First post, by megatron-uk
I'm a lazy person at heart, so I wanted to be able to play as many of my original DOS games as possible, without having to continually swap CD's around.
So at the back end of last year when I was messing around with Freedos on my P4 Dos/Win system I encountered the CDROM driver/MSCDEX replacements: SHSUCDX and SHSUCDHD.
SHSUCDX is a fairly straight forward replacement for MSCDEX, but SHSUCDHD is much more interesting... it takes a ISO image and creates a device for it in the same manner as a normal cdrom driver loaded via config.sys would do.
The *really* interesting thing about both bits of software is that they can be dynamically loaded and unloaded from memory at will. In addition, they also work fine in MS-DOS, so you don't have to be running a Freedos system to use them.
So what I've started doing, for those games that always check for a CD in the drive in order to run (either for 'copy protection' or simply to run movies or data files from), is create a small batch file that loads the driver, maps it via the mscdex replacement, call the game, and then unload again.
It seems to work very well in the games that I've tried it with (so far!). Now, of course anything that relies on CD Audio is not going to be very happy, but for 99% of games I'd be using GUS or a midi device anyway.
A typical batch file would be:
The drivers can user upper memory, so with both programmes loaded they use approximately 8kb of base memory. For reference my config has 602kb free without SHSUCDHD and SHSUCDX running and 594kb with (I'm not using umbpci.sys).
Just thought this could be a useful tip for anyone who hasn't come across these neat little drivers yet!