsugaru it won't install on a physical FM Towns computer I've primarily been messing with which is HR100.
I'll have a readme file in primary partition regarding what software is in what partition etc. If the system requirements are beyond a 386 with 2MB of RAM I will list the system requirements. Also just because a retail game is on HDD does not eliminate requirement for CD rom; CDDA and CDXA audio sources are still required for example in SSF2. It just loads quicker as a result. All doujin software loads on a base 386mhz 2mb ram model with the exception of alltynex which requires a 486SX & 2mb ram (runs on 486 Marty for me a bit slow).


But again last pieces of trouble is that some software that has hardware installation isn't installing at all and stalls or crashes. The only other solution I can think of is trying to install in DOS itself or actually trying a different Towns desktop I own like EA type fresh. I can list game by game where I have some trouble.

incrediblehark

Thanks for putting in all of this work for what sounds like will be the best HDD image available for Towns! Looking forward to trying it out whenever I get around to setting up a hard drive in my FM Towns II Tower.

I wish I could help more with your installation problems, the only thing I'm wondering if it has to do with what version TownsOS is running on your system? Its been a really long time since I messed around with any of this but I think I recall some games having issues with newer versions, such as New Zealand Story. Or I could be mistaken, if so I apologize for the misinformation.

Cyothevile

I have 2.1 L50 I think.
I might switch to 2.1 L40 since multiple pieces of software I've dumped advise that revision.

Also I was able to get townspaintII and townssound installed into the same partition and bootable. Seems stable. I think there was some midi software also written for Towns? I need to dive deeper

incrediblehark

Yeah I think so, SuperDeadite would probably know best. Been curious as to what games, if any, supported midi. I have a bunch of random discs / software collections I should go through and see if any haven't been dumped, there might be some interesting apps to add to the HDD.

Cyothevile

Generally the games that supported MIDI are going to be the ones that had a cross release on the X68000 which is significantly more documented than the FM Towns. 

SuperDeadite

MIDI is a bit of a mess on Towns, some games support the internal mixer and some don't. Also there are various MIDI interfaces, the old Towns "white slot" types are much rarer than the New Towns "black slot" types.  I am lucky enough to have one with SC55Mk2 daughterboard myself. 

I/O Slot board support:
Genocide Squared (SC-55)
J.B. Harold Murder Club DX (SC-55)
Xak III (SC-55 and CM-64)
Illusion City (MT-32)

Serial MIDI support:
Stronghold
Lord of the Rings 1 and 2

I own Stronghold, and have tried various serial cables and never gotten it to work.  Manual doesn't explain much.  I think an MPU401 box might be required between the serial output and module, but I don't have one to try.