Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-1-16 @ 00:05

Okay, this is driving me absolutely mad and I could really use some help.

I have a working DOSBox-ready version of the original "Gold Rush!" Sierra game. When I run it in DOSBox, it simply works.

When I copy the files onto a couple of 720K floppies and copy all of the files to my IBM 5150's hard drive however, the game says "Insert Disk 1" as it tries to load the first scene after the intro (or when hitting Enter during the intro). Its strange because it starts to show the scene behind the "insert disk 1" message (the message blinks off when you hit enter then returns immediately after one short blip from the hard drive). I have to ctrl-alt-del to reboot the system to get out at this point.

The only things that are being added at the end of the game's custom DOSbox cfg (placed in the game's install directory) are the following:
Code: Select all
[autoexec]
cls
mount c .
c:
cd \
GR.com
exit


GR.com is the game executable. There is no reference to any special directories, no additional drives\directories mounted, and as far as the game is concerned it is heaped directly onto the root of the drive, so it doesn't seem to matter what directory the files are in (I've even tried it in C:\sierra\gr... just in case).

So what gives? I have a dozen other games on this computer and this is the only one that is giving so much trouble.

In desperation, I've also tried two other versions of the game and had the same exact problem. One is even a pre-cracked, original copy that requires you to type the "trivia" answers in the manual to start the game. It does the exact same thing if I hit Enter at the intro to proceed to the first scene. If I hit escape I can pull up the menu and exit the game... as long as that message hasn't appeared yet. Using the menu I've also tried disabling sound and it didn't make a difference (it was a stretch).

The strange thing is that the game never bothers accessing the floppy drive at all (either one... I have a 5.25" B: and 3.5" A:), and only makes the hard drive blip for a split second when the message pops up.

Anyone have any idea why such a basic a game would work in DOSBox with the default configuration and yet the same files copied directly to two disks (its almost 1.2MB, so the files won't all fit on one 720k floppy) then to a "GR" directory on a period-correct IBM 5150 wouldn't work? The game uses the PC-Speaker only, EGA graphics, only requires 256k of RAM... I'm baffled!

Specs of my 5150:
4.7Mhz AMD 8088
TinyTurbo 286 7.16Mhz AMD 286 upgrade card (switched on or off, doesn't seem to fix the problem, so its not a speed issue)
256K Onboard Memory
AST SixPakPlus loaded with 384k (640k total)
Everex EGA 256k card
20MB 3.5" Miniscribe MFM hard drive (on WD MFM controller)
"Newer" 3.5" 1.44MB Floppy
Original Tandon 5.25" Floppy
Original IBM Floppy Controller

Any help or possible leads would be much appreciated. I know I can just play it in DOSBox, but its such a perfect example of a game to run on this IBM that I just feel like I have to get this working.

Its like it can't find what its looking for on the hard drive... yet I've copied everything so many times if it were a hard drive problem it wouldn't be exactly the same every time.
Last edited by Ozzuneoj on 2017-1-16 @ 00:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-1-16 @ 00:15

you cant just copy files onto disks and play it. there are index files that are keyed to the disk (the files like logdir point inside like vol.1 and have disk indexes inside them so the game interpreter knows which disk to ask you to insert).

you need to find the original 720kb release or put them all onto the hard drive.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-1-16 @ 00:16

BloodyCactus wrote:or put them all onto the hard drive.

That's exactly what I did. My post says several times that I've copied the files to the hard drive.

On my main PC, game loads perfectly in DOSBox from C:\sierra\GR

copy the contents of the GR folder (minus DOSbox files) to two 720k disks

Copy all of those files from both disks onto my IBM 5150's hard drive to C:\sierra\GR

Game loads but asks for Disk 1 when trying to load the first scene.

Copying the same files from other versions of the game results in the same thing.
Last edited by Ozzuneoj on 2017-1-16 @ 00:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-1-16 @ 00:22

sounds like you overwrote one of the index files tho. you have to be careful which index files from which disk go where.

gold rush is agi 3... it has a grdir file this has the indexing in it and all the volume files. maybe your missing something or overwrote something
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-1-16 @ 00:25

BloodyCactus wrote:sounds like you overwrote one of the index files tho. you have to be careful which index files from which disk go where.

gold rush is agi 3... it has a grdir file this has the indexing in it and all the volume files. maybe your missing something or overwrote something

There is a grdir file in the directory and it is being copied properly. As I said, I've copied these files multiple times from multiple sources and always end up with the same result. If it works in DOSBox, nothing is missing. I have exactly the same file structure on the IBM as on my main PC.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-1-16 @ 00:29

Did you check none of the files are hidden? I've not tried GR on my 8088 but Ive had no issues just copying the files around.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-1-16 @ 00:36

BloodyCactus wrote:Did you check none of the files are hidden? I've not tried GR on my 8088 but Ive had no issues just copying the files around.

Yeah, checked that too. That was my last "AHAH!" revelation a little while ago, as I thought that might have been the case, but no... nothing is hidden. Same files in both directories, hidden or otherwise. I'm also using Volkov Commander on my 5150 to get a good look at what's there.

EDIT: Also, DOSBox's "Machine" entry was set to "Tandy" mode, but there was no change when switching it to "EGA" mode, so there should be no difference in the resources being used by DOSbox vs my IBM.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby skitters » 2017-1-16 @ 03:21

I don't know if it will help you at all, but the files on the 3.5" disk 1 of version 2.01 are
AGI
AGIDATA.OVL
CGA_GRAF.OVL
EGA_GRAF.OVL
EXIST.COM
GR122388.QA
_GR.BAT
GRDIR
GRVOL.0
GRVOL.1
HGC_GRAF.OVL
_INSTALL.BAT
INSTALLH.BAT
JR_GRAF.OVL
MAKEPATH.COM
OBJECT
RESETDSK.COM
SIERRA.COM
VG_GRAF.OVL
WORDS.TOK

The files on disk 2 are
GR122388.QA
GRVOL.0
GRVOL.2
OBJECT

The only unique file on disk 2 is GRVOL.2
The other three files (GR122388.QA, GRVOL.0, and OBJECT) have the same md5 as they do on disk 1.

The game installation creates a SIERRA folder.
Inside the SIERRA folder are a GR.BAT file and a GR folder.
This is the contents of the GR folder:
AGI
AGIDATA.OVL
CGA_GRAF.OVL
EGA_GRAF.OVL
EXIST.COM
GR122388.QA
_GR.BAT
GR.COM
GRDIR
GRVOL.0
GRVOL.1
GRVOL.2
HGC_GRAF.OVL
_INSTALL.BAT
INSTALLH.BAT
JR_GRAF.OVL
MAKEPATH.COM
OBJECT
SIERRA.COM
VG_GRAF.OVL
WORDS.TOK

The contents of the GR.BAT file are
cd \sierra\gr
gr %1 %2 %3 %4 %5
and a symbol that looks like an arrow pointing to the right.

Maybe you can use this info to reconstitute your game on the IBM, or make a floppy it accepts as disk 1.
The disk label of disk 1 is GOLDRUSH! 1
Attachments
grcontents.png
grcontents.png (5.58 KiB) Viewed 589 times
grbatcontents.png
grbatcontents.png (2.08 KiB) Viewed 589 times
Last edited by skitters on 2017-1-16 @ 21:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Jo22 » 2017-1-16 @ 03:34

I'm curious, which kind of DOS are you running on your 5150 ?
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-1-16 @ 05:28

Dos 3.3, forgot to mention that.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Jo22 » 2017-1-16 @ 07:32

Ah, okay. That one seems fine for a game of this age. I was just guessing were the problem does come from.
So I thought it might be comming from missing File Control Blocks (in DOS 6, people often insert FCBS=2,0 to save memory) or a similar legacy.
Another 80s game, -Spider-Man- I believe, used a deprecated DOS function (allowed "??" wildcards to be used in file names)
and thus only worked on DOS up to v. 2.10, but not on 2.11 and later versions.

I don't think that's the case here, but perhaps something similar is going on.
Perhaps DOS 3.30 doesn't support the full set of batch features yet ? No idea, just guessing. :sweatdrop:

There must be something that DOSBox can do, but what your system can't..
Maybe you can track down the error by using an emulator such as PCem or PCE and real DOS(es).

Edit: That arrow could be an end-of-file character, I believe.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-1-16 @ 13:41

I have the 5.25" version, I have vol files 0 to 12 (a couple missing numbers in between), but its my original 5.25" version

maybe check all attributes set only to archive and make sure all OVL files are present since they are the drivers.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-1-16 @ 14:40

Okay, I'm not at home at the moment but I'm wondering if the game requires an external DOS command to work. Something that wouldn't be on the IBM but is built in to DOSBox. I have a lot of additional .com and .exe files in my DOS path, so maybe there's a conflict of some kind.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby BloodyCactus » 2017-1-16 @ 15:03

gr.exe / agi does not call external commands and its dos interface is very very minial.

agi v3 stems from like 1988 timeline so dos 3.3 / 4 would be very very common. dos3.3 would be fine.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-1-16 @ 20:27

So, it sounds like this is a really weird one.

I haven't checked my config.sys for any strange entries yet, but it should be quite slim. This is actually the original DOS installation that was on this system when I got it (probably from 1987-1990), but there wasn't much on it, aside from a handful of games and a few applications. Didn't even have an autoexec.bat.

I'm thinking that when I get a chance I should copy it onto one of my Win9x systems to see if it works in DOS mode there.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Predator99 » 2017-1-16 @ 21:06

Why do you not post your DIR so we can take a look at it? ;-)

Mine is

12.10.2012 21:13 <DIR> .
12.10.2012 21:13 <DIR> ..
14.10.1988 00:23 904 _INSTALL.BAT
19.11.1988 00:31 40.520 AGI
18.11.1988 12:10 7.488 AGIDATA.OVL
18.11.1988 12:10 684 CGA_GRAF.OVL
18.11.1988 12:10 591 EGA_GRAF.OVL
19.09.1986 10:41 98 EXIST.COM
29.07.1988 21:32 3.134 GR.COM
23.12.1988 10:47 68 GR122388.QA
22.12.1988 20:37 2.399 GRDIR
22.12.1988 20:33 25.070 GRVOL.0
22.12.1988 20:34 207.528 GRVOL.1
22.12.1988 20:37 20.612 GRVOL.10
22.12.1988 20:37 10.123 GRVOL.11
22.12.1988 20:37 3.976 GRVOL.12
22.12.1988 20:34 125.702 GRVOL.2
22.12.1988 20:35 279.567 GRVOL.3
22.12.1988 20:36 259.527 GRVOL.4
22.12.1988 20:37 227.102 GRVOL.5
22.12.1988 20:37 26.174 GRVOL.9
18.11.1988 12:10 3.075 HGC_GRAF.OVL
18.11.1988 12:10 470 JR_GRAF.OVL
22.04.1987 13:05 74 MAKEPATH.COM
13.12.1988 11:25 1.814 OBJECT
19.07.1988 12:40 12 RESETDSK.COM
18.11.1988 12:10 362 VG_GRAF.OVL
22.12.1988 08:12 6.110 WORDS.TOK
26 Datei(en), 1.253.184 Bytes
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Predator99 » 2017-1-16 @ 21:14

An when taking a loopk into the install.bat you will see that it does not much more then copying 5 disk _completely_ to the dest. folder and
- deletes the bat
- renames sierra.com to gr.com

Nothing is overwritten during the copying. Therefore it should work without disks in one single directory.


rem ---- Copy the files from disk 1.
copy *.* %1\sierra\gr
del %1\sierra\gr\installh.bat
copy %1\sierra\gr\_gr.bat %1\sierra\gr.bat
del %1\sierra\gr\_gr.bat
ren %1\sierra\gr\sierra.com gr.com

:GetVol2
echo Please put disk 2 of Gold Rush in the drive.
pause
if not exist grvol.2 goto :GetVol2

copy *.* %1

:GetVol3
echo Please put disk 3 of Gold Rush in the drive.
pause
if not exist grvol.3 goto :GetVol3

copy *.* %1

:GetVol4
echo Please put disk 4 of Gold Rush in the drive.
pause
if not exist grvol.4 goto :GetVol4

copy *.* %1

:GetVol5
echo Please put disk 5 of Gold Rush in the drive.
pause
if not exist grvol.5 goto :GetVol5

copy *.* %1

rem ---- Everything has been copied -- tell the user how
rem ---- to start the game.
echo ÿ
echo ÿ
%1
cd \sierra
echo To play Gold Rush, type
echo cd \sierra
echo Then type
echo gr

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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-1-16 @ 22:40

Predator99 wrote:Why do you not post your DIR so we can take a look at it? ;-)

Mine is

12.10.2012 21:13 <DIR> .
12.10.2012 21:13 <DIR> ..
14.10.1988 00:23 904 _INSTALL.BAT
19.11.1988 00:31 40.520 AGI
18.11.1988 12:10 7.488 AGIDATA.OVL
18.11.1988 12:10 684 CGA_GRAF.OVL
18.11.1988 12:10 591 EGA_GRAF.OVL
19.09.1986 10:41 98 EXIST.COM
29.07.1988 21:32 3.134 GR.COM
23.12.1988 10:47 68 GR122388.QA
22.12.1988 20:37 2.399 GRDIR
22.12.1988 20:33 25.070 GRVOL.0
22.12.1988 20:34 207.528 GRVOL.1
22.12.1988 20:37 20.612 GRVOL.10
22.12.1988 20:37 10.123 GRVOL.11
22.12.1988 20:37 3.976 GRVOL.12
22.12.1988 20:34 125.702 GRVOL.2
22.12.1988 20:35 279.567 GRVOL.3
22.12.1988 20:36 259.527 GRVOL.4
22.12.1988 20:37 227.102 GRVOL.5
22.12.1988 20:37 26.174 GRVOL.9
18.11.1988 12:10 3.075 HGC_GRAF.OVL
18.11.1988 12:10 470 JR_GRAF.OVL
22.04.1987 13:05 74 MAKEPATH.COM
13.12.1988 11:25 1.814 OBJECT
19.07.1988 12:40 12 RESETDSK.COM
18.11.1988 12:10 362 VG_GRAF.OVL
22.12.1988 08:12 6.110 WORDS.TOK
26 Datei(en), 1.253.184 Bytes


Thanks. All of those extra .com and .bat files aren't needed to play the game in DOSBox (neither is GR122388.QA), but I've had them all in the directory before (both in DOSBox and on my IBM) and it didn't make a difference... likely because those are all parts of the installation process, not part of the game. Still, I just tried adding the missing files (all of the .com, .bat and the .QA file) to the game directory on the IBM and it still gives the error.

Also, there doesn't appear to be a config.sys on this system at all (not in the c:\ or c:\DOS folders, I can even save a blank config.sys to these folders)... would that cause a problem? I wouldn't really think so, but I'm really reaching here. All my other games work great, including King's Quest 1 and Space Quest 1.

I've tried doing the actual install method using the installh.bat and letting it do its thing (copying the same files over and over and over since they're all on the same disk), and the game runs but gives the same Disk 1 error. I've tried doing the install manually after analyzing what the .bat files were doing (much like what Predator99 pointed out in the previous post), by simply copying the files, deleting the ones it deletes and then renaming sierra.com to gr.com and that had the same problem.

I've also tried using the uncracked original version that doesn't ask trivia questions AND the patch that remedies some of the problems that the crack (from 1989) introduced. The patched cracked version has the correct intro images as it should, but still looks for disk 1.

All of them work perfectly in DOSBox with identical file structures.

Later on when I get a chance I'll try to get a file structure that is 100% identical to the ones posted in this thread, and I'll post the text listing of the directory... but I am 99.99% sure that the files are the same as what is being listed here. I'm thinking its a DOS setup issue of some kind, but it must be super obscure.
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby skitters » 2017-1-16 @ 22:58

One of the paper inserts that came
with my Gold Rush game says you
need a config.sys file with the line
files=15
(or it can be greater than 15).
Gold Rush! requires a CONFIG.SYS with files set to 15 or greater...
If you already have a CONFIG.SYS, you must edit the file to include a Files=15 (or greater) statement....
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Re: Gold Rush! DOS game on IBM 5150... Insert Disk 1???

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-1-17 @ 00:37

skitters wrote:One of the paper inserts that came
with my Gold Rush game says you
need a config.sys file with the line
files=15
(or it can be greater than 15).
Gold Rush! requires a CONFIG.SYS with files set to 15 or greater...
If you already have a CONFIG.SYS, you must edit the file to include a Files=15 (or greater) statement....

THANK YOU!

THAT WAS IT!

It just needed a config.sys file in the root of C:\ with only one line:
files=15

And now it works!

I was thinking that it seemed like it was running out of memory or resources or something and couldn't load any more assets, since it would start and then just stop. I had my suspicions that it was a configuration issue rather than missing files (since I'd copied the files 5 times from 3 different places).

Its amazing that a system can work so well with no issues what so ever without having a config.sys, yet one game can't even load its assets. I can play more advanced games without such issues.

Well, I guess I should ask... are there any other lines I should add to config.sys for a computer that only has 640k of RAM and no device drivers aside from Cute Mouse and the AST Clock set utility? Maximizing compatibility is the most important thing, but a little more speed (free RAM?) would be nice if that's possible.

Anyway, thank you so much to everyone who took time out of their day to give suggestions. And thank you skitters for thinking to look up a solution in the original manual. It seems kind of obvious now... installing a popular game on a nearly perfectly matched period correct system, and I didn't think to go to the only source of troubleshooting information that would have existed at the time: the game's manual! You can bet I'll be doing this more in the future with these old games. :)
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